Small Lemon Drizzle Cakes


Last week when I was trying to become better at not waisting food, I made a big batch of apple sauce from some apples that wasn’t as crisp as I had expected when buying them. So instead of letting them go to waist, I just peeled, cored and cut up into smaller pieces. Put in a pot with a bit of apple juice, just so they don’t stick and burn at the bottom of the pan, covered with a lit and cook for 20-30 minutes or until they go mushy. Cool and then just blend until smooth. Store in the fridge for a couple of days or portion it up and freeze, then just take out a couple of hours before use.

So because I had this apple sauce in my freezer, I decided to make some small lemon drizzle cakes, to bring to a friends house.
Besides being a good way to use up apples, they are also processed sugar and dairy free, and super easy to make.


Makes 12


Ingredients:
250g plain flour (I used fine spelt flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
200ml apple sauce
150ml flavourless oil, like light olive oil, groundnut oil or vegetable oil
100ml agave or sweet freedom
2 eggs
zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla past
50ml of lemon juice


For lemon syrup:
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
5 tablespoons of agave or sweet freedom


Preheat oven to 175C
Line a cupcake tray with cupcake papers.


Mix flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a big bowl. Then whisk applesauce, oil, agave, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla past, until it is mixed well.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry slowly, while stirring it together, until it is all incorporated into a smooth batter. As a last step, when everything is ready and the oven it hot, is to stir in the lemon juice. This will activate the bicarbonate of soda in the batter and make it start to bubble, so immediately after, divide the batter in the cupcake cases and bake.
Bake for about 15-17 minutes or when turning golden on top.


While the cakes are baking, make the lemon syrup, by stirring together the lemon juice and agave in a small pan, then bring it to a boil over medium heat, letting it boil for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit.


When the cakes have been taken out of the oven and cooled for about 5 minutes, spoon on the syrup on top of the cake a little at a time, spreading it with the back of the spoon to cover the whole surface.
Then leave them to absorb the syrup and cool a bit more before eating.


Enjoy


Mia
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Whole Foods Market Haul


A Whole Foods Market have recently opened a shop a bit closer to where I live, so I no longer have to go all they way into centre of London to get my Whole Foods shopping fix, which is great for me, but maybe not so great for my wallet to have one closer!
Now I will say that I wish that they would have more of the amazing products that they have in the american stores, I am still dreaming of Justin’s nut butters, but I suppose there goes a lot of work into bringing a product over to the UK.
But here are some of the things I go to Whole Foods for. I did also pick up a few other things on this trip, like oranges and coconut water, but those you can get from any supermarket now a days, so didn’t include them. 

  • Teapigs popcorn tea – Now I know you can get Teapigs in a lot of shops now, I just hadn’t seen this flavour before. After tasting though, I am not sure I would buy again, taste like roasted green tea.
  • Amisa organic spelt, onion and linseed crispbread – These are soooo yummy, the perfect snack for when you are feeling a bit peckish. Great with or without topping.
  • Tropical Whole Foods fair-trade organic dried Mango and Banana – These for me are a life saver when I crave sweets, as they are a great substitute. They do have just as much sugar in them as normal sweets, these just containing fruit sugar, so I literally see them as I would sweets and try and control myself with them.
  • Chia Seeds – I use about a tablespoon of these in my green smoothies as a great way to get more fibre and omega 3.
  • The Food Doctor Cacao and Tangerine granola – Eating this stuff makes me feel like being a child again, but it is sweetened with agave instead of refined sugar. Great in yoghurt or the Vanilla CoYo I also got.
  • Organic Spelt Penne – For some reason wheat pasta seem to be quite heavy in my stomach, but after finding spelt pasta, I no longer get that overly full feeling when eating pasta. Only note with these is that you have to be careful not to overcook them, as that seem to happen quite quickly.
  • CoYo coconut milk yoghurt with vanilla – I am normally not into flavoured yoghurts and since I am lactose intolerant, I haven’t had natural yoghurt since Lactofree stopped making their natural yoghurt. But this little, quite expensive though, pot of coconut yoghurt is what food heaving must be like, because it literally taste heavenly, especially with The Food Doctor granola.
  • Organic Kale – this is actually the main reason why I go to Whole Foods, as this seems to be the only place I can get whole organic kale for my green juices and smoothies.

I do know that it can get quite expensive shopping in Whole Foods, but I normally only buy what I can’t get in other supermarkets and try and be sensible with my choices, as I could easily go on a shopping spree in there every time. But I do think a few good food items can make a huge difference in your daily diet, so this is more than enough to tie me over for a weeks time, together with my normal supermarket shopping.

Mia
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Chocolate syrup, refined sugar free


I invented this recipe a few years ago, as my husband really likes his chocolate milk, but reading on the back of ready made chocolate milk I found them to be filled with a lot of sugar and other not so good for you things. So I looked on the internet to figure out how to make my own chocolate milk and the easies way it seems, was by using a chocolate syrup. So I started experimenting with some recipes, to make one without white sugar and this is the end result.
My husband loves this syrup, he actually says it taste a lot like his favourite chocolate milk when added in milk. But it can also be used on other things, like on ice cream, desserts or even a teaspoon in coffee to make a mochaccino. 

Ingredients: 
½ cup pure cocoa powder
½ cup water
½ cup agave or sweet freedom
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste


In a small pot mix the cocoa powder, water and salt together and bring to a boil. Whisk until there are no lumps.
Ad the agave or sweet freedom, and boil until it stars to thicken a bit (like syrup).
Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Let it cool for a bit, then transferee to container of choice (I used an empty agave bottle that I had cleaned, as it makes it easy to dispense).
Store in the fridge for about a week and give it a little shake before use.


Mia
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Green Lemonade recipe and how to juice without a juicer – Video


Now this was suppose to be part of my healthy January, to see all post Click Here, but there hasn’t been good light to film in, so this is a day overdue.
Part of my getting healthy regime involves getting more vitamins through my diet and juicing is a great way to do that. Only problem is, I don’t have a juicer anymore. When we moved into our current house, we just didn’t have room for all the kitchen gadgets anymore, and one of the things that took up the most space was our juicer that we hadn’t used for a few year, so I gave it away.
I am still not sad I did, as it was big and difficult to clean. 
But after a few visits to Whole foods, where I would get a juice every time, I realised how much better I would be feeling the rest of the day. Buying a juice at Whole foods is expensive in the long run, and I don’t have one in walking distance of where I live, so if I wanted to have a daily juice, I had to think out of the box. I didn’t want to buy another juicer, as they are expensive and I might just end up collecting dust again at one point like the other, so I thought about what we already had in our kitchen and came up with this method.


We have a Nutribullet, but any good blender will do for this. Then you just need a fine strainer and a jug, thats it!
You just add all the ingredients to the blender, with a little water and then blend until as smooth as you can get it. Then you just work it though the sieve with a spoon, easy peasy. And it is all things that are easy to clean and that most people have in their kitchen, so a great way to see if juicing is for you before investing in a big expensive juicer.
I won’t say I will never get a juicer again, but for now, this works for me and the size of our kitchen.


Now for my favourite recipe that was inspired from my favourite juice at whole foods. It is rich in Vitamin C and iron from the spinach and kale and it taste divine, like a really refreshing lemonade.


Green lemonade. Makes about 2 glasses.


1 big handful of organic kale
1 big handful of organic spinach
2 sticks of organic celery
a small piece of ginger (optional) 
juice of 1-2 lemons
1-2 sweet organic apples or 100-200ml organic apple juice 
and about 200ml water.


The reason I use organic ingredients for most of the ingredients in this recipe, is that you are getting a very concentrated vitamin boost from this. So since the products I use organic here are all on the list of 15 vegetables and fruit you should eat organic, I have decided to use organic to get the healthiest juice possible.
I also normally use organic apple juice from a carton, just because I haven’t been able to find organic apples that are sweet enough.


Enjoy.


Mia

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My favourite kitchen appliance


I have actually only had the Nutribullet for a month now, but it is already my favourite kitchen appliance by far. I have actually gone through 2 Magic Bullet’s over the last 8 years, that both literally died from wear and tear of being used so much. So this time when it was time to get a new one, we decided to upgrade to the big brother of Magic Bullet, the Nutribullet by Magic Bullet. The Nutribullet seems to be a lot better quality, has a better motor, more sturdy and doesn’t have a lot of extra gadgets you never use, like the Magic Bullet, so really happy we upgraded.

So the reason we chose to get this kind of blender, is that we already have a food processor, so seemed silly to get a normal blender. Plus these big kitchen appliances take up a lot of space and are just a bit more difficult to clean. With this, you just unscrew, rinse under water and pop in the dishwasher, where it doesn’t take up a lot of space.
We actually also own a hand blender, but to be honest, both that and the food processor get used only a few times a year, max, as even if I am blending a bigger portion of something, I will still use the Bullet and just do it in batches, as I know it will be easier to clean afterwards.
So what do we use it for? well, everything really and not just for healthy drinks. We use it for smoothies, juices, healthy ice-cream, soups, pastes and sauces. We actually use it so much, that I wish you could get extra blades and cups, so I didn’t have to wash them by hand in-between running the dishwasher.
But I also like that with this you can sort of chop things roughly, like when I make puttanesca, but I can also get it completely smooth for when I am juicing.


These are some of the things I make during the week, using the Nutribullet. To be honest, this could easily be what I make in a day actually.

First picture is of the healthy pancakes that I learned to make via an Instagram from Gemsmaquillage, Click Here to see. I just add a tablespoon more of my gluten free oats to my pancakes. I just pop all the ingredients in the Nutribullet and hey presto, you got easy healthy pancake batter.


Next picture is Puttanesca pasta sauce, where I just chop the ingredients roughly using the Nutribullet. See recipe Here.


Next is my favourite juice recipe, green lemonade. Click Here for recipe and video on how to make it.


Then there is my a bit healthier chocolate chip cookies, where I use the Nutribullet to blend together nuts and flour, and then stir in the wet ingredients with a fork. For recipe Click Here.


And last is my favourite healthy dessert, just roughly chopped up bananas that has been frozen, with a few frozen berries, almond milk and a tiny bit of vanilla paste. Then just blend into a lovely healthy ice-“cream”. 


Definitely a good choice if you are looking for a blender and you want something that is easy to clean and doesn’t take up to much kitchen space.

Price is £99.99 and we got ours from Robert Dyas http://www.robertdyas.co.uk/nutribullet-nutrition-extractor/ here in UK.

Healthy snack options, for home and on the go.


I think especially in the beginning when you are trying to eat healthier, it can be very difficult not giving into old cravings. So I have found some healthier no fuss alternatives for when those cravings come around, as I think if you don’t have a substitute in your house or with you on the go, it is more likely for you to “fall in” and eat something unhealthy.
All of these snacks are also great handbag snacks to carry around with you, for when you suddenly get a chocolate craving or feel your blood sugar dropping. 

First of it the good old banana, it is great for when you are feeling hungry in-between meals and great for stabilising you blood sugar. It is great for the handbag as it has it’s own protective skin, but if you do find it gets bruised in you bag, you can also get a banana case for it (just search banana case on amazon).
It is also a great evening snack, so if you are feeling hungry late at night, they won’t interfere with a good nights sleep, as they actually have muscle relaxing properties.


Chocolate is something most people love and crave, but not all love dark chocolate, that are the healthier option, mainly because of the bitterness. But these lovely dark chocolate buttons, that are from Beyond Dark , are smooth, not very bitter, low in sugar, dairy free and has 3 times as much antioxidants than normal dark chocolate. They are also great for portion controls as it is easy to just take out a few buttons when you feel a chocolate craving coming on. If you cut off the top and put a sealing food clip on, they are also great for the handbag, #grannyalert but it works.
For more information visit http://www.beyonddark.co.uk 


Dried fruit can be a great option, but they can be quite concentrated in fructose, so like anything really enjoy in moderations. Dates are suppose to be one of the healthier in the dried fruits category, as they are a good source of fibres, vitamins and minerals. If you get the fresher kind, the are also the natures version of amazing fudge-caramel like sweet, so really good to satisfy a sweet craving. In a small tupperware, they are great for the handbag.


Last one is nuts. I think for a lot of years people have been afraid of nuts, as they are high in fat (if I had a penny for every time I had heard the phrase “vegetarians get fat because they eat to many nuts”). But a lot of new research are now saying that if you eat raw nuts, they will not affect you weight because of the way you digest them, but are very good for you because of vitamins and fibres they contain. The key word here being raw though and a small handful of almonds are a great snack for during the day, as it is high in protein and fibre, so will keep you full in-between meals. So just pop a bag in you handbag for hunger emergencies.


Let me know what your healthy snacks are and what you find easy to carry around with you for when craving strikes.


Mia

Puttanesca, my favourite.


This is probably my favourite pasta recipe, might actually be my favourite recipe all together now that I think about it. I have made it countless times, since I saw a chef make it on danish television, about 6 years ago and I don’t think I will ever get tired of it.
I am not a big fan of Puttanesca when ordering it at restaurants, and I think the reason is big pieces of anchovies and tomato in those versions, which I am not a fan of personally. In my recipe all the ingredients are finely chopped and I think that is the reason, why everyone I have ever made this for like it so much as well, despite them normally not liking all the ingredients that goes into it. 
I actually hadn’t heard about puttanesca before watching Lemony  Snicket’s A series of unfortunate events, where the kids make it, saying Puttanesca is Italian for very few ingredients, not sure if that is true though. But anyway, I have a bit of a weird obsession with food in movies, so when I saw the recipe on tv, I had to try it.


My friend once said when tasting this, a friend who don’t like anchovies, olives or capers I might add, that it tasted like a bolognese sauce, but with a lot more flavour and much yummier. So just goes to show you, that you shouldn’t be put off by this recipe, despite not liking all the ingredients that goes into it.


Makes about 4 portions as a pasta sauce, but can also be used as a courgetti sauce, on cooked potatoes or as a hot dip.

 

200g black pitted olives
50g capers
1-2 cloves of garlic
1-2 chilies
3-5 small anchovies or about 2 inches of anchovy paste
2 tablespoons of oil
canned tomatoes
zest of one unwaxed lemon
A big handful parsley

 

Chop up all the ingredients finely (blending the canned tomatoes), I just pulse them all separately in a blender.
Then heat up the oil in a pan and add the garlic and anchovies, stirring for about a minute until the anchovies have melted.
Add the capers and olives and fry for a minute or two, then adding the blended tomatoes and lemon peel. Once mixed well, just let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes and you get a thick consist like a bolognese sauce. Then just add the parsley and you are ready to serve.

 

Enjoy
Mia
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A bit of a better for you chocolate chip cookie.


I love this recipe for many reasons, one of them being that it is a great way to use up some nuts you might just have left over or just lying around. But it is also a bit of a better for you cookie, it is still a cookie with fat and sugar, so don’t think you can eat endlessly without guilt, but is just a bit better cookie for your blood sugar and has a bit more protein in it. I normally have one coming back from a long walk and craving something sweet or as an afternoon snack to tie me over till dinner.

It is a very flexible recipe, as you can pretty much tailor this recipe to your need, depending on if you want it dairy free, gluten free or with what natural sugar or oil you like to use.


It is so easy to make, and once you find out the calculations of the recipe, it is easy to make with however many grams of nuts you have lying around.
For instance, if you have 100g of nuts, then need same grams of flour. Then half the gram amount to get the grams of chocolate chip cookies and the ml amount for liquids, so 50g/ml of oil and sweetener.
And then you can add a little salt or/and vanilla paste to taste, I personally like a bit of salt to even out the sweetness in the cookie.
So for good measures here are the ingredients listed in measurements, but you could just as easily make this with say 60g of nuts you had left over from something, and then 60g of flour and 30g chocolate and 30ml of the wet…..hope this makes sense.


100g nuts, like almonds, hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts.
100g flour (you can easily make these gluten free by using plain gluten free flour).
50g dark chocolate chips (use dairy free once for a dairy free version).
50ml oil, like coconut, groundnut or light olive oil.
50ml sweet freedom, agave or light honey.
Salt and/or vanilla past to taste.


Preheat oven to 175°C


In a blender, blend together nuts, flour and (salt), until finely blended. Transferee to a bowl and break up any clumps between your hands.
whisk together the wet ingredients, and with a fork, stir them into the flour-nut mixture, until it all comes together as a sticky dough.
Then stir in the chocolate buttons.
Take teaspoons of dough and roll into balls between your hands, place on a baking tray covered with baking paper, and press them a bit flatter to a cookie shape.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let them stay on the baking tray for a few minutes, then transferee to a wire rack to cool completely.


Enjoy

Mia
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Getting healthy and in shape. Part 2, what works for me.


So 2014 is going to be the year I get back to a healthier, happier, fitter me. But because of not really having been able to do a lot of exercise the last three years, because of a broken ankle, I am sort of starting from the bottom again. 
I have been trying to get out of the house as much as possible since I broke my ankle, but I had a lot of complications with it, so there were long periods of time where it just wasn’t possible. I am now finally at a place where I can once again build up my fitness levels and become more active once again, but I also know it won’t happen from one day to the next, having been through this once before. Read about that in part 1 by clicking Here.

I am also going to be changing my diet up a little. I am already quite good at eating healthy, but I have definitely been falling a little in connection with often choosing easy meal option, while we have been busy renovating our new house and not having a kitchen for a long time.


I am quite fortunate in having gone through all this before, because it doesn’t seem as daunting this time, as I have obviously been able to to it before, so know I can do it now.
I do have to be careful of not putting to much strain on my joints on the leg where I broke the ankle, but I think that is the case for anyone who are starting to get active from the button, as you joints are not use to the strain and you are more likely to do damage if not careful. This was one of the things I was very much aware of last time and this time. So first thing that I know work for me, are the right shoes. I was lucky that I got a gift certificate to a sports shop that specialise in custom footwear  last time, so I was filmed running on a treadmill, where they found that I twist my foot inwards when I run because of a high arch, meaning that my trainers need to have arch support, for my ankles and knees not to suffer any damage in the long run.
My husband actually have the same thing, and for years he had trouble with his knee, but since getting insoles in his trainers and football boots, he hasn’t had any problems since. So very important to get the right foot wear for you.


Second thing that has already been a bigger help this time is a running app for my phone, as the one I have gotten also includes other activities beside running, like walking. Last time I would time myself walking the same route to see if I had improved, but this app just makes that much easier, as you can track the distance you have walked, the time it has taken you and your average speed. This is especially great for when you have days you don’t seem to see any improvement, that you can compare how much you have improved since your first walk.
Last time I started off with a 20 minute walk, but this time I am able to start of with a 40 minute walk, just because I am a more active person now than I was 8 years ago and I have been doing physio as part of ankle recovery. I do that walk about 3-5 times a week and I walk in a tempo where I am flushed and a little out of breath after the walk.
Then when you find the walk to easy, you add in a bit more distance and slowly work up to the time you want. If you want to start running, that comes when you are able to walk 45 minutes to an hour without being out of breath and if you walk any faster you would be running anyway. You want to put the walk down to a 20-30 minute distance again, a few times a week. For every 4-5 minutes you want to do a slow run for 30 seconds and slowly week by week, add on 30 seconds of running one week, and take off a minutes of walking the next. 
If you do find that you are starting to get knee or ankle pains, stop running and start doing some exercises to strengthen the muscles around your joints and maybe see a doctor. Then try the running again a few months later. Very important to listen to you body, pain isn’t always gain!


You will also find that starting to exercise will take up a lot of you energy and you might feel more tired than before starting the regime, so make sure to take the time out to be tired and don’t arrange a lot of plans in your calendars, try and have as open a calendar as possible in the beginning, it is about focusing on you and your health. You will have plenty of time to be sociable when you start getting the reward of extra energy when your body gets use to the exercise. 


Another great thing I have found helps me get motivated to go on my walks, is audiobooks, something exciting that you are eager to hear what happens next is a good way to get you out of the house if you only allow your self to listen when on walks. I am currently listening to Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, that I got via Audible.


Third for me is diet, as exercise and diet go hand in hand. So I am cutting out white sugars, white pasta, white rice and white bread. have fruit and vegetables at every meal and a daily juice, and making my own healthy meals, so I know exactly what is in them.
I am obviously not being religious about this, as it can make your life a bit miserable, but as a good guideline for my diet most of the time.
And I am definitely not going on a diet, I don’t even own a pair of scales, it is all about being healthy for me.


Hope you found some of my tips helpful and please tell me in the comments down below if you are trying to get healthy and what helps you. Or if you are finding it hard and need a bit of encouragement, please write as well.


The running App I use is the Runtastic that works with a gps in your phone. for more information visit www.runtastic.com


And for more information on Audible, visit www.audible.co.uk


Mia

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Getting healthy and in shape. Part 1, my story.


About 8 year ago I decided to take my own health in my own hands and do something about feeling better physically, but also mentally, as I was over weight and just not that happy in the mood department. I come from a very un-active family, where the only excise my family did was bicycling when growing up, and it wasn’t for the benefit of being active, because when living in Copenhagen, it is just the most common way to get from A to B, meaning it can be quite slow and not really get your heart rate up. So when I met my husband, who had a car, my activity levels dropped to almost nothing, resulting in me putting on weight, losing energy and just not feeling good in general.

We then moved into a flat right across from a gym, so there was no longer any excuse not to join and start getting into shape. I had joined a gym several times before and failed, but looking back, I think the main reason I failed was because I didn’t understand the benefits of it and the fact that I was put on a program that was way more advanced than I was or wasn’t suited to me. 
But this time I was very lucky, because the trainer at the gym, that helped me with my program, understood that it if you have never been active, you shouldn’t just throw yourself into training, but ease into it, letting your body and mind adjust and not feel overwhelmed. 
I understand how it can be difficult for a trainer that has always been active to think, they just need to get active, because it comes easily to them, but we are all different and what comes easily to some will not be easy for others, that is just the way of life. So I was so lucky getting a trainer that was able to see that.


The trainer set me up with some simple warm up and a few simple exercises, that I was suppose to do 3 times a week. On 3 of the other days I would go for a 20 minute brisk walk and last day would be a relaxing day. Then when I slowly started to improve, I started to ad exercises and minutes to my walks. So over a year, I ended up being able to run for 30 minutes straight (not having been able to run EVER) and lift my own body weight. A long way away from where I started. I felt happier, healthier and not to mention, I had a great posture.


But not long after that, we moved to London, and if you are from London you will know, gyms are crazy expensive and far apart here. And my long walks along the beach in Copenhagen was replaced with long walks on overly trafficked roads, that is, when I was not to busy working 16 hour makeup jobs, so all my hard work just fated away.
Then on top of that, something very unfortunate happened 3 years ago, I broke my ankle quite severely on a ski trip, which I won’t get to much into. But after a lot of hospital visits, treatment and operation, I am now ready to get healthy again.
I won’t be joining a gym, as I don’t feel like that is for me anymore, but I will be getting a lot more outdoor exercise and going back to healthy eating again. 


I will do a part 2 to this post, explaining what I will be doing this time to get back into shape from scratch and what I find helpful last time and this time.
Pease leave a message telling me your experience and what you found hard or useful.

Click Here for part 2.


Mia

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