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30.10.2017

Colorful and cozy Dream Lattes

Hello Love! I’m here to give you some new inspiration for warm drinks – something that makes you thrive during the cold months and something super fun to try out at your coffee or tea break, at your breakfast or as your good night drink.

 

I call them Dream Lattes (Or Soul Lattes – Sweet child has many names, as we say in Finlandas they sooth the soul in such a dreamy way. The happy pastel colors and nourishing ingredients make such a beautiful winter surviving combo that your average cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate just starts to feel bo-ooring.

 

I’m a person who loves variation and I have been switching between these Dream Lattes during the last months and I love to come up with new modifications and color combos. I have never ever believed in the phrase “Don’t play with your food.” Of course you should play – Always, in every single situation you get a change! Playfulness in life is something that makes us vibrate in such a high and light level and that’s the path to true happiness and wellbeing. Through joy, you know.

 

Well anyways, what I was saying about these Dream Lattes, is that few months ago I enjoyed my golden latte with different kinds of spices every evening. Then I started doing the Pink Latte, in which I incorporated beet powder (or blended cooked beet with the milk) and that was a true eye candy for me, because my color taste has stuck to what it was when I was 5, like “All pink everything”. Lately I have been doing my Smaragd Latte which is a combination Blue Latte and Green Latte, that includes matcha, chlorella and/or blue algae. And as you can see all these lattes look like some water coloring session would have just taken place – but they actually are quite potions, I tell you! Big powerful color & herb therapy session in one mug.

Then I have some news to tell!

  1. Last weekend Vanelja won the award for The Best Food Blog at The Blog Awards Finland! Yayyyyy! That was something so so miraculous, that I’m still astonished.  My updates and posts happen mainly on Vanelja’s Instagram account, and I had thought that this kind of an award is targeted mainly to more old school type of bloggers, so it was so heart-warming to notice that the jury had considered also other channels this time.  You can read my thoughts about the victory here from my Instagram post. Wanna send a HUGE warm hug to all my lovely followers for supporting me and being part of this journey.
  2. Vanelja.com is under a renovation and a new beautiful site is building up. This site functions normally until the launch, but I won’t be posting here before the new site opens. But my IG is as active as normal, so no actual radio silence happening.

 

So stay tuned, my bunnies, and please do try out some of these Dream Lattes – or all of them! Tag your creations on Instagram #dreamlatte and @vanelja so I’ll see them! 

Be love and stay golden!

 

V


Dream Lattes

Pink Latte:

1 cup unsweetened vegan milk (such as almond milk, oat milk or hemp milk)

1 teaspoon beet powder (or a small cube of cooked beetroot)

½ teaspoon ceylon cinnamon

⅓ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ow raw organic honey or maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Golden Latte:

1 cup unsweetened mylk (such as almond milk, oat milk or hemp milk)

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cinnamon

⅓ teaspoon ground cardamom

pinch of ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ow raw organic honey or maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Green Latte:

1 cup unsweetened mylk (such as almond milk, oat milk or hemp milk)

1 teaspoon matcha powder

⅓ teaspoon chlorella

¼ teaspoon ashwagandha

⅓ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon peppermint extract or fresh mint leaves

1 teaspoon ow raw organic honey or maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Blue Latte:

1 cup unsweetened mylk (such as almond milk, oat milk or hemp milk)

¼ teaspoon blue algae powder (like Blue Majik)

¼ teaspoon ashwagandha

⅓ teaspoon ground ginger

juices of half a lemon

1 teaspoon ow raw organic honey or maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk in all the ingredients – except honey, if you’re using. Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly and add the sweetener, honey or syrup. Top with ceylon cinnamon or beet powder, if you like. Enjoy Warm!

Tip 1: You can also warm the milk and then pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.

Tip 2: If you want to play with colors, make different colors of lattes, scoop off some froth from the surface and mix the froths to different colors of lattes, like pink froth to golden latte, yellow froth to pink latte and so on.

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14.9.2017

Pink Breakfast Pizza

You wanted recipes for lunch and dinner – I give you granola pizza!

 

What do you mean, that doesn’t look like your average everyday meal? My five-year-old ate that specific pizza as a dinner, straight from the photo background, after she’d came home from the kindergarten the other day. True story. That’s how we run things here at the Vanelja household.

 

Ok, to be honest (and boring), I have to admit that we do also eat so called normal food, every once in awhile, but that’s not on my blogging agenda today. Either. But, I give you a hint that in the near future I’m gonna launch something super exciting, that I know all you savory craving creatures will lovelovelove! So stay tuned!

 

And now back to this marvellous breakfast pizza. Such a whimsical weird creation it is. I always encourage people to play around with their food and experiment with familiar ingredients. And that is exactly what happens with this granola pizza. Your ol’ granola and yogurt breakfast, but in a new and refreshing form. Maybe not a totally new concept to all you trendy foodies out there, but something fun to try out, at least!

 

The crust is made from Vanelja’s Pink Granola (recipe below), but you can take the easy way and use whatever gluten free store-bought granola you like and stir in some berry powder or freeze dried berries to get that pretty pink hue. Then just top it with your favorite dairy free yogurt, berries, figs and flowers and cuteness overload and your favorite weekend brekkie is guaranteed. Although, I must say that this kind of a breakfast would give an extraordinary start also to a Monday morning, that’s when some extra magic and zest is usually needed the most.

 

Oh, before you run away after your granolas and yogurts, I just want to let you guys know that Vanelja is nominated at the Blog Awards Finland, in the food category – Yay! That would be my first award in my home counrty after 8 years (!) of blogging about health food. Phew – time really flies when you’re having a blast! So if you like what I’m doing, go click and leave a vote for me HERE. Only your email (Sähköposti) and your name (Nimi) is needed. Thank you, sugar – I mean, honey, raw and organic! haha!

 

V


Pink Breakfast Granola Pizza

(gluten-free, vegan, dairy free, naturally sweetened)

 

Crust:

2 cups Vanelja’s Pink Granola (recipe below) or granola of your choice with 3 tbsp pink berry powder or smashed freeze dried berries

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

¼ cup peanut butter (or tahini)

 

On top:

coconut yogurt or other dairy free yogurt

berries

figs

raw organic honey or syrup of your choice

edible flowers

 

Melt the coconut oil and peanut butter in a warm water bath. Pour all the crust ingredients into a bowl and stir well. Press the crust firmly into the bottom of a cake mold. (cover the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.) You can also press the crust firmly onto a freezer safe plate and make it about half inch thick round pizza. Freeze for about 30 minues until the crust gets solid. Remove from the freezer, spread some yogurt on and sprinkle on some berries and fig slices. Pour a bit of honey or syrup on top and finalize with edible flowers. Serve and enjoy right away. Store in a fridge.

 

Vanelja’s Pink Granola:

1 small raw beet, peeled and cut to pieces

handful of raspberries

5 fresh dates, pitted

5 tbsp coconut syrup or organic honey

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

1 ½ cup rolled oats

½ cup almonds, chopped

½ cup coconut flakes

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup flax seeds

¼ cup hemp seeds

tiny pinch of salt

 

Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit degrees. Blend the beets, raspberries, dates, coconut oil and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and pour in the beet raspberry mixture you just made. Mix until dry ingredients are evenly coated. Pour the mixture on a baking tray covered with a parchment paper and spread evenly. Bake for about 10 minutes. Stir the granola and bake for 5-10 minutes more. Take out from the oven and let cool completely.

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29.8.2017

Dreamy Blueberry Thyme Raw Cake

Hiya Honey! Look what I’ve got for you today – A dreamy and creamy blueberry thyme raw cake –  A cake that can also be found on the cover of the latest THRIVE magazine. That’s right, babe, my cake is an actual cover girl! So sooo amazing! There’s also a four page spread & a feature of me in the magazine in where I share some of my food secrets + many many other great features and recipes of super talented recipe creators.

I first created this blueberry raw cake in the spring with a collaboration with a Finnish salad and herb producer Järvikylä when I made an adaptation of their thyme blueberry cake and during the summer the cake photo has become easily one of my most shared and liked IG posts ever and it has been so much fun to see people making their own creations of it and posting them on their pages and sharing them with me. The beauty and magic of Instagram.

To celebrate my cover photo I thought to share the recipe here on my site too – So here you go, my friend, go and enjoy these blueberry filled dream bites!

V


Dreamy Blueberry Thyme Raw Cake

(gluten free, dairy free, naturally sweetened)

Base:

100 g / 3,5 oz dried, soft apricots

1 cup pecan nuts

pinch of sea salt

 

Filling:

2 cups cashew nuts (soaked for 30 minutes & rinsed)

½ ripe banana

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

5-6 tbsp raw organic honey

¼ cup oat milk or almond milk, if needed

fresh lemon juice from ½ lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup blueberries

handful of fresh thyme leaves

 

On top:

blueberries

fresh thyme

 

Pan diameter: 18 cm / 7 inches

Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a cake pan. Place all the base ingredients into a food processor or a high-speed blender and blend until moldable dough. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the cake pan. Prepare the filling.

Place all the filling ingredients (except blueberries and thyme) into the food processor / blender and blend until smooth. Add some dairy free milk, if needed, to get a smooth texture, still keeping it as thick as possible. Pour about ⅓ of the mixture into the cake pan and smooth out the surface. Add blueberries and thyme to the food processor / blender and blend with the remaining mixture. Taste and add some of the spices, if needed. Spoon the filling into the cake pan and even the surface gently with a spoon so that you don’t mix the white and the purple filling. Top with blueberries. Place the cake pan into the freezer for about 2-3 hours or until the cake is solid. Remove the cake from the pan and place it on a serving dish. Sprinkle on some thyme leaves, serve and enjoy. Store in a fridge.

 

As seen on THRIVE magazine!

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18.5.2017

Deluxe Chocolate Nice Cream + Ebook news!

It is time, to get your nice cream balls rolling again, baby!

You probably remember the N’Ice Cream book by me and my co-author Tuulia Talvio that was launched exactly a year ago, first in Finland and in the US and then later in the year in 6 countries, like in France, German and Chroatia. The book has found it’s home in the arms of so many healthy ice cream lovers around the world that it is hard to even realize. So thank you! There is no better feeling than when your passion inspires people, makes an impact and is even a part of a cultural change (the ever so lovely ice cream culture), like now for example when we’ve been witnessing many big brands bringing out their vegan ice creams with better sweeteners after the last summer in Finland.

We have not been talking about an ice cream revolution for no reason! * raised fist emoji *

To give it even a stronger boost we have now launched this Deluxe Edition of the Finnish N’Ice Cream book – as an ebook – with 10 new bonus recipes in it, which means now over 90 recipes for lovely delicious vegan, gluten free and naturally sweetened ice creams. And you can get it only for 8,90 euros.

Note, that this Deluxe Edition is only available in Finnish and as an ebook and you can download it here. We’ll try to find a way to get these bonus recipes out also in English in some form asap!

But so that you international readers won’t have to return with empty hands, here’s one faaabulous nice cream flavor for you to exploit: Deluxe Chocolate Nice Cream with Peanut Butter Swirls and Raw Chocolate Cake Chunks! I came up with it by accident when I decided to blend together chocolate mousse (from my Chocolate Pizza Post) and frozen banana. So freakingly delicious. Then I also stirred in some raw chocolate cake chunks and peanut butter swirls and I honestly almost started to cry when tasting it. That’s what pure pleasures can do to you. 

When scooping balls from this nice cream a song by Barry White, Can’t get enough of your love, babe, started playing in my mind:

“I’ve heard people say that
Too much of anything is not good for you, baby
Oh no
But I don’t know about that
There’s many times that we’ve loved
We’ve shared love and made love
It doesn’t seem to me like it’s enough
There’s just not enough of it
There’s just not enough
Oh oh, babe
My darling I, can’t get enough of your love babe…”

 

That kind of sums up the whole essence of this nice cream. You just can’t get enough of it – And you don’t even have to. As good stuff makes good to you.

V


Deluxe Chocolate Nice Cream

Serves 3

(vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free)

 

1/2 cup steamed sweet potato pieces

1/4 cup cashew nuts, soaked for about 1 hour

3 fresh dates, pitted

1/4 cup almond milk, or other dairy free milk

4 tbsp raw cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

3-4 frozen bananas

 

peanut butter

raw chocolate cake chunks

 

Place steamed sweet potato sliced, cashews, dates, almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla ja coconut oil into a blender and blend until smooth mousse. Add frozen and sliced bananas. Blend until soft serve. If your blender is small you can do this in two or three portions. Por the soft serve in a big freezer safe container. Mix in the raw cake crumble and spoon on some peanut butter. Freeze for about 30 minutes or until the mixture gets a bit more harder. Serve and enjoy!

 

Raw Chocolate Cake Chunks:

½ cup gluten-free rolled oats

½ cup almonds

3 fresh dates, pitted

4 tbsp raw cocoa powder

pinch of sea salt
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until crumble. Taste and add sweetener, if needed. The dough should be quite dry but easily moldable. Roll into small chunks with your hand and sprinkle into the nice cream batter.

More Nice Cream recipes in the N’Ice Cream cookbook by Virpi Mikkonen & Tuulia Talvio

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13.4.2017

Wholesome Chocolate Pizza

When you combine the biggest food passions of our family into one creation, you get something like this:

Gluten-free and vegan chocolate pizza filled with sweet potato chocolate mousse, raspberries and peanutbutter.

Soooo heavenly. Won’t be missing the traditional Easter desserts this year!

Refreshing and luscious weekend to all you bunnies too!

 

V  


Wholesome Chocolate Pizza

Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, naturally sweetened

 

Pizza crust:

2 tablespoons chia seeds + 1/2 cup water

1 cup almond meal

½ cup potato starch or tapioca flour

2 tablespoons psyllium husk

pinch of salt

½ cup olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius degrees. In a small bowl mix water and chia seeds and set aside for about 5 minutes. In the meantime put all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add the chia gel and stir. For the dough into a ball and press or roll out on a parchment lined baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or just until the crust starts to become a very light golden brown. Let it cool down a bit before adding the toppigs.

 

Chocolate Mousse:

1 cup steamed sweet potato pieces

½ cup cashew nuts, soaked for about 1 hour

5 fresh dates, pitted

½ cup almond milk, or other dairy free milk

4-6 tbsp raw cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

On top:

nut crust

raw chocolate

raspberries

peanut butter

 

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth mousse. Add a bit more liquid if needed, so that you get a smooth mixture, but keep the mousse as thick as possible. Spread evenly on the pizza crust. Add the rest of the toppings. Serve and enjoy!

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