Posts tagged Vegan
The best Açaí bowl

Let's talk açaí, shall we? It's refreshing, energizing and delicious. It just keeps increasing in popularity around the world. Açaí is also jam-packed with good nutrition such as antioxidants, fiber, heart-healthy fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9) and over 10 different vitamins and minerals. It grows in the Amazon on tall slender palms that can become more than 82 ft ( 25 m) in height. And who wouldn't be seduced by its intense purple color?

I first tried açaí while on holiday in Brazil. For the first few days in Rio de Janeiro, I remember going for breakfast in the morning ordering something ordinary such as a croissant and a juice. We soon noticed that the locals ordered what looked like a thick purple smoothie, served in a bowl and topped with strawberries and granola. I knew I had to try it. Starting the day with açaí quickly became one favorite routine on our trip along the Brazilian coast. It kept us energized and nourished for the day ahead, and it was just so delicious!!    

It makes me smile thinking about it, since açaí has since become so popular all over Europe and US, but back then it truly felt like a unique discovery of Brazilian culture. 

Since returning from Brazil, my obsession with açaí hasn't faded and I love trying new places serving spectacular açaí bowls. What I have discovered is that not one place makes açaí like the other. Outside of Brazil, the best açaí I have tried has been here in San Francisco and in LA. Personally, I like my açaí simple. Not too many superfood add-ins, and a real pure taste of açaí. 

Click to see some of my favorites açaí bowls here and here.

Now, how do you best make this insanely delicious breakfast or snack?

1. Use a good quality frozen açaí pulp (if you can't find açaí pulp where you live, use frozen blueberries and a freeze-dried açaí powder).
2. Keep it simple, use 3 or max 4 ingredients for the base and experiment with your favorite toppings.

Açaí bowl
Serves 2 small portions or 1 large

100 g frozen açaí pulp (or substitute 1 cup frozen blueberries and 2 tsp açaí powder)
3 ripe bananas (sliced and frozen for at least 8 hours)
1/2 cup (120 ml) apple juice
50 g frozen fruit (I like pineapple, mangos or berries) (optional)

1. Defrost your frozen açaí pulp by holding the package under room temperature tap water for up to a minute.
2. Use a scissor to carefully cut open the top of the package, and break the bar into smaller chunks as you add the pulp to a high-speed blender.
3. Add in the frozen bananas, any extra fruit/berries and apple juice.
4. Begin mixing on low speed and increase the speed until smooth and creamy. (In a Vitamix, this takes a couple of minutes with the tamper.)
5. Add to your bowl(s) and top with your choice of toppings, eg. homemade granola, desiccated coconut, berries, hemp seeds etc. 


I love to eat açaí for breakfast or to fuel up after a good workout. Running, hiking, dancing, yoga, whatever you do - this superberry baby never goes out of fashion. Enjoy!

Love for the city and for matcha latte

The love is real, the love for Noe Valley and our new apartment. Today, to be exact, we have spent 6 weeks in San Francisco. I'm amazed with how fast time has gone by. 

The first few weeks we dedicated to finding ourselves a new home. We viewed at least 10 apartments until we found our favorite. Located just off 24th street in Noe Valley. It's smaller than our flat in Dublin, but more than enough room for us both and with lots of sunshine. 

It's the first time that we decorate our home from the ground up. Best investment so far has to be this mattress from Casper. Catching up on some deep baby sleep lately. 

I love how changing jobs, apartments or country (or all at the same time) gives you a fresh look at your life and the routines you have established. It's the perfect opportunity to change it up a little (or a lot), eating more wholesome lunches, getting up earlier, be more tidy at home, or trying a new exercise routine.

One such change I've been looking to make is to stay productive without coffee. Yes fellow Swedes reading this, you heard me right. My mum loves it, my grandmother loves it even more. My dad calls it fox poison, but drinks it anyway. The Local explains it quite well here. The thing is, I'm not particularly fond of the highs and lows that comes with it. Or the headache that creeps up on you a day without it. 

For this reason, I've been trying to change out my daily cuppa for a matcha latte. Matcha is packed with antioxidants, detoxifies your body, rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins, and provides steady long lasting energy. 

The secret to a lump free and frothy matcha latte is to mix the tea with a little water or honey until it creates a thick green paste. Once you have your paste, slowly add your warm milk and stir it up. I find that this creates the perfect creaminess and smooth matcha beverage. 

The Perfect Matcha Latte
For one person

1 tsp organic matcha tea (I use this brand)
1 tsp honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option)
1 cup (240 ml) plant milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

Add the matcha tea powder and honey to your favorite tea or coffee cup. Mix together until a smooth paste forms. Depending on the thickness of your honey you may need to add a few drops of milk.

Warm up one cup of plant milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Here you can also use an electric or hand whisk to create some extra frothiness. 

Once the milk is warm enough to release some steam. Remove from the heat and pour one third of the milk into your cup. Stir until the paste dissolves. Add the rest of the milk and any extra froth. 

Devour slowly while snacking on some dark chocolate, dried coconut chips or pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Sunshine soup and market veggies

Before I started working at Whole Foods Market I had no idea how many different types of squashes there are. Most of us know the classic orange pumpkin, and if you live in the UK, Ireland or US there is often Butternut squash available in most supermarkets. Last weekend I went to the Temple Bar farmers' market and found this beautiful pale green little pumpkin squash. 

Comparing with the picture below, it's clearly a Blue Hubbard Squash (no 8). I love the color of the skin and on the inside there is a sweet-tasting orange flesh.

First I had the idea of roasting the squash in coconut oil and toss it with some rocket salad, walnuts and a citrusy dressing. The stormy Dublin weather made me change my mind and the squash instead turned into the most warming soup, I call it "Sunshine soup", and it's so simple to make.

I simply roasted the squash in two halves in the oven, and then mixed the soup creamy in my blender. Served with smashed avocado on sourdough bread, this really is a super filling lunch or dinner. It's also completely vegan and so nutritious! 

You get your healthy fats from:
Coconut milk
Sesame Seeds

For some added protein:
Red lentils

While using deliciously nutritious spices such as:

Sunshine soup with toasted sesame and avocado sandwiches
For a soup serving 4 people (large servings) you will need:

1 squash
1/2 cup (120 g) red split lentils
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 knob fresh ginger
1 tsp chilli
freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 black pepper
1 half juiced lemon

Preheat your oven to 180°C/360°F. Cut the squash in two halves and remove the seeds. Pour some oil over the two halves and rub the oil into the pumpkin flesh with your hand. 

Place the two halves on a tray with baking paper, cut sides facing down. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until soft (might vary depending on the size of your squash). 

In the meantime, rinse the red lentils and bring water to boil in a pan. Add lentils and let simmer for 6-7 minutes. Drain the lentils off water, cover with the lid and leave off to the side.

Take the squash out of the oven, pierce it with a fork to make sure it's softened. Let it cool. Open a can of coconut milk, grate the ginger and nutmeg and juice the lemon. 

Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and place it in a blender. Add the lentils, coconut milk, ginger, nutmeg, chili, salt, pepper and lemon. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes. 

* Toasting sesame seeds
Add a dry pan over high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast for about 2 minutes until fragrant and the oil is released from the seeds. Shake the seeds in the pan once in a while so that they don't burn. 

** Preparing avocado sandwiches
Slice thick slices of a good bread such as sourdough. Cut open a ripe avocado and use a knife to cut out squares in both halves. For example, slice from top to bottom and then make squares by cutting from side to side. Then take a fork and smash the avocado flesh before spreading onto the bread. Slice up a tomato, discarding the seeds. Use chilli, salt, pepper and olive oil for seasoning.  


Preparing for baking!


Bon Appétit!