CARDAMOM INFUSED POWER BALLS WITH SESAME SEEDS

Are you struggling to include more healthy snacks and desserts into your diet? Well, here’s one recipe that is super easy, fast, and delicious but at the same time satisfies even the most stubborn sweet cravings in a healthy and nutritious way.

Nothing makes me happier on a busy day than a bunch of delicious power balls in the fridge waiting to be eaten for dessert or as an energizing snack. I’m not so picky about what ingredients to use because with power balls only the sky is the limit! These can be varied in thousands of different ways depending on your own taste buds and current desires & needs.

I usually make a double portion of these yummy balls so that I can enjoy them for several days. Keep them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week (some say you can store these even for two weeks but mine just simply don’t last for so long.)

I always use dried dates, raw cocoa powder, and virgin coconut oil as a base and then add whatever other suitable ingredients I have at home. The only “negative” side to this recipe is that you need to think a bit in advance so that you have time to soak the dried dates and cashew nuts. They are just a lot easier to digest when they’ve been soaked overnight or at least for 4 hours. Also, your blender or food processor will have an easier time processing the ingredients into a smooth dough. So, let’s get to it!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300g Dried dates, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours (you can also use fresh dates and those you don’t have to soak)
  • 150g Cashew nuts, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours
  • 4-5 tbs virgin coconut oil
  • 4-5 tbs raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 drop cardamom essential oil OR 1 generous tsp cardamom powder
  • Toasted sesame seeds

HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet on medium heat until they become golden brown. Be careful not to burn them! When you feel a nutty smell coming from the skillet and the seeds have changed color they are ready.
  2. Remove them from the skillet immediately and pour them on a plate.
  3. Drain the soaked dates and cashew nuts and place them in a blender or food processor.
  4. Add coconut oil, raw cacao, salt, and cardamom essential oil or powder into the blender or food processor.Blend until all the ingredients have mixed well and formed a smooth dough. If there are few bigger pieces of dates and/or cashew nuts that’s totally ok.
  5. Wet your hands with cold water, take a small amount of the dough and roll it between your hands into a ball.
  6. Roll the ball in toasted sesame seeds.
  7. Repeat until you have used all the dough.
  8. Place the balls in a sealed container in the fridge and eat whenever you need a little energy boost snack or a healthy and yummy dessert.

NOTES:

You can be really creative with this recipe and modify it to better suit your taste buds. If you like a more chocolate flavor you can add a bit more cacao powder. You can replace the cashew nuts with almonds. If your dough is too soft you can add about one decilitre of oat flakes into the dough or if it’s too thick then just add a bit more virgin coconut oil. You really can’t go wrong with these ones because the ingredients can be adjusted very easily and you can always taste the dough and make changes before rolling into bite-sized balls.

Few words about using essential oils in food: Essential oils are a great way to spice up food and add intense flavours to your favourite meals. However, not all essential oils can be used internally so you need to make sure that the essential oil you are using is a certified food grade, 100% pure essential oil. When cooking, I use only the Vitality / plus oil collection from Young Living because those are actually classified as food supplements and therefore contain no harmful ingredients. If you need more help and information on choosing the right oils for cooking I would be more than happy to help. Just send me a message and I’ll get back to you.

CREAMY GOLDEN MILK

Now that we have entered autumn this spicy, warming, and creamy drink is back in my evening routine.


There are rumours that golden milk can boost your immune system but I’ve found this to be very helpful for digestion as well.
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When I’m not home at dinner time, golden milk often serves as an easily digestible and soothing dinner. I’m very sensitive to mealtime changes and would rather eat every day at the same time but it’s not always possible.
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When I have to skip dinner a big cup of golden milk is satisfying enough to keep the hunger away until morning comes and I love to enjoy it also after a proper dinner to help with the digestion.
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You can find so many different versions of golden milk on the internet but here’s how I like to make it:

  • 3 dl of oat milk (or a milk of your choice)
  • 1 generous teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 1 1/2 tsp of cashew butter
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • one drop of food-grade cardamom essential oil (or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder.)

Pour the milk of your choice in a small saucepan and add the turmeric and cinnamon powders (and cardamom powder if using that instead of the essential oil). Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Put the cashew butter, honey, and one drop of cardamom essential oil in a blender and pour in the hot golden milk. Blend for about 15 seconds or until all the ingredients are mixed well.
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Enjoy this creamy golden milk as a calming & nurturing evening drink.

PASTA IN A CREAMY CHICKPEA SAUCE

Summer is slowly turning into autumn. Days are clearly getting shorter, the summer heat is turning into autumn crispiness, and the body is starting to crave heavier and warmer foods. When the outside temperatures drop I feel like changing most of the raw foods into cooked ones and adding lots of legumes into my diet.

One of our family’s all-time favorite autumn & winter dish is “pasta e ceci”, pasta and chickpeas. It’s perfect comfort food in a healthy, fast-food style. This recipe is by my southern Italian mother-in-law who used to cook this often during my daughter’s ‘picky eater’ years. This dish was one of the few things she loved and this is still one of our go-to recipes when we need to cook something easy, fast, yet healthy that pleases the taste buds of the whole family.

INGREDIENTS

for 4 servings

Cooked chickpeas 250g

Garlic clove 1

Parsley handful

Small pasta 300g

Water 800ml

Olive oil 2 tbsp

Salt 1tsp

Parmesan cheese

Black pepper

HOW TO PREPARE:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight and boil them according to the instructions on the package OR use ready made ones.
  • Pour olive oil in the pan, peel the garlic, and fry it for a few minutes. Watch out that the it doesn’t burn.
  • Add the chickpeas into the pan and fry them for a few minutes
  • Add the water and parsley into the pan and bring it to a boil.
  • Mix with a dimmer until the sauce is smooth. 
  • Add the pasta and cook until ready . This may take a little longer than what’s written on the pasta package.
  • Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese OR a pinch of black pepper on top.

Personally, I like this pasta without parmesan cheese. Instead, I put a pinch of black pepper in my own portion and mix it well. Kids on the other hand prefer this pasta with parmesan cheese but it’s not necessary.

Make it gluten free by using gluten free pasta.

Make it vegan by leaving the parmesan cheese out.

BUON APPETITO!

MATCHA TEA LOVE

I fell in love with the antioxidant-rich matcha tea about half a year ago and it has been part of my morning routine ever since. Nowadays I add green powder or moringa tea leave powder in it to make it even tastier and nutrient-rich. The latest addition to this drink is cardamom essential oil and I would say now it’s just perfect! 

According to Monk Eisai, Matcha green tea is the elixir of the immortals.

This drink right here is so much better than the daily cup (or cups) of coffee. I basically quit drinking coffee over three years ago. I used to be very addicted to that one cup of coffee in the morning and if I didn’t get that daily does of caffeine I was not a person you want to be around with. Having two small kids at home, drinking that one cup in total peace became more of a stress than a relaxing me-time moment.

After diving more profoundly in the yoga and Ayurveda world I realized that coffee isn’t actually the healthiest thing you can pour into your body so I decided to accept a 21 day no coffee challenge. It was a good decision and I am so grateful I’m out of that caffeine hook.

Practicing yoga has made me really sensitive to the messages my body sends me and I can now easily feel when some food or drink just wasn’t good for me. I realized that coffee is too strong for my body, and especially my nervous system, to handle. I get easily hyperactive and nervous after one cappucino and if I drink it after midday it will ruin my sleep. This is why I changed the daily dose of coffee into a cup of green tea and was able to avoid palpitations, nervousness, or any other caffeine side effects. Green tea of course also has caffeine but very little and it seems to be absorbed slower which actually makes you more awake for longer. Plus, green tea has so many other health benefits which makes it a fairly healthy addition to your diet. 

Nowadays, matcha latte has become a stable part of my mornings without being addicted to it. If I don’t get my matcha in the morning that’s ok, the world is not gonna come crashing down because of that. And since the kids have grown up a little bit, I can usually enjoy that big cup of matcha in total peace. A cup of coffee has become a rare luxury and when I choose to drink it I prefer having it in a good company and with no regrets 🙂

Here is my current favourite matcha latte recipe:

INGREDIENTS FOR 1 SERVING

Oat milk 3 dl

Matcha tea powder 1 tsp

Moringa leave powder (or a green powder mix of your choice) 1 tsp

Cardamom essential oil 1 drop (make sure you use 100% pure, food-grade essential oil. I only use Young Living essential oils which are 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils. They have a special +line of essential oils that are actually labeled as food supplements.)

HOW TO PREPARE:

  • Heat the oat milk in a pan util it’s almost boiling.
  • Add the matcha and moringa powders and mix vigorously with a bamboo whisk until the powders are well mixed with the oat milk. You can also pour the hot oat milk, matcha and moringa powders in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  • Put one drop of cardamom essential oil in a cup and pour the oatmilk, matcha, and moringa mix on top.
  • Mix with a spoon and enjoy!

Learn more about the history of Matcha green tea here.

HOME MADE CHOCOLATES

chocolates

Some years ago I decided I won’t buy muesli anymore because the homemade version is so much tastier and healthier. Store bought muesli is usually packed with sugar and raisins and have only some traces of the healthier stuff like nuts and seeds.

Now I made the same decision about chocolate (well, I still sometimes buy chocolate but make sure it is at least 85% cacao and as low in sugar as possible) . Sugar is usually the second most used ingredient in chocolate making it not so healthy choice even when it’s dark chocolate.

Yesterday I made chocolates (recipe slightly modified from the book I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook ) for the first time and I was blown away by how easy it is to make and how delicious the chocolate is! In about 15 minutes I had prepared 25 chocolates fondants that were super delicious, vegan, and sugar free! I used only 1,5 tablespoons of maple syrup to give some sweetness. Adding coconut milk makes the chocolates creamy and sweet enough so you don’t even miss sugar or milk. These little chocolates fondants are a good conscious dessert that works great for the after meal sweet cravings. And you need only few of them to feel satisfied.

I prepared three different versions:
1. Peanut butter (or any other nut butter of your choice)
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
3. Orange Essential Oil

Here is a recipe for the Peppermint Chocolates:

chocolates recipe

You can make Orange Chocolates just by replacing Peppermint Essential Oil with Orange Essential oil. When using an essential oil in cooking make sure that it is 100% pure essential oil and that it specifically says in the label for internal consumption or something similar. If you don’t have peppermint or orange essential oils you can use natural food flavouring as well.

If you make Peanut Butter Chocolates, then leave out the Essential Oils. First pour a thin layer of the chocolates mixture in the small cups. Then add about a teaspoon of peanut butter (or any other nut butter of your choice) and fill the cups with another layer of the chocolates mixture.