Spelt Apricot and Olive Oil Cake- Torta all’olio e albicocche (Project Healthy in Italy)

I hope your ready for another healthy Italian recipe! (Read all about Project Healthy in Italy here)

Apricots and peaches are in season and I just had to make a healthier version of the Italian apricot and olive oil cake. I love the way Italians cook with healthy olive oil instead of milk products and unhealthy, refined fats.
You can add sambuca which is normally done and top with flaked almonds but I choose to make the recipe with pine nuts for a twist (and because I forgot to buy almonds in the store!) 😉

 

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My version may be denser than the original recipe as it does not contain self- raising cake flour and white refined sugar, but it is really moist, filling, tasty and a lot healthier than the original version.

I hope you give it a try!

Spelt Apricot and Olive Oil Cake- Torta all’olio e albicocche

  • 220 grams (1 1/3 cup) sifted white spelt flour
  • 2, 5 dl. (1 cup) acacia honey
  • 250 ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 ts. vanilla extract or 1 ts vanilla powder/seeds from one pod
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 100 ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ ts. salt
  • 4 ts. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 7-8 apricots
  • 1 handful pine nuts

 

How to: Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl and dissolve the honey in the almond milk by warming slightly on the stove. Add vanilla, lemon juice, olive oil and zest. Mix together. Beat the eggs slightly and add to the liquid (make sure it is not hot!) before mixing into the dry ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth.

Grease a cake pan with olive oil or coconut oil, or line with parchment paper. Add the batter. Slice the apricots and layer on top together with the pine nuts.

Bake in the middle of the oven at 180 Celsius (350- 360 Fahrenheit) for about 40 – 50 minutes. Time varies so take care to make sure it does not burn. Cover with tin foil or parchment paper to keep from browning to much while baking if needed.

Cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!

 


Spelt Foccacia – Project Healthy in Italy

In light of Project Healthy in Italy ( read all about it here) I will be sharing healthy Italian recipes with you here on my blog. If there are recipes that I really love but aren’t as healthy as I like, I will be re-doing them and giving them a healthier twist.

For example I never use wheat and always spelt flour as it is more nutritious and doesn’t make me bloated or leave me feeling ill, such as wheat does. Spelt is an ancient grain that really has become popular again!

I love foccacia and decided I wanted to develop my own recipe using spelt. This foccacia is fantastic and really easy to make!

Recipe below picture…

IMG_8063foccaciastålkanne italy logo

My spelt foccacia is soooo addictive!

Spelt Foccacia

(For the dough)

  • 1 kg white spelt flour (about 8 cups) (not whole grain)
  • 9 dl warm water (about 3, 6 cups)
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 1 ts. salt (Himalaya salt)
  • 1 pack dry yeast
  • 2 handful coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes

How to foccacia: Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl before adding the chopped dried tomatoes and dry ingredients. Mix to a smooth dough with a spoon. The mixture is suppose to be very wet and pourable.

Let proof in room temperature for 1 hour. Pour the dough into a partchment lined baking tray and and with (oiled fingers) make holes for the oil to settle into. Pour oil over the dough and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Let proof another 30 minutes before baking in the middel of the oven at 200 celcius (390 farenheit) for 30- 40 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

Herb Oil

  • 0,75 dl (about 1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1  clove garlic (grated)
  • 1 ts dries oregano
  • 1 ts. dried tyme
  • 1 ts. dried rosemary

How to: Grate the garlic and mix eveything together. Set aside for the foccacia.

*Sea salt flakes (Maldon) for sprinkling on top before baking.

IMG_8007foccia med olje italy logo

You can’t stop at just one piece!


Project Healthy in Italy! The Healthiest Country in Europe and the World.

My quest for health in Italy…

Oh, my goodness how excited I am to finally share my latest project with you…

I am going to Italy and you can come along! Well, not literally (at least not yet) but you can follow my quest live here on my blog and through social media from June 9.- July 6.!

About Project Healthy in Italy

I love Italy and the Italian culture and believe I must have been an Italian nonna (grandma), making fresh pasta all day in another lifetime. It is a country so close to my heart, but yet so far away from my lifestyle and diet goals. Or so I thought…

Italy has once again been awarded the title of being the healthiest country in Europe, and the second healthiest country in the world. Italy has for years been the healthiest in the world, and just recently recieved second place with just half a point behind Singapore. (Bloomberg Global Health Index.)

The Italians live longer, are happier and have a health care system that really works in favour of its citizens.

 

What is their secret and how can it be one of the healthiest countries in the world when pizza, pasta, cheese and wine is what first comes to mind when talking or thinking about Italy?

How can it be that this wonderfully delicious but gluten-rich, carb-loaded cuisine can bring health and happiness to Italians, but if my diet consists of this in Norway, I become sick, fat and generally unhappy?

What is it that the Italians understand that both I and the rest of the world simply don’t? What have I been missing in both my personal and professional journey as a health and diet expert that the Italians haven’t?

And is the country really that healthy? Have they been able to avoid the ever-evolving problem of declining health and expanding waistlines that the rest of the world, including my own country, just hasn’t?

So, hey Italy can I really be happy, healthy and keep a balanced weight while living the Italian lifestyle? I can’t wait to find out! Follow my monthlong quest in the country of world’s greatest food and wine, and according to Bloomberg, the world’s healthiest…

Do you think it sounds exciting? Make sure to follow my blog by subscribing and liking my Facebook page here and Instagram (which I will really be active on) here

 

ProjectItalyprofileOrange

 


Creamy Dreamy Vanillatini!

Doesn’t this mocktail look absolutely lovely? And it is 100 % alcohol free and healthy! This is my “Creamy Dreamy Vanillatini” from my first juice book “Juicy!” and today I am sharing my recipe with you…

I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think:)

 

creamy dreamy vanillatini med navn

Creamy Dreamy Vanillatini!

2 dl (3/4 cup) sugar free almond milk
1/4 large piece fresh pineapple
1 banana
1 ts vanilla powder
1 ts coconut sugar
ice cubes

How to: Juice the pineapple and blend the juice with the rest of the ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!

Juicy goodness: Rich in antioxidants, carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, and the enzyme bromelaine which helps the body digest protein and has natural anti-inflammatory properties.


Juice Arugula for a Better Digestion.

Do you sometimes feel a little sluggish and bloated? Sometimes our bodies need a little aid in the complex process of digesting our foods and one of the best things you can do is add the leafy, peppery arugula to your diet.

It is fantastic and even better for your digestion when juiced! Give this recipe a go.

 

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Bitter greens like arugula/rocket are great for digestion!

 

Let’s Rocket 

Arugula, also known as rocket salad, is a leafy green from the cruciferous family. It has an aromatic peppery taste and is perfect for a healthy, green super juice! It is rich in bitters which help our digestion function better. Arugula also has four times the amount of iron compared to the more commonly used ice berg salad – so use it in your salad as well as your juice!

1 hand full arugula
1 apple (preferably a sweet tasting one)
1/3 lemon
1/5 zucchini
1/5 cucumber

Juicy goodness: The bitters in arugula kick start the digestion juices in your stomach helping your body better digest and absorb nutrients. It also triggers the releases of bile into the small intestine. The leafy green is also rich in vitamin B, zinc, copper, vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Juicy tip! Arugula is low in oxalic acid, an acid which can hinder the body’s ability to absorb calcium. This makes arugula a perfect substitute for spinach which is high in oxalic acid and is an important factor to remove from the diet for people suffering from osteoporosis (brittle bones).

 


Happy Heart Juice! Juice Yourself to Lower Blood Pressure.

Happy Heart Juice! (Serves 1)

Fresh beets are one of the best vegetables you can juice- both taste wise and health wise. When it comes to taste, it is naturally sweet. Regarding the health benefits, it is known to be a natural blood pressure remedy due to the nitrates found in the raw juice. It may also be a performance enhancer, as it has shown to reduce the body’s rate at which it uses oxygen when exercising. This results in you tiring less easily. Get your beets on!

 

 

IMG_7951 rødbeter med lokk og kopp

Fresh beet juice is nature’s finest remedy for high blood pressure and low energy levels.

 
3 cm/ 1-inch thick fresh pineapple slice
2 medium beets
1 hand full spinach
3 cm/ 1-inch large piece ginger
½ lime

How to: Wash the produce, leaving the skin on as a lot of the nutrients are located directly beneath the skin. Press using a juice machine/slow juicer.

Juicy goodness: Enzyme bromelaine, nitrates, iron, vitamin C, gingerols, magnesium and potassium.

Sources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288229.php
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295087/


Waistline Friendly and Yummy Lentil Soup!

I love soup or stews this time of year and they are easy to make – all in one pot!

My red lentil soup (or stew) is really delicious, and filling, but still low calorie, fiber-rich and blood sugar friendly, making it good for your waistline as well.

Recipe below…

 

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Lentils are a great plant based protein and is blood sugar friendly.

 

 

Carina’s Red Lentil Soup ( 4 portions)

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2- 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots (peel)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 chili
  • 500 grams ( 2 cans) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 liter ( 3 1/2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 2 dl. ( 1 cup) dry red lentils

How to: Finely chop the onion, carrots, celery, chili and garlic. Sautee in olive oil until soft. Add the crushed tomatoes, stock and lentils. Cook until tender adding more water if needed. Season to taste. The lentils need at least 30 min. to cook. You do not have to pre-soak them. Enjoy!

Tip! This soup/stew tastes really great the next day so you can make a large batch if you like. It is also great to freeze so you have a healthy meal ready in no time:)

 

 

 


5 Easy Tips for a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a great holiday and are ready to meet the new year head on.

Perhaps you have found yourself gaining a few pounds over the holidays and/or have fallen off the healthy wagon?

 

 

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Let’s get healthy together! Photo: Eva Kylland/Shape Up Magazine

 

Well, have no fear; I am here to help you kick-start the new year and make 2018 your best, healthy year yet. And best of all, my tips are really easy to implement straight away!

5 Easy Tips for a Happy, Healthy New Year

  1. Start your day with 5 dl ( 2 cups) of warm water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. This blend is so great for detoxing your liver, rehydrating the body after a good nights sleep, regulating your blood sugar, as an antioxidant and to regulate the body’s PH balance. If you get into this habit I guarantee you will have more energy, less belly bloat and a stronger immune system.
  2. Add chili to your daily meals. Adding, spicy chili is an easy way to help kick-start your body’s metabolism. It also works as a natural detoxifier and painkiller. The secret ingredient is called capsaicin and has shown promise for relieving shingles pain, osteoarthritis, psoriasis symptoms, and more. Capsaicin has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and has also shown some promise for cancer, weight loss, and allergy symptoms
  3. Eat 1/2 avocado everyday. I love this natural fat burning fruit! Avocado has lots of antioxidants and healthy fats that regulate the blood sugar, making you fuller faster and longer. It is a great source of heart protecting vitamin E. My favourite way to eat avocados is on toast with lemon juice, sea salt and chili flakes. You can also blend the flesh for a creamy, filling smoothie.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (with the mother) to either your water, salad or other meals. Apple cider vinegar boosts your metabolisme, aids digestion, regulates the body’s PH balance, curbs appetite and is in general a cheap and effective supplement for your body and health.
  5. Drink water! I know you have heard this time and time again… but do you still avoid listening to this great and basic advice? So many people suffer from low energy, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, aches and pains just for the simple fact that their body is dehydrated. Get your 1, 5- 2 liters every day. The more active you are, or if you live in a warmer climate, the more you may need. Add lemon, lime, orange, cucumber slices or herbs to your water for a great taste.

 

Happy, healthy new year!

 

 

sitronjuice skrått

Drink fresh lemon juice and hot water every morning for your best, healthy 2018!

 

 


Healthy Quinoa Christmas Cookies

Christmas is right around the corner and perhaps you are doing some Christmas baking?I like to make healthier versions of well known recipes so I can eat all year around!

Today I have a take on a typical Norwegian Christmas cookie called “Havreflarn”. A thin, crispy oatmeal cookie. It is traditionally  loaded with white sugar and butter so here is my healthier take on this Christmas sweet…

quinoaflarn redigert

Healthy Christmas cookies…

Quinoa cookies (yields 10-15 cookies)

Quinoa flakes are a fiber- and protein-rich ingredient and can easily replace oats. I also like to bake with coconut sugar and healthy extra virgin coconut oil. These cookies provide healthy fats, protein and are a more blood sugar friendly due to the quinoa and coconut sugar.

  • 100 grams quinoa flakes
  • 50 grams extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tb. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80 grams coconut sugar
  • 1 egg or 1 flax egg

How to: Melt the coconut butter and mix with the quinoa flakes. Mix the other ingredients in another bowl until well mixed and light textured. Add with the flaks. Mix well. Use a tablespoon and make cookie portions and bake on parchment paper and baking tray. Bake at 200 C for 6- 8 min until golden. Let cool on a rack and keep in a airtight container.


Norwegian Christmas Cider- “Julegløgg”

Wow, how time flies! It is soon Christmas and there are many recipes and traditions to look forward to. One of them in Norway is the spicy Christmas cider called “gløgg”.

It is a sweet drink served warm. It has spices and some make i with red wine. It is to be served warm with raisins and almonds. Perhaps you have this in your country as well?

A lot of people purchase a cider product in the store and this is full of sugars and additives and a real calorie adder, and a really unhealthy beverage to drink.

So I have developed my own recipe that tastes great and is healthy, boosting your immune system with real spices. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Sunn julegl++gg

The season can be tasty and healthy!

 

 

Healthy Christmas Cider

  • 100 grams red grapes
  • 1/3 piece lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • Raisins
  • Almonds, chopped

How to: Juice the grapes and the lemon. Add the juice to a pot and add the spices. Let simmer (not boil, to keep the nutrients) for 5 min. Strain the spices and add raisins and almonds if you wish.

Merry Christmas from Norway!