Natural Relief for Hay Fever…

I love Spring! Finally the days are getting longer and warmer:) But perhaps there is one unfortunate thing during this time og year… hay fever, also called pollen allergy.

If you are plagued with runny eyes, runny nose, low energy and aches and pains, it could be hay fever. But nature has¬†the perfect solution; ginger. Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and natural anti-histamines which could help improve your hay fever and it’s symptoms.

To really use this as natural medicine and to reap the benefits, it is best to juice your ginger and drink it as a juice shot to ensure you get larger amouts into your system. This should be done everyday. Just make your ginger shot before you make your juice.

Ginger is also a great energizer and helps the liver and blood detox toxins more effectively. Ginger is quite strong tasting and therefore to make my shot more palatable I mix it with a little apple.

Here is my anti- hay fever ginger shot!

  • 1/2 apple
  • 5- 10 cm large piece of fresh ginger root.

Juice in a juicer and down like you would a shot in the bar! ūüėČ

1-Ingefaer og elektrolytt shot-eple,ingefaer,selleri,agurk

 

 

 


Bella Bellagio! Lake Como, Italy

Are you travelling this summer? If so you should really look into visiting Lake Como and staying in the small town of Bellagio. It is so beautiful!

If you’ve read my other blog posts you will know that I LOVE Italy, and I am lucky enough to live in Oslo, which makes it easy and not that expensive to travel to many Italian destinations.

“Food Travels” is a category on my blog because I believe in nourishing the mind and soul as well as the body. Travelling abroad inspires me and teaches me som many new things and is the best way for me to really fill my “inspiration cup”. And I love to share my tips and¬†experiences with you!

 

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Make sure you walk to the less touristy side of Bellagio for gorgeous views!

 

One of my favorite places to visit is Bologna in the Emilia- Romagna district which you can read more about here, but Lake Como, more specifically the town of Bellagio, is also on my top 5 lists of places to visit in Italy.

It is so beautiful with the Italian Alps surrounding it and the lake where you can rent a beautiful wooden boat to explore it with.  The food and wine is great as well.

Lake Como is located in Northern Italy which means it differs from the typical Southern cuisine. There are less tomato based sauces and more butter based dishes. Ravioli with butter and sage is a typical dish along side a lot of beautiful sea food dishes.

We have been here several times but our last trip was to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. We also renewed our wedding vows at the fabulous Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni Hotel.  Beneath is a slide show from our wedding renewal dinner at Villa Serbelloni. You must visit this place! Visit website here.

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It is expensive to stay here, but I would really recommend spending an evening at the hotels restaurant and outside bar. The food is fantastic and the service is impeccable. The view from your table will be worth the visit alone. You can also pay to spend a day by the pool here.

If you choose to not stay at The Villa Serbelloni I would recommend Hotel Metropole which is the only hotel with a waterfront restaurant. You can feed the swans right from your breakfast table!  We loved staying here and it is worth upgrading to a room with a lake view. The restaurant also serves great food. Visit hotel website here.

When we went for our anniversary we travelled with our families and rented the beautiful apartments at Residence La Limonera which is situated right in the tiny town center in a lemon garden. I could pick my own lemons to juice! ūüôā Heaven for me…

I love this place and it is worth splurging for the largest apartment as it is beautiful and has a large balcony where you have the best view and you can enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day before heading out for dinner. You can visit the website here

Tips for a perfect Bellagio vacation…

  • Make sure you get your morning espresso at the local bar at the tiny square by the church. You’ll find it- just follow the locals!
  • If staying at an apartment buy your breakfast from the local deli right by the Residence La Limonera apartments entrance.
  • Have lunch at the restaurant at “The Point”, restaurant La Punta.¬†You can also go swimming from here.
  • Make sure you walk to the other side of Bellagio (away from the main area)following the main road from the church square and have a drink at the¬†Hotel Belvedere.¬†They also have a spa if you would like a massage.
  • It is worth renting a typical Italian wooden boat with a guide for an hour to see the beautiful lake and its surroundings.

Bellagio is a really small and beautiful town and you will find lots of great restaurants in the small and narrow cobble stone streets. Unless getting an aperitivo while watching the sunset, or a trip to the restaurant at The Metropole Restaurant, I would avoid dining around the harbor area. Explore the cobble stone streets for the best, hidden culinary gems…

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Red Velvet Juicesmoothie!

 

This juicesmoothie is bursting with natural goodness! It’s red and purple pigments are natures antioxidants and just by looking at it you can tell that it is loaded with cancer fighting and anti-aging properties. Red cabbage is simply one of the healthiest cruciferous vegetables you can eat and juice, and when mixed with raspberries- it tastes fantastic as well.

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Photo: Syn√łve Dreyer from my first book Juicy!

 

 

 

  • 1 apple
  • 1, 5 inch thick red cabbage
  • 1/3 lemon with rind
  • ¬ľ pineapple
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tbs. cold pressed organic flaxseed oil
  • 1ts. Wheatgrass powde
  • 1 hand full frozen or fresh raspberries

 

Juicy how-to: Juice all ingredients except raspberries, oil and wheatgrass in a juicer. Pour the juice together with the remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

 

 Juicy goodness: This juicesmoothie is full of antioxidants known as phytochemicals, fiber, vitamin C, healthy, fat burning fats, chlorophyll and beta-carotene.

 

Juicy tip! Can’t get a hold of red cabbage? You may use green/white cabbage or even kale instead.

 

 

 


Super pear juice!

The humble pear is a delicious fruit and is also a great source of fiber. Pears are also great for juicing! They contain pectin which is a soluble fiber that acts as pre-biotic in the intestines. These pre-biotics feed the healthy gut bacteria which results in an overall better digestion and health, and best of all, the soluble fibers are also contained in your fresh juice. These fibers are the reason your juice will be a little thick.

Pears give a great taste to any juices, especially recipes containing greens and other vegetables. For best results when juicing make sure you choose a pear that is hard and not soft and mushy as this will not juice well at all and are better for blending.

In early fall pears grow here in my country of Norway and a lot of people have them in their own backyards. Do pears grow in your county and if so what kinds? Let me know in the comment section:)

Super pear juice recipe below…

 

 

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Beautiful pears captured at our log cabin near R√łros, Norway.

 

 

Super pear juice!

  • 2 pears
  • 3 cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/3 zucchini
  • 1 large carrot

How to: Wash the produce and juice with skin on in a juice machine, preferabaly a slow juicer. Drink within 30 minutes.

Juicy goodness: Vitamin C, pectin, potassium, calcium, iron, gingerols, vitamin A, B vitamins, organic water.

 

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Juice Yourself Healthy!

I love juicing and it has really turned both my health and career around. I discovered juicing for about 7 years ago and when I added just one or two juices to my diet my energy levels sored, my digestion became so much better and cravings for sweets disappeared.

Did you know that a humble little apple contains cancer- fighting malic acid, anti-aging quercitin, B vitamins, vitamin C and so much more? Kale may help us fight cancer and ginger and beets help detoxify the liver and blood. Nature¬† has the answers to our health problems…

Depending upon which country you live in, the government recommends a certain portion of fruits and vegetables to be consumed every day. In Norway and most other European countries it is recommended to eat at least ‚Äú5 a day‚ÄĚ which consist of 2 fruits and 3 vegetables. In the USA the government recommends at least ‚Äú9 a day‚ÄĚ and in Japan they recommend ‚Äú17 a day‚ÄĚ!

Asian countries have traditionally shown lower rates of cancer, particularly breast cancer and prostate cancer which are typical lifestyle diseases related to what we eat and how we live.

By juicing your fruits and vegetables on a daily bases it is so easy, tasteful, and quick to drink broccoli, sprouts, ginger, lemons, apples and so much more. And I personally guarantee it will give you such an increase in your life quality. It will simply make you burst with energy!

Juicing also releases more of the nutrients ‚Äúlocked‚ÄĚ within the pulp and underneath the skin of the produce so when juiced all of this is released ensuring your juice is full of cell building nutrients. Juicing is also a great way to ensure your children‚Äôs diets are healthy and that they receive the correct building blocks (together with omega 3) for healthy brain development and to build a strong immune system preventing disease.

Remember that allergies and food intolerances are a growing problem in our society and we have the power to both reverse and prevent them through our diet and lifestyle. Give them fresh pressed juice every day and they will be well prepared for a long and healthy life.

 

 

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Juicing at our cabin by R√łros. Photo: Liv Gr√•dal

 

 

Goodness and Health in Every Drop- 10 Good Reasons to Become ‚Äúa Juicer‚ÄĚ!

  1.  Easy and quick way to reach your daily recommendations of fruits and vegetables
  2. A better digestion and less problems with heart burn and acid reflux
  3. Allergies and breathing problems may improve
  4. May prevent cancer and heart disease
  5. Prevents/improves high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  6. Has an anti-aging effect do to a high antioxidant and enzyme intake
  7. More energy
  8. Healthy way to lose weight
  9. Floods your cells with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and organic water
  10. Cleanses, replenishes and restores the vital organs, is alkaline forming and anti- inflammatory

 

 


Carina’s Guilt- Free “Low Gluten” Chocolate Cupcakes!

Are you like me; you like to have your cake and eat it too? That is why I had to develop a guilt-free chocolate cupcake using healthy and clean ingredients!

These cupcakes are “low gluten” meaning there is only a smaller amount of gluten in them and a different kind of gluten as I only use spelt flour. The gluten in spelt is different from the gluten found in wheat.¬†Therefore if you are gluten sensitive, like me, your body can handle spelt much better.

I have also used almond flour to get a rich and moist texture and I only use coconut sugar or an organic maple syrup when making sweets as they are not refined, have more nutrients, are more blood sugar friendly and taste great as well.

The frosting is made from soaked cashews so they are dairy free as well and when combined with fresh orange juice and zest the taste is amazing. ūüôā I hope you enjoy!

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Carina’s Guilt- Free “Low Gluten” Chocolate Cupcakes (serves 8-10)

You will need for the cupcakes:

  • 100 grams almond flour
  • 70 grams whole grain spelt flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 ts. Himalaya salt
  • 2 tbs. chia seeds
  • 25 grams chopped walnuts
  • 4 tbs. raw cacao powder
  • 60 grams coconut sugar
  • 4 tbs. meltet coconut oil
  • 2/3 (1 dl) almond, cashew or coconut milk
  • 2 ts. baking powder

How to:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients before adding all the wet ingredients. Mix well and add the chopped walnuts.
  2. Add the mixture to cupcake molds and bake at 200 degrees celsius for 12- 15 minutes depending on the size.
  3. Let cool before frosting.

 

 

For the frosting:

  • 260 grams about 2 cups of soaked cashews.
  • 4 tbs. maple syrup
  • 7 tbs. fresh orange juice
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2 tbs. melted coconut oil
  • 5 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ( 5 tbs) almond, cashew or coconut milk
  • Pinch of Himalaya salt

How to:

  • Soak the cashews in water for 6- 8 hours. Rinse well.
  • Add to a high speed blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until completely smooth.
  • Let set in the fridge before adding to a piping bag.
  • Garnish with orange zest, chocolate, cacao nibs or walnuts.
  • Enjoy! ūüôā

 

 


Dairy-free (vegan) chocolate ice cream

I love ice cream, but my body and health does not love diary… Therefore I had to develop a dairy- free, healthy and delicious alternative because who wants to live a life without ice cream?!

The store bought kind is also full of additives, colouring and things I really don’t want to put into my body, and especially when I know how easy and fun it is to make my own at home.

This recipe i vegan, easy to make as well as loaded with antioxidants when you use a high quality, raw cacao powder and add cacao nibs and walnuts.

Best results are achieved when using an ice cream machine, but of course you can make it using a freezer, a bowl and a fork to whip air into it about every 30 min.

 

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Dairy free, antioxidant-rich chocolate ice cream!

You will need:

  • 500 ml full fat coconut milk
  • 4 tbs. raw cacao powder
  • 6 tbs.maple sirup
  • 1 ts. vanilla extract
  • A pinch of Himalaya salt
  • 2tbs. Maizena corn starch
  • Cacao nibs
  • Walnuts

How to:

  1. Mix all the ingredients, except for the corn starch,¬†in a pot and bring to boil, taking care to stir all the time so it doesn’t burn.
  2. When the mixture is boiling add the corn starch and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add to a bowl and let cool before refrigerating for at least 3 hours to chill and let set before adding to an ice cream machine or the freezer.
  4. Add the cacao nibs and chopped walnuts following the instructions for the ice cream machine or when the mixture has started to freeze if making manually.

 

Watch how I make my chocolate ice cream in my video. I speak Norwegian but it is subtitled in english:)

 

 


Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I love Italy and Italian food but I can only endure all the gluten and high glycemic carbohydrates for a few days before my body tells me to stop!

So when I get home from my travels I like to take all the great inspiration and food discoveries I’ve accumulated and try to adapt them to¬† healthier and more balanced versions.

My sweet potato gnocchi with olive oil, lemon and Maldon sea salt are one of my creations that I simply can’t get enough of! Sweet potatoes are less starchy than white¬†potatoes and better for your blood sugar. They are also a great source of antioxidants and fiber, and they are naturally sweet.

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My sweet potato gnocchi, pan fried with a little garlic, sage, olive oil and lemon juice.

Because they are more watery and contain less starch than white potatoes, substituting the recipe with sweet potatoes makes it harder to get a soft and fluffy gnocchi because you would have to add too much flour to get a normal texture.

Therefore¬†I have used an untraditional method for making the gnocchi. The Italians may hate me for this, but trust me it works and is so easy! I use a piping bag to make the dumplings…

Here is the recipe and make sure you watch me make it in the video. I speak Norwegian but there are English subtitles!

You will need:

  • 300 grams baked sweet potato
  • 200 grams fine spelt flour
  • 2 tbs. ground flax seed
  • 1/2 ts. Himalaya salt
  • 1 piping bag

How to:

  1. Bake the sweet potato for 1, 5 hours at 200 degrees celsius. You can do this a day or two beforehand and keep the purre in the fridge until use.
  2. Let cool and scrape out the purre.
  3. Add to a mixing bowl and add half of the spelt flour, salt, and flax seeds. Mix well before adding the rest of the flour.
  4. Add the dough to a piping bag and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 min. You can even leave it in the fridge for a couple of days before making.
  5. Bring a pot of saltet water to a boil and cut a medium size hole in the bag. Squeeze out a small amount and cut the gnocchi to desired size using a scissor (it is a very sticky dough)straight into the boiling water.
  6. When the gnocchi rises to the top (about 3- 4 min) they are cooked.
  7. Serve as is with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and Maldon sea salt or fry until golden on both sides before serving and garnishing.

 

Watch how to make here! English subtitles!

 

 

 

 

 


A Taste of Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

I am simply in love with ¬†Italy and I believe I must have been an Italian nonna in an earlier life, even though all the gluten, cheese and wine really doesn’t agree with my body! But it is all about balance, and that is why I really wanted to share my food travels with you, as it is what inspires me¬†to evolve and keeps me¬†learning new things that I can¬†share with you!

I travel as¬†often as I can to Italy and I love both the North and the South.¬†They are¬†so different from each other, including the food and the local¬†ingredients.¬†¬†One of the places I love the most is the Emilia- Romagna district and the city of Bologna. I love it so much that I almost don’t want to share it with you and keep it all to myself! ūüėČ

It is a district known for its wonderful food and local produce such as D.O.P. Balsamico de Modena and D.O.P. Reggiano Parmesan. I also have to say my love for lambrusco (sparkling red wine) has also really grown since my last trip. Of course I have to mention that the world famous restaurant Osteria Francescana is also located in the district (In Modena) so it is really a place to visit if you are a foodie like me!

 

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View from vinyard. Our last stop on the food tour.

 

One of the best kept secrets, that more and more people are discovering every day is Alessandro Martini and his company Italian Food Days Wine & Food Tours. Booking a full day food tour with this guy and his company is worth the trip to Bologna and the region on its own!

I have been on his food tour more than once and last time my husband and I brought our parents along. It was the highlight of our travel, and for me such a learning experience.

You can find his company here

One of the reasons I love to travel as much as I can is because I love to learn about different food cultures and new ingredients. Some of them are healthy as they are, other recipes need adapting to become healthier versions. This is what I have done with a lot of recipes you will find here on my blog and also in my latest book Carina’s Healthy Kitchen. (Only avaliable in Norwegian for now). You can purchase it here

One of the stops on the food tour is in Modena where authentic balsamico comes from.¬†¬† D.O.P ‚Äď (Denominazione di Origine Protetta). There are no additives or caramel coloring here! Only fermented grape must made from the best grapes that are locally grown. This balsamico ¬†is the inspiration behind my raw chocolate with balsamico and sea salt recipe that you can find here.

I hope you get the chance to travel to Italy and the Emilia- Romagna district¬†to learn and taste food and wine from the best producers in the district. Just remember to book a food tour with Alessandro ūüôā Here are some pictures from my last¬†food tour¬†together with my family…

 

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Raw chocolate with balsamico and sea salt.

Chocolate can really be an immune boosting food if chosen wisley, especially raw chocolate. Raw means the cacao has not been heat treated therefore it contains all the nutrients. It really is a powerhouse full of antioxidants, magnesium and healthy, fat burning fats.

Perhaps best of all is that it is really easy to make. I developed this recipe after being inspired by my trip to Modena, Italy where real balsamico is made. You can read about my trip here.

The recipe is posted below but take a look at my video of me making the chocolate. I do speak Norwegian but it is subtitled in English:)

A real good quality balsamico is naturally sweet and goes great with Maldon sea salt which enhances the chocolates flavour. You will also find this recipe in my latest book Carina’s Healthy Kitchen. (Currently only in Norwegian). You can purchase it here.

Raw chocolate with balsamico and sea salt.

You will need…

  • 100 grams of cacao butter
  • 0,25 dl ( 2 tbs) maple sirup
  • 3 tbs. raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbs. good quality balsamico
  • Maldon sea salt or other unrefined sea salt flakes.
  • A¬† silicon chocolate mold

How to:

  1. Rouphly chop the cacao butter and add to a glass bowl.
  2. Melt the cacao butter in a water bath (slowly) making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the boiling water. This will scorch the butter.
  3. When melted remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients except for the sea salt. Mix well.
  4. Pour into a silicon mold and sprinkle a little sea salt on top. Let cool before setting the fridge for 2- 3 hours.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

 

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Healthy chocolate! Food styling and photo: Carina Hultin Dahlmann/Carina’s Healthy Kitchen.