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!

 


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

 

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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:)

 

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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.


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!

 

 

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

 

 


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!

 


Protect Your Body with Strawberries

I love strawberries! They are one of my favorite sweet snacks and when the stores fill up with this berry it is a sure sign that summer is on its way, especially here in Norway.

 

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Strawberries taste great, but are also a great source of antioxidants.

 

 

Strawberries are a powerhouse full of antioxidants and may help fight cancer due to the high content.

Strawberries may also:

  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure via anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
  • Help to lower homocysteine levels, an amino acid in the blood associated with damaging the inner lining of arteries.
  • Act as a natural anti-inflammatory due to the quercetin content.
  • Protect against stroke due to anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
  • Lower blood pressure due to the high potassium content.
  • Help against constipation due to the high fiber content.

Strawberries are also a low glycemic fruit making them an ok choice for diabetics as well. Make sure to choose organic if you can or wash conventional strawberries in a water and vinegar solution to wash off some of the pesticides.

Enjoy them with fresh basil and a good balsamic vinegar for a healthy and exciting treat:)

 


Oven Roasted Tomato Soup (Vegan)

Today I have another super-healthy, tasty and easy soup for you. This one is also vegan and loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopen, which is known for its cancer- fighting properties.

The roasting of the vegetables give the soup extra depth and flavour and it also basically makes it self so you can do other things before dinner time!

You can also make this soup in larger portions and freeze for later. It is also a great tomato sauce base for pastas and pizzas.

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You will need:

  • 1 kilo ( about 2 pounds) fresh tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (leave the skin on)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1- 2 tbs. nutritional yeast

How to:

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half. Peel the onion and the carrots and cut into large pieces. Leave the skin on the garlic.
  2. On a baking tray, lined with a baking sheet, rub the ingredients with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake in the oven for 30- 40 min at 200 degrees celsius (360 fahrenheit).
  4. When soft and golden, remove from oven and peel off the tomato skin and remove the garlic from skin. This is easy when they are baked.
  5. Place in a blender or food prosessor and blend until smooth, taking care to let out steam so it doesn’t explode! 😉
  6. Add to a pot and season to taste. Let simmer for 5- 10 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast before serving.

Recipe from my Norwegian book “Carinas sunne kjøkken” (Carina ‘s Healthy Kitchen). Buy here

 

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Oven roasting vegetables is an easy and healthy way to bring out more depth and flavour!

 

 

 

 

 


Creamy, Vegan Cauliflower Soup

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I love cauliflower as it is so comforting and easy to use as a replacement for a low carb alternative to rice, potatoes and pasta.

One of my favorite ways to use this super-healthy cruciferous vegetable is in a soup. I love to make my vegan (dairy free) cauliflower soup with soaked cashew nuts. Trust me; you will not miss the heavy cream! I love to top mine with crunchy home-made popcorn and dill oil.

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You will need:

  • One large head of cauliflower
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 liter vegetable stock
  • 100 grams soaked cashew nuts
  • 1 tbs. nutritional yeast
  • 1 ts. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

  • Chop the onion and garlic and add to a pot. Simmer in olive oil until tender
  • Divide the caulifower into florets and add to the pot with the vegetable stock. Cook until tender.
  • When tender place the mixture in a blender, add the soaked cashews and blend VERY CAREFULLY until smooth.
  • Add back to the pot and season with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

Recipe from my Norwegian book “Carinas sunne kjøkken” (Carina’s Healthy Kitchen”. Buy book here


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: Synøve Dreyer from my first book Juicy!

 

 

 

  • 1 apple
  • 1, 5 inch thick red cabbage
  • 1/3 lemon with rind
  • Âź 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.

 

 

 


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!