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!

 


5 Tips to Beat Winter Depression Naturally.

I live in Norway which is in the Northern hemisphere, and depending upon where in the country you live, you may not see sunlight at all from  November and until around Easter!

Luckily, I live in Oslo and we do get a few hours of daylight, but not nearly enough to keep the body happy and healthy. Because of the lack of daylight a lot of Norwegians suffer from what is known as winter depression.

Juice bok-529

I beat my battle with severe winter depression naturally. Read on for my tips…

The condition does not only affect Scandinavians, but millions of people around the globe. Perhaps you also suffer from winter depression when the days get shorter?

The symptoms are:

  • Low energy
  • Loss of interest in being social or active
  • Muscle and joint ache
  • Feelings of hopelessness and general depression symptoms
  • Weight gain and increased appetite
  • Decreased libido

The condition is also known as “seasonal affective disorder,”( SAD) and can really reduce the quality of life. I use to suffer really bad from it and went into a severe depression for several months. When Spring came along the darkness literally went away.

Because of my own need to find a way to cope, I have discovered and researched  ways you can naturally lift your mood and help get you through the darkness…

  1. Light therapy! Yes, lack of light is the reason you feel this way as it leads to chemical imbalances in the body. But there are some really great therapy alternatives out there that mimic daylight. I work with a small lamp from Philips in front of me when working on my computer. I also do 10 minutes of light therapy with a special iPod looking device called Valkee Bright Light Headset. This releases light straight into the brain. Light therapy is a must!
  2. HIIT Workouts- You must stay active even if your energy levels are low. I promise that if you do, you will eventually increase your energy levels. This is so important. HIIT stands for High intensity interval training and is more effect full than steady state, low intensity training, as it releases more of the “happy hormones”, serotonin and dopamine. This keeps depression at bay, gives you more energy, builds stamina and balances your weight and appetite efficiently.
  3. Learn something new! This fall I have been learning to dance salsa and it has really helped my mood to have an activity that gets me out the door (because I have paid a lot of money for it!;)), is social, healthy and keeps my brain active. Having a hobby and learning new things that we enjoy is proven to keep us more mentally balanced.
  4. Keep a balanced diet– It is more important than ever that you keep your diet clean and full of fresh fruits and vegetables even though it may not be that tempting this time of year! Use seasonal vegetables and cook warming stews. Roast root vegetables. A good diet is essential for keeping your moods elevated in general and keeps your immune system strong through the winter season. Make my roasted tomato soup here
  5. Get outdoors! If you live in a place where there still is daylight during the day it is important to arrange your schedule so that you can get outdoors for at least 30 min. every day. Take a walk during your lunch break if possible.

Let me know how the season effects you and how you cope! 🙂

gulrøtter med selbu vøtter

Roast your veggis and put on warm clothes and get outside when there is daylight!


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.

red velvet

Photo: Synøve Dreyer from my first book Juicy!

 

 

 

  • 1 apple
  • 1, 5 inch thick red cabbage
  • 1/3 lemon with rind
  • ¼ 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…

 

 

pærer på pledd

Beautiful pears captured at our log cabin near Røros, 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.

 

Pærejuice 2192

 

 


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 “5 a day” which consist of 2 fruits and 3 vegetables. In the USA the government recommends at least “9 a day” and in Japan they recommend “17 a day”!

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 “locked” 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’s 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.

 

 

192A9322 copy

Juicing at our cabin by Røros. Photo: Liv Grådal

 

 

Goodness and Health in Every Drop- 10 Good Reasons to Become “a Juicer”!

  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

 

 


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.

Søtpotet gnocchi 5818

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!