Bilberry Powder, Nordic Wild Foods

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I have always wanted to try bilberry powder and was lucky to receive a delivery, a couple weeks ago from a company called Nordic Wild Foods.

Elina and Hanna, the founders of the company are from Finland like I am and are currently living in Hong Kong. They are two very lovely individuals who really care for and are passionate about their products. Their berries are hand picked from the Northern parts of Finland, which is known to be one of the cleanest places on Earth.

So what’s the difference between normal blueberries and bilberries? They both are good for us but bilberries have more proven health benefits. I did some research on this and they are proven to help with eye conditions, diabetes, cancer and better functioning of the overall body.  Wild berries grow in the northern latitudes and they’re especially rich in vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and antioxidants. You can read more about this from their website Nordic Wild Foods. When you cut it in half, a bilberry is darker compared to a blueberry and has a bit stronger flavour to it.

This powder has nothing added, so you will just get the pure flavour and benefits from the Nordic berries. I have made smoothies, breakfast and some baking with their powder, normally using 1-2 tsp per time.

 

Bilberry Chia Breakfast Pudding

  • Cup of Oat Milk
  • 3 tbsp of Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp of Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp of Bilberry Powder
  • 2 tbsp of unsweetened Alpro Soy Yoghurt
  • Homemade granola

 

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Mini cheese cakes – makes two cakes with these measurements

For the base:
  • 50g / 4 Digestive vegan biscuits
  • 1 tbsp of Coconut oil
  • 40g Roasted Almonds
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
For the filling:
  • 175g Soy based cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp of Bilberry Powder
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup of Oat Milk
  • 1 tbsp of Agar Flakes to 2/4 cup of water

 

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Tropical Smoothie Bowl – This will be my personal favourite this summer!

  • Half a cup of Coconut water
  • 1 cup of Coconut Yogurt
  • 1 tsp of Bilberry powder
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups of frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp of Maple syrup

 

 

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Happy cookings with your bilberry powder ❤

thevegescandi x

Bank holiday weekends are the best!

What a beautiful weekend we had! What did you get up to?

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We were wandering around Brighton last Friday with the best weather! 24 degrees and blue sky all weekend. Already thinking about the summer months and all the cool stuff that is coming up. In the UK the summer season starts in May and I would actually say it’s one of my favourite months living in Brighton. Food festival, The Great Escape music festival and Brighton Fringe all in one month. People here knows it’s the beginning of the summer and can just feel the happiness around.

There is always some cool pop up bars around and one of the newest ones is this Bison Beach Bar in Kemptown. Had couple of beers in the sun and actually ended getting a good workout as well, because we’re living on the other side of the town ha! If you are in town, go and check them out – have a beer and watch the waves.

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On Sunday we headed out to London. I used to live there for 2,5 years and as hectic it gets, it’s nice to visit every now and than, specially in the summer. Had the best day for it as well 🙂 If you haven’t been to London yet, you got to put this on your bucket list! Really vibrant, colourful and beautiful metropolis. There is so much I could tell you about London, but you should go and experience it yourself!

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Our plan was to head over to North – East to see Victoria Market. They organise this beautiful little food market every single Sunday between 10am – 4pm and I was happily surprised how many vegan products and food stools they had, heaven! The easiest way to get there from Central London is to take central line to Bethnal Green and walk the rest of the way. It’s a really nice little walk on a sunny day like this, took us about 15 minutes.

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First thing I wanted to have was a strong coffee 😀 Got there and had a oat milk flat white, soo delicious! Flat whites are great because they are made with double shot of Espresso and with less milk, but still getting the whole taste spectrum – ab favs!

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Instagram is such a great place to find pop ups, products, food or anything really but in this occasion I found all the food stools before we got there. If you want to check this market it’s @victoriaparkmkt I was most excited about these two   Crosstowndoughnuts + Jakesvegansteaks

 

PHILADELPHIA STYLE CHEEZESTEAKS

 

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This was SO good! Sub, seitan, mustard and melted vegan cheese… I could just go back for this. All the stakes are fresh and handmade. I really like their business idea, these aren’t just for vegans, the purpose is to show all the people around that vegan food is and can be really delicious and is able to fix those Sunday cravings. My boyfriend had one and he is not vegan, but said this was the best seitan he has ever had before – so win win! Next time I will need to have those steak fries..

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CROSSTOWN DOUGHNUTS

 

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I have wanted to try these for the past year because of Instagram! Lot of people that I follow have been raving about how good these are and YES I agree. My filling was peanut butter and blackcurrant jam.. Oh lord! These guys has few shops around London city if you cant make it to the market. I will join these Instagram hypers – DO IT!

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Lovely little market and a very special day.

I am already waiting my next holiday, luckily I have a week off in couple of weeks. I have started to do my own morning routine and exercises, so far so good! I have only started doing these ( it’s been two days ) but feel my day flows very differently.. I have never been a morning person and always thought people can’t change but maybe I was wrong. I will be posting updates how I’m getting on mainly on Instagram – Should I write a full post in here? Let me know your views in here or Instagram, really interested to hear. Do you exercise yourself? would you want to start? If you workout or do yoga/meditation what benefits have you experienced? Ping me a message and check out my Instagram account @thevegescandi

thevegescandi x

 

Brighton weekend

I haven’t had nice chilled Brighton weekend for a while and last weekend was exactly what I needed – friends, bit of shopping and organising our house. Have to admit that often I overbook myself, so these chilled weekends are so precious! Brighton as a city is really chilled place, but also so vibrant – events, gigs and workshops happening all the time. If you haven’t been yet, time to book a train or a flight to come see this place.

We were planning to do a trip to Ikea the other weekend, but ended up staying in London for longer so that got cancelled, instead we went in last Friday… I’ve wanted to get couple of frames up for ages on our living room wall so was pretty excited about this. The idea was to have black and white photo collage. I bought that Finland city – poster from Helsinki last December and planning to build the collage around it. Where do you get your pictures framed? I’m still a newbie in this so all the advises welcome!

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After living in London for few years, it really made me appreciate nature and home. London life can be fabulous and great, but definitely not for everyone. I spent all my summers on the country side whilst growing up so probably this was one of the reasons why I fell in love with the beach in Brighton. 

For 3 years I have wanted to buy a professional camera and last week I did it!! If you’re looking into buying one I can really recommend Sony. My Camera is Sony a6000 with 50mm 1.8 Lens, great for food photography and great for anything really. Super happy with it 🙂 Had to take my camera for a test drive with a friend and actually ended up spending a lovely Saturday afternoon with her. If you’re looking for a nice cafe in Hove, The Flour Pot Bakery is awesome.

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Sunday we had more coffees and some vegan cakes at Sugar Dough, 18 Market St, Brighton. Really cute cafe in the South Lanes. I’ve never had a chocolate mud cake before, but this was ace! Favourite barista style coffee at the moment got to be oat milk Flat White, if you haven’t had one please do!!

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There is something about Sundays in Brighton, I don’t know how to explain or describe it other than having that feeling of Sunday – sounds silly but I’m sure people who live in this city feels the same. The feel of community, we all managed another week, charging batteries for the coming week. We often go to a pub on Sundays, have a couple of beers, see friends or family and eat Sunday roast. Everyone is super relaxed and just enjoying themselves. Long walks on the sea front.. The list goes on – living the best life possible and remembering to be grateful for it all, everything and everyone.

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Couple of shops we went in the North Laines, I fell in love with… And I know already where my next pay check goes haha! So one of them is this beautiful body and hair care shop called Aesop – check them out Aesop.com

Just the shop on it’s own has such a unique and beautiful look, you want to buy everything from there… Or maybe it’s just me?

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Another one is called Lucy and Yak, selling ethical fashion. Their shop opened in Brighton few weeks ago and this was my first visit, but will be back there soon. Beautiful summer wear – just in time for the music festival season too! Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from there, but please go and check out their website, I want to buy all their designs – Lucy and Yak

And to finish off – this picture was taken just before I got soaking wet, can see that storm coming along the coast… Had a brilliant weekend, more of these please!

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Homemade Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate with raspberries, pistachio and coconut.

I have dreamt about homemade chocolate for so long – finally got all the ingredients together and made this. This recipe is really easy and goes perfectly with puddings or to have on its own. I love having this choco with ice cream.

Often we buy the cheapest ingredients, but when it comes to dishes like this – with better quality ingredients you will have nicer, silkier and more flavoursome chocolate.

For this recipe you will need a freezer, small pan and a small tray to lay the chocolate mix.

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INGREDIENTS:

4tbsp Coconut Oil

4tbsp Raw Cocoa

2tbsp Almond Butter

2tbsp Buckwud maple syrup

Coconut flakes (wanted amount)

Raspberries (wanted amount)

Pistachios (wanted amount)

METHOD:

Place your tray into a freezer. Heat up the coconut oil in a small pan, so it melts but do not boil it as this will affect the flavour of your chocolate. Add raw cocoa, almond butter and maple syrup and mix well. Take out the tray from your freezer and pour the chocolate mix into the tray. crush and cut your pistachios and raspberries. Sprinkle these and coconut flakes into your chocolate mix and place the tray back in the freezer. Take out after 20 minutes or once you want to serve the chocolate. Enjoy!!

thevegescandi x

 

Kleen Kitchen’s Raw Vegan Workshop

Happy Friday!

Sorry guys it’s been awhile, I have been busy with my day job and all other stuff happening. Something new and exciting I did last week, I went to this raw vegan cooking workshop with Kleen Kitchen and it was absolutely brilliant. We went in, not knowing a lot about raw cooking, but the only thing we really needed was a sweet tooth!

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That evening we learned to make energy balls, vegan cashew cheese (super excited about this!!) and a snickers style chocolate caramel tart. This was my first workshop that I have ever attended and really recommend you guys to try different ones you might have locally. You’ll get to meet different people with similar interest and learn to make something new, such a nice way to spend an evening. AC3E2617-93D5-4C43-8C24-E7D18F8CC10E

675D97C8-FE20-454C-8BF6-73ED39E68465The workshop was organised in this really cool little work space in central Brighton and everything was waiting us, ingredients, recipes and these goodie bags we got to take home in the end of the evening. I didn’t really have any expectations, but I’m so happy I went. I have previously made energy balls at home, but she used few more ingredients that I wouldn’t have thought about using so learnt something new anyway!

One of the sweet treats was this snickers style chocolate caramel tart. So good and easy to make! Did you know, that depending on if you place dates in cold or boiling water the flavour changes? If you’re trying to achieve caramelised flavour, add the dates in boiling water for 30 minutes and non-caramelised in cold water for 10 minutes. You make three layers – nut mix base, caramel filling with peanuts and chocolate topping. We decorated the tart with crushed peanuts, but you could use really anything on this. Next time when I am making one, I will want to try raspberries and pistachio – new vegan choco favourite. Look at this tart!! YUM.D6F8B87C-9D62-4E36-B011-E255F2A42B7CSo many people have asked me how to make vegan cheese and to be honest I haven’t had a clue! Still not a master on this, but will definitely know a bit about the whole process. I will need to make another post once I have tried this with the recipe I got from the workshop. We tasted loads of different ones, but the base in all of them was made with Cashews. The one thing that I didn’t know previously is, that you will need probiotic powder capsules to make your plant based cheese to get the right texture and flavour. 300D9C1B-CD93-4596-AE31-CA0B49381E28In the end of the workshop we had a little competition to decorate this beautiful chocolate orange cake and I won!! I got to take her homemade granola with me as a price. I have been having it with soya yogurt, almond butter and blueberries in the mornings – so good and healthy!79AC2111-15B3-463B-A2D3-8EA0D0F1C7C53A89F656-CC08-4A31-9D41-397444DF7FA5Do some research, go out and meet up with people in your area.

I was the happiest girl after the workshop and it made me realise, that this is what I want to be doing for living. Not sure what that will be yet, but it’s something related to food and making other people happy through great food.

thevegescandi x

 

 

 

Glazed Doughnuts

Was I the happiest girl today – I found a vegan doughnut cafe in Brighton and really close to my work. The cafe is called Glazed and it’s next to the Level Park. There aren’t many doughnut cafes around and specially not vegan ones, so this is super!

The Cafe has such a nice vibe – few tables and laid back atmosphere. You can have a cup of coffee and play some Nintendo, perfect spot to meet up with your friends and try some doughnuts after work.

The shop has two owners and I was lucky enough to meet one of them briefly today. They opened Glazed about three years ago. They felt that Brighton didn’t have any great places for doughnuts even though it was famous for them. They started practising and creating their own recipes and Glazed was born. The reason for specifically vegan doughnuts were to reach out for me people and make the cafe environmentally friendly. All the coffee is served with plant-based milk and the doughnuts are 100% vegan- the dream!

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This time around I got some take-away doughnuts as I needed to rush home, but can confirm the rumours – these are great doughnuts! And they have got really good selection of flavours in the shop but get there early as they sell out quick.

All the goodness we got to enjoy today…

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Next time you are in Brighton and on the hunt for something sweet, go and check these guys out!

You can find Glazed also on Instagram: @Glazed_Coffee

thevegescandi x

 

Vanilla Cheese Cake – Finland 101 years

This year I decided to make a plant-based cheese cake with roasted almonds, vanilla and lemon for Finland’s independence day. I am not a great baker so cheese cake was the easiest choice! Getting more practice and confidence, one day I can hopefully claim to be a great baker hahah. If you’ve just started exploring cooking or baking this recipe is perfect and really easy.

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Finland has been celebrating their independence from Russia since 1917. We would normally watch the independence parade and president’s annual ball on tv, spending time with the people you love the most. This year I invited few friends around to have some coffees and cake, was a really nice night – almost felt like being back in Finland.

Last year Aku Louhimies directed a film called the Unknown Soldier, if you would like to know more about Finnish history, it’s a great film to watch!

Check out the trailer here

For this recipe you will need a Springform Pan, food processor, greaseproof paper, sauce pan and ingredients listed below.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BASE:

200g of Doves Farm Organic Wholewheat Digestive Biscuits (vegan)

50g vegan butter

150-200g of Almonds

2 tbsp of Maple Syrup

Pinch of Salt

1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

FOR THE FILLING:

350g of Soy Based Cream Cheese

50g of soft Almond Cheese

3/4 cup of Granulated Sugar

1 Vanilla Pod

2 Lemons and Lemon Zest

Almond milk (optional)

Half a tbsp of Clearspring AGAR flakes

FOR THE TOP, DECORATION:

Blueberries

Vanilla Pod

METHOD

Start by heating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roasting the almonds – Lay them on a baking tray on top of greaseproof paper and bake for 10min flipping over half way. While your almonds are roasting in the oven, blend your cookies in the food blender with melted vegan butter and set aside. When you take the almonds out of the oven you’ll have the most delicious smells in your kitchen! Add your almonds into the food processor and blend until smooth, this will take some time.. When I did it, the almonds were sticking into the sides so I needed to scrape the bowl and blend again, repeating few times. Once your almonds are looking pretty smooth, add the rest of the base ingredients into the mix.

Cover your springform pan with greaseproof paper and lay your cookie base mix into the bottom of your springform pan pressing firmly. Make sure the mix is spread evenly. Place the dish into your fridge for an hour to set.

Cut the vanilla pod open on a chopping board or I used a plate and scrape those vanilla seeds off. Best thing to do, is to mix these a bit sticky seeds with some granulated sugar. This way they are easier to use and mix with your dough or in this case with the cheese filling mix.

Clean your food processor and then add cream cheese, almond soft cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice for the filling mix. Blend until smooth.

For setting the cake I used agar flakes that are great choice for vegans. Super easy to use and clearspring has good instructions in the packaging how to use it. Basically you add cold water into a saucepan, add the flakes into the water and wait to boil without stirring. Once this is starting to boil you can stir the mix.

Add your water & agar mix into your blender. You want to blend the cream cheese mix and agar as soon as possible so the flakes will stick into the filling.

Take your pan out of the fridge and add cheese cake filling evenly on top of the cookie mix. Place dish back to the fridge and let it set over night.

I used blueberries and the leftover vanilla pod for decorations.

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Previously I would always use vanilla extract, but now experiencing the difference with vanilla pod, I don’t want to use anything else! The flavour is so strong, but smooth, just beautiful and it brings all the other flavours with it. Vanilla pod is usually a bit more pricy but worth it, I promise!

thevegescandi