Chocolate Bliss Balls

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It’s time for a chocolate recipe ❤ ..

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Chocolate or cacao is one of my favorite ingredients and I can’t get enough of everything with chocolate, whether it is chocolate cake, hot chocolate, coffee with cocoa, chocolate nicecream, cacao nibs as a topping or these delicious and nutritious Bliss Balls. I pretty much have chocolate every single day 🙂

Since the regular chocolate products mostly contain refined sugar I love making my own chocolate products with alternative sweeteners. In this recipe I use dates as a sweetener, they are just my favorite sweetener of all and it always tastes amazing and gives this great sticky texture.

Bliss Balls are a perfect snack in between meals, before or after workouts or even as a dessert.

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Recipe Chocolate Bliss Balls

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp almonds
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds with 2 tbsp water
  • 6 dates
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • oats (if mixture is still too sticky)

Method

  • first let the chia seeds sit in the water for about 5 minutes
  • whilst put all dry ingredients in your food processor and mix until the nuts are broken down
  • separately mix the dates, raisins, coconut oil, almond butter and the chia gel in your mixer and pour dry and wet ingredients together in a bowl
  • add some oats if the mixture is still too sticky to form into balls
  • form little balls and roll in shredded coconut, coffee or anything you like
  • store them in the fridge for a prepared snack

 

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Wild Garlic Pesto

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Since it is finally spring season there is wild garlic growing in the forest and therefore time to make some wild garlic pesto.. ❤

This is the second time I picked some wild garlic in the woods and made this pesto, because it was really delicious. There is just no better pesto than freshly made. I especially love the mixture of pine nuts, cashews and sunflower seeds with the wild garlic. It gives a really nice creamy texture to it.

No more words, here is the recipe.. 🙂

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Recipe Wild Garlic Pesto

Ingredients

  • 10og wild garlic
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  • wash wild garlic and let it dry
  • whilst drying roast the nuts lightly
  • if they start turning a light brown put them aside and let cool
  • when cold put all the ingredients in your food processor and mix until all the nut pieces and wild garlic transformed into a smooth consistency
  • fill everything in glasses and store in the fridge
  • I used mine up in one week, so I am not sure how much longer it will be fine in the fridge. I actually found it best when eaten the same day with some pasta or just on bread. I also love to add a spoon to my mixed dinner plates for some extra flavor.

Here are two examples:

Hope you enjoy, let me know if you liked it ❤

Have a nice weekend,

Meli xx

Almond-Buckwheat Porridge

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During spring and summer I tend to crave something different to a warm and comforting bowl of oatmeal and I found this buckwheat porridge a great alternative when the days are getting warmer. It is also great to have some alternative to oats and I love to mix up my breakfast and experience around with different grains or pseudocereals.

Because the buckwheat is soaked overnight you don’t need to cook it. Just rinse it very well the next day. It is therefore really healthy and has a nice raw and fresh taste to it, but has still the creaminess of an original oat porridge. I find it more energizing and not as comforting as oatmeal, which is great for those spring and summer mornings to get your day started 🙂

And also to mention it is gluten-free because it is a pseudocereal not a grain. It is rich in minerals and a good source of fiber.

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Recipe Almond-Buckwheat Porridge

Ingredients and Method

  • ca. 100g buckwheat soaked overnight in water
  • Almond Milk homemade or storebought (or any other plantmilk)
  • vanilla ground, cinnamon and rice syrup (or other sweetener)
  • toppings (optional): what I used in the picture are pomegranate seeds, pear, a little blueberry juice and shredded coconut – also really delicious are strawberries and blueberries
  • soak buckwheat in water overnight
  • rinse well the next day and put in your mixer
  • pour in the almond milk, just as much that the buckwheat is not fully covered with ‘milk’ and mix just for a few seconds
  • add your sweetener and spices mix them in with a spoon
  • put in the fridge another 30 minutes before eating
  • after 30 min take as much as you like in your bowl and top with berries, fruit and whatever your heart desires
  • if you have some leftovers just store it in the fridge for your next breakfast ❤

 

If you try the recipe let me know what you think about or if you like share your picture on Instagram using #balancedhappyeats.  I will be happy to see your responds ❤

Have a happy Sunday!

Meli xx

Homemade Almond Milk

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Hallo everyone,

I finally managed to take some time and update my blog.. Life was extremely busy last year with finishing uni, but I am back now with one recipe every week 🙂

Last week I finally made my first almond milk, which I personally like so much better than all the almond milks from the store and which is also so much cheaper. Of course it takes a little more time to make them yourself, but if you have some spare time I would definitively recommend try making your own.

The flavor of the almond milk is just amazing when homemade, fresh and rich. Also you can put in any spices – like vanilla or cinnamon – and your preferred sweetener (but it will also taste delicious without it).

The method for making your own nut based milk is really simple, but you will need a mixer for it to break down the nuts and a ‘cheese’ cloth to filter out the pieces that are left. You wouldn’t want any pieces of almond swimming around in your coffee, but if you don’t have a cloth and only use your milk for muesli I think you would be fine without it, but that is just my personal opinion 🙂

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So here is the recipe for the ‘milk’, which is also great with cashew nuts and I recon any other nut, but that is the two versions I’ve tried up to now.

Recipe Nut ‘milk’

Ingredients

  • 70g nuts (cashew or almond)
  • 300ml water
  • optional vanilla bean powder
  • optional sweetener of choice

Method

  • soak the nuts in water overnight
  • the next day drain them and mix your nuts with the 300l water to break them down in really small pieces  (if you don’t have a high speed blender available make sure to turn on your mixer a few times to really break down the soaked nuts)
  • prepare your cheese cloth over a sieve and some bowl and pour in your ‘milk’
  • put ends of the cloth together and squeeze the milk through with your hands
  • the rest of the pulp you can use as almond meal for baking if you let it dry out a while or the cashew meal for making a cream ‘cheese’ if you add some salt and herbs to it
  • pour your ‘milk’ in a glas and store in the fridge
  • if you want to add some flavor like a sweetener or vanilla just pour it in and shake it up
  • when it separates in the fridge just shake it up before enjoying your fresh homemade plantbased milk 🙂

Wishing you all a happy friday and a great weekend!

Meli xx

Almond-Bolognese Sauce and Zucchini Noodles

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Happy Sunday everyone ❤

During last week I came across the idea of using soaked almonds as a tofu alternative for vegan bolognese sauce and I just had to try it!

I could not believe how good this was.. it added just the perfect texture to my tomato sauce, along with some garlic, onions and lots of herbs.

Together with the zucchini noodles this was just perfectly satisfying and soo yummy and healthy too!!

In winter I need warming dishes – I am always freezing:) –  that is why I cooked the zucchini noodles in salt water for 1-2 minutes and they came out just perfect.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of almonds, soaked in water for 2 hours
  • 1/2 can of organic tomato sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 bay leaves, for flavor only!
  • fresh oregano, basil, thyme (dried is also ok)
  • pinch of himalayan cristal salt
  • 1 zucchini, medium sized

Method

  • for the sauce: blend almonds, tomato sauce, garlic and onion in a food processor just until almonds break apart (you can also only chop the onion for more texture and add to saucepan)
  • warm everything in a sauce pan on medium heat and let simmer with the bay leaves for 10 minutes
  • add in herbs and salt
  • in a different saucepan bring water to boil
  • during that make your zucchini noodles with a spiralizer and add in your boiling water with a little himalayan crystal salt and let cook for 1-2 minutes, just until they are a little softened
  • arrange noodles on a plate, top with your almond-bolognese sauce
  • but make sure you take out the bay leaves! there not for eating
  • Enjoy

Green Orange Smoothie

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Especially in winter I tend to crave more sweet, creamy, chocolate flavored or comforting smoothies and drinks in general, although I love having a refreshing green and fruity drink once in a while! But I just don’t experiment with them as much and usually stay with having bananas as a base for my green smoothies – and don’t get me wrong this really is delicious – but just the other day I wanted something really refreshing in the morning nothing creamy and smooth ..this morning my body craved something fresh, juicy and energizing, immune boosting.. That’s how I came up with this green orange smoothie that was surprisingly delicious for me and definitely as good as banana based green smoothies if not even better!
So here’s the recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🍊🍊🍊🍊

Ingredients

> 1 orange peeled
> 1/2 cup spinach
> 2 dates
> 1 tbsp flax seeds
> 1 small slice of ginger
> 1/2 cup coconut milk
> 1/4-1/2 cup of water, depending on how thick you want your smoothie

Blend and enjoy!

Banana Vanilla Coconut Smoothie

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So I am finally back to my weekly blog writing ❤

This is my favorite after yoga smoothie, especially when practicing yoga in the evenings.. so creamy, smooth, satisfying, nutritious and delicious!

  • bananas – are high in potassium, provide fast energy and are easily digested
  • almond milk – contains vitamin E, which keeps your skin moisterized; calcium and vitamin D; make sure you buy an unsweetened almond milk for the most health benefits
  • coconut oil – a fat that burns quickly and provides instant energy
  • chia seeds – a complete protein and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla ground
  • sprinkle with chia seeds

Blend and Enjoy!

Creamy Coconut Porridge with Hot Raspberries

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This morning I had another coconut porridge and since I don’t have an oatmeal recipe on the blog yet I thought I share this easy delicious breakfast with you.

So simple to make and only sweetened with dates this is a great breakfast if you crave something warm and cosy on a cold winter day or just want to eat something really filling.

For more freshness I added pomegranat seeds in addition to the hot raspberries which I found the perfect combination of creamy, fruity, comforting, warm and fresh.

I also added a spoon of my favorite nut butter, which is cashew-almond-vanilla at the moment.. just sooo delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 dates chopped
  • a small piece of vanilla bean chopped
  • 1 tbsp of coconut milk (preferable the creamy part)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries

toppings: shredded coconut, pomegranate seeds (optional)

Method

  • heat oats, water, vanilla and dates in a pan and let simmer on low heat for 5min
  • stirr in your coconut milk and put in a bowl or on a plate
  • heat the frozen raspberries with a little water covering the pan until its hot
  • add raspberries to your porridge and top with shredded coconut and pomegranat seeds if you feel like it:)
  • enjoy..

Also made some christmas cookie baking this afternoon, so the whole apartment just smells like heaven ❤

Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas time with friends&family, good foods and happy holidays! x

Super Healthy Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

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This last week I was so into smoothies and smoothie bowls for breakfast, except for today  – I just ate a huge bowl of banana coconut porridge, kind of lunch as well because it is such a late breakfast.

Anyway I thought I share my recipe of this weeks favorite with you –> of course the recipe includes chocolate and is super delicious and healthy.. I actually managed to mix in a little kale to make it extra healthy and great for an energy boosting morning or whenever you feel like having a creamy chocolate bowl.

IMG_0864And I finally discovered cacao nibs this week and love them so much that I need to put  them on anything I eat, as you can see on my Instagram pictures; wether it is a fruity smoothie, oatmeal or just a snack.

So here’s the recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 big leaf of kale
  • handful blueberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • toppings: coconut flakes, cacao nibs and hemp seeds

Blend everything and enjoy!

PS: If this is not sweet enough for you I would recommend to add a teaspoon of maple syrup

Vegan in Barcelona

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This weeks blogpost is a bit different from my other posts. I have been to Barcelona this week for a couple of days and I thought I share my experience on eating vegan while traveling and vegan food in Barcelona.

Barcelona is a real paradise for vegans and I met so many nice people, ate delicious amazing food and had a great time! I also really spoiled myself eating out a lot because there are just so many vegan places that I wanted to try and it was so worth it 🙂

I arrived in Barcelona in the afternoon and after checking in at my hostel I went looking for this small smoothie place in El Raval on Joaquin Costa 26, called Mother.

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What I found was this beautiful small shop with super delicious smoothies freshly made and they also have breakfast, cold pressed juices, almond and cashew milk homemade. I tried a smoothie called Fig Tree with coconut milk and water, figs, chia seeds, vanilla and cashew butter. It was beyond delicious!! Creamy and thick, like a really satisfying dessert. With the smoothie I tried a piece of quinoa chocolate brownie which was also super good. I also bought one of their juices, Turbo with beet, carrot, apple and ginger and their homemade cashew milk. Both were incredible and the little shop is just beautifully decorated with a lot of love and although there is not many places to sit it is really comfy and you can feel the good energy in there.

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If you ever go to Barcelona definitely check out this place! It was my favorite and delicious!!

As I found out the next morning the cashew milk was a perfect buy. They had a free continental beakfast at the hostel with muesli, different breads, some spreads and fresh oranges, tangerine and apples. Of course they didnt have any plantbased milk so I just had some muesli with my cashew milk and could also drink my coffee with it.

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The first evening they had a paella night with brazilian live music at the hostel, which I didnt want to miss and because – no surprise – it wasnt vegetarian nor vegan I just decided to find a vegan store to buy some food that I could bring and prepare at the hostel kitchen. What I found was a nice vegan store called Ecocentre, which was not too far from the hostel and I would have loved to buy so many things from it. They had cakes and cupcakes, donuts, all sorts of vegan food and even cosmetics and some shoes and clothes. Basically everything a vegan heart desires.

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The sweets looked so delicious but I already had my sweet tooth satisfied from the smoothie before and I found a ginger limo and precooked bulgur salad with chickpeas, peas and some other veggies in it and tasted pretty good.

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The next day I had my muesli cashew milk breakfast with fresh fruit and went off exploring the city with some people I met. Of course we went to the famous market on Las Ramblas La BoqueriaThey have a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables along with fruit salads and smoothies. It really is a fruit heaven, but I was a little disgusted by the meat stands you had to walk through. But we bought some fresh fruit; mango, coconut and smoothies and went outside to find a nice spot to sit down and actually to enjoy our smoothies. I had a pink pitaya-coconut smoothie and it was not my last one I came back for it a few times 🙂 the first time I tried pitaya/dragonfruit and I just looved it! It tasted so good with coconut; fruity, fresh, juicy and you just got to love the vibrant pink colour..makes me happy just looking at it ❤ so pretty! And that only for 1€!

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Being hungry for lunch I remembered having seen a place called Veggie Garden the other day. So I went there and I had my first ever vegan burger with seitan, tomato, salad, cucumber and a tomato basil cilantro sauce. My friend from Japan had a kind of marinated Tofu with vegetable entree. Both was nice and tasted good but it was nothing out of the world amazing. But a good lunch for little money.. 4,50€ for a burger.

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In the evening I met with a few girls I just met from Brasil, Japan and Germany and we went to a vegan pub and restaurant, the Cat BarI was so happy they went with me trying vegan burgers although non of them was vegan or vegetarian and so nice that they were open to try it. We had a great evening, drinking beer, eating burgers and having conversations about life and different cultures. It is always so nice meeting like-minded people while traveling – my other passion besides healthy food – and I find it a lot easier then meeting people at home.

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Well the burgers were good, really good and the staff was also nice and everyone liked the food. I had the Green Burger with a veggie burger, spinach, tomato, onions and pickles as far as I remember. We also shared some potatoes that were super delicious!

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So on day 3 and also my last day I went to the market again, had my usual breakfast at the hostel and for late lunch I found a small vegan place in El Gotic, Cervantes 3 called PILI-PILE. They just reopened on that very day. It is decorated really nicely in a 80s retro style. The menu is only in Spanish – sadly I pretty much only understand Hola and Adios – but the owner was so kind and tried his best to translate everything for me. They offer a small selected menu of smoothies some sides, salads and sandwiches and burgers, they also offer some desserts. It was hard to decide what to order because everything just sounded delicious. Fortunately I was offered a fresh wheatgrass smoothie that was just in the making with fresh wheatgrass, ginger, carrots and different kinds of berries

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The smoothie was just what I needed – I did not eat many greens in these few days. Besides the smoothie I ordered a miso soup and a sandwich which was tomato bread with marinated tofu, shiitake mushrooms, veganaise, spinach, pickles, tomatoes and pesto. This was my absolute favorite of all the burgers I had!! It was satisfying yet felt light in my tummy; just the perfect sandwich! I also had a nice talk with the people that run the shop and they are so friendly and the restaurant had a positive and friendly atmosphere.

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So if you plan a trip to Barcelona definitely don’t miss out on PILI-PILE and Mother! So worth trying their delicious creations!

There are so many other vegan and vegan friendly places in Barcelona and it was just not eough time to explore them all, so definitely going back one day; not only for the food but also for beautiful Barcelona!

Wishing everyone of you a nice second advent evening ❤