CHOCOLATE & FENNEL LACTATION COOKIES (gluten/fructose/dairy-free & IQS-friendly… with no brewers yeast)

Before I launch into this post, I feel compelled to state that I am hesitant to call this recipe a “lactation cookie” recipe, even though it is based on the standard lactation cookie principles (sans brewers yeast). Firstly, there’s a deliciously unusual cookie flavour profile made up of low-sugar, gluten/dairy-free ingredients and a recipe that’s customisable… and thus is suitable for almost anyone, regardless of lactating status.

Secondly, my friend Malin Randeniye (a qualified dietician+food expert+ editor at GF Glutenfri Matglädje) points out that the efficacy of lactation cookies is scientifically “unproven” when it comes to improving milk supply. She does believe, however, that it is certainly true that breastfeeding mamas require extra energy to produce sufficient milk… and energy in the form of something wholesome is never a bad thing, right?

I made a batch of these cookies before Oliver was born & froze them in advance in order to have postpartum snacks on hand, and I was asked for the recipe some weeks ago. I finally have a chance to share it now, and though I have not had the chance to test every customised variant, this recipe is inherently IQS-friendly, gluten-free & dairy-free, should be pretty straight-forward to make 100% plant-based too*.

Oh, and it doesn’t contain brewers yeast either, for those who struggle to find a supplier or don’t like the taste.

In other news, I seriously cannot believe we are days from midsummer! Where has the first half of 2016 gone? Right now I’m in the midst of trying to reclaim a modicum of mindfulness as I participate in #josefinesmeditationsutmaning; a 21-day meditation challenge (and y’all know how I love my meditation challenges!) hosted by amazing Josefines Yoga. We’re 10 days in, and I haven’t managed to do every challenge everyday, but what I have done has been impactful in a noticeable way… immediately.

I have also had the opportunity to do a little more yoga recently (including at the recent Juice och Yoga med Kenwood event at Elements Spa), with Oliver as my trusty, smiley, gurgly yoga mat sidekick!😀

And on that note, happy International Yoga Day, yoga-loving friends!

❤ MM xx

*Tahini could be used in place of almond butter & oat milk in place of almond milk for a nut-free alternative, though I cannot vouch for the taste.

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CHOCOLATE & FENNEL LACTATION COOKIES

Makes: 24 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 tsp fennel seeds, ground with mortar & pestle
1 tsp cinnamon
250 ml buckwheat flour
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
A tiny pinch of salt
125 ml gluten-free oats
90 ml desiccated coconut
90 ml almond flour
35 ml almond butter
90 ml coconut oil, melted
50 ml rice malt/maple syrup (OR 2 extra tbsp almond butter)
1 organic, free range egg (OR 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2.5 tbsp cold water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp almond milk*
150 ml chopped dairy-free dark chocolate (I used 90%)
DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (or 180°C fan).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix coconut oil, rice malt syrup, almond butter, egg/corn starch egg, almond milk and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flours, oats, coconut, ground flaxseeds & fennel seeds, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
  4. Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture. Add a little extra almond milk if necessary to bring dough together.
  5. Gently stir in chopped chocolate.
  6. Scoop 12 tablespoons full of the dough onto a baking parchment-lined tray and pat into cookie forms, spacing the cookies out evenly. Repeat process with second tray.
  7. Bake each tray of cookies for 8-10 minutes.

 

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*If dough is too crumbly, almond milk will bring it together. Just be sure to add only the smallest amount at a time.

*Cookies can be cooled after baking and frozen for eating later on; a perfect treat to prep before your baby arrives!

*Recipe inspired by this one by Sugar & Garlic and by information found here and elsewhere

SUMMER SMOOTHIE PANCAKES (+ a Food of Thrones Weeks 4-6 recap)

The other day I posted a capture of these very pancakes on Instagram along with the claim that “… the only thing that really differentiates this recipe from that of a smoothie is the addition of baking powder! Yup- the deliciousness & benefits of a summery smoothie, in pancake form… “. I had quite a few curious comments about this, but there’s no real trick to it at all.

As you can see, the ingredients list below is not extensive and does indeed bear smoothie similarities. It includes buckwheat, albeit of the flour variety and not the soaked kind (so I hope no one finds my “smoothie-like”claim entirely disingenuous!😉 ).

You could always add a spoon of berry powder, protein powder or other favourite supplement to the mix to give it an extra boost (much as you would a smoothie).

I hope you like the recipe!

And for those who are interested in happenings of a Food of Thrones nature (these pancakes were one of my own FoT-related creations), read on!

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_summer_smoothie_pancakes_buckwheat

SUMMER SMOOTHIE PANCAKES

with strawberries & banana

INGREDIENTS
75 ml mashed ripe banana
75 ml puréed strawberries (approx. 5 strawberries)
450 ml buckwheat flour (or plain organic flour if you prefer)
1 tbsp rice malt/maple syrup
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
400 ml unsweetened cashew milk
Olive or coconut oil for frying

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add all wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Add buckwheat flour and baking powder and stir.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Ladle batter into the pan and cook each pancake for around 3 minutes or until you see the edges have cooked and small bubbles are forming on the surface. Flip. Cook the other side for around the same amount of time. Repeat until all batter is used.
  5. Serve pancakes with fruit & berries (something summery, ideally!), syrup and/or other toppings of choice*.

 

*I served mine here with roasted rhubarb, fresh strawberries, coconut cream and Loving Earth Buckinis (Deluxe Clusters).

*To make roasted rhubarb the way I did, simply cut the rhubarb into sticks of around 10 cm long, 2 cm wide. Clean them under cold running water (don’t bother to pat them dry). Pop them in a baking tray lined with baking parchment, sprinkle with a small amount of stevia sugar/caster sugar (NOT pure stevia) and cover the tray with foil, ensuring foil doesn’t touch the rhubarb. Bake at 180°C for around 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 5 or so minutes or until rhubarb is cooked to your liking and stevia sugar/sugar is dissolved.

MissMarzipan_smoothie_pancakes

FOOD OF THRONES RECAP

WEEKS 4 – 6

As I explained in my first Food of Thrones post, for each week of this Game of Thrones season, I’ve been setting a themed food challenge. The theme for week 4 was Creatures of Ice & Fire, and animal lovers had the chance to express themselves creatively and pay homage to their favourite furry (and scaly!) GoT characters.

Joining this week’s round with some truly stunning work were @mmmoky with a gorgeous cashew smoothie bowl inspired by the qualities of House Stark’s dire wolves, @voilavegan with a delicious Tunisian couscous salad with green harissa yoghurt (ice & fire right there, folks). 

@the_artful_foodie made a delicious dragon-inspired fiery dahl. @my_abundant_plate was similarly inspired by dragons (but one in particular: Viserion) created an aptly golden-hued pudding with Turmeric and cinnamon. @myvitalingredients made a scrumptious and hearty looking cauliflower dish which she entitled “The Sight of the Wolves”. And @vie_fondue created a dish of custard-filled puff pastry topped with strawberries and caramelized orange slices for the mother of dragons. Inspired too by our scaly friends, @erin_dreamingofalmonds made an amazing baked avocado egg creation, the recipe for which you can find here on her blog!

@plantfuelledchaos made an utterly appropriate and creative dragonfruit smoothie (served in a dragonfruit!), whilst @maaikesmunchies created a vibrant “fire-breathing breakfast smoothie”. Also feeling the smoothie love, @foodelight16 contributed a beautiful “Dragonfruit Banana Smoothie Bowl”.

@fabulouslymadeup contributed the only white walker themed creation (the ice shards were genius!) and, thanks to  @applefalltree (and @huskypupslife ), we had the appearance of not only a frozen direwolf paw print dessert, but our first real direwolves too (well, technically huskies, but still awesome:) )!

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Acai Quinoa Oats Bowl, AKA "The Dragon Hatchery"- my own dragon-themed creation

Acai Quinoa Oats Bowl, AKA “The Dragon Hatchery”- my own dragon-themed creation

Direwolf-dedicated Kidney Bean Pies with Peas & Onions (thank you Jon & Sansa for the food references in episode 4!)

Direwolf-dedicated Kidney Bean Pies with Peas & Onions (thank you Jon & Sansa for the food references in episode 4!)

Houses and House Words was the challenge for week 5, and the foodie creations for the GoT houses we love (and love to hate) did not disappoint.

Giving love to House Targaryen, we had @nutriholist (welcome to the party!) & her gorgeous “Fire & Land” smoothie bowl, @the_artful_foodie with mouthwatering dahl-stuffed tomatoes, @balancedlivingbyjj with refreshing blood orange & dragon fruit (I see what you did there!) smoothie, @applefalltree with ace kale, bean, turmeric tofu tacos and fab FoT first-timer @vivacious_eats with stunning cacao oats & compote.

For House Tyrell, we had @gingeredwhisk‘s beautiful rose-shaped apple tartlets, another first submission. Representing House Tully with patriotic red, white & blue berry parfait we had @fabulouslymadeup. Remembering House Stark, were @thehealthyfoodheaven with an awesome ice blue chia parfait, @foodelight16 with delicious matcha oats & @vie_fondue with an amazing spiced tapioca weirwood pudding. Backing mysterious House Reed was @myvitalingredients with amazing cranberry snack balls.

And, in apt GoT-style, we had a curveball submission for House Bolton (eek!) by @my_abundant_plate; a scrummy cherry sauce-drizzled pancake stack.

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Vegan Cheese Board with Mushroom Paté, dedicated to house Stark and presented on my customised Dust and Things cheese slate

Vegan Cheese Board with Mushroom Paté, dedicated to house Stark and presented on my customised Dust and Things cheese slate

From lilac & vanilla salt, to deliciously decadent chocolate quinoa cake, watermelon pizza, cocktails, porridges, rainbow rolls & dumplings, the Food of Thrones week 7 dedications to the Landscapes of Ice & Fire made up an utterly delicious spread!

For the North, we had FoT first-timer@birdseedtweet‘s stunning Sprouted Quinoa Chocolate Cake with Cherry Coconut Tofu “Cream”@nudefoodies‘ beautiful warming winter porridge and @vie_fondue‘s momos (Nepalese dumplings) in hot sauce
Sending much-needed love to Dorne, we had @erin_dreamingofalmonds with what might be my idea of a “dream hummus” (added turmeric = next level, I am sure you’ll agree), the most moreish spiced “golden” cake by amazing @my_abundant_plate and “A Dornish Feast of Mediterranean Eggplants & Exotic Parfaits” by legendary GoT fan and fantasy food creator, @ros13, who never fails to deliver.

The Reach was honoured with @thehealthyfoodheaven‘s lilac-infused salt, @fabulouslymadeup‘s delish Apple Pie Oatmeal and @elavegan‘s adorable watermelon pizza. In honor of The Vale, we had @gingeredwhisk‘s clever raspberry-infused take on mulled wine & @myvitalingredients‘ green goodness smoothie bowl. And mysterious Yi Ti received a beautiful rainbow rice paper roll dedication from @theradiantkitchen.

For the record, @nourishmemum & @birdseedtweet are intrigued by the show, but have never actually watched GoT. So let it be known; I do not discriminate or favour the hardcore fans.😉

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Green Matcha Muesli, inspired by the greenness of The Reach (thanks Sam & Gilly for the inspiration!)

Green Matcha Muesli, inspired by the greenness of The Reach (thanks Sam & Gilly for the inspiration!)

Red Pesto Pasta; a tribute to Braavos

Red Pesto Pasta; a tribute to Braavos

The FoT theme for week 7 was Triumphs & Tragedies; the scenes that have moved us. Plenty to draw inspiration from there, I am sure show-watchers will agree! Stay tuned for the week 7 recap and if you too are interested in participating in the virtual feast, there are 3 more episodes (and therefore 3 more rounds) to go. Find me on Instagram for more details or search the hashtag #FoodofThrones2016 to see what participants are getting up to. And, as I mentioned in my last Food of Thrones post,  information is forthcoming as to how this collaborative creative experiment will transform into something that gives back… in more ways than one!

CHUNKY MONKEY BANANA BREAD GRANOLA by I Quit Sugar (+ a Healthy Breakfast Cookbook review from a veggie perspective)

Prior to Oliver’s arrival, I was given a copy of the Healthy Breakfast Cookbook by I Quit Sugar and had the opportunity to test some of the recipes (and do a little make-ahead meal prepping too before I headed for the maternity ward!).

With the next round of the 8-Week Program about to kick off (registrations close in just a few hours!), there are some new IQSers exploring the realms of sugar-free life already, with a view to making the process a little gentler. So for those people, and for breakfast lovers in general, I thought I’d share a general impression plus a couple of favourites from this beautifully presented eCookbook… and probably my favourite recipe from it too; the Chunky-Monkey Banana Bread Granola.

Firstly, veggie friends should note that around 60% of the recipes in the Healthy Breakfast Cookbook are for you! YAY! And a portion of those are modifiable, as in possible to make dairy/egg-free if that meets your dietary requirements.

The Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Cake is unsurprisingly yummy. Definitely warming and satisfying, but not overly dense or sweet; think something along the lines of a nuttier, less banana-y banana bread in brownie form, if that makes sense! Easy to scoop directly from the baking dish onto your plate or, if you are a fan of food prep, do as I do and slice it before freezing for easy ready-made individual breakfast-sized portions. I used hazelnuts to top mine as I was out of pecans and although it was great, pecans (as per the original recipe) would be even better.

MissMarzipan_IQS_pumpkinpie_breakfast_cake

The Chunky Summer Salsa on Toast is fabulous. A fresh and light alternative to heavier cheesy toasties, the creaminess of avocado, the freshness of herbs (I used parsley and basil instead of dill) and the crunch of radish & cucumber is a winning combination!

MissMarzipan_Iquitsugarbreakfast_cookbook_chunkysummersalsatoast

And back to the Chunky-Monkey Banana Bread Granola. As is the case with conventional granola, it’s the added sugar/sweetener that forms the yummy clusters. Cleverly, this recipe uses almond butter and bananas to create a similar effect, as well as combining the natural deliciousness of both ingredients to provide lasting energy (as opposed to a sugar rush).

There is a problem, however. You may find that a fair portion ends up being eaten as a snack before it even hits your breakfast bowl!*

See affiliate banners below to check out the  I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program (yes, I can vouch for it after having done it several times myself!:) ) or the Healthy Breakfast Cookbook yourself, and if you’re interested in knowing my own personal sugar-quitting story, see my detailed posts on the subject (there are lots of them, but here is a link to one from 2014: I QUIT SUGAR… AGAIN! (IQS 8-Week Program, weeks 3 – 8 in review)).

Happy breakfasting!:)

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_IQS_chunkymokey_granola

CHUNKY MONKEY BANANA BREAD GRANOLA

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS
250 ml rolled oats
250 ml pecans
250 ml buckwheat groaties
250 ml walnuts
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp of salt
Around 60 ml almond butter
1 large ripe banana, mashed (about 125 ml)
Around 60 ml coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix all ingredients until everything is nicely coated.
  3. Scoop onto the prepared baking tray and roughly flatten out. You still want to leave a few large chunky pieces.
  4. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, turning halfway. Once nicely browned,
    remove granola from the oven and allow to cook completely, this will make your clusters hold together better.

 

*True story!

*Recipe shared with kind permission from I Quit Sugar. Some tiny adjustments to the text have been made in line with how recipes are structured here at missmarzipan.com (using metric measurements).

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WORLD’S EASIEST 3-INGREDIENT PLANT-BASED CAESAR DRESSING

As it says on the proverbial tin, I do believe this is the easiest alternative to a Caesar dressing you will find. I posted it on Instagram a long time ago, but pointing people to a recipe on my blog is far more convenient than directing them to “look way back in my Instagram gallery somewhere…”.

And so, without further ado, here’s a creamy, wholesome dressing that’s totally delish, contains no unusual ingredients, and takes just seconds to make.

Not unlike this recipe, this post is short and sweet… but I’ll be back soon with a new recipe and another Food of Thrones recap.

In the meantime, happy weekend!

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_vegan_caesar_dressing

WORLD’S EASIEST 3-INGREDIENT PLANT-BASED
CAESAR DRESSING

INGREDIENTS
6 pitted olives (I used kalamata)
2 heaped tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
At least 3 tbsp of water, but more if needed to achieve desired consistency

DIRECTIONS
Pop all dressing ingredients into a small blender and blitz until smooth, adding more water/lemon juice to taste and to reach desired consistency

 

*I first created this recipe as a plant-based alternative with which to dress my BBQ Tofu + Kale Caesar Salad during the second to last round of the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program

 

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CREAMY VEGAN MUSHROOM PASTA (& happy belated Food Revolution Day 2016)

In celebration of Food Revolution Day 2016, I decided to revisit my favourite plant-based mushroom pasta. Topped with extra portobello mushroom slices and the most delicious herbed zesty bread crumbs, this is one creamy pasta dish that does not miss the usual dairy suspects. A few months back, inspired by the mushroom fettuccine at Jamie’s Italian (my go-to dish there), I created my own super-easy 100% plant-based mushroom pasta. Though I had no access to the original recipe upon which to base this one, I’m rather chuffed with my humble version (and I do hope that Jamie Oliver would not think me a traitor to the pasta cause by making something untraditional!).

Food Revolution Day was a subdued and thoroughly domestic occasion for us this year. At Marzipan HQ we celebrated by compotting (is that a word?) rhubarb, baking together and following Mississippi Vegan & Christine Wong‘s takeovers of Feedfeed‘s Snapchat account.

Things have been rather busy since then, with our first family holiday as a party of 5 (well, 7 including my parents) happening early this week. It was wonderful. And, to be honest, despite my deep gratitude for all that I have in my life, right now I am longing for more quieter, simpler disconnected-from-social-media days.

Recently I have been reflecting upon my early days here in the blogosphere (with around 7 followers), comparing it to my life on social media today. It’s akin to comparing a horse and carriage ride with a Formula One race. Things were much quieter before. I didn’t feel guilty if I didn’t post. I had time to leisurely browse other people’s posts, respond to every comment, and make comments myself. I was completely anonymous, didn’t self-promote and lacked a degree of self-consciousness as a result. Of course there is something rewarding about having your “work” viewed and acknowledged by others. But there’s also something truly lovely and liberating about creating merely for the sake of it (why I started this blog in the first place).

Yesterday my mum suggested to me that I try to create a schedule so that I don’t overdo the recipe creating/sharing thing to the point where it becomes a full-time + overtime job on top of all my other commitments (I am, after all, supposed to be on maternity leave). My children are very accommodating and genuinely enjoy cooking with me (&/or eating what I make) and my husband is endlessly supportive of any of my pursuits, be they personal or professional. But something has to give. There needs to be time in my day for me… time to simply breathe… and be.

I also have a huge backlog of as yet un-posted recipes which I am keen to get to sharing here with you.

And so, on that note, here is one of them!

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_creamy_vegan_mushroom_pasta

CREAMY VEGAN MUSHROOM PASTA

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS FOR PASTA 
Olive oil (approx. 2 tbsp)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 portobello mushrooms; 2 chopped, 1 sliced & sautéed (set the sliced, sautéed one to the side)
100 ml white cooking wine
250 ml Oatly iMat
A handful of chopped fresh parsley
200 g pasta of choice, cooked
3 tbsp pine nuts
Generous to-taste seasoning (salt & freshly ground black pepper)

DIRECTIONS FOR PASTA

  1. Add a splash of olive oil to your frying pan. Fry the onion and garlic until they are soft and turning translucent.
  2. Add the chopped mushrooms, frying until softened. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the cooking wine. Allow the alcohol to evaporate and cook until liquid volume is reduced by half.
  4. Add the Oatly iMat (or equivalent amount of vegan cooking cream of choice). Allow sauce to simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  5. Add cooked pasta of choice to the pan, tossing to coat with sauce. Add the parsley. Serve pasta immediately, garnished with the sliced sautéed mushroom, a generous amount of the zesty herbed bread crumbs and vegan parmesan if you wish.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR HERBED ZESTY BREAD CRUMBS
1 thick slice of sourdough bread
1/4 finely chopped, deseeded red chilli
A handful of chopped fresh parsley
The zest of a medium-sized lemon, finely grated
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts

DIRECTIONS FOR HERBED ZESTY BREAD CRUMBS

  1. Blitz sourdough in a food processor until you have a rough crumb.
  2. Add chilli, parsley and lemon zest and blitz for a second or two to combine.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, fry the crumb mix in the olive oil.
  4. When golden and toasty, tip crumbs into a bowl and combine with the pine nuts.

 

*The bread crumbs & mushroom sauce can be made ahead then rewarmed, and the mushroom slices can be pan sautéed just before serving.

SUPER GREEN MATCHA MYLKSHAKE (+ a Food of Thrones Weeks 2 & 3 recap)

As those of you who read my previous post or follow my Instagram account know, the Game of Thrones-inspired creative food challenge known as #FoodofThrones2016 continues. And with it have come the inspired creations of connections new and old/far and wide.

Instead of begrudging the week that stretches between episodes, I now genuinely look forward to seeing what others will come up with. And, of course, I love creating around the themes myself. I have made so many new recipes over the past few weeks that endeavoring to share them all at once would be a chore, so I am taking an “easy does it” approach. And with that, here is a super easy recipe that doubles as a perfect pick-me-up.

Frosty and fortified with matcha and superfoods, it’s the perfect treat to get you through an afternoon slump. And, in the spirit of GoT, its alternate recipe name is “Wildfire on Ice”.😉

Read on for both the recipe and a Food of Thrones recap for both week 2 and week 3. And please note that there may be some spoilers in amongst the clickable links for those who haven’t fully caught up with the show.

 

MissMarzipan_supergreen_matcha_mylkshake

SUPER GREEN MATCHA MYLKSHAKE

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS
375 ml almond/oat milk
4 tsp rice malt/maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp matcha powder (I used Matcha Maiden)
1/2 tsp green superfood/protein powder (I used Your Superfoods Super Green)
2 small trays of ice cubes (approx. 500 ml)

Whipped coconut cream for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz until ice is crushed. Pour and serve.

MissMarzipan_supergreen_matcha_mylkshake2

 

FOOD OF THRONES RECAP

WEEKS 2 & 3

As I explained in my last post, for each week of this Game of Thrones season, I’m setting a themed food challenge. The theme for week 1 was Lannister. There were some fabulous submissions, from pancakes to puddings, all inspired by one of the most emotionally polarizing houses of Westeros! Speaking of puddings, if you missed the stunning Ombre Chia Pudding feature recipe by The Artful Foodie, you can get it here!

During week 2 the theme was magic, and the participants not only increased in number, but outdid themselves in terms of creative thought and execution of their ideas.

@ros13 created possibly one of the most inventive and amazing looking desserts I have seen this year (I kid you not), White Walkers Parfait, inspired by White Walkers and events documented in The World of Ice and Fire. In her own words “…the emergence of the Others inflicted a night that lasted a generation and a Winter that lasted decades”. If that, in conjunction with her creation, doesn’t spark your imagination, I don’t know what will! @foodbymars made a gorgeous Kalamata Olive Tapenade and dedicated it to Jon Snow “… and the lost souls of Castle Black”, in the hopes that magic would provide a means to his resurrection. Fabulous vegan brownies by @perezeats served as a tribute to Khal Drogo and his Khaleesi (a victim of blood magic, but a wielder of magic of a different kind). @foodelight16 created two great magic-themed dishes; Banana Berry Layered Pancakes (dedicated to the Mother of Dragons) and a Mixed Berry Chia Banana Ice-Cream bowl.

The first alcoholic submission, a cocktail named “Mhysas Ruin” by @applefalltree, was inspired by the dark magic of the warlock Pyatt Pree. @ichabeld made an impressively magical sweet French toast stack, whilst @my_abundant_plate made a savoury breakfast option of turmeric eggs with “wildfire puree”. @ritaserano, @edgarraw and @smoothie_swan crafted some of the most stunning chia pudding creations I’ve seen. @healthyeating_jo was back with her stunning Roasted Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Pancake Stack. @nathaliesader was similarly in a pancake stack mood and, despite never having seen an episode of GoT, she found inspiration from GoT-related online quiz! @erin_dreamingofalmonds returned with a gorgeous Rosy Chocolate Porridge, a tribute to the magical art of glamouring. @maaikesmunchies created a delicious ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ smoothie bowl and @myvitalingredients made a truly unique and throughly GoT-inspired creation of paste of weirwood seeds (as was offered to Bran by Leaf to “…awaken your gifts and wed you to the trees”).

Blueberry Infused Water, Supergreen Matcha Mylkshake, Raspberry + Cranberry Mocktail, Cucumber + Ginger Detox Water
– a selection of rejuvenating elixirs otherwise entitled “Melisadre’s Dressing Table”

 

Redemption was the challenge for week 3, and with this potentially abstract theme to tackle, participants had to dial up the conceptual creativity a notch.

Has anyone created a flaming chia pudding before? Well, as a result of this challenge @thehealthyfoodheaven now has; an amazing creation inspired by the power of Melisadre (who some would say has redeemed herself now)! @edgarraw created his first avocado rose (hard to believe considering how beautiful it is) to top his vegan burger redemption-themed creation. Poor @ros13 went to extra effort, making a whole new gorgeous submission after the first was inadvertently destroyed in a photo shoot mishap. Brave @bodybewell submitted her contribution with nothing more than the first episodes of season 1 to draw her inspiration from. The first crowns of the FoT challenge made their appearance thanks to the efforts of @littlebitesofbeauty & @plantfuelledchaos. @marcritz had a cheeky bonus last-minute inclusion (flattery will get you everywhere😉 ) with his gorgeous acai bowl.

The walls of Winterfell constructed from delicious chocolate granola bars, anyone? @foodelight16‘s got you covered! The crannogmen received their first mention and tribute in the form of @maaikesmunchies‘ smoothie bowl swamp complete with lizard lion. @applefalltree made a truly tempting savoury creation of charred cauliflower steak with mushroom fried rice and wild rosemary gravy. @mammaindia produced two stunning smoothie creations; one for Jon Snow and one for Melisandre (no prizes for guessing which belongs to who!😉 ). @my_abundant_plate forgave Melisandre her trespasses and created delicious looking Raspberry & Rosewater Jelly Bites in her honour, while @myvitalingredients made a hearty stew perfect for warming three characters currently pursuing their own redemptive arcs in the North; Brienne, Theon & Sansa.

Quinoa Nori Slice; a tribute to Theon

My dedication to the unloved underdogs of Westeros; Mocha Mylkshakes

The FoT theme for week 4 is one I am particularly excited about; Creatures of Ice & Fire. From Ser Pounce of The Red Keep, to the dragons of Valyria, to the direwolves of the North, animals play a significant role in the various plot lines of ASOIAF. There’s plenty to draw inspiration from with this week’s theme.

If you are interested in participating in the virtual feast, find me on Instagram for more details or search the hashtag #FoodofThrones2016 to see what participants are getting up to. And stay tuned for information about how this collaborative creative experiment will transform into something that gives back… in more ways than one!

❤ MM xx

TURMERIC FUDGE + BONUS OMBRE CHIA PUDDING BY THE ARTFUL FOODIE (& Food of Thrones 2016 update)

As those of you who read my previous post or follow my Instagram account will be aware, I have unleashed my inner Game of Thrones-loving nerd and started a creative food challenge (known as #FoodofThrones2016). What began as a totally spontaneous and, dare I say it, self-indulgent exercise (in basically just letting my imagination roam free to create food around a fantasy theme), has become a fun means of sharing & collaborating with others. I joked from the start that it could be like participating in the creation of a virtual Westerosi feast (sans anything gruesome happening!), and indeed it has felt like that in some way; a celebration of both creativity and community. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating food based on whimsy rather than trend, and I have been told by others that they have found the process fun too.

For each week of this Game of Thrones season, I’ll be setting a theme. The theme for week 1 was “Lannister“. This week’s theme is “magic” (spookily apt if you happened to see episode 2!). Before you read on, please note that there may be spoilers if you click on some of the Game of Thrones reference links in this post!

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The contributions to the week 1 Food of Thrones challenge were fabulous. In amongst them were dedications to King’s Landing (where the Lannisters currently hold sway… well, sort of) pie references, The Purple Wedding and even The Mountain; all very creative and surprising sources of inspiration! Among the first of the contributions to the Lannister-themed challenge, if not the first, was a stunning Ombre Chia Pudding. And, as a result of the week 1 challenge bonus, I am thrilled to share the first guest recipe ever posted here, created by talented Emma, otherwise known as The Artful Foodie. Please read on for that beautiful and delicious recipe, inspired by a not-so-beautiful event!

But first, I’d love to share with you a creation made here at Marzipan HQ by myself and 3-year-old Lillian (who some of you may know as Cupcake); a delicious and super-easy-to-make turmeric fudge. I am sure most of you are well aware of the health benefits of turmeric, so I’ll spare you the details and get straight to the thing that Lillian cared most about; the taste. In her words, “It’s so yummy!”. I had a little creative fun with this too, turning a flattened piece of fudge into a House Lannister sigil, made to sit proudly atop a raw chocolate tart (dubbed the “Hear me raw” Lannister Pie) that was the amalgamation of a couple of slightly tweaked recipes by two fabulous foodie friends of mine; Audrey (of Unconventional Baker fame) and Bettina (of Bettina’s Kitchen). If you’d like to attempt making your own “golden” Lannister lion sigil, click on this link to download a traceable template. Otherwise, feel free to create a much simpler (and decidedly less nerdy) version, as per the directions below. And for more healthy food inspiration, please pay Emma a visit over at The Artful Foodie :)

❤ MM xx

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TURMERIC FUDGE

INGREDIENTS
120 ml unsalted almond butter or tahini
4 tbsp rice malt/maple syrup
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tsp vanilla extract
400 ml ground quinoa oats

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a small baking pan with baking paper.
  2. If you want to keep your fudge technically “raw”, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature and stir them in a mixing bowl to combine (you could also use a food processor). Otherwise you can gently warm the wet ingredients in a medium pan over low heat to bring them together before adding the quinoa oats and turmeric, stirring well to combine.
  3. Pop the fudge mixture into the lined baking tray. Use a spatula or the back of a large spoon to flatten the mixture. Try to create a smooth surface & even thickness.
  4. It shouldn’t take long for the fudge to firm when chilled. To do it quickly, place it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Remove fudge from tray, cut as you like into squares, bars or candy-sized pieces.

 

*Use tahini or other seed butter in the case of nut issues. It’s delicious too, I promise!
**To make my “Lannister Lion sigil” (pictured below), I made a half portion of this fudge and flattened it out to approximately 3mm in thickness. After popping the tray in the freezer for a couple of minutes for the fudge to set to a “bark”, I used the template attached here, transferred onto baking paper, to cut around using a sharp, small knife.

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OMBRE CHIA PUDDING

A beautiful homage to the not-so-beautiful Purple Wedding of Game of Thrones
By Emma, The Artful Foodie

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INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp gf oats
250 ml oat milk/milk of choice
125 ml of yogurt of choice
125 ml of coconut cream
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice malt or maple syrup

BOTTOM LAYER
A handful of blueberries
1 tbsp acai powder

MIDDLE LAYER
1 tbsp raspberry powder  (or 125 ml of crushed raspberries)
1 tsp beetroot powder (optional)

TOP LAYER
1 tsp Forever Beautiful powder by Your Superfoods (optional)

TO DECORATE
Berries of choice plus edible flowers such as violas

DIRECTIONS

  1. Firstly, pop a can of coconut milk in the fridge upside-down over night. The next day open from the top and drain away the liquid. Scoop out the thick coconut cream that should remain and whip, add a little vanilla bean paste as you go. Set aside. (Add a little sweetener to taste if you wish)
  2. Add chia and oats into a bowl and add the milk, whisk briskly for a minute and then stir continuously until it starts to thicken (this prevents clumping) then allow to sit overnight or at least an hour in the fridge.
  3. Take it out and add the sweetener and yogurt (add yogurt a little at a time to prevent it becoming too liquid) and then separate equally into 3 smaller bowls.
  4. Add the acai and blueberries to the first bowl and mix well, mashing the berries as you go, then add to the bottom of your jar.
  5. Add the raspberries or powders to the second bowl and mix well, pour over the first layer.
  6. Then add the powder to the last bowl and add to the jar.
  7. Top with the coconut cream, berries and flowers (optional)… Enjoy!

 

Many thanks to @healthyeating_jo, @foodbymars, @rachels.fit.kitchen, @plantfuelledchaos, @maaikesmunchies, @the_golden_hour_ and @ros13 for their fabulous contributions to the Food of Thrones Lannister-themed challenge!

COCONUT CREAM FRUSHI (wholesome sweet “sushi” with fresh fruit)

I know it’s unusual and certainly far from traditional, but trust me, this frushi (or “fruit sushi”) really tastes delish! And I’m not usually a fan of “deceptive” foods (that is to say, something that looks like something it’s not), but in the case of frushi, I believe I can allow myself to be somewhat playful.

If you’re on the search for a different dessert idea, something that looks and tastes lovely, is light on sugar and inspired by fun, you may well enjoy this as much as my family does.

Right now I am in the process of creating some Game of Thrones-inspired (yet plant-based & decidedly not medieval) dishes in the lead up to the season 6 premiere this coming Sunday, and this frushi was one of my recent efforts. In time I hope to post all the recipes here (they’ve been some of my favourites thus far!), but in the meantime if you’d like to see more and grab a few recipes in advance, feel free to visit my Instagram gallery… or explore the hashtag #FoodofThrones2016 where you’ll see creations by some of my friends too.

Do any of you watch Game of Thrones? If so, is there are particular storyline or character you are looking forward to becoming reacquainted with?

(Personally, I am excited to see what happens with Sansa and Theon😀 )

❤ MM xx
MissMarzipan_fruit_sushi_frushi1

COCONUT CREAM FRUSHI WITH FRESH FRUIT

Makes 18-20 pieces

INGREDIENTS
310 ml water
250 ml raw sushi rice
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
100 ml coconut milk/cream
A selection of fruits to serve (a little goes a long way)

TO SERVE (optional)
1-2 tbsp coconut cream
1/2 tsp matcha powder (I used Matcha Maiden)
50 g dark chocolate, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water and rice to the boil. Cover saucepan with lid and reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow rice to simmer for 15 minutes or until water is almost absorbed.
  2. Remove saucepan from heat and leave rice to stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove lid and add 100 ml coconut milk/cream plus the rice malt syrup. Stir gently to combine well and replace saucepan lid. Leave rice in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  4. When ready to create your frushi, scoop heaped tablespoonfuls of the rice mixture out of the pan and shape into oval or circular shapes with your hands. Arrange on a baking paper-lined tray while you prepare your fruit toppings.
  5. Thinly slice orange segments, strawberries, kiwi fruit or whatever takes your fancy. Note that to create one piece of strawberry frushi, you only need half a strawberry and to create kiwi frushi, you only require 1 thin slice of kiwi fruit. To create mango and strawberry “caviar”, finely dice a small amount of mango and strawberry and combine them.
  6. If you want to create chocolate dipped frushi, coat the sides of some pieces with melted dark chocolate, then set these pieces by placing them on a baking paper lined plate in the freezer for a few minutes.
  7. Arrange cut fruit on top of your “sushi” rice shapes.
  8. Serve your frushi with matcha coconut cream (simply mix the two together and add a small dollop to your serving plate) and melted chocolate “sauce”, if you like.

MissMarzipan_fruit_sushi_frushi2

*Recipe modified from Matt Miller’s for Cooking Light

“SNICKERS” BAKED QUINOA PORRIDGE

Peanutty, chocolaty, gooey, comforting, surprisingly healthy (if that matters to you), arguably-better-than-Snickers breakfast deliciousness! This recipe was the result of serious pregnancy cravings for chocolate/peanuts/oats, combined with a need to use up some quinoa flakes. Don’t you just love a craving-meets-food-waste-fix combo?

A perfect weekend breakfast treat for two, if you feel like sharing with someone special… or you can indulge a little yourself (on both Saturday and Sunday😉 ).

❤ MM xx

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“SNICKERS” BAKED QUINOA PORRIDGE

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS
100 ml quinoa flakes
150 ml oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp cacao
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tbsp peanuts (can be salted)
150 ml (1 small-medium) ripe banana, mashed
200 ml almond milk
1-2 tbsp peanut butter (I used Fitnessguru)
1 -2 tbsp maple syrup/rice malt syrup (optional)
1 peanut butter Squarebar (or chocolate/peanut protein bar of choice), chopped
Slices of banana to top the porridge (optional)
1-2 tsp melted coconut oil for greasing dish and brushing banana slices (if using extra banana)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (fan) and lightly grease 2 ramekins or one small pie dish with a little melted coconut oil.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix oats, quinoa flakes, spices, baking powder and half the peanuts (chopped if you prefer).
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine well.
  4. Add half of the Squarebar chunks to the mix. Spoon the porridge mix into dish/ramekins.
  5. Top porridge with remaining Squarebar pieces and banana slices brushed with coconut oil if you like.
  6. Bake porridge in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Let cool for around 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with remaining peanuts and serve doused with almond milk or topped with coconut whipped cream/yogurt and raw chocolate sauce, if you like.

 

*If you don’t have quinoa flakes on hand, substitute them for more oats of an equal amount.

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ÖVERJÄRVA GÅRD (a rural oasis close to Stockholm)

After receiving numerous requests for “local tips”, I have decided that this will be the first of a series of posts (which I’ll compile in list form on a new page) about some of my favourite places in and around Stockholm, complete with links and information that may be of use to visitors, to those with children and/or specific dietary requirements.

In Sweden, the term smultronställe (literally meaning “wild strawberry patch”), refers to a favourite location/hidden gem. This is one of mine… and I hope to share more soon!

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_overjarva_gard

Described on its website as being a “rural oasis in the middle of town”, Överjärva Gård is a repurposed former dairy farm that now comprises a café, farm shops and a nature school for children, all in a traditional Swedish farm setting. The farm offers visitors an opportunity to experience a taste of country life less than a half hour commute (+ stroll) from Stockholm’s Central Station.

Housed in one of the traditional farm buildings, Överjärva Gårdscafé is rather charming and boasts an extensive range of “fika” (morning/afternoon tea) options. Vegan friends will appreciate the addition of Oatly (oat-based milk) in the refrigerated milk cabinet and those with lactose or gluten intolerances will be pleased by the new range of house-baked sweet treats. Children’s favourites feature on the menu (pancakes with jam and cream, for example) as well as light lunch options, among which you should find at least one vegetarian option. Coffee, tea, ice creams and a small assortment of soft drinks and juices are available for purchase. Children will love the miniature farm reconstruction model and adults may appreciate the understated farm-house style interior decoration.

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Probably the biggest drawcard of the farm is the animals. Pony rides are available, it is possible on certain days to interact with the sheep (this is something my kids love and which I highly recommend) and the annual “Bee Day” is a very popular event, where families can try their hand at bee keeping (suits are provided) and little ones can learn about bee life & honey.

MissMarzipan_overjarva_gard_sheep

MissMarzipan_overjarva_gard_horse

A visit to Överjärva Gård is a perfect way to spend a quiet afternoon. Its proximity to the city and its modest size make it an easy, time-effective and relaxed option for families with little ones.

THE DETAILS

  • Opening hours: check www.overjarvagard.se for the latest updates
  • Entrance fee: none
  • Family info: a very child-friendly environment, suitable for all ages
  • Animal life: sheep/lambs, chickens, horses, ponies, bees
  • Food: Överjärva Gårdscafé offers plenty of fika options, some of which are gluten/lactose-free, and a small selection of seasonal light meals including vegetarian options, some of which can be made vegan upon request.
  • Activities: eating, shopping, seeing/interacting with the animals, pony rides, exploring, nature walks, educational activities and celebrations (see special events).
  • Shopping: Överjärva Antik offers an authentic, rustic antique shopping experience- worthy of a bit of a browse. Fårens Hantverksbod offers locally made handicrafts, many produced with wool from Överjärva Gård’s sheep.
  • Special events: for children’s activities, seasonal celebrations and special farm days (such as “Bee Day” and midsummer celebrations), check the website for the latest updates (www.overjarvagard.se). Courses in planting, ceramics, etc., are offered in Växthuset (the greenhouse) on occasion. For details, see Uterummet. There is a nature school and a museum that can be open to the public on designated special farm days.
  • Getting there by public transport: By commuter train it takes twelve minutes from Central Station to Ulriksdal Station. The walk along Överjärva Gårdsväg takes about fifteen minutes. Take the commuter train or bus 502, 505, 509 or 540 to Ulriksdals Station. Follow the walkway to the right of the Hemköp (supermarket) and walk along the railway line until you reach the railway viaduct. Go under the viaduct then continue along Överjärva Gårdsväg, past the golf course, to Överjärva Gård. Orange sign posts show the way.
  • Getting there by car: Drive along the E4 in the direction of Järva Krog, then turn onto the E18 towards Oslo. Drive to Bagartorpsringen and follow the orange signs. Drive under the railway viaduct. Continue along Överjärva Gårdsväg, past the golf course, to Överjärva Gård.

 

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