2015/02/22

SWEET POTATO KALE MUFFINS


What an intense year it has been so far? Hasn't it? Energies floating around and bringing things into perspective. Sometimes you can really feel that a shift is coming, first its slow and quiet but then one day it can be loud and overwhelming. Through a dream or a big sign, knocking at your door ' hello I am here, now go flow and create/learn/do/make/change things!' Ever since I am back I have experienced a lot of those moments, small & big and it blows me away everytime. 
Grabbing opportunities and ideas and making them to reality is huge and intense! A whole new world can open up, if you take the leap. I could feel it over the past few months which had some exhausting and difficult transition phases. But once you pull through it ( being given that it is also winter...duh) you have all that energy and creativity wanting to be adressed and expressed! Not to lie, I had something good happening to me every single day in the last seven weeks of this year! taking me further with new directions and awareness! Counting little & big blessings along the way. 
A powerful new moon action going on here for sure! 

To put it into other words, heartybite will become a real website with posts in both english and german, much more to explore and see, I have secret projects that are soon to be revealed that include raw vegan delicacies, there are workshops in the making & promising collaborations! Thats the sum up, of course there is SO much more going on, like teaching yoga classes ( which is huge on its own! & so much fun)...

I am so grateful for the difficult transition season last year, and being two months away had boosted change and shifting 10 times! So of course I had to dedicate this post to 
a.) a person I miss, without I would not have grown the way and amount I did and 
b.) to a delicacy I miss and connect to the experience ( ...we ate and spoke about A LOT)! 
A luscious sweet potato muffin! 
Mmh, oh the memories are too good. What do you remember and miss the most after a vacation? The smells, tastes, the feeling of freedom & happiness, hugs & new friends! So it is only a logical thing to try to relive as much of it as you can through making something that smells and tastes just like that. Plus you can sometimes really relive the feelings you had! It can be that magical. And since I am still not able to beam me over the atlantic, or beam my dearest soul friend over here, I have to find peace and make the best of it with those muffins! (... not that hard, to be honest) Because they are something else! 
Speaking of which, onto the recipe. These little muffins are a very delicious breakfast or snack! They are rich, luscious and dense with a sweet and hearty flavour, which really satisfies. They have a slight marzipan taste to them through the almonds, there is pureed sweet potato and the kale pieces on that muffin top are crunchy! 
Did anyone notice the beautiful colour? 
Plus the fact that they come as a comfort food with a load of nutrients? 
Get into the kitchen now ( ok, or after you are done reading).

The health benefits of sweet potato are numerous ( & lets not forget the superpowers of kale!) And I have already spoken about some properties, confessed my love and whatnot in this post BUT they are just too good to be true!
Be sure to add the sweetest of them all to your meals throughout the year! Compared, they are one of the most nutritious vegetables around, got way more vitamin C, fiber ( improving blood sugar regulation) and more of the key antioxidant Vitamin A ( beta-carotene, the color intensity of the sweet potato's orange flesh is directly correlated to its beta-carotene content) than a regular potato!
In ayurveda it is recommended to eat warm, heavy, sweet and oily foods in the vata season that is fall and winter. Since you want to balance out the cold and dryness in that time, you may have noticed that you naturally crave hot & heavy grounding and warming soups, enjoyed on the couch. It is exactly that what you need. Sweet potatos are very good during vata season since they are an ideal digestive food, soothing for the stomach -  and I ate consciously more of them than I ever did before. Vata season is pretty dominant and does need very much attention. Practice sacred eating and mindfulness, introspection and pamper yourself. Yummy food (especially sweet potatos) in hearty or sweet dishes make the dark times more bearable.

a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata. - See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/healthy-eating-habits/warm-foods-balance-vata.html#sthash.1114AAsr.dp
a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata. - See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/healthy-eating-habits/warm-foods-balance-vata.html#sthash.1114AAsr.dpuf
a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata. - See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/healthy-eating-habits/warm-foods-balance-vata.html#sthash.1114AAsr.dpuf
a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata. - See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/healthy-eating-habits/warm-foods-balance-vata.html#sthash.1114AAsr.d
a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata. - See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/healthy-eating-habits/warm-foods-balance-vata.html#sthash.1114AAsr.dpu
a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata. - See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/healthy-eating-habits/warm-foods-balance-vata.html#sthash.1114AAsr.dpuf


I knew that there are a few human beings on this planet, that are connected to you on a deep soul level - to actually be that lucky and meet one was just beyond what I had ever imagined!
You only feel and know it when you stand infront of each other! And I am realising now, it is really not easy to put into right words.
Like I said the muffins are something else, my encounter with my dear friend from brooklyn was something else too! Only thinking about it makes me smile and shiver at the same time. The whole trip would not have been this crazy wonderful rollercoaster without you! 
Sometimes it can be scary to share such raw and honest words through the 'interspace' - but it can also act to manifest, express and share so so much! 
So to express my gratitude and share why luscious sweet potato muffins will always remember me of that one time my sister picked us up after yoga class with three muffins in her hand and we ate them while strolling around union square ( and after secretly thinking about them nonstop during class!).
We had many of these simple yet meaningful moments! 
'...we just looked and grinned at each other, hearts and bellies full of all that happened over the past months and was happening right at this moment. It all came together right there'
 
And I think the awareness about its meaning and how we felt made it all so intense and magical! Because we were aware of it in that exact moment! Sometimes you miss a period of time in your life, a person or a place, when you are already out of that moment, gone, away and after some time has passed. You don't know what you got until its gone! ( Janet got it right
But the thing with being aware and knowing what you have in the present moment, a dear friend, a conversation, your surroundings, your emotions, a smile or a taste is what it makes it all so darn amazing. And then you can be in a moment when you can not grasp its weight of power, because you feel and see, smell, taste so much and so intensively - and that can take you to a place where you realize and reflect faster. The time in new york was like that almost everyday, every minute. Powerful feelings and thoughts unlimited
Meeting such a person is a gift. It can take you somewhere. It brings you further. It makes me feel inspired, grateful, connected and loved!
I knew that it meant something on a level I could not really explain. Sometimes you don't have to!
J, you know who you are, this is for you, to forever float around in space, so that these words can reach you across the atlantic. To call you a friend means everything! All my love and muffins to you!
























SWEET POTATO KALE MUFFINS
makes 9 small, 6 big ones

1 large sweet potato
1 cup almond flour ( leftover almond milk pulp)
1 cup spelt flour
2 stalks kale
1 cup juice pulp ( carrot, apple, ginger etc)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp cacao butter
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 small orange, juiced ( optional)
1 tsp vanilla 
1 chai tea bag
a pinch of salt
one handful walnuts 

1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda

Directions
In a small pan, boil the sweet potato in water for about 10-15 minutes. Until it reaches a softness that you can easily mash with a fork. Strain and mash.
In a big bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, soda and salt. 
Melt the cacao butter and coconut oil in a bowl over the pot with the sweet potato.
In another bowl combine juice pulp, almond milk, maple syrup, butter and oil, chai tea, vanilla, juice of orange and add the mashed sweet potato. Mix this bowl with the dry ingredients. Add chopped kale and walnuts. Stir slowly only a few times. Fill the dough into a muffin form.
Bake at 175c / 350 F for 30 minutes.



................................................................................

To stay in the spirit of love and gratitude, this is my 100th post & I have reached 100.000 clicks. Wow!
Thank you, every single one of you!
Whisper some new moon intentions.
Make some muffins.
Hug a friend whose existence means a lot to you.

Sweet love,
Gina

2015/01/13

WINTER CABBAGE FRUIT SLAW









Hey folks, what about a little colour and brightness in this time of the year? All the grey and white, shivers and colds, wind and runny noses call for intense colorful food which bring a little light back into your life! Obviously bursting with colour and beauty, the flashy fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamines and minerals which also tend to make you happy and healthy. Who doesn't need a little extra of this? Increased happiness until spring will take over from that, so that the sun shines out of your face, maybe a citrus-y smile // attention, as it may be that your counterpart smiles back!

Vitamin C!
Nutritional powerhouse & cold fighter!
Yep, heard it a trizillion times yet it stays an important vitamin to not overlook. Especially when you are in a cold climate. Safeguarding us from colds and flus. 
And kumquats, which I used in this slaw are a vibrant addition for getting a dose of vitamin c as well as flavonoids, copper, potassium and iron. Taking care of iron levels prevents us from fatigue and depression. Don't be shy to eat the peel, it's all in the peel baby!
Grapefruits - I could not imagine a winter without them! Tart, tangy, juicy, excellent source of vitamin c and lycopene. A big glas of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice saves a day!
Also jam-packed with the C and other mood lifters is the pomegranate
Queen of antioxidants! Anti-inflammatory, helps with sore throats. Immune supporting and high in phosphorus, calcium, zinc and iron. Also magnesium - it plays a large role in the development of serotonin, which is a major contributor to feelings of happiness!
Savoy cabbage removes toxins due to its high content of vitamin c and sulphur. It is high in vitamin B6, essential for regulating brain function, which influences our emotions. A deficiency in B6 may cause anemia, depression and a weakened immune system. 


// Eat your cabbage and the vibrant coloured citrus fruits that are abundant in the winter for valid reasons!

























WINTER CABBAGE FRUIT SLAW
a tangy spark to green salads & grey winter skies
serves 2

1 small savoy cabbage
1/2 head of radicchio
1 grapefruit
a handful of kumquats
2 radishes
1 pomegranate, seeded
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp hemp seed oil
1 lemon, juiced
a pinch of each
sea salt, black pepper, cayenne, turmeric

Directions
Chop the cabbage and radicchio into thin long slices, throw them in a large bowl, add some salt and a few drops of lemon juice and massage with your hands for a few minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the pomegranate ( you can read a fun how-to here, without making a mess).
Peel the grapefruit and cut into thin slices, leave the skin on the kumquats and just slice as they are, as well as the radish. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing with the rest of the lemon juice and the other ingredients. Go easy on the cayenne! To serve, start with the greens, then the fruit, garnish with the pomegranate seeds and drizzle of the dressing on top! Enjoy the goodness!

























I am off to enjoy some screen free time with the rare sun & nature outside. Another habit (besides eating healthy) to prevent me from colds and feeling depressed. Movement and fresh air! Go outside, take a walk in the sun if possible, jump, smile, kiss somebody, breathe the longest and deepest breaths, come home, turn on your favourite song, dance around and eat this slaw! Pure medicine! 
You will most likely feel strength & so alive! Trust me on that, it will make you feel oh so good! Mood lifted by nature!
Why not make the best out of this month with all the energy of the new year?!


Tangy kiss & loads of happy vibes to you,
Gina

2015/01/02

PISTACHIO PEA PATE























What would life be without all the dips, pestos, sauces, dressings, butters & pates to spread and drizzle all over our beautiful food? Not the same, thats for sure! It can transform a simple meal in something interesting and special. I tend to overdo a newfound flavor a bit - but there are always new things to try out, mix together, experiment with. Another bonus is to incorporate healthy stuff in a pate or desired dressing. Maybe the leftover parsley that you had no idea how to finish otherwise, especially the greens and fresh/dried herbs can be used here. Good for you, the food you pair it with & your wallet. 
If you are not into the green ( juices, smoothies, salads) craze, start with a homemade green pesto or pate which richness and creaminess will totally seduce and meet your demands! 

I was after a creamy & nutty pate to spread on toasted bread. But later it made its way into veggie quinoa bowls, over pasta, in a wrap, rice rolls and the last bits landed over a spinach salad. Again, I like my creations to be versatile yet simple. It came true. Say goodbye to boring overused sauces and spreads! 
Let's begin this new year with something really delicious - green & healthy in disguise, shall we?

























PISTACHIO PEA PATE
wonderfully versatile for crackers, veggie sticks, on bread, in sandwiches, wraps, over pasta or salads 

2 cups cooked peas 
1 cup pistachios 
2 tbsp nutritional yeast 
1 tsp black pepper 
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp miso paste 
2 tsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup 
3 tbsp olive oil 
one handful fresh parsley
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp chili flakes

Directions
Toast the pistachios in a pan ( if bought untoasted). Cook peas in a little water, make sure to not overcook them.
Combine all ingredients except the water in a food processor ( or a bowl, if you use a hand blender) slowly add the water until it reaches a thick pate consistency. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Decorate with chopped pistachios, fresh pepper & chili flakes. Store in a glas jar in the fridge.


Spread some love & pate, 
HAPPY YUMMY NEW YEAR to you all! So grateful for this place and you who take the time to come here. It means a lot to me. Thank you for your support and everyone whom I met in the last year! Here's to more culinary adventures in 2015, feasts and health!

.:Gina  



Oh and by the way, you can find me in the new magazine ilikeblogs! A wonderful inspiring read for all diys, interesting bloggers, homemade stuff - now in real to hold in your hands and skim through with your afternoon tea. Thank you ilikeblogs!

2014/11/24

MISO RAMEN SOUP w/ SHIITAKE AND OYSTER MUSHROOMS

Guess what? I am back, packed with a loooot of memories, lessons learned, fullest heart & nourished with the most amazing and diverse food new york could offer! We had an incredible time connecting to the city, its people and exploring the streets & delicacies. But most of all we explored ourselves - a huge part of traveling, if not one of the most important ones. Being there you can be anyone you want to be, reinvent yourself new with every day, be at a new place every day and night. No day is like the other! Talk about stimulating? The mind, heart and tastebuds were on a constant rollercoaster ride! 

Fast forward to a sunday, one of those magical rollercoaster nights.
It has gotten a little cooler than the weekends before but sundays meant outdoor-dance -party, so that sunday end of october, again, we went dancing under the night sky. It was a meditative bike ride, a clear sky, dearest people, a fresh breeze which signalized the end of summer. And making it even more special, it was our second to last night plus the last of the 'mistersunday-party' event nights. So a feeling of 'good things coming to an end' and saying goodbye layed in the air. Big smiles, warm hugs and deep tunes followed and made our hearts burst with sadness, joy and gratitude. This night will be forever loved and cherished in which I felt connected to every single human dancing next to me - but more so, feeling connected and whole within myself. Movement, siiigghhh! Magical beyond words! 
And to top it off, we had to nourish our bodies with something warm & flavorful, like an embrace which comforts you after a brisk night ride. The party ended, the floor and our bodies were still vibrating with energy, the group spreaded. As I always say, unexpected events turn out to be the most changing and wonderful. Later we found our little group of people in the midst of an already closed (and propably overlooked at another occasion) small japanese restaurant. I caught myself thinking worrying - you would have never planned on going here for the last night in brooklyn, yet alone choosing a cuisine you have so little experience with. What if... My mind responded immediately. Wait a minute? Didn't the whole trip teach you one thing? That nothing can be planned? And with a still vibrating heart from feeling free and loved while reaching your hands into the sky one hour prior to standing here...you should realise that it is all meant to be and it may be possible to in fact get even better? 
Just allow it.
And I did. 

Obviously my crazy foodie mind speaking, yet it stopped me once again from worrying about nonsense and just allowing good things to come my way. This is how I have come across ramen soup and another little yet important life lesson and got wiser and happier with every single bite. 
We started with phenomenal roasted brussel sprouts which my dearest brooklyn friend and I had a thing for and ordered at every restaurant throughout the weeks. And of course every order prior to that was only preparing us for this delicious experience. Then the ramen soup came and blew my mind. How could I have not tried this before? Once again I was deeply in awe of traditional, fresh produce and natural cooking culture. I learned so much this night. We were present and truly enjoying, just like being on the dancefloor. Having the same present mindset behind your actions, can turn any small or big event into an unforgettable happy memory. 

One thing was the saying and experiencing of the phrase: 'put your fork down' as the soup was this good! Even though we did not actually had a fork in our hand, we just looked and grinned at each other, hearts and bellies full of all that happened over the past months and was happening right at this moment. It all came together right there. But more of that in another post. 
A magical miso ramen soup with a kapow! effect of flavour, mushrooms and sprouts & not to forget the noodles, of course the noodles!
I was hooked!
The smell of garlic, miso, ginger and herbs can send me off to bali in a minute if I want to or from now on it will beam me to a corner in brooklyn on a brisk fall day. Not a place one would expect to fall in love with yourself ( or an asian meal). But then again who can predict who you are in any given minute? As long as the heart says yes! ...you can be anywhere in the world and it will make sense! 



Sometimes you have to fly a few miles to find yourself plus some extra insights you were not looking for! Like my neglected love for dancing, your true self when not in fear, your true self when fully loved, your true self when fully understood, lessons in letting go & finding meaning in fewer not as philosophical things like a really good bowl of ramen noodle soup
It all makes sense in a way. 
It can connect you- reflecting can connect you to yourself and to others more, as well as sharing a good meal does connect you. 
Taking care of yourself through trusting life is as important as taking care through a nourishing bowl of food. It both can give you tremendous amounts of comfort and love. And heals you! 
So more of that please. For everyone. 
As I said, life can change at the least expected places or in the most unplanned moments. Let it take you somewhere. It could be magical and so worth the wait or worry! 
Maybe start by making this soup. Just an idea!

Trust me I have put a lot of work and tried my best to recreate the amazingness and the 'put your fork down' ( or chopsticks) experience. But researching for recipes, cooking techniques and learning about health benefits is not actual work for me. More so it is pleasure and enhancing wisdom. And then bursting with excitement and wanting to share it with everyone! So thankful for this space, letting me express and share my enthusiasm and newest discoveries!
The bowl offers so much, ingredients, flavors, textures, steamed and fresh parts. Simplicity was asked and I found it in the basics with which you can never go wrong. Ginger and garlic. Start with them, slowly heating up you have a wonderful base, yes and your kitchen will smell amazing. 
With it come carrot, black radish, napa cabbage, spring onions, shiitake and oyster mushrooms. 
Completed by a rich miso tamari broth, mie noodles, mung bean sprouts and roasted sesame seeds!
I hope by now I have satisfied you enough!
If you need a little more extra then keep reading about the magical mushrooms. ( Magical as in being totally legal, medicinal  and available in your supermarket ) 


Shiitake - pure medicinal and used for over 6000 years, this mushroom comes in fresh and dried form and is said to boost qi / life force. The shrooms were noted in some of the first books on herbal medicine written thousands of years agoPretty magical right? So how and why? 
Brimming with protein, fiber, B vitamines and this list:
thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B3,6,9, C and D!!!, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium and zinc.
- it is no wonder they are a symbol of longevity and one of the most researched foods for immune system support. Giving the system a boost or mellowing its activity when needed. Also the content of polysaccharides is unique and immune supportive. 
It is a good non-animal source of iron, the bio availability is very high for humans, especially in the dried state. It has cardio vascular and anti cancer properties, is an antioxidant in protecting us against oxidative stress. 

Oyster mushroom - is one of the most commonly cultivated edible mushrooms in the world. It comes in shades of white, gray, yellow ,blue and pink. It provides our bodies with protein, fiber, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, folic acid, niacin, vitamins C, B1, B2, B6 and iron. The mushrooms are one of the few plant sources for vitamin D which regulates genes that influence cell growth and enzymes in the immune system. It also protects our cells by containing ergothioneine, a unique antioxidant exclusively produced by fungi. Is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.

Adding low calorie mushrooms to your diet is an easy and flavorful way to supplement and increase your intake of essential vitamines & minerals. All mushrooms have to be heated ( not overcooked) to receive their nutritional value. Stock your pantry with dried mushrooms and watch out for the fresh ones in your local grocery store or farmers market as they are worth the second look and grasp!


MISO RAMEN SOUP w/ SHIITAKE AND OYSTER MUSHROOMS
makes 2 large or 4 small bowls
Prior to cooking soak the dried shiitake in a bowl with water for about an hour or according to the package instructions.

250 gr mie noodles ( spelt or regular)
6 cups warm water
1 piece of ginger 
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp vegetable broth
5 tbsp tamari soy sauce
5 tbsp miso rice paste
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil 
a heaping handful of each dried and fresh shiitake, oyster mushrooms
1 large carrot
1 small black radish
1 small napa cabbage
1 stalk of spring onion
a handful of each sesame seeds and mung bean sprouts
1 tbsp sesame oil
fresh parsley
freshly cracked black pepper

Directions
Start by soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl with water for about an hour. Set aside. Rinse off.
Cut the ginger and garlic in small pieces and heat them up with the coconut oil in a large wok pan until you can smell the flavor, do not burn them. Cut the carrot, radish, spring onions and fresh mushrooms into bite sized pieces and add them to the pan. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add the maple syrup and tamari sauce. Then add the water and bring to a boil for only 2 minutes. Add the broth, miso paste, wait until dissolved then continue by adding the soaked dried mushrooms and the noodles. Let it simmer for 8 minutes on low heat, covered. Meanwhile heat up the sesame seeds in a pan for a few minutes until you can smell them.
Assemble by filling two large or four small bowls with noodles, miso soup water, vegetables and mushrooms. Garnish with sesame oil, sesame seeds, mung bean sprouts, some fresh parsley and pepper. Use a large spoon ( as pictured) and some chopsticks to make the experience whole and fun!
Enjoy with every bite! Let the magic and medicine do their work!


























From my grateful and full heart & belly to yours!
Sending you tons of love and energy for this dark cold winter days when a hot noodle bowl of medicinal deliciousness is just everything
YES to immune power & connecting to soul mates - equally supportive for the system!

Shiitake-namaste,

Gina

2014/09/22

CELEBRATION CARROT CAKE


What a month, this august! It was a crazy roller coaster of celebrations. Beginning with a hot first summer week and my boyfriends birthday, then my sisters birthday and on this day she also finished her traning, my best friends birthday and last but not least celebrating my first interview in a printed magazine. 
All this happened in a whirlwind of pleasant anticipation for our new york trip! Me finally doing the teacher training is a celebration on another level, consisting of excitement, gratitude & freedom!
A cake for that reason, oh yes please! Not that I would never approve a cake for little reason or celebration ( I mean pure existence could be reason enough to have cake every day once in a while) yet this month was so spectacular that baking was only the icing of the cake!  

There will be a whole new york themed blog post soon but to keep you updated - It has been a crazy two weeks so far, filled with so much impressions, inspiration, food ( obviously), yoga & people!


























I made a small and high cake that has this top notch look because of its layers and icing. If you're going to do something, then do it right = emphasizing the celebration!
It is a rich cake, with some hints of cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla which I love in a carrot cake.
It could almost be a breakfast when turned into muffins ( just sayin'). What makes it complete is the cream cheese icing and the roasted hazelnuts! They speak for themselves. 



















































CELEBRATION CARROT CAKE

Cake
3 cups spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp cardamom
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup almond milk
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups grated carrots 

1 cup walnuts
1 cup raisins, optional
1 cup hazelnuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 175c and prepare two 8” spring form cake pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and spices.
In a small bowl, whisk together the applesauce, almond milk, vinegar, vanilla, syrup and oil.
Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
Chop up the walnuts, fold in the carrots and nuts and stir until just combined.

Share the dough evenly into the two baking pans.
Bake for 40 minutes (check until a toothpick comes out clean). Place the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet, place them in the still hot oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove some of the skins.

Let the cakes cool completely before removing from pans, then slice both cakes in half so you have four layers.
 

Coconut Frosting
2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
5 tbsp powdered raw cane sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract


Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the top layer of fat into a bowl (save the coconut water for other usage). Blend the coconut fat with a hand mixer on high speed for 30 seconds, add in the powdered sugar, mix until combined. Add the vanilla extract and blend on high speed until it gets creamy. Place one of the four layers on a plate and spread about ¼ of the icing, then top with some roasted hazelnuts. Add the next cake layer, followed by the icing and hazelnuts, repeat until you’ve used all four layers. Serve immediately! And enjoy!


And last but not least the most huge thing to celebrate was the moment I held the magazine in my hands which printed an article about me & heartybite! It was really a dream come true and still to this day I can almost not believe that it's actually me smiling out of that picture. I am so honored and grateful for this! The german food magazine slowlyveggie! truly is a feast for the eyes and presents its readers with high quality seasonal vegetarian and vegan recipes! It is almost like a little cookbook that you can collect over the year, adding season to season. You should check it out if you get the chance to come across an issue ( as it so happens almost every member of my family owns one now - no wonder where I got that excitement- and celebrationgene from) 

Love,
Gina

2014/08/24

RAW APRICOT TART W/ VANILLA ICE CREAM























Somewhere between a peach and a prayer,
they taste of well water
and butterscotch and dried apples
and desert simooms and lust. 

( Diane Ackerman - The Consolation of Apricots)

I like to think of apricots as the underrated best friend of big peach and nectarine, always standing in their shadows but having a whole lot to offer as well! As you might know by now I am all for taking advantage of seasons and its produce to the fullest, so august means ripe juicy apricots on everything. For weeks I had an image in my head - layers and layers of apricot halves, placed neatly in a circle. This is what came out, apricot halves on top of vanilla cream, smeared across a date dough.
The cake is tempting on its looks alone, but wait until you get a bite of it. Yes, you're welcome!

I am sorry for the lack of posting, the blog is going through some changes right now but I can swear that there will be more recipes on a regular basis again, as well as some other amazing stuff and news... aaaand I cannot tell you more right now but I am sure you are going to love it! At least I do, so there is one so far!

The next two months I will be blogging from new york, 'cause that is where I ( lucky me ) will be. My sister and I will eat us through the city & I am going to do a yoga teacher training ! Writing it out makes it so surprisedly real and I could not be more excited. You will definitely see a lot of food and yoga related things on my instagram, so if you are interested in this kinda entertainment feel free to follow my adventures there! 

















































Let's talk about that ice cream. It is a creamy dream come true. Simple, rich and full of flavor!
Vanilla flavor that is. Decadency in a healthy treat because why not? You're worth it!
And speaking of healthy and full of flavor, I topped the whole thing with some excellent olive oil.
Yes you read that right. Olive oil on top of vanilla ice cream is the bomb. Just sayin'. 
And here I have used the vita verde olive oil which was kindly given to me to try out. When I am convinced by a product then it has to really persuade me and has to have this special something that I have not tasted before. This oil, with a slightly fruity taste, drizzled raw on top of a salad or in this case the ice cream is kind of special. It is a raw cold pressed, certified organic oil made in greece - where the optimally aged olives are picked by hand. I love everything health related but it has to taste and has to have a deep, important background which I can proudly support and trust! Vita verde is a conscious and healthy company with a clear mission. A noble, authentic and gentle manufactory.
When you live in germany, you may have come across one of their oils in your local health food store or maybe it is new to you but take a closer look next time you want a good quality healthy raw olive oil! 


All opinions are my own, and I think vita verde rules.



RAW APRICOT TART W/ VANILLA ICE CREAM
makes 1 small tart, serves 2

Crust
1 cup almonds

6 dates, pitted
1 tbsp vita verde olive oil

1 tsp sea salt


Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until combined and forms a sticky dough. Use your hands to press the crust into a mini tart pan lined with parchment paper. Place into the freezer to set.



Vanilla ice cream/ Filling
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup raw honey (optional rice syrup, raw sugar...)
1 vanilla bean, scraped / 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 cups fresh young coconut meat


Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender, blend until smooth. Pour a thin or thick layer ( after your fancy) over the tart crust and spread evenly. Place in the fridge or freezer for a bit before serving to allow filling to become firm. When ready to serve, layer with the sliced apricots, a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of some fine olive oil.

Topping
4 ripe apricots
2 tbsp vita verde olive oil

Love as always,
Gina

2014/07/29

THE ULTIMATE SOURDOUGH BREAD


























This is a story about bread. And me.
For as long as I can remember you were a big part of my life. I had always been a passionate girl with a big heart. You were there for me from the start - creating sweet memories, flavors of comfy mornings, romantic bonfires & dinner gatherings!
Until I got 18 we got along so good. But things got complicated and started to change that year. I changed, got very interested in alternative ways to fill my life with. And slowly realized that you won't fit into that.
We have been on separate paths for quite some time now, took a break from mutual excessive preying. It was too much to handle and it took me years to get it - it just won't work with us for the long run. I played the ignoring part, always trying, making excuses and not wanting to accept the fact that you do me no good. I went to see a doctor for feeling sick and fatigue. But I didn't get any useful help. So I started to cure myself. I went from disproportionate and unconsciousness to a clean, healthy and strict way of living. Cut you out completely, overnight! This cut turned into a deep objection and made me see the devil in you. The love vanished. I tried to convince everyone around me that you are not the miracle we all grew up believing, and what was told us.
Like all changes you strive for, mine started with a strong belief and passion. After a while you might change again, your views of life shift and the strong belief makes no sense anymore. We miss each other.
So last year I tried to convince myself it would be good for me and my surroundings, to let you back into my life. Step by step. See how it makes me feel.
I immediately felt relief of letting go for once. Letting go of this strict way to classify stuff in healthy and unhealthy. Life is too short to worry constantly! I also felt comfort by just smelling you, to see, touch and finally taste you.
I fell back completely, enjoyed you on a regular basis. At first everything seemed great, like it could actually work out after a long pause. I felt empowered and strong, like my body could take it.
You just felt so good. I had forgotten about that. I was seduced and did not understand how I would ever survive without you. I made a lot of unhealthy choices that year.

But the last years affected me more than I thought they had. I changed.
And so it was only a matter of time until it was too much to handle again.
I got really sick. My mood, body and heart felt like they got ripped apart. I felt unbalanced and not like myself anymore. Because I really did change. For good. I wanted you so badly, but you only made me sicker and weaker.
This time it was a different kind of heartbreak. The acceptance.
I heard and read so much about your downsides. One solace - I wasn't alone in this.

You never stop to evolve, change and find out new things about yourself.
To realize is the first step but the second and important step is to actually act it out. Cut what makes you feel miserable and to trust your inner wisdom to only do what makes you feel good.
Again I noticed that I felt lighter and better without you.
But what exactly is it that made us not get along?
When you are in a denatured state you obviously bring benefits to nobody. We both have to be as honest and natural as possible to make things work.
I started to get more into healing methods.
The truth is, my system was lacking of supporters to tolerate you. And you too have to evolve in this, get upgraded, so that I can benefit from you essentially! I treated myself by incorporating the support I needed. And created a healthy environment for them to thrive and do their magic inside of us.

It worked!

And this ultimate try was the best decision I have ever done.
Happiness and a good portion of relief spread out. 
I feel good, light, healthy and energized even though you are in my life and also because of you!
We have found a way, no breaks need to be done. It is a balanced sensible act now.
I know that this will last. My life is improved. And there is a whole lot of love.

The end.


























If you are also struggling with bread or just want to upgrade your health and try something new, I highly approve sourdough bread. You can buy it sprouted or unsprouted with rye, spelt, wheat or gluten free flours. Or make one yourself. Have you ever had the experience to taste homemade bread? The kneading and awating can be a really exciting experience. Your house will smell so wonderful caused by fresh warm baked bread. The sound of ripping it apart, and biting into the crust.
Got ya, right? Get baking!

The ultimate sourdough bread is a recipe cut down to simple, essential steps. Do not be intimidated by time details or the handling of the friendly supporters I talked about in my story -the bacteria and enzymes!
Without them it won't work. Bacteria as well as bread need to come back into our lives and out of their negative shadows. Sourdough will do exactly that by having a delicious tangy flavor and many health benefits.
Sourdough is a bread made from the natural occurring yeast and bacteria in flour.
The dough contains a Lactobacillus culture. The fermentation process of sourdough is the important part here. The longer the rise the more lactic acid it will produce, as well as an ideal pH for the enzyme phytase. This enzyme removes phytates. Phytate or phytic acid is present in the bran/hulls of all seeds ( and nuts) and blocks the absorption of minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, copper and zinc.
To remove phytic acid we need to soak/sprout our nuts and seeds. Soaking in warm water with lemon will decrease the phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and increases enzymes which aid in digestion, produce B vitamines and carotenes. This properly preparation makes the nuts and seeds come alive, digestible and their minerals become available for us.
Sourdough will predigest starches and breaks down the protein gluten into amino acids. This process makes it easier for us to digest the bread and helps to regulate blood sugar.

Since I know that my digestive system gets stressed easily and is damaged, I can make choices which either harm or heal me. Being sensitive to commercial bread, yeast, wheat, general processed grains and sweeteners, I leave them out of my diet. Instead I add more probiotic rich foods, like sourdough bread, sauerkraut, fermented drinks like kombucha or kefir, plant based yogurt and tempeh. Those nutrient dense pure fermented foods can heal the digestive system, improve immunity, creates beneficial b vitamines, enzymes, probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids. And remember that a healthy gut means healthy body!
Homemade sourdough bread is minimally processed, organic,
contains no cultivated yeast or chemical leaveners like other breads.

is a dough containing a Lactobacillus culture
is a dough containing a Lactobacillus cultur


THE ULTIMATE SOURDOUGH BREAD
Prior to preparing the bread, you need to prepare a sourdough starter. Maybe you are lucky and know somebody who is already a sourdough baker and can give you a fresh batch of starter, or you are lazy and want to buy a starter package in a health food store. Either way, making the starter yourself is really simple once you get a routine and are patient.

Sourdough Starter
Basically you start with flour and water then nature takes over and after a week you'll get a mixture that contains enough yeast ( leaven) to make your bread rise. It is important not to feed your starter too much or too little. Use a wooden spoon! If your starter turns pink or red it has gone bad. You should throw it out and start a new one.

Ingredients
1 cup whole rye flour
1 cup filtered water
3 cups whole rye flour
3 cups filtered water

Directions
In a large bowl add 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water. Cover the bowl with a cheese cloth and a rubber band. Place the bowl in a undisturbed warm place.
For the next seven days, you feed the starter everyday with 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. Stir the mixture, re-cover and allow to sit.

Over the week the starter gets bubbly which means life exists and it produces carbon dioxide. 
Then it goes through a frothy stage and it smells like sweet yeast. 
After a week the starter should smell like wine and there should be a liquid gather at the top which subsides and can be poured off.
The day before you plan to bake, feed it twice by adding 4 ounces each of flour and water. The starter should grow in size and activity level. The two feedings should be 6 hours apart, and the second feeding comes 8 hours before you begin mixing your dough. Plan ahead! 

You can also maintain it in the fridge if you are not a frequent baker ( means if you bake less than once a week). Feed it once a week by combining four ounces of starter with eight ounces each of flour and water. Place it back into the fridge for 7 days.
Three days prior to baking, take the starter out of the fridge. 
On the first day, feed it once, then let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours. 
On the next day, feed it twice, about 12 hours apart. 
On the third day, feed it once about 6 hours before you mix your dough.

Sourdough Bread
The best flours for sourdough are rye and spelt. Rye is best for you’re first starting, but you can switch to a different flour once the starter has gone through the first seven days. If you don't even tolerate regular sourdough you can make a glutenfree bread as well with flours of either brown rice, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, oat, potato and many more. 

Ingredients
1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups rye flour
1 cup spelt flour
3 tbsp enzyme ferment flour ( optional)
1 tbsp himalaya salt
1/2 cup filtered water

Directions
In a large bowl, mix the starter, water, 1 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup of spelt flour with a wooden spoon and combine well. Then add salt, enzyme flour and remaining flour ½ cup at a time, stir in the flour each time completely. Use your hands to mix in the flour. It should be a sticky dough. Continue to knead for 20 minutes.
Pour dough into your desired loaf pan. Cover it with a towel and let it sit in a warm place ( I used the top of my stove while cooking on a hotplate next to it) for at least 3 hours, until the dough is doubled in size. Take a knife and make a S form cut on the surface. Spread some flour on the uncut upper crust.
Place the loaf in a cold oven and turn the oven on to 175°c/350 F, bake the bread for 60 minutes. Let it cool for at least 1 hour.


















































Don't be afraid if your first ( or second...ahem) attempt is not successful. It will get better with time. However, once you've mastered your routine, a starter is a completely manageable and wonderful addition to your kitchen. If you end up with too much starter, don't throw it away. Give some to a friend or try mixing it in pizza or pancake doughs.
Enjoy this tangy, traditional delicious bread! And get the gut-health-happy-bacteria-party started!

Tangy love,

Gina