Salted date caramel

I don’t know about you…. But I love the sweet and salty combo.

Fries in milkshake? Yes please.

Ice cream and crisps? Yes please.

Caramel popcorn? I want it all.

Salted caramel rice cakes? I could eat the whole package at once.

I am a huge fan of salted caramel but I have never made or bought a vegan kind. I think I have eaten brownies with salted caramel sauce in a restaurant, but never tried making my own.

I am pretty sure it is easy to make your own… Brown, coconut milk or soya cream, vanilla and sea salt. Boil it together and make some caramel.

But as I had bought a bunch of dates and I knew date caramel was a thing I thought…. Why not try making salted date caramel?

And I can say….. it was so yummy. Of course, it was not as smooth as maybe a regular caramel sauce or a store bought one as dates has a lot of fiber and the skin is on the dates which contribute to a rougher texture. But it still tastes good.

The best is to use fresh dates, the kind that are super soft and “moist” (gotta love that word!). However, if you do use dry dates just put them in a bowl and soak in boiling hot water for 5-10 minutes, then they will become softer.

I also recommend using a highspeed food processor and not a handmixer, just because it will get the job done quicker and will make it smoother. But you can of course use a handmixer.

I used soya cream at home as that was what I had at home, but it should work fine with coconut cream (though the caramel will have a taste of coconut then) or you could use oat cooking cream.

Note, I used a sweetened soya cream which wasn’t necessary as dates are already so sweet. So I would recommend using an unsweetened cream if possible.

How to store this caramel?

I stored it in an airtight glass jar in the fridge, and it lasted about 5 days. So that is what I can guarantee, but it should store longer.

You can adapt the quantities based on how much caramel you want. You can use more liquid to thin it out, add more sweetener or salt depending on your preferences. So this is just a base recipe, but you can adapt it as much as you like. And if you do want a really thin and smooth caramel sauce I do recommend you go for a coconutmilk/brown sugar caramel sauce and not use dates.

Also, you can use less liquid and instead make more of a date caramel paste which you can use to dip apples in or even use as filling for cakes!

 

Recipe:

I used about 15-20 dates. (Use the fresh kind, if not soak in boiling hot water)

Around 200-300ml soya cream/oatcream/coconut milk or cream

1-2tsp sea salt

Optional, 1tsp vanilla or brown sugar for muskiness (though the dates or so sweet this shouldn’t really be necessary)

How to:

If your dates aren’t fresh, soak them. If they are fresh then add them to a pot along with c.a 200ml liquid (add more as necessary when mixing). Heat on medium for 5-6 minutes and allow to simmer. Add 1 tsp of sea salt.

Pour of the contents into a high speed food processor and mix until smooth, or if using a handmixer, mix directly in the pot until smooth. Keep adding liquid until you have reached the right texture. (add a little at a time). Give the caramel a taste and add more salt according to preference. It is better to start off with a little and add more, rather than add too much and not know how to fix the saltiness.

Once smooth, pour over into a clean glass jar and store in the fridge!

This caramel works great to eat just as it is, or use in cake fillings or why not eat with some apples or crisp bread!

It should of course be noted that even if this is date caramel sauce, it is high in sugar and should still be considered a sweet treat!!!

Have you tried making your own date caramel sauce before…? If not, it is about time you try!!

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments down below if you made this or tag me on Instagram, itsahealthylifestyle.

Creamy kale and tofu pasta | Mealprep Monday

Last week i had a fridge filled with kale and not quite sure how to use it all before it went bad.

At the same time i was craving a creamy pasta dish… and that was when two ideas merged into one! Creamy kale pasta. Quick to make, very nutritious and of course warm and works great for mealprep.

Nutrition benefits of kale:

So what are the nutrition benefits of eating kale? Well, kale is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin K which is important for blood coagulation. It even contains a little omega 3, just like brussel sprouts which are in the same group of vegetables.

It is of course rich in fiber as well which can help with satiety and also important for your gut bacteria 🙂

If you compare kale with spinach, kale has alot less oxalates (anti nutrients – which can decrease the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals), making it alot more nutritious. However, some people can get digestive issues with kale compared to spinach due tot he fiber amount… so not everyone can handle kale. But boiling it, steaming it or cooking it can help with the fiber and digestion 🙂

Some other ideas of what to do with kale:
Kale chips

Kale pie

Kale and apple salad

Kale pizza

Add kale to smoothies!

Just some ideas… but now onto the actual recipe!

Recipe:

Ingredients

2-3 portions pasta (choose the kind you like)

200-300g fresh kale (frozen works as well)

200g tofu (or vegan chicken)

2-3 garlic cloves

1 red onion

1tbsp vegetable fond

150-200ml oat cream (or soya cooking cream)

Hazelnuts or walnuts

Olive oil

Salt and blackpepper

Optional, some nutritional yeast

How to:

Begin by boiling the pasta according to instructions. Cook the amount you want, the sauce is enough for about 2-3 portions, or 4 smaller portions.

While the pasting is boiling, start making the kale sauce.

Dice the onion and garlic and add to a frying pan with the oil. Dice the tofu and add to the pan (or if you are using vegan chicken pieces). Fry until golden brown.

Add the kale and add another tablespoon of oil. Allow the kale to heat and begin to shrink.

Pour in the oatcream along with the vegetable fond. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Once the pasta is done, drain from water.

Once the sauce is done mix together with the pasta. Add some nutritional yeast if you have at home, as well as some crushed walnuts or hazelnuts.

Eat warm, or store in lunchboxes for upcoming meals.

This is definitely a meal you should write up on your “to make” list! I can’t wait until i am home again and can reheat my lunch boxes consisting of this meal prep!

If you try this recipe, don’t forget to let me know down below or on my Instagram: itsahealthylifestyle

Baked potato tots – 2 ingredients

All the things you can do with potatoes and I’ve never made these incredibly simple potatoe tots.

Or well i have made sweet potato tots in the airfryer which are still just as simple. You can see me make them in a video, HERE, and the recipe is HERE.

Potatoes are a favourite of mine. Mostly i eat them just roasted in the oven with some salt, garlic and a little oil. A simple classic.

But sometimes you want to switch things up 🙂

I am thinking i should make a masterpost of potato recipes so if anyone else is tired of eating potatoes the same way!!!

If you have a favourite way to eat potatoes, let me know in the comments below!

So how do you make these potato tots…? Well i have a video showing you how i make them coming up… but as they are so simple you barely need instructions!

Recipe:

Potatoes – use a firm sort, i.e no floury potatoes. Around 400-500g.

Seasoning of choice, i used salt, black pepper and chives. (Onion or garlic powder works as well. And you could even add things like sweet corn, bell pepper etc to the mix)

Oil – optional

How to:

Begin by washing and peeling the potatoes. Then parboil them, meaning that you coil until they are slightly soft, but not all the way cooked so they are mushy.

Note – don’t chop the potatoes as you are going to grate them.

It took about 5-7 minutes until the potatoes reached the right softness. However if you use bigger potatoes it might take longer.

Once parboiled, pour away the water and place in the fridge to cool down. After about 15 minutes the potatoes should be cold enough to handle and grate.

Using the side of the grater with bigger holes, grate the potatoes.

Add salt, pepper and seasoning of choice. Mix together.

Cover a baking tray with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 210C

With your hands, form the grated potatoes into small “tot” shapes. Not too big and not too small. The starch from the potatoes should help form and hold together the potato tots.

Place the tots on the baking tray. Optional, drizzle with a little oil.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning over after half the time.

Eat warm with sauce of choice.

Such a simple recipe but turned out so good!!! I am sure you can bake these in an airfryer as well but then you can’t bake as many at a time.

Also how many potatoes you use depends on how many tots you want to make!

Chokladbollsgröt! Chocolate/coconut oatmeal

In Sweden we have these snack/desserts called “delicatoboll” or you can make your own “chokladbollar” (recipe here). And they consist of oats, butter, cacao, sugar, coffee and coconut.

And i thought…. well why not use the same combo but actually make oatmeal?

Crazy that the idea hasn’t occured to me before.

This has to be my new favourite oatmeal combo…. even if the basic oats, peanut butter and banana is always a classic for me.

I made my oats rather thick, just to resemble more of the “chokladbolls” texture. But this would still be tasty even if you make your oats a runnier texture!

Give this oatmeal combo a try…. that is if you love chocolate, coffee and coconut!

Ingredients:

Oats – 40-60g

Cacao – 1 tbsp

Strong black coffee – 1-1,5 tbsp

Sweetener – 1-2tbsp

Pinch of salt

Coconut shreds 1-2tbsp and more for toppings

Water – 100-200ml depending on how much oats you use

Plantbased milk

How to:

In a pot combine all ingredients, minus the plantbased milk. Or you could cook your oats in plantbased milk instead, or do a combo of 50/50 water and milk.

Also adjust the liquid amount according to how you like your oats. The more water you use the looser the oats will be, whereas less water will result in thicker oats.

Cook on medium heat, stirring from time to time to not let it burn. It should cook in about 3-5 minutes.

Once done, serve with some plantbased milk, banana and extra coconut shreds.

Very simple, but so very tasty!!! Not to mention getting both your energy and caffeine in one meal!

If you try this recipe don’t forget to tag me on instagram: itsahealthylifestyle or comment down below what you thought!!

Sun dried tomato falafel | Vegan

*Real* falafel are made using soaked, but still raw/uncooked chickpeas as well as being fried… not baked.

However I forgot about this before I cooked all the chickpeas I had soaked. So I made my falafels from cooked chickpeas. It still works fine, and in all honesty digests better according to me, as uncooked chickpeas can be hard to digest and give pain, bloatedness and gas to people sensitive to a lot of fiber.

Of course, the consistency is a lot more soft and crumbly compared to if you use uncooked and fry them.

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I have some other falafel recipes you can check out, HERE and airfryer falafel, HERE, and some beetroot falafel, HERE.

I would say that falafel is actually a very healthy food, especially when baked and not fried. Chickpeas contain a lot of nutrients, including protein, fiber and iron. And as the chickpeas contain some flour… or if you eat with some bread, it also makes a complete protein source meaning that you get all the essential amino acids in one meal.

Protein combining and “complete” protein sources really isn’t something anyone needs to think about… maybe it is a little fun fact and nutrition advice which is fun to know and share, according to me anyway..

So enough information, onto the recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cans of chickpeas – around 500g chickpeas

1 smell red onion, diced

1/2 jar sundried tomatoes

3 garlic cloves

Handful of parsley

Around 50ml oil

2-3tbsp chickpea flour or all purpose flour

Salt and pepper

How to:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease or line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Drain the can of chickpeas (save the aqaufaba for other recipes). Dice the onion and chop the garlic.

In a food mixer – or baking bowl – add all the ingredients aside from the flour. Mix until well combined, however don’t mix so long it turns into hummus.

Once mixed, add the flour and fold in.

Form into patties or small balls and place on the baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. If possible, turn the falafel over after half the time.

Eat warm or store in the freezer for optimal storage!!!