Salted caramel-tahini-roasted nut nice cream

Ever since I bought my food processor this summer all I have wanted to do is mix foods….. hummus, soup, nice cream…. It has definitely been a well used kitchen appliance.

And the panic that set in when my food processor began overheating and smoke was coming from the motor…. Full on panic that I would no longer be able to make nice cream. It was then I relized that adding smoking hot soup directly to the blender and blending a little too long was not a good idea i.e the motor overheated. But it is working fine now once it had cooled down.

You can see the blender I use HERE: (amazon affiliate link)

As you saw in my previous recipe, I made a salted date caramel, which was tasty just as it was. However once I made the caramel I also realized I didn’t know what to do with it… of course, I would gladly eat it just on it’s own with a spoon… but I thought I should try making something with it.

And it was then when I was looking in my pantry that inspiration struck….tahini and dates works amazing… add it to nice cream along with some roasted nuts. AMAZING, am I right?

And luckily for me, I had some banana slices in the freezer ready to be turned into nice cream when cravings hit.

So what is nicecream… well if you haven’t heard it before, it is basically just bananas, frozen and then mixed into “ice cream”.

Nice = because it is tasty but also nice = as in no animals were harmed to make this ice cream.

You can find some of my other nice cream flavours HERE. But it is just to go wild and crazy and use whatever extras, toppings and flavours you want. Just use bananas as the base and then add in some coconut milk or substitute half of the bananas for berries and then add some nuts, seeds, nut butter, cacao, cookies, brownies, chocolate chips etc

The best is to use a highspeed food processor when making the nice cream. And I recommend you take the bananas out of the freezer 10 minutes before making just to let them get a little softer so that your food processor doesn’t overwork or break from trying to mix the frozen bananas.

How to make the salted caramel tahini nice cream?

Ingredients:

For thesalted caramel, use THISrecipe. Then add 2-3 tbsp or more depending on your preference

Tahini, 2-3 tbsp

1-3 bananas (for one serving). Peel, chop and freezer for 3-4 hours or overnight. (Note, freeze in a container with a lid on, or in a plastic bag/freezer bag

Handful of nuts – salted or unsalted. Either buy preroasted or roast yourself

How to:

Begin by peeling, chopping and freezing the bananas. The best is to buy bananas when on sale and just peel, chop and freeze a whole bunch of them. I recommend you store 2-3 chopped bananas in separate freezer bags so that you have them proportioned instead of freezing them all in one container as then it can be hard to get only some of the banana out.

Freeze for 3-4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Make the date caramel if you haven’t already.

Roast the nuts – Place the nuts on a baking pan, spread them out evenly. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180c. Note, you can add a little oil/vegan margarine and salt, but then just check on the nuts to make sure they don’t burn. You may need to rotate them after half the time.

Begin making the nice cream by adding the frozen bananas, some date syrup and tahini to the mixer. Mix on high speed until smooth. If necessary, add 1-2tbsp oat milk, though this shouldn’t really be necessary.

Once done, taste and add more date syrup or tahini according to preference. Add the roasted nuts, mix in and then eat and enjoy!!

Another amazing nice cream flavour to add to the books! Not everyone will like this flavour because of the sweet and saltiness… the salt from the salted caramel does stand out against the sweet dates and the sweet nice cream, but I liked that!!

Lastly I do need to note that even if this is nice cream and the caramel is made from dates, do consider this a sweet treat. Fruit sugar may not be exactly the same as white table sugar, but it still contains quite a lot of sugar and therefore it works great as a dessert. Of course if you just use 1-2 bananas and 1-2tsbp date syrup it is not a big deal, but I wouldn’t recommend going overboard with bananas or date syrup.

Vegan “brie”

This recipe has been in my drafts about 2 years…. I guess that shows how great of a blogger I am, hahah.

I was inspired to make this recipe a long time ago when I saw someone post about it in a facebook group. Only 3 ingredients to make vegan “brie”.

Before I went vegan I had a sort of love/hate relationship with brie…. Or well, I couldn’t quite decide if I liked it or not. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I didn’t. I must admit I am not a huge fan of melted cheese, neither dairy nor vegan cheese. Something about that gooey texture just isn’t for me…

I am really selling this recipe, right?

I decided it was finally time to give this recipe a go and see whether it worked or not.

Vegan cheese (preferably plain, I used Violife cheese), cream cheese (I used oatlys) and some oat cooking cream (I also used Oatly). That is all you need.

The results….? Creamy and cheesey…. A little gooey as well.

If you let the cheese sit for 24 hours in the fridge it does create a sort of thicker outer layer resembling the outer layer of brie cheese, but not quite the same texture. Of course, I haven’t eaten brie cheese in almost 4 years so I am sure if you eat brie first and then eat this remake of it, it won’t be the same. But it does have similar qualities and textures according to me.

I definitely think I can experiment more with this recipe, maybe try another cheese brand to see how it works or add flavours to the cheese such as garlic or chilli or why not some roasted walnuts. (Even though I know brie is just plain in flavour).

Give this recipe a try. I would suggest you half the recipe if you just want to try it or are just making for one person.

Recipe:

200g vegan cheese, plain

100ml oatcream

80g cream cheese

How to:

Chop the cheese into smaller pieces.

Pour the oatcream into a pot and heat on medium. Add the vegan cheese and allow to cook until the cheese begins to melt. Keep stirring. Finally add the cream cheese.

Grease a small pot/jar and pour in the cheese mix. Place in the fridge overnight, but preferably 12-24 hours. Note, you can let it sit in the fridge overnight and then in the morning turn the jar/pot over and place on a plate and naturally it will release from the jar so that you can remove the jar and cut into the brie.

Should last in the fridge atleast a week! I would suggest you keep it covered.

You can double or half this recipe depending on how much you want to make 😊 And try different vegan cheeses if you want flavour or add your own flavour if using a plain cheese.

If you try this, let me know what you think 😊 Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram(itsahealthylifestyle) or comment down below.

Cucumber salad – with vegan greek cheese | Vegan

Do you ever buy vegetables with the intentionof eating them but then suddenly a week has passed and the vegetable is in it’s last few days/hours….. yeah, that’s me and cucumbers.

Sure i like – infact love – vegetables…. but there’s something about cucumbers. They just don’t appeal to me.

But suddenly i had two cucumbers and no idea what to do with them.

Sure… i could them just as they are. Or dip in hummus or even add to water. But i didn’t feel like eating any of those ideas.

So…. i thought… what’s better than a regular plain salad? A creamy salad.

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Sometimes you just need to throw everything into a big bowl, add some garlic, salt and pepper and mix together with some van creme fraiche or mayonnaise.

And that’s exactly what i did. And i can tell you…. i was not disappointed.

Well… aside from the fact that i am trying to limit my intake of garlic and onion, especially raw…. but taste wise this was delicious.

Vitamins, nutrients, fiber, protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. You got it all in this meal!

Recipe

In all honesty, this recipe doesn’t really require measurements…. it’s mostly freestyle and adjust the measurements according to the amount you want to eat and make!

Ingredients:

3/4 large cucumber, or 1 medium sized

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 block vegan feta cheese

1/2 can chickpeas

1/2 red pepper. diced

1 avocado

Vegan creme fraiche, around 150-200ml. Note you can use 50/50 vegan creme fraiche and mayonnaise or opt for a lighter version by using soya quark or vegan greek yoghurt.

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt

Black pepper

How to:

Dice cucumber, red onion and bell pepper. Chop the avocado and greek cheese into small cubes. Rinse the chickpeas (save the aquafaba for another recipe).

In a large salad bowl add all the ingredients, including the minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix together with creme fraiche, or your alternative.

Either eat right away with example some bean burgers or as filling in a baguette, or place in the fridge and allow the flavours of the salad to combine and eat later!

 

For some other salad ideas:

Vegan tuna salad

BBQ chickpea salad

Vegan ch*cken curry salad

Beetroot salad

Swedish tofu skagenröra

Potato salad and coleslaw

Next time you don’t know what to eat…. throw some foods into a bowl and mix together with some vegan creme fraiche, saltand garlic…. 50% chance it will turn out good…. sounds like a good idea!!!

Eating oil and salt unhealthy? Nutrition post

A question i have been getting a little more frequently at the moment is, “why do i eat oil and salt?” or “is it unhealthy to eat oil or salt?”.

It is a little frightening to see an increase in this question, as it shows how many do have a fear of certain foods. And that there is food shaming and food guilt. Not to mention those who preach about how bad salt and oil are, are actually having an impact on people.

My answer is that no, it is NOT unhealthy to eat salt or oil. Of course, it is all about moderation and balance.

Many people do eat alot more salt than is necessary and some people use more oil than is necessary. HOWEVER the people worried about their salt and oil intake are most often not the ones who need to be worried.

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You can read a post about salt HERE

Raw food diets – what is it and is it healthy? Nutritional aspect – pros and cons

Salt is actually essential, and there are a number of complications if you don’t eat salt. Your organs and muscles need salt to function properly, so there can be risks of heat failure or muscle spasms if you don’t get enough salt. Also, if you don’t get enough iodine, which is a risk if you are a vegan and don’t salt your food, this can lead to hypothyroidism, when your thyroid can’t make enough of the hormones. This in turn can affect your metabolism and lead to other problems due to that.

Also in some cases, if you drink alot of fluid without eating enough salt it can lead to hyponatremia, which is when there is too little blood sodium and this can lead to the brain swelling, which can lead to seizures, coma and death.

So if you exercise it is extra important to get the right salt amount if you want your muscles to work as they should. Salt is an important electrolyte which you need and if you are drinking alot of water, you also need to balance it out with salt. The right salt and water intake is important both for strength training and endurance – but i am hoping that all of you who read this are clever enough to know this.

Of course using too much salt isn’t good, but as mentioned… if you don’t consume any salt you will also face health problems.

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If you are someone who cooks from scratch, then i would recommend either salting the food while cooking or afterwards. For someone who eats alot of premade and processed food, then they are likely getting enough salt just from the prepackaged food and then it is not recommended for them to salt their food – or atleast do it very minimally.

Note, if you do want to limit your salt intake you could always opt for example herbamare, instead of normal white table salt.

And with oil, well oil isn’t essential and you can be healthy without eating oil. However you do need essential fatty acids.

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You can read more about oil – which oil to choose etc HERE

Some people choose to eat their fat sources from the actual food source, such as olives, avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut  (fish, eggs – if not vegan) etc And that is ok as well.

However, oil can help enhance flavour, can make food more crispy when frying, can make food less dry. Not to mention, if you aren’t eating any other fat source with your meals, it will help with the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins.

For some people, they also need oil to help them reach their daily energy requirement. So they may add coconut oil to smoothies, or extra oil when frying. And oils such as flax seed oil and walnut oil can be a good way to get in plant based sources of omega 3 (note, just don’t heat them up!).

No, oil won’t clog your arteries or cause heart attacks like some people claim. HOWEVER, high amounts of trans fats (which is found in processed foods as well as in animal products), can overtime lead to cardiovascular disease, however there are other factors involved as well. Such as genetics, lifestyle, if you smoke or drink etc But high amounts of animal fats is far worse than oils. Also consuming alot of saturated fats from animal products such as cream, cheese, wholefat milk & milk products is worse than consuming mono and polyunsaturated fats from oils or plantbased foods.

You can read more about fats and why we need them HERE

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It is also important to mention that fats are important for satiation, for your skin and your hormones. Of course, you may want to consume the actual food source as then it adds more “bulk” rather than oil which adds energy, without any bulk.

But don’t be scared to use oil or eat food with oil. You don’t have to drench your food in oil, and you can choose to eat most foods with little to no oil – that is ok. However if you are eating out, or you are offered food, know that it is ok to food that has been fried or has some oil on it.