Fluffy pancakes with chocolate sauce

Sundays are there for decadent breakfasts, right?

I love treating myself to something extra special on Sundays because during the week I don’t have enough time to go all out on preparing my breakfasts extra fancy, I usually end up with a bowl of oatmeal topped with some fruit. And even though I love my oatmeals I’m looking forward to a little bit of a change on the weekends.

There are a billion and one options to prepare vegan pancakes. There are actually so many recipes that I could make pancakes every day of the week and I still wouldn’t be able to try them all.

But as you might or might not know already I’m really bad at sticking to recipes anyways so I have been experimenting with a few different recipes and today I’m going to share my go to version of an easy and quick pancake batter and a healthy chocolate sauce to make them extra decadent.

And they’re even quite healthy using just whole-grain spelt flour, no processed sugar and no oil.

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Here’s how to set yourself up for a wonderful Sunday morning.

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 1 cup whole-grain spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tbs apple sauce
  • 1 tbs cinnamon

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 3 dates (preferably soaked for a few hours)
  • 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs psyllium husk
  • splash of water (I used around 5 tbs)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the pancake batter. I used my NutriBullet but any blender or even just a bowl and a fork will do.
  2. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to thicken up a little.
  3. While you’re waiting for your batter to thicken you can prepare your chocolate sauce. Simply add everything into your blender and blend. The sauce should be pretty runny at first, but it will thicken up due to the psyllium husk.
  4. Heat up your non-stick pan to medium-low heat. If you’re not using a non-stick pan you might wanna add some coconut oil (or any other heat resistant oil).
  5. Scoop about 2 tablespoons worth of batter into your hot pan for one pancake and flip when bubbles appear in the middle and the edges turn slightly darker.
  6. Continue with the rest of the batter.
  7. Top off your pancakes with the now thickened chocolate sauce an whatever toppings you prefer. I used hazelnuts, cranberries and popped quinoa for mine.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Why wait until New Year’s?

It’s 7am and I’m sitting on a bus to Stuttgart. I’m going to look for an apartment there because as I already mentioned in a previous post I’m taking my life into my own hands and I’m following my dreams. One of which is going back to university. And that also means I’m going to move. To Stuttgart. And attending a school specialized in media there.

Which means big change is just around the corner. And that being said I thought I’d like to change a few other things as well or better yet make some resolutions, set some new goals.  I could just wait until New Year’s with it but to be honest I was never a fan of New Year’s resolutions. People are setting their goals way to high, usually they aren’t making any plans to actually achieve what they’re striving for and a few weeks later they forget about them altogether.

I’m usually just setting new goals whenever they come up, but sometimes I need a little push to actually form new resolutions and start working towards them. So this moment right here is my New Year’s. And I encourage you to think about if there’s something you want to achieve and celebrate New Year’s with me right now.

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My goals/resolutions:

  1. Working on friendships
    Moving to another city where I actually don’t know anyone I obviously want to make new friendships, be open minded and just wait for what kind of interesting people I will meet but this really hasn’t been a problem for me in the past few years. (Although I found this very hard when I was younger because I used to be extremely shy.) However with all the new friendships coming my way I want to work on keeping my current friendships intact. I’ve built up some great friendships over the last few years and I really don’t want them to go to waste. So I’m planning on taking quite a few trips to pay my friends some visits every now and then.
    But I’ve also been holding onto some toxic friendships and I’m trying to use this cut in my life to let go of them.
  2. Traveling
    This one kind of goes hand in hand with the first one because visiting friends means I’ll be traveling a lot. But I really want to travel as much as possible. And traveling really isn’t just going on a crazy 48h flight to Australia. It could be taking the bus to visit a city close to you even just for a day. Exploring always comes with new experiences, new people, new inspiration and it always gives me pleasure. I want to hop on every possibility that I get to go to new places.
  3. Improving my Spanish
    I’ve been attending a Spanish course once a week for the past two years and I’d say that by now my Spanish is sufficient enough to have some light small talk and have a decent written conversation (my written Spanish is 10x better than my actual speaking skills). And I really want to keep studying and improving because I love the language and I want to be able to really engage with Spanish speaking people one day. This is also where traveling is going to come in because what better way to learn a language than to actually go to a country where it’s spoken and just talk to people?
  4. Staying ahead of my tasks
    The last few years this was quite easy to do because I had specific due dates at work and I’ve just had to work with them. Now with really only the dates of my exams at the end of each semester it’s quite easy to just let my tasks slide all semester and be overwhelmed by a huge load of work right before the exams. I’ve been there and I know that I have quite a huge procrastination gene sitting inside of me. But I’ll really try to get shit done early on this time.

 

That’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll think of more things later on but it’s never a good idea to load your plate with to many goals to work on, right?
Maybe I can make this into a recurring thing where I post updates on how I’m progressing with my goals and what new goals I’ve set every few weeks/month? Let me know if you’d be interested in that.

What are your resolutions/goals at the moment?

 

Apricot-Oat-Cookies

Ever since I went vegan I’m really on top of my food game. I’m always prepared for any occasion where I might need food.

Especially when it comes to work. I bring my breakfast and lunch to work every day and make my colleagues pretty jealous with it as well. When they’re eating their Asian take -out for the third time in a row and I pop out my box of vegan Chili with rice and “cheese” sauce everyone keeps envying my food.

I also started to bring self-made snacks which I’m kind enough to share with my co-workers as well. Unfortunately then they usually only last for one day.

This is what happened with these apricot-oat-cookies as well. They were gone in an instant. So I had to make them again and again…

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Maybe you want to treat your co-workers, friends, class mates, family or anyone else as well. Just prepare these super easy cookies and trust me people around you will be happy. 😉

And if you just want to enjoy them all by yourself, they also make for a great and easy breakfast to go if you prepare them in advance. You can store them in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat groats
  • 3 apricots
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 3 tbs apple sauce
  • vanilla to taste

Instructions:

  1. Chop up your apricots.
  2. Mash up the banana.
  3. Simply mix everything together in a bowl.
  4. Form about 9 cookies and put them on your backing tray.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned at 180°C.
  6. Share or enjoy all by yourself!

Vegan Food in Stockholm

Wow time flies I wanted to have this post up weeks ago but life happens and better late than never, right?

Here are my tips for eating vegan in Stockholm.

First of all: Stockholm is such an amazing city. I’ve been there for 5 days and I would have needed at least 5 more days to explore everything and eat everything I wanted to.

Let me give you one non-food tip first: Free Tour Stockholm. I participated in all three tours and loved them all!

Now let’s get down to business food.

Sattva Naturbageriet (Gamla Stan)
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One of the most important things to eat in Stockholm is Kanelbullar which are cinnamon rolls. You can get them everywhere unfortunately they are far off from being vegan. However there is this one organic bakery that sells vegan Kanelbullar. Of course I had to try them and they tasted amazing. Just like all the other things I tried including the chocolate ball you can see on the picture. They don’t just sell pastry but also some savory snacks and almost all of what they sell is vegan and refined sugar free. And there is a large variety of gluten-free choices as well.

Matapoteket (Södermalm)

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I arrived at my AirBNB which was located in SoFo around noon and since I didn’t really have a proper breakfast I was already starving by then. I just dropped of my bags and went out to find food. The first place I stumbled across was this cute raw food restaurant. The place is furnished like an old pharmacy and that’s what their concept is all about: serving raw healthy food as medicine. I had a kombucha, a pad thai salad and raw crackers with a pea dip. The salad was really good! The crackers were nice as well but the dip was lacking some flavor in my opinion. But all in all a really nice place if you like raw food. It’s a little pricy but worth the splurge.

Blueberry Lifestyle (all around Stockholm)

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Blueberry Lifestyle is a good stop in the afternoon when you want to get a little snack. They have a huge variety of smoothies, sandwiches and salads with lots of vegan options. The shops are all over Stockholm so it’ll be easy to find one. The smoothies are really good and not too expensive.

Hermitage (Gamla Stan)

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Just across the street from Sattva Naturbageriet is a restaurant called Hermitage. It’s a buffet style restaurant with Arabic food most of which is vegan. The place itself isn’t really spectacular but the food is good. There isn’t a huge variety of dishes too choose from but they have everything you could wish for. Veggies, greens, bread, soup, 2-3 main dishes and sides like potatoes. It’s also very cheap especially for an all-you-can-eat type of restaurant.

Stikki Nikki (all over Stockholm)

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Ice cream is always a good idea, right? Especially ice cream by Stikki Nikki. They always have vegan flavors to choose from. All the sorbets are vegan naturally and they make some more vegan flavors as well. There’s different flavors every day and also different flavors at every store (that’s a good excuse to get ice cream more than once a day, right?). The ones on the picture were actually the best ones I tried. Vegan peanut butter and lime & beets.

 

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I’ve I could take one restaurant with me to Munich it would be Hermans. I’ve been there 3 times in 5 days and I’m so not sorry about that. It’s another vegetarian/vegan buffet style restaurant. The location itself is worth going there. You get one of the most wonderful views over Stockholm while enjoying amazing food. They have a large variety of salads, curries, pasta dishes, sides, bread, spreads, fruits etc. They also offer cake which isn’t included in the all-you-can-eat price but is worth the extra pennies. Oh and it’s also quite cheap for the amount of high quality food you get. I highly recommend you to eat there when you’re in Stockholm.

Hälsocafet (Södermalm)

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This is heaven for all instagramers. This whole place is in your face insta-worthy. But in a 100% positive way. They serve everything one can wish for. You could spend your whole day eating there from breakfast to late night snack. I had a smoothie bowl and a snickers cake which both were to die for! Not the cheapest place to eat but another place that’s worth the splurge.

Orange County Foods (Norrmalm)

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On Sunday night I was literally trying to get food at three different places around 6pm and they all told me that they all told me that their kitchen was already closed. So in the end my plan was to go to Paradiset (an organic grocery store) and just get some things to eat at my AirBNB. But then I found Orange County Foods which was located inside the Paradiset store. They serve different types of bowls that you can customize yourself. And if you know me than you know how much I love bowls. I had a bowl of rice with spinach, tofu, edamame and ginger. It was a really yummy and filling meal. So if you find yourself as lost and starving in Stockholm as I was give it a shot.

Those are all my Stockholm food tips for now. But since I fell in love with this city I’m definitely planning on coming back so if you have any more tips let me know in the comments. Until then:

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Vegan Food in Hamburg

I thought I’d start a series on my blog about all the food I eat while I travel because it’s actually pretty easy to eat vegan no matter where you are.

If you’re lucky to travel to a place where veganism is a thing you will get to try some super yummy foods, but if not fruit, veggies, rice, potatoes, oats an bread are your friend.

Let’s start with Hamburg.

I’m following quite a few girls from Hamburg on Instagram and was so excited to finally get to try out some of the restaurants I’ve seen them posting pictures of because the food looked amazing.

Here’s my selection:

Sashimi Sushi (Main station & Airport)

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My friend who was so kind to let me stay with her and I got ourselves some take out at a sushi place and let me tell you, it was delicious! They have so many different types of sushi rolls and loads of other Japanese foods like edamame, miso soup, etc. I decided on radish maki, inside out rolls filled with goma wakeme and an avo roll that was wrapped in more avocado. I was in sushi heaven! The sushi is a little more pricey (well compared to Munich it was just a regular price for sushi) but so so so worth it! If you’re ever in Hamburg, try it!

 Mamalicious (Max-Brauer-Allee 277)

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Located close to the U-Bahn stop Sternschanze is this cozy café which has an authentic Canadian feel to it. When I came in I was instantly greeted by the owner. It’s a purely vegetarian café with quite a lot of vegan options. I decided on their vegan milkshake (something with mango I don’t remember what else was in it) and a bagel with peanut butter & jelly. The bagel was very good, the best one I ever had here in Germany it came very close to my favorite bagels from Brugger’s Bagels in the US. The milkshake was okay, it could have been a little more fruity I mostly just tasted the soy yoghurt in it. They also had superb looking cheesecakes but unfortunately I was too full to try any after my breakfast. If you’re up for a naughty but delicious Canadian/American breakfast, this place is for you!

Pizza Bande (Lincolnstraße 10)

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I have heard a lot of people rave about the vegan pizza at Pizza Bande in the heart of St. Pauli and yes it is awesome. We’re not really blessed with vegan pizza in Munich. We do have a lot of great places to get cheeseless pizza which I love as well but a pizza that has cheese on it is just a completely different story. At Pizza Bande you can decide if you want vegan cheese (Wilmersburger) or a sesame sauce on your vegan pizza. I went with the Wilmersburger cheese and decided on mushrooms, red onion, corn and spinach as a topping. The pizzas are completely customizable so you can top it with almost everything you can think of even bananas (yes I was tempted ;D). My pizza was ready in no time and I loved it. The crust was perfect, crunchy at the edges and just a tiny bit soft in the middle, just how I love it! The cheese was perfectly melted and the toppings were generous. Would highly recommend!

Froindlichst (Barmbeker Str. 169)

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Another day, another pizza! This time we went to Froindlichst. They offer a variety of foods like pizzas, burgers, burritos but also coffee and cake and all the food is vegan! I decided to go with a mexican pizza (nachos and guacamole on pizza with vegan cheese… why have I not thought of this before?). The cheese wasn’t as melty as the Wilmersburger one, I don’t know what brand they use, but therefore it tasted even cheesier if you know what I mean. I also tried their watermelon basil lemonade (I hope I’m remembering that right) and I have to recreate it at home, very refreshing. They also offer brunch on Sundays which I would have loved to try! If you’re ever in the area (in the North of Hamburg) then give it a try you won’t regret it.

Café Nasch (Caffamacherreihe 49)

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I am not lying when I say that I had the best cookie – vegan or not – at Café Nasch close to the Gänsemarkt! And I have had a lot of good cookies in my life, but this vegan oat-raisin-cinnamon cookie topped them all. I wish I would’ve been able to try the other flavors as well but one of these cookies was enough to fill me up, that’s how big they are! They also offer different sandwiches, (b)vörek and one dish for lunch which changes every day. Everything is vegan, but you can ask for regular milk for your coffee, they make wonderful foam with soy milk tho so who would need baby cow’s milk anyways?

Happenpappen (Lappenbergsallee 41)

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Happenpappen is another all vegan restaurant I have been seeing over and over again on Instagram. Before I get to the food I have to talk about their interior first. It was such a cute place. A few little rooms with no more then 2-4 tables and the decoration was so cute and you could feel the love with which the owner decorated her restaurant. And the same goes for the food. They offer a weekly changing menu during the day and in the evening they serve a variety of burgers. I tried the Karate Kid burger which had a chickpea-coconut-patty, veggies and wasabi-mayo on it. The flavors were really complimenting each other. And as I always have room for dessert I tried a piece of their chocolate-coconut-berrie cake. Just look at it, do I have to say more?! Go there, no matter where you’re from, you have to go there!

Qrito (Grindelallee 79)

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Sometimes fast food is great, too. And this burrito bowl I had at Qrito was just that. Nothing extraordinary but if you’re somewhere around the uni area and you want some Mexican food, go to Qrito. They make burritos or burrito bowls, quesadillas, tacos, etc. And they even have vegan cheese. What more could you ask for? If you’ve ever been to Chipotle and want something similar in Germany, that’s your place.

 

Another food that’s quite popular in Hamburg are Franzbrötchen by the bakery Kamps and guess what? They’re vegan!

 

Alright that’s all I was able to stomach in Hamburg but I will come back for sure! Not just for the food. 😀

If you have any more tips, let me know in the comments.

 

Follow your dreams

I have this calendar hanging in my living room that gives you a motivational quote each month. For June it says “Follow your dreams”.

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Currently it’s Saturday June 25th, 2016 at around noon while I’m sitting on my balcony, enjoying the sun with a cup of iced chia latte typing this post. And in this moment I couldn’t be more happy about life. To be honest I can’t remember the last time I felt so happy. And I’m pretty sure this happiness doesn’t just come from summer finally arriving here in Munich. It has more to do with the huge step I took yesterday towards reaching my dreams.

I have to admit following your dreams isn’t always easy.

First you have to figure our what your dreams are. Maybe you love cooking, but is being a chef really your dream? Maybe you love children, but do you really want to be a mom? Dreams can also change over time. Think back to when you were 10 years old. What was your dream back then? Did you want to become a fireman, a doctor, a vet or maybe even a princess? Are these still your dreams today? Are you in med school because it was your dream to become a doctor when you graduated high school but 3 years in you hate every second of it?

Then you have to figure out how you can make your dreams come true. This might very likely involve getting out of your comfort zone. Maybe you want to work in this one special company but have no idea how you can get in? Well, ask! Try to get in contact with someone who already works there, ask for an internship, ask what they are looking for in their staff, maybe this happen to be strong points. You have to step up to get where you want to be.

And then you just have to make it happen.

Now to my story:

When I graduated high school I wanted to help people living a healthy life so I went to uni and studied health promotion science. And even though I was really interested in this field (and still am today even more actually) I soon figured out that I didn’t see myself working in it. So I dropped out of uni after one year devastated because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I decided to take a gap year, moved to Boston to work there as an Au Pair and had the time of my life living there. I figured out that I love traveling, planning trips, researching flights, hotels etc.. So after I came back to Germany I started an apprenticeship as a travel agent. I loved it! I got to travel, I was able to use my language skills, plan trips, make people happy on their perfect vacation. After I graduated I stayed at this company got the job I had dreamed of getting from day one of my apprenticeship and all just fell in place. It truly fulfilled me, I loved my coworkers, I loved the destinations we worked on, I got to improve my Spanish skills, I basically loved going to work every single day.

Looking back I don’t know what or when exactly it changed but after about 1.5 years I was on vacation back in New England with a friend of mine and at some point I realized that I’m not feeling the same about my job anymore as I used to at the beginning. I pushed that feeling away though and blamed it on the routine that had set in. I went back to work and was okay with it. I still liked my job, loved my coworkers. Life went on.

A few month later I talked to a friend of mine who had just quite her job and to start her own business she had dreamed of starting for a while now. After I got home I asked myself “What are your dreams? Where do you see yourself in ten years?” I had a couple of versions of my 35 years old self, but in none of them was I still doing the job I’m doing today. I decided to give it a few weeks, I really didn’t want to rush anything. One night I found myself looking up different majors. At no point before had I considered going back to uni, but somehow this idea stuck with me. I was looking up specific majors over and over again and was already picturing myself at uni, giving it my all, graduating, finding that job that gives me the feeling I had at the beginning of my current job. And in this made up life I was happy, happier than I currently was. Don’t get me wrong I know that uni isn’t all love, peace and harmony, I am quite aware of all the work one has to put in but I want that. I want to learn new things, widen my horizon, work really hard.

So last week I have sent out applications. And yesterday I quit my job, that I still like and it makes me sad to leave my colleagues. But I really didn’t want to get to a point where I started to dislike my job, so I’m glad I took the exit before this happened.

I have no idea what exactly is going to happen next, I don’t even know yet if I will be accepted by any of the unis I applied to but at this point it doesn’t really worry me because I’m back on track of working towards my dream life.

My dreams have changed over the last years and I didn’t realize right away that I wasn’t on the right path anymore but when I did, I did something about it, I adjusted my route and it feels right again.

So if you’re not happy with what you’re doing right now I encourage you to take action. Find your passions, your dreams. Figure out how you can work towards making them happen and then simply do whatever it takes.

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

What are your dreams?

Almond Sweet Potato Blondies

If I’d have to choose between blondies and brownies I would usually always choose brownies because of their chocolaty fudgy goodness.

However this recipe might get me to change my mind.

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I came up with these just like I come up with all of my recipes. I got into my kitchen, pulled things out of my fridge and pantry and just started to throw everything together.

I was hoping for the result to turn out edible but I really wasn’t expecting it to make my taste buds THAT happy.  Well it did. My taste buds basically started to dance and I couldn’t stop coming back for seconds and thirds… let’s be real I couldn’t stop until all of the blondies were gone.

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Without further ado here’s the recipe for you:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 14 dates
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 50g almond butter
  • 100g apple sauce
  • 70g coconut flour
  • 50g almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of vanilla
  • Chocolate chips to taste

Instructions:

  1. Chop up your sweet potato and bake at 180°C for approx. 15 min. until soft.
  2. While your sweet potato is baking, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In a food processor blend the baked sweet potato, dates, maple syrup, almond butter and apple sauce.
  4. Incorporate the sweet potato blend with your dry ingredients. The batter should be quite thick but if it seems too thick you can add more apple sauce.
  5. Fold in as many chocolate chips as you like.
  6. Put the batter into a brownie mold and bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!