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Sweet Tahini Balls for Your Friendly Bacteria

For many of us, Easter isn’t just a couple more eggs than usual, but a few too many sweets too. We know that we shouldn’t but, like a bunny can’t resist hopping, we find ourselves popping jellies beans like we’re the Easter bunny ourselves.

Put very simply, you can say that sugar influences the bad bacteria in your gut to make you want to inhale every sugar grain that comes your way. The more you consume, the louder the evil bacteria scream to your brain that they want more. In the end, they basically throw a tantrum that requires some serious character to be able to resist.

Sugar is not only highly addictive but also bad for your health in every possible way. Too much raises the blood sugar and forces the pancreas to pump out more insulin than necessary, and when the insulin level in the body is raised, the immune system starts to react, which wears out the intestinal flora and causes the body to become inflamed. A small chocolate egg or two, most bodies can take care of, but the problem is that it usually doesn’t stop with two little chocolate eggs.

But don’t be too hard on yourself now. Fortunately, it’s not just what you eat during the week of Easter that counts. What you put in yourself everyday, and all the times between this Easter and next is much more important if you want to take care of your gut flora.

Whether or not you have been gorging on chocolate rabbit heads yet, perhaps now is as good a time as any to give your body a much-needed sugar detox. Keep your little cotton tail away from the Easter basket remnants and snack instead on these sweet and crazy good tahini balls. We promise that your good intestinal bacteria will be thanking you.

Sweet tahini balls
(20 pieces)

1 ¼ cup cashew nuts
½ cup grated coconut (+ extra to roll in)
¼ – ½ cup light tahini
1 tbsp coconut oil
10 fresh dates
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
a pinch of salt
blueberry powder

Run the cashew nuts in a food processor into a coarse flour. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine together into a mass. If it has difficulty coming together, add a couple drops of water while the mixer is still running. Shape into fairly large balls and roll each in a mixture of equal parts of blueberry powder and coconut flakes with just a touch of salt.

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Creamy Picnic Salad

Spring has arrived and thus the season of grill-outs, potlucks and picnics has also begun. So, for all of our nutrition hunters out there, we thought we would arm you with a go to salad that will have everyone in the crowd, from the omnivores to the vegans, asking for the recipe. Speaking of all of you… we just want to take a moment and say, we see you and from the bottom of our hearts, thanks for being so awesome! After last week, when we asked for tofu tips on Instagram, we were just in awe of all of the brilliant, vibrant, talented, thoughtful, and hungry people out there that make up our little world. Go team nutrition hunters!

Sometimes a bad conscious sweeps over us when we see how amazing you all are and we realize we don’t do you justice by liking/replying/sharing enough of your ingeniousness. We often wonder, after we’ve been lurking around on other instagrammer accounts, how in the world they seem to manage it all? We feel like our days our full to the max with book writing, building the business, podcast, blogging. But perhaps we need to revise our daily routines so we can enjoy even more interactions with you. Something we definitely strive for!

But, before we go all Type A on our schedules, there’s still a few days of Easter break left. During which, we will definitely be enjoying some of this great salad we received from this nice account last week!

Creamy Picnic Salad
(1 bowl)

1 small red onion (chopped)
7 oz/200 g firm natural tofu
1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
1/2 package fresh dill
1 1/2 vegan mayonnaise (recipe here)
1 jar vegan caviar
salt och fresh ground pepper
endive leaves

Chop the tofu into small pieces and add the lemon zest. Combine everything else together with the tofu. Season with salt and pepper and a bit of lemon juice. Scoop into the the endive leaves for serving.

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Recipes, Therese Elgquist

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Roasted Red Cabbage with Butternut, Apple and Falafel

Today we are starring a lovely spring favorite, red cabbage. We will roast it in the oven for a long time, until it is soft but still has some texture, and then mix the oven-roasted cabbage with quinoa, small chunks of butternut, thin slices of apple and serve together with herb-baked falafel. Sounds pretty good right?!

Baked Red Cabbage with Butternut Squash, Apple and Falafel
(4 servings)

1 medium-sized red cabbage head
1 small butternut
1 cup red quinoa, uncooked
1 apple
100 g greens

Oven baked falafel:
450 g of pre-cooked white beans
½ cup sunflower seeds, preferably roasted
1 cup of optional fresh herbs
½ cup sorghum flour (quinoa, buckwheat or oat flour works)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
2 pinch of black pepper
½ cup sesame seeds (to roll in)

Start with the falafel! Heat the oven to 150°C /300°F. Pulse the white beans, sunflower seeds, herbs, flour, oil, salt and pepper to a grainy batter (sunflower seeds should not be completely ground) using a food processor. If it feels too dry, you can add some water, but otherwise you set aside the batter and let it rest for 20 minutes before you roll the falafel balls.

Shape approximately 20 falafel balls and roll them in sesame seeds before placing them on an oiled plate. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes until they are slightly crispy on the outside.

Time for the red cabbage! Remove the stem from the cabbage head and then divide the rest into large pieces. Brush with a little olive oil and put on a baking tray.

Remove the butternut peel and divide the whole butternut lengthwise, and then widthwise. Scoop out the seeds and chop the butternut into small cubes. Drizzle over some olive oil and place the cubes on the tray together with the red cabbage. Bake the butternut and red cabbage in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until they are soft and golden.

While waiting, cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package. Also, be sure to slice the apple into thin slices. Use a mandolin!

Combine red cabbage, butternut, quinoa, apple and green leaves on a large plate. Serve with falafel and perhaps a sauce or dressing of our preference? Or maybe avocado and a good olive oil? Garnish with sprouts!

Do you have a convection oven?

If you have a convection oven you can bake both falafel, pumpkin and red cabbage at the same time. In that case, lower the temperature to 125°C /250°F.

The post was first published on Therese’s blog:





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A Creamy Vegan Easter salad

Here’s a fun salad that you could try this Easter season, perhaps instead of a classic egg salad. This creamy mixture is delicious on top of a seed crisp and can be garnished with other fresh faves like avocados, radishes and pea shoots. P.S. it’s also delish served alongside our French potato salad (which is in our first book for those of you lucky enough to have it on hand, otherwise you can get an english copy here).

Happy Easter everyone and to all the little bunnies out there too!

Vegan Easter Salad
(1 bowl)

4-5 small cremini mushrooms
1/2 red onion
3 tablespoons small capers
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped dill
½ cup vegan sour cream
½ cup Food Pharmacy mayonnaise (see recipe below)
1-2 teaspoons of dijon
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey
salt and white pepper

Suggested topping:
Avocado, radishes, arugula.

Food Pharmacys mayonnaise (eggless):
½ cup unsweetened soy milk
1 tbsp dijon
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 + ¼ cup cold pressed canola oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Start by making the mayonnaise first.

Combine the soy milk, mustard and vinegar in a blender on low or food processor. Slowly stream 1 cup of the oil into the mixture while continuing to mix, it will start to thicken towards the end. However, for a thicker mayonnaise continue adding oil up to an additional ¼ cup.

Chop the mushrooms and the onion and finely chop the herbs.

Add mushrooms, onions, herbs, mayo and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.

Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Done! Put a dollop on a seed crisp and enjoy.

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