celeriac and cranberry side salad

I had some leftovers of cranberries and some celery root, and because I like combining fruits and veggies in salads I decided to make this simple side salad. It’s very easy to make mix of celeriac, little bit of apple, some cranberries (but raisins will work too, although they will add more sweetness) and spices. And this purple powder you see on the photos is pinch of pomegranate tea I found in my cupboard. I thought that it’s purple colour will look great with cranberries and it also added some fresh, fruity flavour to the salad. I think that hibiscus tea would also work great as an exotic addition.

Celeriac salad is juicy, nutty and balanced with a mix of sweet apple and sour cranberries. It will work great as an addition to fish or delicate white meat like chicken or turkey. It will also be a great snack or light Summery supper.

Celery root is a perfect source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K – necessary for proper blood clotting. Also antioxidants and important minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium and manganese. Comparing to other root vegetables have quite low carb content , and it’s also low in glycemic index.

When buying celeriac choose medium-sized roots that are firm and free from soft spots or damage. Celeriac is available year round but is at its best from September to April, so it’s the last moment to make this delicious salad 🙂

celeriac and cranberry side salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 250g celeriac/celery root
  • half of small apple
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • pinch of himalayan salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • optionally: pomegranate tea or hibiscus tea

DIRECTIONS

Peel and wash celery root, do the same with half of small apple. Grate both and combine together. Add little bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Add handful of cranberries and about 2 tablespoons of double cream. Give it a good stir and set aside for couple minutes, so the flavours combine.

Optionally before serving sprinkle with pomegranate or hibiscus tea – it will add fresh and slightly fruity aroma. But if you don’t have any of these teas, just skip this step, salad will be also delicious.

low carb coconut, peanut butter & chocolate bars

This is a typical ketogenic dessert – low in carbohydrates and high in fats, also great if you need a boost of energy and you rather like less sweet snacks. It’s a mix of coconut, chia seeds, peanut butter, dark chocolate and dried cranberries. As an extra touch I decided to add little bit of dried lavender. It adds quite original aroma. But you can skip it or add something else: freeze-dry fruits or nuts. But slightly sour taste of cranberries goes great with the rest of ingredients.

It’s great as a snack or dessert when when you’re on high fat diet. The only downside I see is storing – bottom layer is made mostly with butter and coconut oil, so in the room temperature it melts quite fast. So if you’d like to take it with you as a snack for a outdoor summertime trip it will melt in couple minutes. But it’s a great snack if you have a fridge on hand.

If you skip the butter, add only coconut oil and use dairy free chocolate, it will become a great vegan keto snack.

low carb coconut, peanut butter & chocolate bars

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • about 3-4 tbsp butter
  • about 10 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 4-5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp xylitol or other sweetener
  • couple spoons of crunchy peanut butter
  • 200g 80% cacao dark chocolate
  • handful of cranberries
  • optionally: little bit of dried lavender

DIRECTIONS

You will need soft butter, so it’s best to take it off the fridge at least an hour earlier. Mix together butter, coconut oil (not melted), desiccated coconut, chia seeds and xylitol using a spoon or food processor. When combine transfer it to a form and spread all over the bottom and the sides. Place in the fridge or freezer to set.

In the meantime melt the chocolate using double boiler method. In a small pot heat some water, place heat resistant bowl over the pot, so the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of water. Place pieces of chocolate in the bowl and slowly melt until runny. Set aside.

Place a layer of crunchy peanut butter over the coconut. Slowly pour melted chocolate on top and even the surface. Add dried cranberries and a little bit of lavender. Again place in the fridge or freezer.

Cut with a sharp knife. Chocolate will break so if you want to avoid that, place your knife in a hot water, should help.

Store in the fridge, as bottom layer melts quickly in a room temperature.

homemade spelt buns

These spelt buns are so delicious, that even I couldn’t resist and made myself couple sandwiches. When you start making your own bread and buns at home, you won’t be so keen to come back to store-bought bread. Especially these wholemeal spelt buns with sunflower, poppy and linseeds. You could not resist to this gold crispy crust.

Spelt is a slightly forgotten but very valuable grain belonging to the family of wheat grains. Even though spelt is a relative of wheat, it is very different from it. Plain wheat was bred mainly to increase crop and harvest and, as a result, sales profits. Not surprisingly, the only way to maximize yields was to make a far-reaching modification to the wheat, which in its current form has virtually no nutritional value. Spelt, unlike ordinary wheat, is bred and harvested with the whole husk, which protects the inside of the grain from any contamination, guarantees freshness and preserves all nutritional values. Spelt grain is extremely rich in nutrients. It can provide up to 21% of the daily protein requirement and 30% of the daily fiber requirement – all in a single serving! Moreover, spelt grain also contains a high value of micro and macronutrients such as iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamins PP, vitamins B, E, K and folic acid. Spelt also contains more digestible gluten is much less allergenic and is even tolerated by some celiac patients. We can also find valuable unsaturated fatty acids – linolenic and linoleic.

So if you like bread and you eat quite a lot of it, you should definitely try swapping usual white bread with wholemeal spelt. Personally we feel like it doesn’t make us feel bloated like the regular white bread, and is much more fulfilling. The delicate, sweet, slightly nutty flavour of spelt is also much more tasty than regular white bread.

Because wholemeal spelt is quite dense and heavy I mixed it 1:1 with white strong bread flour. It makes buns and bread more fluffy and light. Depending of your liking you could use only spelt flour, or use 2 parts of spelt and 1 part of white flour. For extra fiber, healthy fats and nutrient richness I added: sunflower seeds, linseeds and poppy seeds. But you can use all variety of extra ingredients: chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds etc.

Even though baking homemade bread seems to be time consuming and complicated, in reality is very easy. Once you have mastered the correct preparation of the yeast and kneading of the dough, the whole procedure will take a few minutes and the longest is waiting time, when you can do anything else. Baking bread yourself is a great idea for a weekend breakfast. Buns are baking even faster. Even if you’re not a fan of early mornings, you can bake them in the evening and they will be also delicious on the next day.

I highly encourage you to make your own spelt bread and buns, you’ll feel the difference when you make it. You’ll see how much pleasure gives making a sandwich with your own homemade bun 🙂

And if you’re looking for perfect spread to you freshly baked bun, have a look at the sun-dried tomato paste recipe – these two goes perfectly together!

homemade spelt buns

INGREDIENTS for about 9 buns or quite large bread:

  • about 300-400g organic wholemeal spelt flour
  • about 300-400g strong white bread flour
  • 2 sachets (56g) fast action dried yeast (1 sachet is equivalent to 15g of fresh yeast, or 7g of ordinary dried yeast)
  • about 200ml warm water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 1 tsp natural rock salt
  • options: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, linseeds, poppy seeds

DIRECTIONS

Although fast action dried yeast are not supposed to be diluted in water first I always do it anyway, as with any other type of yeast. Simply take about 200ml of warm water (warm enough you can comfortably put your finger into it), too hot water will kill the yeast, in cold water yeast won’t start working. Place 2 teaspoons of sugar into the water and add yeast. Give it a good stir to both sugar and yeast dissolve and set it aside to start working. Give it a stir every now and then.

Because wholemeal spelt is quite dense and heavy I mixed it 1:1 with white strong bread flour. It makes buns and bread more fluffy and light. Depending of your liking you could use only spelt flour, or use 2 parts of spelt and 1 part of white flour.

In the meantime prepare the rest ingredients. In a large pot combine together: both flours, salt and seeds. I used sunflower seeds, linseeds and poppy seeds. Then add olive oil or melted butter.

If your yeast generated nice and fluffy foam it means that they are ready. Pour the contents of the cup to the flour and start kneading. I always do it in the pot, so the flour won’t spill everywhere. You can also use large bowl. Knead the dough until it becomes uniform and elastic. If you knead 100 times it should be enough. If needed add some warm water or flour depending if it’s to dry or too watery.

Shape it to a ball and leve in the pot or bowl. Place it in a dark warm place. I always put it to my oven, I switch on the heating to about 50°C (not more) and when it gets to 50°C just switch it of. Leave it in a warm place for about 40 minutes. It should rise very nicely.

Next place the dough on the kitchen board sprinkled with some flour, knead for another 100 times. Roll into a cylinder shape and divide in equal size pieces. Give a ball shape to each piece. Take a large baking tray, place a piece of baking paper. Place each ball on the tray leaving a lot of space to rise (I had 9 balls). Again place them in a warm and dark place for another 40 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200°C. If you like you can make a cross with the knife on each bun. Place them on the middle shelf of the oven and bake 20-25 minutes until they become golden. Remove them from the oven, place on the cooling rack and give them couple minutes to cool down.

Instead of buns, you can shape the dough to a bread, place in a round or oval shaped form filled with baking paper and bake for about 40 minutes.

Buns and bread are suitable for freezing.