Chocolate Banana Bread (GF + V)

Chocolate Banana Bread (GF + V)

Heyyy friends.

It’s been a while. To be exact, the last time I blogged was about six months ago. Phew, time flies by so fast. However, being a new parent, you could tell me that it’s May and I’d believe you. Some days I don’t even know how to spell my name so it’s a miracle that I knew how to use WordPress after such a long break.

Raising a baby has been a lot more intense than I could have imagined and there are a lot of things I feel like writing about and sharing, but I can barely function after we get our little monkey down for the night, so I better keep this short and sweet and focus on this little treat that I’ve got you.

I had lunch with a friend + our babies at El Fant last week, and after surviving our kiddos throwing all their toys, sweat dripping down my back, and all the hurdle that comes up when out on the town with a small human being (at some point I noticed my boy eating one of the hanging plants on the wall…), we decided to share a piece of their chocolate banana bread. It was so good, that I decided to bake some at home too. I have a recipe for banana bread on the archives but this time I wanted to make the bread vegan and add some good chunks of chocolate to the batter. And it really was a genius combination. I always think banana bread is at its best on the next day and once the flavors have had time to ‘set’, I like to cut a huge slice and enjoy it with some plant milk. And then maybe get another slice. But what I really think is genius, is to freeze a few slices so that I have a go to treat whenever I need a moment of pampering just for myself without hanging plants eaten :)

Sending you all love and light and beautiful Autumn days ♡


Chocolate Banana Bread (GF + V)

notes: for a non-vegan version, you can replace the flaxseed meal with two organic eggs. gluten-free oat flour or buckwheat flour work well instead of the almond flour too. 

makes a 24×10 cm loaf

2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water
3 big ripe bananas
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup almond flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of vanilla powder
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used these)

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F. In a small bowl, mix the flaxseed meal and water and let thicken for a few minutes.

2. Add the bananas, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and almond milk to a blender and blend until smooth.

3. Measure the flour, baking powder, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon to a large bowl. Pour in the banana mixture and mix well. Gently fold in the chocolate chips (leave some for topping).

4. Cover the loaf pan with baking paper and if necessary, grease the sides lightly with coconut oil. Pour in the batter and add some chocolate chips on top.

4. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm, and enjoy! For storing I recommend keepin the the bread in the fridge. You can also freeze some slices of the bread and then just pop them to the toaster when a craving for banana bread hits!

Healthier Oven Baked Donuts (GF)

Healthier Oven Baked Donuts (GF)

Hey friends! Here I am, still in one piece and waiting for the baby to arrive. These last weeks of being pregnant have definitely been filled with nervousness, anxiety, and excitement, but most of all they have been a huge exercise of patience for someone who’s rather impatient and loves to control things. Yep, that’s me. I have this image of some kind of birth gods sitting on a cloud and laughing compassionately at me, as I get super nervous every night before going to bed and think if this night is the night it all begins and then go through our action plan in case the labor begins. Lately, my biggest concern has been that if I go into labor during the night, my man won’t be able to go to the grocery store to get all the snacks I’ve told him to get (believe me, there’s a lot). So in the big picture, I think we’re starting to be ready to welcome the little fella to our family :)

After organizing pretty much all the closets in our apartment, deep-cleaning the fridge and freezer, and folding diapers and all the baby stuff, I thought I might distract myself from the baby stuff and bake something good just for the sake that I love baking. And also, I had been dreaming of these sugar-coated fried donuts (in Finnish we call them “munkki” and they’re something between a fritter and a donut) for a few days but had no idea where to find gluten-free ones (if you know a place, do share!), so I decided to make my own version of the classic treat. And before I try to convince you that these would be like the traditional ones, I’ll admit that they’re not. But for me, they were close enough to fill my cravings and since they’re baked in the oven and sweetened only with coconut sugar, they’re a healthier treat too. And healthy treats are my jam.

Healthier Oven Baked Donuts w/ Coconut Sugar (GF) | tuulia blog Oven Baked Donuts (gluten-free + naturally sweetened) | tuulia blog

Instead of frying, I always prefer a baked version whether we’re talking about falafels or donuts, as even the thought of frying things brings back all the memories of my morning sickness. And I also like the simple process of making baked donuts: you simply mix together all the ingredients, pour the dough into a donut pan, bake in the oven, and then if you’re in the mood for it, add a topping to make things a bit fancier. This time I just coated the donuts generously with coconut sugar, but if you’re more into to the traditional toppings, you can whip up an easy caramel topping from nut butter, honey / maple syrup, and plant milk. Or you could melt some chocolate on top of these…or make three kinds of donuts and have a total donut fiesta! You choose :)

Hoping you guys enjoy the donuts and sending you lots of love and sunshine for the upcoming Spring and Summer! It might be a little quiet in here for a while once the baby comes, but I think I’ll come back at some point to chat about food :) And I’ll probably be posting at times on Instagram, so you can follow me there too!

Stay cozy and eat well, friends! ♡

Oven Baked Donuts (gluten-free + naturally sweetened) | tuulia blog Healthier Oven Baked Donuts w/ Coconut Sugar (GF) | tuulia blog


Healthier Oven Baked Donuts w/ Coconut Sugar (GF)

notes: I wanted to keep these nut-free, so I went for gluten-free oat flour and white rice flour. but if you’d like, you can replace either of the flours for example with almond flour. also, a bit of cinnamon or cardamom would be really nice in these, or you could make a chocolate version by replacing 2 to 3 tablespoons of the flour with cacao powder. 

makes 12 donuts

3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
3/4 cup white rice flour
2 tbsp tapioka starch (or potato flour)
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
a tiny pinch of salt

2 organic eggs
1 ripe banana
4 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup gluten-free oat milk (or other plant milk)

+ plant-milk & coconut sugar for topping

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 C / 350 F degrees. Measure all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

2. Break the eggs to a blender and add the banana, coconut oil, and oat milk. Mix until smooth. Combine the two mixtures and mix well.

3. Grease the donut pan lightly with coconut oil. Add about 2 tablespoons of the dough into the donut holes. Smooth the surface of each donut with a spoon. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes until the donuts have a beautiful golden-brown color. Remove from the oven and let cool for a moment in the pan before removing.

4. Pour a bit of plant milk to a small bowl and add about a 1/2 cup of coconut sugar to another bowl. Once the donuts have cooled a bit, dip them first lightly in plant milk and then roll in coconut sugar until covered. Repeat for each donut, serve, and enjoy!

5. The donuts are best straight on the baking day, but you can store them in airtight container in the fridge for a couple days.

TallennaTallenna

Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers w/ Halloumi

Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers w/ Halloumi

this post is sponsored by Asennemedia & Moilas Leipomo

I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about bread lately. And based on today’s post, there’s no end in sight. But what can you do when something major happens. You see, I have finally discovered The Perfect Gluten-free Hamburger Bun.

To make things clear, I have very high standards for hamburger buns. I’ve never liked the very white, very fluffy buns that most burger places tend to offer, as I think the bun should have structure and crunchiness, but not too much so that it doesn’t take out the attention from the actual food, as I’m a fan of having a lot toppings (which you can see from the photos I guess). So finding a good gluten-free burger bun is tricky, but finally a couple weeks ago I got my hands on The One. Which means I’ve been eating bread once again with great pleasure (have to enjoy this phase as long as it lasts!).

Sweet Potato Lentil Burger w/ Halloumi | tuulia blog Moilas Kuitusämpylä Sweet Potato Lentil Burger w/ Halloumi | tuulia blog

So what is this magic bun, you might be wondering? I got to choose my favorite from the new products that Moilas recently launched and this gluten-free seed bread roll caught my eye instantly. I envisioned a veggie-filled burger and knew I wanted to try it on homemade burgers. The buns are gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free and the structure is perfect for burgers: once you bake these in the oven, the crust becomes really crispy, but the insides are still soft. The buns also have a nice amount of fiber (which is not that common in gf buns) so that they’re not just like eating air, but not too filled with seeds either. Even though I like to make my own bread every now and then, I do appreciate the fact that I can pop something in the oven and not make everything from scratch. Especially when I’ve got a craving for burgers.

Naturally, burgers do need a patty and even though I eat meat sometimes, I’ve always been more of a veggie-burger loving gal. So I made a patch of sweet potato lentil burgers, fried some halloumi, and went for leafy greens, tomato, mashed avocado, and sprouts as my burger toppings. The end result was pure comfort food with fresh flavors, a.k.a. just the type of food that makes me veeeery happy. So I’m definitely gonna make a new patch of the sweet potato lentil burgers asap, put them in the freezer, and be prepared when the next craving for a burger hits. I can see the future me giving me a hug already. Gotta love food.

I hope you guys enjoy the burgers! Eat well and stay cozy! x

Sweet Potato Lentil Burger w/ Halloumi | tuulia blog


Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers w/ Halloumi

notes: feel free to add your favorite toppings, try other spreads or other types of cheese in these burgers!

makes 4 burgers

4 Moilas Seed Bread Rolls
sweet potato lentil patties (recipe below)
lettuce
1-2 avocados, mashed
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
1 pack of halloumi
sprouts or microgreens
dijon mustard / vegan mayo / other spread, if desired

METHOD:

1. Start by making the sweet potato lentil patties (recipe below). Prep the vegetables while the patties are in the oven.

2. Rinse the salad if necessary and smash the avocados with a fork in a small bowl. Slice the tomatoes and halloumi. Heat a frying pan and cook the halloumi for a few minutes from both sides until golden brown.

3. When the patties are ready, bake the bread rolls according to the instructions on the package (I like to bake them in the oven).

4. Slice the bread rolls in half and assemble the burgers by layering everything in between the bread. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Lentil Patties

notes: the recipe makes quite a lot of patties so you can easily freeze a part of them or store these in the fridge for a few days. also, you can try other flours instead of the oat flour, like chickpea flour. 

makes about 10 patties

1 small sweet potato
2 cans (á 285 g) cooked red lentils
1 organic egg (or 1 chia / flax egg)
3 sundried tomatoes
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
5 tbsp gluten-free oat flour (see notes above)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp herb salt
olive oil, for baking

METHOD:

1. Peel the sweet potato and cook or steam it until soft.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400 F  degrees. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth. You can also use a hand mixer for this stage.

3. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper and add some olive oil to the sheet. Scoop 1 to 2 tablespoons of the lentil mixture to the sheet. Press lightly with the back of the spoon to form a patty.

4. Bake for about 25 minutes until the patties are slightly browned. Let cool for a moment.

5. Serve as burgers and enjoy! The patties can be stored in the fridge for a few days but these freeze well too.

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A Simply Divine Lemon Cake (GF + V)

A Simply Divine Lemon Cake (GF + V)

The following scenario is getting pretty common at our house: we’ve invited friends or family over for dinner and I’ve promised to be in charge of dessert and appetizers while my husband takes care of the main course. People are starting to arrive and I’ve probably set the table by now, my man has taken care of my appetizers and starts prepping the main course, and as the doorbell rings I’m probably standing at our kitchen window still taking photos of the dessert. Or I might still be in the shower / putting my clothes on / at the store buying food. You see, being an optimistic by heart has this side effect that I sometimes a lot of times end up thinking I can manage 1043 things in a very short amount of time. My success rate is not that great, really. Whoops.

A Simply Divine Lemon Cake (GF + V) | tuulia blog

But this time I had a good reason for my very late, very quick photo session: this very divine lemon cake. I got an urge to make something super fresh with a lot of lemons last weekend and ended up creating this thing that’s somewhere between a cake and a pie. It’s partially raw, as the filling is typical for raw cakes and made from cashew nuts, coconut milk, and a lot of lemon, but instead of going the raw route with the crust, I made a crumbly crust and baked it in the oven before adding the filling. And I think that combo of the baked crust and the fresh filling makes this a bit special and very yummy. So it was a good thing I climbed on that window still to take these photos (not so easy with this huge belly I’ve got!).

A few words about the filling: usually raw cakes have a lot of coconut oil and / or cacao butter, but I didn’t feel like adding a lot of oil so I ended up using only one tablespoon of coconut oil and let the cake set in the fridge overnight. And thanks to this, the filling turned out to have a very yummy texture with a slightly sour, but super fresh taste to it. And it held together really well even without all the oil! *Patting myself on the back*

I hope you guys enjoy the cake and wish you all a lovely Easter! May it be filled with good vibes and cozy times :)

A Simply Divine Lemon Cake (GF + V) | tuulia blog A Simply Divine Lemon Cake (GF + V)| tuulia blog


A Simply Divine Lemon Cake (GF + V)

notes: I think the filling needs a lot of lemon and only a tiny bit of sweetness to make it really fresh, but if you’d like to make it more sweet, feel free to add some more honey / maple syrup. 

20 cm / 8-inch springform cake pan
serves 8

Crust:
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
2 tbsp gluten-free oat flour
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Filling:
1 2/3 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
2/3 cup lemon juice (you’ll need 2 to 3 lemons)
2 tbsp organic lemon zest, grated
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla powder

fresh blueberries, for decorating

METHOD:

1. Add cashew nuts to a large bowl, add plenty of water, and soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F degrees. Mix the flour, vanilla powder and salt in a large bowl. Melt the coconut oil and honey in a small pan on low heat. Add the oil mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until a crumbled dough forms.

2. Cover the bottom of the cake pan with baking paper and spread some coconut oil to the sides. Press the dough to the bottom and to the edges of the pan and dock the bottom with a fork.  Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes until the crust has a beautiful golden-brown color. Allow to cool properly. Prepare the filling in the meantime.

3. Drain and rinse the cashew nuts and transfer them to a blender. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey or maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla powder. Blend until completely smooth. Taste, and add more sweetness or lemon if needed.

4. Once the crust has cooled, pour the filling on top and spread evenly. Place to the fridge to set for at least 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Decorate the cake for example with fresh blueberries, serve, and enjoy!

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The Best Gluten-free and Vegan No Knead Bread Rolls

The Best Gluten-free and Vegan No Knead Bread Rolls

There are recipes that I try out once, fall in love with them instantly, and then share them here right away thinking that someone else might like them too. And then there are recipes that I make again and again and only somewhere along the 27th time making it, I realize that there might be something bigger there and something worth sharing. Something life-changing, modestly speaking.

And the recipe I’m sharing today is pretty life-changing, trust me. I know we food bloggers love to say that everything we make is the best and the most delicious thing there ever was, but it’s just pretty easy to get carried away when you’re so excited about something. Like I am about these gluten-free and vegan no knead bread rolls. They might not be the best ever bread you’ve eaten, but regarding the time and effort it takes to make these, and how deliciously good they are, we’re pretty close to something almost magical. No eggs, oil, milk, or weird ingredients needed in these babes. And no messing up your hands in dough! Vive la révolution!

The Best Gluten-free and Vegan No Knead Bread Rolls | tuulia blog The Best Gluten-free and Vegan No Knead Bread Rolls | tuulia blog

Sow how do I make these? Lemme tell you.

Last summer I came across a thing called overnight bread rolls. As the name suggests, the dough is made on the previous night, then put to the fridge to rise, and in the morning you simply scoop the dough onto a baking sheet and bake into delicious rolls with a crispy crust and a soft inside. Once reading about it, I knew I had to try it. So after some intense wandering around the interweb, I found my way to this recipe by a Finnish chef who kind of began the whole thing (she is actually one of my idols in the food biz!). Now that I knew how the idea worked, I just had to come up with a gluten-free version. And now, finally, after making these countless times (and eating a huge amount of these), I’m ready to share the recipe with you all!

These bread rolls taste like any good homemade bread should (that’s a lot to say in the world of gluten-free baking) and I love the slightly sour taste they have + they’re not crumbly at all as a lot of gluten-free baked goods tend to be. The secret to the great texture and taste is a small amount of dry yeast and a long rising time in the fridge, which result into an almost sourdough-like end result. You see why I’m in love?

Gluteenittomat yön yli sämpylät | tuulia blog

I think I’m gonna leave you to it and have one more from the batch I baked this morning, but before hopping onto the ingredients and measurements, I wanted to share a few notes about the recipe so that you’ll have all that it takes to make these. And that really is not much.

Sending you cozy vibes and delicious times! ♡


A few notes about the recipe:

– Feel free to try different flours in these. First I made these only with gluten-free oat and buckwheat flour, then added some rolled oats, and now I’ve settled to a mix of oat, buckwheat, and brown rice flour. I always recommend using at least two different flours in gluten-free baking to achieve a good texture.

– I’ve made these into thin flat bread type of rolls (a bit like pita bread) as well and really like those too. To make flatter breads, you’ll only need about 2 cups of flour, as with the recipe below, you’ll get more traditional bread rolls. Also, these always tend to turn out a bit different depending on the time the dough has been in the fridge and how the yeas has done its magic.

– These are definitely best after baking and store well to the next day, but if you want to store these for longer, I recommend popping them to the freezer and then defrosting from there to keep them soft.

The Best Gluten-free and Vegan No Knead Bread Rolls | tuulia blog


The Best Gluten-free and Vegan No Knead Bread Rolls

notes: I like to add a bit more flour to the dough in the morning to make it more ‘spoonable’. check out my other tips from above the photo to learn more about the changes you can make! 

makes 7 to 8 big buns

3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp psyllium husk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dry yeast
2 cups warm water

Add in the morning:
about 1/2 cup flour (any of the above)
sunflower and pumpkin seeds, for decorating

METHOD:

1. Add the flour, psyllium powder, salt, and dry yeast to a large bowl and mix. Then add the water and stir well to remove any clumps. Cover the bowl with a soft cloth and place to the fridge overnight.

2. In the following morning, take the dough from the fridge and stir carefully. Add about a 1/2 cup of flour to make the dough a little thicker and easier to handle.

3. Preheat the oven to 225 C /425 F degrees. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper and with the help of two tablespoons, form about 7 to 8 rolls to the sheet (I go for about 2 tablespoons of dough per roll). Sprinkle some seeds on top, if desired.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes until the rolls have a beautiful golden brown color. Let cool for a moment before serving. If you want to keep the crust crispy, don’t cover the rolls after baking. Once cooled, serve and enjoy!

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My Favorite Pregnancy Superfoods + Power Breakfast Pancake

My Favorite Pregnancy Superfoods + Power Breakfast Pancake

this post is sponsored by CocoVi.

Last week I was all about homemade cosmetics and self-care, but this week we’re talking about food! This is my second post in collaboration with CocoVi and for this post I decided to talk about my favorite pregnancy superfoods, meaning the foods that I’ve been enjoying and loved throughout my pregnancy (even during the awful nausea).

Pregnancy has brought a lot of changes both mentally and physically for me, and it has naturally affected on what I eat – and also to what I haven’t been eating. It took a lot of mental flexibility in the beginning when I found myself craving for more meat, mashed potatoes, pizza, fish fingers, and all that comfort food instead of colorful veggie dishes and my dear lentil stews. So it took some effort to be okay with the fact that I was actually craving for the foods I hadn’t eaten in years, or a decade, and things I kind of thought were off-limits. But in a way it’s been a good practice to get out of my usual patterns and have a more relaxed attitude towards food, and life in general.

Besides having cravings, I’ve been madly hungry at times. First it took some courage as well to just trust my body and eat a lot more than I was used to, as my body was simply in need of extra energy. Even though I love food deeply, at some point it felt like a full-time job to eat that much! But now I’m back to a more “normal” phase and at eight months pregnant, the finish line is starting to get closer (yikes!), and luckily there’s no more nausea and the heartburn that came along mid-pregnancy seems to have disappeared too. So now it’s been actually nice to cook something else than breakfast foods for a change :)

my go-to pregnancy smoothie | tuulia blog

One of my go-to smoothies with pear, frozen mango, frozen wild blueberries, psyllium husk powder, dried nettle and plant milk. I sometimes add some frozen spinach too, and if I want to make this a bit more filling, I’ll add some hemp seeds, hemp protein or soaked cashwes.

There’s an endless amount of guides and rules on what to eat and what not to eat while pregnant, and the challenging part has been to just trust myself and eat what I feel like my body is needing at the moment (but naturally I’ve given up on the things that should be definitely avoided). But for example I’ve been eating more animal products and meat than before, as even the thought of lentils and beans made me sick for a long time and my stomach wasn’t able to handle them at all. But besides the comfort food, I’ve luckily been in the mood for a lot of smoothies, different porridges, fruits, banana pancakes, and all sorts of veggie-filled wraps.

As a lot of you know, I tend to use superfoods in my recipes every now and then and I’ve had all sorts of jars with different powders in my cupboards for years already. While pregnant, I’ve given up on the stronger superfoods, like wheatgrass and maca powder, but have continued to use a few of my favorite products that I’ve been using for a long time. The term superfood easily brings all sorts of exotic ingredients in mind, but for me for example wild berries and nettle are the ultimate superfoods, and they’re both local to where I live. But to wrap up this very lengthy introduction, I thought I’d share my favorite pregnancy superfoods and the things that have made me feel good in between eating my weight in bread :)

Nokkosjauhe

Vihersmoothie kuivatusta nokkosesta

A simple green smoothie with banana, pear, frozen spinach, dried nettle, and plant milk.

My Favorite Pregnancy Superfoods:

Spinach: I use spinach almost daily and I love to add baby spinach to my salads or other foods. I also use a lot of frozen spinach and add it to my smoothies. Frozen spinach has been a super easy way to add some greens to my diet especially on the days when I don’t feel like eating anything green. And besides making green smoothies out of it, I add a few pieces to my berry smoothies as well since spinach has a very mild taste.

Nettle: I’m a true fan of nettle and have talked about it here on the blog before as well, since it’s such a great ingredient. It’s nice to pick up some fresh nettles in late spring and summer, but usually I go for the dried nettle powder, as it’s super easy to add a teaspoon of it to smoothies, soups, stews, or on top of an omelette. I always thank nettle for my pretty good immunity and for the fact that my hair grows out very quickly, but now while being pregnant, I’ve also been taking it for the plant-based iron it has.

Fruits: I’ve always been eating a lot of fruits but pregnancy has been making me eat even more, and I can easily eat up to 5 fruits a day! In the beginning I ate a lot of citrus fruits as they relieved some of the nausea I had (besides eating the fruit, I sometimes just cut a lemon or mandarin in half and inhaled the scent of it as it eased the nausea as well), but I love bananas and pears too. I use bananas in baking a lot as well, since they bring a nice natural sweetness and make baked goods moist, which I love.

Wild berries: The great thing about living here in Finland is that we have a lot of wild berries, which are full of vitamins and other good-for-you things. I eat berries daily and add them to smoothies, on top of porridge, or on top of pancakes. I’ve been craving especially strawberries (probably because of the vitamin C), but have been eating all sorts of berries (mainly frozen, as we don’t have fresh berries this time of the year) through the entire winter. Especially in the beginning when I didn’t have much of an appetite for real food, I used to make smoothies, porridge, or sandwiches for dinner and adding berries to my meals was an easy way to get some good nutrients.

Gluteeniton vispipuuro | tuulia blog

Whipped Lingonberry & Millet Porridge.

My Favorite Pregnancy Superfoods | tuulia blog

I love adding nuts, dried mulberries and hemp seeds on top of my morning porridge or smooothie. I’m a huge berry lover too.

Raskausajan superfoodit | tuulia blog

I always have some rolled oats, dried mulberries, hemp seeds, psyllium husk powder, nuts, and good oils at home.

Rooibos latte w/ rooibos tea, coconut butter, oat milk and a fresh date

A creamy rooibos latte made with rooibos tea, oat milk, coconut butter (or coconut oil) and a fresh date.

Coconut oil: Besides being great for skincare, coconut oil is a staple in my kitchen. I use it for frying, as it can handle high temperatures well, it’s great for baking to replace butter, and it’s easy to add a spoonful to hot drinks, smoothies, or in porridge to bring some extra energy and creaminess. My friend had a habit of adding a spoonful to her morning smoothie while being pregnant, and I’ve sometimes added a spoonful to my morning porridge to relieve any constipation.

Healthy fats: I still remember the time I was avoiding fats and oils as much as I could and everything had to be fat-free, whereas now I make sure to have enough healthy fats daily. Besides being good for you, I’ve noticed that healthy fats nourish my dry skin that is prone to eczema. Avocados are an easy way to have some good quality fats, but I also like to use avocado oil (it’s great for frying too), olive oil, and hemp seed oil from CocoVi. I’ve been using hemp seed oil especially during winters when my eczema has been pretty bad, and I’ve been having a spoonful of hemp seed oil either in salads, on top of soup, or in my morning porridge.

Hemp seeds: Seeds are not recommended while pregnant here in Finland due to any heavy metals in them, and I haven’t been eating a lot seeds after getting pregnant just to be sure. Hemp seeds have been a favorite of mine for years already and they’re pretty much the only seed I’ve been eating every now and then throughout my pregnancy. Hemp seeds have been an easy source of some added protein and healthy fats especially when my appetite has been lacking. Besides hemp, I’ve eaten chia puddings every now and then as well if I’ve been in the mood for it. There’s usually seeds in many gluten-free products as well, so I haven’t been stressing about it that much as I’ve felt that seeds are not probably the worst thing you can eat while pregnant. And when I’ve been using seeds, I’ve chosen organic ones (CocoVi’s seeds are organic, which I think is great).

Fresh dates: Dates are my go-to treat whenever I’m in need of something sweet asap, and I like to make healthy candies out of dates by filling them with almond butter and adding dried mulberries or walnuts inside as well. A couple of those and I’m happy for a moment! I like to use dates in lattes as well, and also in baked goods. Lately I’ve found myself craving for dates more than usual and have been eating them more too. Dates are actually said to be a great pregnancy food and eating dates could make your labor easier (while reading about it, I found this research, which says that eating 6 dates for 4 weeks before your due date could make the labor easier and faster). Let’s see if the dates I’ve been eating will have any effect, but at least they’re yummy to eat :)

Dried mulberries: Dried mulberries are another favorite way of mine to add some sweetness to my day, and I love to add them into my morning porridge (I cook them with the oats so that they’ll become super soft and chewy), or I add them on top smoothies, pancakes, yogurt, or just eat them as they are if I’m in a need of something sweet.

My Pregnancy Power Pancake | tuulia blog

My go-to breakfast especially in the first trimester: a huge breakfast pancake with berries and fruits.

Raskausajan superfoodit | tuulia blog

Vegan Chocolate Milkshake w/ frozen banana, cashews, date, raw cacao powder, ice, and almond milk | tuulia blog

A vegan chocolate milkshake with frozen banana, cashews, date, raw cacao powder (or dark unsweetened cacao powder), ice, and almond milk.

Psyllium husk powder: Besides being a celiac, I also have a very sensitive stomach and all the pregnancy hormones have brought it’s own add to the mix (not gonna share too much). I’ve been using psyllium husk powder usually just for baking and taken it with me while traveling in case I need some extra fiber, but now I’ve been adding it to my smoothies and pancakes as well. That added fiber has been easing out my stomach issues, and psyllium husk is said to help both diarrhea and constipation, so it’s great for all the pregnancy-related stomach problems. Psyllium husk also makes smoothies really creamy, so it’s a great add if you’re in the mood for a spoonable smoothie treat.

Hemp protein: I don’t use a lot of protein powders since most of them are not a great fit for my stomach, but I’ve been using hemp protein ever since I was diagnosed with celiac’s disease, as a nutritionist suggested it for me. And now while being pregnant, I’ve been adding a spoonful of organic hemp protein powder to my smoothies, and it’s been an easy way to get some protein while I’ve been mostly in the mood for carbohydrates (I blame winter for this as well).

Nuts: While reducing the amount of seeds I eat, I’ve been using more nuts lately as they’re an easy source of some added energy and good fats. I like to add soaked cashews to my smoothies to make them creamy (like in this smoothie), walnuts are great on top of porridge, and I think almonds are best when roasted in the oven for granola. Brazil nuts are a favorite too, and I like to add a couple soaked ones to smoothies too.

My Favorite Pregnancy Superfoods | tuulia blog

Phew! That was a long list of food! Thanks for making it here till the end. Before jumping off to a recipe (I thought you deserved that after all this reading!), I just want to say that every pregnancy is a very unique experience, we’re all different, and the most important thing is to do as you feel is right. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, and these were just some of my own experiences, but hopefully they’re useful to some of you out here. Besides growing a new life, pregnancy is definitely a journey into yourself, as at least for me a lot of the things I was used to liking went out of the window. It’s also been relieving to acknowledge that there is no such thing as a perfect pregnancy, and there are so many things that are out of our hands and you just need trust your body to do the work and try to keep up with all the changes happening :) And instead of going forward full-steam on, this has definitely been the time take it easier and just enjoy the ride.

But now, I thought I’d share the recipe for my Power Breakfast Pancake, as it’s been a life savior on many mornings, and afternoons too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Sending you love and light, and so many cozy vibes. ♡

My Pregnancy Power Pancake | tuulia blog


Power Breakfast Pancake (GF)

notes: if I make this for breakfast, I usually use two eggs, but if I’m making it as an afternoon snack, I’ll reduce the amount of eggs to one. you can use other gluten-free flakes or flour in these too and usually make this with the ingredients I have at hand. I love to eat my pancake with lotsof toppings and pretty much always add some coconut cream or plant yogurt on top too.

makes one large or a few smaller pancakes

2 organic eggs
1/2 banana
1,5 tbsp gluten-free rolled oats
1,5 tbsp millet flakes
1 tsp psyllium husk powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup plant milk

+ coconut oil for frying
+ berries, fruit, dried mulberries and coconut cream for serving

METHOD:

1. Break the eggs into a blender. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Let the batter rest for a couple of minutes.

2. Heat a frying pan and add a bit of coconut oil to the pan. Pour the dough to the pan and fry on medium heat for a few minutes until the surface begins to dry up. Turn, and continue to fry for a short moment.

3. Serve the pancake warm with berries, fruits, dried mulberries, and coconut cream and enjoy!

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Homemade Body Butter + Tips for Using Coconut Oil

Homemade Body Butter + Tips for Using Coconut Oil

 this post is sponsored by CocoVi

This time of the year I find myself turning into something I’d call… a lotion monster. My dry and sensitive skin loves moisturizing and there seems to be different lotions all around our apartment (but they’ve usually lost their caps since I don’t apparently work well with caps, which leads into me buying new jars). I love both facial and body oils and especially now with these cold and dry weather conditions, I’m a true oil fanatic. A few drops to my face, a little something to my hands while cooking in the kitchen (yess for coconut and olive oil!), and now while being pregnant, I’ve come up with a daily routine of massaging oil and body lotion to my belly, breasts, and the rest of the body as well. So I’m a very well moisturized lady by the time I get to bed. Maybe it’s the couple minutes it takes to me to do that, or the gentle massage I give to myself at the same time, but that little moment of self-care has become very nourishing for me both mentally and physically.

Even if I do love oils, moisturizing with just oils is rather…oily, and they tend to take quite a lot of time to absorb properly, so I wanted to come up with something that’s as moisturizing as an oil, but has a bit more texture. Enter: this homemade body butter with just a few simple ingredients: coconut oil, cacao butter, and almond oil. I also added some essential lavender oil to the mix, and it brings a lovely scent + lavender has a soothing effect, which is great for an occasionally restless person like me.

Homemade Body Butter with Coconut Oil & Cacao Butter | tuulia blog

I’ve been making recipes for CocoVi for a few years already, but now I got the chance to come up with two collaborations here on the blog as well. So I picked up the products I use the most and for this first post I wanted to come up with homemade cosmetics instead of food. You see, making homemade beauty products from edible ingredients is pretty great as:

1) you don’t have to go and search for weird ingredients (or maybe you’ll need to go and buy almond oil but you can find it in many grocery stores and use for baking too!) and

2) I got to use the bag of cacao butter that’s been hiding in the cupboards for a while.

Vinkkejä kookosöljyn käyttöönHow to use coconut oil in beauty care | tuulia blog

Before I jump onto the recipe, I thought I’d quickly share some thoughts on coconut oil too. A lot of you probably have a jar at home, and I use it in many of my recipes too. Besides being great for baking, there are however so many ways you can use coconut oil outside the kitchen, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ways here.

My tips for using coconut oil:

– You can make a super nice homemade body scrub with coconut oil, honey, and salt. It’s great for the whole body and leaves your skin feeling super soft.

– Coconut oil is also great for dry hair and dry scalp. I like to massage it gently to my scalp and to the whole lengths of my hair (or just the ends if I’m busy) and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before washing off. You can also use a small amount of coconut oil as a hair oil to dry ends after washing.

– For the past few months I’ve been removing my make up with coconut oil. I take about a teaspoon of coconut oil and massage it to my face and it removes all of my makeup gently. I then use a gentle cleansing foam to remove the make up and oil. (Tip: A small jar of coconut oil is super handy while traveling, as you can remove your make up and moisturize the entire body with it).

– Coconut oil is a great moisturizer for intimate areas as well and can be used as a natural lubricant.

– Coconut oil works as a massage oil too and besides getting a massage, you’ll be getting a moisturized skin.  So convenient! (Now you just need to get that massage..)

Itse tehty vartalovoide kaakaovoista ja kookosöljystäHomemade Body Butter with Coconut Oil & Cacao Butter | tuulia blog

But now back to this body butter. Besides using coconut oil, I chose cacao butter and almond oil as they’re very moisturizing, absorb pretty quickly, and my sensitive skin seems to really like them. Also, both cacao butter and almond oil have lots of vitamin E, which is said to be great for skin care (and I even found this research, which says that vitamin E can help to prevent stretch marks + fade existing ones), and I’m very happy to try it with my ever-expanding belly :)

If you feel like in need of some self-care and moisturizing, whip up a batch of this body butter and schedule some pampering time to your daily life. I’m not the one to keep up with extensive beauty routines, so these small moments of taking care of myself are the ones I tend to stick to. And at least for me, self-care = better overall mood.

Sending you lots of love and cozy times! xo

Homemade Body Butter for Preventing Stretch Marks | tuulia blog


Homemade Body Butter with Coconut Oil & Cacao Butter

notes: when making homemade cosmetics, make sure all your utensils are clean and dry, as water can bring bacteria to the lotion. you can sterilize the jars you use in boiling water but I usually just wash them in the dishwasher and then dry carefully. also, depending on the temperature, this body butter can harden up, but it will soften quickly when applied to skin. you can use a small spoon to take it from the jar if it seems too hard to take by hand.  

3/4 cup cacao butter
1/2 cup cold-pressed coconut oil
1/4 cup almond oil
10 to 20 drops of essential lavender oil (or another essential oil)

METHOD:

1. Clean and dry the jar you’ll use for the body butter carefully so that no water is left. Make sure that the all the utensils you use are clean and dry.

2. Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a warm water bath until liquid. Remove from the heat and mix in the almond oil. Place in the fridge for about an hour to cool. (If the mixture is too runny, it won’t foam).

3. When the mixture is clearly a bit thicker, take it from the fridge. Add the essential lavender oil and whip into a fluffy foam with an electric mixer. This will take usually a few minutes. Spoon the cream into a jar.

4. Store at room temperature in an airtight glass jar. The cream stores well for 2 to 3 months.

 

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Homemade Body Scrub with Coconut Oil & Honey

Homemade Body Scrub with Coconut Oil & Honey

Hey friends! I’m just quickly popping in here today with a super simple recipe for a homemade body scrub. I think taking the time to pamper yourself is always important, but especially at times when life gets busy and there’s a lot going on. I’m a true lover of self-care but admit that it’s so easy to forget ourselves and focus on other things instead. But having just a couple minutes to yourself and doing something that feels truly nourishing makes a great difference.

Homemade Body Scrub w/ Honey, Coconut OIl & Salt | tuulia blogHomemade Body Scrub w/ Honey, Coconut OIl & Salt | tuulia blogI have a few self-care routines in my daily life that I try to hold on to, as they make me feel so good, and also help to live in the moment instead of always rushing on to the next thing on my agenda. In the mornings I sit down for my morning meditation, take a few (usually 10 to 20) deep breaths and do some gentle stretching. It takes me about 5 to 10 minutes to do that and it’s become a habit I truly value. My second routine actually also involves some stretching (I feel like stiff muscles = a stuffy mind), as I tend to do some gentle stretching in bed before I go to sleep at night. Just a few simple moves to relax my body and shift from doing to just being.

When I’m in the mood for some additional self-care, I’ll do a body / face scrub or mask to give my skin some extra nourishment. And this were these homemade beauty treatments come into the picture. I try not to have too many beauty products in my shelves but rather focus on a few great ones, so I really like to make my own scrubs or masks every now and then. And this simple body scrub is made of just three ingredients: coconut oil, honey, and salt. I love to use honey in homemade beauty treatments as it makes my skin unbelievably soft and very moisturized. This is a very gentle scrub so you can use it on your face too and it’s super quick and easy to make. I love to do this especially in the summertime and step into the sauna for a few minutes to let it really sink in, but it works perfectly with just a warm shower as well :)

Homemade Body Scrub w/ Honey, Coconut OIl & Salt | tuulia blog


Homemade Body Scrub with Coconut Oil & Honey

makes one portion

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp salt (I actually prefer fine salt, but sea salt is fine too)

METHOD:

Mix all the ingredients together to form a smooth paste. Apply the scrub to a damp skin while massaging gently. You can use the scrub for the whole body. If possible, step into a sauna for a moment and allow the scrub to soften. Wash the scrub carefully and finish the treatment with a good moisturizing cream and/or skin oil.

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Healthy Breakfast Muffins

Healthy Breakfast Muffins

When you’re hungry about 37 times a day (#preggolife), healthy snacks come in handy. Creating different kinds of healthy eats and treats is one of my favorite things, as I’m a true breakfast and snacks lover. And a healthy desserts lover. And lunch is my thing actually too. But when dinner time rolls around…that’s the one meal I’m least inspired to make. But okay, let’s get back to these muffins quickly before my brain tells me to eat again (it kinda already happened).

Healthy Breakfast Muffins (GF + vegan option) | tuulia blogHealthy Breakfast Muffins (GF + vegan option) | tuulia blogHealthy Breakfast Muffins (GF + vegan option) | tuulia blog

I shared a recipe for these healthy breakfast muffins here on the blog (in Finnish) a few years ago and as I know a lot of my readers have liked these, I thought I should make them again and share the recipe in English as well. So I baked a couple batches of these, tweaked the recipe a bit, and here I am now shoving these into your mouths. Or I hope you’ll end up doing that. Regardless of the way you like to enjoy your baked goodies, these muffins are a nice little treat early in the morning, or in the afternoons along with a smoothie or a yummy hot beverage. There’s banana, carrot, and zucchini hidden inside the muffins, which make them really moist and pretty filling too. I usually make these with gluten-free oat and buckwheat flour, but almond and brown rice flour work really well too. So you’ve got a lot of flexibility in these, which I really like. And once the muffins have cooled enough, I actually like to slice these in half and add some avocado, a bit of cheese, or some sliced banana on top. Don’t know if that’s weird but I occasionally have this tendency to take things over the top :)

Eat well and stay cozy, friends! xo

Healthy Breakfast Muffins (GF + vegan option) | tuulia blog


Healthy Breakfast Muffins (GF + vegan option)

notes: if you’d like to make a vegan version of these, just replace the honey with maple syrup and the eggs with two chia or flax “eggs”. in order to make chia / flax eggs, just mix either one with water and let sit for about 5 minutes, until a thick gel forms. this gel works as a replacement for eggs in baked goods and it’s super easy to make. also, you can use other gluten-free flours in these muffins, for example brown rice and almond flour work well too.

inspired by Wholehearted Eats

makes 6 to 8 muffins

1 ripe banana
2 organic eggs (or 2 tbsp chia seeds / flax meal + 6 tbsp water)
3 tbsp melted coconut oil (or very mild olive oil)
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
2/3 cup grated carrot
2/3 cup grated zucchini

2/3 cup gluten-free oat flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
1,5 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
a pinch of salt

Possible add-ins:
1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raisins or other druid fruit

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F degrees. In a medium bowl, mash the banana. Add the eggs (or chia / flax gel), coconut oil, and honey, and stir well. If you’d like to take the easy route, you can also mix the ingredients in a blender (that’s what I always do).

2. Add the grated carrot and zucchini to the wet ingredient and mix.

3. In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and then add them to the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Add seeds and dried fruit, if desired.

4. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the dough into muffin cups and decorate with a few seeds. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let the muffins cool for a moment before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container, or pop these to the freezer.

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Easy Chickpea Flour Pizza

Easy Chickpea Flour Pizza

There are probably people who always make their pizza the same way, with a go-to crust recipe. And then there are people who call pizza all the things that have an element somehow related to pizza. Obviously, I’m the latter type. The fact that this is my sixth pizza recipe on this site speaks for itself too. But who doesn’t love a good slice of pizza?

Easy Chickpea Flour Pizza | tuulia blog

If you ask me, I think the world of pizza has endless options. Especially when it comes to gluten-free (+ vegan) pizza crusts, I think it’s great to explore lots of different kinds of recipes in order to find the ones that you really adore (like people usually either love or hate cauliflower pizza. I really like it and my husband does not. Yay.). I like both crispy and soft crusts, thin and thick ones, but most of all I really love if the crust is super easy to whip up. Preferably no kneading involved and no messing up your hands in dough. Enter: this easy peasy of a pizza with chickpea flour crust! This really is the easiest crust ever, as you just mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and then pour the dough onto a baking sheet. This is the best kind of easiness there is.

I think pizza toppings are a personal matter (no judgement here on the weird things you like) but my favorites include thinly sliced zucchini, cherry tomatoes, soft mozzarella, and once the pizza is done, I like to top it with fresh greens. A handful of greens makes the pizza somehow really fresh, and since you’re eating your salad on top of your pizza, it’s a total win-win situation.

Happy pizza times to all you fellow food lovers out there!


And hey! I’ll be making recipes monthly for Risenta throughout this year and this pizza was actually one of the recipes I’ve made for them. But no worries if you’re not fluent in Finnish, I’ll make sure to share some of the goodies either here or on my Instagram as well :) 

Chickpea Flour Pizza | tuulia blog


Easy Chickpea Flour Pizza

makes one large pizza

Crust:

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin

Toppings:

2-3 tbsp tomato paste
½ zucchini
1 tomato
a few cherry tomatoes
125 g mozzarella di bufala (or other cheese)
a handful of leafy greens (I used baby spinach and arugula)
black pepper

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 225 C / 425 F degrees and cover a baking sheet with baking paper.

2. Measure the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt, and cumin to a large bowl and mix well with a whisk so that there are no clumps. Pour the dough onto the baking sheet and spread with a spoon to an oval shaped base.

2. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes until it has a beautiful golden-brown color and feels slightly crispy. In the meantime, slice the zucchini, tomatoes and mozzarella into thin slices.

3. Take the crust out of the oven and spread the tomato paste evenly on top of the crust. Add other fillings (except the greens) and place back in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables have softened a bit and the cheese has melted. Finish with leafy greens and some black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

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