Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

I have been lucky enough to get some Kefir grains from a friend of mine. Kefir grains resemble cauliflower, and is used to make a fermented milk drink, which has good qualities to your gut flora.

Kefir grains are kept in organic milk for 24 hours, then sieved and the milk can be drunk. (In the picture below the milk is with the Kefir grains) After you rinse the grains and add more milk and have another drink next day. Or you can use the milk in your morning muesli, I often add some in my yoghurt and muesli or if I make a smoothie I add it in that.

Normally Kefir is used in animal milk, but I read from wikipedia that “Kefir grains will also ferment milk substitutes such as soy milk,  rice milk and coconut milk, as well as other sugary liquids including fruit juice, coconut water, beer wort and ginger beer.  However, the kefir grains may cease growing if the medium used does not contain all the growth factors required by the bacteria.”

If you are truly interested of Kefir, read the following. It is copy pasted from a document I got from a friend.


Kefir is a living culture, a complex symbiosis of more than 30 microflora that form grains or cauliflower-like structures (sometimes called plants) in the milk. As the culture ferments the milk these structures grow, creating new grains in the process. Real kefir from live culture is an endlessly self-propagating process. Easy to make, it is superior to commercial yogurt and an absolute must after antibiotic use. Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract.

Microorganisms present in the grains include lactic acid bacteria. They give kefir excellent keeping qualities by keeping putrifying bacteria that might otherwise colonise the milk at bay. They’ve been shown to inhibit both salmonella and E. Coli in laboratory tests.

Kefir has many reputed health benefits. It has antibiotic and antifungal properties. It’s been used in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including metabolic disorders, atherosclerosis, and allergies, tuberculosis, cancer, poor digestion, candidiasis, osteoporosis, hypertension, HIV and heart disease. You might find it odd that that a drink containing yeasts would be good for treating candidiasis but it has been helpful to many people, both by restoring a better balance to the gut flora and because some elements of the microflora will kill off Candida Albicans. Not all yeasts are harmful.

In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, B2 and B12, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin D and Folic Acid. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.

The abundance of enzymes brings more health benefits, especially to lactose intolerant people, many of whom can tolerate kefir without difficulty, as long as the kefir is raw and not cooked (cooking destroys the enzymes)

Care instructions

  • A 500ml glass jar like a kilner jar
  • About kefir culture
  • Organic whole milk
  • Plastic sieve
  • Large glass jug

Put the kefir culture in the glass jar, then fill it with fresh milk about 1/3 or so full. As the Kefir ‘plant’ grows and it’s depth becomes about 2cm all over the top of the jar, you will need to increase the milk to 1/2 full. Put the lid over the jar but do not shut leave slightly open.

Let the contents stand at room temperature for approx. 24 hours depending on your taste. 48 hours will make a thicker, sourer kefir, 12 hours a thinner, sweeter kefir. The temperature will effect how quickly the culture works. So during the warm summer months the kefir will ferment faster.

While it’s fermenting the kefir grains will float to the top of the milk along with any cream. When it’s ready swirl the liquid to mix up the liquid and the grains. Strain what is in the jar through the plastic sieve into the glass jug. Use a spoon to gently stir the solids in the sieve. This allows the thicker creamy kefir to go through. Do not stir too vigorously  or the Kefir solids will break up too much. You will now be left with some large and lots of small grains in the sieve. The small grains will grow into bigger cauliflower like clumps.

When the larger clumps get to more than 2 cm break up with your fingers which will make the fermentation quicker and the Kefir grow.

Clean out the kilner jar with soap (‘ecover‘ washing up liquid is best as it does not contain harmful detergents) and hot water. Rinse really well the last rinse being cold water to cool the jar back down.

Put kefir back in the jar and put a 1/3 (or 1/2) organic whole milk over the top to make the next batch

Make sure everything is very clean when handling kefir. It’s a living culture, a complex system of bacteria and yeasts and you don’t want risk contaminating it. Use freshly cleaned hands, clean jars and clean implements.

For sharing this wonderful gift:- Run cool water gently through the sieve to wash the grains. Place about a desert spoonful(10ml) in a clean plastic ziploc bag. If posting put in a padded bag. Tell the recipient to immediately put the grains in a Kilner jar  – (a jam jar with the lid balanced on top and pushed a little to  one side will do as a temporary measure. Kefire has to be able to ‘breathe’) and put 1/3 (or 1/2) organic whole milk over the top to make the next batch.

Timing and Temperature

Making kefir is a pretty simple process, put the culture in the milk, leave it to ferment and there’s your kefir.  Kefir is a living food and subject to a fair degree of natural variation and people have a range of tastes.

There is a wide variety in the length of time the kefir is left to ferment. In the end, how long to leave it depends on how sour you like it. The longer you leave it the sourer it gets. Some people like a lightly fermented kefir, they let it ferment for only 12 hours, others like it much stronger and more active and leave it for 2 days, past the point at which is separates into curds and whey.

Real kefir from live culture is an endlessly self propagating process. After each batch you’ll have a few more grains as the culture grows. Eventually you’ll have quite a large batch of grains and they’ll speed up your fermentation time. You could pass spare culture on to a friend.

For more information and a video go to


Read Full Post »

I found this lovely recipe for chickpeas from the Choosing Raw- blog, and as I love chickpeas it was a great snack today. I didn’t have any raisins in the house so I substituted for chopped dates . Tastes lovely! And chickpeas are great source of zinc, folate and protein and dietary fibre. The dressing for the salad is made with Tahini, that in turn is a great source of calcium and protein, and copper and manganese.

Pesto Pasta is made fresh basilica, pine nuts, walnuts, sea salt, garlic, olive oil and nutritional yeast flakes. Yeast flakes are rich in B-vitamins, and I use it as a cheese substitute! For pasta I chose this time quinoa spaghetti, that I have bought from France. I haven’t seen it sold anywhere in the UK. But it’s a healthy option (and tastes great!) as quinoa is a source of complete protein, and a good source of dietary fibre, phosporus and is high in magnesium and iron.

Chickpea Salad:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 large carrot, grated finely
1/3 cup raisins (dates)

For the dressing:

2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp tamari
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp curry powder

Pesto sauce:

2 cloves garlic

one small basilica plant leaves

pinch of sea salt

olive oil (see how much you like depending how thick/thin you like)

handful of walnuts

small pack of pine nuts (100g)

1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

1. mix all together with a food mixer/processor

Enjoy with pasta or quinoa spaghetti!

Quinoa spaghetti pesto

Read Full Post »

I have to thank my friend Nicola for this recipe, as she made it for us in our study group the other day and I absolutely loved it! It has quinoa in it, which is almost super food – it’s that good or you. It’s very high in protein and is a source of complete protein. (A complete protein is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans) It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also gluten-free!

Spinach Quinoa Soup

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

4 celery sticks

200g spinach

500ml vegetable stock

salt, pepper

1 cup quinoa

1. fry onion gently, add celery and garlic

2. add spinach until welted (chop first or use a machine)

3. add vegetable stock and bring to boil

4. add salt and pepper

5. add quinoa and boil around 10-15min

6. check the taste



Read Full Post »

In Finland we celebrate Christmas already on the 24th December, with rice porridge in the morning, early morning/early afternoon SAUNA, then getting pretty and early evening Christmas dinner followed with opening the presents. And most of the time meeting the Santa Claus as well! For dinner we typically have ham, swede casserole, carrot casserole and potato casserole, and assortment of fish together with a salad. As I am celebrating my Christmas this year in England, in my Christmas dinner we had ham, salmon, Brussels sprouts and swede-, carrot- and potato casseroles. My favourite is the swede casserole, oooh so yummy!

Lanttulaatikko – Swede Casserole

  • 2 big swedes
  • 1 table spoon salt in the water
  • 1/2 litre water

Peel the swedes and cut into cubes. Boil until soft in salty water. Smash into purée.

  • 1 dl bread crumbs
  • 1 onion
  • 2 dl cream
  • 1/2 dl syrup
  • 1/2 tea spoon ground pepper, nutmeg and ginger

Cut onion into small purée, and soften in the pan for about 5 minutes. Add to the swede purée. Mix bread crumbs and cream and let stand for a few minutes so that bread crumbs have swollen. Add everything to swede purée, all the spices as well and mix well. Put into oven dish and bake in 200 degrees for one hour, and in 150 degrees the second hour. Let cool a bit and enjoy! You can also freeze this dish and enjoy later.

Porkkanalaatikko – Carrot Casserole

  • 1kg carrots
  • 2 dl porridge rice
  • 1/2 liter water
  • 1 litre milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tea spoon salt
  • 1/2 tea spoon nutmeg
  • 2 table spoons syrup
  • bread crumbs

First boil the porridge rice in 2 cups of water until the rice has used all the water, then start adding milk little by little, forming porridge. This will take about 40 minutes. Boil the peeled carrots that you have cut into smaller pieces in water, but just so much water that it covers the carrots. Boil until soft and then mash into purée. Add all the spices and syrup and mix with rice porridge. Transfer into oven dish, add some bread crumbs on top and bake in 150 degrees for about 1.5 hour.

Imelletty Perunalaatikko – (Sweet) Potato Casserole

  • 2kg potatoes
  • 2dl white flour
  • some butter
  • 0,5-1 litre milk
  • 2 table spoon syrup
  • 3 teaspoons salt

Boil peeled potatoes cut into cubes in little water (just to cover the potatoes) until soft. Mash into purée. Let cool until hand warm and then add white flour (this so that the flour doesn’t burn) Add some butter, mix and let stand over night in room temperature, covered with a lid. You are doing this so that the mixture would get a bit sweeter taste in the end. Don’t worry that next day when you open the lid it looks a bit grey, it doesn’t matter.

Next day, mix the mixture and add so much milk that the mixture is more liquid than typical porridge, but not too liquid. Add to oven dish, add some butter on top and bake 1/2 hour in 200 degrees, until it starts to boil, then lower the temperature to 150 degrees and bake another two hours.

These casseroles are served with ham. Enjoy!





Read Full Post »

This is an amazing pie that I have wanted to share with you for a long time now. It is the first raw pie I have ever done, and I immediately fell in love with it! I have made it twice now, and this time to give to my friend who had a birthday yesterday, so could not take a picture of a sliced pie, just the whole pie. I found this recipe from a great blog I follow (in Finnish, but you can find better pictures of the pie from there, just scroll down the page).

Raw Cranberry Apple Pie


2dl* pecan

2 tablespoon liquid honey

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


Crush the pecans with multi-purpose machine, add rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread the mass on the bottom of your pie dish, and put it in your fridge while you make the topping.


2dl diced apple

2 tablespoon liquid honey

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated ginger

2 dl cranberry (frozen or fresh)

2dl thinly sliced small apple cubes

5 tablespoons chia-seeds

Mince the sliced apples, honey, cinnamon and ginger in multi-purpose machine until smooth. Add the cranberries and mix a bit more but so that you leave some of the cranberries whole. Pour the mix in to a bowl. Add thinly sliced apples and chia-seeds. The chia-seeds will make the mix jelly like, and these seeds are also very healthy! Mix with spoon and pour on top of your base. Put the pie in to your fridge for couple of hours to let it recede. Then Enjoy!

* 1dl is 100ml

1 metric cup = 250 millilitres

Read Full Post »

Today I have made a lovely apple pie. It’s raining hard and I have been out for a long walk with our dog Muumi. I like autumn time when trees change colour and it’s getting colder and darker. I can’t wait to see snow! But in this kind of day apple pie makes my day. I have found the recipe for this apple pie from Kotikokki, a Finnish recipe sharing website.

I have also started studying. Eternal student Marika 😉 One day I will be Nutritional Therapist. The school is in Manchester called CNM – The College of Naturopathic Medicine.

I had my first weekend of studies the past weekend, two full days of anatomy and physiology. We started from cells and tissues and then continued to bones. Very interesting but also very much to take in. I can remember studying these things in high school, but I was not very good at it then and that put me off from a career in biology (deep-sea biologist would be my dream job!) or anything related to it. But I think this time I am well motivated and that might bring me far. Also it was great to meet my class and hear their stories of what made them interested to study naturopathic medicine. There is a range of people in my class, from diverse backgrounds, and it is nice for me to be in among a group that is interested of the same things as me.

I have always thought that I am a healthy person with very healthy eating habits. In Finland we learn about healthy eating in school, and the general diet consists of berries, mushrooms, wild game and fish – like my husband says, very much like hunter gatherers in the past. We also drink loads of milk and eat rye bread. We are educated how good milk is for you, making your bones healthy and giving you calcium. Only recently I have learned that all our nation is brain washed to believe that milk is so good for you by dairy industry, just like in America. I was quite shocked to learn this to say the truth! Also couple of years ago when I started to learn more about healthy eating, I realised my eating habits weren’t as healthy as I wanted to believe 😉 I had the building blocks of knowledge there, but the implementation of knowledge was not always part of my daily life. And still is not every day, I know how hard it can be to try to change your eating habits, but I will keep on trying.

Now the recipe for the apple pie, here it is. (I believe in 80/20 balance in your diet, if you eat 80% of time healthily, the 20% of doesn’t matter if you indulge yourself:)

apple pie recipe home made

Yammy Apple Pie

200g butter or margarine

1,5dl sugar

3dl flour

1 egg

0,75dl milk (I used oat milk)

1ts baking powder

1ts vanilla sugar

3-4 appless

cinnamon and sugar

1. melt the butter and add together with the sugar

2. add flour slowly, you don’t want it too dry, don’t add baking powder at this point yet

3. Take apart a coffee cup of dough, and leave aside, this will be used in the end

4. Now add egg, milk and vanilla&baking powder and whisk strongly. The dough is now a little bit liquid but not too liquid, at the same time not too dry

5. Now pour the dough into a pie dish and add apple slices in a nice looking arrangement. Add cinnemon and sugar on top. Scatter around pieces of the dough that you saved earlier in a coffee cup.

6. Bake in the over 200 degrees for about 30 minutes.

7. Let cool down a bit and enjoy with ice-cream or cream!

Oh, and this pie is even better tasting the next day, so better make it a day advance if you have guest coming and keep it in the fridge.

Read Full Post »

I haven’t been writing this blog for a while now, but got new motivation when I heard that someone was actually following this blog and making these recipes?! Thank you for that 🙂

Bhutanese chili sauce

My husband brought me dried chilies from Bhutan. (What a lucky guy to go to places like that!)  They have been waiting for some time for me to find out what exactly needs to be done to use them. I have a Mexican cook book called Mexican food made simple by Thomasina Miers, and there is a recipe called Chipotles en adobo. Basically it is a chili sauce made from dried chilies, and not a sauce you would eat right away, but a sauce you would add little bit when you cook. Especially with these Bhutanese chilies.. they are SO HOT.

Basically I washed the chilis first, then opened them to remove all the seeds inside. Then boiled them in hot water for about 30 minutes. Then pureed it in my smoothie maker with onions, garlic, spices, vinegar.. and now I have a lot of very hot chili sauce, which will undoubtedly last for a very long time!

You should try this recipe, even with “normal” chilis that are not Bhutanese, because after making chili sauce, I use it a lot in my cooking, and you only need a tea-spoon.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: