Gut Treat

C0BDED65-F9AA-4809-9A38-2C9C4461768EI always eat my sauerkraut with my salads, but something I also really like for once in a while is this delicious sandwich. I don’t eat bread very often, so this is a real treat. Last Friday I published a recipe on how to make your own sauerkraut. It will go perfectly with this recipe, but if you do not have any on hand (it will take 2 weeks for the sauerkraut to be finished), you can perfectly fine use sauerkraut you bought in the supermarket. The nice thing about this recipe isn’t only that it contains a good dose of protein, a good amount of healthy fats, but also the perfect combination of probiotics (the sauerkraut) and prebiotics (garlic, onion and mushrooms), which makes this a real treat for your gut!

IMG_3397_polarrGUT TREAT

Makes: 2

2 slices (spelt) bread
1 avocado (smashed)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1 tsp lemon juice
salt/pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup black beans (cooked, smashed))
6 mushrooms (sliced)
1/4 onion (sliced)
1/2 cup sauerkraut

-Toast the slices of bread if you prefer that.
-Mix the avocado, garlic, lemon juice, salt/pepper to taste and the black beans.
-Fry the onion and the mushrooms without any oil (use a good pan and a little water if necessary).
-Divide the avocado/bean mash over the 2 slices of bread.
-Put the mushrooms and onions on top of that and lastly top it with sauerkraut.

Would you ever think of this combination? I would love you to try this delicious sandwich and please tell me if you liked it (or not). Let’s make your gut a happy gut! You can show me your sandwich by tagging me on Instagram with @freedomeverymore or let me know down below. Thank you! X

Brew your own Kombucha

What is kombucha?
Kombucha is fermented tea. It contains a lot of beneficial bacterias that are super good for your gut. It’s an excellent source of probiotics. It tastes a little sweet and you can brew it in a lot of natural flavours.

IMG_7882_polarrWhat is the best kombucha?
There are many different brands and not one brand tastes the same. One of my favourite brands is definitely the Mighty Brew. Available in some health stores and cafes. They have amazing flavours and I really prefer their kombucha over other brands. I also sometimes get LoBros (as it’s available in the supermarket; Sainsbury’s) and Remedy (lots of cafes sell this brand). I find them quite similar in taste. They’re both tasty, but quite sweet. They are a very good alternative when I can’t get my hands on MightyBrew though. But what is even more fun.. is to brew your own kombucha! The taste doesn’t compare to anything, it’s amazing. If you’d like to get into that, here is how I did it. I will tell you how I successfully brewed my own kombucha and what can go wrong.

IMG_4310_polarrBrewing your own kombucha:
To brew your own kombucha, before you can start, you first need to get some essentials. Some are super easy to get, for others you need to do a little research. As soon as you have everything, you can start the process. The first process is called the First Fermentation. This is when the good bacterias start to grow/multiply and it takes 7-10 days, depending on how acidic you want your kombucha. I recommend making it quite acidic, but still drinkable of course. As soon as this process is finished, you can start the Second Fermentation and this is where you add the flavour (fruits that work very well and I recommend for first time brewers: mango (my fave!!) and pineapple) and in this process it will become naturally fizzy. When this process (that takes only a few days) is finished, you can drink it! I will talk you through the whole process.

IMG_4746_polarrWhat do you need to brew your own kombucha?
-Big jar (I recommend 4L).
-Scoby + starter tea. *
-Organic black tea leaves.
-Organic cane sugar.
-(cheese) Cloth + rubber band.
-Funnel.
-Airtight bottles. **
-Fruit for flavouring.

*You can buy scobies and starter tea via the internet, but maybe you know someone who brews kombucha already. For every batch you make, you grow a new scoby. So people who brew kombucha, mostly have a spare one to give away. By brewing your own batch, you grow a new scoby yourself, that you can use for your next batch and so on. 

**I recommend airtight swing-top bottles. 

IMG_2654First Fermentation
(7-10 days):
3,5L of filtered water
3 tbs of tea 
1 cup sugar
2 cups of starter tea
1 scoby

-Boil 4 cups of the water and add the tea and the sugar. Let it steep for about 15 min. Stir it once in a while, to make sure all the sugar has melted. You now made a tea concentrate.
-Put the rest of the water in the big jar and add the tea concentrate.
-Add the starter tea and the scoby.
-Put the cloth over the top of the jar and use a rubber band to keep it into place.
-Put the jar in a warm place (24-29C), out of direct sunlight.
-Try not to move it once you put it away, because this will affect the new scoby that is growing on the surface. 

IMG_9787_polarrSecond Fermentation
(3-4 days):
400 ml blended fruit

-Take the scoby out and put it aside.
-Take 2 cups of starter tea (for next batch).
Stir the kombucha.
-Add about 1/3 cup to every 500 ml bottle.
-Fill up the bottles with the First Fermentation tea.
Wipe to bottles dry and seal them.
-Put the bottles away in room temperature for about 3-4 days.
-Put them in the fridge and as soon as they’re cold they are ready for drinking.

You can technically drink it before putting it in the fridge. But cooling them helps a little bit with the fizz, as that process slows down a lot at colder temperatures. Always beware when opening a bottle though, it can get quite messy and I recommend opening it very carefully and gradually. I learned the hard way!

IMG_6938_polarrWhat is a Scoby hotel?
Because with every batch there is a new scoby formed and you can’t make a new batch for every scoby (unless you have a lot of space maybe!), you end up with scobies you won’t use directly. You can give them away or use them for lots of other things (google for all the things you can do with left over scobies), but it’s very useful to keep them as well. For when you want to spontaneously make a new batch or for when one of your brews goes wrong for whatever reason. It’s helpful to always have some on hand. So having an extra jar with several scobies is super handy. This jar with extra scobies, is called a scoby hotel. If you make sure the scobies are in enough tea, you also always have some very acidic starter tea on hand. Win win!

IMG_4820_polarrWhat can go wrong?
So what happened a few times to me and the reason why I’m currently not brewing any, is that my scoby in my first fermentation got mouldy. This mostly happens when the temperature where the jar is stored isn’t warm enough. I brewed my kombucha at work (as brewing in a van is kinda impossible with no stable temperatures and a lot of movement) and the warmest place at work wasn’t warm enough. So every time I tried brewing with my own scoby and starter tea, it wasn’t strong enough and it failed every time. It made me quite sad actually as I find brewing kombucha so so exciting! I did manage to brew about 6 amazing tasting litres though and it was the best kombucha I ever tasted. I will give it another go in the summer, when the outside temperature is high as well. This will be helpful.

Did you ever try brewing your own kombucha? I would love to hear and see your experiences! You can let me know down below or tag me on Instagram with @freedomevermore. Thank you! X

Bananananana

Out of all the baking, I think I make banana bread most often. It’s a great thing to make when you have ripe bananas (which I always have), it’s easy and everyone loves it. This is why it is so so weird that there isn’t a single banana bread recipe on my blog yet! How is this even possible?? That needed to change. So I made my favourite ever banana bread, to share it with you. I think it’s a great autumn recipe too, with lots of delicious cinnamon. I do not always feel like it, but you can also add 1/2 a tsp of ginger powder or all spice, to get the taste of autumn a little bit more. It’s up to you! This banana bread recipe is free from refined sugar and made with coconut oil. I don’t think I will ever call it healthy, but let’s say that it is not that bad for you. Unless you eat it with (plant based.. duhh!) vanilla ice cream, like I often do (sooo good!). Just an extra tip.. after it is all cooled down, slice it up and freeze them separately. This way you can have a fresh slice of banana bread for snack whenever you want to.

BANANANANANA

Serves: 8-10

Dry Ingredients:
1,5 cup flour
2 tbs custard powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1,5 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:
1 cup medjool dates
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup oat milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs ground flaxseed

Extra:
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 tbs pumpkin seeds
2 tbs sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup raisins
1 small banana (finely chopped)
1/3 cup chocolate (chopped, optional)
1 banana (cut in length, optional)

-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Mix all the dry ingredients.
-Mix all the wet ingredients and slowly mix this into the dry ingredients.
-Mix in all the extra things, except the banana you’ve cut in length.
-Grease a baking tin and divide the banana bread mixture in the tin.
-Put the cut banana on top and press it lightly into the mixture.
-Put it in the oven for 55-65 min.
-Let it cool down before slicing it up. 

Do you love banana bread? It’s a great thing to make and to share! Please show me your creation. You can do this by tagging e or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

Magic Tea

An extra recipe this week! Tomorrow my ultimate banana bread recipe will come online, but I wanted to add this one as well, as I already made my first few cups of this and I noticed that people around me are in need of this recipe (I’m not ill or anything, but I started to drink this to prevent this from happening). I thought this recipe was on my blog already, but I was very wrong. I gave this recipe to so many people in the past and I often use it myself. Especially in the colder seasons, which is now. You have probably noticed the (weather) change as soon as autumn started. Rain and moisture in the air.. people are putting their heatings back on (including me! A few times now I was super happy that I’ve got a little heater in my van), spreading germs everywhere.. the perfect recipe for getting a cold and the flu! This needs a counter-recipe and that is exactly what this is. I swear this recipe works. It’s simple, but it saved me so many times and the many people I shared it with benefitted as well. This isn’t only good for when you feel under the weather by the way, but it’s also a great way to prevent getting ill. I hope it will work for you as well!

MAGIC TEA 

Serves: 1

1,5 cup water
1 tbs (loose) green tea leaves
1/2 lemon (juice)
1 tbs fresh ginger (grated)
1 tsp fresh turmeric (grated, optional) 
1-2 tsp agave nectar (optional)
Lots of Love

-Add love to all the following steps:
-Boil the water and let is sit until it’s about 80C (takes about 3-5 min).
-Put the green tea leaves in the water and let it steep for 3-4 minutes.
-Add the lemon juice, ginger, turmeric and the agave nectar and let it steep for 2 minutes.
-Drink 3-4 cups a day or 1 cup daily when used as a prevention.
-Aim to eat the ginger/turmeric as well.
-Within 20 minutes you will already feel a difference.

Obviously I am not a doctor, but I created this recipe by experience and it has worked many times for me. I hope it will work for you as well! I’d love to hear if it made a difference for you! You can do this down below, tag me on Instagram or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

Quinoa Start

Did you have quinoa for breakfast before? It’s not something you will think of as a breakfast, but it’s actually a perfect start of your day. Quinoa is super healthy! It’s high in protein and also contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. That is not all, it also contains magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and it’s high in fiber. Oh and it’s gluten free! I often cook some quinoa in the beginning of the week and keep it in the fridge. This way I can use it in salads etc. during the week, but also for this recipe. Quinoa is actually a seed and it has quite a neutral taste, this is why it’s perfect to enjoy in savoury and sweet dishes. I’m sure that if you’ve had quinoa before, you probably had it for lunch or dinner in a savoury dish, but why not try it like this?

QUINOA START 

Serves: 1 

1 cup quinoa (cooked)
1/2 cup oat milk
2 tbs porridge oats
1 tbs maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
fresh berries

-Put everything in a pan, mix it up and let it come to boil on a medium heat.
-Lower the heat and let it simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Keep stirring!
-Put it in a bowl and add some delicious fresh berries.

Are you going to try this for breakfast? Please let me know if you liked it and what toppings you chose. You can do this in the comments below, by tagging me or by using #planetmanel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Pasta Pesto

This is the second pasta pesto recipe over here, but everyone likes a good pasta pesto right? ..and this one is so quick and easy. Quick recipes are always welcome I think, especially after a long and hectic day or when you have a whole family to feed. I highly recommend you to make your own pesto though. It really changes the dish. Of course it will be even quicker if you use a ready made pesto (and that is fine too), but if you have the time (or you took the time early in the week), please use a home made one. This transforms a simple pasta dish to something really special. I love using Vivera’s new bacon pieces in here. They are scary good and make such a good combination with the pesto. Btw.. I recommend some extra veggies on the side. It’s yummy with broccoli, green beans or a nice salad perhaps?!

PASTA PESTO 

Serves: 2

200 gr spaghetti (uncooked) 
1/2 tbs olive oil
1 small onion (sliced)
1/2 pack Vivera bacon
1/4 cup pesto (GREENERY**)
Pinch of chilli flakes 

** RECIPE!

-Cook the pasta as described on the pack (I always add a little salt and olive oil in the water though).
-Fry the onion for about 1-2 min in a frying pan with the olive oil.
-Add the bacon and fry all together for another 3 min.
-Mix the pesto with the pasta and add a bit of chilli flakes if you like.
-Add the bacon and onion. 

Do you like a good pasta dish? Would you make your pesto yourself? Please show me your creation on Instagram, by tagging me or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

Date Me

The best snack to stop that hungry feeling.. this! Filled dates are one of my favourite snacks. They are so tasty, super filling and a great snack for when you work out. They provide you with energy (I always eat 2-3 dates before I hit the gym and I notice a huge difference), protein and healthy fats. They also just look super nice and make a nice party food. I can hardly call this a recipe as it’s so easy, but promise me that you will make these? And let me know if you liked them. Will you make them with peanut butter or almond butter? I find it hard to choose which one I like best. You can also use both of course.

DATE ME 

Makes: 3

3 medjool dates
3 tsp peanut/almond butter
1/2 walnut
1/4 tsp cacao nibs
1/4 tsp desiccated coconut
1/4 tsp cacao powder

-Cut the dates open on 1 side (in length) and take the stone out.
-Fill each day with nut butter.
-Put the walnut on the first date.
-Sprinkle the cacao nibs on the second.
-Sprinkle the coconut on the third.
-Dust the cacao powder on top of all 3.

Snack time! How can you not love these? When you make the recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, so I can give you a shoutout! You can also use #planetmanel if you like. Thank you! X

Quick Start

The easiest breakfast ever! You probably heard about overnight porridge already. It’s the best, easiest and fastest breakfast you can make and it’s also nutritious and it releases its energy slowly. What more do you want?! The recipe I’m giving you is quite a basic recipe, but it’s how I make it. You can make lots of varieties. This one is a bit like a chia pudding too. Chia seed is full of fiber, protein, omega-3 and it has various micronutrients. This makes it a perfect way to start your day. The best is that it’s very easy to make. You make it before you go to sleep (will only take 1 minute, don’t worry!) and it’ll be ready for you the next morning. What means that even when you’re in a rush, you can still enjoy a nutritious breakfast that will keep you going all morning.

QUICK START 

Serves: 1

base
1/2 cup oats
1 tbs chia seed
1 cup plant based milk

toppings
fresh fruit
dried fruit
cinnamon
nuts/seeds
maple syrup 

-Mix the oats, chia seed and milk in a container (with lid) and put it in the fridge overnight.
-In the morning: give it a good mix and add any toppings you like.

Are you going to try this recipe? Please let me know in the comments below and show me your beautiful and yummy creations. You can do this via Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Wrap It Up

A super quick lunch dish.. wraps! Wraps are easy, super tasty, nutritious, handy to take with you, easy to prep and filling. Perfect for lunch, but they can be enjoyed any time of the day really. I like wraps for lunch though. Especially bean wraps. They are high in protein and what I like about it, is that I can make everything the day before. The next day (and the day after that) I only need to warm up a tortilla wrap and scoop everything on top. You fold it up and it’s ready to go. If you want to take it with you, I advice you to cut it in half just before you will eat it, to prevent everything falling out. I hope you will enjoy these delicious wraps just as much as I do.

WRAP IT UP

Serves: 4

4 wholemeal tortilla wraps

filling
1 tbs olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
½ -1 tsp chilli flakes
1 can black beans (rinsed, drained)
1 can kidney beans (rinsed, drained)
1 tbs harissa(optional)

salad
2 tomatoes (chopped)
½ cucumber (chopped)
½ cup sweet corn
handful of fresh coriander (chopped)
juice of ½ a lemon

sauce
1 avocado (smahed)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1 tsp lemon juice
salt/pepper to taste

-Fry the garlic and the onion in the olive oil until they go a little soft (about 2-3 min).
-Add the chopped tomatoes, the chili flakes and the harissa and mix it well. Let it simmer for about 2-3 min.
-In the meantime: mix the avocado, the garlic, the lemon juice and add salt/pepper.
-Also mix the tomato, the cucumber, the sweet corn, the coriander and the lemon juice.
-Add the beans to the tomato sauce and mix for another minute. Add salt/pepper to taste.
-Spread about 2 tbs of guacamole in the middle of a tortilla, add the bean filling and the salad and close the tortilla by folding it (fold the left and the right side towards the filling and then roll it up).
-Cut the wrap in half and enjoy.

Do you love wraps? Such a great lunch dish! When you make the recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, so I can give you a shoutout! You can also use #planetmanel if you like. Thank you! X

Pink Morning

A very pink morning to you! Did you have breakfast this morning? Or at what time do you break your fast? I often do this between 10:00-12:00 as I like intermittent fasting. Breaking my fast is always a nice moment. If I don’t drink a big glass of celery juice first, I like to start with this pink goodness. It’s a great way to get some extra fruit (vitamins!) and some healthy fats and protein into your system, what means that it’s a great start of your day. I can easily keep going on this for several hours. This is why I tend to have something like this when I break my fast early (10:00). Don’t worry about it not filling you up, because it’s a large portion. You can just sip on it whilst commuting or working or split it in half and drink it as a snack later in the morning or afternoon. This is definitely one of my favourite smoothies!

PINK MORNING

Serves: 1

1 cup yogurt
1 cup plant based milk
½ cup oats
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 ripe banana
1 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs flaxseed
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
extra plant based milk (optional)

-Blend until smooth. I like to add some extra plant based milk after it’s finished.

Are you going to try this recipe? Please let me know in the comments below or show me your beautiful and yummy creations via Instagram. You can do this by tagging me or by  using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X