Breakfast

Porto ~ Portugal

As I’m writing and looking into perspective, I feel very fortunate to travel again and do my job as a professional tennis player. When I’m now abroad it feels like I’m given an opportunity to seize all the wonders of live which is enhancing my life experience in all magical ways. Therefore I’m in awe when I see what this beautiful city has to offer and digesting all the ancient monuments with a history greater than time. As I walk through these old, narrow streets of cobblestone, it is as time has stand still and I’m brought back into the town’s past. Although its architecture, tram tracks and atmosphere might be giving you nostalgia, there is a new breath of modern life hanging in the air. If you look closely you’ll sense it by the small healthy cafés standing out which crosses the line of history, traditionalism and conservatism. They will take you to the future of a healthy eating lifestyle that is becoming more common and sought after around the world.

I went on a hungry stomach with great determination towards my target to eat a delicious breakfast. Destination: Nola kitchen. I must admit it wasn’t the cleverest choice to look at the menu when being so eager to eat it all. But in the end my choice landed at the egg bowl. A nutritious bowl of black rice, sautéed kale, grilled corn, poached eggs, oven roasted sweet potatoes and delicious tahini sauce with it.

The egg bowl

However, that bowl still made me hungry for more and so I ordered their summer edition pancakes. With the sun shining towards my face it felt like the perfect choice as chocolate pancakes would be heavy to digest on a warm summer’s day in Porto.

Summer edition pancakes

These healthy pancakes were definitely a new experience to me. They tasted not like normal pancakes if being honest, but with the coconut yoghurt, maple sirup, berries and crunch of pistachios, it balanced it out and so I ended up finishing it all up somehow!

Wanderlust
The square you need to visit
The beautiful facade of the church
Monuments of ancient history
In love with the blue tiles!
During a hitting session on center court before the tournament

With love & care, Melanie x

Savoury

Honey mustard kale salad

Rainbow salad

You immediately start feeling good when you treat yourself with care and serve yourself a nutritious meal. It also affects you positively when seeing a colorful salad with all the colors of a rainbow. It’s so easy to make it and you only need lots of vibrant colored veggies, plus a good salad dressing that does the trick. Remember, the more colors of vegetables, the better the variety of nutrients you’ll get:)

Ingredients

• Kale

• Rucola

• Red cabbage

• Carrots

• Paprika

• Avocado

• Zucchini

• Sweet potatoes

• Sprouts

• Oil, lemon, salt and pepper to taste

The salad dressing

• 1 tbs dijon mustard sauce

• 1 tbs honey

• Juice of half a lemon

• 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

• Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Put the oven on 220 degrees and bake your chopped sweet potatoes and cut slices of zucchini for about 20-30 minutes. Before putting them on a baking tray with parchment paper, mix them with a bit of oil and they are ready when soften and golden brown.

2. Make the salad dressing and “massage” it with the kale & rucola by hand. That way the flavor enhances and the kale is more softer to eat.

3. Chop your other vegetables like red cabbage, carrots, paprika and avocado.

4. When all is done, put everything together in a bowl and plate it up. Top the salad with sprouts and enjoy a tasty, colorful rainbow salad!

With love & care, Melanie x

Well Being

Bloom with Food coming to life

During these two weeks I’ve baked and prepared the “bloom with food” products for the tennis event at my hometown tennis club Nordstrand. They arranged it this week and I wanted to contribute with healthy yet tasty products for the tennis players of the event. From my own experience, I know that the market is offering bars and sugary treats with conservatives and additives that is no good for you. Therefore, I wanted the oat bars, energy balls, banana muffins and raw cakes to be “pure” with only natural ingredients without any refined white sugar. I’m passionate about nutrition and my purpose behind “bloom with food” is that you will get fuel to perform.

I never expected the concept to come to life, but I believe when you are driven by purpose and passion things happen. So in this occasion, I suddenly ended up baking 150 oat bars for the tennis participants of the tennis event. They each got one in their goodie/welcoming bag for entering the tournament. This oat bar or flapjack was a perfect snack for them to eat before, during or after match, as the ingredients contain lots of fiber, healthy fats and good carbs in order to keep their blood sugar at check. As an athlete myself, I know how important it is to stay energized throughout my performance, there’s no fun if you end up hungry or moody if you haven’t fueled your body right!

On sports events in Norway, we have a culture of eating hamburgers, pizzas, baking pastries, cakes and ice creams and as a kid this is what you are growing up to get accustomed to. However, I wanted to change and influence with some new impulses by these healthier choices offered by “bloom with food” products I made. The philosophy is that you can enjoy while still perform. The banana muffins, energy balls and raw cakes are without any refined sugar, it’s without any artificial sweetener or additives. I was so lucky to be sponsored by “Sticky Fingers” with the ingredients. Those were of high quality, only the best! With medjool dates from Israel, vanilla bean from Tahiti, dark chocolate from Belgium, ecological peanut butter and the list goes on. I also wanted to make everything homemade, so I made the tahini or sesame butter from scratch and as well with the hazelnut butter. This was used for the oat bar and energy ball for extra flavor. As a whole, I care about what you put in your body, no matter if you are a kid, athlete or adult. It’s so important about taking care about your well being. When you do, you will bloom with food as the brand I have created is all about.

That’s why I made action with these “bloom with food” products to influence others into making better eating habits and choices. I’m going to be honest, it’s a challenge when it comes to what foods you are used to eat and then going for something healthier instead. Humans are habitual creatures, who doesn’t seek change. But this will totally be worth it, what I only hope is for us to be more open minded, introduce ourselves to something we are not quite used to with at first but implementing it in harmony as life is all about balance. I hope this inspires you to take some healthier food choices and that you become more aware of what you put in your body.

You might be curious about the ingredients I used, behind the scenes scenarios and how the “bloom with food” products looked like? So below I will share pictures from the baking process , the finishing products and from the tennis event:)

I introduce you the oat bar or more known as flapjack!

To make them irresistible; some dark chocolate drizzle ofc;)
What makes the flavor magic; homemade date caramel & tahini
Wrapped in with love

Ingredients:

Gluten-free oats, tahini, medjool dates, honey, coconut oil, raisins, pumpkin seeds, almonds.

Onwards to our next candidate, energy balls everyone

Covered with shredded coconut, yummm

Ingredients:

Medjool dates, vegan Nutella (homemade hazelnut butter with melted Belgian dark chocolate), gluten-free oats, shredded coconut, salt.

Next we have banana muffins that has no refined sugar, what?!

Thanks to ripe bananas there’s no need for sugar!

Ingredients:

Ripe bananas, peanut butter, vegan eggs, oat milk, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder.

Lastly, we top it off with raw cake deliciousness!

I served 4 different raw cakes to make flavors interesting! One was with raspberry jam, vanilla cream, decorated with cacao nibs and caramelized nuts. Second one was raspberry topped with coconut flakes. Third one was chocolate and vanilla cream with fresh raspberries. And forth one was vanilla and chocolate cream with cacao nibs and caramelized nuts on top. Which one is your favorite? Comment below:)

Ingredients:

Gluten-free oats, medjool dates, almonds, peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao powder, coconut cream, soaked cashews, vanilla bean and essence, raspberries, cacao nibs, walnut, pecan nuts, coconut oil, salt.

Behind the scenes: pouring the raspberry cream on top of the cake base!
The “bloom with food” products
The tennis players of the event gets to try out the banana muffins, oat bar and energy ball!

I want to thank you “Sticky Fingers” and Nordstrand Tennisklubb for making it possible for me to launch the products at the event. Maybe this is the beginning of something great, who knows.

With love and care, Melanie x

https://stickyfingers.no

https://nordstrandtk.no/?CM_Id=6

Dessert

Banana muffins

They’re vegan and refined sugar free!

Are you wondering sometimes if you can bake or make something healthy and still tasting good? Well, I’ve got you covered! These banana muffins taste heaven and amazingly it’s without any sweetener or white sugar! Thanks to ripe bananas (they’ve gotten cute brown dots on them) they are naturally sweet and gives these muffins flavor. So don’t throw away those bananas, use them for baking! It will leave you satisfy and guilt free, do I need to say more? I guess not, so I’ll just go straight to how you can make these beauties yourself too!

Ingredients

• 2 ripe bananas

• 3 tbs peanut butter

• 2 vegan eggs

• 2 dl oat milk or any kind of plant based milk (almond works well)

• 3 dl whole wheat flour (you can use gluten-free flour if you like instead)

• 2 tsp cinnamon

• 2 tsp baking powder

• 1 banana for decoration

Makes about 12 muffins

Instructions

• Mash the 2 ripen bananas, then add the peanut butter and mix well together.

• Then add in your 2 vegan eggs. You’ll need 2 tbs of flax meal which is crushed flax seeds. Mix it with 4-6 tbs of water and leave it to rest until it has soaked up the water and is like jelly so that it’s similar to the consistency of an egg.

• When you have mixed those ingredients together in a bowl, add all the other ingredients and stir well to you have achieved a smooth and even batter.

• Pour the batter in your muffin tins and bake on 220 degrees for 10 minutes and then lower down the degrees to 180, baking them for 9-12 minutes before they are done!

• Tip: grease the muffin tins with coconut oil so it won’t stick and leave them to rest for about 5-10 minutes before eating them.

Enjoy!

Vegan

Refined sugar free

Dairy free

With love & care, Melanie x

Savoury

Lett Oslo

Salad bowls!

I love the concept behind “Lett Oslo”. It’s a food chain in Norway which serves easy, healthy and sustainable food to you. They are aware of health, environment and wholesome foods. With a nurturing meal, good vibes and promising values mentioned above, there is no doubt that this is the way to eat and live. So I definitely recommend you to go and eat here while in Oslo or for my fellow Norwegians, eat here and you’ll invest in your well being!

I chose a salad bowl called “grønnkålpesto”, which is kale, pomegranate, avocado, hummus, cabbage and sweet potato with pesto sauce. Simple, yet tasty and satisfying, leaving you full and energized for what’s ahead of you next.

The other salad bowl my lovely childhood friend chose, was the seasonal salad with burrata! The cheese is made from Lillestrøm, a city outside Oslo. That means that the food is sustainable and short traveled since there is no need of importing it from Italy! It’s locally produced and this is awesome. Absolutely love it. I also like that “Lett Oslo” offers both vegan, vegetarian and dishes with chicken or fish.

I ate at their café located at Frogner, but there are 5 more to go to around Oslo:) More about them you’ll find here:

https://www.lettoslo.no

With love and care, Melanie x

Savoury

Golden bowl of chickpeas with brown rice

Ingredients

• 1 shallot

• 1 cup rinsed and cooked chickpeas

• 1 tbs coconut oil

• 1 tsp paprika powder

• 1 tsp cumin powder

• 1 tsp honey

• 2 tsp soya sauce

• 2 tbs tahini

• 1 handful of spinach

• Add a pinch of salt and pepper

• Brown rice

• Coriander

A portion for 1 person

Instructions

1. Peel and cut finely the shallot. Add 1 tbs of coconut oil on a medium heated pan together with the chopped shallot.

2. When it starts simmering and shallot is becoming soft, add the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add in the rinsed chickpeas. Now stir together the honey first, then tahini and at the end the soya sauce. When you have let the flavors worked by cooking for about 10 minutes, add the rinsed spinach and make it sautéed.

4. In a pot cook the brown rice, 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water on high heat, when the rice has soaked up the water, put the heat down, takes around 20 minutes.

5. Chop some coriander as garnish.

Step 3
Savoury

Glutenfree pasta dish

Healthy and tasty!

I think that we all question whether healthy food can be as tasty and delicious, as well being vegan and gluten-free… And my answer to that is yes, by making this dish for you. In my opinion it’s all about combining more flavors that goes well together and being creative with the foods. Also, it’s about cooking those foods the way they are supposed to shine!

If you have a leaky gut or upset stomach, I would recommend you to stay away from gluten for a period and substitute on gluten-free in moderation.

So to this gluten-free pasta dish, I had mushrooms, celery (you can have red onion or spinach instead if you want) and sun dried tomatoes. As toppings I had rucola and roasted pumpkin seeds for crunch!

In a heated saucepan, cook your chopped mushrooms first. Let them caramelize itself without having any oil on the pan, only add some water when they start sticking to the pan. Then add chopped celery and in the end cook dried tomatoes with it.
If you want creaminess, simply add 2 tablespoons of tahini and pour in a little bit of the boiled water from the pasta to achieve a creamy pasta sauce!

I hope you found the guidelines to the gluten-free pasta; tasty and delicious.

With love and care, Melanie x