Raspberry oatmeal breakfast – Vadelmakaura-aamiainen

Gooday everyone. This raspberry oatmeal brekkie is going to rock your morning!!! It is healthy, nutritional and just perfect. It suits for old and young, men and women, adults and kids. I think it has that something I am always looking for in breakfasts: sweetness, fullness in addition to the round and balanced flavour. This oatmeal tart is also very simple and gets baked quickly in the oven whilst you are making your coffee or feeding your baby (as I did!!).

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For two people you need:

2dl (1 cup) rolled oats (jumbo oats, they are crunchier)

3/4 dl (almost 1/2 cup) rice milk (or milk)

3 fresh dates chopped

1-2 tbs raisins

8 raspberries

2 tbs honey (if you are looking for a low GI -glycemic index- go for agave syrup)

8 sun dried banana slices or fresh banana slices

1. Preheat the oven to 180-190 celsius degrees.

2. Mix the oats, raisins, dates and rice milk. Pour milk over the oats such as it just covers the oats and is likely to get absorbed into oats. Let the mix soak for 5-10 minutes in the fridge.

3. When the oat mix looks like it has been absorbed into the rice milk, mix it with raspberries and honey. Pour the mix into two small tartlet baking tins (10cm diameter). Decorate oatmeal tarts with sun dried bananas.

4. Bake them for 20minutes.

Serve with fresh berries! Heavenly start for your morning!

Have a great weekend!!!

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Butternut squash couscous

It’s been a while since I wrote a recipe in my blog. I added a review of ”Simply Scandinavian” cookibook I was asked to write and I added it into my pages. Relocating to London took some time, but now we’ve settled down and I can say from the bottom of my heart: I love London. The supermarkets are wonderful, I can find whatever I need to from Thai to Japanese. This internationality makes cooking so much easier when one doesn’t have to hunt ingredients for certain dish with cats and dogs.

For me as a Finn, using pumpkins in cooking is not familiar. To be honest it was last year when I actually tasted pumpkin served with meat. Of course I have eaten pumpkin pie at Halloween, but that’s about it. Anyway, my new beloved ingredient is butternut squash. It goes well with a risotto, couscous even with a roast too. I did vegetarian risotto using butternut squash and it was tasty. The following recipe is a couscous which can be a vegetarian or chicken one, you decide. The secret part of it is the butternut squash, which gives sweet flavour and betrays replacing the meat if needed.

1 mid size butternut squash

2dl couscous

3 tbs pesto (green)

rocket salad

cherry tomatoes

(2 chicken breatss sliced, if wanted)

black pepper

salt

olive oil

1. Peal and cut the butternut squash. mix cubes with some good quality olive oil, black pepper and salt. Cook teh cubes on a baking tray in the oven for 20min so that the cubes become soft and brownish.

2. Cook the couscous. Boil 2 dl of water add the couscous, put the lid on and let it rest for 5-10 min.

3. Half  the cherry tomatoes.

4. Add 3 tbs of pesto into couscous and mix it well. Add cooked butternut squash cubes, cherry tomatoes, rocket salad, salt and pepper into couscous. If you want to have a non-vegeterian version add the cooked chicken slices.

Enjoy, this is a healthy and fresh tasting dinner!

Pea Soup Saint-Germain

I used to cook this green pea soup for myself when I was studying hard, working at the same time and had hardly time to enjoy my time in the kitchen. This is a simple, quick, but tasty soup even if the colour is quite crazy -striking green. Green pea soup is healthy too and fresh, perfect for summer days. It is the full cream that makes it flavoursome! This kind of green pea soup is very French, to be exact very Parisien. It has gotten its name from the suburban area of Saint-Germain where people were farming green peas in olden days. The recipe is my modification of one recipe found in my old cookbook ( that used to be like a bible to me !!!). Try and enjoy! Duplicate the amount of ingredients if needed.

2 portions:

butter

1 onion (sweet one)

200g (1 package) frozen green peas

2,5 dl water

3 tbs cream

salt and backpepper

1. Cut the onion and cook the cubes in the sauce pan with some butter. Add green peas water, salt and pepper and cook the soup under the lid approximately 10-12 minutes.

2. When the peas are soft purée the soup with an electric mixer.

3. Heat up the soup again, add the cream.

4. Serve it with crutons or with crunchy bacon crumbs!

Crispy Oatbiscuits

All around the world people are using oat in cooking and baking. It is an exceptionally healthy grain even though it is the fattiest grain of all. It contains considerably bigger amount of good vegetable oil than any other type of grain. Oat is also suitable for people who suffer form gluten allergy (celiac disease) common in Northern Europe.

In Finland almost every grandmother knows how to make crunchy oatbiscuits for their grandchildren and those biscuits are considered very Finnish and also a significant part of ”wartime kitchen”. Unfortunately I have to shoot down this former claim although the latter one is quite true. It seems like in every country they have their own version of oatbiscuits that are part of so called ”traditional kitchen”. I realized this with my dear Aussie man when ANZAC day arrived.  It is celebrated every year on the 25th of April. It is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zeland. The name ANZAC comes from the Australian and New Zeland Army Corps. On the ANZAC day people are remembering this army that fought in Gallipoli in Turkey during the World War I. Both Australia and NZ lost massive amount of soldiers albeit UK and France lost even more.

How oatbiscuits and ANZAC day belong together then? On ANZAC day in addition that Aussies want to dress themselves in green and gold they also bake oatbiscuits -funny tradition, but it has a story behind it. Traditionally it is thought that the wives sent oatbiscuits to soldiers abroad back in Gallipoli times. Why oatbiscuits? Because the oaty ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. Smart women and tasty biscuits! Finally those certain kind of oatbiscuits were called ANZAC biscuits and served every year on ANZAC day in April!

Here I want to share my Finnish modified recipe of oatbiscuits. It is my favourite one and you can also make the biscuits even tastier by adding  some chewy date mousse topping on them. With all respect to Australian version of oatbiscuits, below you can also find a recipe for ANZAC biscuits. One of the most important ingredient for them is golden syrup.

FINNISH CRISPY OATBISCUITS

9 big biscuits

1 1/2 dl rolled oats

1 1/2 dl white flour

2 tl baking powder

100g melted butter

3 tbs honey

1 dl cream (milk goes as well)

1. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, honey and cream.

2. Form biscuits on the baking tray.

3. Bake them for 10-15 minutes in 225 degrees.

DATE TOPPING

1 dl dates (seedless)

1/2 dl almonds

water

1. Soak the dates and almons together in a small amount of water for a few hours and smooth them in the end. Add the topping for biscuits and cook them in the oven. This date topping tastes like caramel sauce.

ANZAC BISCUITS

125 g flour

150g caster sugar

1 dl coconut flakes

1 dl rolled oats

100g butter

1 tbs golden syrup

1/2 baking soda

2 tbs boiling water

1. Mix the flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats. Melt butter and golden syrup. Dissolve baking soda in the butter-syrup mixture and add it with the flour mixture in a bowl. Mix well. Form biscuits on a baking tray.

2. Bake them in the oven of 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

ENJOY!

Delish Parsnip Salad

This salad has a unique flavour which makes so difficult to get bored with it. If I want to cook something different, special and something that I doubt my guests have tasted before, I cook this delish parsnip salad.  Fresh thyme in the dressing is the secret, I think.

This is from the magazine in Finland that promotes heart friendly food, so bear in mind it is a guilt free dish.

(4 servings)
2 parsnips (2x 200g)
oil
salt
blackpepper
rocket salad
Parmesan -cheese (small slices)

Dressing:
1/2 dl balsamico
1 tsp mustard
3 tbsp capers
2tsp sugar
blackpepper
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme, crushed (if you don’t have fresh, the dry thyme, spice goes well)1/2 dl oil

(do not use olive oil, its taste is too dominating, prefer some neutral vegetable oil, in Finland we have so called ”rypsiöljy”

Preheat the oven to 225 c degrees. Peel and cut the parsnips, turn them in oil and season with salt and blackpepper. Place them on the baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes. Wash, dry and place the salad on the plate. Make the dressing by combining the ingredients.

When parsnips are ready, let them cool for a while. Sprinkle them on the rocketsalad and sprinkle some Parmesan -cheese on it as well. Pour the nice dressing on the salad. Serve as an appetizer or as a side dish. Yummy.