Why I (nearly) stopped drinking coffee

 
It is consumed by a lot of people at any time, for most of us it is part of our daily routine. Coffee is one of the most loved beverage in the world, that’s for sure.

Personally, I do like coffee and somehow this is linked to my cultural (how could an italian dislike coffee? :D) and family traditions. My mum prepares coffee every single morning – Imagine the smell of coffee coming right into the room and gently awakes you. Lovely!

But since I went vegan, I drink less coffee. I was used to drink a LOT of coffee: early in the morning, around 10am and in the afternoon again. I was addicted. I bet you are wondering why drinking coffee and being vegan at the same time should be a problem? Let me explain you quickly. First of all, I am anemic and coffee compromises greatly the iron absorption. Now, there are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. The iron in meat is in the heme form while the non-heme is found in plant foods. Researches have shown that coffee seems to affect especially the absorption of the non-heme type. As vegan the only source of iron comes from plant-based food! 

However, no decrease in iron absorption occurred when coffee is consumed 1 h before a meal (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1983). A mid-morning coffee won’t be that bad, after all. 

So, evidence reveals I should quit caffeine. But, let’s be honest – I don’t avoid coffee completely. I like it! I simply have a cup of coffe now and then. I don’t want to restrict myself, I think it’s better have a little satisfaction once in a while. Anyway, I take iron supplements. That helps! 🙂

To finish I will share with you my little “vice”; a delicious, quick and easy banana coffee smoothie bowl to prepare in the morning.

INGREDIENTS
3 bananas
Natural vanilla flavor
1 tsp instant coffee
Water (optional)

Pour the bananas and vanilla flavour (as much as you desire) in a blender and blend till combined (add water if you prefer the smoothie less thick). Garnish on top with a tsp of instant coffee and mix gently. Enjoy!

References
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/37/3/416.abstract
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/health/30real.html?_r=0
http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=34

Annunci

Cocoa Apricot Smoothie Bowl

 

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 apricots (the half is for the topping)
1/2 tsp maple syrup
2 bananas
130 ml rice milk
2 tsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tbsp oat bran

Prepare the topping – Dice half an apricot in a little bowl, add the maple syrup and microwave for 30 sec. Set aside.
Smoothie – Add fruits, rice milk, oat bran and the cocoa powder into a blender. Blend until smooth. Garnish with the apricot sauce and enjoy!
Note: If you want to create the same garnishment as I did, before adding the cocoa power set aside one or two tablespoon of smoothie in a glass.

Ginger Mango Peaches Smoothie \\ Post Workout Smoothie

mango_1

The burst of energy of the ginger mixes with the sweetness of mango and peaches. I personally love this combination! Today’s recipe is perfect for the morning or – as I am use to do – after a nice workout to get your energy back.

INGREDIENTS
2 peaches (put aside two slices for topping)
1 mango
6 ice cubes
Ginger, powder
Lemon juice, few drops
1 banana

Cut the peaches into slices and put aside. Dice the mango and cut the banana in half.
Put in the blender all the chopped fruit then the ice cubes, few drops of lemon juice and a sprinkle of ginger. Blend vigorously for 1-2 minutes. Place the mixture in a bowl, finish by cutting into little cubes the two slices of peaches you have set aside before and add them on top.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 330 kcal / Fat 1,5 gr / Carbohydrate 82,2 gr / Protein 4,9 gr / Fiber 11,1 gr

Aquafaba: a revolutionary ingredient in the vegan world

meringue_1

As vegan, one of the first thing it came to my mind was “what could I use as egg substitute?”. There are several solutions suggested on the web and on the market, but today I want to focus on a recent and great – at least, for all the vegans – discovery.

Few days ago I came across to Aquafaba-based recipes and I have been amazed! I know, you are wondering what aquafaba is? Well, it is an ingredient you would ever think to, but you might already have it in your kitchen. Aquafaba is simply the chickpeas brine, the liquid in the chickpeas can you usually drain away. The chickpeas brine turns out to be an incredible ingredient, because after 10-20 mins it whips up as the egg white does!

All starts around December 2014, Jöel Roessel tried to make a vegan meringue by whipping up the chickpeas brine. The result was stunning and he shared anonymously his experiment on his blog revolutionvegetal.
In March 2015, the vegan cook named Goose Wohlt got inspiration from Jöel’s and shared his discovery on the popular facebook group, Vegan Meringues – Hits and missed!. Also, Goose coined the new word “aquafaba” from the latin “aqua” (water) and “faba” bean.

That’s a wonderful news for the vegan community, as everyone I am so exited! So, I decided to give it a try. Two days ago I made my first attemp, the result wasn’t great – the foam turned out to be not that fluffly and after cooking the surface of the meringues was sticky. That means I haven’t whipped up enough. Unlike egg white, aquafaba is harder to manage partly due to the quality of chickpeas.
However, the picture you see it’s obviously my second attemp, it is far better! And let me just say that making meringues during summer it is not probably the best idea, as the cooking time is so long. But if you are brave as much as I, go ahead! 😀

INGREDIENT
100gr Aquafaba (the liquid in the chickpeas can)*
100gr icing sugar
half vanilla bean
few drops of lemon juice

Preheat fan oven to 167-176 F (75-80 °C).
Pour the liquid in a big bowl then cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and with the tip of a knife scrape the seeds, add them in the liquid. Then, add few drops of lemon juice and start beating. Withouth stopping add half of the icing sugar. Keep on beating. Pour the half sugar left and continue to beat. Be patient! It needs from 12 to 15 min to get a fluffy, firm foam. Now, be creative! Shape the meringues on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. The form of the merigues is up to you. Cook for 2 hours.

*Note: I’ve noticed that if you leave Aquafaba in the fridge overnight, it gets more fluffly and firm after beating.

meringue_2

References
http://aquafaba.com/community.html
http://www.revolutionvegetale.com

Energizing Summer Blackberries Smoothie

blackberries_edited2

Keeping in mind the basic rule “high carbs low fat” (I am going to explain you more about it in another article), let’s make a super energizing and fresh smoothie bowl to kick the morning and start off the day with the right foot.

This bowl is rich in magnesium, manganese and potassium, essential elements to knock out the fatigue. Fruits provide lots of fiber which aids digestive health. As you can see, I put goji berries on top of my bowl. This super food is a good source of protein (1 ounce, about 28 gr, provides 12 gr of protein) and it is a very good source of riboflavin which is what makes goji berries well known for their antioxidant function. Goji berries is also a good source of vitamin C, as well as bananas and blackberries. For example, one cup of blackberries provides the 50% of the recommended daily intake. You will see, this smoothie has a wonderful texture, that’s because of the addiction of the oat bran. Source of carbs, as goji berries oat bran contains protein and iron.

INGREDIENTS
3 bananas
4 ice cubes
2 tbsp oat bran
100ml water
Vanilla flavour
100gr blackberries (plus two or three frozen)
Coconut flour
Goji berries

Put in a blender the bananas cut in half, the ice cubes, the oat bran and 100ml of water. Blend till combined. Stop blending and add the blackberries and the natural vanilla flavour as much as you like. You are free to add extra sweetness like stevia, agave or maple syrup. Blend again for a minute.
Place the smoothie in a bowl, sprinkle some coconut flour on top, add frozen blackberries and goji berries as final touch.

Now, you are ready to kick off the day 🙂

Nutrition Facts
Calories 373 kcal / Fat 2,2 gr / Carbohydrate 95,2 gr / Protein 6,8 gr / Fiber 12,6 gr

Reference
1. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/280160/1
2. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5703/2
3. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2
4. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/riboflavin

Welcome

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog!

I’m Noemi a 22 years old girl from Milan. A month ago I made a radical change in my life – I decided to become vegan and I started to share snapshots of my dishes on Instagram. I like creating harmonious compositions, playing with lights and colours. I would like people who watch my shots to feel a sense of calm, inner balance and happyness. Because is what I feel when I eat my dishes, and to share deeply with you these emotions, why not starting a blog to post my recipes? So, here it is! I have lots of ideas in mind – recipes, new shots, nutritional tips and much more. I hope you will find my blog a little place of joy and I hope to inspire you with my vegan lifestyle!

Noemi