Fancy a Fika?

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Friendly, Funky and Fresh. That is the three words I would use to describe my favourite Cafe in Manly: Fika Swedish Kitchen. Best known for nailing a good  coffee, Fika also nails a good feed. As a matter of fact, ‘fika’  translates to ‘taking a break for coffee and a bite to eat’ in Swedish and it does so perfectly. Hearty food,original menu options and a beautiful Scandinavian set up will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Friendly

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This place has an incredibly friendly atmosphere. From the cheerful staff, the smiley, content customers to the inviting interior design (see photo above for cute ‘hej, hej’ sign at the counter), Fika has a perfect ambience to boost up your mood. The staff is attentive, well-informed and keen to answer any questions you may have regarding the sometimes atypical menu options.

Funky

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One notable feature of this cafe is its set up. The Scandinavian styled interior design is characterised by minimalism, simplicity and functionality. I am a big fan of the wooden furniture, simple yet very charming table setting and the calming colour palet of blue, white and yellow. To polish it all off, Fika has great tunes playing in the background. Puts a smile on my face every time!

But what makes Fika so funky is its ability to mix lollie bags with jugs of cider (and doing so harmoniously). I mean, have a look at the menu online and try to find something that doesn’t appeal to you. That’s right, what’s so cool about Fika is that, sitting at the one table, you could have:

  • Your mate indulging in a greasy Scandinavian inspired hot dog with a Pistonhead Custom Lager beer.
  • His girlfriend, a bit hungover, who has chosen a lighter option consisting of the ‘Refuel’ cold pressed juice (banana, filtered water, coconut, kale, spinach, pineapple, mango, lime, kiwi) accompanied by the Knäckebröd crispbread with free range egg and Kalles caviar.
  • Your little sister who has gone for the Swedish Breakfast Tray (fralla, muesli and natural yoghurt, boiled egg and orange juice), a Belgium hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll on the side (yep, she’s hungry).
  • And you have chosen ‘The Champion’ (sauteed forest mushrooms with horseradish cream & free range poached egg on sourdough) because you rock. And you thought, why not, I’ll have the Bryggkaffe Swedish brew coffee as well.

Honestly though, I haven’t even covered one tenth of the menu here. The portions are generous and the food is busting with flavour. There are also many affordable options with $10 weekly lunch special being a hit.

Fresh

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I first heard of Fika Swedish Kitchen because of its popularity for nailing a good coffee. Being a foodie, I was attentive to the food and was thrilled with the quality of the meal brought to my table. You can hear and smell the food being prepared. I had the sensation that my grandma had just baked the fresh cinnamon rolls for me. Awesome stuff.

Ps: if you check out Fika on a Sunday you may be lucky enough to fall upon one of the infamous nutorious muffins :)

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Something To Get You Through Monday Morning

I’m on a bit of a roll with banana-based recipes at the moment. I just hate chucking away over-ripe bananas when they are so perfect for baking. So this time I created a breakfast banana muffin recipe inspired by my beautiful friend’s recipe, thanks Kelsey!

Makes approximately 8 small muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 over-ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees and prepare your muffin tints with muffin holders.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and honey. Add the eggs and whisk well.
  3. Add the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the banking soda, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. Add the flour and oats to the mixture and mix together using a large spoon (mix until combined). You can add extra ingredients here if you like such as chocolate chips or nuts.
  5. Fill your muffin holders about two-thirds of the way. Sprinkle a few oats on top.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean).
  7. Enjoy!!!

I loved serving these muffins with yogurt sprinkled with honey on the side. These are also great take-away snacks!

If you have any suggestions please feel free to shoot them to me!

Who Can Say No to Banana Bread?

Who can say no to banana bread? Really… it’s just the best.

After finally handing in an assignment which had taken all of my energy over the past few days, I got the sudden urge to bake something yummy. I was pretty tired so wanted something nice and easy to make. After glancing at sad looking over-ripe bananas in my fruit ball I realised they were calling for me. I hate wasting food, so banana bread it was!

And here is the exciting news. I have made my own banana bread recipe which is low in sugar and also has dairy-free and gluten-free alternatives for those with allergies! Most banana bread recipes use so much sugar which is unnecessary because bananas themselves are naturally really quite sweet. So I hope you enjoy this recipe ;)

Tip: banana bread is best served toasted with a side of butter and accompanied by a hot drink like a cup of coffee or English breakfast tea. Yumzies!!

 

Dry Ingredients:

– ¾ cup of plain flour (use buckwheat flour for a gluten-free alternative)

– ½ cup of almond meal

– 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

– ½ teaspoon of baking soda

– 1 teaspoons of cinnamon

– 1 tablespoon of sugar (you can use more if you want, maybe ¼ or up to ½ cup)

– Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

– 3 very ripe bananas (make sure they are very ripe – as in pretty yucky looking – because you will get most of the sweetness from these bad boys)

– 2 large eggs

– ¼ cup of milk (use nut milk for a dairy-free alternative)

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

– 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

–  1/3 cup of melted butter (¼ cup of melted coconut oil if you are dairy-free)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a rectangular loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Mash up your bananas and then add them to the wet mixture. Mix well.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold through until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and chuck in the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Let’s talk about girls (and their issues with food). There, I said it.

R U OK? 

Today is ‘R U OK?’ Day. A day to remind us that a simple question can do a lot.

In this context, I have decided to write about a rather contentious topic. A topic which is difficult to put into words and even more difficult to discuss publicly. However, I have chosen to write a post about it because I think that it is something we need to talk about. Why? Because I am sick of witnessing so many women feeling so guilty for eating a piece of cake, when we have way bigger fish to fry. It may sound silly to some of you, so you don’t have to read on, but I do know a number of girls who have fallen into some degree of depression over this so, in my opinion, it is definitely worth addressing.

Firstly, although I am primarily targeting this post towards girls (simply because I feel that girls are the ones concerned by this more than boys), I am by no means excluding any gender.

The myths about the ‘superfood’ trend (or whatever you want to call it)

Right, so… Girls, let’s talk about food.

Far too many young women are uncomfortable and unhappy about the way they look. One of the biggest causes of this is the over ‘healthy’ trend which has begun to spread everywhere. Everyday we are bombarded with information about what we should or shouldn’t be doing. It seems that the obsession is ‘how to loose weight?’, ‘what’s the best work out to do?’, ‘what is the best detox to do?’ and the list goes on.

Sorry but that just makes me sick.

It’s so freaking stupid that we let ourselves get so carried away with it all. I’m sorry to break it to you but all of these so called ‘healthy’ brands and advocates for healthy/sports only really care about making money. Ok, maybe not all of them, but 99% of them maybe?

Yep, I fell for it too

What can I say… I will admit that I completely fell in this silly vicious cycle too. Thankfully, I stopped myself before it got out of hand as I realised what type of person I was becoming. I also catch myself occasionally falling back into that sort of frame of mind but I quickly move on to something else, something worth my time and worry.

Your guide to a healthy, balanced and happy self

The good news is I have some advice to give to all of you. And I would LOVE for you to get back to me if you have any questions or would like to share your story/advice/thought with me too!

The key is to: keep it simple!

Rule number 1: Don’t over think it

Do not over think what you eat. It is very important to eat heathy, however, there is a difference between being healthy and being ‘over’ healthy. Think back to when you were a child and did not understand the concept of how ice-cream could be bad for you. Eat what you want! Eat bread! Eat three proper meals a day and stop the snacking. When I go to France I witness people who love their food and eat lots. They just know when to stop and they don’t over think it.

Rule number 2: Don’t over do it

Don’t exercise like a maniac. Be active, yes, definitely. That is so important. But you don’t have to do something if you don’t want to. If running is not your thing then walk. Walking to work if a great start. Or doing yoga or joining a team sport maybe? Quit the gym if it makes you unhappy and puts you in a shit mood. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Rule number 3: Don’t follow it

Stop following those stupid Instagram accounts of women who spend their lives spray tanning and staring at themselves in the mirror. Or the accounts that only drink green tea and almonds for breakfast. Read a book instead, or catch up on the world news.

To sum it up

The less you think about it the better you will feel and the better you will look. I promise. If you need to chat to anyone please feel free to contact me.

For more information about R U OK? Day click here.

Need-Help-Now

My thoughts about Ora

Hi all!!

I apologise for my lack of posts lately. It really has been a while since I’ve written on my blog… Now that I am back at uni and getting into a bit of a routine again I promise I will be better!

Today, I would like to share my thoughts about a cafe which I discovered on the weekend called ‘Ora‘, located on Whistler street in Manly. Now Ora is not your typical cafe… Nope, definitely not. It is quite different actually, starting from the fact that no paper napkins nor plastic straws are to be found there for example.

So, what is Ora in a nutshell?

Ora is an organic cafe in Manly which thrives on the idea that you can eat yummy healthy food.

What type of food do they serve there?

The cafe serves breakfast and lunch, including drinks and snacks. Although the food options are rather limited, the menu caters for a range of taste buds and the drink list runs for a few pages. Whether you are more of a sweet tooth, enjoy a typical bacon and egg sandwich or fancy trying something different, Ora has got you covered. However, what struck out to me the most was the original meal options like the savoury porridge served with bacon for example (see photo below!). In terms of drinks, naturopathic teas are the cafe’s go-to as well as the novel ‘Tumeric Latte’ which I got the chance to try!

Tumeric Latte

Overall experience?

I really enjoyed having breakfast there with my family on a fine Saturday morning. The vibe is relaxed, the staff is friendly and attentive and the design of the cafe rocks! Plus you will definitely feel nice and full after your meal as the portions are generous which is always a bonus.

Thumbs up?

What I liked the most about Ora is that the place definitely centres around serving organic and nice food but, most importantly, it is not about ‘cleansing’ or being ‘vegan’ or anything extreme like that. Ora genuinely aims to create yummy wholefood which is sustainable, makes you feel good and is delicious! The package deal really. And price wise, dishes costs $20 or under so not too bad!

So, Ora, you have my thumps up!!

Fluffy Pancake Recipe

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Hi all!

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you today. My sister and I love eating pancakes on the weekend, in fact, it has become a bit of a ritual for us now. I’ve tried some of the ‘healthy’ pancake recipes out there but, let’s face it, those ‘everything-free super healthy’ recipes usually taste pretty damn crappy and they require you to use the most complicated/expensive ingredients. Ain’t nobody got time for that…

So, I’ve finally made my own recipe which I feel has a perfect balance of yumminess and healthiness. What I like the most about this recipe is that the pancakes have a very smooth, fluffy consistency (thanks to the beaten egg whites) which is awesome. I made my 13 year old brother try these out to test whether the recipe was tasty enough from his perspective. He gave me the thumbs up and ate the whole batch. I’m guessing that’s a good sign…


Here are the ingredients you need to serve about 2 people:

  • 1/4 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of almond meal
  • 1 small teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 eggs (separated)
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste (or vanilla essence)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (which gives a really nice caramel taste but you can omit the sugar if you prefer)
  • Butter (or coconut oil) to cook the pancakes
  • Toppings (this is really personal but here’s the list of ingredients which I usually use): plain yogurt, maple syrup, desiccated coconut,  banana, blueberries, nutella, homemade chocolate sauce (1 tablespoon of cacao powder, 1 teaspoon of nut butter (e.g. peanut butter, almond butter or tahini), 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and a dash of hot water – from Healthsynergy).

Note: this is a gluten-free recipe which I personally really like but you can substitute the buckwheat flour for normal plain flour if you prefer!

Method:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together (buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, brown sugar).
  2. Mix together the banana, milk, two egg yolks and vanilla paste in a blender (this should make a smoothie-like consistency). You can add a dash of milk if you like your pancake mixture to be kind of runny.
  3. Combine the wet and dry mixtures together.
  4. Beat the egg whites until they get nice and fluffy.
  5. Carefully fold the egg whites in the rest of the pancake mixture – you don’t need to mix too much here.
  6. Cook the pancakes on medium heat with a dash of butter (or coconut oil if you prefer). It’s important to be a bit patient here and avoid putting the heat on too high. Wait until bubbles start to appear and then flip the pancake to cook onto the other side.
  7. Make your homemade chocolate sauce while the pancake is cooking.
  8. Add your yummy toppings. I like to make small pancakes and play around with different toppings for each pancake :)

Now who’s going to kick-start their weekend with pancakes for breakfast tomorrow? I know I will :P

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Take-away Breakfast Idea

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I’m often rushed in the morning which  unfortunately means I don’t get an opportunity to have a proper sit down breakfast. Although I love taking my sweet time during breakfast, ideally drinking tea while slowly munching away on tasty homemade food then reading a good book or flicking through a magazine, I have found the perfect on-the-go brekkie recipe which makes up for all of the above!

What I love about this recipe is that:
1) It is dead easy
2) It takes only 1 minute to prepare
3) It is very cheap (which is always a bonus for poor university students like me!)
This recipe was inspired from Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar For Life’ book. Although I have never done the full I Quit Sugar program myself, I have experimented with her recipes a great deal. In my opinion, it is very true that we consume far too much sugar each day and that a low sugar diet makes you feel 100% better. The less sugar you eat, the less you crave it. It’s crazy!! Although I am not particularly a strong advocate of Sarah Wilson I do have a great deal of respect for her and I really love her recipes and perspective about food. I strongly support her approach to food waste management as well as her overarching vision which I discussed in my last post ‘Supercharged Vegetarian Salad (and a note about food sustainability)‘. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about! If you want more information please head to her blog.
Here’s the basic recipe for my take-away breakfast:
Ingredients:
– About 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries
– 2 to 3 fresh or frozen strawberries
– Two/Three Weet-Bix (depending on how hungry you are)
– Milk (I used full-cream milk but any type of milk would do)
Method:
– Pour the blueberries at the bottom of your take away-container
– Crumble your Weet-Bix on top
– Cover the lot with milk
– Add strawberries as toppings (if frozen you might want to unfreeze them in the micro-wave)
– Let the milk soak and the blueberries unfreeze for about 20-30 minutes
– Eat your breakfast!
This is a very simple recipe. I really like the texture of ‘soggy’ Weet-Bix and find it sweet enough just like that, however, feel free to drizzle some honey or maple syrup on top for an extra boost of sweetness! I also like to add these various ingredients to it:
– a scoop of chia seeds (soaking the chia seeds in the milk with the Weet-Bix makes a more pudding-like texture)
– a few roasted almonds
– Greek yogurt
– a scoop of LSA
– extra berries such as raspberries and/blackberries
– sliced banana
– granola
– chocolate sauce which consists of one tsp of cacao, one tsp of maple syrup and one tsp of tahini mixed together with hot water (inspired from Healthsynergy)
So let’s get into it shall we!
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