A Breakfast Favourite

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I’ve recently discovered a craze that’s – granted – been going on for a while already, but I’ve never been one to pride myself on being particularlyhip with the hip. At least not when it comes to the latest instagrammable food trend.
But, I recently tried out the overnight oats thing, and I think this trend might turn into a favourite breakfast item of mine.
According to the Internet there’s about a million ways to make these. The idea is to layer oats with a ‘wet’ item of your choice – apparently anything goes, as long as you make them 50/50 – half oats, half milk, yoghurt, etc. and then layer the two base ingredients in a bowl or glass (for instagrammable results, nothing less than a jar will do though, remember that!)
I personally really like almond milk with the oats. I make them in the evening after dinner, and put the mixture in the fridge overnight. In the morning it’s all ready to go – just add honey, nuts, fruits, banana, peanut butter, or anything else you fancy. Pretty easy, healthy, and nice! I’ll be trying out coconut milk next I think, with a dash of honey and a few almonds – bet that’ll be pretty nice!
It’s also good for you – oats are full of fibre, which helps lower cholesterol, they contain unique oat antioxidants which reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, prevent heart failure,  enhance immune responses to infection, and  stabilises blood sugar – keeping you fuller for longer, which ain’t bad either. You can read much more about the benefits here.
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New Breakfast Favourite

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I’ve recently discovered a craze that’s – granted – been going on for a while already, but I’ve never been one to pride myself on being particularly hip with the hip. At least not when it comes to the latest instagrammable food trend.

 

But, I recently tried out the overnight oats thing, and I think this trend might turn into a favourite breakfast item of mine.

 

According to the Internet there’s about a million ways to make these. The idea is to layer oats with a ‘wet’ item of your choice – apparently anything goes, as long as you make them 50/50 – half oats, half milk, yoghurt, etc. and then layer the two base ingredients in a bowl or glass (for instagrammable results, nothing less than a jar will do though, remember that!)

 

I personally really like almond milk with the oats. I make them in the evening after dinner, and put the mixture in the fridge overnight. In the morning it’s all ready to go – just add honey, nuts, fruits, banana, peanut butter, or anything else you fancy. Pretty easy, healthy, and nice! I’ll be trying out coconut milk next I think, with a dash of honey and a few almonds – bet that’ll be pretty nice!

 

It’s also good for you – oats are full of fibre, which helps lower cholesterol, they contain unique oat antioxidants which reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, prevent heart failure,  enhance immune responses to infection, and  stabilises blood sugar – keeping you fuller for longer, which ain’t bad either. You can read much more about the benefits here.

 

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Thursday Cravings: Grapefruit

I love pink grapefruit! I used to eat them all the time when I was a child, and have recently rediscovered them. How amazing is grapefruit? (Sorry, my excitement for a fruit might be a bit over the top). And, this is clearly also one of the healthier cravings one can have, so it’s a win on all accounts.

I’ve also recently read that grapefruits are one of the very few foods that contains less calories than the body uses to digest them, resulting in what’s called a ‘negative calorie count’. This is clearly not the main reason why I eat them, but it is quite fascinating I think. They are good for other reasons too, like supporting healthy skin, and helping to battle many diseases, as well as containing lots of antioxidants. Eating half of a grapefruit per day will meet 64% of your vitamin C needs, 28% of vitamin A, 2% of calcium and 2% of magnesium. (Source). So I mean, this is sort of a super fruit.

On top of all of this, they are also very pretty – At least to me. The colour and texture is amazing.

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All images taken by me – Please do not use without permission

Salty Almonds

I have discovered something great. And easy. And much better than crisps. Salty Almonds. They’re really easy and lovely either as a snack or in summer salads.

You need:

200 grams of almonds

Salt

Water

Bring 2 dl of water to boil. When boiling, stir 4-5 tablespoons of salt in until it’s completely dissolved. Pour the salty water into a bowl with the almonds and let it stand for 20-25 minutes. When done, spread the almonds out in one layer on a baking tray and bake them in the oven at 150 degrees for 20 minutes until the almonds are crisp. (might vary depending on your oven).

Leave to cool, and thats it! You can adjust the amount of salt and soaking time after how salty you want them to be.

almonds

almonds jar

Taking pictures of food = mental illness?

I admit it. I am one of those annoying people who will occasionally take pictures of my food and share it on various social networks. It is quite a strange thing to share really, if you think about it. Why would anyone else be interested in what I had for breakfast on a regular Tuesday morning? But I’m not the only one. Far from actually. My own Instagram, twitter, and Facebook feeds are filled up with pictures of food, healthy, indulgent, or spectacular. This is obviously a trend of the time we live in.

I came across this article from the Huffington Post a few days back, where a Canadian health expert raises the question of how healthy we really are when we feel the need to share images of food on a daily basis, and document every meal. She links it to the possibility of existing or brewing mental health problems and says that obsessively documenting ones meals could be a signal of larger dieting problems.

As she says, we take picture of the things in our life that is important to us, and for some people the food overshadows everything else, such as company of location.  So why do we do it? I can only really speak for myself, and having given this some thought I believe there are various reasons; show of (yes, don’t pretend you don’t do it too) or simply sharing. In some cases the food act as the tool to remember a special moment. But I would never consider myself to be obsessive with documenting what I eat. I do however think that the discussion is very valid, as we do live in a society where image is everything, especially in terms of online presence and communicating with people that you might not know in real life. Or perhaps showing your friends what a fabulous time you’re having, or how healthy you eat.

I am sure that I will continue to document the food I eat, and I don’t see a problem with it. But anything to do with eating will always be linked with mental health discussions, and a case like this rightly should be. Whether or not it is a serious issue is still to be discovered, and it might not be. But in many cases it does seem that food is the key element in social interaction.

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Image from http://themetapicture.com/instagram-users-meetup/

Why chickpeas is the coolest food ever

Chickpeas. Boring, small bean-like round things, you might think. But they are so much more. I’m recently finding myself loving those little things more and more.

Firstly, they are pretty healthy. According to this site they are high in protein, can lower cholesterol, keeps you full for longer, and can be used pretty much for everything. What’s not to love?

Almost every day at uni the past week my lunch have consisted of this simple, but awesome, chickpea salad. And it is really very filling – much more than an expensive sandwich from a shop.

You need;

1 can of chickpeas

about 1/3 of a cucumber

8-10 cherry tomatoes (or normal tomatoes)

Feta cheese (amount depends on taste i guess… And how healthy you want it to be).

Chop cucumber and tomatoes finely, add cubes of feta, season with salt and pepper and perhaps any other spice that you like – I personally think a bit of turmeric (which is also very good for you) fits in quite well. And voila! Lunch! Couldn’t be easier, and it is really very tasty. 

Another use i’ve recently tried out, is making them into a healthy snack. It was a complete experiement, but turned out rather well. Even my boyfriend liked them despite being quite the crisp/peanut lover, so success!

You need;

1 can of chickpeas

2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 table spoon of pepper

1/2 table spoon of salt

1 table spoon of sugar

1 table spoon of hot chili powder (if you’re brave)

Mix it all together and bake on the highest level for 20-25 minutes. I’m sure this would work with some other combination of spices too.

They are hot, but not overwhelmingly. Can definitely recommend you to try this as an alternative to nuts and crisps. I’ll be making them again, that’s for sure.

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Danish and English differences

I grew up in Denmark, but have lived in London since April 2007. Although I by now feel very much at home here, and very used to the English way of life, there are still differences that spring to mind. Obviously there are the major differences, such as politics etc., but I have for long been wanting to make a list over the more everyday differences I have noticed since I came here. Get ready for stereotyping (with a smile).

 1. Breakfast

This one is probably pretty obvious. The national English fry up is still a struggle for me. I mean, sausages, baked beans, eggs and -horror of horrors- mushrooms, at the crack of dawn. Yikes. If I’ve been up for a few hours I can perhaps deal with it, but on a much smaller scale than any proper Englishman. I don’t think I will ever learn it. The reason for this might be that I pretty much grew up on cold porridge with sugar and raisins. In Denmark kids are told that it will make them grow “big and strong”, just as rye-bread will. A typical cafe-brunch in Denmark would probably consist of yoghurt with muesli, scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh fruit. Slightly English inspired after all, but not quite as hardcore. I do know that most English won’t have a fry-up every morning, but I have a feeling that eggs are a must for many English. A traditionally Danish breakfast will involve a shot of sticky brown alcohol called ‘Gammel Dansk’ (Old Danish). Cheers!

A typical Danish cafe-brunch (source: http://passionsforfashion.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/garsdagens-brunch.html)

2. Silence

If you counted all the words a mediocre Dane say in a day, and compare them to how many words an English (or possibly any other given european country to be honest) say in a day, I reckon the dane will only speak about half the amount of the English. Danes generally don’t say anything unless they actually have something important to say. We are good at talking about the weather though, just like the English, but that is about as far as small-talk will go. After that we just stand there and wait for the next important thing we want to say. The Danish philosophy seems to be that if you don’t have anything to say, why talk? If we do find ourselves being caught in awkward silence (Mostly only around people we have just met), a small ‘Mmmmm’ as conversation filler will be sufficient.

3. ‘Please’ and ‘Excuse me’

-Is not really existing in the Danish language. Since I’ve come to England I find myself feeling extremely rude whenever I go to Denmark, as there is no Danish word for please. So, if a Dane go to a shop and wants to buy a bottle of wine, the sentence would be “Can I have a bottle of wine?” and not “Can I have a bottle of wine, please?”. I realise this might make us seem rude, but we’re not really. We are just missing a word. ‘Excuse me’ is used slightly more, but it is not one of our preferred phrases, as it seems to be for the English (at least Londoners).

4. Going out

In England, as far as I know, going out mostly mean going to the pub or a bar. sometimes straight after work, or perhaps after dinner. Quite early, meaning that the English can also leave quite early and be home and to bed at a reasonable time (preferably catching the last tube around midnight). In Denmark, the night will often start with a ‘warm-up’ party. Meaning ‘get as drunk as possible, to save money once you go out’. Considering that a pint of beer can reach £6 in Denmark in some nightclubs, this seems reasonable. If you can find a pub in Denmark, it will often be used by locals and regulars only, and the regular dane won’t go there. If they want a drink earlier in the evening the choice is often a cafe-bar sorta place. Nightclubs (of which some are branded ‘pubs’ normally don’t open until 11pm, and they won’t be busy until 1am. On the other hand they probably won’t close until 7am, when the hardcore party goers will go to ‘morning-bars’ where you can get a drink while having breakfast before going home to bed while the sun is coming up.

5. Hotdogs

Okay, this one is random, but it must be mentioned. An English hotdog normally consists of bread, a sausage and soft fried onions. The end. A Danish hotdog consists of bread, sausage, ketchup mustard, remoulade, fresh onions, crispy fried onions and pickles in a neat line on the top. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed when I had my first english hotdog. The place they are sold varies too. English hotdogs are mostly (In London anyway) sold at small street stalls. Danish hotdogs are sold on the street too, but from a so-called ‘sausage-wagon’. Yup. It’s like a small trailer that can be moved around, and where the ‘sausage-man’ (that’s what we call them in Danish, freely translated) can stand inside and serve his customers.

Danish style ‘poelsevogn’ (source: http://www.photo-gallery.dk/oversigt/arbejdsmiljoeer/arbejdsmiljoeer/image/poelsevogn-24.jpg)

One thing English and Danes do have in common though, is the belief that if our respective countries didn’t exist…. the world would probably collapse.