3 Beautiful Reasons To Eat Pine Nuts

My love affair with pine nuts is fairly recent.  Although this beloved seed has been eaten since the ancient times for their nutritional benefits, I only tried it for the first time four years ago.  But since then, pine nuts have become my go to addition when I want to take a simple dish to the next level.  Aside from its delicious nutty taste, pine nuts are a great beauty boosting food.  Here are my top three reasons to reach for the pine nuts:

  1. The majority of the fat in pine nuts is made up of monounsaturated fats, which is the primary fat in the Mediterranean diet.  Monounsaturated fats are helps to keep the cardiovascular system healthy making pine nuts great for heart health.  It is also great for skin health as it keeps the skin healthy and hydrated from the inside out.
  2. Pine nuts are packed with antioxidants such as selenium, Vitamins A, B, C, E & K and lutein.  These antioxidants help the body to combat the signs of aging by fighting free radicals.  They also help to keep the skin supple and young looking with good elasticity
  3. Pine nuts also contain many anti-inflammatory properties which help with a myriad of skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, acne and itching.

And there you have it – 3 beautiful reasons to complement your dishes with pine nuts.  What is your favourite way to include pine nuts in your cooking – let me know in the comments below.

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

C69BFD03-6C28-4C3F-9F45-6BE37B4A1B04

Please Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.  It is not intended to serve as a substitute for a consultation or medical treatment from a qualified physician or healthcare practitioner.

Inspiring Interior

I am completely in love with this week’s Inspiring Interior. Since I completed my certification in interior design a few years ago, my style has and design aesthetic has changed a lot. I used to be obsessed with pattern and brightly contrasting hues and now? The simpler the better. I love the little details – simple and elegant texture, a lot of natural light, bright open spaces, and neutral tones with brightly coloured accents. This space completely fulfils my design loving heart.

Located in Berlin, this gorgeous apartment is filled with natural light, gorgeous tones and stunning furniture. High ceiling and stark white walls complement the natural wood floor beautifully, minimal furniture and bold artwork.  Subtle touches of bright colour and bold patterns help to tie everything together. The kitchen is simple and clean yet welcoming and the balcony seems like the perfect place to relax and enjoy the weather. This apartment is front and centre on my vision board at the moment.

img_5865img_5866img_5867img_5868img_5869img_5870

All images from http://www.fantasticfrank.de

I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

Restorative Turmeric Soup

Happy New Year everyone!  A new year is always exciting as they are filled with endless possibilities but ironically January and February are some of the toughest months to get thru.  The cold weather and post Christmas blues are enough to put anyone in a bad mood. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help you successfully navigate these dreary few months with ease.  My favourite is indulging in good (but clean) food.

Soup is a common food staple especially during the colder months.  Growing up, I always considered soup food that you only eat when you are sick.  It was not something that I particularly enjoyed, with the exception of a piping hot bowl of hot and sour soup that I loved on the rare occasions that we went out for Chinese food.  Over the past few years I have started to incorporate more soup into my diet.  I frequently reach for a cup of comforting miso soup whenever I am feeling sick or in need of some comfort food.  And when I have more time I enjoy making my own grilled tomato soup or a clean green soup.  The fact is though is that I have always enjoyed the side dish that I would eat with the soup more then the soup itself – be it crackers, grilled vegetables, roast chicken or cheese on toast.  The moment that the side dish was finished, I would lose interest in finishing my soup.  The soup was never the star of the meal.

All of that changed when I made came across a recipe for turmeric soup on Pinterest. I decided to adapt it to suit my tastes and the results were nothing short of amazing (if I do say so myself).  I normally have two bowls and seriously contemplate a third when I make this soup.  It is hearty, satisfying and delicious – no side dish required.  I am finally a soup convert.

The base of this soup is coconut milk, filled with good fats and incredibly filling and satiating I cannot believe I hadn’t thought to use it earlier in any of my previous soups.  Turmeric is fabulous for lowering chronic inflammation within the body and adds a beautiful colour to this dish.  The original recipe calls for zucchini and I chose to channel my inner Popeye and include spinach as well.  I used frozen chopped spinach for this recipe but fresh works just as well.  Super simple to make, this soup doesn’t require any complicated ingredients, a lot of skill or effort.  It is easy on the digestive system so it won’t leave you feeling sluggish and bloated.  Overall this soup make me happy and leaves me feeling comforted and restored – a total winner in my book!

With a few tweaks this can easily become a vegan dish (omit the fish sauce and swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth) and you can always substitue in your favourite veggies to personalize this dish to suit your taste.

Ingredients

1 can of coconut milk

1 cup of chicken stock

1 cup of frozen spinach

2 -3 small to medium size zucchini

1/2 onion finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tsp olive oil

2 (heaping) tsp of ground turmeric

2 tsp fish sauce

sea salt

black pepper

chilli flakes (optional)

half of a lime

chopped coriander (optional)

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium size pot over medium to high heat.  When the oil is glistening add in the onions stirring occasionally  to release the flavours.   Cook  until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).  When the onions are almost cooked thru add in the garlic and stir until the onions and garlic are well combined.

Add in the spinach, zucchini, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and turmeric, mix well.  Stir fry the vegetables in the mixture for a couple of minutes.  The frozen spinach will not completely thaw at this point but don’t worry, it will continue to cook in the broth.

Add in the coconut milk and chicken stock, stir well and increase the heat so that the soup comes to just a boil.  Turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the fish sauce.  Pour into bowls and top with a squeeze of lime juice and coriander.

Enjoy!

I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

 

Nutty Dark Chocolate Fudge

I love fudge.  It has been a favourite of mine since I was a child, and to this day I still find it difficult to not indulge every chance that I get.  While I’ve heard that it is relatively easy to make, I have never bothered as the store bought versions are always delicious and I don’t have to clean up after.  Recently though, I came across a recipe for hazelnut fudge on Pinterest that piqued my interest as it used coconut milk and maple syrup instead of the usual (and in my opinion heaven sent) condensed milk.  It was super simple to make and the results were quite good.  I decided to adapt the recipe for the holidays and came up with this nutty dark chocolate fudge recipe.  If you are looking for a quick and easy sweet treat this fudge works perfectly.  While it does contain a fair amount of sugar from the chocolate and maple syrup, it is also rich and dense so you don’t need too much to satisfy your sweet tooth.  I chose to use antioxidant rich dark chocolate (70%), almonds and hazelnuts in this recipe but feel free to swap in your favourite nuts and chocolate to make a version that best suits you.  Depending on the chocolate you use, please be mindful of the amount of maple syrup that you add into the fudge – the sweeter the chocolate the less maple syrup required.

Ingredients:

2 cups dark chocolate (min 70%) chunks or chips

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

1/4 cup toasted almond hazelnut butter

5 tsp of maple syrup (if using milk chocolate use 3 – 4 tsp)

pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

1 cup of toasted and chopped hazelnuts and almonds

Here’s what you do:

  • To toast the hazelnuts and almonds place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 (F) for approximately 5 – 8 minutes, shake the pan half way through.  Let cool then rough chop in a blender
  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper
  • In a large pot mix everything but the nuts together and melt over low heat, stirring frequently
  • When the mixture has completely melted and combined gently fold in 3/4 cup of the nuts
  • Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and let cool for approximately 30 minutes , then sprinkle the remainder of the nuts on top
  • Refrigerate the fudge until set (about 2 hours)
  • It’s best to remove the fudge from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cutting into pieces

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!  XXS

 

Inspiring Interior

When I was completing my certification in Interior Design, I never thought about using concrete in my design choices.  Over the past year though, I have been enamoured with all of the design portfolios that I have seen that predominately feature concrete as part of the overall design.  When I first saw today’s Inspiring Interior, it immediately captured a piece of my design loving heart.

Located in Victoria Australia, the designers received a commendation from the Victorian Architecture Awards (2016) for this carefully crafted piece of architecture.  The timber, brass and gold details add a level of warmth and sophistication while the white marble contrasts beautifully with the concrete to produce a stunning yet laid back family home. Light filled and spacious, the lines between indoors and outdoors are blurred creating a calming yet charming space. The entire home is gorgeous, but I am obsessed with the kitchen in particular.  The combination of the statement marble backsplash and concrete island with the black cabinetry and appliances is sheer perfection.  The modern gold hood and lights help to elevate this space to a level of creativity I rarely see.  It is the perfect place to inspire and encourage creative and delicious new recipes.

auhaus_62146auhaus_61737h_webauhaus_61663_webauhaus_62003_sml_instaauhaus_61746_web

All pictures are from http://www.auhaus-arch.com

What do you think of this week’s Inspiring Interior?  Do you like the combination of all of the different materials?

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS