“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” ~ Steve Jobs
My 2017 mantra is Focus and Simple! Keeping all aspects of my life clean, simple and clutter-free is something I have been aiming to achieve for a while. I am on the right path I know it – but I still tend to fall back on some old habits. That is why I have chosen to make 2017 a year where I consciously push out all the toxic junk and matter and open up to purity, to grace and to calmness.
My core desires are to feel balanced and relaxed – not allowing people and pressure to upturn my equilibrium. I want to keep my focus on issues that matter, energized by the good around me and radiate with the love that is bestowed upon me every day. My body, mind and soul shall be nourished appropriately – about that I feel strongly! Finally my goal to finding simplicity will be challenging as I tend – probably like many – to complicate things. I sometimes get trapped in my own head, thoughts and the heart too. I then need to really reboot myself to find an easier path or solution. While yoga and meditation, prayers and positivity and dietary modifications all help in that direction, there is no one magic pill. I am however, teaching myself to relax, to focus and to observe – to trust my own voice and be more self-aware, to understand that the things that are happening on the surface is a reflection of what is going on underneath. It is going to be an interesting year and I believe that this will be more of a lifetime goal but I hope that ultimately it will make me more in touch and self-ware of my thoughts and feelings to achieve that simplicity and focus.
Resolutions are never my thing – I do not do new year diets, dry January or detox, nor do I make resolutions to work out more and all that. Instead I always try to have focused goals and I truly believe in core desires – looking into myself and see what and how I want to feel, allowing this to be the guiding light for the future. A clean slate – some say – but really an opportunity to look back and readjust the sails for the journey ahead, finding the right wind to take you towards your dreams and goals.
What are your goals, resolutions or mantra for 2017?
While there are times when I will cook lengthy meals and traditional dishes – my style of cooking and my manifesto for food is keeping it simple. While organic is important I would rather have apples that are local/regional, grown on orchards in Thuringia (my region) than those organic apples that have been flown in from New Zealand. I believe in using fresh regional produce and ingredients to produce satisfying, good honest dishes. In my kitchen it seems I have found the key to simplicity!
As many know breakfast is my favorite meal of the day – in any form and at all times. I love eggs, savory pancakes as much as I love porridge, smoothies and muesli. Thick creamy almond yogurt, with a drizzling of raw honey, flavored with cinnamon and sesame, some fresh fruit and a crunchy topping of homemade granola – this is my most reliable and fancied breakfast indulgence.
This granola is a concentration of power food in one mix. It is grain-free, gluten-free, vegan and suits the Paleo diet – not that I am observing any of the above, but for those who need to watch for these restrictions it is an easy and simple way to get the most energizing power boost right at the start of the day. A creamy mix of almond butter and maple syrup coats the granola giving it a serious maple-y nutty crunch.
I was keen to make something that was not loaded with refined sugars and was not so high on the carbs as during the week I like to keep the carb level on the lower side of the scale. The best part is – this is not just a breakfast topper but is great on desserts or just to snack on all on its own.
I made a wonderful almond-y creamy dessert and a beautiful elegant smoothie bowl where the crunchy mix plays a vital role and I will be sharing those recipes in the coming weeks. For now though double the batch and store bags of this everywhere from your office to your car – perfect for the kids’ lunchboxes and great snacking for a movie night on the sofa. Enjoy!
If you are a breakfast person like me I know you will just love my Big on Breakfast – The Big Breakfast Post with several ideas for the first – second or even last meal of the day. Many of my friends on the social networks have also shared their ideas of a perfect breakfast.
- 235g coconut flakes
- 250g almonds, coarsely chopped
- 125g pecan nuts, coarsely chopped
- 125g cashew nuts
- 125g sunflower seed
- 125g pumpkin seed
- 100g sesame seeds
- 75g goji berries
- 100g dried cranberries
- 100g dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 55g coconut oil, melted
- 60 ml maple syrup
- 60g almond butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of fleur de sel
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Place all the nuts and seeds, cinnamon and fleur de sell in a large mixing bowl and mix together well, put aside.
- Melt the coconut oil for about 30 seconds in the microwave, or alternative in a pan over low-heat. Pour this into a small ball, followed by the maple syrup and the almond butter. With a spatula mix well.
- Slowly pour wet mixture over dry ingredients, stirring to combine and coat all the nuts and seeds with the wet mixture.
- Spread granola out onto a greased baking tray and bake in oven for a total of 20 minutes stopping to stir after 10 minutes. After 15 minutes take out of the oven for one last time and add the dried fruit and coconut flakes, stir and put back in the oven.
- Allow granola to cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container. It can be stored in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks.
Nutty Granola Notes:
- You can use a variety of nuts and seeds for this granola. Use walnuts or pistachios. In terms of seeds I often add flax seeds or chia seeds.
- Of course the same applies to the fruit – dried cherries, mulberries or blueberries are great as are dates and figs.
- Try raw dark chocolate coarsely chopped or cocoa nibs. Add this only after the granola has cooled down completely.
The subtle element of the fleur de sel is just beautiful here – it adds lovely slightly savory dimension to the granola. The flavor possibilities here however are quite endless and every time I have indulged in my yogurt snack I feel – light and full of energy. Rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and much discussed omega-3 fatty acids, nuts and seeds have it all. This is really the simple way of being healthy!
Rome 2017 | Food Photography and Styling Retreat
Power-packed 2-day photography retreat in the stunning rolling hills of Sabina!
Meet like-minded people and focus on your passion for food / lifestyle photography in a positive and encouraging environment. I believe in providing a memorable experience – be it the stunning landscapes, the delectable dishes we cook, the knowledgeable tours we take and the incredible insight of the people connected with the workshops.
We are offering an Early Bird Special all through January 2017. Till 31.01.2017 you have the opportunity to get tickets for the Rome Photography and Styling Retreat 2017 for a special offer.
You might like these granola and muesli ideas from WFLH:
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