Healthy fare Melbourne

After hitting all the cafes I mentioned here, one should definitely check out the following clean eating spots while in the mecca of all things food, aka Melbourne.

Clean Eats and Treats (non cafe)

The best airport snacks I didn’t get to enjoy; the glass bottle smashed on the floor. Sadness.

Green Press, Little Collins Stret, CBD

This little shop offers cold pressed organic juices, raw treats, smoothies and clean lunch options. They’ve created their own version of a donut, made with pumpkin and almond meal. My favorite juice: Captain Planet with blue green algae, coconut water and grapefruit.

Ex salad master of Laneway Greens waiting for her smoothie.

Laneway Greens, Flinders Lane, CBD

This small salad bar on Flinders Lane should make the cut to any list of salad bars, great lunches, healthy food, smoothies, and value for money joints. I might be a bit biased to talk about this place since I was part of the team from day 1, but at least I can say that they really ARE what they preach. No cutting corners, all clean and hearty fare, big enough portions to save some for later, and smoothies that are the best money can buy. I can’t recommend any one salad, since all of them are to die for, but the Miso Salmon would probably be my favourite, along with the Seared Tuna. All dressings are made in house, with no extra sugars or additives. You can also get your smoothie bowl and chia pudding fix at LG, or grab a fresh pressed juice to go. 

Glass box of pure goodness at Pana.

Pana Chocolate, Church Street, Richmond

This little chocolate shop on Church Street sells the most delicious handcrafted raw treats you can find. In addition to their chocolate bars, Pana sells different slices, pops (think ice cream pops but made from chocolate, coated with nut crumble), truffles and such. Guilt-free indulgence at its’ best! 

Guilt-free lamingtons. Nom.

Terra Madre, High Street, Northcote

Not a cafe or a quirky small independent artisan shop, but the best shop for all things organic, natural and eco-friendly. Fresh veggies, breads and eggs, huge bulk section full of nuts, seeds, flours, spices and dry cooking things, and everything you could imagine buying for your kitchen (and bathroom). Cheap cheap, too!

Bulk goodies at Terra Madre.

Yo-Chi, several locations

Froxzen yoghurt to the win! They usually have one soy option and one coconut-based option for vegans, otherwise the flavours speak for themselves: how about rose, matcha or mango? The various toppings seal the deal. Other great sweet tooth fix: Frozen froyo on Chapel street and Melbourne Central. 

Nordic Food Co. selling homey goodies in Alma Park on Saturdays at the Hank Marvin Markets.

Markets: Queen Victoria, South Melbourne, Prahran – and pop-up markets such as Hank Marvin

Fresh seasonal veggies and fruit, delicatessen and anything you might need for a picnic in the park, the markets are my go-to place when it comes to weekly shopping or being ingredients for a dinner with friends. Best hummus in the world: South Melbourne market, Steve’s Deli. You can also find coconut cheese from South Melbourne market! 

More Carnivals and few tips for Helsinki

Apparently my time in Helsinki was all about good people, cakes and other (gourmet) food! NB: This post includes links to recommended places in Helsinki, most of them are in Finnish. However, I bet you get the idea and I do recommend you to visit even though you don’t understand much of the interwebs info. Reality is so much better, anyways. And they do speak English.

If you ever go to Helsinki and you care about what you eat and drink, I highly recommend Johan & Nyström in Katajanokka. I have posted pictures before, this time around I went for some serious cake tasting. The place has a good selection on different raw cakes and pastries, and you can also get different kinds of quality coffees and teas. However, there are better places to get your caffeine fix: Caffi, Kaffa Roastery, Gruppo Coffee Lab just to name a few better than average places…Helsinki has much more brewing on than in Tampere, and I still have more places to check out!

After Eight (the winner), Raspberry licorice, and lingonberry cake (skip this one) at Johan & Nyström
After Eight (the winner of the tasting), Raspberry licorice, and lingonberry cake (skip this one) at Johan & Nyström

Last Thursday was The Night of the Arts in Helsinki, which included loads of cultural events around the city. Since I was busy with the Raw Food course, I couldn’t attend anything, I just had time to visit Teurastamo, an old slaughterhouse nowadays a culture space and a restaurant, which hosted a night market carnival event. Too bad Evira didn’t allow crickets to be served for some ridiculous reasons, such as not all species are edible (not all mushrooms are edible, but some are still eaten! Why are the Asians eating crickets and still alive?), I would have liked to try those. In stead, we had some delicious summer rolls from Rulla, and my dad enjoyed some frog legs as well. This was my first visit to Teurastamo area, which also hosts a solar-powered kitchen. Pretty cool atmosphere and area!

Carnival in a slaughterhouse
Carnival feeling
Creative rulla-combos served with a smile
Creative rulla-combos served with a smile
Hammocks, frog legs and graffitis in a slaughterhouse
Hammocks, frog legs and graffitis in a slaughterhouse

I am back in Tampere now, but can’t wait to go back to Helsinki to try out few other places. I already had a terrific lunch for a fairly reasonable price (9,7€ for mediterranean appetizer buffet, main course and fruits+coffee) in Krog Madame, which besides the delicious food and good looking staff also has a nice patio. Another place with a nice atmosphere: Cafe Köket (the Swedish name is a bit misleading) near the big church. Nice service and good breakfast in Finnish designer environment.

Take your pick and move to the buffet table
Take your pick and move to the buffet table

Since I seem to have so many new favorites around town I might have to dedicate a separate post to them all. But while I’m at it (or not really), check out Costo, the coolest hats I know and own. I might have bought 2 new ones this past week.

Something was going on in Tampere this weekend and upcoming week: DesignOn Tampere and Design market.

Finnish hats, jewelry, clothes and artisan stuff
Hats, jewelry, clothes and artisan stuff from Finland

I love happenings!

Going bananas (raw banana cake)

One of the various perks of my new job includes the possibility to mess around with different ingredients, and create whatever delicacies comes to mind, from organic, top notch ingredients. Right now we have an abundance of bananas going over-ripe, so besides making banana chips (Excalibur dehydrator, hallelujah!), I decided to make a cake. Forget banana bread, use your left-over bananas for this instead!

4 layers of banana goodness, topped with nut crumble and raw chocolate shavings
4 layers of banana goodness, topped with nut crumble and raw chocolate shavings

– 1 cup brazil nuts (or macadamia/pecan/walnuts/almonds)
– 1,5 cup shredded coconut
– pinch of salt
– 12 small dates, pitted and chopped

– 2 cups sliced bananas
– 2 cups (soaked) cashews
– 4 tbs coconut palm sugar
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/3 cup coconut oil (liquid)
– 3 tbs raw cacao powder
– sliced bananas (approx. 3)

Crust, cream layer topped with bananas, chocolate cream and more bananas
Crust, cream layer topped with bananas, chocolate cream and more bananas

Cream topping
– 1 3/4 (soaked) cashews
– 1/4 cup chaga tea/coconut water/water
– 3 tbs coconut palm sugar/honey/agave
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid)

– 1/2 cup nuts (pecan/macadamia/almonds)
– 1/2 cup coconut flakes
– 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar/honey
– pinch of salt

Like stones in snow - coconut flakes, brazil nuts and palm sugar
Like stones in snow – coconut flakes, brazil nuts and palm sugar for crumble

For the crust: blend the nuts and coconut to a paste, add dates and salt. Blend until puree, press to a cake pan that is greased with coconut oil. Put to freezer to firm up.

For the filling: Blend the banana, nuts, sweetener, salt and vanilla until puree. Add coconut oil slowly, continue to blend.
Divide the filling into two, blend the cacao powder together with the other half. Pour the non-cacao filling to the cake pan, add a layer of banana slices, the cacao layer, and another layer of bananas. Put to the freezer to firm up (approx. 1 hour).

For the cream: Blend everything except the oil, then add the oil slowly while processing the ingredients. Make sure the consistency is puree, not clumpy. Put to the freezer to firm up. After firming, spread onto the cake.

For the crumble: Blend the ingredients, add on top of the cream. If you want more color, grate some raw chocolate on top to finish it all off. Cut from the cake pan when frozen, slice up and store in the freezer.

Who said bananas are for monkeys?
Who said bananas are for monkeys?

Go bananas!