sugar free

Superfood Blackcurrant Smoothie Bowls

Talented family all around! Forget Acai bowls, this morning mama and I had delicious and absolutely nutritious superfood ViBERi (my auntie and uncle’s business) smoothies in cosy and beautiful Miami Valley Pottery (Soroosh’s cousin’s business) bowls xxProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
Superfood Blackcurrant Smoothie Bowls
Serves two 

2 frozen bananas (using frozen bananas gives them a delicious ice-cream consistency)
3/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 unsweetened yoghurt of choice (I used coconut yoghurt)
2 heaped tsp ViBERi freeze-dried blackcurrant powder

Whizz together in a high-powered blender (might take a bit of patience if using frozen bananas) then top with favourites (I used Ceres Organics Paleo Breakfast Mix) xx

There Is Nowhere Morning Does Not Go

Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. (Lemony Snicket)

Turns out waking up early is even better for me than I originally thought. This morning was an adventure I’ll never forget. So I embarked for my usual 5.30am walk only to be stopped halfway by an ojichan (old citizen). He asked where I was from, what I was doing here etc and long story short, he took me to his garden where he showed me his eggplants, watermelons, broccoli, figs, persimmons and other fruits and vegetables before ripping out a big cabbage head for me to take home. Next, he introduced me to his wife who also gifted me fresh produce: capsicum, parsley and cucumber. Since it was still early by the time I got home, I whipped up a quick batch of blueberry muffins to return to the old couple as a thank you before heading to work. When I got there…well, I’m sure you can imagine their smiles and feel their warmth.
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Best Friends Forever

“Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade.” ― Haruki Murakami

I had the most wonderful time last night. I only met Haruka and her family 2 months ago but even so, I feel I’ve known them a lifetime. To say that Haruka’s family treated me like a princess last night is an understatement. They really did so much.

They had prepared a delicious make-your-own sushi dinner featuring avocado (my favorite) and mixed rice (black and white) with ample vegetables. Everything was so healthy and presented so beautifully just for me. We drank homemade plum juice – made sugar-free after I introduced “natural” eating to Emika, H’s sister. For dessert, we had the most divine matcha (green tea) and soy-milk pudding made with kanten (a natural vegan gelatin substitute and a super  ingredient I’ll be hoping to do a Savvy article on). Again, Haruka had made the dessert this way (sugar-free and vegan) just for me.

Last but definitely not least, I was gifted two gorgeous earrings (one with my birthstone) and two bracelets all handmade by Haruka! And, Mommy Mo-chan (H’s mother) gifted me a cute red Japanese cloth for wrapping my lunch. Wow I felt like royalty. What a night. I left their home with a full stomach, a full heart and a full bag of left-overs for today’s lunch. Haruka, Emika, little Ichikia (E’s daughter and my 1st grade student), Mommy Mo-chan and Satozi (H’s father), I want you to know that I will always remember this night and that it will never fade from my heart.

PS the fourth picture is made with kanten too. It is an eggplant jelly flavorured with soy-sauce. Though I admitted to my friends it looked chotto kowai (a little scary) it was soooo yum!

Okayama Table Terra

For my little sister, Juri’s birthday, my Japanese parents took us to Okayama Table Terra. And oh my goodness. This place was SO delicious. I could not believe it! I wish I had discovered it earlier.

Terra is two storey and the interior is gorgeous. White chairs and dark wooden tables. Big mirrors, open kitchen, wonderful service and pot plants. Perfect for any occasion. Especially a couple date! EEEE

We had the chef’s choice set menu and it was to die for! WOW! I can’t wait to go back. Is the chef single?! Can I marry him? More details HERE.

Because I can’t fluently understand Japanese, I can’t give you the exact description of each dish, but what I can say is we started with an antipasti plate (featuring zucchini bruschetta), followed by a variety of vegetables served with an anchovy dip, then cold new season cream of potato soup, next delicious eggplant pizzas topped with cheese and mince, next pizza margarita and last but definitely not least (because it was our favorite), a vegetarian zucchini and soy-bean “bolognese”. WOW it was so delicious I wish I could eat it for lunch today. Heck, also dinner.

At Terra, we also had coffee and a little cake. At home, we had tea and a big cake (gluten, dairy and refined-sugar free) – which I made. Recipe HERE. Except for Juri, I doubled this recipe: made two cakes, placed them on top of one another and spread an all-natural raspberry jam in the middle of them. Mama Mia.

Zucchini Banana Cake

I don’t often see zucchinis in Japan and when I do they’re imported and so super expensive. Though recently, my local farmer’s market/shop has starting selling 3/4 zuchinnis for the equivalent of $2 which I think is really cheap. I wished I had one of those zoodle machines (the ones that make noodles out of carrots, cucumbers and zuchinnis) to make a fancy salad with rice noodles and peanuts but it’s okay because I turned my zucchinis into the most delicious cake.
To make the recipe free of gluten, simply use GF oats and GF flour.

2 free-range eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup oat flour (oats made into flour using a blender or food processor)
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
2 tbsp wholewheat flour
1 tbsp almond powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 zucchini grated
granola to top (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients together.

Pour batter into a greased loaf tin.

Top with granola (optional)

Bake for 30 or so minutes.

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This Is What Rural Japan Looks Like


Spring Quinoa Salad 

1 cup Quinoa cooked in 2 cups of water
bunch of asparagus, blanched in hot water for 10 seconds
punnet of green peas, blanched ” ” ” ” ” ”
punnet of snap peas, blanched  ” ” ” ” ” ”
1/2 cup cooked and shelled edamame beans
some red grapes, sliced
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup pistachios
bunch fresh parsley, torn small
bunch fresh mint torn small

juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Combine all salad ingredients together and gently mix.

Combine all dressing ingredients together in a small jar and shake shake shake then mix through salad.


No Milk? No Problem!

I ran out of “milk” so I used water instead. The result? Mouthwatering! (See what I did there?)

1/2 cup frozen blackcurrants
1 banana
2 strawberries
2 canned pineapple rings
3/4 cup filtered water

Simply blend everything together in a food processor or blender then top with favourites.