For Valentine’s month, Victoria Kruse, our contributor and wellness mentor, shares her thoughts on the relationship between love and food while giving us sweet recipes.
OHLALA – There is a saying that you can make someone fall in love with you through their stomach. Do you agree?
Victoria – I believe that this saying comes from a couple of different things. Sharing a meal with someone is time spent connecting. It is an opportunity to have a one-on-one with someone, put down electronic devices, talk and explore the other person and, with traditional seating arrangements, to gaze into someone’s eyes without feeling awkward. Secondly, for me, the act of spending time cooking for another person is a way to show care and love for them. It is also a way to provide them nourishment and nurture, a deep-seated and primal urge for us as humans. Many animal species bring food to their loved ones to show care and even ‘court’.
OHLALA – What do you think would be a perfect meal to be shared with a loved one?
Victoria – For me, brunch is a meal that I believe can make you connect. For most people leading busy lives, a normal day’s breakfast is a hurried affair with little thought put into it. However, having brunch together, especially on an island resort like the one I live in, is an opportunity to spend time on a meal, talk about life and savour different flavours.
OHLALA – What are the elements that can’t be missed?
Victoria – A combination of elements. A place that is not connected by work that can detract from the focus on each other. Somewhere with nature and fresh air will also nourish your body. Walking to the venue – walking with your partner is a way to talk without confrontation. Walking side by side removes any barrier that eye contact can bring. Leaving your electronic devices at home – we are so conditioned that we must answer messages, emails and calls these days. Keeping our devices at home is one of the biggest commitments we can make to having quality time with our loved ones. You might miss out on a photo opportunity, but memories are more lasting than another photo stored in the cloud that you might not even look at again.
OHLALA – Is it possible to make an unforgettable meal even with some food restrictions?
Victoria – Absolutely. Eating lifestyles should not, these days, be thought of as restrictions as there are so many ingredients in supermarkets, recipes online and even ready-made food freely available. When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease more than 30 years ago, you couldn’t even buy rice flour in the supermarket! Anyone who embraces an eating lifestyle must also embrace creative thinking about food, throwing out our old conventions and welcoming innovation. For example, the recipe for my macadamia chocolate truffles is an old family recipe containing dairy and sugar. By simply substituting coconut cream, dark chocolate and erythritol, it is now both keto and vegan!
Hearty, healthy ingredients are used to create wellness recipes to enjoy on Valentine’s Day.
Raspberry Coconut Muffins
1 ½ cup almond flour
1 cup ground almond
1 tbsp psyllium husk
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup erythritol (or sugar if not low carb/keto)
1 cup fresh organic raspberries
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup coconut milk or cream
3 grass-fed eggs (or three flax eggs for a vegan option)
1 vanilla pod, scraped
¹⁄₃ cup coconut oil
Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add raspberries and coconut flakes and gently mix and set aside.
Lightly beat eggs and add coconut cream, oil and vanilla. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients. Gently fold together, then place in reusable silicone muffin cups — bake for 25 mins at 180° Celsius.
Chocolate Macadamia Truffles
200ml coconut cream
¼ cup erythritol
1 vanilla bean
250g dark chocolate buttons (84% )
100g macadamia crumbs
Scrape the vanilla bean and place it in a small saucepan with coconut cream and erythritol. Heat slowly until bubbles form, stirring occasionally.
Roughly cut the chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl.
Pour the heated coconut cream mixture over and allow to sit for five minutes.
Stir together and allow to cool completely. Form balls with your hands, then roll in the macadamia crumb. Refrigerate until firm.