Food blogger Annekatariina made this sweet and luscious Rose Root Truffle recipe for us few years ago. Rose root – ginseng of the north – is a powerful herb, which was traditionally used as a highly refreshing plant. The legend has it that the mighty Vikings used to gain their durability and strength from rose root before victorious war journeys. This power root grows only in the Arctic parts of the planet and Finland.
Rose root can be added to smoothies, porridge, yoghurt, tea, juices and other drinks. It carries a caramel nuance which complements beautifully Christmassy desserts like truffles and cakes. This is the darkest season of the year, the sun not even climbing over the horizon in the northernmost parts of Finland. This is why we need to boost also our desserts with this forceful Finnish superfood.
Our Lingonberry Birch Sugar is a perfect natural sweetener for desserts, porridges, yoghurts, drinks and raw chocolate delicacies. Lingonberry is a native Finnish berry that grows wild in the arctic nature of Finland. The taste of lingonberry is slightly bitter and therefore it makes a lovely match with our fresh and sweet birch sugar. Birch sugar is highly resistant to heating which makes it suitable for baking too.
Birch sugar – xylitol – is fresh-tasting all natural sweetener and substitute for white sugar. Birch sugar contains 40% fewer calories than regular sugar. It raises blood sugar slowly when compared to regular white sugar, and its glycemic index (GI) is 7 (ordinary white sugar has a GI of 68). Xylitol is produced in Finland using the side stream fibre waste from the wood industry.
Siirrä kattila syrjään ja mittaa Ruusujuurirouhe sekaan. Laita kattilan päälle kansi ja anna hautua 10–15 minuuttia.
Siivilöi kerma vesihauteen kestävään astiaan (painele teen yrttejä varovasti siivilää vasten, jotta saat kaikki makuaineet talteen. Säästä ylijäänyt teemäski ja blendaa se seuraavan aamun smoothien sekaan) ja lisää sekaan kaakaovoi, kookossose tai -öljy, suola ja koivusokeri.
Sulata miedolla lämmöllä ja sekoita hyvin. Kun seos on sulanut ja tasainen, kaada se leivinpaperilla vuorattuun pieneen vuokaan ja siirrä kylmään jähmettymään (pakasteessa noin tunti, jääkaapissa kaksi).
Lusikoi jähmettyneestä massasta lusikalla palasia, pyöritä käsien välissä palleroisiksi ja pyörittele Puolukkakoivusokerissa.
Säilytä tryffeleitä jääkaapissa ja nautiskele hyvässä seurassa.
Making tasty mushroom pie has never been so easy. And the best part is you don’t have to compromise with ingredients, with this recipe it’s all natural.
Our Wild Mushroom Sauce can be used to make sauces, soups and stews, but it also works really nice as a pie filling.
I made the base just mixing butter (125g) with rye flour (3dl) and some water and salt. If you prefer vegan base, you can find many alternatives by googling vegan pie base.
Measure 2dl (one bag) of mushroom sauce mixture and add 2dl of water. Let sit for about 10–15min. Pan fry the mixture for 5 minutes using a dash of vegetable oil. Mix well and let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 5mins. Add vegetables if you like. Zuccini, for example.
Add 2dl of Oatly’s iMat Fraiche/sour cream or similar. Mix well and add the mixture on the pie base. Put it in the oven and bake approx 30-40 min. You can spricle sunflower seeds or similar on top. I also added fresh spruce buds on top. Spruce and chanterelle is an excellent combination. You can also use spruce buds powder by Arctic Warrios.
Are you interesting in learning more about wild mushrooms? Contact us for a course proposal.
What makes Helsinki Wildfoods differ from other berry brands? We like to combine wild berries with Finnish herbs. Our Wild Berry Bowl contains not only wild forest blueberries and lingonberries but also nettle and birch leaves. Our Blueberry Crush with Birch Sugar has a hint of mint in it. In our Forest Salsa dip mix we've united sea buckthorn berries with spruce buds.
In this recipe, I wanted to give our Blueberry Crush an extra twist with our Angelica. Angelica is a powerful Finnish herb that grows wild and is also cultivated in the Arctic parts of our country. Traditionally, its leaves, roots and arms have been used as a spice or even as an ingredient for liquor.
Helsinki Wildfoods' Angelica has a strong flavour and it can be used in small amounts both in sweet and savoury dishes. Angelica's taste often requires something acidic, such as rhubarb, sour apple sauce or lemon. Us Finns may consider our wild forest berries to be sweet, but especially in Asia and also in Ayurveda, even the delicate Northern bilberries fall into sour category. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why angelica works so well with blueberry!
Even though angelica is permitted to use in all kinds of food products in Finland, this Northern power herb is listed also as a medicine plant. Traditionally, this C vitamin rich herb was used to cure plague. It's good to remember that medicinal herbs should always be used only in small amounts in seasoning. Pregnant women should also consider before using this forceful wonder of the North.
Another secret ingredient in this vegan nice cream cake are peeled hemp seeds. I'm in pure awe that these local super seeds can not only replace pine nuts in our Nettle Pesto but also cashew nuts in vegan raw cake and ice cream recipes!
This cake was made with love for my boyfriend, who just got his bachelor’s degree done. And you know what his bachelor’s thesis was about? Helsinki Wildfoods’ search engine optimation (SEO). In addition to examples from our site, he used random cake recipes in which the SEO was implemented in an exemplary way. After all, he is a true cake man, so what else would've he searched for from Google. Hope this cake recipe finds its way to his heart too! <3
Pizza is a perfect leftover dish which helps you make use of all kinds of waste food from vegetables and cheese to pasta sauce. Our ‘Just Add’ Nettle Pesto upgrades all waste food pizzas to a whole new level. This recipe is full of taste and nutrients plus it’s vegan, gluten-free and yeast-free!
Nettle Pesto Pizza (one oven tin plate)
Homemade berry and fruit “leather” or stripes (“remmit”) are a perfect healthy snack for children and for grown-ups, too. Nobody needs sugary candy after trying these, but a warning, these are equally addictive!
Berry and fruit stripes are a perfect way to store fresh berries in autumn, but you can also use frozen ones. Berry leather is really easy to make, you basically just make your favourite smoothie and put it into oven overnight.
Combine the berries and the fruits in a blender and process until it’s smooth (it’s important to get as smooth texture as possible). Discard solid particles if some remain. If you used frozen berries, make sure you melt them properly first. Pour spread into a baking tray using over baking paper. I used silicone baking mat, which turned out to be really useful. Pour the mixture in the middle of the oven tray and spread evenly to make a thin and smooth layer. Then the oven or plant dehydrator does the rest!
Bake the mixture until it’s dry, but not too dry. Berry leather is best when it’s still juicy and flexible and this requires long baking time at a low temperature (maximum 50 Celsius). Also you want to keep the temperature low in order to preserve the valuable nutrients of the berries and fruits. The exact cooking time depends on the thickness of the mixture. I baked these overnight approx 7 hours in an oven in 50 Celsius-degrees.
Once the mixture is cooled you can cut it into strips and roll. If you used baking paper, use scissors to cut and then remove the paper afterwards.
Here’s my favourite mixes. I first tried using just wild berries, but the flavour was really intense, you might want to mix berries with fruits such as apple and pear especially if you serve these to sweet tooth kids :). These recipes are for a half an oven tray mixture.
Lingonberry-Rowanberry Stripes with Birch Sugar / Puolukka-pihlajaremmit
May Day, vappu, is the first festival of the spring that we can celebrate outdoors in southern Finland. On the 1st of May, the citizens of Helsinki gather to Kaivopuisto, Helsinki to enjoy a lovely picnic or brunch with friends and family. Potato salad is a traditional Finnish vappu dish and this year we’ll be serving you two sauce options for it: a creamy version spiced with spruce and sea buckthorn and a clear nettle pesto alternative.
Potato salad (4 servings)
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
splash of apple cider vinegar
Cook the potatoes and slice the other ingredients. Let the potatoes cool for a moment before cutting them into cubes. Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
*You can replace the capers with wild dandelion buds!
Sauce option 1: Creamy spruce and sea buckthorn sauce
Mix the ingredients and add the sauce gently to the potato salad. Let it sit in the fridge for a moment before serving. Sprinkle fresh spruce buds or Forest Salsa powder on top. Remember that you always need the permission from the landowner to collect leaves or buds.
Mix the ingredients and add the sauce gently into the potato salad. Add olive oil if needed. Let it sit in the fridge for a moment before serving. Sprinkle well-chopped nettle and ground elder leaves or Nettle Pesto crush on top. Chopping the nettle leaves destroys the nettles stinging parts of the plant.
Nearly everyone loves chocolate, there's no way around it. Luckily, while the chocolate industry has had issues when it comes to their production methods, the source of their cacao, and the working conditions of their cacao farmers, attention has been brought to these issues and companies are becoming more transparent. As a company that values transparency and integrity, we at Helsinki Wildfoods believe this is a crucial part in ensuring that chocolate is produced in a sustainable and ethical manner, with respect for human rights.
According to Finnwatch, the only way to be completely sure that these practices are upheld is by checking that the company consumers are buying from has a certificate. Certificates are based on the audits made regularly by a third-party in the farms. Certificates and accountability systems ensure that cacao farmers are paid extra plus they set criteria for working conditions. International certificates such as UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade have fairly different criteria, but each of them promises not to use child labor in production.
Even though these international certificates are not yet bullet proof, for now, they are one of the best options for conscious consumers. Companies have also introduced their own labels of integrity, which NGOs are skeptical about if not supervised by a third-party. We encourage you to demand integrity not only from your favourite chocolate brands but also from us at Helsinki Wildfoods!
The cacao plant (Theobroma cacao ≈ the food of the gods) which is the main ingredient in every chocolate product grows wild in the tropics of South America and it can be cultivated almost anywhere in the torrid zone. The biggest cacao producers of the world are The Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and Kameron.
Chocolate is produced from the beans of the cacao fruit. While chocolate is usually produced in high temperatures the heat killing most of the nutritional ingredients, the healthy fats and vitamin C, raw cacao is chocolate in its pure and original form. Raw cacao is loaded with minerals such as magnesium, chrome, zinc, sulphur and copper. It contains also fibre and polyphenols plus it has heaps of vitamin E and C. Because of its high level of antioxidants, cacao can enhance cognition and positive mood; no wonder chocolate makes us so happy!
Many traditional chocolate products contain a lot of white sugar, food additives and dairies, all of which may cause problems not only to our digestion but also to the merry minds of our little Easter bunnies craving for sweets. Tip! When you make chocolate yourself from raw cacao you can avoid all the nasty sugar rushes plus surprise your loved ones by hiding their favourite freeze dried wild berries or nuts inside the treats. If the ingredients are chosen with care, raw chocolate is more than just a sweet treat; it’s healthy food that makes you satisfied with just few bites.
*Make sure that the cacao product contains a certificate that ensures the product being produced in a sustainable manner with respect for human rights.
Place the butter and oil in a heat resistant jar and place it in a hot water bath (in a sink with a tub or in a pot on the stove with medium temperature or in a dish filled with hot water). Let it sit until the butter and oil are melted. Raw cacao butter melts in 35 Celsius degrees and cold pressed coconut oil in 25 degrees. This way you’ll be able to save all the healthy vitamins and fats of cacao!
Turn the heat of if using a stove.
Add in the raw cacao powder, Birch Sugar and Nettle Herb Salt. Blend well. Taste and add some Birch Sugar, salt or raw cacao powder if needed.
Pour 1/3 of the chocolate paste on the bottom of an ice cube mould or small muffin cups.
Place in a freezer for 10 minutes.
Take the moulds off the freezer and add a tiny pile of wild berries in the centre of each mould. Place them in a freezer for another 10 minutes.
Take them off and fill the rest of the moulds with 2/3 of the chocolate paste.
Now, the chocolate should freeze straight away, but if you want you can place the raw chocolates in the freezer for another ten.
Interested in learning where our Finnish berries and herbs come from? What about our BIO bag? Read more about sustainable choices here!
Read more about the benefits of wild berries from our Wild Plants section!
The secret to inventing easy vegan recipes is to find few versatile ingredients that you find comfortable working with and shaping these components into new formats. You might have already noticed that the ingredients used in these Nettle Blueberry Bliss Balls are pretty much the same as the ones used in the latest Wild Blueberry Nettle Granola recipe.
Bliss balls are an easy raw snack or dessert and an excellent way to make the use of those half empty pouches of seeds, nuts and dried fruits forgotten in the back of your larder. The dates serve (again) as the main sweet ingredient and our Nettle Crush and Wild Blueberry Crush with Birch Sugar give this mellow and rich vegan dessert a nice amount of nutrients such as vitamin C, E, iron and fibre.
VegeSun's Pea Protein Crush is one of my favourite vegan sources of protein. The crush contains 60% of protein and the mild flavour and crunchy texture works perfectly with both sweet and salty dishes. When soaked in water for few minutes the pea crush turns into a soft pulp – like our Finnish herb and vegetable crushes!
The rough winters and light summers of the north give our Finnish blueberries unique growing conditions that make them true power berries with loads of vitamins, antioxidants and polyphenols. Approximately, one to two teaspoons of dried wild berry powder or crush equals to a handful of fresh, frozen or freeze-dried blueberries.
Dried berries are perfect and easy to use when cooking for example granolas and mueslis that you want store in a room temperature. Freezers are energy gluttons so using dried wild berries, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms is also an easy act for our climate and supports green living. Of course, nothing beats the fresh hand-picked wild blueberries in the late summer time.
Our Blueberry Crush contains also a hint of birch sugar, which is a natural sweetener that has 40% less calories than traditional sugar, a lower glycemic index and studies have also shown that its beneficial for teeth and prevents ear infections. Birch sugar withstands heat so it's perfect for baking as well. Birch sugar, also known as xylitol, is produced ecologically in Finland using the side stream fibre waste from the wood industry.
We at Helsinki Wildfoods are huge fans of the nettle and honestly, it’s hard to think of any recipe that this Finnish herb would not fit in; nettle gives a nice flavour to sweet desserts and breakfast bowls and, goes perfectly with wild blueberries. That's why we couldn't resist on adding some Nettle Crush to this granola recipe as well.
Mix the ingredients and fry in a pan in a medium temperature. Mix with a spatula while frying and be careful not to burn the ingredients. After the oats and sunflower seeds have gotten a slight golden colour, turn the heat off and add the rest of the ingredients.
100g dried dates, cut with scissors to small pieces
One of the best things about our new 'Just Add' products is that they are so easy to use. Basically, you can 'Just Add' your preferred base and get a ready snack or meal. For example, all you need is to make an easy and healthy breakfast or snack is to add some milk, yoghurt or a dairy-free alternative to our Wild Berry Bowl mixture and you’ll have a tasty raw porridge or smoothie.
In addition to being easy to use as is, our new 'Just Add' products are designed so that you can quickly level up your cooking skills with just few adaptations to the recipe. Our Wild Berry Bowl – the tasty dried mixture of wild lingonberries, blueberries, nettle, birch and oats – is easy to add also into raw desserts.
A climate friendly option for the filling, especially in the taiga region, is to use a rich and thick oat base, for example Oatly påMackan or another dairy-free cream cheese alternative.
Soak the dates in water for 15 min. Pour the water away and add in all the other crust ingredients. Mix well with a blender or with hands. Pat the crust on a cake dish.
Mix all the filling ingredients in a blender. Check the texture and the sweetness and add a bit of more sugar or lemon juice if needed. Spread the filling on top of the crust and place in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
Tip! Do you have leftover cookies in your shelf? Smash them and add some berry puree and make the crust out of them.
Did you know? Finnish wild berries have higher amounts of health-related ingredients than the berries grown in the warmer latitudes? Read more about the benefits of the northern wild berries – wild blueberry and lingonberry – at our herbarium.