Swedish Hoovers is one of Sweden’s most loved pastries. It is a small, green cylinder rolled in marzipan with both ends dipped in chocolate and it is filled with a soft, sweet arrack flavored dough. Because of its resemblance to the old vacuum cleaners we used in the early 1900s they were named “Dammsugare” which is the Swedish word for vacuum cleaner. Since this is a new healthier version of the classic pastry I decided to give them a new name and my mother in law came up with the name Hoovers. The Hoovers is based on homemade marzipan and quinoa. Up until now I have always considered quinoa to be a bit boring. It’s too small to offer any texture and it doesn’t taste that much. That was until I read about how nutritious it is. It is extremely healthy. A real superfood. It is so nutritious that NASA feeds it to crews on long space missions. This new information inspired me to try out new recipes with quinoa. On my first attempt to make something with quinoa I put some cooked quinoa in a blender together with some cocoa powder and agave syrup. The texture was amazing. It was exactly the same texture as in Dammsugare – which I love. The only thing missing was a cover of green marzipan and a few drops of arrack essence. After a trip to our local store I got back home and added arrack essence to the cookie dough, rolled it in some marzipan and dipped it in chocolate. I have to say…they were fantastic! If you don’t like the taste of arrack you could just skip that ingredient and use the dough as it is or perhaps add a few drops of strong coffee. The dough is also very nice to eat without the marzipan. You could just make little balls and roll them in coconut flakes or cocoa powder. Recipe US measurements (You can find this recipe in Swedish here) Dough 1 cup (2,5dl) cooked quinoa 3/4 cup (2dl) coconut flakes 3/4 cup (2dl) medjool dates (press down the dates into the cup until it’s completely filled) 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder 3 Teaspoons arrack essence Marzipan 2 1/2 cups (6 dl) almond flour 7 Tablespoons agave syrup 2 Tablespoons Baby spinach (press down the baby spinach into the cup until it’s completely filled) 100g dark chocolate Directions
- Cook the quinoa until it is soft. This is important so you don’t get any crunchy pieces in the dough.
- Let the quinoa cool off.
- Put it in a blender together with cocoa powder, arrack essence and agave syrup.
- Blend until you get a smooth dough.
- Taste the dough. If you want more sweetness or more arrack flavor – add dates or arrack essence.
- In a small bowl combine agave syrup and baby spinach.
- Use a hand blender or a blender and mix until you get a smooth green liquid.
- Transfer the green liquid to a larger bowl and add the almond flour.
- Knead with your hands until you have firm, green dough.
- If it seems too sticky – add some more almond flour.
- On a parchment paper roll out the marzipan with a rolling pin to 10×14 inches (25x35cm).
- Cut the marzipan lengthwise into three equal pieces, 3×14 inches (8 x 35cm).
- Divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll them into cylinders. 14 inches (35cm).
- Put one cylinder of dough on each piece of marzipan.
- Roll the marzipan around the dough and use your fingers to pinch the edges together.
- Roll the cylinder carefully back and forth a few times to make it smooth.
- Cut each cylinder into seven pieces.
- Melt the chocolate and dip both ends of each pastry in chocolate and leave some green marzipan visible in the middle.
- Put them on a plate and refrigerate them for approximately 10 minutes to set the chocolate
Serve the Hoovers at room temperature. Then you will get all the flavors and they will have the right softness. However you need to store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you are ready to serve. You can also keep them in the freezer and treat yourself to a decadent moment whenever you feel like it.
Sea salted chocolate bark with fruits & nuts
This homemade chocolate bark is very easy to make and requires very little effort. Just melt your favorite chocolate and mix it with chopped nuts and dried fruit. You can use any nuts, seeds and dried fruits that you like. Recipe US measurements (Swedish measurements) 1 cup (2,5 dl) of your favorite chocolate 1/4 cup (1/2 dl) roasted pistachios 1/4 cup (1/2 dl) whole cashews 1 cup (2 dl) chopped dried apricots and figs A pinch of flake salt (optional) Instructions 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Melt the chocolate. 3. Stir in the nuts and dried fruit. 4. Pour the melted chocolate, nuts and fruit over the paper and spread to form a square. Approximately 1 cm thickness. 5. Sprinkle with the salt. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm and when it’s set, break or cut it into pieces for serving. Store the chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. It´s also nice to make little packages filled with chocolate bark and bring as a homemade gift.
Almost like Snickers
I found this recipe a while ago on a Swedish blog and I have made it many times since then. I made some moderations to make it even better and now it’s the whole family’s favorite snack. It tastes just like Snickers but instead of artificial flavorings and white sugar you get healthy ingredients like almonds, dates and dark chocolate. Try it – you won’t be disappointed! Recipe, 5 barsUS measurements (Swedish measurements) 1 1/2 cup (3,5 dl) Dates 1/2 cup (1dl) Almonds (soaked in water over night) 1/2 Teaspoon vanillaextract or vanilla powder 1/4 cup (1/2 dl) Salted peanuts, maybe a little more… 50g Dark chocolate A pinch of salt Bottom layer Rinse the almond and put them on a piece of paper towel. Let them dry as much as possible. Put the almonds, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup (1dl) of dates and a pinch of salt in a high speed blender. Mix until smooth. Spread the paste evenly on a plate or a teflex paper to a big square. Approximately 4×6 inches (10x15cm). Put it in the freezer for ten minutes while you make the fudge. It will make it easier to apply the fudge over the bottom layer. Fudge Put 1 cup (2,5dl) dates in a high speed blender and mix until it is creamy and smooth. Take out the bottom layer from the freezer. Spread the fudge evenly on top of the bottom layer. If it is too sticky, rub a little oil on your hands and it will be easier. Chop the salted peanuts roughly. Put the nuts on top of the fudge and gently push them down with your hands until they stick to the fudge. Put it in the freezer for about fifteen minutes. Take it out and cut five pieces. Dip them in melted chocolate and let them cool off before you put them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Raw pistachio marzipan with fudge and dark chocolate
If you like marzipan you are going to love these. They are delicious and healthy too. I even added baby spinach to get the green color in the pistachio marzipan. You can’t taste it but it gives the marzipan a nice color and some extra nutrition. In this recipe I used xylitol (björksocker) as sweetener instead of dates as I normally would to keep the marzipan from getting dark. Agave syrup would also work but I think you might need to add some extra tablespoons. Vanilla extract gives the marzipan a nice vanilla flavor without adding extra sugar. Some brands might have a very strong vanilla flavor and some not so strong. Try adding a little and taste as you go along. Recipe raw marzipan US measurements (Swedish measurements) 1 1/2 cups (3 ½ dl) Almond flour 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract 4 Tablespoons Xylitol (björksocker) ½ cup (1 dl) Pistachio nuts, plus some extra for garnishing ¼ cup (½ dl) Baby spinach (press down the spinach into the cup until it’s completely filled) ¼ cup (½ dl) Almonds ¼ cup (½ dl) Water First begin by making almond milk. Put the almonds in a high speed blender together with the water. Mix. Strain the blended almond mixture using a fine mesh strainer. Discard pulp. Clean the blender and pour in the almond milk. Add almond flour, vanilla extract and xylitol. Mix until you have a soft, smooth dough. If the dough seems to wet just add some more almond flour. Taste as you go along and add more xylitol if you need. Take ¾ of the dough and spread it evenly on a plate to a square, about 10x10cm. Put it in the freezer while you make the green pistachio marzipan. (This is to make it easier to spread the second layer on top of the first.) Recipe pistachio marzipan Put the pistachio nuts in a high speed blender. Mix until you have fine flour. Put the pistachio flour and the baby spinach together with the rest of the dough in the blender. Mix until you have a soft, smooth, green dough. Take out your plate from the freezer and spread the pistachio marzipan evenly over the white marzipan. Put it in the freezer while you make the fudge. Recipe fudge ½ cup (1 dl) Soft dates (press down the dates into the cup until it’s completely filled) 1 cup (2 dl) Cashew nuts (soaked for at least 2 hours) 2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract 1 Tablespoon cacao powder Dark chocolate A pinch of salt Rinse and let the cashews dry as much as possible. Put the cashews in a high speed blender together with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until really smooth. Take out your plate from the freezer and spread fudge evenly over the pistachio marzipan. Cut into small squares and dip each piece in melted dark chocolate. Put one pistachio nut on each.
Healthy nut bar
These little protein-rich bars make a great healthy snack for the lunchbox, after school, to the gym or anytime you need an on-the-go snack. They are gluten free, vegan, raw and packed with with nutrition. You can eat them as they are dipped in chocolate or you can cut and dehydrate them before dipping them in chocolate to make a more crunchy granola bar. Check out these simple instructions on how to create your own healthy granola bars. Recipe (7 bars) US measurements (Swedish measurements) ½ cup (1 dl) almonds (soaked in water over night) ½ cup (1 dl) hazelnuts (soaked in water over night) ½ cup (1 dl) pumpkin seeds (soaked in water over night) ½ cup (1 dl) hemp seeds ¼ cup (½ dl) chia seeds 1 cup (2,5 dl) coconut flakes 13 pitted, large medjool dates 80g dark chocolate A pinch of salt Directions Rinse the almonds, hazelnuts and pumkin seeds and let them dry as much as possible. If the nuts and seeds are too wet the bars will become soft. Put them in a food processor and pulse until crumbled and coarse. Put the nut mixture aside in a separate bowl and put the dates in the blender. Process until completely smooth. Add the dates, chia seeds, hemp seeds and salt to your nut mixture and use your hands to mix everything until all the dry ingredients are evenly moist. If the mixture seems to wet, add some more coconut flakes. Divide the mixture into seven pieces and shape seven bars with your hands on a waxed paper or on a large plate. Melt the chocolate over a water bath and dip the bars in the chocolate or use a brush to spread the chocolate evenly over the bars. Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks or wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap if you want to bring them in your purse. Note: Wait an hour or two before you eat the bars to let the chia seeds soften up and get the right texture. In just one of these bars you will get 9g protein, 4g fiber and lots of omega 3, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium and iron.
Medjool dates are nature’s candy. They have a soft, creamy, slightly chewy texture and are filled with fiber, potassium, magnesium and other minerals. A pinch of flake salt enters as a background note, adding a lingering taste that rounds out the sweetness. Recipe (You can find this recipe in Swedish here) 20 Medjool dates 40 Hazelnuts Dark chocolate Flake salt Take a date, make a vertical cut deep enough to remove the pit, but not so deep as to cut the date in half. Discard the pit. Stuff each date with two hazelnuts and dip it in melted chocolate. Roll each to cover completely and then lift out with a fork letting the excess chocolate drip off before placing on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle flake salt on top of each chocolate covered date when they are almost dry. If you sprinkle the salt too early when the chocolate is too wet the salt will become slightly brown. Store the stuffed dates in an airtight container in the fridge, but bring them to room temperature before serving to heighten the taste of the chocolate. Package them up in a pretty box and you have homemade gift that’s sure to be remembered.
A bouquet of strawberries dipped in chocolate. This is a nice homemade gift that you can bring instead of flowers or a bottle of wine. Recipe (You can find this recipe in Swedish here) Fresh strawberries Dark chocolate Roasted pistachio nuts, diced into very small pieces Coconut flakes Wooden sticks A pretty ribbon Put each strawberry on a stick and dip two thirds of it in melted chocolate. Wait until the chocolate is almost dry and sprinkle half of the strawberries with pistachio nuts and the other half with coconut flakes. It´s also nice to sprinkle some flake salt on the pistachio strawberries. When the strawberries are completely dry tie a knot around the sticks with a pretty ribbon and make a bow. Facts about strawberries Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. One cup of fresh strawberries contains 160% of your daily needs for vitamin C, for only 50 calories! Strawberries promote eye health Our eyes require vitamin C to protect them from exposure to free-radicals from the sun’s harsh UV rays, which can damage the protein in the lens. Strawberries help fight cancer Strawberries contain several antioxidants that keeps our body healthy. Strawberries reduce inflammation The antioxidants and phytochemicals found in strawberries may also help to reduce inflammation of the joints. Strawberries fight bad cholesterol Strawberries contains Ellagic acid and flavonoids that are powerful heart-health boosters. They can provide an antioxidant effect that benefits heart health. Healthy digestion Fibre is a necessity for healthy digestion, and strawberries naturally contain about 2 g per serving. Less wrinkles with strawberries Vitamin C is vital to the production of collagen, which helps to improve skin’s elasticity and resilience. Strawberries are a good source of folate Folate is a B-vitamin recommended for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. It is necessary in the early stages of pregnancy to help in the development of the baby’s brain, skull and spinal cord. Note Try to find organic strawberries if possible. Strawberries have a very high level of pesticide residue.
I´ve had this recipe for a long time and it’s one of my favorites. It’s called Kärleksmums (Love Yummy if you translate it) and it really is yummy. Try it with or without the chocolat topping. It is nice either way. This is a raw version of the original with only healthy ingredients so you can enjoy one every day if you´d like. Recipe US measurements (Swedish measurements) Cake 1 cup (2 dl) walnuts (soaked in water over night) 1 1/4 cups (3 dl) coconut flakes 2-3 Tablespoons cocoa powder 3 Tablespoons coconut milk 1 cup (2 1/2 dl) dates Put everything except 1/4 cup (1/2 dl) coconut flakes in a high speed blender and mix until it is smooth. Stir in the rest of the coconut flakes with a spoon to add a bit of texture. Spread the paste evenly on a plate to a big square. Make it as thick as you want it. I prefer it about an inch (2,5cm) high or a bit less. Chocolate topping 6 Tablespoons melted cocoa butter3 Tablespoons extra virgine coconut oil3-4 Tablespoons cocoa powder 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar2 Tablespoons coconut milk or coconut cream Melt the cocoa butter and mix everything together until it is smooth. Let it cool down in the until it thickens a bit and spread it evenly over the cake. Sprinkle lots of coconut flakes on top and cut it into smaller pieces. It will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks.