“It’s a balance between getting things done on the one hand, and really checking in and seeing what’s next for me on the other. Being ok with the fact that the perfect moment for some things I thought I’d do ages ago still isn’t here.”
Meet Elenore Bendel Zahn, passionate gardener and spokesperson for a healthier way of life. Elenore and I did Marie Forleo’s B-School together a few years back, and she’s been rocking the green lifestyle ever since, cooking and baking, writing and speaking, making a beautiful app, and now her own TV show! That sparkly energy of hers has me convinced she actually walks her talk. And she makes recipes to die for. No, seriously. This woman knows how to bake a cake.
What does living a creative life mean to you?
Fulfilling, random, crazy, passionate, inspiring and wildly unexpected days, every day. Phew!
What do you wish you would have known when you started this work? What knowledge
or insight would have made the biggest difference?
That time is of no importance, and that where other people are does not at all relate to your journey. Theoretically I did know this but being the go-getter and doer that I am I still struggled (and still do!) with remembering this at times. If I were to give the me that I was back then any advice, it would be to just keep expecting miracles and make the most of NOW.
What trips you up? What kind of resistance do you struggle with the most,
and how do you move through it?
M-mm juicy questions. In my world the most resistance lies in the ’just start!’-part. I don’t have much time on my hands and sometimes I need to just trick myself into starting something anyway. Just to get going. This is a balance between getting things done on the one hand, and really checking in and seeing what’s next for me on the other. Being ok with the fact that the perfect moment for some things I thought I’d do ages ago still isn’t here.
How do you make sure your creative life is sustainable in the long-term? How do you take care of yourself, as a woman, as a creative, as an entrepreneur?
Ohh I don’t think I’m quite there yet! At this point in my life I have to actually schedule time for creativity which I’m still not used to having to do. Life is an ongoing wild ride and at this moment I need to just follow the flow, breathe and try to stand with both feet on the ground to make sure I don’t get sucked away in the craziness of doing. There are always things to do and there always will be. The most important thing is to be able to pause it for a little bit, and that’s where I’m at right now.
The things that light me up and nourish me is directly linked to The Golden Source. Creativity. The real stuff. Could be setting up/styling a photoshoot, writing, designing, diving face first into a pile of fresh produce and cook, or editing pictures. And of course my beautiful little family and spending time in nature.
What are you currently working on that you’re exited about?
I’m very excited to bring another soul into the world come February. Other then that (major) thing I’m seriously thrilled about the premiere of our Greenylicious vegetarian cooking-show in January (SVT 2 19/1 20.30). Both my Nordic Superfood Mix and my app, 30 Raw Breakfasts are about to get really neat updates too! Yay! 2016 sure will start with a bang.
Creating inspiring, jaw-dropping and soul-shaking content via photography and recipes is at the core of all things so I’m always working on that (and I’m always ridiculously psyched that I get to do it!).
as a bonus, here’s a crazy tasty recipe for you, courtesy of Elenore. Enjoy!
The Healthy Gooey Black Bean Chocolate Mud Cake!
Serves around 6-8
You’ll need: a 7 inch springform pan
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped OR 1/4 tsp pure vanilla powder
1/4 tsp high quality salt (himalayan, sea salt etc)
1/4 cup organic fair-trade cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 2/3 cup cooked black beans (you can use 1 can store bought beans here if you wish)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp flax flour (grind 1 tbsp flax seeds or buy pre-ground) + 4 tbsp water
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, gently melted
1 cup / 165g dates (approx 10 medjool or 15 deglet nour)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 175°C | 347°F
- If making your own flax flour then grind 1 tbsp of flax seeds now. You’ll end up with 2 tbsp of flax flour which you’ll add to a small bowl along with the 4 tbsp water, stir well and let sit for 5-10 minutes until it forms a gel.
- Pit the dates and rinse the beans well. Add dates, beans, maple syrup, flax gel, vinegar and liquid coconut oil to a food processor (melt the oil in a water bath or on the stove in a saucepan on low heat). Before blending, add the dry ingredients. Blend until you have a smooth chocolatey mousse mix (see last picture).
- Line a 5 inch pan with baking sheet or simply grease it with a small amount of coconut oil and pour the batter into it. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes. Let cake rest for 10 min before cutting into it. Dust with a teaspoon of coconut flour and serve as it is or with your preferred toppings. Fresh berries, coconut chips, cacao nibs and a lil’ milk chocolate sauce (below) are amongst my fave picks.
Notes: This Mud Cake is gooey so if you’re into less gooey-ness then bake it for 5-10 more minutes OR simply let it set in the fridge for a bit. I do however have to say that the best way to enjoy this creation is while it’s still warm from the oven.
Milk Chocolate Sauce
3 tbsp unsweetened plant based milk
1/4 cup raw cacao butter, gently melted
1/4 tsp pure vanilla powder
1.5 tsp organic cacao powder
0.5 tsp arrowroot powder (makes sure the sauce does not separate)
1 tiny pinch good quality salt
0.5 tbsp raw honey / maple syrup / a pinch or drop of stevia (although sweetener here is optional)
- Add the raw cacao butter to a saucepan on low heat. Immediately stir in the rest of the ingredients and remove from heat as soon as the cacao butter has melted. Let set in the fridge for some 15 minutes (or while the cake is baking + resting).