The Best Neapolitan Pizza in Como

 

I’m totally in love with Italy so it’s no wonder I found myself an Italian boyfriend! I always had a strong connection with the country of passion, love and food. But of course since I actually fell in love with a guy there my connection just became stronger and I now like to visit as often as I can!

I have been spending lots of time in Como and I thought that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find out where you can have the best vegan pizza in town! Lots of pizza’s and glasses of wine later and I have finally found the perfect spot!

 

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Often the less prettier and old fashion restaurants is where you can eat the best food. One of those places just like that is Pizzeria Da Benito. This pizzeria is hidden away in a small street 5 minutes walking from the centre. When the sun is shining you can sit outside and enjoy a cold glass of wine while you wait for the ultimate pizza.

 

What I love

 

Pizzeria Da Benito makes the best pizza marinara, an ultimate classic.  This pizza has a crispy crust, as you take a bite you can hear the crust break and white flower dust remains on your fingers. The tomato sauce is so rich, you can taste the freshness of each ingredient. And even though there is lots of sauce the bread remains crispy. It has the perfect balance of textures and flavours. You can truly taste the classic Italian flavours that will remind any Italian of their grandmothers food. It’s honest, and purely delicious.

What’s also amazing is the fact that they offer a choice of pizza dough. Instead of normal white dough you can also have a wholegrain, multigrain or kamut base. Making your pizza extra healthy! Healthy, fresh and absolutely delicious! Doesn’t this just sound like a dream?!

 

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Where to go

 

Pizzeria Da Benito is open everyday from 12–3PM, 6:30PM–12AM and their address is Via Briantea 29 in Como.

 

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5x Vegan Hotspots in Como, Italy

 

When you think of Italy you think of passion, pasta, the movie Eat Pray Love, espresso’s and of course gelato, lots and lots of gelato. You might think that it’s hard being vegan in Italy. But let me tell you, although I might get an occasional look from an old italian lady when I ask for soya milk in my coffee, it’s actually not hard at all. I fell in love with Como a long time ago and have discovered lots of amazing places over time where you can enjoy some amazing vegan food. These are a few of the hot spots that you have to check out when you next visit this beautiful town.

 

Ice cream

Let’s start with my obsession first, ice cream! My favorite spot for ice cream is hidden in one of the tiny streets on the lake called ‘Vanilla Bio’.

Vanilla Biois a small shop in which they only sell organic and vegan ice cream. All flavours are freshly homemade and absolutely delicious. It fulfills all your Italian gelato dreams and you won’t even feel guilty afterwards! Imagine a crispy cone with their best flavours, Coconut and Chocolate. So creamy, so flavourful and as they are based with coconut milk they don’t taste like a sorbet but actually like full creamy ice cream.

 

Pizza

There are many great spots to find a delicious pizza in Como, after all its Italy. However, it’s usually at the less beautiful places that you can find the best authentic food. One of those places which also happens to be my favorite spot is called ‘Pizzeria Da Benito.

Pizzeria Da Benito has the best vegan Neapolitan pizza. I always order the Marinara which is an ultimate classic. The pizza has a crispy crust, as you take a bite you can hear the crust break and white flower dust remains on your fingers. The tomato sauce is so rich, you can taste the freshness of each ingredient. And even though there is lots of sauce the bread remains crispy. It has the perfect balance of textures and flavours. For me this is THE spot for the ultimate pizza.

 

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Coffee

Como is beautiful and within it’s cosy streets you will find lots of amazing cafes. However, these are a few of my favourites. ‘Posta is a cafe which belongs to the hotel ‘Pasta Design Hotel‘ which is located in one of the main squares. It has a lovely terrace where you will overlook the square so you can sit down, enjoy the most amazing coffee and do some people watching.

My second favourite spot is called ‘Loft. If you want to enjoy a coffee with a view then this is THE place to go to. It has the most beautiful view overlooking the houses with the mountains in the background on one side and with a view over the church on the other. You can hear the church bells in the background as you sit in the sun enjoying the Italian lifestyle.
If you are looking for a very Italian type of cafe then you have to visit ‘Pane e Tulipani’. This cafe sells the most amazing espresso as well as beautiful flowers – it’s both a cafe and flower shop. It’s hidden in one of the small streets where you can sit outside on the terrace and watch people go by as you enjoy your espresso in the sun.

 

 

 

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Leroy’s – A hidden gem in the form of the trendiest Vietnamese restaurant

 

Let me start with the fact that I immediately fell in love with this place the moment I walked in. The smell of fresh ingredients and spices fill the room and even finds it way to the outside porch. You can immediately feel the amazing atmosphere and this has 100% been created by the lovely owners. You can feel their passion and love in both the restaurant and the food.

Leroy’s is now one of the trendiest places in Canggu and the must go to in the weekend for the most delicious pho and a cocktail with your friends! It’s almost as if this spot has become the place to fall in love with both it’s food and with each other as the mood in this restaurant is so uplifting and exciting.

 

 

What I love

They recently renewed their menu which also meant, more vegan deliciousness!

Starter

Lets start of with the ‘Vietnamese taco’s‘ (60k Idr/ 3.20 Gbp), they truly are a vegan delight. They are made with tempura eggplant, fragrant slaw, herbs and a homemade Sriracha. It’s the most fresh ingredients combined to make the ultimate crunch.

Another amazing starter is the ‘Rice paper rolls with peanut tofu satay‘ (45k Idr/ 2.40 Gbp). It’s refreshing and perfect for a hot day in Bali. My favourite part of this dish is the peanut sauce, I mean.. it can’t get any better than this. (Sometimes I like to order some ‘sweet potato fries’ and just dip them in the peanut sauce, naughty but oh so yum!!)

Main

My absolute favourite main course and one of the reasons why I came here so often is for the ultimate ‘Mushroom and Bok Choy Pho‘ (60k Idr/ 3.20 Gbp). This Pho is served with a side of Sriracha, hoisin sauce, raw bean sprouts, chopped chili, lime, mint and basil. You can decide how spicy, fresh or sweet you want your Pho to be by just adding the ingredients yourself. It’s an extremely nutritious meal and an absolute winner when it comes to flavour.

Another great meal for main or even for lunch is one of their great salads. My favourite is the ‘Vermicelli bowl with grilled tofu satay‘ (60k Idr/ 3.20 Gbp) This salad is made with avocado, zucchini, radish, edamame, pickles, cucumber, iceberg, slaw, herbs and served with spring rolls. It’s so refreshing, so colourful and so delicious. It’s full of flavours, textures and an ultimate must try when you visit Leroy’s.

Desert

However, now it’s time for the grand desert. Im not having the “I’m so full from my started and main” excuse, because you will regret not having tried the desert of deserts! To finish of your amazing dinner and to just put the cherry on top you have to try the ultimate delight. This is heaven in the form of a ‘Vegan Chocolate Brownie‘ (35k Idr/ 1.85 Gbp). It’s everything you want a brownie to be. It has a slightly crispy outside but as soon as you put your spoon through you can feel it’s gooey centre. The chocolate is so rich and you would never (ever) of guessed that this is actually vegan. Trust me, you’ll be able to fool anyone! So yummy! (One of my favourite deserts in the whole of Canggu – and yes I have thought of coming there late at night just for the desert, guilty.)

 

 

Where to go

Leroys has recently announced that they will be open for lunch too! Woohoo!

They are now open everyday from 11am- 12am and their address is Jl. Tanah Barak No.43 in Canggu.

Enjoy!

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Vegan mango and blueberry pancakes

 

Happy Fridays, cosy Sundays or stressful Mondays, any day is a good day for pancakes! This recipe is extremely nutritious and perfect for a filling breakfast that will give you lots of energy for the day.  It’s definitely one of my favourite recipes, and I always choose to make these pancakes if I want to impress someone with a great breakfast!

Especially now that the days are getting warmer I love to have a summery breakfast with lots of fruity flavours. You can whip these pancakes up within 10 minutes and if you add a little coconut yoghurt as a topping at the end you’ll have a tropical meal that will remind you of the island life!

 

Ingredients

Recipe for 20 medium pancakes

  • 2 bananas
  • 4 slices of mango
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter (or another nut better)
  • 3 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon coconut yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon Baobab powder (Click here to see what Baobab powder I use)
  • coconut oil (to grease your pan)

Method

  1. Place the mango, bananas, oats, Baobab powder, almond butter and coconut milk in a blender and mix until smooth.
  2. Simply pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the blueberries.
  3. While you leave the mixture to rest for a minute heat up a frying pan and grease it with some some coconut oil
  4. Once the pan is very hot place about a tablespoon of mixture into the pan and fry for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  Make sure that you don’t flip them over too early, as you need to wait until each side is firm so they won’t break while flipping over.
  5. When they are done place them on your plate and top them of with some fresh blueberries and a tablespoon of coconut yoghurt.

 

Simple, healthy and so yum! Bon appétit!

 

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What are the health benefits of matcha?

What exactly is matcha?

Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder. It’s prepared from a high quality leaf known as tencha. The powder has been famous for playing a big role in Japanese tea ceremonies for the last 900 years. It was known for its health benefits and its powers to increase concentration and enhance metabolism. Nowadays it has become more popular and more of its powers are being discovered.

 

Why you should become a matcha lover

Here are some reasons why everyone should add a daily doses of matcha in their diet!

Its packed with antioxidants

Matcha is full of antioxidants including the powerful catechin EGCg. In fact, one cup of matcha tea has as much antioxidants as 10 cups of brewed green tea.

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Boosts metabolism and helps you burn calories

Matcha itself is already very low on calories. But it also boosts your metabolism and helps you burn fat! A recent study even found that it boosts your metabolism by as much as 40%!

Detoxifies your body naturally

Matcha is found to be a very powerful detoxifier and is capable of naturally decreasing the level of chemical toxins and heavy metals from your body. This high antitoxin level is formed by its special way of harvesting. Its in the last three weeks before harvesting where the leaves will be covered, preventing sunlight to get through. This creates an increase of chlorophyll production in the growing process of the leaves! Which is found to be the detoxifying element!

Calming effect

Matcha is rich in L-Theanine. This amino acid has a calming and relaxing effect on both your body and mind.

High amount of nutrition

Matcha is full of nutrition include vitamins A, C, E, K, vitamin B-complex, zinc, selenium, chromium, magnesium and trace mineral.

Enhances concentration and memory

The amino acid found in matcha named L-Theanine creates alpha waves. These lead to a state of relaxed alertness within your brain. It may also help improve memory and learning. The L-Theanine levels in matcha are five times higher then found in normal green tea.

Improves cholesterol and blood sugar

Matcha reduces levels of triglycerides as well as the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels. Its due to it improving your cholesterol and blood sugar that it helps decrease the risk of heart disease.

Increases long time energy levels

The amino acid named L-Theaninecan and the combination of other nutrients found in matcha gives you a boost of energy! The slow release of energy can leave you feeling energised for up to six hours after consuming. Unlike coffee which releases energy in more of kick form leaving you feel energised for only about 1-1.30 hours.

Helps protect your liver 

According to some studies matcha could prevent liver damage and decrease the risk of liver disease.

Controls type-2 Diabetes

Matcha helps reduce levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and hepatic glucose content, which is to be found in people who are diabetic.

Protects from infections and improves immune system

The high level of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in matcha is effective in helping to fight against several fungus and bacterial infections.

May help prevent cancer

Matcha tea contains a special potent class of antioxidant known as catechins. This antioxidant can only be found in Matcha and not in any other foods. In particular, the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides cancer-fighting properties. Studies found that it helps reducing the risk of developing cancers such as colorectal and bladder cancer.

 

But lets not over do it

1-2 teaspoons of matcha daily is the perfect amount to be adding to your diet!

Consuming way too much of this magical green powder can give side effects. This is due to its high antioxidant level which can decrease lead contamination, iron absorption and may lead to liver damage.

 

Here are some of my favourite ways of getting your daily doses of matcha!

Matcha tea

This is the simplest way of drinking some matcha goodness!

Simply add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder in a cup and fill the rest with hot water, mix well.

Add some agave syrup if you prefer it to be a little sweeter!

And there you go! A cup full of naturally matcha goodness! Perfect for a little energy boost in the morning!

Matcha Latte

Simply add 1-2 teaspoons of powdered matcha to a cup. Fill the cup 1/3 with hot water and 2/3 with hot fluffed up milk – of your choice. I suggest almond or coconut milk! Almond milk will give more of a fluffy and creamy effect, while coconut milk will add a lovely flavour!

 

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Matcha Latte served at Matcha Cafe Bali 

 

Matcha pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 cup almond or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp chia or flax seed
  • 2 tbsp sweetener
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Method:

  1. Mix either the chia or flax seeds with water. Set it aside for five minutes until the seeds have absorbed the water creating a gelatine effect.
  2. Then mix the seed mixture, matcha, sweetener, flour and oil until the batter becomes smooth and free of any lumps.
  3. Heat up a frying pan and spoon two table spoons of batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles begin to form, when one side is ready flip it over. Cook both sides until golden!

 

Matcha green smoothie bowl

  • 2 sliced frozen ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup chopped frozen mango
  • 1 cup coconut milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 heaping cup organic spinach or kale (best frozen)

Add all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth. If you feel that the blend is too thick add a little more milk. You do want the texture to be smooth and in-between scoopable and drinkable.

Add any topping that you may like! Some of my favourites are:

  

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Matcha Acai Boost smoothie bowl served at Matcha Cafe Bali 

 

 

My favourite matcha spot

If you find yourself in Bali then you have to visit my favourite place that serves all kinds of matcha deliciousness! Here they will make sure that you get your daily dose of matcha! Click here to read my article about my Matcha cafe!

 

 

 

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