Here is a second interview with beautiful Danijela Unkovich, who is in the natural beauty and health care industry and who I look up to a lot, to share on Litten blog 🌸 Danijela is a qualified nutritionist from New Zealand and has a blog called healthy always and a beautiful Instagram page (@healthyalways) where she shares lots of healthy recipes, health and wellness blogs and inspiration. Danijela is also an ambassador for SKIN by Ecostore, a lovely natural skin care range made with safe and natural ingredients.
Here are some questions I thought of to ask Danijela, and her answers
1. Was there a moment when you were little or a bit older, which helped to inspire you to study nutrition and to become a qualified nutritionist?
Danijela: Growing up I batted with poor skin and gut issues – although I understand how important gut health is now, it was the skin issues that really got me down as a teenager. After seeing a nutritionist for advice, I made dietary changes and ended up seeing benefits in my skin – it was exciting! It totally opened me up to a new world, and really started to connect the dots for me, in that food is nourishment, and it can heal and protect.
2. Is there a healthy ingredient or couple of ingredients you love to cook or bake with and would recommend to others?
Danijela: Bananas – they work fantastically in baking, providing natural sweetness and moisture to cakes and slices. Spices – not only do they really help to elevate a dish in regards to flavour, but they have wonderful health benefits too.
3. Do you have a favourite healthy cooking or baking recipe you make quite often?
Danijela: One of my favourite mid-morning snacks, or sweet treats in the afternoon, are my banana oat cookie recipe. They only require a few simple ingredients, and taste really yummy! I always end up making them a few times during the month. You can add different chopped dried fruit, or nuts and seeds, to switch up the flavour. Here is the basic recipe:
Banana Oat Cookies
These cookies tick all the boxes – they’re nutritious, cheap, easy-to-make, really yummy and they require the simplest-of-simple ingredients list. Seriously, we’re talking mashed banana, rolled oats, desiccated coconut, dried apricots, a sprinkling of chocolate chips, and THAT’S ALL. They’re also totally kid-friendly – get the kids involved in mashing the bananas, counting out the apricots and mixing all the ingredients together with their hands – it’ll get a bit messy, but fun!
A wonderful way to get kids more excited about what they’re eating is to get them involved in the preparation process – it may require a little extra patience and time (and most likely clean up), but it’s a great educational activity with the wonderful follow-on effect of getting them more invested at meal time (and so hopefully more inclined to try whatever is being served!). Of course, this might not be needed when it comes to eating cookies, but definitely something to keep in mind next time you have a pile of veggies to peel in front of you…
Banana Oat Cookies
4 mashed ripe bananas
2 1/2 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
12 dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
2) Add all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together until well combined (a big wooden spoon or just your hands will do!).
3) Spoon out large tablespoons of the mixture and assemble into cookie shapes on the oven tray. I say assemble as it will get a little messy! You might need to spend a little time shaping them. A quick way to do it is to get a cookie cutter and fill each one up with the mixture – when you remove the cookie cutter you’ll get even circle shapes.
4) Bake the cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them for the last few minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
5) Take them out of the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before digging in. Enjoy!
Makes 10-12 cookies depending on how big you make them.
4. Are there any tips you would share with someone who was trying to improve their (general) health through careful nutritional choices?
Danijela: Consider the quality of the foods that you eat. Aim to enjoy foods that aren’t processed, or have been as minimally processed as possible – here they’re brimming with nutrients that support our health.
5. Do you have a favourite (or a couple of favourite) natural skin care products from SKIN by ecostore you love to use?
Danijela: Absolutely – I love the Replenishing Night Cream. It is so luxurious and thick, and my skin feels soothed after putting it on. Otherwise, I also adore the Multi-Nutrient Facial Oil – it’s a blend of nutrient rich oils, that help nourish the skin. I love this brand as not only are the products effective and gentle on the skin, but they’re also environmentally minded too.
6. Is there a quote you love, which always uplifts or inspires you?
Danijela: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself” – Rumi. A reminder to contribute where we can, and pause and look after ourselves when we need to.
If you would like to find out more about Danijela or to find more healthy recipes and health and wellness inspiration, Danijela’s blog is called healthy always and her Instagram page is @healthyalways (please check the links) 🌸 on both her blog and on her Instagram page, Danijela shares lots of wellness blogs, healthy and nutritious recipe tips and ideas and beautiful and artistic photos. In case you would like to find out more about SKIN by Ecostore too, the website is skinbyecostore.co.nz
🌸 thank you so much Danijela for sharing your personal story, thoughts and ideas, banana oat cookie recipe, health, nutrition and skin care tips and your favourite quote
Danijela’s blog, healthy always
Banana Oat Cookies recipe, healthy always
SKIN by Ecostore website, skinbyecostore.co.nz
Photos of Danijela and SKIN by ecostore products, from Danijela
Banana Oat Cookies, from Danijela’s blog healthy always