Blog | Recipes

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

May 8, 2020
Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I love many things in life. But at the top of the list, you’ll find chocolate along with adding mystery ingredients into recipes. The reason behind my love for chocolate is pretty self-explanatory. I mean chocolate is freaking amazing! As for adding mystery ingredients, I guess I love incorporating a splash of suspense and surprise in all aspects of life.

The secret ingredient: zucchini

I don’t like doing things conventionally and I hate following rules. I’m a rebel in the kitchen and life. So naturally, that results in me liking to experimenting with “strange” ingredients and seeing what happens. That’s why I gravitate towards these types of recipes. The ones that add veggies into baked goods, that is.

From a nutritionist point of view, I will always preach: eat your fruits and veggies EVERY DAY. If possible, at least 7 servings per day. And that number can seem quite high initially. But that’s where you can get creative in the kitchen. Like with this delicious chocolate zucchini cake.

This is also a great recipe for all the picky eaters out there. I do believe that we shouldn’t aim to hide veggies in dishes because we do have to learn to eat as close to nature as possible. But this is a great strategy to transform a treat into an explosion of nutrients.

Some of the nutrition superstars in this recipe are: cacao, zucchini, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The cacao, cinnamon, and nutmeg all contain a lovely amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients. As for the zucchini, it’s a great way to give your body a fiber boost as well as B vitamins and other vitamins and minerals.

So what do you say, are you ready to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy this delicious chocolate cake? You will not regret it. See you in the kitchen my dear friends!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Yields: 1 cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 egg (organic if possible)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (plus extra to drizzle on top)
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Shred 2-3 zucchinis, let it sit on strainer to allow some of the extra water out.
  3. In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. I typically start with the wet ingredients and leave the dry ingredients towards the end. Especially the baking soda since you don’t want to over mix it.
  4. Pour batter in baking pan (11×7 inches) lightly coated with oil to avoid that cake sticks.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Optional: make chocolate drizzle by melting 1/4 cup chocolate drops with 1 TBSP of coconut oil. I did this by placing it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Allow cake to cool and drizzle chocolate over it.
  7. Enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Continue Reading

Blog | Recipes

Apple Crumble

March 23, 2020
Apple Crumble

I love everything about warm baked apples with cinnamon. For me, that’s one of the most comforting types of desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very much so a chocolate lover. But how can you say no to a warm apple crumble?

I’ve made many crumbles before, but with other fruits. Confession time – I typically make them with berries because it’s a bit quicker since there’s no peeling or chopping involved. But apple crumble still beats berry crumble when it comes to flavor in my humble opinion.

This apple crumble happened during quarantine coronavirus times. Meaning that I had all the extra time in the world to peel and chop. Not only that, but having apples at home are pretty handy since they tend to last a little longer than many other fruits.

A little side note about my peeling apples experience. Not trying to jinx myself here, but it had been a while that I experienced any whoopsies with a knife. And guess what? I had a little whoopsie with a peeler. A peeler! Out of all the kitchen tools. So just a little reminder to not underestimate the whoopsie power of a peeler. But no worries, I’m fine. 😉

Back to the recipe. This apple crumble is gluten-free and vegan friendly. And if you don’t have any apples at home, no need to run to the store to buy some. You can always swap it for another fruit that you do have. Same applies for the walnuts. That’s just what I had at home. Swap it for any other type of nuts or just stick to adding extra oats.

Well, let’s jump right to it. See you in the kitchen my dear friends!

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble Recipe

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 2-3 apples peeled and chopped in small bite-size pieces
  • 4 TBSP apple sauce
  • 1 TBSP corn starch
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • Sprinkle sea salt

Top crumble

  • 1 cup walnuts (crushed or cut in small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix well all top crumble ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix well all filling ingredients.
  4. Add filling ingredients in a baking dish. Top with crumble ingredients.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Enjoy warm or chilled :).
Apple Crumble

Continue Reading

Blog | Recipes

Curau – Sweet Corn Custard

February 28, 2020
Curau Sweet Corn Custard

I’ve been having some serious nostalgia lately when it comes to my home country, Brazil. And the best way I found to feel some of the comfort from home is through the kitchen. So my dear friends, I want to introduce you to one of the Brazilian desserts that I’ve always loved: Curau!

One of the things I love about curau is its simplicity. The ingredients that go into it are quite basic and it comes out so delicious. It’s also a pretty inexpensive dish to make and if you are a corn and cinnamon lover, this is a must for you.

When I lived in Brazil I enjoyed this sweet corn custard plenty of times and have even seen my aunt and grandmother make it. But I had never made it by myself. So what does one do when they are going to attempt something for the first time? Call your mother, of course.

On our call, my mom (and dad) walked me through the recipe and it seemed simple enough to give a go. And it truly is. I’d say that the total time to make this was about 30 minutes. But I did make one big oopsie in the beginning. I forgot to let the corn actually thaw. When you make yours, don’t forget to let the corn unfreeze or you’ll have a hard time blending it with the milk.

Having said that, let’s get to the good stuff shall we? See you in the kitchen my dear friends!

Curau Sweet Corn Custard
Curau Sweet Corn Custard

Curau, Sweet Corn Custard Recipe

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of frozen sweet corn (about 450 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 4 TBSP brown sugar
  • Cinnamon to taste (I used about 2 tsp)
  • Cashew pieces and cinnamon to decorate (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Blend thawed sweet corn with milk in a blender until smooth. Add more milk if needed. NOTE: make sure that the corn is no longer frozen or you’ll have a hard time blending it.
  2. Pour corn liquid through a strain or sieve into a pan. To make sure you get the most liquid into the pan, press down on the corn pulp with a spoon. Reserve the corn pulp to make a delicious corn cake.
  3. Take the pan with corn cream to the stove using medium-high heat. Add sugar and cinnamon and cook for about 10 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Make sure that you are stirring constantly so the corn cream doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.
  4. When corn cream thickens, pour into container of choice and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Don’t worry if it’s not too thick, once the custard cools, it will thicken more.
  5. Enjoy!

Curau Sweet Corn Custard
Curau Sweet Corn Custard

Continue Reading

Blog | Recipes

Chewy Chocolate Chip Bites

February 19, 2020
Chewy Chocolate Chip Bites

Finding a snack that can satiate your little cravings can feel like a mission. Whether you’re on the hunt for something sweet or need a little mid-day pick-me-upper. This chewy chocolate chip bites are a really great option!

So as far as snacks go, yes, having something that comes right out of nature – a fruit or veggie – will always be THE best option. Simply because we will never be able to beat the nutrition perfection that happens in nature. I also get that sometimes we’re in the mood for something else.

These chewy chocolate chip bites are made with simple ingredients. Mainly dates, carob or cacao powder, and walnuts. As for the cinnamon, coconut oil, and chocolate chips, they are added for a little extra flavor and/or nutrition.

Like always, I encourage you to add, remove, tweak and just play around with the ingredients. If you are a chocolate lover, add more cacao or carob. Want to keep it vegan? Make sure your chocolate chips are vegan. And if you’re gluten-free, well this recipe is already gluten-free.

Add these delicious little bites to your meal prepping so you can have a great snack on-the-go for the week. It will take less than 20 minutes to make and you’ll be giving your body a daily energy (and nutrient) boost. See you in the kitchen!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Bites
Chewy Chocolate Chip Bites

Chewy Chocolate Chip Bites Recipe

Yields 8-10 bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup carob powder or cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a food processor. Pulse until it forms a dough.
  3. Make cookie shapes with your clean hands and top with chocolate chips.
  4. Place “cookies” or bites in a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy warm or store in airtight container and keep in fridge for up to a week.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Bites

Continue Reading

Blog | Recipes

Carrot Cake – Brazilian Style

February 11, 2020
Carrot Cake

Adding fruits and veggies into my baked goods is one of my favorite things to do. Yes, it does add fiber and nutrients into your baked goods. But what I love most about it are the flavors. And this carrot cake is no different.

Carrots have a natural sweetness to them that makes it ideal for baking. Its beautiful orange color comes with amazing antioxidant benefits and carrots are a wonderful source of vitamin A and fiber. And believe me when I say that having a rich fiber source in your baked goods is a MUST for a few reasons.

For starters, fiber helps you feel full quicker. So it’s ideal that when you do have treats, they come with a generous amount of fiber. That way you don’t feel like you have to eat a lot of it to feel satisfied. Fiber also happens to be great for your gut since it helps you stay regular and your gut bacteria loves it! Which we now know that we are more bacteria than human cells anyways. Keep those little guys happy with some good food and lots of fiber. Your body will thank you!

Now let’s talk about this beauty – the carrot cake!

The reason why I called it Brazilian style is simply because Brazilians have a different way of making carrot cake. A typical American carrot cake comes with carrot shreds, dried fruit, nuts, coconut shreds, and spices. It’s lastly covered with some cream cheese frosting of sorts. The Brazilian carrot cake is a little simpler. It’s just the carrots and they’re meant to be blended very well in the dough. So for this one, you’ll use a blender or food processor instead of a mixer.

A traditional Brazilian carrot cake will also be topped with a chocolate ganache or just a delicious layer of chocolate brigadeiro. And if brigadeiros are new to you, they consist of condensed milk, milk (optional), and cacao cooked in a pan until it thickens. You then roll it into little balls and top it with chocolate sprinkles. To have brigadeiro as a cake topping, you cook it less so it’s not as thick and then you just coat your cake with it. It’s quite delicious!

However, for this recipe I did want to go simple and make it more about the carrots. Sans chocolate. And if you are wondering why it has 2 different colors, well here’s my hypothesis. I believe that this happened because I might not have mixed it enough and the tiny tiny carrot pieces were heavy and sunk to the bottom while it was baking.

Why did I still post this one?

For one main reason. I want you to see that cooking and baking are not perfect. Little mistakes happen here and there and you learn from it. That’s how you become good at something. By practicing. And it’s what I always say, I am not a chef. But I do love food and am taking the time and dedication to give my body amazing nutrients. Because it’s my main self-love and self-care act.

I now invite you to join me in also making tons of mistakes in the kitchen my dear friends. It’ll be fun! 😉

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake Recipe

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 medium carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil of choice (tip – go with melted coconut oil for an added coconut flavor)
  • 3 eggs (organic if possible)
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the food processor or blender add: carrot slices, brown sugar, oil, and eggs. Blend until mix is smooth and you no longer see carrot pieces.
  3. Add to the cake mix the flours, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until even combined.
  4. Pour cake batter in a baking dish – I used a loaf pan. Bake for about 55 minutes. NOTE: if you’re using a cake baking dish instead, baking time will be less (probably around 45 minutes).
  5. Check if cake is fully cooked by pricking it with a fork or toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s fully baked.
  6. Enjoy with a delicious cup of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa.
  7. Store cake in an airtight container in the fridge.

Carrot Cake

Continue Reading