Chocolate Sauce

Chocolate Sauce

It’s fruit or chocolate

Fruit or chocolate? Fruit topped with chocolate, of course! Why fruit OR chocolate?

As you’re not portuguese, you probably have no ideia what am I talking about. Well, if you don’t speak portuguese but you live in Portugal and you still have no ideia what am I talking about, dude, there’s life beyond Facebook and Instagram.

I know in most asian and south american beaches, you will find these guys walking on the beach with a box and selling pretty much everything, from coconut water, smoothies and natural juices, to açaí bowls, ice cream and even shellfish. But in Portugal we’re quite simple people.

Berliners VS Ice Cream

There are just two types of beach salesmen in Portugal:

  • The ones selling ice cream (normally ice cream sandwiches) while screaming out loud “Olha o gelado fresquinho! É de fruta ou chocolate!”, which means “Here is the refreshing ice cream! It’s fruit or chocolate!”. Okay, this is not funny at all in english, but they have a really special way to advertise it portuguese;
  • The ones selling berliners (basically a doughnut with no hole, normally filled with crème pâtissière) while screaming out loud “It’s the berliner! With or without filling!”;

Ice creams, sorbets, cold stuff, I get it. I’m hanging there, on the beach, the sun is shining, I see that crazy looking guy with a hat carrying a cooler box and I think “I could use a cold beer right now.” Then I realize that inside the box there is just fruit or chocolate ice cream. Probably a strawberry vanilla or chocolate icecream sandwich with a soggy biscuit. Anyways, I get disappointed as f*ck, swallow my pride and I still pay the 2€ for that crappy ice cream, because, after all, it’s still refreshing.

But now, let’s talk seriously – BERLINERS??????? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR F*CKIN MIND???? You’re there, on the beach, in August, hot as f*ck, almost melting down and you’re gonna buy a f*ckin doughnut???? “Oh boy, it’s hot, I could really use a pice of deep fried dough filled with cream to refresh myself!” And there’s even people who rather have it WITHOUT cream, because that way they can be sure they’re gonna choke on the f*ckin food and feel even more thirsty! F*ck man!

Do people in your country eat peanut butter with cinnamon by the spoon on the beach? To get my mouth dry I could eat sand and I wouldn’t pay for it!

Chocolate Sauce

I did not know what to call to this recipe, since is just a chocolate thingy. I’m calling it a chocolate sauce, but I guess you could call it chocolate frosting, or whatever.

 Ingredients:

4 Juicy Dates
3 TBSP of Cocoa powder
Water or Vegetable Milk
Pinch of Vanilla (optional)
Pinch of Cardamom (optional)

Instructions:

  • Pit the dates;
    • If you’re using a less juicy variety of dates, I would recommend you to soak them for a couple hours;
  • Mash the dates with a fork, like a man and stuff;
    • Add in a tablespoon of water, to help mashing it;

chocolate 1

  • Add in the cocoa powder;
    • You could also add in the vanilla, cardamom and even other seasonings you may like;
  • Stir in the water or vegetable milk, little by little;
    • Keep adding it until you get the desired consistency;

chocolate 2

  • Store in fridge, in a closed glass jar;
    • If you’re using milk, it lasts up to 3 days in the fridge;
    • If you’re using water, it lasts up to 5 or 7 days in the fridge;
  • Serve your chocolate sauce with pancakes, waffles, nana ice cream, fresh fruit or açaí bowl;

chocolate 3

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chocolate 4

Caloric Breakdown:

(1 Service ~ 1 TBSP)

Blue – 76% Carbs

Red – 17% Fat

Green – 7% Protein

Note:

  • If you have some caffeine intolerance (yest, cocoa also contains caffein), you can replace the cocoa powder with carob powder.

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Instant Blueberry Jam

Instant Blueberry Jam

 

Compot, jelly, jam or marmelade? You could never tell the difference? You’re not alone. And believe me when I say thism working as a chef wouldn’t help you either. Beside all the compots, jellies, jams and marmalades, people are gonna start talking about all of these but with french or italian names for it, until it comes  to the point where gelée, jelly or confettura are all completely different things. So, to make things easier for everybody, we’re gonna call this recipe a jam. And before you start crying and telling me I’m wrong, remember this is my blog and I call my food whatever the heck I want. If I wanted to call this a Blueberry Kamehameha, this would be a Blueberry Kamehameha. Period.

Jams were never a part of my childhood. Contrary to many countries, jams are not a thing in Portugal. In some regions of the country pumpkin jam or quince marmalade used to be quite popular, but not nowadays and not for most people. Marmalade comes from the portuguese marmelada, by the way, in case of you didn’t know. I remember I wasn’t a huge fan of marmalade when I was young. Besides, I think the only jam I tried when I was a kid of tomato jam, that someone would ocasionally give to my mom. I think I actually enjoyed the flavor, but who knows the amount of sugar in it.

It was just when I started studying cooking that I became more interested in marmalades, jams, jellys, compots and all the possible combinations one could have with these fruit stuff. I remember that I bacame a fan of fresh cottage cheese with pumpkin compot (something very popular in Portugal back in the days) the momment I tried it.

Light

When I started exercising and taking care of my physical condition (more like taking care the way I looked, actually), I started wondering if jams would actually be healthier than butter. By that time, every item on the groceries shops shelves would have a light version of it. And I just played along. I replaced my refined sugars with artificial sweetners. Not the smartest choice, I know. In fact, I also knew it at the time, but I was more worried about the way I looked outside than the way I looked inside.

If you’ve been following The Real Green Scene on the social media, you know, for sure, that here at the house, we try to stay away from highly processed foods. Refined sugars and artificial sweetners are just some of those products.

This instant jam is something that we make every single week. It’s one of our favorite pancake toppings and it goes also really well on the bread or with yogurt, nana ice cream or your breakfast fruit or cereal bowl!

Ingredients:

4 Juicy Dates
300 gr. of Frozen Blueberries
1 TBSP of Chia Seeds (Optional)
Pinch of Vanilla (Optional)

Instructions:

  • Pit the dates;
    • If you’re using a not juicy variety of dates, I would recommend soaking it for a couple hours;
  • Mash the dates with a fork;
    • Add in 1 TBSP of water, if necessary;
  • Mix the frozen blueberries with the mashed dates;

jam 1

  • Transfer it to a pot and cook it on low heat, just until it starts boiling;
    • This could also be done in the microwave;

jam 2

  • At last, add in the vanilla and, if you desire a more consistent jam, also add in the chia seeds;
    • We normally don’t use chia seeds, as we like it a bit more liquid to soak the pancakes 😀 ;
  • Let it cool down completely before storing it in a closed jar;
    • It lasts two or three days in the fridge;
    • It could also be served warm;

jam 3

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jam 4

Caloric Breakdown:

(1 Service ~ 1 TBSP)

Blue – 80% Carbs

Red – 15% Fat

Green – 5% Protein

Note:

  • This process could also be applied to other berries, like strawberries, raspberries or blackberries, for example;

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Guacamole

 

Guacamole

Halve the avocado – Pit the avocado – Peel the avocado – Mash the avocado = Guacamole. Almost as simple as this.

The avocado is kind of a special fruit. While most fruits are basically carbs, avocados are extremely rich in fat. Besides giving it a unique texture, it also gives it a very different taste.

When I was a kid, a friend of mine used to have an avocado tree in the backyard. I remember he used to eat the fruit with sugar and honey. I never tried it. And I won’t, since I no longer consume honey. But I’ve always looked at it as a weird combination. In fact, fruit topped with sugar always looked weird in my eyes.

It was just when I became more interested in fruits and veggies that I decided to give avocados a chance. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t even remember trying avocado before attending to the cooking school.

The Properties

Avocados are extremely rich fruits, containing more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. In just 100 gr. of this fruit we can obtain 26% of our RDI for Vitamin K, 20% RDI for Folic Acid, 17% RDI for Vitamin C, 14% RDI for Potassium, Vitamin B5 and B6 and 10% RDI for Vitamin E, amonst many others. All of this comes along with 160 kcal, 2 gr. of protein, 9 gr. of carbs (of which 7 gr. are fiber!) and 15 gr. of healthy fats. Not bad for dragon eggs.

The Science

Bananas are normally reffered as the Holy Grail for potassium, but avocados contain actually more potassium per gram than bananas – 100 gr. of avocado may give you 14% of you RDI, while 100 gr. of bananas give you just 10%. A healthy potassium intake seems to be connected to low blood pressure and protection against heard disease.

It is true that 77% of the avocado calories are fat, but it is good fat! This fruit is specially rich in folic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, also present in olive oil, that has been shown to have benefic effects on cancer genes.

Other studies have also shown that avocados may significantly reduce the total colesterol, reduce the triglycerides in the blood in 20%, reduce the LDL in 22% and raise the HDL in 11%. Besides, people who eat avocados actually tend to be healthy!

Guacamole

Nowadays I’m a big fan of this magnificent fruit. I like to spread it on the bread with some crushed black pepper and oregano, to dice it and top my rice and beans with it, to combine it with hummus and make delicious sandwiches and, above it all, to make guacamole for my burritos.

Ingredients:

1 Avocado
1 Ripe Tomato
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1 Lemon
1 Garlic clove ou Garlic powder
1 Red Chilli or Sriracha
Flor-de-sal
Black Pepper
Grounded Mustard seeds (optional)
Chopped Coriander

Instructions:

  • Wash the avocado and halve it;
    • Why washing the avocado if you’re not eating the peel? Well, because the peel may be covered in crap and you will cut the peel with the same knife you will cut the avocado, right?;
  • Pit the avocado;
    • Don’t play the hero and try to remove the pit holding the avocado in your hand, unless you think you have one or two fingers you don’t need;
    • Carve the blade of the knife (not the edge!) horizontally in the pit and rotate it clockwise… or the opposite… doesn’t make any difference;
    • Voilà – now you have the knife carved in the pit, separated from the avocado;
    • Don’t remove it with your hand, just laterally press it against the board;
    • If you have doubts, check the pictures down bellow;

guacamole 1

  • With a spoon, separate the avocado meat from the peel;
  • Mash the avocado with a fork;
  • Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice of one half;
  • Chop the garlic, bell pepper, chilli (with or without seeds, depends on your own taste), tomato and coriander;
  • Mix everything with the mashed avocado and add in the seasonings;

guacamole 2

  • Guacamole + Nachos + Burritos = Fiesta;

guacamole 3

guacamole 4  guacamole 5

Caloric Breakdown:

(1 Service is 1 TSBP ~ 20 gr.)

Blue – 30% Carbs

Red – 64% Fat

Green – 6% Protein

 

 

Tzatziki

Tzatziki – Cooking 101 #5

Tzatziki. A spectacular name for shredded cocumber with yogurt. It even sounds that you really know how to cook when you present such food – “Do you wanna come over for dinner? I’ll make my tzatziki, it will blow your mind!”. Yes. Except, that it’s just shredded cucumber with yogurt.

Man, tzatziki even sounds like some sort of legendary sword from the Ottoman Empire. Something like – “Bahadir, son of Behram, raising the mythical blade, Tzatziki, made all the caliphate tremble.”. Except, that it’s just shredded cucumber with yogurt.

Jokes apart, I actually like tzatziki, a lot. It goes along very well with many recipes and it is a great dip for bread.

Cucumber it’s kind of a boring ingredient for most people. And I must agree. I’m also not a big fan of cucumber in it’s purest form, but it is a very versatile ingredient. It is quite tasty in oriental stir-fries or pickled, for example. And, besides that, it is the star of our recipe, today. And it’s not everyday that you can call tzatziki to something.

Tzatziki 1

Ingredients:

2 Cucumbers
200 gr. Vegetable Sour Cream or Yogurt (unsweetned of course
1 Garlic Clove
Lemon Juice
Salt
Black Pepper
Chopped Dill
Chopped Spearmint

Instructions:

  • Peel and shred the cucumber;
  • Squeeze the water out of it;
    • Press the shredded cucumber against a fine drainer or use a cheese cloth;
  • Chop the garlic, spearmint and dill;
  • Add in the cucumber, sour cream, garlic, spearmint and dill to a bowl and season it with salt, black pepper and lemon juice;
    • Remember to taste it and check if it needs more seasoning;
  • Serve it with bread, hummus, falafel, salad, what ever you may fancy;

Tzatziki 2

Tzatziki 3

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Tzatziki 4

Caloric Breakdown:

(1 service is about 100 gr.)

Blue – 29% Carbs

Red – 66% Fat

Green – 5% Protein

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Nutella – Choco Hazelnut Spread

Nutella – Vegan Cooking 101 #4

Nutella. Who doesn’t like it? To be honest, I can’t remember how old I was when I first tasted nutella. Maybe for my own sake, I think the first time I heard about it I was already a teenager. I don’t kow when did the product start being sold in Portugal. I couldn’t find that information. Or maybe it has nothing to do with it. Maybe it’s just me. Anyways, I worked with a girl who used to keep a jar of nutella right there, at the restaurant, to eat during the service. I really doubt we found out about nutella with the same age.
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Well, the truth is that I never had that much nutella. I can’t remember eating a slice of bread with it. But I do remember eating a slice of bread with tulicreme. Man I used to love that sh*t. I remember that even as a kid I used to find it very artificial and not that chocolatty. But it was good anyways.

This recipe doesn’t taste like nutella. Even I can guarantee you that. It’s not as creamy or sweet. But it is quite tasty and MUCH healthier. Still not something I would recommend eating with a spoon, specially if you’re looking for losing some weight. But, compared with the original product, it is super healthy indeed. If you enjoy the taste of pure roasted hazelnuts, you will love this. Besides, homemade is always better right?

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Hazelnuts

1/4 Cup of Cocoa Powder

1/4 Cup of Cocoa Butter

1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup

1/3 Cup of Oat Milk

1 TSP of Vanilla Powder

1/2 TSP of Flor-de-sal

Instructions:

  • Spread the hazelnuts on a tray and bake it on 180ºC for about 8 minutes;
  • In the meanwhile, melt the cocoa butter in the microwave;
  • When the hazelnuts are roasted, place it in the center of a clean towel, close it and massage it for some minutes to release the skins. If you have doubts, check out this video;
  • Blitz the hazelnuts in your food processor until you obtain a butter, just like the others I posted here;
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and blitz it again;
  • Enjoy it over some pancakes;

nutella

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Kcal Breakdown:

(1 service is about 2 TBSP)

Blue – 22% Carbs

Red – 70% Fat

Green – 8% Protein

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Note: If you want some crunchiness on your spread, leave some hazelnuts on the side and add it just after the butter is ready, just like you did in the nut butter recipe.

P.S.: This recipe is not mine. It’s Emily’s from This Rawesome Vegan Life.