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Açaí

It is said that one becomes a bit more brazilian by eating that tiny berry. Not that you should want to become brazilian, but they are the kings of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after all. Anyways, no food has been as representative of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as the well known açaí.
The açaí berry is a small, round and black-purple fruit, similiar but much smaller than a grape. It comes from a special type of palm tree that grows in very specific rigions in the globe such as the amazon rainforest and other parts of the northern south america. The berry is normally processed into a thick juice and sold frozen all around the globe. Though in Brazil it is used in juices, candy, ice cream, smoothies and compots. The seeds are even used in jewelry and the oil and pulp in many different hygiene products. Not that surprising for a country that produces pretty much 85% of all the açaí sold around the world.
The açaí berry is a very peculiar fruit with very peculiar macros. In every 100 gr. of pure açaí it contains 13 gr. of protein and 17 gr. of fat. Quite rich for a tiny fruit. Keep it mind that these values are for the pure berry itself, so the usual frozen açaí nutritional value is quite different and varies a lot. Several studies also show that açaí berries may be the most antioxidant rich fruit on the planet.

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Thai Chickpea and Pumpkin Curry

Somewhere in a faraway summer, I worked with my friend João in a beach shack. Every sunday we used to have thai chicken curry with roasted peanuts. By that time, I was quite young, and I used to think that super hot food was for real machos.
The first time I made thai curry for my friends, me and Diogo end the up the dinner wearing nothing but boxers, the girls didn’t go further than the first bite and my friend Midário made me cook some chicken breasts for him.
The first time I made thai curry for my family, not even my father could eat. And he enjoys his piri piri sauce. The next day I took the rest of the food to my uncle’s coffee, in the Island where I’m from, and none of my father’s tough bearded friends could touch it.
Nowadays I like my food much less hot. Even Joana enjoys hotter food than me. In my opinion, when the food is too hot, you just miss all the other flavors. But I understand that in some cultures people are used to eat food so hot that they developed a higher endurance and addiction to it.
Today’s recipe is harmoniously balanced between fresh, hot and sweet. If you like spitting fire, you can always add more hot chilli peppers to it.

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Miso Soup

Miso is a traditional japanese paste obtained through the fermentation of soybeans with salt and koji (some fungus variety). It is also possible to find varieties made from fermented barley or brown rice. In Japan cuisine this paste is used to season meat, fish, prepare sauces, fillings or even soups. Like almost every oriental fermented food, it is quite salty, so you may take it easy on your salt intake when cooking with miso. On the other hand, this paste is super rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and probiotics. A true spectacle to the gut, I would say.

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Persimmon, Apricot and Banana Smoothie

This weird reddish fruit is particularly rich in tanines, specially the variety dyospiros kaki (commonly known as kaki in europe), therefore it’s astringency. In other words, when you bite one of these persimmon before fully ripened, it will feel like you licked your dog’s feet and then brushed your teeth with vine leaves. Hmmm… This may not be that easy to visualize. Let’s move on.

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Arakas me Aginares – Peas with Artichokes

Anyways, all my favorite dishes used to have one thing in common – animal protein. Yes, I am not vegan because I used to like fish or meat less than you. And no, I don’t miss it, whatever that means. But even though all the animal products had been cut out of my diet, my fascination with certain products has continued. I still love stews with beans, cabbage and sweet potato, I still like to eat my chickpeas even without any codfish and I still the biggest fan of peas. About the sardines, well, they can keep doing their thing.

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