Carrot Cake Muffins (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins by My Little Jar of Spices

Happy Birthday Blog! One year ago on May 6th, I was having breakfast (Baked eggs in sauteed greens to be precise) in my sunny kitchen in Brazil and said “Screw it. I’m a-starting a food blog man!”. I was terrified to fall flat on my face and have people post awful comments on my page, but I was also feeling so jealous of all the food bloggers I was following. They seemed to be having so much fun. I wanted in on that. I was already cooking so much on a daily basis and wanted to channel that into something that could also involve writing and photography which I also enjoy a lot as hobbies. I of course did not know what managing a food blog actually entailed and had no idea how addictive food blogging was about to become. It really became a true passion and pushed me to improve my cooking skills every day a little more. For the first six months, I was photographing everything I cooked and ate. Even if it looked like meat loaf gone bad. I published recipes three times a week and tracked several times a day how many visitors the blog was getting or how many new facebook likes I could score. I still do that by the way so go like the facebook page here 🙂 Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mug Muffin 2.0 (Paleo, DF, Vegan option)

Cookie Dough Mug Muffin 2.0 by My Little Jar of Spices

It’s no surprise that the most popular recipe on this blog is the paleo (and vegan) 5-minute Cookie Dough Mug Muffin that I published back in June of last year. It has gotten over 3,000 pins and is constantly at the top of the list of most viewed recipes. There’s nothing I can post that will take it down from first place. For a while, my Creamy Chicken, Cauliflower and Broccoli Bake was getting dangerously close to bumping it down and becoming number one, but the Cookie Dough Mug Muffin stuck on for dear life, showed everyone who was boss and let the Creamy Chicken Bake take second place. I’m always wondering if the next recipe I’ll publish will beat it, but nope. And to be fair to the mug muffin, it is a pretty awesome recipe, not to mention it’s adorable. It comes together in 5 minutes – preparation and cooking times combined! -, is the perfect comfort food without any added-sugar, and it tastes like cookie dough for crying out loud. Plus, it’s a single-serving recipe so it’s great for a little sweet craving without actually tempting you to go overboard like if you bake an entire batch of cookies. I should have known it was going to have that kind of mind-blowing success. The funny thing is that when I made it, I had absolutely no intention to post it on the blog. I just wanted to make a mug muffin for Freddy one rainy Sunday afternoon, adapted a  chocolate chip cookie recipe with what I could find lying around my cupboards and popped it in the microwave in a mug. It looked so cute, so I took a pretty lame picture, and it tasted so good that I ended up posting it as a recipe. Continue reading

Veggie Basil Egg Muffins

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For the past two days I’ve been travelling in the Minas Gerais region in the Center-South of Brazil as part of the field research for the paper I am writing on the inclusion of Brazilian smallholders in food chains. Minas Gerais is such a lovely region and it was the third time I was there to interview Brazilian milk producers. Aside for making some of the best cheese and coffee in Brazil, it’s also known for having some very very fine meat, so naturally every time I go to there, I have a grilled meat party going on in my plate. My research is soon coming to an end and I will definitely miss these trips to the field. One of my favorite parts of these trips are the long car drives to reach the farms where I get the occasion to study the Brazilian countryside, its agriculture and the people I see on the side of the road. Minas Gerais has these amazing earth roads that look like canvasses of bright red and orange dust, because the soil is so rich in iron and copper. I always feel much more in touch with the country on these trips than when I’m dragging my little foreign self in the monster that is São Paulo.  Continue reading

Cookie Dough Mug Muffin, gluten-free, vegan, sugar free

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See the Cookie Dough Mug Muffin version 2.0 here.

My very first blog post was for a breakfast teacup muffin recipe that could be baked in under two minutes in the microwave for instant gratification or a very quick on-the-go breakfast, a concept which people really seemed to like, sort of to my surprise as it didn’t involve any sophisticated cooking techniques and I thought I would have to put in more effort to wow readers. But then I remembered just how blown away I was when I discovered muffins could be made in a microwave: just combine ingredients in a mug, pop in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, watch it rise in child-like astonishment with your eyes glued to the microwave door (very important part of the process) and chow down. Now, whenever I feel like a quick treat or when we have people over for dinner and everyone’s munching on delicious Italian bread rolls and I’m all left out because there’s no gluten-free version for me, I just make a 5-minute salty muffin and I can join the bread feasting party with the rest of the cool kids. Freddy also loves the concept when, after a nice and fulfilling meal I lazily turn to him and ask “want a muffin for dessert?”, and he knows it means within the next five minutes. Continue reading

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Fondant Muffins… with a Playlist

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Dear friends, Happy Food Revolution Day 2013! Today is Food Revolution Day and I am on a mission to spread Jamie Oliver’s wise word. Jamie Oliver was one of the first chefs to inspire me to actually get into the kitchen and start preparing more meals from scratch. He made it seem so simple and fun, and that’s the way we all want to roll with cooking right? I especially loved how he didn’t bother with the time-consuming process of taking a spoon and fork to gently toss a salad with olive oil, and would go directly into the bowl with his hands all the while saying “look at these lover-ly colors! Just beauuutiful!”. Smart man. Continue reading

Breakfast teacup muffin (gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free)

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Welcome to the very first post of My little jar of spices! I’m so honored to have you here and I hope these recipes will spark your interest to play around with alternative ingredients and venture into grain-free recipes. Now don’t get all upset by the X-free adjectives in the title, while I like to make nutritional information available about the recipes posted here, it doesn’t mean you can’t tweak them to your liking or that sugar free = no taste. Remember, there are spices involved here! I will probably go into detail on my eating choices some other time, but today I want to talk about two ingredients that have really made their way into my food in the past months and that are the core of this-here recipe: flaxseed meal and chia seed. Continue reading