Brazilian Love Green Smoothie (Vegan)

Brazilian Love Green Smoothie by My Little Jar of Spices
Ugh, green smoothies. Like what’s new, right? So how about some Brazilian love, exotic fruit and samba grooves to welcome Spring and reboot your green smoothie routine? I just spent a week in Brazil visiting friends and working long-distance, and I had forgotten just how amazing the options of available fresh fruit juices and smoothies was there! Papaya and mango are like currency in this country, and forget about the insane amount of fruit you can squeeze into your happy hour Caipirinhas, from acerola to pineapple, passion fruit and cashew fruit. And man did I drink the life out of all the coconuts while I was there. I used to buy a fresh green coconut every day from a street vendor by my house who would crack it open with an actual machete and sip on it on my way to classes. Ah heaven. And just in general, I realized going back how much I had underestimated Brazil’s level of development when I lived there. I suppose I needed to go live in Peru to actually appreciate the level of comfort and the modernity of services available in Sao Paulo. I almost cried when I jumped into a taxi with a GPS or opened a restaurant menu with an actual salad section. It was really nice to go back for a few days. Now I’m in Lima for a week before going back to Cajamarca, which is cool because I never really got to discover Lima. I have been to Lima a few times but I always passed by for a couple of days or less when travelling to somewhere else and never had time to discover it though I know it’s an amazing city.

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‘Tigrillo’ Ecuadorian Plantain, Cheese & Egg Scramble

'Tigrillo' Ecuadorian Plantain, Cheese and Egg Scramble by My Little Jar of Spices

It’s Sunday night and I’m currently listening to a good old American country song by the very, very, very smoochable Luke Bryan that goes “It’s homemade peach ice cream on sunburnt lips, that’s what country is”. I just thought I’d share the wise word with all of you, I mean I’m sure you too were wondering what country music was. Ladies, seriously, click on the link above. Anywho, on to this recipe. Continue reading

Fudgy Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread with Pecan Streusel

Decadent, Fudgy, Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread with Pecan Streusel by My Little Jar of Spices

This bread is AM-AZING, I just couldn’t wait to tell you. Oh-so perfectly moist banana bread with a decadent dark chocolate batter delicately swirled in and a caramelized pecan streusel sprinkled on the top. Oh my, look at that I’ve salivated all over my keyboard. I like long, extravagant recipe titles so this sounds more complicated than it actually is, trust me. The first time I had banana bread when I was a child was when we lived in New York, and my mom bought this divine banana walnut loaf, and I remember thinking that I had never eaten banana that way before but somebody was definitely on to something. Shortly after that, we moved back to France and that put an end to that – in fact we didn’t have oreos, pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, donuts, and lots of other American goods in France in the early 2000s. So nicely sheltered from the mass food industry as we swam in a sea of artisan-made cheese, cured meats and crudités. Anyways, when they started opening Starbucks coffee shops in Paris, I was pretty happy to rediscover banana bread and even set out to learn to make my own recipe. And then I stopped eating gluten. And THAT put an end to that, and a lot of the above-mentioned.

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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

Pumpkin Scones (grain-free, Paleo)

Pumpkin Scones by My Little Jar of Spices
Everyone’s celebrating Thanksgiving and making pumpkin pie and leftover Turkey sandwiches, getting into the Winter holidays spirit with mulled cider and hot cocoa, baking Christmas cookies and lighting their chimneys…. and I’m sleeping in the starfish position in my bed without the sheets on because it’s getting hotter and hotter around here. Aah yes, Summer is upon us in Brazil. And it just feels awkward when I’m strolling down São Paulo’s big Paulista Avenue with my flip flops and sunglasses on and there’s a gigantic inflated Snowman standing there with a scarf on and Santa Clause’s just cruising along with his reindeer pals. It just feels… wrong. Continue reading

Paleo Morning Porridge

Grain-Free Morning Porridge by My Little Jar of Spices

This is the recipe that I have wanted to post the most on this blog since the beginning because it is truly the first recipe that I appropriated and made my own after I eliminated gluten from my diet. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to post it. I’ve recommended it to many friends who have asked me advice on what to have for breakfast that was not eggs and bacon on a paleo diet. Since I myself am not much of an eggs and bacon kind of gal, this porridge recipe has been a go-to breakfast for me for the last year. I love oatmeal, especially the way my mom would make it for our lazy Sunday afternoon snacks when I was a kid: with raisins, a dash of cinnamon, and topped with a pat of butter that melts into the cooked oats and some maple syrup. Jeez louise goddammit. Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I were 13 all over again when I think of those moments. Without the acne and awkward braces that is. Continue reading

Apple Spice and Maple Scones (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

Apple Spice and Maple Scones
I’m SO excited! Think 5-year-old-on-Christmas-morning-with-ADD-and-a-sugar-high excited. And in fact, Christmas came early. My package from Vitacost finally arrived!! Let me rewind a little. On August 28th, exactly 45 days ago, I placed a big order on Vitacost.com for a couple of things I absolutely can’t find in Brazil. Roasted almond butter, Rapunzel organic vegetable broth, raw 100% cacao nibs (weird for such a big cacao producer like Brazil), Chicory root coffee, Green Chai Yogi Tea (I finally have my Yogi Tea sayings of the day back!). Yes, it was a little out of my budget and the shipment was almost as much as the total value of the products, but I decided to not guilt-trip myself over it, after all I’ve worked hard and deserve to indulge a little. Plus, it’s not like I’m buying an umpteenth pair of shoes, I’m paying for healthy stuff here.  Continue reading

Pumpkin and Chestnut Bread (Nut-free option)

Pumpkin Chestnut Bread
So it’s pumpkin season for everybody… except me. It’s amazing how following the whole food blogging community really gives you the feeling of being in sync with the seasons. In December, everyone is about chocolate and holiday foods. From May to July, everyone is posting recipes with berries. In August, you just know it’s time for peaches. Come September, there’s a friggin’ pumpkin epidemic falling upon the world. That is, in Brazil of course. When everyone was barbecuing and having coleslaw in their backyards this summer, the only thing I wanted to have was a huge bowl of chicken soup with the temperatures nearing 6°C in São Paulo. It’s a bummer being in the opposite hemisphere when you blog about food. Australians can join me on this. Now that everyone is on the soup page and making pumpkin-everything, Summer is coming here and I just want an ice cold fizzy drink and a light salad for lunch.  Continue reading

Coconut Milk and Sesame Seed Bread Rolls (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free)

Coconut milk and sesame seed bread rolls

I’ve been experimenting more with bread rolls in the bread department than actual bread loaves over these past months. Partly because for the past months I had to cook (painfully) with a teeny-itty-bitty-tiny oven that none of my bread molds could fit in! Despair! But I discovered other gluten-free bread making techniques that involved making buns instead of loaves. One of the good things is that I got to play around with new binders that I didn’t use a lot before, such as arrowroot, which gives a firm, compact and crispy bread – perfect for making biscuits – or psyllium. Continue reading

Curried Squash and Bacon Pancakes

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I love breakfast, nay, I worship breakfast time. In my family we always took the time to eat breakfast in the morning, even if that meant getting up earlier than most people would before heading off to work or school. I’ve never been a breakfast-on-the-go kind of person. What’s the pleasure in eating a cold muffin walking down the street while balancing a to-go cup of coffee in the other hand, all the while crumbs are sticking to your face and falling all over your clothes, your cellphone rings, you go in your bag to reach for it and in that fateful moment, you DROP your sad excuse for a breakfast on the sidewalk… I won’t venture to guess whether you crawl to your knees to pick it up or not, what happens after that is between every man and his conscience. Either way, no thanks. And I never understood people who never ate breakfast. Why skip that blissful moment when you’re still waking up, birds are chirping outside (or rain is pouring – does it matter what’s happening outside?), you’re sipping on a warm cup of coffee and you sit down to a plate of hearty morning goodness. Yes please! Continue reading