I love trying new foods so I was happy to get a small bag of some dark-purple, almost black looking fruit in my CSA box, something I had never tried before. I couldn't identify what it was at first but a Tweet or two and I had my answer (Thanks Kat!). The fruit is Jaboticaba, or also Jabuticaba, also called Jabotica, Guaperu, Guapuru, Hivapuru, Sabará and Ybapuru and sometimes referred to as the Brazilian Grape Tree. (Check out the cool pictures of the fruit growing on the tree at Wikipedia here).
Jaboticaba is a fruit-bearing tree native to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and it is usually eaten raw or made jellies, juice or wine. The white, pulpy fruit is slightly sweet, it has several seeds or pits in it, and they are supposed to be full of antioxidants. I just had a small amount of the fruit so I didn't try to make anything with them and just enjoyed eating the juicy grape-like fruit. Once I heard the name, I knew that I had heard it before and finally remembered it was a song, "Jabuticaba" by Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto.
"If I could name
A fruit for you
It would be jabuticaba
Blue, black and small
On the outside
And soft and sweet within"
(You can find the rest of the lyrics here).
Always fun to try something new and something I once wondered about from a song I heard years ago. Jaboticaba is being grown in small quantities here in Hawaii, mainly on The Big Island. Hopefully I'll see more somewhere and get to try making some jam with them.
Although I don't crave sweet breakfast foods often, usually preferring a savory morning meal, there are occasions when I want something sweet and decadent like French Toast. I love it when I can make not-so-healthy foods a bit healthier, but so they still taste delicious. For this healthier version of French toast, I used some thick leftover whole wheat bread and unsweetened vanilla rice milk, mixed in some cinnamon, more vanilla and a little ground flax seed for a dose of some Omega-3 fatty acids. Cooking it in just a bit of canola oil and topping it with a drizzle of pure maple syrup it was a delicious and dairy-free treat. Perfect with some fresh local Kula strawberries (also from my CSA box) for Sunday brunch, it was indulgent enough made me feel like I was eating something bad for me. Love that! ;-)
Healthier French Toast
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 2 servings)
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla rice milk (or almond or soy milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground flax seed
2 slices thick whole wheat or whole grain bread cut in half
1 tsp canola oil
In a wide shallow bowl mix eggs, rice milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and ground flax seed together well. Meanwhile heat a pan or griddle over medium-low heat and brush with a thin layer of canola oil. One at a time place bread slices into liquid and let them soak up egg mixture for several seconds, then turn them over and repeat. Place slices in heated pan and cook until the bottoms are lightly browned, then turn over and brown other side. Serve hot drizzled with a little pure maple syrup and accompanied by fresh fruit.
And of course for life balance ;-) I am loving me some chocolate--these Theo Chocolate bars. Based in Seattle, Theo Chocolate is proud to be the only organic, fair-trade bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the United States. I tried two of their bars--a dark chocolate & a milk chocolate. The Fig, Fennel & Almond (described as "Crunchy slivered almonds, sweet chewy figs, and a touch of fennel in rich dark chocolate. Satisfyingly delicious, and a Vegan dream come true!") and the milk chocolate Coconut Curry (described as "Milk chocolate with toasted coconut and savory curry spices."). I love the fun packaging too.
I liked them both--the chocolate is smooth and the flavors are well blended--complimenting the chocolate without being overpowering. I really like the fact that the curry leaves a spicy kick, preventing the milk chocolate from being too sweet in the Coconut Curry bar. As good as these two were, I am holding out hope of finding and trying the Bread & Chocolate bar (How awesome does this bar sound for my sweet/salty chocolate loving soul? "An innovative twist on a traditional pairing, featuring dark chocolate with buttery, toasted artisan breadcrumbs and the perfect amount of salt." Can you say Yum!?)
So these are the "Things I Am Loving This Week."