Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Things I Am Loving This Week

It's Tuesday and time for another edition of the "Things I Am Loving This Week"--those (mostly) food-related things I am enjoying and want to share.

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 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla rice milk (or almond or soy milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
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."

How about you? What kind of things are you loving right now?


  1. yummy list! glad I was able to help decipher the mystery fruit :)

  2. I'm loving what you're loving!

  3. Yeah you should hold out for that bread and chocolate bar. I think it's going to take the cake.

    Those little berries are so interesting! Never heard of them!

  4. I have heard of jaboticaba but I had no idea what they looked like!

    The fig & fennel chocolate sounds gorgeous. I had some fig & fennel paste with cheese recently and i decided that it was a perfect combination.

  5. I haven't heard of jaboticaba before, how neat!

  6. WOW! I have never heard of Jaboticaba before today, but something about it just looks so good!!!

  7. Another great list of things we probably wouldn't know about if it weren't for you. Today I'm loving sunshine which I know isn't the response you wanted:-). We have glorious skies today after a long stretch of gray and rain. Very nice!

  8. This is one of the best parts of Spring is all of the wonderful fruits in the CSA box! How intriguing to have those black and blue berries! What I would do to try them!

  9. Oh Debin...jaboticaba...I love this little fruits and I cannot find in Los Angeles area...we used to eat a lot of them :-)

  10. How fun to receive something so unique in your CSA box. I agree with Joanne. The bread and chocolate bar is going to take the cake. It sounds delicious.
    Your french toast sounds wonderful!

  11. I have several Jaboticaba bushes, but they've yet to produce any fruit. Occasionally though, friends give me theirs or I pick some up at the farmer's market. Kind of like grapes, but with a thicker skin, they're good eaten out of hand, and make a really nice wine.

  12. What am I loving right now? I'm loving your blog.

    Those fruit look amazing. I've never heard of them and the Wiki pics showing how they grow on the trunk of the tree are extraordinary.

    I admire you for making French Toast a bit healthier - when I get around to French toast, which I adore,I completely throw caution to the wind!

    Love the sound of that fig, fennel & almond chocolate. Haven't seen that brand here, but if it was that flavour would be so up my alley.


  13. I love reading about fruits I didn't know about.

  14. Kat--you rock! Thanks again--I may have never figured it out. ;-)

    Pam--thanks! ;-)

    Joanne--yep--I will find it some day!

    Foodycat--fig and fennel is an amazing combo.

    Natasha--it is always fun to try something new. ;-)

    Jenn--it is good--very grape-like.

    Mary--sunshine is a perfect answer!

    Christine--I was excited to try them too. ;-)

    Juliana--this was my first time trying them--I can see why you like them. ;-)


    Claudia--I would love to try the wine after having these--I bet it is delicious! ;-)

    Sue--thanks! I think there is room for decadent French Toast sometimes too! ;-)

    Andreas--thanks! ;-)

  15. I've been looking forward to this post. I'm guessing with a fruit like that you wouldn't want to play much and just enjoy it as is. Kind of like grapes to me: wine, jam, but I don't think they should stray too far from their origins.

    Fig & fennel chocolate? Outstanding!

  16. Beautiful Jabuticaba pictures. Jabuticabas are known more in Brazil. They are also known as the Brazilian Grape Tree, because of their somewhat close resemblance to grapes. The taste is different thought.


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