Informative

Fruit Salad Tuesday

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Us Brazilians LOVE our fruits!!! We have many exotic kinds of fruits that are endemic to our shores, and we love cooking with them. Now fruit salads are a great way to combine various fruits and create a meal that’s not only healthy but also high in fiber. The consumption of this fruit mix can bring a number of health benefits, as well as being tasty and refreshing. With that in mind, I decided to write about the benefits of eating fruit salad daily. 🙂

Protection Against Premature Aging

Fruits have an antioxidant action, which helps fight the free radicals responsible for premature aging. Also, they are natural sources of vitamins A, C and E, which also protect against cell aging.

Fighting Stress and Depression

Those who suffer from depression and anxiety usually have vitamin C and A deficiencies, but those vitamins can be found in fruits such as orange, mango and banana.

Kills Cellulite and Stops Liquid Retention

Cellulite is the result of water and toxins retention in the cells. Fruits like apple and pineapple work in the prevention of such retention, because they have enzymes of anti-inflammatory and diuretic action.

Aids on the Overall Good Functioning of your Body

Fruits have vitamins, minerals, fibers and carbohydrates indispensable for the health of the body and good functioning of the Digestive system.

It’s a Healthy and Low-calorie option.

In order to satisfy your desire to eat sweets, eating fruit salad is a really good option, since it’s nutrient packed, balanced and low-calorie.

A cup of approximately 250 grams contains on average 131 calories.

TIP: Choose healthy toppings such as fruit juice (orange juice is my favourite), honey, flaxseed, yogurt, oats and granola, which, in addition to having few calories, help make your fruit salad much more nutritious .
Drinks, recipes

A lemony Sunday

caipirinha-thumbnailSummer is coming and we all love sipping our colourful cocktails while basking in the sun, am I wrong? Well, so what better way to spend this sunny weekend than with Brazil’s most loved drink?

Shall we talk a little bit about it’s origin? Ok, let’s do it!

“Caipirinha” is the diminutive of the word “caipira”, which means “a person from the country side”. This deliciously refreshing drink’s origin is debatable, but most people believe it was invented in São Paulo’s countryside.
Being a relatively cheap and easy drink to make, it quickly spread throughout the whole country and it has become our most traditional cocktail. It’s popular amongst all ages (18+, obviously. Hehehe.), social classes and regions, and it sells more than water during the summer months. I’m not joking!

It’s not hard to understand why caipirinha is Brazil’s most popular cocktail! It’s citrusy with a mellow sweetness and it is incredibly refreshing. What may not be too easy is its pronunciation, but I’ll try to help you out so you can start saying it with confidence. Caipirinha sounds like kai-pee-reen-ya. Cachaça (the sugar cane spirit it’s made with) sounds like ka-shah-sah.

Got it? 🙂

Well, don’t worry too much about it — the recipe is really the easy part.

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recipes, Side Dishes

A starchy start.

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the fifth-largest country in the world.

Because of its size, it’s a country made up of many different cultures. Each region (south, southeast, northeast, north and mid-west) has different cuisine styles and flavours and they’re each very particular and amazing.

When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil in 1500, they brought their tastes, ingredients and cooking styles with them. They brought us cane sugar, fruits such as lime and orange, and many other spices and ingredients that are still used in most brazilian recipes. Other people that settled in Brazil – for different circumstances – bringing their culture were Africans, Italians, Japanese, Arabs, and Germans, and each of these groups brought along their own style of cooking and ingredients, making our cuisine so much richer and more interesting.

But just for today, let’s not talk too much about the European or Japanese influence on our food culture. On this post I want to talk about those who were living in our lands long before the Europeans arrived: The Tupí.

They were one of the biggest and most important indigenous peoples that lived in Brazil when the Portuguese first arrived there. In 1500, their population was estimated at 1 million people, nearly equal to the population of Portugal at the time. Back then, they were already masters at planting and cooking manioc (a root vegetable like a potato) in many different ways, being its flour their substitute for bread. They squeezed this grated manioc with a cylinder made out of straw (tipiti), separating the liquid from the dough.

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Well, and it’s from manioc that one of our most beloved and traditional foods come: Farofa! The origin of Farofa is debatable and most historians believe that it dates back from the colonial period, when the African slaves first arrived in Brazil in Portuguese ships. They took advantage of the fact that manioc was widely available in the country and came up with this amazing recipe using only a few ingredients. It’s a very simple but scrumptious dish, made using ground manioc, which looks similar to fine breadcrumbs. We also love to eat manioc flour toasted in a little oil or butter and sprinkled over rice, beans, meat, and fish.

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There are so many different variations of how to cook this dish, though. In certain regions (especially north and northeast), people like to use plantain as one of the main ingredients of their farofa. Where I come from, Rio de Janeiro, we use thin bacon bits, lots of garlic, onion and eggs. My favourite variation is definitely the latter, and it’s the one I’ll teach you how to make today!

(You could make this a vegetarian recipe by substituting butter by margarine or olive oil and taking out the bacon and eggs and adding plantain instead.)

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So, are you ready to learn how to make delicious farofa and impress your friends?

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