Vegan strawberry and coconut Cupcakes (Cupcakes veganos de morango e coco)

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A delicious recipe for Vegan strawberry and coconut Cupcakes.

This vegan strawberry and coconut cupcakes that are perfectly tender and moist for a fresh, healthy and seasonal treat.

  • 350g flour
  • 45g coconut oil
  • 30g grated coconut
  • 200g strawberries
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk (or other)
  • 40g brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 50g strawberries to cut into large or medium pieces depending on if you want big juicy pieces or not.

Beat the flour, sugar, coconut oil and desiccated coconut. Add the strawberries milk and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the baking soda and mix, fold in the strawberries.

Spoon batter into silicone cupcake liners. Bake at 180° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.

I hope you enjoy them!

PT: Cupcakes veganos de morango e côco
  • 350g farinha
  • 45g óleo de coco
  • 30g coco ralado
  • 200g morangos
  • 3 c. sopa leite de coco (ou outro)
  • 40g açúcar mascavado
  • 1 c. sopa fermento
  • 50g morangos cortados em pedaços médios para envolver na massa.

Misturar bem a farinha, o açúcar, o óleo de coco e o coco ralado. Adicionar os morangos e o leite e bater até que a mistura fique homogênea. Acrescentar o fermento bater e envolver cuidadosamente os pedacinhos de morango.
Despejar a mistura em formas pequenas de silicone e levar ao forno por cerca de 15 minutos a 180ºC.

Espero que gostem!

Roasted Orange Vegetables (vegetais laranja assados)

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Roasted Orange Vegetables

This is a mixture of squash, carrots and sweet potatoes roasted in the oven, tossed in a maple syrup glaze.

  • 1  small butternut squash, seeded peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Preheat your oven to 200ºC. Mix together the olive oil, syrup and cumin seeds in a small bowl. (Add the cinnamon at this point if you want a more exotic flavour)

Spread the vegetables out on the oven tray in a single layer. Drizzle the olive oil mixture over the top, use your hands to toss the vegetables around to evenly coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Roast for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender and starting to caramelize. Sprinkle with coriander finely chopped.

PT:  vegetais laranja assados 

Esta é uma mistura de abóbora, cenouras e batatas-doces assadas no forno com xarope de acér.

  • 1 abóbora pequena, sem sementes, descascadas e cortadas em cubos de 1cm
  • 2cenouras, descascadas e cortadas em cubos de 1cm
  • 2  batatas-doces, descascadas e cortadas em cubos de 1cm
  • 2c. sopa de azeite
  • 2 c. sopa de xarope de acér
  • Sal e pimenta a gosto
  • 3 c. sopa de coentros fresco
  • 1/2colher de sopa de sementes de cominho
  • 1/2 colher de chá de canela em pó (opcional)

Pré-aquecer o forno a 200C. Misturar o azeite, o xarope de acér e as sementes de cominho numa tigela pequena. (Adicione a canela neste momento, para um toque mais exótico).

Espalhar os legumes no tabuleiro numa única camada. Regar com a mistura de azeite por cimas envolver com as mãos. Temperar a gosto com sal e pimenta.

Assar por 40 minutos ou até que os vegetais estejam macios e comecem a caramelizar. Polvilhe com coentros finamente cortados.

Raw Vegan nutty Bars (barrinhas de frutos secos)

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This Raw Vegan nutty Bars are just delicious <3, they are incredibly healthy and easy to make.

Be careful, they are delicious, chewy, crunchy and extremely addictive 🙂

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1cup dates
  • 1/3cup flaxseeds
  • 1/3 cup mixed nuts – (walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts,..)
  • 1/3cup cashew milk (soy, oat, rice, hemp,…)
  • 1 tbs raisins
  • 1tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds

Put the flaxseeds in a food processor and transform it in flour. Add the dates, milk, cocoa, and process until smooth.

Combine now all the other ingredients without process them completely.

If the mixture is not coming together, add a tablespoon or two of milk.

Press the dough into a baking dish, or free hand shape it and cut into squares.

Enjoy right away or save for later!

Note: don’t panic if you don’t have all the ingredients, just be creative 😀 and use whatever you have at home!!

Here are some ideas:  dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, peanuts, coconut flakes, cranberries, dried pineapple,  figs, protein powder, chia seeds, spices, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee, almond extract, orange extract,  lemon zest.

PT: barrinhas de frutos secos

Estas barrinhas são super deliciosas <3,  incrivelmente saudáveis ​​e fáceis de fazer.

  • 1caneca de aveia
  • 1 caneca de tâmaras
  • 1/3caneca de sementes de linhaça
  • 1/3 caneca de frutos secos (nozes, amêndoas, caju, avelãs, ..)
  • 1/3caneca de leite de caju (soja, aveia, arroz, cânhamo, …)
  • 1 c. de sopa de passas
  • 1c. de sopa de cacau em pó
  • 1/4 caneca de côco ralado
  • 2 c. de sopa sementes de sésamo

Colocar as sementes de linhaça num processador de alimentos e triturar até que fique em farinha. Adicionar as tâmaras, o leite, o cacau e processar até que fique homogêneo.
Combinar depois todos os outros ingredientes e pulsar minimamente até que fique tudo combinado mas não completamente desfeito.
Adicionar uma ou duas colheres leite se for necessário para unir melhor a massa.
Pressionar a massa numa forma  ou moldar à mão e cortar aos quadrados.Desfrutar imediatamente ou guardar para mais tarde!Nota: não há necessidade de entrar em pânico se não tiveres todos os ingredientes, apenas sê criativo 😀 e usa o que tiveres em casa!
Aqui estão algumas idéias: damascos secos, sementes de abóbora, sementes de girassol, pistácios, amendoim, flocos de coco, cerejas secas, abacaxi desidratado, figos, proteína em pó, chia , especiarias, gengibre, canela, noz-moscada, café, raspas de limão, etc..

Raw Vegan oat balls (bolinhas veganas de aveia)

Raw Vegan oat balls.jpg

Raw vegan oat balls

I’m really excited about this raw bliss balls that I made with oats today!  They are deliciously easy, and really healthy.

(Prep Time 10 mins –  approx. 10 balls)

  • 1 cup oats
  • 3 tbs desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup dates, (soaked in 1/2 cup water if needed)
  • 4 tbsp water (use the water your dates were soaked in)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. If the mixture is not sticky enough add more water or a couple of extra dates. Roll the dough into balls. Stores in the fridge.

PT – bolinhas veganas de aveia

Eu estou super contente com este snack que fiz hoje com aveia.São deliciosamente fácies, e muito saudáveis.

(Tempo de preparação 10 minutos –  aprox. 10 bolas)

  • 1 caneca de aveia
  • 3 colheres de sopa de coco ralado
  • 1/2 caneca de tâmaras, (demolhadas em 1/2 caneca de água se necessário)
  • 4 colheres de sopa de água (usar a água das tâmaras)
  • 2 c. sopa cacau em pó
  • 1 c. sopa  de sementes de linhaça
  • 1 c. de chá de essência de baunilha (opcional)

Misturar todos os ingredientes num processador de alimentos. Se a mistura não ficar pegajosa o suficiente adicionar mais água ou tâmaras. Moldar em  pequenas bolas. Conservar no frigorífico.

Checking the effects of a vegan diet on my health

If you follow a plant-based diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, tubers, legumes nuts and seeds, your chances of having any deficiency are extremely small. I would even say that you are more than likely getting far more vitamins and minerals than you were on an animal-based diet.

You will most probably feel great and be functioning at optimum, but because is better safe than sorry, despite the clear benefits of having a plant-based diet I still think that getting a blood test done its a good idea and that is why I’ve done mine.

When I lived in Portugal, as normal practice the doctors requested blood tests once a year, since a moved to another country, that’s not true anymore. GP’s are not really keen to give blood tests, so I decided to try one of Thriva‘s kits, that are an at-home blood test that are done with a simple finger-prick blood test. (use the code CTB50 to get 50% off on your first baseline or advanced kit)

Advanced subscription provides a checkup for signs of heart disease, liver disease and diabetes. Plus a look at four key nutrients required for optimal health, Vitamin D, Iron Profile, B12 (Total) and Folate.

After my order, I received my kit in the post pretty quickly. Inside the small box, there was everything I needed to do my test, including instructions 🙂 what was not inside the box was courage .. despite having no problems with needles, it was really hard for me to pierce my own finger 😅

thriva test

If you don’t have cold feet like I had the process can be done very quickly. Once I finished collecting the blood, I just went to the post office that is literary next door to my house and had it post it.

After just 1 day I received my results back and a personalised report, and I couldn’t be happier to find out that everything is fine, from the liver function, cholesterol, vitamin D, B12, iron, B9, Proteins and HbA1c.

The report was presented in a really smart and visual way, it was easy to read and understand, plus it was full of important tips and information. They also added some specific recommendations knowing that I have a vegan diet.

Overall I loved the experience and the fact that you can check your blood frequently without any fuss. It’s also useful to do it a few months before embarking in any long travel trip, making sure you have robust health. If you think you would benefit from having your blood tested you can use the code CTB50 to get 50% off on your first baseline or advanced kit.

Without wanting to get political the only thing that I didn’t really like was the company slogan “Take control of your health” for me that has scary resemblances with the Brexit campaign slogan ‘Take Back Control’. This doesn’t make the product bad just shows some lack of taste from the marketing team 🙂

*although I’m talking about a specific product I’m not being paid to write this article neither will get any compensation if you make a purchase*

Vegan mushroom and squash risotto (risoto vegano de cogumelos e abobora)

Vegan risotto with mushrooms and butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 600g mushrooms sliced
  • 1cup risotto rice
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 
  • 250g butternut squash sliced into small cubes
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • fresh parsley to serve
  • salt, pepper, onion powder to taste
  • vegan parmesan cheese to taste
Boil the butternut squash for till soft and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the garlic and cook on a medium-low heat until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2- 3 minutes.
Then add the rice and seasoning and stir for 2 minutes, add the vinegar and stir.
Add the stock slowly and let it simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes, adding more hot water, if necessary.
When the rice is nearly cooked add the butternut squash.
Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, as needed.
Stir in the nutritional yeast and parmesan cheese through the finished risotto.

Serve with parsley and cheese on top.

Vegan mushroom and squash risotto

PT:
Risoto vegano de cogumelos e abobora
  • 2 colheres de sopa de azeite
  • 6 dentes de alho picados
  • 600g cogumelos fatiados
  • 1caneca de arroz risotto
  • 1 caneca de caldo de legumes ou água
  • 2 c. de sopa de vinagre de vinho branco
  • 250g de abóbora manteiga cortada em pequenos cubos
  • 4 colheres de sopa de levedura nutricional
  • salsa fresca para servir
  • sal, pimenta, cebola em pó a gosto
  • queijo parmesão vegano a gosto

Cozer os cubinhos de abóbora até que estejam macios e reservar.
Aquecer o azeite numa panela grande, refogar o alho em lume médio-baixo até que esteja macio. Adicionar os cogumelos e cozinhar por mais 2 a 3 minutos.
Acrescentar o arroz e os temperos e mexer por 2 minutos e adicionar o vinagre e envolver.
De seguida, adicionar o caldo de legumes/água lentamente e deixar cozinhar por aproximadamente 20 a 30 minutos. Colocar mais água quente, se necessário.
Quando o arroz estiver quase cozido, adicionar a abóbora.
Provar e adicionar mais sal e / ou pimenta, se necessário.
Acrescentar a levedura nutricional e o queijo parmesão quando o risoto estiver no ponto.
Sirvir com salsa e queijo por cima.

Traditional farming village of Pejeng _ Bali

The Pejeng village is located in the Petanu River valley in the island of Bali, 5 km outside the buzzing town of Ubud. Is rural area with extensive, and ancient, irrigated rice cultivation.

The village is surrounded by beautiful rice fields and has 44 temples and a museum called Arca. The temples didn’t really impress me as much as others on the island. Although it was nice to explore this untouristed traditional farming village and take part in the daily Balinese life.

One of the most famous things they have in Pejeng is the Moon of Pejeng a bronze kettledrum believed to be the largest bronze-age antiquity in the world. The bronze kettledrum is in the Pura Penataran Sasih (to the right off the main road from Bedulu).

This town has a lively morning market and a night market and plenty of Warungs to taste vegan Balinese and Indonesian food.

Pejeng is also a Wildlife Sanctuary and a great place for birdwatchers.

How to get there: you can easily bike from Ubud to Pejeng, or rent a scooter (~Rp.60,000 $4 day).

Entrance Fee: temples and museum have admission by donation

Dress Code: Sarong is required to enter the temples.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

Pesto & Nuts puff pastry (folhado recheado com pesto e nozes)

Pesto & Nuts puff pastry (folhado recheado com pesto e nozes) vegan

Pesto & Nuts puff pastry

This recipe is great for when you have guest, It’s really easy, quick and delicious, and of course doesn’t need to be in a christmas tree shape.

  • 2 sheets vegan puff pastry
  • Pesto (red or green) (quantity optional/depends on the size of the pastry) (🌱recipe here)
  • Nuts – chopped (quantity optional/depends on the size of the pastry)

Cut out the shape you want, spread the pesto onto one sheet of pastry and add the chopped nuts. Cover with the 2nd sheet. Cut  and twirl the branches.

Brush with a vegetal milk or olive oil for extra shine (optional)

Bake in the oven at 200ºC for 10-15 minutes.

Note: You can make this recipe with lots of other fillings, like jam, chocolate, peanut butter, custard, apple, lemon curd..

PT:
Folhado recheado com pesto e nozes

Esta é uma optima receita para quando se têm convidados em casa, é fácil, rápido e delicioso, e claro que não precisa de ser em forma de árvore de Natal 🙂

  • 2 folhas de massa folhada vegana
  • Pesto (vermelho ou verde) (quantidade opcional/depende do tamanho da massa) (🌱receita)
  • Nozes picadas (quantidade opcional/depende do tamanho da massa) 

Cortar  na forma pretendida, espalhar o pesto numa das folha de massa  folhada e adicionar as nozes picadas. Cobrir com a 2ª folha. Cortar e torcer os ramos.

Pincelar com leite vegetal ou azeite para brilho extra (opcional)

Levar ao  forno a 200C por 10-15 minutos.

Nota: Pode-se fazer esta receita com muitos outros recheios, como doces, chocolate, manteiga de amendoim, leite creme, maça, creme de limão, etc..

Vegan Sweet Pasta with spices (Aletria vegana com especiarias)

Aletria, is a Portuguese dessert made with angel hair pasta. This recipe is my vegan version of the traditional one.

Hope you try my recipe of vegan Sweet Pasta with spices.

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  • 250g Vermicelli/ angel hair pasta
  • 1l any vegetable milk
  • peel of 1 small lemon (just yellow part)
  • 150g of dark sugar
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 3 Indian Carnations
  • 1/2 anise flower
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • cinnamon powder or sesame seeds (to decorate)
  • pinch of curcuma to give yellow color

In a saucepan, pour the milk, lemon peel, sugar and all the spices over low medium heat and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
Then add the angel hair pasta and let it cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add more sugar or milk if needed.

Remove the lemon peel and spices and pour it on a dish to serve.

Cover with cinnamon powder or sesame seeds.

PT:
  • 250g de aletria
  • 1l de leite vegetal à escolha
  • casca de 1 limão pequeno (só parte amarela)
  • 150 g de açúcar amarelo
  • 4 cardamomos
  • 3 cravos da india
  • 1/2 flor de anis
  • 1 pitada de noz moscada
  • 1 pau de canela
  • canela em pó (para decorar)
  • pitada de curcuma para dar cor amarela (opcional)
Levar o leite ao lume com as cascas de limão, especiarias e açúcar e deixar ferver em lume brando por 3 a 5 minutos. Adicionar a massa, e deixar cozer cerca de 3 minutos, mexendo sempre.
Adicionar mais leite e açúcar se necessário.
Retirar as cascas de limão e as especiarias, transferir para uma travessa e polvilhar com canela.

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Tirta Empul, the temple of purification _ Bali

Tirta Empul is a temple complex and a holy mountain spring, located in the village of Manukaya in central Bali. It’s perfect to visit as a day out from Ubud. The village is a 30-minute drive from Ubud (approximately 15 Km~9 miles).

The temple was founded around a naturally occurring spring (Tirta Empul meaning Holy Spring) and is over a thousand years old. This temple is dedicated to Vishnu, who is the Hindu god of water.

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Tirta Empul was discovered in AD 962 and believed to have magical powers, the holy springs here bubble up into a large, crystal-clear pool. The spring feeds various purification baths, pools and fish ponds, which all flow to the Tukad Pakerisan River.

 

Hindu worshippers stand in the pools waiting to dip their heads under the water spouts in a purification ritual known as ‘melukat’. The water in the pools is believed to have magical powers and local Balinese come here to purify themselves.

 

Visitors are welcome to take part in this self-cleaning process. Just bring a towel and a change of clothes if you want to take part in the purification ceremony.

Behind the purification pools, is the ‘inner courtyard’ the place where people go to pray.

 

How to get there: the best way is the rent a scooter (~Rp.60,000 $4 day) the journey is very pleasant and beautiful through lush green rice fields and coconut trees.

Entrance Fee: Rp15,000/ adult ($1) and Rp.2,000 ($0.13) to park your scooter

Dress Code: Sarong is required to enter the temple as parts of the site are considered holy. Sarongs are available at the temple’s entrance to be and can be rented for a small donation.

Other information: 

There are lockers and a changing area available, and women should wear a shirt, preferably one that covers the shoulders.

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🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha