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May 30, 2009

The Power of the Cashew

The cashew is one of those foods that I refer to as a “power food.” When eaten in moderation, great benefits can be obtained.

*The cashew nut is the product of the cashew tree, grown in parts of Africa, Asia and Brazil. Besides flavor, this nut is packed with nutritional goodness. The cashew is high in fat, like most other nuts, but the kind of fat that’s considered to be good. This kind of fat helps maintain good levels of HDL cholesterol, which promotes good cardiovascular health. Cashews contain magnesium, which prevents high blood pressure and fatigue, and copper, which has antioxidant and energizing properties. Cashews also contain some fiber and 5 grams of protein per serving (1 oz.)

Cashews are a popular health-food in North America and Europe and are often used in Asian cuisines. Cashew butter is also an option as a healthier alternative to peanut butter (but oh! how I love it anyway.)

I’m a strong believer in eating healthy and unless directed by a doctor, I don’t approve of taking vitamin pills. So because of all the great benefits of cashews, I eat them often and always keep them in the house. I eat them as a snack, mixed with some dried fruits, or use them in salads or stir-fry’s.

Cashews should be stored in an airtight container, in a cool and dry place. And remember, eat them in moderation, because they are high in calories – 155, to be exact, per ounce (that’s one handful.)

*Some info from: and

May 26, 2009

Brownies: Never Too Many

This recipe is a result of my insatiable appetite for all chocolaty things and it’s perfection.

These brownies are chewy, cakey, dense and airy all at once! The procedure of this recipe is a bit more complicated than my other brownie recipe but it is worth it, and really not that complicated anyway. I add some coffee to the chocolate because coffee really brings out its flavor – it doesn’t really make them taste like coffee.

Yield: 12


5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (block or chips are fine)

1 tsp instant coffee granules

¾ c flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

½ baking powder

2 eggs

½ c plus 1 tbs white sugar

¼ c vegetable or canola oil

Several handfuls of hazelnuts, chopped

Start by melting the chocolate with the coffee in a bain-marie/double boiler.
Like so:

(Take a medium-size pot and fill with about 2 inches of water. Bring water to boil. Put the chocolate and coffee in a glass bowl and place over boiling water. Leave the heat on medium-low and let the steam melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.) Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a square baking dish.

Combine flour, baking soda and powder and salt in bowl and set aside.

Beat the eggs with the sugar with a whisk for about a minute until it’s a pale yellow color. Then stir in the oil. Then take one tablespoon of the chocolate and stir into the eggs. Once combined, stir in the rest of the chocolate. Then add the flour by halves.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking sheet and place in oven. After the first 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle the hazelnuts over the batter and cook another 20 minutes (Total cooking time: 30 minutes.) Remove from oven and cut into squares. Cool completely and serve. Enjoy and linger <3

Sorry for the terrible quality. Bad lighting makes for bad pictures : /