blueberries

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Move over nut butters and raspberry, there’s a new Queen in town!

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Blueberries and chocolate go together beautifully, and it’s time the two share the spotlight with these delicious mini Blueberry Chocolate Cups! With just 7 ingredients and under 30 minutes to make, gather the kids into the kitchen and watch how quickly the magic of this easy recipe comes together!

Blueberry Chocolate Cup

Blueberry Chocolate Cup

I love these because they’re naturally sweet, quick to make and perfect for little hands. I designed them to be a frozen treat, but you can keep them in the fridge if you prefer. The chia seeds make the inside a bit jammy, and because dates don’t harden when they freeze, you’ll always have a soft middle on these cups. Did I mention that there’s no added sugar? Score!

I’ve made this recipe with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. My personal preference is dark chocolate, but you’ll have to try them all to see what works best for you!

If you make these and post them, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and use hashtag #lalalunchbox!

Blueberry Chocolate Cup

Blueberry Chocolate Cup

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Ingredients

2 cups chocolate chips

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon neutral oil, divided

1 6 ounce container of blueberries

2 dates

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon chia

Flake salt for the top (optional)


Method

Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler with 1 tablespoon neutral oil and let it cool for 5 minutes.

Line a mini muffin tin with liners and place a small amount of chocolate in the bottom of each. This will be the bottom of the chocolate cups. Place in the freezer while you complete the next step.  

Soak the dates in warm water for 5 minutes. Remove them from the water, cut them into chunks and add to a food processor.

Add blueberries to the food processor and blend together until the large chunks have become small. Add 1 teaspoon neutral oil, vanilla and salt and process again. 

Place contents into a bowl and add chia seeds. Stir and let that rest for 5 minutes. 

Take the muffin tin out of the freezer. The chocolate should be relatively hard. Spoon some of the blueberry date mixture into each cup and top with remaining melted chocolate. Sprinkle with flake salt (optional). Place in the freezer again to set. 

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Because dates don’t freeze, the inside texture will remain soft. Makes 15 mini cups. If you’d like to keep it at 12, use the leftover blueberry date sauce on sandwiches. 

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Olive Oil Lemon Cake with Blueberries and Ricotta

olive oil lemon cake

I thought about making a pie today, in celebration of Pi Day (3/14). But truth be told, I'm not such a pie-making gal. It's the crust that intimidates me. My mom is a phenomenal pie maker. Her pies are the stuff of legend. She learned from her mom, who was also celebrated for her pies, with their perfectly balanced fruit fillings and their perfectly textured crusts. 

Not sure how or why I yearned to learn how to cook certain foods from my mom but not others. But that's how the cookie crumbled for me. So today, though I wanted to bake a pie, instead I baked a cake. 

I'm anxious for spring, so I wanted something light and fruity. Immediately I thought about an olive oil cake. I perused several recipes (like this one and this one) and then came up with my own.  

Without further ado, here's the recipe: 

ingredients

INGREDIENTS
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/3 cup +2 tablespoons olive oil (I used a very fruity evoo)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
Zest of 2 whole lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pint blueberries

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment and spray with a neutral oil.
  • Combine the ricotta, olive oil, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Don't overbeat... this can all be done by hand. 
  • In a separate bowl, add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until fully combined.
  • Next, get a clean bowl and pour in half of the batter. Add half of the blueberries to half of the batter. This will be the bottom of the cake. Pour this into your springform pan. 
  • Add the remaining batter on top of this cake and decorate with blueberries as you'd like. 
  • If you'd like to make it easier, you can combine all of the batter and all of the blueberries. This method is best if you have a design in mind for the top. 
separate half batter and half berries
top with batter

When you have finished designing your blueberry top, bake for approximately 35 minutes. the top will be slightly golden brown and the texture inside will be moist and delicious. 

olive oil cake pre-baked

Once this is finished baking, set aside to rest and cool for at least 10 minutes. It's bright and satisfying, but not too sweet. The ricotta adds depth and the lemon zest and blueberries balance out the sugar. You'll absolutely notice a change in flavor with a change of olive oil in this cake. Experiment and see what you like best! Enjoy immediately, or savor it over the course of several days (if it lasts that long!) 

olive oil cake

Olive Oil Blueberry Deliciousness

Olive Oil Blueberry cake! 

Olive Oil Blueberry cake! 

I've got a sweet tooth but funny enough, I really don't like things that are too sweet. I'm all about the hint of sweet. So when I came across this recipe from Saveur for Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit, it looked right up my alley. 

First of all, it has no dairy, which is a huge bonus for a dairy free gal like me. Second of all, I just love the flavor of olive oil desserts. I had everything on hand for this recipe and it was easy enough to whip up while my kiddos were nodding off to sleep last night. I made two changes to the original recipe – I used blueberries instead of peaches or plums, and I used a very fragrant olive oil instead of a bland and sweet variety, as the recipe called for. Yum-oh. 

I initially cut this into squares because it's such a dense, rich cake and I thought it would be best in small portions. But alas... the squares were bite sized and perfect and I just kept popping them into my mouth! So I cut larger slices to stop myself from eating the entire cake!

I had a slice for breakfast this morning, truth be told! We all need departures from the healthy norm, eh? Scroll down for the recipe as I've slightly modified it (and special thanks to Saveur for the original recipe!). 

I began with olive oil from Frankies 457 - my favorite!

I began with olive oil from Frankies 457 - my favorite!

The batter came together quickly

The batter came together quickly

Fold in the egg whites

Fold in the egg whites

Chock full of juicy blueberries! And cooked in parchment paper to reduce cleanup time.

Chock full of juicy blueberries! And cooked in parchment paper to reduce cleanup time.

More batter and more blueberries.  

More batter and more blueberries.  

Oh, sweet (not too sweet!) deliciousness. 

Oh, sweet (not too sweet!) deliciousness. 

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of fruity extra-virgin olive oil
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 pint blueberries

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x8 dish with parchment paper. 

2. Measure the sugar and place in a mixing bowl. Remove a two tablespoons of the sugar and set aside. Add the olive oil and beat with a hand mixer until combined.

3. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks to the olive oil mixture and put the whites aside. Mix in the yolks. Slowly add the flour to the olive oil mixture, making sure to mix thoroughly before adding more. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Set the batter aside. 

4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the two tablespoons of sugar that had been set aside and continue to beat. Slowly fold into the batter using a spatula.

5. Pour half the batter into the 8x8 dish. Rinse the blueberries and pat them dry. Add about 3/4 of the pint on top of the batter and pour the remainder of the batter over them. Place the remaining 1/4 pint of blueberries on top. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. 

Enjoy!