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Breakfast/ Quick n Healthy/ Smoothie

Berrylicious Power Smoothie

Here is a cool way to give your body what it needs: Toss a few specific, nutrient-dense ingredients in a blender, press “high”, pour into a glass and drink up. Bona fide smoothies, that flower the early health food movement, are a far cry form today’s heavily sweetened concoctions that certain coffee shops have popularized. Resurrect the original smoothie concept and stay satisfied for hours -using rediscovered “superfoods” like anti-oxidant rich cocoa powder or protein-and omega laden chia or hemp seeds.

This every day protein smoothie is not-too-sweet yet satiating and rich in anti-oxidants. Use your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk such as almond / cashew / coconut or soy milk. Blend it with a well ripe fresh banana and handful of berries.  Add whey protein powder for extra punch and chia or hemp seeds for healthy fats. Berrylicious Protein Smoothie

 

Berrylicious Power Smoothie

Berrylicious Power Smoothie

Everyday breakfast smoothie!

Instructions:

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 fresh or frozen ripe banana
1/2 cup your favorite berries
1 serving of Whey protein powder
1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds or both
1 date soaked in water overnight (for more sweetness, optional) or 1 tbsp Honey

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend on high.

Enjoy your vegan power packed breakfast smoothie!

Desserts/ Festival Special/ Maharashtrian/ Smoothie/ South Indian

Moogachi Kheer / Parippu Kanji – A Festive Lentil and Jaggery Porridge

A healthy festive drink!

Last Monday we celebrated Akshay Trutiya, a religious occasion which calls for a sweet treat. “Akshay” means the never diminishing in Sanskrit and this day falls on the third Tithi (Lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of the Indian month of Vaishakha and one of the 3 and 1/2 “the most auspicious days” or also known as “Sade-Teen Muhurt” considered by Hindus. It’s believed that Akshay Trutiya was the day when Lord Ganesha started writing epic Mahabharata to Ved Vyasa’s dictation. It’s considered auspicious to start a new venture or a new job, buy new property and jewelry too.

Every year my aajji used to celebrate Akshay trutiya by buying a gold coin and visiting the Vishnu temple. And I used to wait for her to come back so that I could get the prasad – the sweets! She tried making new sweets every time and this Moong Kheer (Porridge) was one of those innumerable treats I have had from her. Parippu Kanji

Traditionally it’s served warm but I like it chilled too. A very simple lentil kheer with just over 3 ingredients. Easy to make yet rates quite high on healthy spectrum which is quite unusual for an Indian sweet.Here is what you need.

Moogachi Kheer

Moogachi Kheer

A festive healthy drink!  the two words fit in one sentence quite rarely!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Lightly toast the moong dal with some ghee in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Do not let them turn brown. You should be able smell their nutty aroma.Toasted Moong Dal
  2. Add one cup of water to moong dal and pressure cook it for 2 whistels. They should be well cooked with very little water left in your cooking pot. It will have soft and smushy texture.
  3. Meanwhile, add jaggery in 1/2 cup water an dlet it dissolve completely. Strain the mixture in order to separate any impurities. Keep it aside.
  4. Using a potato masher or churner, mash the lentils so they become creamy but still have some bits in it.
  5. Put these cooked lentils and the jaggery solution in a pan and let it come to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it does not stick to the bottom and burn.
  6. Add the milk and stir till mixed well, and turn up the heat a bit. Bring it to a boil, and let it cook for another minute.
  7. Take it off the heat and then add the powdered ginger and the cardamom. Stir well.

Let it cool a bit before you pour it in glasses. Serve it warm. This recipe serves 4 to 6 depending on size of serving.

Tips:

  1. Toasting helps to bring out the nuttiness which makes the kheer more flavorful. But be careful not to turn them brown or it would overpower the taste.
  2. Before adding milk, stir frequently as it doen't contain lot of liquid and it may stick to the bottom and burn.
  3. Add basil leaves and a pinch of saffron before serving. Adds another dimension to the simple flavors.

Paruppu KanjiI recently came to know that this is also known as Parippu Kanji or Paruppu Kanji where “parippu” is lentils and “kanji” is  porridge in Tamil and it’s almost synonymous to Shivratri in some communities.  I think it completely makes sense. The kheer made of moong dal, a rich source of protein yet easy on digestion system and jaggery which is unrefined sugar, high in energy,  added with milk, sounds like a perfect recipe which is light but nutritious for a fasting day. Enjoy your healthy treat!

Smoothie/ Spring - Summer Special/ Superfoods

Almond Energy Drink

A drink that makes every morning a good morning!

We seem to be sacrificing more of our time and energy to our high-speed wireless culture and as a result exhaustion has become a familiar aspect of our lives. All too often we forget to take care of ourselves. How many times you consider yourself an important part of your life? Making room in your frantic schedule for some downtime is equally important as intentionally replenishing your energy with healthy and wholesome food.

Here is my recipe for an energizing drink, a perfect start for your day! It contains just 4 simple ingredients, natural sugar. And if you are searching for those buzz words, yes it’s high in protein and fibre.

Almond Energy DrinkThere is a small preparation involved, but the gains are sweet! Soak all the ingredients in water / milk on previous night. Dates provide the perfect sweetness with no added sugar. Almonds give some bite to this nourishing milkshake.

Almond Energy Drink

Almond Energy Drink

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Soak almonds in 1/2 cup of water overnight. No need to refrigerate almond.

In a medium bowl, add 1/2 cup milk and 2 dates, roughly chopped. Mix 1 tsp of poppy seeds and keep it in the refrigerator overnight.

When you are ready to treat yourself, peel the almond skin off and roughly chop them. In a blender all almonds, and the soaked dates and poppy seeds with the milk. Add more milk if you wish. Blend everything together.

Enjoy your nourishing drink!

Almond Date MilkshakeAccording to Ayurveda, almonds are energizing, nourishing and the only “satvic” nuts which do not increase “rajas” or “tamas” properties in our body. Also Date is the only fruit allowed to be paired with milk as it doesn’t contain any vitamin C that would react adversely with milk. Poppy seeds, the tiny little seeds also known as “Khas Khas” in Marathi, are a good source of dietary fibre and are also rich in minerals like Calcium, Manganese and Phosphorous.

Hope you like it. Join us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MyHomeMantra) for more updates!

Happy mothers day!

Breakfast/ Smoothie/ Superfoods/ Winter Special

VitaMAX Smoothie

The inspiration for this smoothie came from the ‘Power Juice’ recipe by Chef Parag. He used beet root and carrot juice together with lemon juice. I was looking for a creamy texture so instead of just using juices I decided to make a smoothie. Needless to mention it’s loaded with vitamins and mineral from beet root and carrots and hence the name! To make sure it’s perfectly sweetened I used dried figs and dried apricots and also raisins, I know I am genius 🙂 The result was outstandingly creamy, sweet, a beautiful pink smoothie which we have made a regular part of our diet!

Very low in calories AND fat, rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium and dietary fibre, contain no added sugar;  perfect as breakfast smoothie or even as a dessert!

Beetroot Carrot Smoothie aka VitaMAX Smoothie

Beetroot Carrot Smoothie aka VitaMAX Smoothie

A rich, creamy smoothie with no added sugar!

Serves : 2

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, take all dried fruits such as figs and apricots and raisins and and also cashews and add enough milk to immerse all contents. Soak the fruits in milk overnight or for 6-7 hours. Keep it refrigerated. 
  2. Peel a beetroot and also cut both the ends. Then cut it into quarters.
  3. Peel carrots if needed, cut both ends and chop them roughly.
  4. Stem these veggies in a steamer for about 10 minutes or until they become tender. 
  5. Once steamed, let them cool down a bit. Optionally add these to cold water to quicken cooling process.
  6. In a blender, add steamed carrots, beetroot and the soaked dried fruits. Also add the milk used for dried fruits.
  7. Blend everything together. Add more milk as needed. 
  8. Enjoy!

Linking it to Foodomania’s Christmas Cook-Off Contest

Quick n Healthy/ Salad/ Smoothie

Celebrating National Watermelon Day!

Watermelon is a wonderful wonderful summer treat. Nothing beats the sweet, sugary, red juicy watermelon bites. Very low in calories and rich in Vitamin A & Vitamin C, it’s also a great source of potassium.

Today watermelons get their made up holiday, 3rd August is celebrated as ‘National Watermelon Day’ in America. Hence, I am sharing some of my favorite watermelon treats.

Personally watermelon juice is my favorite. Squeeze a few drops of lime juice and sprinkle a pinch of chaat masala and you will have a refreshing cooler in no time!

Watermelon Cooler

Watermelon Quinoa Salad is a popular recipe and I must say it does satisfy the palate. I like to add sunflower seeds or any other nuts to add some crunch to it. Chopped fresh mint leaves with a few drops of lime juice go a long way. A great salad for summer time!

Watermelon Quinoa Salad

And here is a pic of a boy who is doing complete justice to watermelon!

Maharashtrian/ Smoothie/ Upvasache Padarth

ताक / Chaas / Buttermilk

A pure, simple summer refresher

Buttermilk has always been an integral part of traditional Maharashtrian meal. Imagine coming home from scorching heat and sipping on a glass of cold, lightly spiced homemade buttermilk. There is no better thirst quencher!

 

It’s very simple, just takes 5 minutes to mix everything together.

Buttermilk

Buttermilk

Churned yogurt wil a pinch of cooling spices and herbs. A natural summer refresher!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Beat the yogurt nicely and mix with water
  2. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Serve cold. (You may also add ice)

If you like you can also add finely chopped cilantro and mint leaves. In South India, it's served with curry leaves.

Surprisingly not everyone knows about buttermilk. One of my colleagues thought it was made by adding milk to butter. It actually referes to the liquid left over after extracting the butter from churned yogurt. The churning process causes some of the lactose – milk sugar, to be converted into lactic acid by the bacteria, which gives the buttermilk a slightly sour taste and makes it easier to digest by lactose-intolerant people. In USA this is called “traditional buttermilk” and of course this is how we make it at home.

The buttermilk we get in supermarkets is called “Cultured Buttermilk”. t is prepared from pasteurized skim or low-fat milk by fermentation with bacteria that produces lactic acid.

source – http://www.webexhibits.org/butter/buttermilk.html

Off to Radhika’s Chilled Delights, Tomato Blues Summer Spirits, Preeti’s Jump n Jive, Surabhi’s EP SEries – Mint n Coriander started by Erivum Puliyum.

Breakfast/ Quick n Healthy/ Smoothie/ Spring - Summer Special

Blackberry Smoothie

Nutritious yet delicious delight

The easiest way to enjoy fresh blackberries is to have thick creamy blackberry smoothie. Add fresh washed blackberries with thick greek yogurt, honey and some milk and give it a quick whisk in a blender. Nothing can be more filling than a glass of sweet creamy blackberry smoothie loaded with antioxidants.

 

Blackberry Benefits –
1. Blackberries are one of the top ten foods containing antioxidants. The anthocyanin, the antioxidants give blackberries their deep purple color help in memory retention and prevent the risk of hypertension.
2. Blackberries are packed with polyphenols helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.
3. Blackberries are said to strengthen blood vessels, help fight heart disease
4. The high tannin content of blackberries help tighten tissue, relieve intestinal inflammation, and help reduce hemorrhoids and stomach disorders.
5. The high fiber content of blackberries help reduce risk of intestinal disease and the risk of developing diabetes.

Off to Radhika’s Chilled Delights, Tomato Blues Summer Spirits, Preeti’s Jump n Jive

  
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