NUT/SEED BUTTER

One can use different nuts such as peanuts, almonds, cashew nuts, hazel nuts or seeds such as sunflower seeds, sesame and pumpkin seeds .

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm nuts OR
  • 100 gm seeds

Method:

Lightly roast the nuts/seeds on flame or in the oven along with skin. Once cooled, grind them until they turn into butter.

Some nuts such as cashews and almonds can also be ground into butter without roasting.

Variations – the butter can be flavoured with salt, dates, cinnamon etc.

Storage and shelf life – Nut/Seed butters do not need to be refrigerated. They can be stored in a glass container and last for 1-2 months.

DATE / RAISIN PASTE

Ingredients: 1 cup dates (desseded) or 1 cup of green/light brown raisins.

Method : Soak the dates/raisins in water for approximately 2-4 hours, till they are completely tender. Remove the water and blend them into a paste. Store in a glass container. Refrigerate (stays for up to a week).

BESAN BARFI

Some guilt free sweetness to beat your mid week blues!

This easy to make
BESAN BARFI avoids all your usual dessert suspects – white sugar and dairy (milk and ghee) and yet manages to be delicious and healthy!

Here goes:-

Ingredients
2 cups besan flour
5 tbsp date paste (adjust sweetener as per your taste to add more)
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
pinch of nutmeg and cardamon
slivered pista and almonds to garnish

Method

Dry roast the besan on a thick bottom pan. Make sure it is well roasted (it will take 15+ min).

Set aside to cool. Now, add all the remaining ingredients and mix well to a smooth dough. Check and adjust sweetness. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin into 1/2 inch thickness.
Place a butter/parchment paper in a dish and place the besan dough in it. Freeze for 2-4 hours.

Remove it from the dish, cut into shapes of your choice. Garnish with almonds/pistachios and serve.

Refrigerate the remaining. It stays in the fridge for upto a week (although it is so yummy, it will not last that long).

Makhana Kheer

Here’s something thats simple enough to make, delicious and nutritous for you! 

Infact it is even helpful in weight loss !  

Makhana (foxnut or lotus seed) is a great source of protein and really high in fibre, hence does a great job in the feeling of fullness.

What this means is that once you’ve had this you’ll be so satisfied that you wont need other desserts or food for long.

Plus the almonds added in are full fibre as well. 

Sweetened with dates, that’s a natural sugar.. good way to avoid your refined white sugar.

Serve it hot or chilled!

Makhana Kheer

Ingredients
1/4 cup almonds soaked and finely ground into a paste.

1 cups foxnut (makhana)

1⁄4 cup date paste), or more if required

1⁄2 tsp cinnamon powder

a few pistachios, sliced, toasted

A few strands saffron, optional

Method
1.Dry Roast the Makhanas. Once cooled down, coarsely grind them in a mixie.
2.Add 2 cups water to the almond paste. In a pan, heat this till it comes to a boil.
3.Mix in the makhanas, date paste and cinnamon powder; cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
4,Remove from heat and add in saffron, if using.

You can replace Makhana with Popped Amaranth, Brown Rice or Millets !

CHOCOLATE BLISS BALLS

Celebrating Easter this weekend?

Here’s a chocolatey recipe you can play around with. Call them Easter eggs, chocolate ladoos, or chocolate bliss balls.
This was one of the first desserts I learnt to make when I transitioned to a healthier diet over 8 years ago. So easy to make, so versatile and unbelievably delicious, all in one! You have got to try these out to believe me. Here goes :

CHOCOLATE BLISS BALLS

Ingredients:

1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup muskmelon seeds
1 cup dates deseeded and chopped
¼ cup raw cacao powder ( I use @masonnco)
1 tsp orange rind (or to taste)
1 tsp cinnamon powder (or to taste)
A pinch of black salt.

Method
Add layers of all ingredients in a food processor.
Grind together till smooth and evenly mixed.
Shape into small chocolate balls. Sprinkle some orange rind on top and enjoy.

You can refrigerate them for an hour to make a little harder and chewy. But I like them soft and gooey!

Also if you don’t have seeds, you could go for almonds, cashew nuts or walnuts or a combo of the three to make the bliss balls.

I’d love to know what twist you gave your bliss balls and how they turned out. Let me know in the comments below.

CACAO ORANGE MILLET PUDDING

What if I tell you that you can now enjoy a chocolatey dessert guilt free?

This recipe contains cacao which in its raw pure form is rich in magnesium, iron and calcium, a great mood enhancer( now you know why that chocolate uplifts you).
This recipe also contains foxtail millet (also known as kauni in Uttarakhand or kangni in South ) a gluten free millet, rich in iron and calcium.
What makes it totally guilt free is the use of dates to sweeten it instead of refined sugar.

This recipe was made by a participant at the Healthy cooking competition at Nurture Retreat in November 2019.

FINGER MILLET PUDDING

Ingredients
1/2 cup foxtail millet
2 cups almond/coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder
1/2 cup date paste
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp orange rind
a pinch pink/rock salt

Method
Soak the millet in water over night. Drain. Using fresh water, cook the millet in 2.5 cups water. Set aside to cool.

Once it is cooled, grind the millet along with all other ingredients till smooth. Adjust for sweetness.

our into small bowls or glasses and refrigerate for 3 -4 hours, till set like a pudding.
Garnish with cacao, orange rind or almond slivers.
Serve cold.

RAW BROWNIE

Feasting should be such that it is not at the cost of health!

So here is a delicious recipe of a RAW BROWNIE which I have adapted from some recipes we learnt at @prakritishakti last year.

Indulging in a regular brownie would probably contain

– maida (white flour), sugar, oil/butter, chocolate (which are highly processed hence high on calories but low on fibre and nutrients)

– milk solids and eggs (animal foods which contain cholesterol, hormones, are acidic and contain zero fibre).

In comparison, the ingredients of this brownie are free of cholesterol and hormones, contain good fats including Omega 3 and are full of natural fibre. And may I add that this brownie is so so yummy and feels so good inside!

Here is the recipe –

Ingredients
1 cup soft dates (pitted)
1/4 cup powdered flaxseed
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup powdered almonds
2-3 tbsp cacao powder (I use masonand_co)
1 tsp Vanilla powder/extract
1/4 tsp salt

For Glazing
1 tbsp peanut/almond butter
1-2 tbsp cacao power
1/2 tsp vanilla powder/extract
2-3 tbsp date paste
coconut milk if needed to make it thinner

METHOD
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor till they are grainy.
Knead this mixture and set it in a tray. Refrigerate.
Combine the glazing ingredients. Pour and spread on top of the brownie. Garnish on top with walnut or almond if you wish. Cut and serve.

Serves 4.
Keep refrigerated. They will stay fresh for 4 -5 days.

Like and share if you too feel that feasting does not have to be a compromise on health!

HAZELNUT MOCHA

I am no recipe developer, and most of my original recipes are basically flukes or accidents. Like this one. But oh-my-god, this Hazelnut Mocha I must say is probably one of my most delicious and unforgettable accidents in the kitchen!

Here goes :- HAZELNUT MOCHA

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp cashew nuts
• 2 tbsp hazelnut butter
• 3-4 dates, soaked
• 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cacao powder.


Method
1) Soak the cashew nuts in water for 2 hours.
2) Grind all ingredients together with minimal water till you achieve a smooth paste.
3) Add 1 ½ cups of hot water to this paste and mix well.


Serve hot. (SERVES 2)
If you think healthy is not tasty, give this a try and tell me if this didn’t directly fly you up to heaven!

Immunity Boosting Pickle

In our history of survival and evolution of food technology, pickles probably came to be as a means to preserve vegetables for the lean periods, when fresh veggies would not be available and well… refrigerators and deep freezers had not yet been invented! 

Maybe times have changed, and there is barely any need for preservation, but a little pickle never hurt anyone, did it? 

Today, a pickle can spice up a boring meal.. Or it can be your superfood, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, immunity boosting shot, if it contains raw fresh turmeric (good old kachi haldi)! 

Here’s the recipe :- 

IMMUNITY BOOSTING PICKLE 

Ingredients 

100 gm raw fresh turmeric 

¼ cup lemon juice 

2 tbsp rock salt (or more as per taste) 

Make a coarse powder with :- 

2 tsp Fennel 

1 tsp whole black pepper 

1 tsp mustard seeds (could be black,brown or yellow) 

Method 

Make juliennes of the fresh turmeric. Mix the juliennes with the coarse powder, salt and lemon juice. 

Enjoy 

Shelf life – 10-15 days outside or upto 30 days in the refrigerator. 

Go ahead, try it out and let me know how you liked it! 

Golden Immunity Booster

Here is my go-to potent anti-allergy, anti-bacterial, immunity boosting shot for changing seasons (for all seasons;) 

Ingredients 

2 inch piece raw turmeric root 

2 inch piece ginger ginger root

1 -2 tsp lemon juice  

A sprig of basil or mint 

Method 

Grind the ginger, turmeric and basil/mint along with ¼ -½ cup water. Strain. Add lemon juice and more water to dilute. 

Serves 1 

Variation – if you already have a flu and would prefer to have something warm. 

Crush the ginger and raw turmeric in a mortar. Boil them in 1 cup of water along with mint/basil for 4-5 min. 

Strain, add lemon (and a dash of jaggery if you like). Enjoy warm. 

A shot of this daily for a week and you can pretty much say bye-bye to cold, flu, fever, aches and pains, sinus or other allergies! 

I discovered this formula and recipe when I came down with a bad flu travelling across Bali (few years ago), where they locally call it Jamu – the magic drink! 

Here in India, I obviously don’t need to tell you about the benefits of ginger and turmeric as the most potent antibacterials. 

But what sets raw turmeric apart is that all the nutrients in it (curcurmin, vitamin c and a whole lot of other vitamins) are in their raw, live and most bio-active form and hence that much more effective to wards flus away! 

If you have access to raw turmeric try this out pacca se and tell me how it went 🙂