Baking | Peach & Cherry GF Granola Crumbles … delightful, healthy summer dessert #glutenfree #healthy #dessert

“Fruit falls when you shake the tree. You have to keep making things happen.”
Brandi L. Bates

Peach & Cherry GF Granola Crumbles … deliciousness in little pots. Sorry I’ve been MIA for a bit, but was off to get the daughter into college. It’s been a busy last few months. Uni admissions, flights to Bangalore and back, and the times finally arrived for her to chase her dreams. She’s off to do design and art, something she absolutely loves, and earned a well deserved place in the college of her dreams.

Peaches and cherriesSo this was a quick dessert rustled up for her just before she left. It had everything she loved. Fruit, fruit and more fruit. Summer is for stone fruit and I just can’t get enough of them. The bazaars are flooded … mangoes, cherries, peaches, plums, apricots. As always, so much to do, and so little time. Peach & Cherry Crumble Gluten free Fruit crumbles are fun. Real fun. You can find several crumbles on PAB, gluten free and otherwise. They take minutes to rustle up, bake beautifully and make for wonderful summer dessert. Serve them warm, at room temperature, or chilled  … this is one dessert which will never let you down.

Peach & Cherry Crumble Gluten free I wanted to go gluten free this time around. It’s always fun to push your boundaries. I eventually ran out of time and decided to top the fruit with the GF Multigrain Granola which I make every week. It’s a great, great breakfast option, one that the better half looks forward to every morning.

Multigrain Granola And now I discover that it’s a great  option for topping bakes too! What could be better? The daughter absolutely LOVED it; scrape, scrape, scrape was all I could hear! Surprisingly the son loved it tremendously too. He’s a bit iffy when he gets a fruit overload in dessert. This time around however he asked if there were seconds!

Peach & Cherry Crumble Gluten free Of course I rolled up my eyes and declared he was lucky he got even one portion under the circumstances! The dessert almost never happened given all the running around that was going on! Peach & Cherry Crumble Gluten free  I’ve got some delicious mini cherry pies coming up soon! Do you love stone fruit as much as me? So what is your favourite fruit based dessert on the go?

Before I go, I’d love to announce the winner of the Rs 6000 Flipkart gift voucher from the contest sponsored by couponspy.in posted on the GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade. I’m thrilled to announce that the winner is Priya. Thank you all for entering. I loved hosting this!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Cooler | Phalsa Berry Sharbat – ‘Blendit’ like Vikas Khanna #summer #cooler #inseason #kitchenaidindia

“The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.”
Julia Child

Phalsa ka Sharbat Phalsa Berry Sharbat … the much dreaded ‘loo‘ or hot summer winds, dry and dust laden, sweep across the plains of North India. Summer here becomes intolerable at times, with ‘fry eggs on the sidewalk‘ like temperatures threatening your very existence! Then along come some of the best fruit that nature has to offer … and life becomes worthwhile again! This Phalsa Berry Sharbat helps you survive…

Phalsa ka Sharbat With a slew of summer fruit now being offloaded by the truckloads, we could not have asked for more. Red, luscious, juicy cherries, mangoes falling off hand carts, watermelons piled sky high on roadsides, peaches just about beginning to surface, Indian java plums too. And then the phalsa berry, a beautiful, tangy, astringent much awaited native Indian berry!

Phalsa, Grewia asiatica Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, this humble little berry, Grewia asiatica, brings alive childhood nostalgia. Back then, almost 40 years ago, the silent afternoon would be pierced by the shrill cry of the ‘phalsa wala‘. You’d find him with a wicker basket, topped with a very wet gunny bag which he gently peeled back to reveal the precious little berries. The very fragile and perishable phalsa would change hands for a few pennies. Washed gently and tossed in rock salt, we would hungrily suck them, trying to extract the most from the almost impoverished looking fruit.

Phalsa ka SharbatSometimes if we were lucky enough, we would be rewarded with phalsa ka sharbat! It was pain staking to make and a special treat. Life is a little easier now, with gadgets that make life in the kitchen a breeze. Just one sip of this amazing cooler, in colours that uplift the soul,  memories of a quintessential part of Indian summer comes alive! Sharbats or ‘fruit and flower based coolers‘ are the answer to the beat the heat!

Kitchenaid Blendappetit  with Vikas Khanna Hymns from the Soil This takes me to the launch of the KitchenAid Pro Line Cordless Hand Blender in association with Masterchef Vikas Khanna in Delhi. The launch is a part of multi city #Blendappetit Tour spanning across India starting from May 20, 2014. While, the cordless blender is a unique, first of its kind, versatile product, it comes with an ultimate experience of ‘anytime anywhere’ blending.

Kitchenaid Blendappetit  with Vikas Khanna Hymns from the Soil This new blender from Kitchenaid India is a magic machine, ergonomically designed, a thing of beauty. It comes equipped with a rechargeable 12V lithium ion battery which gives it the power to perform efficiently. The super blender can blend, mix, whisk, chop, froth, puree, shred and whip up anything in a flash.

Kitchenaid Blendappetit  with Vikas Khanna Hymns from the Soil The very sweet and charming Vikas {I was fortunate enough to shoot with him recently} blended a lip smacking good kiwi smoothie from his new book.  The chef was affable as ever; entertaining, engaging, humourous! He connected instantly with the expectant crowd and soon had the gathering mesmerised. Ripples of laughter flooded the studio in Gurgaon with Vikas holding court, spinning out one anecdote after another. Stories of his home, his mother & grandmother, his inspirations, his journey from cooking a Rs 20 meal in Punjab to a Rs 20 lakh meal for Obama … yet humble and grounded as ever, a philosopher at heart!Kitchenaid Blendappetit  with Vikas Khanna Hymns from the Soil The afternoon witnessed the launch of his book- .Hymns from the Soil, his first book on Indian vegetarian food and a tribute to Mother Earth. It is full of nostalgic tales of his childhood, and in many ways ‘our childhood’. The ‘mitti ki khushboo‘ or the smell of the wet soil, planting his own vegetable patch, the vegetable vendors with fresh vegetables, seasons that spelt fresh produce {unlike now when you almost get everything round the year} … a touching evocative connect with the soil of the land. The book is beautifully written, with stunning pictures and recipes that call your name.

Phalsa ka Sharbat With so much talk of the connect of the earth, including the shrill call of the vendor that pierced the afternoon silence then, it’s a good time to share this recipe. I make the Phalsa Berry Sharbat every year, changing the recipe as I evolve, always in panic like the berries might disappear or go out of fashion. The phalsa season is a short one here just through May and June. Juicing these in my Thermomix is a breeze … which is why I make this quite often.

Phalsa ka Sharbat 6Phalsa ka Sharbat Not sure if taste buds change as the years go by, or the flood of flavours available and sugar laden options in packaged juices snatch simple pleasure away. Maybe it’s the slightly astringent aftertaste, but unfortunately, this isn’t the kids favourite sharbat. The boy loves his aam panna or raw mango sharbat, the daughter her cranberry juice. Thankfully both also love the daily fresh watermelon juice & smoothies.

Phalsa ka SharbatThe Phalsa Berry Sharbat takes the summer heat away, refreshes the soul, gives you a generous dose of vitamin C and antioxidants … what more can you ask for in these ‘oven like’ months? Oh yes, and if it takes you on a trip down memory lane, that’s even better! I’m loving it!!

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Baking | Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies … inspiration in every crumb #comfortfood #glutenfree #eggless #vegetarian #cookies

“Cookies are made of butter and love.”
Norwegian Proverb

Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger CookiesAmaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies were an experiment, yet another happy one!. Strangely enough, ever since I claimed I hardly ever bake cookies, that’s just what I have been doing of late. Eggless Honey Almond Cookies Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies … then Coffee Shortbread which still has to see light of day on my blog. We’ve got some happy cookie monsters on the prowl this end!!

Coffee Shortbread Cookies Did you notice something? They’re all eggless cookies, or lacto vegetarian as they call them. Like the ‘Not Quite Anzac Cookie Pops’ below I woke up early one morning and had fun making on Anzac Day last week. I did a Not Quite Anzac Cookie Cake too! No Quite Anzac Cookie Cake and PopsOn this eggless trail, I also recently stirred up Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding … sinfully addictive!  Hmmmm … maybe it’s a trend? Certainly feels like one!Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding {GF Eggless} Then the other day Ruchira & I popped by at Sangeeta’s and were treated to these fab GF Ginger & Jaggery Energy Bars. The taste of the bars lingered on for long, flavours dancing in my head. That they were just 5 ingredient bars and had amaranth flour and oats was intriguing enough!

Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies I had to come home and recreate ‘something‘. Her recipe inspired me. I’d do cookies. Nice plump whole grain bites. Cookies are always handy to have at home, gluten free more so for Mr PAB. I didn’t have jaggery on hand, so changes happened. Many changes.

Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies Eventually ended up with these and they packed a nice punch. The subtle undertones on ginger and honey teased the palette. The walnut taste didn’t come through, but upped the ante on the ‘healthy nuts’ factor. I ran the Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies past the ‘inspirer‘ at the Food Freak Awards Gurgaon later that evening. She gave them a huge thumbs up, so here you are.

Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies These possibly aren’t going to be huge kiddie favourite cookies as they aren’t very sweet. Slightly crumbly, reminiscent of the quintessential Indian nan khatai that we used to bake in our childhood, I found the Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies quite addictive. They grow on you. For eggless, gluten free cookies, they are fabulous! I shall experiment some more with the recipe, maybe crack an egg or two in the days to come. Until then, these eggless cookies might please you like they did Sangeeta and me!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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