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healthy

Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water Smoothie“You don’t have to eat less, You just have to eat right.”
Unknown

Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water Smoothie, quite nice actually! Packed with nutrition too. You might have heard about Spirulina. Well if you haven’t, it is one of the most potent sources of easily digestible vegetarian protein available, a powerhouse of nutrients available in nature. It is harvested form blue green algae present in water bodies, and has been used in food for centuries.The primary challenge is making sure the water that hosts the algae is non contaminated, and this brand is certified organic, cultivated in an environment free from pollution, ground water contamination, pesticides and herbicides.Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water SmoothieI used Spirulina powder for the first time with much apprehension. Not because I doubted the source or the nutritional value, but because I had been warned a plenty that it was an acquired taste. Since this dark green powder, almost jade like in colour, is harvested from algae from water, the first impression is of a very fishy, concentrated seaweed like aroma. Anything fishy doesn’t work with me, you can promise me it’s a 100% vegetarian never mind. The challenge is to use this superfood in ways that tease the palette to enjoy it everyday in a form that is easy and fun.

SpirulinaThe positives are plenty, enough to make me reach out for a daily health boost. Spirulina is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids, and is typically recommended to vegetarians due to its high natural iron content. This unassuming supplement is a natural source of essential phytonutrients, omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, said to be the most effective and safest way to compensate for your incomplete daily dietary intake. It’s classified as the most nutrient dense food on the planet. Algae here I come!!

Spirulina SmoothiesTime to make each drink a SuperDrink. Adding Spirulina is a nice way to include a highly nutrient rich Superfood in our daily diets which with only minimal effort. Spirulina is said to work towards improving immunity levels, energy levels and boosting metabolism. With hectic and busy schedules coupled with the use of chemicals in fresh produce, it’s not easy to reach our daily nutrition and protein levels. Spirulina aims to fill this gap helping you use Spirulina shakes or smoothies to renergise any time of the day.Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water SmoothieI took it on gently, very unsure of what to expect, my initial ‘meeting’ face to face with the powder not very promising. Best to keep it natural and in season, as also too consume this in raw form, or if cooked, below 70Degrees C to gain maximum advantage. Seemed quite natural to begin the morning with a nutritional boost, so I thought smoothie. Green smoothie obviously!! With winter here, there are the juiciest apples from Kinnaur lining the bazaar shelves these days. Thought I’d keep it simple. Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water SmoothieSo in went cucumber, honey, some coconut water since I had some on hand. The electrolytes in coconut water as a great substitute for plain water, so why ever not. Gingerly added 1 tsp of Spirulina and braced myself. I was pleasantly surprised!! The green jade came to life in seconds, an intense smooothie that looked like it meant business. A teeny taste later, and I threw in another teaspoon of Spirulina. No bad offsetting flavour, quite pleasant, naturally sweet too. Who would have thought?Currypatta Buttermilk LassiSpurred on, I experimented a little more.  This Currypatta Buttermilk Lassi below is now a daily routine!

Spirulina added in your daily diet gives you a number of benefits:

  • Working out?? Grab it! It Increases Muscle Strength and Endurance
  • It is a powerhouse of easily digestible protein
  • It is a natural detoxifier
  • It’s rich in vitamins, antioxidants and other essential daily nutrients
  • It’s filled with calcium, phosphorus and magnesium content found in milk
  • It keeps your heart healthy
  • It promotes Liver health
  • Parrys Organic Spirulina is NOT a drug, but a 100% vegetarian and safe nutritional supplement also available in a tablet form for your convenience.

You can buy it here on Amazon

Beetroot spirulina buttermilk lassiHappy with the success, I marched on to try yet another savoury version. It turned out quite pretty. Quite delicious as well! Here take a look. A Beetroot Buttermilk Spirulina Lassi as delicious as it was pretty! The recipe is simple.  blend the following until smooth. 1 medium beetroot, microwaved for 3 minutes, or boiled, cooled, grated + 2 cloves garlic, grated + 250ml cultured buttermilk +1/2 tsp black rock salt + 1tsp roasted cumin powder + 2tsp spirulina.

How do you like to use this superfood?

Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water Smoothie
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The Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water Smoothie comes together in seconds, an intense drink that means business. Quite pleasant; naturally sweet too!
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water Smoothie
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
The Green Goddess Apple Cucumber Coconut Water Smoothie comes together in seconds, an intense drink that means business. Quite pleasant; naturally sweet too!
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and whiz until smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust sweetness if required. Serve immediately.
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  Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

“In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip … earthy, rustic, nutty, slightly tangy, creamy, smoky delicious. Some things come together with small beginnings, and for strange reasons. This dip was no different and found it’s origins in a wizened old forgotten pomegranate that I discovered while cleaning out the fridge. Also popped out a bowl that held an eggplant I had roasted 2 days ago, a small carton of Greek yogurt, and the plan was made.Eggplant Walnut Smoked Truffle Dip & pomegranates It was going to be a Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip which would use up all the goodness that lay forgotten in the fridge. Also a chance to use some fabulous Black Truffle Sea Salt from Olive Tree Trading, a special product that really shines when used. It might be an expensive product, but a little goes a long way. On pasta, on toast, over dips, on artisan bread, in pasta sauce, over popcorn, on salads; really steps up the flavours!

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip With it of course some really really good quality extra virgin olive oil from the same company, a product that speaks for itself. As always, a dish is only as good as it’s ingredients and this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip was just that. You could always use sea salt but a black truffle sea salt is a noticeably charming addition, quite different.Olive Oil & Black Truffle Sea SaltThe rest of this Persian inspired dip has humble origins, almost staple pantry ingredients. How can you go wrong with eggplant {or baingan as locally called}, walnuts, garlic, yogurt and olive oil? Not possible right? Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip And the good thing is that if you blend it smooth, picky eaters can’t figure out what’s in this pâté like dip. It’s a win win; a delicious one at that too. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with crusty wholegrain bread, etc.

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
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A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: minutes
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Make 4-6 slits around and tuck in unpeeled garlic cloves.
  2. Roast over a low open gas flame, or in oven until charred all over and soft.
  3. Place in a bowl covered, until cool enough to handle. gently peel the charred skin off, squeeze out the garlic from pods. {This can be done a couple of days in advance and refrigerated}.
  4. Place all ingredients in bowl of processor or blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle generously with good quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle over some black truffle salt, garnish with pomegranate pearls. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
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Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate

“A land of promise, a land of memory, a land of promise flowing with the milk and honey of delicious memories!”
Alfred Tennyson

Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate might well be the simplest thing to enjoy this season. It’s simple things that matter, and with recipes like these, ingredients are of prime importance. You can’t go wrong if you use good quality ingredients. This Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate is just that. Indulgent too. Made with Premium Milk from Mother Dairy, single origin couverture chocolate, dark cocoa, vanilla beans and spices from South India, it’s hard to go wrong. The milk was the biggest surprise though!Rich Spiced Hot ChocolateIt’s the best milk I’ve ever had! Words of praise from a dairy lover at home, one who lives to enjoy a chilled good glass of milk. The genes are the same. I love everything dairy too, but I am always surprised by how advanced his taste-buds are. One sip of the newly introduced Premium Full Cream milk from Mother dairy swiftly knocked his current favourite from another brand right off. It’s so good that I don’t even need flavouring mama he exclaimed!Mother Dairy Premium MilkThis new variant from Mother dairy which has the highest FAT content of 7% along with 9% SNF is ideal for those looking for a rich milk diet and also for folk like us who enjoy making home-made sweets, ghee and curd. It offers 15% extra malai {cream} in comparison to full cream milk. For someone like me who makes clarified butter / ghee at home every weekend, this new variant is ideal. I increasingly use clarified butter or ghee in baking now, and as my preferred medium of fat in cooking now that winter is here. The greens use mustard oil, and almost everything else goes the ghee way! Tadka is always ghee, the ‘icing on the cake’! Sarson ka Saag, Mustard GreensThink little ghee cakes, think shortbread with ghee, think stuffed radish and cauliflower parathas, and think dollops of melting homemade sweet butter on hot sarson ka saag! After all in India, Ghee is equivalent to love. Finger licking good stuff this! There is just so much you can do with this indulgent product. I can only imagine setting Greek yogurt at home now. Also simmering a rice pudding into creamy goodness, maybe a tapioca pudding or a chocolate oat pudding too.

Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate

Rich Spiced Hot ChocolateWith a traditional Indian households still enjoying the top of milk cream for so many reasons, the malai that the premium milk yields is impressive. Just 2 litres boiled, cooled and chilled overnight offered almost a cup of malai. This Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake is a nostalgic favourite with ‘top of the milk cream’ or ‘malai’. It brings back memories of  the quintessential ‘malai’ or ‘top of the milk cream’ cakes from yesteryear. Decades ago, every Indian household use to boil milk, collect the top of the milk cream, use some as is and  make sweet butter of the rest. The more adventurous ones used to bake a delicious homey comforting cake with ‘malai’.Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake, Malai CakeThen the mind wanders into more delicious spaces like a lighter panna cotta, maybe a Vietnamese coffee. The possibilities are endless as I grabbed the few remaining pouches from the kid who is happy to guzzle down his new favourite. To prove my point to him that the milk makes things oodles better, I quickly stirred him a Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate. With winter around the corner, this drink is a winner, a simple winner! It’s a great hit with kids and adults alike. In summer I’d do a chilled version in bottles which is equal fun and very addictive!Masala Kadhai DoodhThen to dive into the past, how can I not make my husbands childhood favourite, a Masala Kadhai Doodh. This is where dessert meets milk, a quintessential Indian favourite, a concoction you would find across North India. It’s simple, it’s bursting with goodness and flavour AND a big hit always. It’s quite similar to a thandai, infinitely customisable.Masala Kadhai DoodhMasala Kadhai Doodh is simply simmered with a powdered nut & spice mix in a large kadhai or wok for the flavours to steep and milk to thicken. Only with this high fat content milk, the time to thicken is substantially decreased. I used a mix of almonds, melon seeds, cardamom, nutmeg, a pinch of turmeric and saffron.Gajar ka halwa, Rich Indian Carrot PuddingWe are a dairy loving home, and I set yougurt at home everyday. With quite a welcome high fat content, Mother Dairy’s Premium Milk yields far tastier home made yogurt, paneer, quark etc. It is also far easier to use in puddings, traditional kheers, halwas. With winter here a gajar ka halwa is calling my name. Simmered in this beautifully thick milk, I can only imagine how good the end result will be. What would be your favorite way to use this?

Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
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Print Recipe
Good quality ingredients and a simple simmering results in this indulgent Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate. Use a full fat milk like Mother Dairy Premium Milk for best results.
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Good quality ingredients and a simple simmering results in this indulgent Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate. Use a full fat milk like Mother Dairy Premium Milk for best results.
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Instructions
  1. Place milk, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla bean and sugar in a heavy bottom pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes for flavours to steep.
  2. Add the chocolate and cocoa powder, stir often to mix, and simmer gently until the chocolate melts.
  3. Sieve and serve immediately, else steep for an hour, then reheat and sieve before serving.
Recipe Notes

Note: You can add a shot of Baileys irish Cream for an adult version. You can also add or remove spices as required. This also makes a nice chilled spiced chocolate milk. Stir well or sieve before serving.

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