Green Cucumber Mint Lemonade

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Hello my dear wonderful readers,

So I know you are thinking it’s still cold and why on earth would I wanna put up a post with a cold drink. The fact is that it is nice and cold during the nights but the days are getting equally warm. In fact by 2 in the afternoon we have our fans on and my son is usually sweating by then. Also I  realized that it is equally important to stay hydrated during cold times as in summer.

This cucumber mint juice is the perfect way to stay hydrated and cucumber by itself has many healthy benefits. There is always a simple cucumber salad with all our meals and some days we have this drink instead of an aerated drink. We discourage our little one from having soft drinks and beverages so we replace them with juices such as watermelon or lime or even a strawberry milkshake. So this juice was not well received by the little one but we enjoy it every now and then. Its simple to make and it all goes into a single bowl so not much of a recipe per say.

You could also add cumin powder or chilli powder at the end just to give it a different kick. I just use honey cause I love sweet drinks and this is my go to drink when I am in need of a clean refreshing juice.

Ingredients :-

  1. Lime – 2
  2. Water – 4 cups
  3. Cucumber – 3  (sliced and extra for garnish)
  4. Ginger – 1 inch knob
  5. Honey – according to taste
  6. Mint – 1 cup (packed)

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender / juicer, add the juice of 2 limes
  2. Then add all of the above ingredients
  3. Blend till the ginger has also blended with the juice. Add more honey if required at this stage
  4. Pour into glasses and serve right away

Pumpkin Oat Smoothie – Fall inspired goodness

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My Dear Wonderful Readers

So we are finally settling in and most of my stuff are on the walls and inside the wardrobe and guess what? I am still out of space! LOL All the while I am thinking how did I store all this junk at the old place. Have you felt the same way too?

So I was online scrolling through my instagram account and I found that pumpkin is the thing every body wants to cook with. So i decided to join the fun and start off with a simple smoothie. This one is a no brainer and it really is a mixture of everything I would have on a daily basis just that instead of apples or other fruits I just added pumpkin puree. Now making the puree was actually really easy. It helps if you make a large batch and use whenever you need it. Not just in smoothies but in many more recipes. I will share those with you soon. But for now here is a fall inspired pumpkin smoothie.

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin puree – 2 cups (scroll down for recipe)
  2.  Oats – 2 cups
  3. Milk –  1/2 ltr ( or as much as you want)
  4. Coconut / Palm Sugar – 1 tbsp
  5. Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  7. Banana – 2 (ripe)
  8. Almond flakes and chia seeds – just for the topping

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender, add the pumpkin puree, oats, palm sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg powder and bananas
  2. Turn you blender on and add as much milk as required
  3. Add in accordance to the consistency that you like
  4. Finally pour the smoothie into your glass and top with chia seeds and almond flakes

 

To make the pumpkin puree :-

  1. First wash and  cut a medium sized pumpkin into 4 equal halves
  2. Then scoop out the seeds and innards of the pumpkin
  3. Bring a pot of water up to boil and slowly immerse the cut pumpkin into the water
  4. Boil for 10 – 15 ( depends on the size and ripeness) mins till the pumpkin is soft and tender ( use a spoon to pierce through the pumpkin to see if its done)
  5. Turn the heat off and drain the water from the pumpkin
  6. Let the it cool and then scoop out the flesh leaving only the skin
  7. Drain excess water by keeping all the flesh in a strainer and letting the water drain out completely
  8. Store in a clean container in the fridge till ready to use. I usually use it in a day or two.

Mango, Peach and Orange Smoothie

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? I found peaches at the nearby market and I decided why not use them in a fresh morning smoothie. As I took a walk down the market aisle,  I realized that the number of mangoes are dwindling, therefore I decided to make the most of it while its still available. That brings me to the topic of canned food. Now for one, unless its an order to make a cake without a seasonal fruit or when I need to add a cheer to a cocktail, I stay clear of canned food. Simple cause I worry about the preservatives in the can. Food was never meant to last as long as it does when it is canned. So why add more preservatives and chemicals to your diet right? That’s why I prefer using fresh fruits in my smoothies. Also if I want an element of cold or frozen, I cut up the required fruit and freeze it over night so my smoothies are thick and creamy. That being said some times when I need to make a tuna salad in a hurry (once in 6 months!) I do grab a can of canned tuna. Nothing substitutes fresh, seasonal fruits. So if you are planing on making a smoothie tomorrow, I suggest you pick up the least expensive fruit in the market, that means they are in season and they will only make you healthier!

So this smoothie is a mixture of fresh peaches, mangoes and oranges. Now if you want you could add water or yogurt but I do not like the combination of milk or yogurt with citrus fruits. It just does not work! ( for me). And this smoothie is a really thick smoothie, almost like ice cream. I did not add any liquid cause I wanted more fruit this time.

Ingredients :-

  1. Fresh Peaches – 4
  2. Mangoes – 3 cups ( cubes and frozen)
  3. Oranges – 2 large
  4. Ice Cubes – 5 – 6

 

Instructions :-

  1. Cut and core the peaches.
  2. Cube the mangoes and freeze over night for a creamy thick consistency ( its ok if you do not have frozen mangoes, fresh mango works too)
  3. Juice 2 large oranges ( use the pulp too)
  4. Add all the ingredients into a blender along with the ice cubes. Blend according to the blender instructions and serve with a slice of fresh cut orange.

 

The Popeye Smoothie – Green and Fruit smoothie!

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

Happy Monday morning to all you wonderful people!! So I am still on my clean streak and this time I am back with a sweet, sour and super healthy smoothie.  “Summer” basically translates to – “time for cold and soothing breakfasts” During the cold months, I stay away from smoothies and therefore you will see how my waist line increases. But summer is when you wanna wear a nice  soft linen dress or cotton clothes right? I hate the idea of wearing denim during these hot months. I made the mistake of wearing jeans in Kerala!! OMG!! I had to peel it off my legs to get them off. LOL. A while ago I remember seeing this video of how girls/ women try to wear skinny jeans and how they look so pink and flustered at the end. So funny!! I am sure its there on YouTube. Another reason is, some mornings you just cannot get yourself to sit down and have a traditional breakfast right? After I have sent the husband to office and finished the baby boys morning chores I wish I had a nice tall glass of something cold and thats what makes smoothies just the best thing on earth. Like I have said before, smoothies are so versatile you could make any combination and it would taste remarkable!! and what’s more, they keep you full and happy till lunch time. Oh by the way you could totally do this for lunch too, but I like to sit down with my son on his chair by my side and we eat together. Separate plates, he playing with his food and me trying to teach him to eat on his own.

There are so many things you and me take for granted and so many things that you and me have to be thankful to our moms. Like how she thaught us to feed ourselves!! I mean the action of properly placing food into your mouth, without dropping a grain. Or how to hold a glass of water and place it back without spilling a drop. These are things we do every day, every time and have never stopped to think, how we developed these skills!

Ingredients :-

  1. Spinach – 200 gms ( washed and dried)
  2. Frozen Pineapple – 2 cups
  3. Kiwi – 2 ripe
  4. Coconut Water – 1 cup
  5. Amaranth Seeds – 1/2 cup ( optional)

Instructions:-

  1. Heat a pan on medium flame. Pour the Amaranth seeds into the hot pan and let them pop. They look like mini pop corn
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. In the bowl of your blender add the remaining ingredients and blend to a smooth consistency
  4. Pour into separate glass and top with the popped amaranth seeds
  5. Serve right away!!

Dry Fig, Dates and Saffron – Oats Smoothie – Super healthy kick start to the day!

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

So guess what!! This morning when I opened up WordPress I had this small little message pop up, wishing me ‘A Happy Anniversary’!! Yay!!

I cannot believe that its been one year since I started this baby! It still feels like yesterday when I asked my husband if he thought it was a good idea that I write down the recipes and photograph the food I make at home. From that day, to date, my dear husband has always been my inner voice and has always helped me with every post! Yes we are still in the “honeymoon” phase of the marriage. LOL.

Ok so this smoothie is such an easy drink to make and its actually just the addition of oats that makes it super filling. The figs and dates give it a very sweet yet fruity flavour and I absolutely love it.

Ingredients :-

  1. Oats – 1/2 cup
  2. Milk – 2 + 1/2 cup ( Cold milk)
  3. Dried Figs – 9
  4. Dates – 13 ( you can add or decrease according to taste) – deseeded
  5. Saffron strands – 1 good pinch ( more of garnish)
  6. Ice Cubes – 5 – 10

 

Instructions :-

  1. In a small mug, add two table spoons of milk and heat to warm
  2. Then add the saffron strands to the warm milk and set aside (this is to infuse the saffron in the milk)
  3. Now in the bowl of your blender, add oats, rest of the milk, figs, and dates
  4. Blend well to combine
  5. Finally add the saffron infused milk and strands
  6. Blend for another 2 mins
  7. Serve right away

Strawberry, Pistachio and Rose Lassi

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!

Did I tell you how awful last week was? And I am still hopeful that this week will be better. I haven’t started using my new camera. These photos are from the old one but I will write about the new camera soon. For now I am leaving you with this simple recipe for the perfect summer afternoon/ evening drink.

Ingredients :-

  1. Fresh Strawberries – 3 cups
  2. Thick Yogurt – 2 cups ( cold)
  3. Water – 1 cup ( cold)
  4. Rose Essence – 2 drops
  5. Pistachio – 10 – 11  (half chopped fine)
  6. Sugar – 2 – 3 tbsp ( according to taste)

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender add all ingredients  apart from the chopped pistachio
  2. Blend for 5 – 6 mins or till the mixture is smooth and red
  3. Pour into individual glasses and garnish with chopped pistachio
  4. Serve cold

 

Chilli Watermelon Agua Fresca

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How was the weekend? We had an awesome time. It started with a birthday party on Friday evening. I absolutely love birthday parties and I love how children find the cutest and sweetest games to play all by themselves. The next day was fun too. I love places that serve awesome starters than you never get to the main course. By Sunday, all we wanted to do was watch a nice movie and have some cold soothing drinks. So that is when I made this drink. Its super simple and I dint want it to be all too sweet so I added a little twist. The fun part is that the spicy hot taste sinks in only at the end. Makes you wanna drink some thing sweet so you take the next sip. Its sweet and fresh and then the chilli hits you again! ha ha. Its a circle (but not vicious). But by the time you have had a couple of glasses you feel refreshed and happy 🙂

I do not buy the seedless kind of watermelon simply cause that would mean they are not organic and have been altered. We try not having any food that has been genetically alerted and try sticking to organic stuff. So I buy the normal kind and I cut it into 4 halves. Then I make long incisions along the line of the seeds. I may miss a few but I still think its better than the seedless kind.

Ingredients :-

  1. Watermelon – 1kg ( de seeded and cut to cubes)
  2. Green Chillies – 3
  3. Honey – 2 tbsp
  4. Ice Cubes – 3 cups
  5. Water – 2 cups
  6. Mint leaves – 1 cups (packed)
  7. Lime – 4

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender add the watermelon, honey, green chillies, water and half the ice cubes
  2. Then cut the limes into half and squeeze the juice into the blender bowl. I use my hand as a strainer just to make sure there are no seeds in the bowl
  3. Blitz till all the watermelon and green chilli is juiced well . Pour into your serving jug
  4. Pick a few of the mint leaves and thrown them into the serving jug. Using a muddler just press the mint leaves to release their minty flavour into the drink
  5. Throw in a few ice cubes into your serving glass and pour the watermelon juice
  6. Garnish with fresh mint leaves

Green Monster Detox Smoothie

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

So, how are you all doing today? I am back with another ‘detox-cleanser’ smoothie. Remember how I said, my mother always says, eat your colours! This smoothie stays true to that. But before I get to that I wanna share something with you all. I have reached an important milestone as a blogger. 🙂 My Instagram page has now reached 1000 followers!! How awesome is that!!

When I began blogging I never knew how rewarding it would feel to exchange and share ideas of food with all of you.  I turned my private Instagram page to a public page only a few months ago. So yes I am going to say cheers to that with my Green Monster Smoothie. 🙂

This drink is not as filling as the smoothies that I make with oats but its more of a detox juice.

  • Spinach is good source of Vitamin K, C, A and high in iron, magnesium and Folate. Basically that translates to lush hair, strong bones, clear skin and good blood circulation
  • Celery helps to reduce bad cholesterol in the body and reduces inflammations. It is high in anti oxidants and vitamin K
  • Apple – An apple a day ….. ??

Together this smoothie is sure to make your feel brighter, fresher and will uplift your mood any time any day!

Ingredients :-

  1. Celery  – 2 stalks (chopped)
  2. Apple -2 ( cored and chopped)
  3. Pineapple – half ( skin cut off and flesh chopped)
  4. Spinach Leaves –  100 gms( cleaned and steam removed)
  5. Orange 1 ( juiced)
  6. Water – 1 cup
  7. Honey – 1 tbsp (adjust according to taste)
  8. Ice Cubes – 6- 10

Instructions :-

  1. In a blender bowl, add all the ingredients except water and honey
  2. Turn the blender on and add water as required to bring to the consistency you like
  3. Taste and add honey accordingly
  4. Add ice and give it a final blend
  5. Serve right away

 

Kesar Badami Dhoodh – Almond milk infused with saffron

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers,

It has been a crazy few weeks and I cannot begin to explain how time flies when you have a one year old at home! But amongst all the tantrums, chaos, food spilling and noise, we have our share of giggles, tickles, big wide smiles and lots of running around the couch. When most times I say oh I can’t wait for him to grow up, secretly I am saying ” I hope you never grown up”. Confused mum syndrome! LOL

So this is my favourite alternative to ice cold smoothies and juices. We usually serve it hot specially during the winter months but in summers it’s served cooooldd. My grandmother would take me to this “Bengali Sweets” shop close to home and we would have some rasmalai and one glass of this milk. I remember how she would hold my hand all the way from home to the shop. We walked slowly, looking at the blue and grey walls of the air force base, the shops and owners all waving their hands to my granny and she smiling back politely. To me, my grand mothers are the strongest and bravest women I have ever known! Even today given a chance she would walk all the way to the temple and back ( just after her hip replacement surgery). She still stays at the same house and when ever we go there, I turn to see if the old “Bengali Sweets” shop still stands and trust me, there is never a time that it isn’t crowded. The distinct smell of khoya and badam alway comes rushing to my mind as I think of the shop and the sweets there. This recipe encases a small piece of that old memory for me 🙂

Ingredients :-

  1. Milk – 1 ltr
  2. Almonds – 1 cup
  3. Saffron – one good pinch ( more like 1/4 tsp)
  4. Sugar – 4 – 5 tsp ( according to taste)
  5. Cardamom – 4

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a mug of water in the microwave and once it’s nice and hot take it out and drop the almonds into it
  2. Let it sit for a half hour. This helps to remove the skin easily
  3. Once done, simply pinch one end of the almond and the skin comes off easily
  4. Using a blender, blend the de-skinned almonds to a fine smooth paste. You could add a little milk to the almonds
  5. Now in a pot, add milk and bring to a slow boil
  6. Once it begins to boil reduce the heat and add the smooth almond paste, saffron strands, cardamom and sugar
  7. Stir the mixture a couple of times and let the mixture boil for another 10 mins
  8. Your saffron almond milk is ready. Before you serve the milk, use a spoon to fetch out the cardamom from the milk
  9. Serve hot right away or cool and chill in the fridge for later
  10. Garnish with dry rose petal and crushed pistachio for that regal feel!

Enjoy!!

 

Chiku Banana Oat Smoothie

Hello Dear Wonderful Readers!!

We love healthy breakfast’s at home. So I try my level best to bring out variations to our table every morning so that we are not bored of eating healthy everyday.  I have always known about the health benefits of oats, but it was only very recently that I decided to incorporate oats as a ‘first choice’ element in my everyday breakfast ideas. Since you are limited to just one grain, it is quite hard to achieve the goal of bringing about variations in breakfast as there is only so much you can do with just oats.

The goal, my dear friends, is to not use oil, sugar, processed cheese and sometimes omit dairy products all together. It’s a fallacy to believe that you need to drink cow’s milk in order to gain the required amount of calcium for your body. There are many other kinds of milk that can be easily made at home and yes it’s not as easy as buying milk from the store. Almond milk, soya milk, coconut milk, rice milk etc. The most largely used alternate to normal Cow’s milk is either Soya or Almond milk and the latter option is what  I have used in my smoothie today.

During winters, we love making Chikku/ Chikoo milkshake but I make sure the milk is at room temperature. Chikku is a wonderfully sweet fruit with various health benefits ranging from boosting your immunity to promoting weight loss and preventing anemia. It is really easy to know if they are ripe. Just press the skin of the fruit with a finger and if it is nice and soft, then it is ready to be consumed. Many people like to eat it with the skin on, but I prefer it without the skin simply cause it has a very “Mud” like texture. But the sweet soft pulp inside is a wonderful delight! Remember to remove the big black seeds from within before you add them in the blender.

Ingredients  :-

  1. Instant Oats – 5 tbsp
  2. Banana – 3 – 4 large (peeled, cut to coins and frozen)
  3. Chikku – 5
  4. Almond Milk – 2 cups
  5. Vanilla Extract – 2 tbsp
  6. Chocolate Sauce – just for the drizzle ( optional)
  7. Almonds – for garnish ( optional)

Instructions :-

  • Wash the chikku well and cut into two halves. Then spoon out the pulp from within. Press the pulp between your fingers to remove the seeds
  • Once you have all the chikkus deseeded and pulp removed, add the pulp into a blender bowl
  • Add the frozen bananas, oats and half the almond milk into the bowl and turn your blender on to low
  • Slowly add rest of the almond milk into the running mixer followed by the vanilla extract. Blitz for 5 whole minutes
  • Then pour into your smoothie mugs or glasses, drizzle a little chocolate over the top and garnish with almonds

 

Note :-

  • I have not added sugar because the chikku and banana where sweet enough, but you may add sugar according to taste
  • I used room temperature milk cause the banana was cold enough
  • Increase or decrease the amount of almond milk depending on how thick/light you like your smoothie