Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oats Almond Cookie

The demand of these cookies had been very high since i started sharing it with family and friends about 2 years ago. Every time, I go to India for vacation, standard order comes for these and avocado sweet bread.  The effort is very little and so the ingredients.  I have seen most of the cookies call for either tons of sugar or butter or oil.  Oat raisin cookies is no exception. 

Try these ones and let me know what you think?  I do not make any other cookie except these ones on regular basis.

Some prep work is there. 

What you need?

Grind oats and sieve them.  Measure 1.25 cups
Grind whole raw almonds.  Measure 1 cup
Sugar - 4 Tbsp
Coconut oil-4 Tbsp  or Butter-4 Tbsp.
Milk - 1 Tbsp + (optional)
salt - 1/4 tsp (if you like salty sugar taste)
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Cardomom powder-1/4 tsp


How to make?

1. Beat sugar and coconut oil.  If using butter, bring it to room temperature, beat very well for about 4 mins with sugar.
2. Add all the dry ingredients
3. Make a stiff dough by pouring liquid with dry mix.  Add a tbsp of milk if it is too hard to roll them.
4.  Spread oil in a cookie sheet and keep it ready
5. Roll small balls and flatten them and arrange them in cookie sheet.  Leave space in between, they will expand.
6. Bake at 350 for 20 mins.   Rotate them in the middle.
7. Take out and turn the cookies to the other side.  Bake for 10 more mins. 
8. Once done, let it cool in the wire rack.    It will harden as it cools and tastes better.

Keep checking after 25 mins just to make sure that it does not burn.   

Try out and let me know.



Look for healthy whole grains and beans

Rice was definetely a wonder food of olden days.  It was not that much processed then.  And also our ancestors used lot of small grains in their daily life.  They were not dependent only on rice.  Today, rice is the predominant grain used by most of the asians.

If you are in India,  check out cr.wheat, red rice, Ragi, millets, barley,horse gram, buckwheat(kuttu) and look for ways to incorporate them in your daily cooking. 

If you are in USA, check out for all the above things as well as Spelt, Rye, Barley, Groats as well.   You also get flakes here from health stores like whole foods which can be easily cooked in few mins on hot water. 

Use different kind of beans into your daily cooking, add as little as 1/4 cup of dried beans (it should be soaked for about 6 hours before use).

Using different kinds of grains and beans gives a variety into your daily menu.

Yellow Dosai (Besan, Chana flour)

This is one quick, wholemeal which can be prepared without any preparation! Yes, it is true.  Yet it tastes very good and packs lot of protein.  Some website told that chana flour is even for diabetic people.   Please verify this information. 

Here we go for the recipe.

What you need?

Chana flour-1 cup
Salt-1/2 tsp
Green chillies-cut fine as per taste
Ginger-1 inches

Toppings (optional)

coriander
onion
cabbage

How to make?
1. Mix all ingredients together with water to make it to batter consistency.
2. Get the toppings ready if using
3. Heat Tava and start making crepes.  You can use little oil if you want, turn the crepe to the other side and let it cook on the other side. 

Plan your weekly menu

Planning is critical to cook and pack food for the family.  I started maintaining an excel when I started to work after becoming Mom.  It has items like Beans, veggies, lunch and dinner menu so that we do not miss the critical inputs.  Couple of my colleagues say that they do not have variety of food items to have so they go out and eat from restaurant.  When we go to restaurant, we find the menu to be boring, same kind..  Our weekly menu is generally quite versatile so that we dont get bored with home made food.  I have an excel which i update mostly on Mondays for the whole work week.

Sample week Menu:

Monday is simple one pot meal for all of us.  (Mix veg Pulao or Upma)

Tuesdays -  Veggie Dal (Kuttu) with some mixed rice/grain like lemon/sesame seeds

Wednesdays - Sprouts for Adults and chappathi rolls or parata for kids

Thursdays - Pasta

Fri - Rasam/Sambar with Sabji (veggie curry)

I keep changing the grain or the variety every week

Dinner is mostly dosai/adai(lentils crepe) with veggie dips (chutneys) or phulka and sabji.

If you need more ideas, email me.  I will be happy to share a list of items that we can quickly make.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fat free Milk

Here is another thought!  Vit A, D, K and E are absorbed by the body only with Fat because they are fat soluble.  Thanks to chiropractor for reminding me this.

Fat free milk - most of the vitamins and other essential nutrients does not get absorbed by the body without fat.

At the same time, saturated fat is also not that good for people with cholesterol history. 

I just follow this,  I made home made milk mix with

Flax meal - 2 cups
Pepper powder - 2 Tbsp
Cardamom Elachi powder- 1/2 Tbsp
Chia seeds-1 cup (optional)
Sugar-1/4 cup (optional)

 I use strauss fat free milk which does not have animal based Vit D3 and add 2 Tbsp of this powder (warm or cold) and have it along with my morning brkfast.   You can also sweeten it with agave nectar 1 tsp.

Conciously, use required fat and choose natural good fat.

Thanks for reading!  Healthy living.

A thought towards brown sugar

I was buying brown sugar as a healthy alternate to sugar.  But when I thought about how it is made and figured out, it did not sound like an healthy alternate for the cost that we pay for it.  Brown sugar is simply white sugar mixed with molasses. Light brown sugar uses less molasses.  What is good for us is just the molasses and not the white sugar. 

Better alternates from my opinion

1.  Molasses without sulphur (you can buy it from health stores). 
             If you still want brown sugar, just mix with white sugar but for far less expensive price.
2.  Jaggery

Any thoughts!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Orange Colored Popsicles

This was my new discovery this summer.  My older kid does not like sneaking in veggies though she eats her veggies everyday. I tricked her with this one. She could not guess that it was carrots! hurray! But I tell them what is in their food so that they know it and get acquaintained with that taste.

What you need?

Carrots-6 count
Honey-3 Tbsp
condensed milk-1/2 cup(can be replaced with 2%milk and more honey)

How to make?

1. Peel and cut carrots
2. Simmer carrots in milk and let it cook well
3.  let it cool. Blend it well and add honey.  You can adjust it to your taste.
4. Pour them in popsicle mould or small paper cups.
5. Freeze them for 3+ hours.  In case you used paper cups, insert a stick after 2 hours. 

Popscles would be ready to serve !