Thursday, 14 September 2017

Let’s Make A Toast To Being Cheesy



Have you ever wished to have a day specially dedicated to celebrating the total cheese fanatic in you? Well, bring out the champagne and the brie, because the Cheese Toast Day is here!

It’s time to spruce up your cheese toast game in true gourmet fashion and pay some homage to fromage. We have put together the most mouth-watering recipes that are gouda-licious and feta-ful. So, let the ultimate cheese fest begin!

1. Apple, Gruyère French Toast With Red Onion



Courtesy: doriannn.blogspot.in

This little, posh afternoon spread is so Gruyère-some! Believe us, your lunch date will not forget this cheesy soiree. The succulent, salty flavour of the onions mingles perfectly with the juicy sweetness of the apples to give your palette a savory jolt in every bite.

 Ingredients

•2 Slices of Artisanal bread
•3 ounces of grated Gruyère cheese (about 3/4 cup)
•¼ small onion, very thinly sliced
•2 Healthy Alternatives Free Range Country Eggs, lightly beaten
•¾ cup whole milk
•¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
•¼ teaspoon ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•2 tablespoons of Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil
•1 small apple, cored, quartered and very thinly sliced

Instructions

1.Cut into the crust of the bread to make a pocket but not all the way. Tuck half the cheese and onion slices in the pocket. Repeat with the other slice.
2.In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Soak the stuffed bread in this mixture turning once until most of the liquid has been absorbed, for about 5 minutes.
3.Heat oil over medium heat and add half of the apple slices in a single layer and cook for 1 minute. Place the bread slices over the apples and arrange the rest of the apple slices on top of it; cook for 1 more minute.
4.Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook increasing the heat to medium; carefully turn the bread and the apples and cook until the bread is golden and the cheese has melted, for about 3 to 5 minutes and serve.

2. Leeks And Blue Cheese Rarebit



Courtesy: Localhaven.net

Mmmmelted cheese! Melted cheese on toast is a pretty delectable snack in itself. But what really makes it go from absolutely great to absolutely gratifying is the extraordinary combination of sweet leeks and tangy blue cheese. Just one mouthful will get you rallying for this rarebit!

Ingredients

•40g of unsalted butter
•2 leeks, trimmed, halved, washed and finely sliced
•70 ml of heavy cream
•100-130g of blue cheese, crumbled
•½ Tsp of thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•4 thick slices of sourdough bread

Instructions

1.Melt the butter over a medium-low heat.
2.Cook the leeks in the butter with a good pinch of salt until they are meltingly soft and tender, for about 15 minutes.
3.Add the cream and let it bubble for four or five minutes until it is thickened. Stir in two-thirds of the cheese until it is melted, then ¬remove it from the heat, stir in the rest of the cheese, the thyme and seasoning.
4.Lightly toast the bread, pour the leek and cheese mixture on it, and pop it under a hot grill until the cheese mixture is bubbling and golden.

3. Bacon, Brie, And Apricot On Toast



Courtesy: www.yammiesnoshery.com

Have you ever wondered what heaven tastes like? Well, once you dig into this brie-lliantdeduction of crunchy bacon and candied apricot, it won’t be a mystery anymore.  Crusty, crunchy and oh so gooey, that’s the perfect way to satiate all your cheesy cravings.

Ingredients

•A few slices of bacon
Healthy Alternatives Gluten Free Sourdough Bread
Apricot jam
•Brie cheese
Butter
•About 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
Basil

Instructions

1.Cook the bacon and spread the apricot jam on both slices of the bread. Add slices of the brie and the cooked bacon to the bread slices and sandwich them together.
2.Liberally, butter both sides of the sandwich on the outside and cook, covered, over medium heat, flipping halfway through until the bread is browned and the cheese is melted
3.Meanwhile, microwave the balsamic vinegar, stirring every minute until it starts to boil. Then stir, every 20 seconds until it is syrupy.
4.Drizzle the finished grilled cheese with the balsamic reduction and garnish it with basil if desired. Enjoy.

This cheese toast day, get all the artisanal breads and gourmet cheeses you could possibly wish for on Nature’s Basket.

There are many more cheesy recipes to indulge in. Click here to find some un-brie-dled, decadent grilled cheese recipes.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Is The Charcoal Food Trend Here To Stay?


Courtesy: India.com

We have seen our fill of the bright and picturesque unicorn, rainbow and mermaid food trends. But the all new, darker, more sinister charcoal food trend is here to take you over to the other side.
From desserts to smoothies to pizzas, this monochromatic food trend has found its way everywhere.

So, what’s the deal with activated charcoal? Moreover, as delicious as it looks, is it safe to consume? Let’s dig deeper and find out whether black is the new black after all.

1.  What Gives These Foods Their Deep, Dark Colour?


Courtesy: Pinterest

Activated charcoal is the by-product of burning coconut shells, wood, or other plant materials. That doesn’t sound edible, does it? But don’t fret, charcoal made from coconuts is actually harmless, and is not the same as eating something that is charred or burnt.

You can easily make it at home by burning wood, coconut shell or coal and then filtering the ash with calcium chloride. You can also use activated charcoal tablets but be sure to proceed with caution if it’s not used properly the dish may go down the drain.

2. The Dark Food Trend


@crbn.io/Instagram

The moody trend has taken over Instagram and other social platforms by storm with various food bloggers adopting this trend in some fun and flavourful ways. We have seen our favourite foods in their blacker editions, everything fromice-creams, bagels, burger buns and even some pastas. Does this sinister food trend seem tempting to your palette?

You can experiment with charcoal to create some unique combinations like charcoal blueberry smoothies, black licorice cupcakes, charcoal black lemonadesor some activated charcoal waffle sandwiches.

Harbor in on this quick charcoal blueberry smoothie recipe. All you need is 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of frozen blueberries, ¼ avocado and a handful of spinach. Add in 1 or 2 charcoal capsules as required. Enjoy the sinister goodness!

(If you are taking any prescription medicine, do check with your physician before trying any activated charcoal foods to see whether it may interfere with theabsorption of the medicine by your body.)

3. Is The Charcoal Food Trend Safe To Eat?



Charcoal can clearly work wonders on your skin and is known for itsdetoxifying properties, but how healthy is it to consume charcoal? Well, the good news is that the food trend has been approved by the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Pointand the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
Various physicians have also clearly stated that it is a safe trend and poses no real threat to our bodies unless we overdo it. The rule here is to practice moderation and experimenting with the trend in a limited portion.

Charcoal has widely been used in hospitals to treat various cases of poisoning and has antidote like properties. Never been used in food before charcoal made from burning coconut shells may have varied medicinal properties but there isn’t enough data to prove the same.

But hey, what we do know is that if just want to have fun with charcoal and add a darker spin to your food with this black food trend, nothing is stopping you as long as you don’t over-indulge yourself.
Ready to try the charcoal food trend? Check out this charcoal ice cream recipe!

4. Black Charcoal Ice Cream Recipe


Courtesy: mymodernmet.com

Ingredients

•400 ml of whipping cream
•2 tablespoons of edible activated charcoal
•4 Healthy Alternatives Free Range Country Eggs
•140 grams of Healthy Alternatives Refined Sugar
•1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Instructions

1.Beat the whipping cream and activated charcoal with an electric mixer until it forms a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted.
2.In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add the sugar and vanilla. Beat well with an electric mixer until the mixture forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted and the ribbon remains on the surface of the mixture for a few seconds.
3.Add half of the egg mixture to the whipped cream and whisk together. Add the remaining egg mixture and gently fold the mixture together to combine. Make sure to be gentle and keep the mixture as airy as possible.
4.Pour the ice cream into a Tupperware container, and seal it with the lid. Place this container in the freezer for 7-8 hours to chill and set.

Ready to get your charcoal on? Get your ingredients here.

Have you heard about the new meatless food trend? Read all about it here.

How Can You Be More Creative With Tacos?


Tacos are one of our all-timefavourite Mexican dishes. And why not? They make for a versatile meal packed with different varieties of fillings, making it an ideal choice for vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
You can pretty much pack anything in your taco and come up with a finger-licking good snack or meal option. Want to spruce up your taco game? Check out these creative ways to have some fun with tacos.

1. Crunchy Lentil Tacos With Avocado Feta Guacamole


You must have eaten tacos and lentils separately, but have you ever tried them together? Dig into this heavenly combination of tacos and lentils to fill up on a healthy and hearty meal. These lentil tacos can be a mouth-watering mid-week pick up to indulge in.

Ingredients

•1 tablespoon of avocado oil
•2 1/2 cups of pre-cooked lentils
•1 small onion, finely chopped
•1 teaspoon of ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Cumin Whole
•1 teaspoon of Healthy Alternatives Organic Red Chilly Powder
•1/4 teaspoon of ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•1/8 teaspoon of salt
•1/4 cup of water
•3 small avocados or 2 medium to large avocados
•1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
•8-12 crunchy taco shells
•Chopped lettuce, chopped tomato, cilantro,hot sauce (Optional)

Instructions

1.Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add some oil and ½ a cup of chopped onion to the pan, stir until the onion is softened, for 2 minutes. Add cooked lentils to the pan and stir, then add the cumin, the chili powder, salt, pepper, and water to the lentil/onion mixture, and stir well to combine. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer while preparing the avocado feta guacamole.
2.Remove the skin and the pit from the avocados and place them in a medium-sized, mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork, then add the remaining chopped onion and the feta cheese, stirring well to combine.
3.Spoon the lentil mixture into a serving bowl, and place it on the dining table along with the taco shells, avocado feta guacamole, and the desired taco toppings for self-serving.

2. Roasted Asparagus And Cherry Tacos



Courtesy: notwithoutsalt.com

Asparagus and cherries have never been heard of together in a taco. But trust us, this combination of sweet and succulentflavours can really open up the experimental side of your palate. These ingredients, whether grilled or roasted, can bring out the foodie in you.

Ingredients

•450 grams of asparagus spears, with the stems,trimmed
Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive oil
•Salt
•freshly ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•250 grams of cherries, halved and pitted
Flour tortillas 

For garnishing

•Asparagus salsa
•Queso fresco
•Cilantro

Instructions

1.Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.Arrange the asparagus spears in a single layer on a roasting pan or a baking sheet. Drizzle just enough olive oil to lightly and evenly coat, and toss. Season with some salt and pepper. Place in the oven.
3.After about 10 minutes, turn the asparagus spears and add the cherries to the pan.
4.Continue to roast until the asparagus is just tender and browned, for about 20 minutes.
5.To serve, place a few asparagus spears and cherry halves in the center of a tortilla and garnish with some asparagus salsa, queso fresco, and cilantro.

3. Spaghetti Tacos


Courtesy: www.tastefullysimple.com

This dish is a kid pleaser for sure! These Italian-Mexican tacos with spaghetti take creativity to a whole new level. It’s everything your child can wish for in just one recipe.So, put on your chef’s hat and cook up this lip-smacking dish for dinner tonight.

Ingredients

•1 (16 ounces) package Capellini pasta
•1 (5.8 ounces) package of crisp taco shells
•1 (28 ounces) jar of spaghetti sauce
•¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

1.Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once, the water is boiling, stir in the angel hair pasta, and return to a boil.
2.Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to bite, for about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well.
3.Return the pasta to the pot, and pour the sauce over the pasta; mix thoroughly until reheated.
4. Place the taco shells into a microwave oven in a stack, and fan the stack out to a circular shape so the edges of the taco shells overlap slightly. Cook on High until warmed and crisp, for about 30 to 45 seconds.
5.Fill the warm taco shells with the pasta mixture. Sprinkle the pasta filling of each shell with about 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese before serving.

Find the freshest ingredients to make these recipes, right here.

Check out these Kids’Special for some food inspiration to brighten up your child’s day!

How To Make Your Rice Pilaf Fluffy And Flavourful?




We Indians are considered to be experts in making rice pilaf. So, do you really know what Rice Pilaf actually is? Pilaf is a dish of cooked rice in a seasoned broth or stock. This lets the rice absorb all the richflavours from the stock and develop an aromatic, flavourful taste.
In some cases, the rice may attain its brown or golden colour by first, being sautéed lightly in oil before the addition of the broth. Cooked onion, different colourful vegetables, as well as a mix of spices, may be added. Depending on the local cuisine, it may also contain meat, fish, vegetables, pasta, and dried fruit.
Rice pilaf is easy to make but making it nice and fluffy may be the challenge. Be sure to follow a few of our basic steps to ensure that your rice pilaf is nice and fluffy.

1. Simmer The Rice Over Medium Heat.

It is extremely important to cook the rice over a medium to low heat in a generous amount of butter or any other fat of one’s choice, maybe ghee or olive oil. This helps the rice develop a distinct texture and flavour.

2. Use Lesser Liquid Than Normal.

The standard ratio of liquid to rice would be 2:1 but we suggest using 1 and a ½ cups of liquid for every cup of rice, this helps ensure a separate texture for the rice. Add the rice and let it simmer for around 20 minutes in the stock broth.

3. Let The Rice Sit For 7 Minutes Away From The Heat 

Once the rice is done being cooked, take it off the heat and let it sit covered, this lets the starch firm up and it will ensure that the rice is not sticky. Go for the Healthy Alternatives Organic Brown Basmati Rice to make a healthier version of your go-to rice pilaf.
So, be sure, to use these tips the next time you’re making rice pilaf for an extra fluffy and flavourful treat.

Ready to be a culinary expert at rice pilaf? Get your ingredients here.

Are you a rice fanatic? Know all about the different kinds of rice and their nutrient properties here.

Is Ghee better than Butter?




As Indians, we love the taste of ghee with our rotis, parathas and even puris. And what could be better than hot, gobblesome, ghee drenchedrotis?But we also love our buttered toast for breakfast and a plate full of butterlicious pav bhaji.
Both butter and ghee have been used extensively in Indian kitchens but when it comes to health, which one is actually better for you? We are here to tell you which among your favourite products you can indulge in more often.

1. Ghee


Ghee is the traditional substitute for butter, which we all know about but many of us choose not to use it due to its taste. Ghee is made removing the water and milk fats from butter. Ghee is as desi as it can getand has found its honorary place in the kitchen of every traditional Indian household.

So how is ghee better than butter? Well for one, it’s an unprocessed fat and is also lactose -free, which is why it is a blessing wrapped in dairy goodness for people who may have allergies or are sensitive to dairy products. This buttery cup full of fluiddeliciousness may also help you lower cholesterol levels with regular use. But just be sure, not to go overboard on the ghee express, three teaspoons a day of Healthy Alternatives Cow Ghee shall suffice.

2. Butter


We, Indians, love butter in almost every dish we make, be it butter chicken or even a hot slice of buttered toast for breakfast.  Believe it or not, butter does have a few benefits, so you can indulge in this yummy treat without guilt-tripping yourself so much.
Butter is loaded with antioxidants that protect you from weak arteries and free radical damage. It is a great source of vitamins E and K and can provide some quick energy as well. So, how about that gorgeously buttered slice of garlic bread, now?

3.Which to eat and why?

Ghee is great for people with lactose intolerance and who are allergic to dairy products, it has no trans fats and is unprocessed. It can help to lower unhealthy cholesterol levels while butter may actually lead to an increase in these levels. Being the unadulterated version ghee is a better option over butter, but if your heart still calls out to butter go for the made-at-home, unprocessed version.

Get your spoonful of ghee and butter at Godrej Nature’s Basket.

Do you know why the West is suddenly raving about ghee? Click here to get the full scoop.

Skim milk vs Whole milk



To skim or not to skim? Is this question keeping you from reaching towards your bowl of cereal every morning? No need to fretover dairy, we are here to answer all your milk queries. Reading this article will definitely change your perception about skimmed milk.

Skimmed Milk

Skimmed milk is basically milk without the cream (milk fat). With only 0.1% of fat,skimmed milk is a really good substitute for whole milk as it has very little fat and is low in calories, too. It is a good source of protein as it contains all the 9 amino acids, which are responsible for muscle building.

It contains high levels of protein, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A and D and minerals so, it is good for giving you a healthy boost everyday.

Whole Milk

Whole milk, on the other hand, is milk from which no constituent has been removed. Research has shown that having whole milk has resulted in less weight gain than low-fat milkin adult women. Children between the age groups of 1-6  who have whole milk have shown higher levels of vitamin D along with lower BMI(body mass content) than low-fat milk consumers.

Skimmed Milk, Semi-Skimmed Or Whole Milk?

Skimmed milk may be low in fats and calories but you also tend to miss out on fat soluble nutrients like vitamins A & E. Semi skimmed milkis low enough in fat to be a ‘low-fat’ food but it still has lower levels of fat soluble vitamins than whole milk.

According to research, people opting for a higher protein and vitamin diet should go for skimmed milk as it contains the perfect nutrients for faster muscle building as compared to whole milk.If you are opting for skimmed or semi-skimmed milk make sure to get your fat-soluble vitamins from other sources like veggies and salads.

But people who have a high risk of diabetes in the family and also those people who want to have lower blood sugar should opt for whole milk.A research published in the journal Circulation has shockingly shown that people who consumed higher levels of three different byproducts of full-fat dairy had, on average, 46% lower risk of getting diabetes than those with lower levels.

Another study published in the Journal of the American Journal Of  Nutrition about the effects of full fat and low-fat dairy on obesityfound that among 18,438 women in the Women’s Health Study, the ones who consumed the most high-fat dairy products lowered their risk of being overweight or obese by 8%.

What About Soy And Almond Milk?

According to research, the protein in skimmed milk builds muscles faster than the protein in soy milk. A single cup of skimmed milk can give you upto 8.5 grams of protein.While  1-cup of skim milk has 9 grams of protein,almond milk has less than 2 grams of protein per cup.
While considering which type of milk to go for, look at the health benefits of each type of milk along with your preference, personal taste, and diet.

Looking for more ways to kickstart your health? Click here

Friday, 8 September 2017

Is Frozen Yogurt Healthier than Ice-cream?



Nowadays people have become way more health conscious than they were before. Low in calories and high in protein -that’s the healthy balance everyone wants to achieve, which brings us to this very hot topic– Froyo vs ice-cream, what is healthier? If you’re looking to make an informed decision for your cheat day, read on!

Sugar Content

Ice-cream is sweet, so is yogurt. So what is the argument really about? The sugar content. We cannot ignore how much sugar is added to frozen yogurt to get rid of the tangy taste and as a preservative. This makes it a health hazard in case you’re a regular Froyo consumer.

Nutrition

Yogurt contains probiotics, carbohydrates, and vitamins. On the other hand, ice-cream’s nutritional content depends completely on what ice-cream it is. Let’s get into details. When it’s yogurt versus cream, yogurt wins because it has low sugar content. Now when it's frozen, a lot of sugar is added. This makes it just as unhealthy as cream.

Eating Habits

The sugar content in Froyo is alarming. In spite of that, people assume that Froyo is healthier because it is made up of yogurt. This results in taking that extra scoop of yogurt. Eating Froyo in that quantity is as good as eating ice cream and, also, not to mention, the add-ons, the sprinkles, the brownie bites – that’s where it becomes heavy and more unhealthy. Froyo is supposed to help you lose weight but the add-ons will be a barrier. Homemade unsweetened ice cream, on the other hand, is just like drinking a fruit smoothie.

So What Is Healthier?

None or both – it’s how you eat it that decides how healthy or unhealthy a particular thing is. Anything in a limited quantity is harmless.  Say no to sprinkles and other add-ons and you’re good to go – whether you have an ice-cream in your hand or a cup of Froyo.

Want to be on the healthy side of the debate? Dive into this article about Greek Yogurt!