Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Flax seeds for the perfect flex

Flax seeds, also called linseeds are one of the most underestimated gluten-free superfoods. It has completely been neglected for the protein value it has, and is often replaced by other less nutritious foods that are more popular. Did you also know that flax seeds are the richest source of plant based Omega 3 fatty acids? So if you’re a vegetarian, they are the perfect option for you to keep your heart healthy. Besides this, it has a ton of other benefits that’ll surely make you want to switch to #HealthyAlternatives.

Benefits of Flax Seeds

The perfect fiber-carb ratio
Flax seeds are high in fiber, helping you to improve your digestion system and prevent constipation. In case you’ve had too much Coffee, remember that your way out of this is Flax seeds.  It also has a low carb count and helps you satiate your hunger for a longer time so that you can stay fit.

As mentioned earlier, Flax seeds is a food, Good-For-Your-Heart because it is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids that is needed to maintain a balanced diet. It doesn’t have any cholesterol and helps to naturally reduce your cholesterol levels.

Weight Loss
If you’re looking at starting a weight loss diet, Flax seeds should definitely be a part of it. Since it is full of healthy fats and fiber, it helps to keep your hunger satisfied for longer thereby reducing your calorie count. This way, you can use Flax Seeds as an excuse to miss out your gym sessions once a while.

Healthy Skin & Hair
Your beauty sleep is not enough for you to have the perfect skin and there is no shampoo that’ll ensure silky and smooth hair. If you’re looking for a remedy, Flax seeds are the perfect option. It is high in B vitamins and other essential fats that reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve the symptoms of acne and eczema. You could also use flax seed oil as a natural skin moisturizer.

Now that we’ve convinced you about why you should switch to #HealthyAlternatives like Flax seeds, here’s a quick recipe for a breakfast smoothie bowl that’ll help you start of your day energized!

2 Tbsp flax seeds
1 cup milk
1 cup chilled strawberries (sliced)
1/2 cup chilled bananas (sliced)
2 tsp floral honey
Bowl of almonds
Garnish: 2 strawberries and 2 bananas slices

1. Add strawberries, bananas, flax seeds and floral honey in milk, blend in a juicer till the mixture is smooth and frothy.
2. Pour equal quantities of the smoothie into 2 individual bowls.
3. Serve garnished with a strawberry and banana slice.

If you ever have a difficulty in finding anything healthy, just visit a Nature’s Basket store near you or log on to www.naturesbasket.co.in and pick your favourite #HealthyAlternatives.

Elephant Rice Idli, a healthy treat for your kids

Kids love a bit of colour in everything. The same old boring food can get monotonous, especially if your child is familiar with its look and taste. Therefore, experimenting with their food, using Healthy Alternatives like Elephant rice, that is high in protein, minerals and keeps their bones healthy, should definitely be a part of your daily routine. Here’s how you can add a healthy twist to their food which will definitely grab their attention.  

1 cup Forest Elephant Rice
1 cup Brown Rice
½ cup Urad dal
½ tsp Fenugreek seeds

1.Wash and soak the Forest Elephant Rice and whole Urad dal with fenugreek seeds separately for atleast 4 hours.
2.Grind as bit coarse slightly as thick batter with enough water in a grinder.
3.Add enough salt, mix well and keep it for fermentation overnight.
4.The next day while making idli, give a stir to the fermented batter.
5.Pour enough fermented idli batter to the greased idli plates and cook in idli cooker for 10-15 minutes.
6.Serve healthy idli with any sort of spicy chutneys or sambar.

The next time you visit a Nature’s Basket near you, do stroll past our Healthy Alternatives range for the healthiest choices in food. You can also visit www.naturesbasket.co.in and view our range.

Buckwheat Garden Salad

Your salad could get much healthier, just by adding one more ingredient! Buckwheat, also known as ‘Kuttu’ is a Gluten-free superfood that gives your salad a super touch! It is high in protein and natural fiber, supports weight loss and controls blood sugar levels too. Buckwheat also has potassium that is good for your heart. The best part, you can practically add it to any dish and boost your health!

Here’s a recipe for Buckwheat Garden Salad that’ll do your health good:

1 cup buckwheat groats
2 cups water
½ tsp salt
½ chayote, finely dices
12 large green olives, pitted and quartered
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
50g walnut, chopped
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
2 tbs fresh mint, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

1.In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add buckwheat groats, reduced heat, cover and cook until all water has absorbed, about 10 minutes.
2.Remove lid and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. You can also cook your buckwheat groats the previous day and let them cool overnight.
3.Add all ingredients, including cooled buckwheat to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
4.Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) to allow for flavours to develop.

You can get lazy when it comes to exercise, but healthy eating is probably the easiest way to get fit. Visit www.naturesbasket.co.in and view our range of Healthy Alternatives so that you can change your bad-for-you-lifestyle with good-for-you-food!

Friday, 30 September 2016

Benefits of Black rice

Black rice is an ancient grain with wonderful health benefits. It is packed with great levels of fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. It keeps the weight in control and is high in minerals and vitamins.  Black rice is known for its abilities to fight diseases. It is called black rice because of its interesting purplish, black color. Food that is darker in color usually contains more nutrients, black rice is no different. It contains minerals, vitamins, iron, zinc and 18 amino acids. 

Let’s go through few interesting health benefits of black rice – 

1) Prevents diabetes 
The risk of type-2 diabetes is found to be reduced considerably with the consumption of black rice. Whole grains like this boosts energy levels, helps to maintain body weight and controls diabetes. 

2) Controls obesity 
Black rice is one of the greatest sources of fiber. It helps combat cravings, overeating and hunger. It is also known to help reduce insulin, which is often related to a higher risk of obesity.         

3) Helps in digestion 
The fiber content in the rice improves digestion to a great extent. It helps prevent constipation, bloating and many digestive issues. It also ensures smooth functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. 

4) Natural detox 
Black rice helps in natural detoxification processes and helps prevent toxic build up. It also helps in cleansing of liver- due to its antioxidants which help reduce inflammation.     

5) Healthy heart         
Black rice reduces the risk of plaque formation in the arteries. Having clear arteries is essential and it also lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. The phytochemicals found in black rice helps to control and maintain the cholesterol levels.           

Taste of black rice 
Black rice is not very tasty but it has its own unique, nutty taste. It is denser than refined rice. 
You can eat it like your regular rice with curry, dal, soup or any sauces. You could also add it to your everyday salad. It’s best to soak the grain for two hours prior to cooking. You can also mix it with other grains if you don’t like the taste of black rice. 

Black rice pudding
•1 cup black rice
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 (13 1/2- to 15-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, stirred well

To prepare rice, take 3 cups of water, ¼ teaspoon salt and put it to boil. Make sure you cover it with lid and prepare it for 45 minutes. The rice will be cooked but still wet. Add some sugar, 1’4 teaspoon salt and 1½ cups of coconut milk and heat it at high temperature. After some time, recuse the heat and stir continuously for about 30 minutes until the mixture becomes thick. 
Remove the mixture and let it cool at room temperature, keep an eye on the mixture stir it in between if needed. Now before serving divide it into 8–9 bowls and make sure to stir the remaining coconut milk in the mixture. 
A tasty black rice pudding is ready for you!

Checkout our wide range of #HealthyAlternatives rice varieties at www.naturesbasket.co.in 

Gluten free pasta recipes

For those who love pasta but are watchful of their health, and for the ones who are intolerant towards gluten, the gluten free pasta that is high in fiber and keeps you energized, is nothing less of a boon. Here’s an amazing recipe using gluten free pasta.

Homemade Tomato Sauce
1 to 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup diced white onion (or dried)
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 vine-ripened tomatoes
1/3 cup red wine (Menage a Trois works wonders with this recipe)
2 jars organic low-sodium tomato paste
1/2 to 1 red bell pepper, diced
2 medium zucchini, peeled
1 portabella mushroom, chopped
1/3 cup basil, chopped
Paprika, cayenne, and oregano, to taste
Artisanal cheese or nutritional yeast, to taste (optional)

Gluten free pasta 
1 packet of pasta of your choice

Step 1 
In a pan, heat oil. Pour little water and add onion, garlic and spices. Now make a saute out of it.

Step 2 
Chop few tomatoes and add it to the pan, now pour some red wine. Cover it and let it cook for 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes start reducing.

Step 3 
Now add tomato paste and stir continuously 

Step 4
Time to add some veggies such as bell pepper, zucchini and basil. 

Step 5 
Boil water to prepare the pasta, simply toss it up in the sauce and add veggies to it. 
A healthy gluten free pasta is ready! 

Benefits of gluten free pasta 
Gluten is basically a protein content of wheat and certain cereals. The word ‘gluten’ has become a bit of buzz now and is gaining more and more recognition. However, we will study the benefits of gluten free foods- 

1) Maintains body weight 
Glutens tend to increase the body weight. So eliminating them from the diet can help you maintain or lose some weight. However, you need to be very careful that you consume gluten free food in moderation otherwise it might harm you. 

2) Improves mood 
Studies say that people you consume gluten free diet are able to think clearly and focus better, are also much more aware of their surroundings. 

3) Improved digestion 
Did you know having gluten free food helps you in digestion? Individual’s suffering from Celiac disease often change their diet to a gluten free one. When you remove gluten from your diet, you often reduce a number of intestinal problems including gas, upset stomach, cramps and constipation. 

4) Cholesterol improvement 
Since gluten free diet eliminates most of the unhealthy food, individuals who follow a gluten free diet will report a lowered cholesterol levels. Doctors usually recommend gluten free diet for cholesterol patients, thus reducing the medicine intake. 

5) Getting rid of acne 
Gluten free diet is known to produce an overall clearer complexion and help get rid of acne. 

6) Increased energy 
Who does not want more energy? Having a gluten free diet eliminates high calorie carbohydrates, which makes us feel bloated sometimes. Sweet potatoes are considered to be the best source for increased energy from gluten free food. 

If you are gluten intolerant, view our exciting #HealthyAlternatives range of gluten free pasta at www.naturesbasket.co.in

Why should Quinoa seeds become a part of your daily diet?

Quinoa is a high in protein and gluten free food, considered as one of the world’s most popular health foods. It is one of the very few plant foods that contain all nine important amino acids. It is also high in fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and various essential antioxidants. 

Let’s glance through the benefits of using quinoa seeds- 

1) Perfect for people with gluten intolerance 
You can stay gluten free by using Quinoa because it’s a seed and not a grain, thus, it does not contain any gluten or wheat in it. You are now open to a wide variety of quinoa recipes without worrying if it’s going to upset your body system. 

2) Helps to maintain your body weight 
The fiber quotient in the Quinoa helps the body to get rid of the excess fat and also helps you feel fuller throughout the day. This in return helps your digestive processes and helps you eat less. In short, quinoa helps you avoid overeating and maintains your diet.

3) Reduces cholesterol 
Again fiber plays an important role in reducing your cholesterol. Many people rely on medicines to reduce cholesterol but with doctor’s advice and certain dietary changes you can reduce or avoid the medication to keep your cholesterol under control. Quinoa can be used in a variety of recipes and makes it easy. 

4) Controls blood pressure 
Yes, the fiber levels in quinoa have a direct effect on your blood pressure. Quinoa has a very delicate flavor and hence can be used in about any food recipe without harming the original taste of the food. Thus, it’s one of the easiest ways to keep your blood pressure levels in check 

5) Balances blood sugar levels 
Adding quinoa to your meal will help you maintain or reduce your blood sugar levels. If there is a specific dish or a recipe that you can’t have normally, see if adding quinoa seeds helps brining it down to a point where you can enjoy your favorite dish without worrying. Once you feel that the quinoa seeds are helping you, try out in most of your meals you eat during the day. 

Here’s a simple recipe using Quinoa seeds- 

•3 cups cooked quinoa
•1 cup shredded red cabbage or finely chopped kale
•1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
•1 cup thinly sliced carrots
•½ cup thinly sliced green onions
•⅓ cup cilantro
•1 batch dressing of your choice

Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss it up and serve instantly. 

Checkout our #HealthyAlternatives range of organic quinoa products at www.naturesbasket.co.in

Honey and its benefits

Honey has always been valued as a natural sweetener even before sugar was made available. There are over 50-100 varieties of honey, each originating from a different floral source. Apart from its great taste, honey has several other benefits. It’s known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting performance and endurance. The natural sugar in it prevents fatigue during workout. It is considered as one of the complete foods and the oldest sweetener on earth. It is recommended to have lime and honey in Luke warm water daily before breakfast for a refreshing and healthy life.

Let us read through few facts and benefits of honey in our daily life-

1) Instant energy booster 
Every time you go out for a workout, take a spoon or two of honey that will enable you to go the extra mile. 
If you feel lethargic or low in the morning, try spreading honey on a hot toast and replace it with sugar in your milk for an instant boost of energy. 

2) Regulates blood sugar
Blood sugar levels are very important for self-sustainability. In comparison to the refined sugar, honey breaks down slowly and enters your bloodstream, avoiding high blood sugar levels.

3) Cancer prevention 
Studies suggest, honey contains antioxidants that have been known to prevent cancer and heart disease and improve self-sustainability. 

4) Resolves scalp problems and dandruff 
Research says- Diluting honey with a bit of warm water and applying it in your hair for about four weeks helps improving scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis. 

5) Serves as a “Cough medicine”
Research says honey, especially buckwheat honey, is very effective for cough problems and helps to ease the pain of a sore throat. It is also recognized by the WHO.

6) Helps insomnia 
It has been reported that having couple of teaspoons of honey before going to bed helps them get better sleep at night, hence, it is widely used by patients suffering from insomnia.

7) Brain booster 
Honey contains natural antioxidants and therapeutic properties that enhance the brains cholinergic system and circulation. Doctors usually recommend honey to be had in the morning.

8) Improves immune system 
Out of all the benefits of honey, what is most impressive is that honey can be a powerful immunity booster. Its antioxidants play a vital role in improving the digestive system and helps us to stay fit and fight diseases. 

Checkout our new wholesome #HealthyAlternatives blends of honey at www.naturesbasket.co.in.