Thursday, 22 June 2017

Make room for mushroom

Recently gaining popularity for being the ‘meat for vegetarians’, the humble mushroom is the new superfood everyone’s talking about! A staple in Chinese medicine and Asian cuisine, mushrooms are a powerhouse of goodness. From pizza to pasta and soup to omelette, mushrooms can go well with just about any dish you prepare in your kitchen. What’s more, they’re naturally low in fat and carbs and are loaded with B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, which makes them the ideal ingredient for a healthy, yet delicious meal. So don’t let mushrooms be a mystery. We're shedding light on some of our favourite fungi friends.


ENOKI


Enoki mushrooms are long and thin white mushrooms and more often than not seem to reach out to the East-Asian market. They are generally credited for being healthy, being rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Due to the little tinge of fruity taste in it, it tastes great when used in a salad. However, it can even be enjoyed when used with soup or they can be sautéed with soy sauce and a bit of garlic.

SHITAKE


Shitake mushroom come along with a great health pack, being good source of vitamin-B and vitamin-D. They are even considered as good sources to assist weight-loss. Along with its speciality of going well with soup, it can even be used well while preparing a risotto or can be used to make a mushroom cognac sauce which can go well with duck confit, pate or even pasta.

SHIMEJI 


Packed with vitamin-B, potassium and proteins, it can become a great part of your food as it contains beta-glucans. It is also considered as a way to fight tumours and believed to be good for asthma patients. These buttery and nutty mushrooms are usually difficult to cultivate and are native to East-Asia but are even found in northern Europe. They are used extensively now with noodles and seafood.

OYSTER 


With a high content of vitamin-C, vitamin-B1, vitamin-B2 and significant levels of iron, zinc, phosphorous and calcium, these oyster cap shaped mushrooms are high in the nutritional level. First cultivated in Germany, sautéed oyster mushrooms are a great side dish for grilled steak, or can be mixed with pasta or rice, or cooked as part of rice risotto to make a delicious meal.

PORTOBELLO


Mostly seen in the grasslands of north America and Europe, these mushrooms are rich in anti-oxidants. Easily recognised with the open flat cap, these mushrooms can be simply eaten by mixing with onion in a sauté pan with olive oil. They are used extensively in pizzas and lasagne. Other varieties include stuffing the portobello mushrooms with spinach and cheese to make tasty snack for you. 

BUTTON


Often called the commercial mushroom, this mushroom originated as early as the 1700’s in France. Button mushroom is an excellent low-calorie food, especially for diabetics. It contains a number of valuable nutrients, including protein, enzymes, B vitamins (especially niacin), and vitamin D2. From manchurian to curry, this mushroom has crept in everywhere and has managed to keep every eater satisfied.

There’s a lot to love about mushrooms. Add more to your everyday meals with a wide variety of mushrooms. Shop online or find the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Berry delicious ice cream shortcake

The weekend is for sugar and spice, and all things nice! It’s for indulging and snacking on decadent desserts. This weekend, give in to your desires with a delicious shortcake that hardly takes any time to whip up. Small on time, small on effort, but big on taste, this delicious mango berry shortcake is the perfect indulgence!



Summer is here! And so is the best time to relish our most favorite delight – Ice-cream. This simple dessert idea is perfect for the sweltering summer heat and takes just a few minutes to whip together.

What you’ll need:

Our decadent, creamy mango ice cream from L’Exclusif
• Healthy Alternatives Orange juice
Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries
Shortbread biscuits
Brown sugar
Fresh mangoes

1.In a bowl, mix all the berries with a table spoon of brown sugar and a table spoon or two of our tangy, thirst quenching orange juice from Healthy Alternatives. Ensure all the berries are generously coated.

2.Dice some mangoes and lay them onto a plate.

3.Take two shortbread biscuits and place a scoop of our delectable L’Exclusif mango ice cream.

4.Pour on the berry mixture.

Voila! You have your yummy berry and ice-cream shortcake ready in just a few minutes!
Get the ingredients for this mouth-watering snack and a lot more at your nearest Nature’s Basket store, or shop online.

Let's talk about ice creams

You may be a sweet tooth or a spicy nut but we can assure you that you will be screaming for this dessert by the end of this article. So, sit back and relax as we take you around the world of ice creams.




Japan’s Mochi Ice Cream



From the land of sushi comes a sticky sweet treat full of sundry flavors in every single bite. A layer of pounded sticky rice or mocha coats the creamy ice cream inside for a candied culinary delight.


Dondurma From Turkey

A scoop with a side of entertainment! The local sellers from Turkey enjoy amusing the crowd by passing the scoop of this stretchy ice cream from cone to cone. The secret to its docile texture lies in the mastic and salep it is packed with.


Granita From Sicily



Think of it as a Greek God version of the snow cone. This sweet icy concoction from Sicily is chilled, creamy, slushy and everything you could hope for on a hot summer afternoon.

Mexican Paletas



These fruity ice pops from Mexico or Paletas are a refreshing jolt to your palette. They may be watery and juicy or creamy and milky. All Paletas come in bright colours and interesting sweet & spicy combinations like mango-chile and cucumber lime. Which flavor do your taste buds prefer?

Thai Rolled Ice Cream



Rolls of ice cream? More like rolls of candy-coated joy! In Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines, ice cream is served in little rolls garnished with all kinds of toppings from coconut to toasted marshmallows to gummy bears and hot fudge.
Tempted to get on a plane right now and taste some of these ice creams yourself? Let us suggest an easier alternative. Shop online or find the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0

Sundaes for Sundays

Sundays are for relaxing and indulging. Sundays are for satisfying your cravings and giving in to your desires. Sundays are for relishing gourmet dishes and desserts.
Sundays are for Sundaes!

Delicious, cold, soothing ice cream, topped with crispy, crunchy toppings, drizzled with fresh summer fruits and a fudgy sauce.
Spend your summer Sundays, indulging in homemade ice cream sundaes using our easy and quick recipes. Not only are they fun to make, but also incredibly tasty. Recipes so good, you won’t be able to put your spoon down!

Banana Split




To make this all time favourite, you will need:

METHOD
- -In a skillet add the butter and brown sugar and mix until the mixture is uniform.
2-Half the banana and caramelize in the butter mixture.
3-Add peanuts to the skillet and caramelize too.

4-Plate the caramelized banana and peanuts and top with 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream and a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup


Caramel, Nectarine and Granola Sundae



This recipe uses healthy granola bars, salted caramel sauce, and juicy succulent nectarines. Loved by all, this Sundae is best enjoyed with a slice of nectarine pie and some peach schnapps. You’ll need

-A cup of caramel sauce
-1 tbsp unsalted butter
-3 nectarines, diced (We recommend you use crunchy, harder nectarines as the soft ones fall apart while cooking)
-1 cup of your favorite Healthy Alternatives granola – try apple cinnamon!
-Vanilla Ice Cream


METHOD:
-In a pan melt the butter over medium heat.
-Once it melts, add the diced nectarines and stir constantly for about 5 minutes.
-Add the caramel sauce and stir together to combine.
-Remove from heat and divide the caramel and nectarine mix amongst bowls of thick, creamy L’Exclusif vanilla ice cream.
-Top with crispy granola from Healthy Alternatives and enjoy in the summer sun!
-If you’re feeling crafty, hollow out a summer apple and serve your sundae it in.

Candied Maple Bacon Sundae



 
This recipe is for the brave ones. It combines the contrasting flavors of vanilla and bacon with salted potato chips dipped in chocolate! Slightly harder to create, this sundae is a new, different dessert. It’s sweet, it’s savory, and it’s going to become your favorite. You’ll need

-Bacon strips
-Vanilla Ice Cream
-Sour cream 
-Caramel Sauce
-L’Exclusif Salted Potato Chips
-L’Exclusif Chocolate Chips
-Maple syrup

METHOD:
-Melt the L’Exclusif chocolate chips in a microwave
-Dip one side of each potato chip in the paste completely, and refrigerate them, allowing them to harden and cool. The combination of salted potato chips with chocolate will create a pleasant flavor.
-Coat bacon strips with butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and sea salt.
-Bake the strips for 30 minutes at 350°F until they turn into a golden brown color. Allow them to cool. Then drizzle with some maple syrup.
-In a bowl, place a few scoops of thick, creamy vanilla ice cream and add a dollop or two of sour cream.
-Top with chocolate coated potato chips, crispy coated strips of bacon, caramel sauce and maple syrup, along with a few chocolate chips. Enjoy your dessert!


Take your sundaes (and your Sundays) to a whole new level by serving them in edible bowls. Use cookie cups, hollowed apples, chocolate bowls. Go crazy with your toppings! Try combining different flavors – salty with sweet, savory and bitter! Go the extra mile and add chocolate chips, caramel popcorn, flakes of your favorite cereal.

Get all the scrumptious ingredients you need to make the ultimate sundaes, at Nature’s Basket. Shop online or find the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0

No-Bake icecream cake

Summer involves constantly finding new ways to beat the heat. From coolers to ice creams, we’ve thought of it all.

Ice cream cakes are the newest way to stay cool in this otherwise scorching heat. Minus the trouble of baking and the constant worry that you might burn your kitchen down, ice cream cakes are a quick, yet absolutely delicious way of enjoying the experience of eating a cake.
Check out these easy, tried and tested recipes to beat the heat in a cooler way!

Ice Cream Cookie Cake



This one’s a complete family feast and is loved by everyone. It’s easy to make, requires barely 15 minutes to prepare, and could most definitely become a staple dessert after the first few times. To make this decadent cake you’ll need:
METHOD:
-Combine the crushed cookies with the melted butter and press the mixture into a greased, rectangular baking dish.
-Spread on a layer of the thick, creamy vanilla ice cream.
-Continue adding layers and then freeze until it sets.
-Top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
-Throw on the some crushed cookie crumbs.
-Add delicious toppings like berries or chocolate chips for that extra indulgence!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Sweet taste of bread

Bread is a must. Plain or accompanied by butter or slathered with a healthy dose of Nutella, there’s no way it can go wrong. Perhaps the only way to make it better is to watch it transform into mouthwatering, gourmet desserts from around the world. From the Shahi Tukda of India to a fragrant, homemade French toast, these are all must have bread desserts!

Shahi Tukda from India:



Equal amounts of fried bread slices soaked in piping hot milk and love lead to the embodiment of this delicacy that has its roots buried in Mughlai Cuisine. Coming from Hyderabad slices of thick bread are fried and soaked in hot milk, garnished with spices and condiments like saffron and cardamom.
Grab yourself some milk, cardamom, rose water, saffron, sugar and whisk them all together, upon a light flame. Let it thicken whilst you soak thick slices of bread in sugar and water. Fry the slices of bread in wholesome desi ghee, and lay them out, pouring the thickened mixture on them. Garnish with chopped dry fruits and some saffron.

French Toast from the land of love:



Other than major accent envy, the French give us happiness in the form of a sweet, flavorful toast, typically consumed for breakfast. If like us, you’re dazzled by the crunch of the toast, the glistening of the butter and the slightly spicy cinnamon, feel free to have it for any meal of the day. Slices of bread are soaked or dipped in a mixture of beaten eggs, often with milk or cream. Sometimes sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla are added to the mixture. The slices of egg-coated bread are then fried on both sides until they are browned and cooked through. Day-old bread is often recommended by chefs because the stale bread will soak up more egg mixture without falling apart.

Capirotada from Mexico:



Usually served during the Lenten period, this variation for bread pudding is an ode to the Passion of Christ. The dish comprises of toasted bread or “Bolillo” that is soaked and mashed in a syrup of cane sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Hungry? Ciabatta make this for yourself!
You’ll need a loaf of our white bread, butter, raisins, pineapple chunks, cheese, walnuts, cinnamon sticks, white sugar, and water.
Combine water, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Toast bread and butter each slice on one side. Arrange toast in a single layer in a large casserole dish. Sprinkle bread with raisins, nuts, and pineapple. Slice cheese and place over this mixture. Pour the cinnamon syrup mixture over everything in baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for at least 15 minutes.

Sweet Bruschetta from Italy:



A fun twist on the classic Italian appetizer, Sweet Bruschetta is an interesting twist to the usual savory version we have all had. As ironic as it is, this one comprises of sweet French bread, that’s been cut into thick slices and lightly baked. With a carpet of butter covering each slice, icing sugar is generously dusted on. You can choose to add in some berries and slivered almonds and chocolate spread or shredded cheese. Fall for this and you can kiss your diet goodbye!

Get the perfect ingredients for these indulgent desserts from Nature’s Basket. Shop online or find the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0


Cold Pressed Oils

Oils are a good source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids which help to maintain good cholesterol levels. There are different methods of extracting oil from ingredients of which the cold pressed process has seen more traction in recent years. In this process, although there is heat produced through friction, the oils seeds are not precooked and consequently, the oil is considered cold pressed which helps retain the nutrients. In contrast to large-scale extraction and refining operations which strip the oil of natural antioxidants, vitamins, and flavour.
Start your day with a tablespoon of cold pressed coconut oil and kick start your metabolism and let this good fat help combat any unwanted fat you may have! Who knew fat would make you skinny!



What Are Hot Pressed Oil and Cold Pressed Oil?
In our daily life, the most common edible oil we use is hot pressed oil. But in recent years, cold pressed oil has become more popular.
Just as the name implies, the cold pressing means pressing under low temperature, the oil seeds can be pressed without roasting. While hot pressing is pressing under high temperature, the oil seeds are pressed after roasting.

Why Cold Pressed Oil?
Cold pressed oils retain all their flavour, aroma, and nutritional value, making these oils great for cooking and skin care requirements. They contain zero grams of Trans fatty acids and are naturally cholesterol-free.



Cold Pressed Oils will provide a vital contribution to your healthier life:
●They are cholesterol free
●They are not refined, deodorized, or processed in any way
●They do not contain harmful solvent residues
●Cold Pressed Oils contain no added chemicals or preservatives
●They contain natural antioxidants such as tocopherols (e.g. Vitamin E) and phosphatides (e.g. Lecithin)
●The natural flavour and odour is retained, enhancing your favourite recipes
●They retain healthy anti-oxidants that are otherwise destroyed by heat. These anti-oxidants fight harmful free radicals and prevent the growth of tumours.


Coconut Oil: Cold pressed coconut oil, despite its bad reputation, contains lauric acid, which fights against harmful pathogens. Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders.

Peanut Oil: Unrefined peanut oil has a higher smoke point than most unrefined oils and great flavour. Use it to make some scrumptious popcorn. Use semi-refined or refined peanut oil for deep-frying or stir-frying, but sparingly. Peanut oil has a fairly high percentage of mono-unsaturated fats.

Sesame Oil: The toasted type is strongly flavoured and goes rancid very quickly, so keep in the refrigerator. Regular sesame oil is healthy and has a medium-high smoke point, making it a good bet for stir-frying.

Walnut Oil: Delicate, tasty, nutritious, and very perishable. Store in the refrigerator and use for salads, not cooking.

Safflower or Sunflower Oil: According to many people, these are better options than canola for when you want a more neutral tasting oil. They are high in monounsaturated fats and not as highly processed as canola. They’re good all-purpose oils when you don’t want the taste of olive oil.

Buy cold pressed oils from Nature's Basket. Shop online or find the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0