Monday, 22 May 2017

Super Powers and Super Powders

In a day and age, where each one of us is always on the move, stopping for no one and nothing, are we any less than super heroes? Doesn’t perpetually being on the run qualify as a super power? Yes, yes it does!

Like superman and wonder woman, you too need your daily fix of these super powders. Here’s a list of four such must haves that, by the end of this article, you’ll be dying to pick up from one of our stores!



Alfalfa Powder:



Scientifically called Medicago sativa, Alfalfa means “Father of Foods” and is a powerhouse among sprouts and herbs. It contains a variety of minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, potassium, and silicon. A splendid source of Vitamin E, C and K, it can be incorporated into your daily diet seamlessly. The powder can be added to herbal teas, along with red raspberry and peppermint to conjure up a tasty yet healthy drink. Scoops of the powder can be enjoyed in fruit smoothies in summer months, the minty, cool taste repelling the heat.
Alfalfa Powders help eliminate morning sickness, alleviate allergies, cleanse the blood, and support the pituitary gland. In addition to soothing arthritis pains and joint problems, it also acts as a blood detoxifier. The powder mustn’t be used in combination with blood thinning agents or medications as it can interfere or amplify the effects of these.

Wheatgrass Powder:



Wheatgrass is the young grass of the common wheat plant called triticum aestivum. This gluten-free edible grass is milled down into a fine green powder that’s used to create a multipurpose product for superheroes like yourselves. Consisting of Iron, Amino Acids and Vitamin C and E, wheatgrass powder only recently made it into the “SuperFood” club. Within antioxidants and electrolytes, it’s the perfect fix for an incredible like yourself. The best way to consume it, is to dissolve a spoonful of the powder in a glass of water and drink up!
The concoction helps oxygenate the body, boosts metabolism, rebuilds damaged tissues and improves nerve signaling and mental well being.

Spirulina Powder:



Spirulina is a natural cyanbacteria powder that is incredibly high in protein and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. When harvested correctly from non-contaminated ponds and bodies of water, it is one of the most potent nutrient sources available. It is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids, and is typically recommended for vegetarians due to its high natural iron content. With a bluish green tinge, it can be incorporated by the pinch in everyday foods, or had as a drink, with the juice of a lemon and water.
It helps flush out toxins from the body, helps to boost the immune system and acts as a natural detox. It also cleans the skin, preventing acne and providing a glow.

Barley Grass Powder:



Barley grass refers to the young soft green shoots which crop up on the Barley plant. It is amongst the earliest grown sweet grass in the world and is a multi-nutrient rich super food loaded with vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E and K. It contains an abundance of electrolytes such as magnesium, phosphorous and potassium along with other essential minerals such as zinc, iron and calcium. Barley grass is also a rich provider of powerful antioxidants and essential amino acids and beneficial enzymes. Slightly bitter, yet cooling, it can be combined with a teaspoon of water to make a thick paste and had as is, or added to lemonade to appeal to your sense of test.

Barley Grass Powder offers protection from radiation and cellular damage, helps fight addiction, and simultaneously helps eliminate accumulated toxins from the body.

Each of these powders can be incorporated into your meals in subtle, seamless ways.

For kids and children, try adding a scoop to pancake batter. Not only will this provide a rich color but will also increase the nutritional value of the sweet delicacy. Used with our organic flour, this can’t go wrong.

For yet another whimsical treat, you can make gummies for when you’re on the go. You’ll need Gelatin, lemon, 2 cups greens juice, and a table spoon or two of your super powder of choice. Mix the gelatin and the lemon juice, and let it sit. Whisk all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not bring it to a boil. Skim any foam from the top, and pour into molds. Let it set and enjoy!

The powders can also be added to your soups for a tasty twist, adding a bitter, cooling flavor.
They can be stirred into salad dressings, poured over kale, spinach and other crunchy veggies. Not only does this taste delicious, it also makes it easy to enjoy greens altogether.

A super hero like you needs their daily boost of nutrients, and what’s better than a series of super foods handcrafted for a super hero? Head to Nature’s Basket and grab them all!

Friday, 19 May 2017

The ultimate tomato sandwich guide

Many believe that tomato sandwiches are uninspired and tasteless! But the beauty of a juicy, succulent tomato sandwich lies in its simplicity and its ability to be beautifully paired with other ingredients. This is one of those sandwiches where less is more!
Here are three examples of the perfect vegetarian tomato sandwich which truly bring out the flavour of each fresh ingredient! So let’s begin!"



On the top row we have an Italian inspired tomato toast. Our Healthy Alternative’s seedy bread provides the perfect crunchy toasted base to spread Philadelphia cream cheese on. The one rule to remember while applying cream cheese, is that there is nothing like too much! After you have lathered up the cream cheese, pat dry some sun-dried tomatoes and to finish sprinkle some chopped spring onions. Season the toast and serve! We couldn’t stop ourselves at one, can you?

In the middle row, we have the Gusto Bruschetta. Toast our L’Exclusif baguettes to the perfect level of crunchiness. Spread butter, add halved cherry tomatoes and garnish with fresh basil. The combination of flavors is divine! Drizzle our Healthy Alternative olive oil on the cherry tomatoes and season to your personal liking. And just like that, you have your quick to make delicious party starter.

On the last row, we have the Farmer’s Market Tomato Open Sandwich. Simply toast a slice of sourdough bread and spread a wholesome portion of ricotta cheese on it. Place both some fresh lettuce and succulent fresh tomato slices on top of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. This is the classic all time favorite toast you cannot go wrong with, that everyone at any age relishes!

Get all your fresh tomato sandwich ingredients at Nature’s Basket. Shop online or find the store nearest to you on bit.ly/2llpwU0

All day daily bread

Breads are one of most fuss-free and versatile foods we have. The large variety available ensures that we have ample options to choose from for any time of day. Some breads are enjoyed fresh with a cup of your morning coffee while others make for a great quick on-the-go lunch sandwich. Ever wondered on the many ways you can relish breads everyday? Read on to know more.



Breakfast with bread
Start your day with a whole wheat toast topped with creamy peanut butter, banana slices, crunchy granola and a drizzle of Healthy Alternatives honey. If you wish to go the savoury route, spread some hummus and top it with some boiled edamame with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.



In recent years, whole wheat or brown bread as some call it has been in vogue. Made with significant portions of the wheat grain, it makes for a healthier option. It is also is less processed and contains all parts of the grain providing more fibre and nourishment making it a great way to start your day.

Lunching the Sourdough style
Running short on time in the morning to pack some home-made lunch? Skip your regular sandwich and opt for a healthy Sourdough BLT sandwich. Toast sourdough with a little butter. Add some fresh and succulent lettuce, juicy tomatoes and our preservative free bacon. We are sure this sandwich is going to steal your heart. To make it a little more fun in your little one’s lunchbox, spread a dollop of cream cheese and always get an empty lunchbox back!



What sets sourdough apart from other breads is that it is made from naturally occurring yeast and flour bacteria. There are no additional sweeteners, oils, milk or yeast. To leaven sourdough, natural acids and yeasts are used. The enzymes created by the yeast predigest some of the parts of the grain which can be considered toughest to break down for your belly. This makes the sourdough easier to digest.

Gluten free high tea
Live up to the British culture of high tea but with a healthy twist! Make the perfect high tea tiered bread cake with our gluten free range of breads. Not only is this delicious, but also very healthy. All you need to do is, cut small circles of our gluten free bread and layer it with mascarpone cheese and jam alternatively with strawberries. Stack it up and keep with a skewer to keep in place. Voila! We have pretty desserts to satisfy our sweet tooth made in a giffy!



Still not sure what gluten is? Gluten, a mixture of two proteins found in grains, especially wheat, has been infamously in the limelight. Gluten intolerance is a new age issue diagnosed to many. It is gluten in breads that gives it the elastic texture. Gluten is tolerant to most people, however, people with celiac disease cannot digest this protein, thus need to consume gluten free foods. Being easier to digest, gluten free breads are an alternative for gluten tolerants also.

Multigrain dinner date
Why end with one when you can end with many? We are talking about the nutrition you get from breads! End the day with multigrain bruschetta paired with your dinner pasta. Toast the multigrain bread to perfection. Alongside dice tomatoes and mix them with olive oil and Italian seasoning. Mix the tomatoes well and place on the multigrain toasts. Garnish with basil and enjoy your dinner!



Multigrain breads are breads made of two or more types of grain. These include barley, flax, millets, oats, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and sunflowers seeds in addition to wheat and flour. These have crunchier exterior and are delicious for various pairings. Thus bring an end to the day by replenishing your body with multigrain goodness.

Party Pita bread
Make the perfect party starter with pairing hummus and dips with baked pita bread. Cut open a pita from the middle and stuff with veggies and falafel balls to make a falafel pocket, Or serve wraps with marinated paneer/chicken.



From the lands of middle east, pita is a soft, leavened flatbread which is eaten in combinations with various dips. Pita can be had in various ways and can be used as a pocket, a wrap, a flatbread, and can be toasted or fried or baked!

Breads that are better
At Nature’s Basket we bring you bromate free breads that you can adopt in your daily diet.
Potassium bromate, or bromate, is a white salt used as a flour improver which strengthens the dough and allows it to rise higher. However, it is can have adverse effects if eaten frequently. To ensure your health and wellbeing, we ensure all our breads are bromate free.



Explore our range of breads right from gluten and bromate free to multigrain, sourdough and baguettes. Shop online or look for the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0

Kids' morning toast food art

Tired of running behind your kids to make sure they have a healthy start to the morning? How about giving their morning toasts a fun spin? These toasts are every kid’s favourite cartoons come to life! And the best part is that they are packed with nutrition.
Engage your children in making these cute sandwiches for a parent-child bonding afternoon and see how much fun they have.

Protein packed Peanut bunny



For this toast you will need:
L’Exclusif whole wheat bread
•Healthy Alternatives Peanut butter
Banana
•Blueberries
Alphonsos
Healthy Alternatives floral honey

Spread our Healthy Alternative Peanut butter on a toasted slice of the bread. Add banana slices as cheeks and blueberries as eyes to our breakfast bunny. Get our handpicked Alphonsos to make the ears and nose. Drizzle a little bit of the honey for a sweet taste.  Serve with fruit cutouts and we are sure your little one is going to love it.

Mr Wise owl toast


 
“As wise as an owl” is a saying we have always heard and also that almonds help us improve memory. But what is wise is to have a breakfast as healthy as possible. Make a wise owl toast for your little one with these easy ingredients:
Sourdough bread
•Almond butter
Apples
•Flaxseeds

Take our sourdough bread and cut out the top as shown in the picture. With a unique tangy taste, this bread is easy to digest and is nothing but good for your little one. Spread Healthy Alternative’s almond butter, with cutouts of apples in a circle, make eyes and using two semi-circles make the wings of the owl. You can use any seeds or nuts for the detailing of eyes and nose. This toast is an all-good toast for your little one.

Use your creativity and experiment. You can also use a chocolate spread instead of almond butter.

Funny carrot faces toast


 
For this toast, you will need:
Philadelphia cream cheese
L’Exclusif bread
•Carrots
Basil
Spread the cream cheese on a slice of our L’Exclusif bread. Grate carrots and top it with the cream cheese. Use little balls of cheese and chia seeds for detailing and a choice of greens to make the stem. Carrots are good for your little ones I sight and a hearty serving of cream cheese is sure to keep him full for a while.

Here are a few more inspirations for your Kid’s morning toast:
 


For the fox toast, you will need Ricotta, mango slices, banana, and grapes.
 


For the bird inspired toast, you will need L’Exclusif’s Baguette, cream cheese, strawberry and kiwi slices, grapes.

Get the freshest products for kid’s morning toast from Nature’s Basket. Shop online or find the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

It’s almost the weekend and all you want to do is dig into some comfort food, sit back, and relax. What’s better to satiate that craving than a delicious grilled cheese sandwich? Not just any sandwich but we’re talking about one made with handmade artisanal bread, lightly buttered and grilled to the perfect crispiness; cheese oozing out in every bite that you just can’t stop. We are sure this has got you excited about grilled cheese sandwiches! Read on for some finger licking recipes on how to add a twist to your grilled cheese sandwich.

Artichoke Pesto grilled cheese sandwich

Your favorite sandwich with a simple and delicious twist! Homemade pesto and artichoke hearts pair perfectly with melted cheese for an easy weeknight dinner.



Ingredients:

For artichoke pesto:
•1 cup artichoke hearts
•2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
•¼ cup walnuts
•¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
•Freshly grated zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/4 cup Healthy Alternatives olive oil
For Sandwiches:
•4 slices of a good, crusty whole wheat bread, about 1/2-inch thick
•100 gms sliced cheddar cheese
•3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature



Instructions:
For pesto
•In a food processor, pulse together the artichoke hearts, garlic, walnuts, Mozzarella, zest, lemon juice, and salt until the texture resembles a very coarse meal.
•While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture forms a saucy, spreadable pesto (you may need a little less or a little more olive oil).

For sandwiches
•Butter the outsides of each slice of bread and lay buttered side down.
•Spread 2 tablespoons pesto on the inside of each slice. Lay cheese on two of the slices and cover each with the second slice of bread, pesto side down and buttered side up.
•Heat an electric griddle or large frying pan over medium-low heat.
•Carefully transfer sandwiches to cooking surface and cook, pressing occasionally with the back of a spatula, until golden brown.
•Flip and cook the other side, pressing occasionally, until browned. Turn the sandwich back over and continue cooking, turning occasionally, until the cheese has completely melted, about 5 more minutes.
•Slice in half and serve.



Blackberry Basil grilled cheese sandwich
This Blackberry Basil Grilled Cheese is the perfect combination of savory and sweet! Made with Brie cheese and blackberry, it’s a must try for all sandwich lovers!



Ingredients:
•4 slices of whole wheat sourdough bread
•¾ cup Blackberries
•1 large bunch of basil, chopped
•100 gms brie cheese
•Drizzle of honey

Instructions:
•Place 4 slices of bread on cleaned counter or cutting board
•Spread a thin layer of brie cheese on each slice of bread
•Gently mash the blackberries on top of 2 slices of bread
•Split half the basil between the 2 slices of bread without blackberries
•Place each slice of bread with basil on top of the blackberry slices
•Heat a medium skillet or panini press and grease well with spray, butter or oil of choice
•Place each sandwich on the skillet and press down on each sandwich with a plate or another smaller pan
•Let the first side cook for 2 to 3 minutes (it should be slightly golden) then turn over to cook the other side
•Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes then cut in half and enjoy.




Quattro Formaggio grilled cheese sandwich
Grilled melted cheese toasted sandwich. What could be more like a food cuddle. This recipe uses 4 cheese, a gooey delight for cheese lovers.



Ingredients:
•1 tablespoons oil for cooking
•2 tablespoon butter, softened
•2 slices bread
•2 tablespoon ricotta cheese
•Small handful shredded mozzarella cheese
•2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
•2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
•Salt and pepper to taste

Instruction:
•Heat olive oil in a frying pan over low heat.
•Spread the outside of both slices of bread with softened butter.
•Spread the “inside” of each slice of bread with 1-2 tablespoons ricotta cheese, enough to cover the bread about ¼-inch thick. Place the bread buttered-side down in the oil in the pan.
•Top each slice of bread with shredded mozzarella cheese. Cook until bread is toasted and cheese has melted.
•Remove the grilled bread with cheese to a plate or cutting board. On one slice, cover the melted mozzarella cheese with grated parmesan.
•Sprinkle crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Season with a little bit of salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
•“Close” the sandwich with the other slice of grilled bread with cheese. Press together firmly. Allow the sandwich to sit to let the other cheeses to melt and meld.
•If they don’t melt enough, return the sandwich to the pan over low heat.


Handpick the finest breads and cheese from Nature’s Basket. Shop online or find the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Paleo way to eat

Paleo is one of the most influential dietary trends around the globe. Paleo diets are all about eating right and getting the necessary nutrition and not about eliminating food from your diet altogether. Below are 4 easy to make paleo meals that are not just nutrition rich but are delicious too.


Chicken breast with Olive Tapenade

Chicken will give you the necessary proteins you need and olives bring healthful monounsaturated fat to your plate. They also supply skin-protecting vitamin E. Tapenade is a dish like pesto, made using olives and olive oil blended together that will boost the flavour of your chicken.



INGREDIENTS

•1 chicken breast (cut into 3 cutlets)
•3 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
•2 tablespoons coconut oil for cooking

For Olive Tapenade
•1 cup of pitted black olives
•1/4 cup of parsley
•1 tablespoon lemon juice
•2 tablespoons Healthy Alternatives olive oil
Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

For Olive tapenade place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend well.
•Slice the chicken breast into 3 thin cutlets.
•Peel 3 cloves of garlic and crush lightly with the flat side of a knife.
•Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat and add in the 3 cloves of garlic.
•Cook the garlic for 2 minutes, then add in the chicken cutlets.
•Cook each side of the chicken cutlets for 3-4 minutes.
•Top with 1/2 cup of olive tapenade.



Spicy Chicken Sauté tossed with Avocado 

This chicken sauté keeps things light and has an eclectic mix of meat and vegetables, so you’ll feel great after eating it. It makes a great lunch, and will surely give you energy to help you through the rest of the day, without a sluggish after lunch feeling.



INGREDIENTS

•2 chicken breasts, diced
•2 Tablespoons garlic powder
•1 Tablespoon onion powder
•1 teaspoon chili powder
•2 teaspoons salt
•Dash of black pepper
•1 avocado, remove stone, scoop out and dice
•1 green bell pepper, diced
•2 Tablespoons Healthy Alternatives olive oil
•1 teaspoon mustard
Coconut oil to cook chicken

INSTRUCTIONS

•Mix the spices together (garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, and black pepper).
•Add the diced chicken breast pieces to the spices and rub spices into chicken pieces.
•Sauté the spice rubbed chicken pieces in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on medium heat.
•When the chicken is cooked, place on a plate to cool for 10 minutes.
•Then, place the chicken pieces along with the diced avocado and diced bell pepper into a bowl and gently toss with olive oil, mustard, and add salt and pepper to taste.



Paleo Sweet Potato Waffles
Who doesn’t like waffles? Here’s a diet which can include waffles too, but of course the healthier kind. This crispy waffle made from sweet potato are a great option meal option in your paleo diet.



INGREDIENTS

•3 cups grated sweet potato 
•4 eggs whisked
•1/4 cup chopped spring onions use the green part only 
•3 tablespoons coconut flour
•1 teaspoon garlic powder 
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Coconut oil for greasing the waffle iron

INSTRUCTIONS

•Squeeze out any excess juice from the grated sweet potato and place in a bowl.
•Add the eggs, spring onions, coconut flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix well.
•Grease your waffle iron.
•Use a 1/4 cup to scoop out the batter and gently drop the batter onto the preheated waffle iron and cook according to waffle iron instructions.
•Continue to until the batter is gone. This should make about 8 waffles



Cauliflower Rice Kale soup
This cauliflower rice kale soup is a crowd pleaser for everyone. It’s Paleo, and vegan, but this soup is just a healthy recipe packed with real food.  


  
INGREDIENTS

•5-6 cups of cauliflower florets 
•2- 3 tbsp curry powder or curry seasoning (turmeric should be included in the curry seasoning/powder)
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1/2 tsp cumin
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1/4 tsp sea salt
•5-6 tbsp olive oil 
•3/4 cup red onion chopped
•1 tsp minced garlic
•8 kale leaves with stems removed and chopped
•2 cups chopped carrots
•4 cups vegetable broth 
•1 cup almond milk or coconut milk 
•1/2 tsp red pepper or chili flakes 
•1/2 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste 

INSTRUCTIONS
•Preheat oven to 400F.
•In a small bowl, toss your cauliflower florets with the curry powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and 3 tbsp oil.
•Spread the cauliflower florets on a baking dish or roasting pan. Place in oven and roast for 20 -22 minutes until tender but not overcooked. slightly under cooked.
•Remove and set aside.
•While the cauliflower is cooling, prep the rest of your veggies by chopping them up on cutting board.
•Next place cauliflower florets in a Food Processor or blender and pulse a few times until the cauliflower is riced.
•Once all the cauliflower is riced and veggies are chopped, prepare your cooking pot.
•Place onion, 2 tsp oil, and minced garlic in large stock pot. Sautee for 5 minute.
•Next add in your broth, milk, veggies, cauliflower rice, and the red chili pepper and black pepper.
•Bring to a quick boil (make sure milk does get too hot), then simmer for another 20 minutes or so until veggies are all cooked.
•Add dash of sea salt if desired once ready to serve.
•Garnish with herbs and nut/seed crackers crumbles.

Hand pick all the ingredients from Nature’s Basket. Shop online or find the nearest store on bit.ly/2llpwU0

Friday, 12 May 2017

Meet sourdough, it is kneaded with love!

Have you met the kind of bread that makes you want more without any guilt? If not, then it's because you haven't had sourdough yet! Sourdough bread is patiently made by the natural fermentation and raising power of wild yeast and bacteria; in comparison to your run of the mill, fast-tracked, factory-baked breads that artificially add yeast, additives and other processing aids.

Sourdough is a tangy, dense and nutty bread with a slight sour punch to it, similar to the tartness we taste in yogurt as it has a similar fermenting process and bacteria. Sourdough bread and the way it is made has been handed down to us from our ancestors. We are well aware that anything they say must be right, or at least good for you just like this bread is!



Find all the answers to your questions about this life changer below:

What is sourdough?
What sets sourdough apart from other breads is that it is made from natural occurring yeast and flour bacteria. There are no additional sweetners, oils, milk or yeast. It simply comprises of sourdough starter, salt and flour.

Why is sourdough special?
If you have ever eaten sourdough before, you know it has a taste you cannot easily forget. The tangy taste it gets from its natural fermentation process sets it apart from the other breads you’ve had. And let’s not forget that it is healthier than its counterparts.

What makes sourdough healthy?
To leaven sourdough, natural acids and yeasts are used. The enzymes created by the yeast predigest some of the parts of the grain which can be considered toughest to break down for your belly. This makes the sourdough easier to digest.

The longer time taken for natural yeasts and acids to raise the flour in the bread, breaks down the proteins i.e., gluten down into amino acids. This makes it easily digestible and apt for consumption by gluten intolerant consumers.

Since the natural bacteria in the sourdough eat the starch and sugar present in the grain, they lower the carbohydrate content of the bread. This in turn helps keeping a check on the blood sugar levels. The higher vitamin and mineral content gives it a better nutrient profile.

Well, we can’t get enough of sourdough. Get your hands on some freshly baked sourdough at Nature’s Basket. Shop online or at a storest nearest to you bit.ly/2llpwU0