Friday, 8 December 2017

7 Tips For Following A Vegan Diet


Getting on board the vegan craze is never as easy as it seems. Nevertheless, an Indian diet is already filled with lots of nutritious fibers, whole grains, legumes and a large variety of vegetables. The thought of living without basic essentials like milk, cheese, yoghurt can seem terrifying.

Whether you are a total meat-lover or a dedicated vegetarian, we have got some brilliant tips to help you follow your brand-new vegan diet. So, hold on because this is just the veganning!

1. Lettuce Eat Our Veggies

Add lots of colour and essential minerals and vitamins to your plate with a handful of veggies. Focus on experimenting with veggie-packed meals to load up on fiber and keep your calories in check.

2. It’s All About Variety

Being vegan is not about limiting yourself to a few, select meatless meals, it’s all about opening yourself to an abundant variety of choices. Eat a balanced meal with a varying amount of healthy foods to get all the nutrition you need. Choose beans, lentils and legumes to get fibers and proteins, leafy greens for vitamins A, C and K and lots of root vegetables.
Get all the colours of the rainbow on your plate! You also don’t need to say good bye to Milk - start drinking almond, coconut or soy milk as a tasty substitute!

3. Refined No More

Go for whole grains like brown, red or black rice, quinoa, whole grain pastas instead of white pasta or white rice to load up on iron and B vitamins. The extra fibers from unrefined, whole grains can help you feel fuller and maybe even reach your fitness goals as well!
These Healthy Alternatives Gluten Free Pastas can make those Italian cravings go away without making you give up on your vegan escapade.

4. Plant Some Protein

Plant proteins are a must for any vegan diet. There are plenty of vegan sources of proteins to opt for like tofu, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils and beans. Go for nutrient-drench nuts like almonds and walnuts as well as seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The Healthy Alternatives Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are a great healthy, on-the-go, vegan snack option.

5. Vegan Does Not Mean Healthy

Don’t rely on vegan cookies and other processed vegan products for being ‘healthier’ than their non-vegan alternatives. Stick to whole, nutritious foods for a healthy, vegan diet. There’s no harm in indulging in some vegan treats now and then, just don’t assume that they are going to help you get fitter.

6. Load Up On Some Good-For-You Fats

If you are about to embark on the vegan trail, be conscious about including healthy fats in your diet. Go for some nuts and seeds and other sources of healthy fats like avocados. Flax seeds or hemp seeds are a good vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids. Avocado, olive, sesame and coconut oils are also essential for a vegan diet!

7. Think About Supplements

Let’s face it, we are all human after all. Even with loads of fresh produce and whole grains in your diet, you may still be missing out on some essential nutrients like B12 and Iron. Be sure to consult a doctor or an authorised dietician to see which supplements you may need according to your health needs and your diet.

Ready to stock on everything you need for going vegan? Go on a vegan shopping spree at Nature’s Basket.

Your vegan diet shouldn’t deprive your palette of your favourite frozen desserts! Check out these Homemade No Churn Vegan Ice Cream Recipes.


Are Chia Seeds Good For You


Did you know that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for ‘strength’? Chia seeds have been treasured across civilizations, so why are we only hearing about them now? You’ve probably been fooled by their size, they may be super tiny, but they pack a dense, super nutritional punch! Chia seeds are supremely healthy; in fact, they are amongst the healthiest foods on the planet. Read on to find out why you should chia your way through life!

1. Superseeds To Indulge In


High in nutrients and low in calories, that’s the way chia seeds roll. These tiny, black kernels are one of the most nutrient drenched foods in the world. Loaded with fiber, antioxidants, protein, omega-3 fatty acids among various other micronutrients, chia seeds are 40% fiber, by weight. They also contain a high number of essential nutrients needed for maintaining our bone health. Seriously, is there anything these mighty kernels can’t do? That’s why we say, viva la chia!

2. The Most Versatile Superfood


The best part about chia seeds is that there are so many different ways you can incorporate them in your diet! Maybe, you are in the mood to have a bit of smoothie fun, maybe you are with some instant dessert cravings or maybe, you want to keep things light with a refreshing salad for lunch, whatever it is that your taste buds crave, believe us, there is always room to sprinkle some chia love around! So, what are you waiting for? Join the Chia Seed revolution with these easy healthy and tasty home chia recipes!

3. Whole Wheat Chia Seed Pancakes 


Courtesy – Natural Chow

Flip off those regular super sugary pancakes, there’s a new player in town. These Whole Wheat Chia Seed Pancakes are primed to boost your day and enhance your health! Laden with fibre and whole grains, it’s difficult to get this dish wrong.

Ingredients 

• 1 cup of Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Wheat Flour
• ½ a cup of oats
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives Canola Oil
• 2 tablespoons of Healthy Alternatives Floral Blend Honey
• ½ tablespoon of Pumpkin pie spice (Check out this DIY recipe for pumpkin pie spice here)
• 1 ½ tablespoons of baking powder
• ¼ tablespoon of salt
• 1 ½ tablespoons of Healthy Alternatives Raw Chia Seeds
• Choice of syrup

Instructions

1. Spray a pan with a cooking spray and heat it to medium heat.
2. Beat the egg and add the Canola oil along with the milk.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, the oats, the pumpkin pie spice, the baking powder and the salt.
4. Slowly, combine the flour mixture and the egg mixture. Add honey and ensure it is well mixed. Lastly, add the Chia Seeds. (Save a teaspoon of Chia Seeds for garnish)
5. Pour ¼ of a cup of batter onto the pan and cook until the edges of the pancake starts to bubble.
6. Flip and cook the pancake for about 3-4 minutes until the centre is completely done.
7. Top it off with some syrup of your choice (Not too much though, keep the sugar content low) and sprinkle the Chia Seeds.
8. Eat, Sleep, Pancake, Repeat!

4. Banana Bread Chia Seed Mini Loafs

Courtesy – Cooking With Books

Looking for something to feast on between your meals? How about something truly satiating and nutritious? Banana Bread Chia Seed Mini Loafs will do just the trick! We promise you will be going gaga for this banana chia bread. After all, it’s the age of the health conscious!

Ingredients 

• ¼ cup of Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Wheat Flour
• 1 cup of Healthy Alternatives Quinoa flour
• ½ cup of Organic sugar – Healthy Alternatives
• ¼ cup of Organic brown sugar – Healthy Alternatives
• ½ tablespoon of baking soda
• ½ tablespoon of cinnamon
• ¼ tablespoon of salt
• 1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives Raw Chia Seeds
• 1 egg
• 1 ½ ripe bananas smashed
• ¼ cup of Healthy Alternatives Canola oil
• 1 tablespoon of Vanilla extract

Directions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and spray cooking spray on two mini loaf pans.
2. Beat sugars, egg, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
3. Once sugar mixture is combined, beat in bananas.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. 
5. Slowly beat flour mixture into sugar mixture.
6. Beat in chia seeds.
7. Pour batter into two loaf pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the tops of the loaves are light brown.

5. Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Courtesy – Natural Chow

Chocoholics unite! This contemporary pudding sure puts an exciting spin on a basic dish. The unique texture will leave you surprised and so too will the health benefits of this desert. Even better, you can have it for breakfast. Loaded with proteins, antioxidants and omega-3 acids, you’d definitely be starting your day right!

Ingredients

• ¼ cup of Healthy Alternatives Raw Chia Seeds
• ¾ cup of almond milk
• 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
• 1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives Organic Sugar

Instructions

1. Mix the chia seeds and the almond milk in a bowl.
2. Stir in the cocoa powder and sugar
3. Leave it to settle and thicken in the fridge overnight

Hop onto the chia seed bandwagon, get every type of chia seed on Nature’s Basket.

Wanna keep drooling? Check out this blueberry banana smoothie with chia seeds recipe.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Strawberry Themed Birthday Party Menu


Every mom knows the struggle of putting together a fun-themed birthday party menu for their kids. Let’s face it, juggling a 9-to-5 work life along with planning the menu, the décor, the invites and all that birthday party jazz is definitely not easy! If you’re looking for some unique birthday party food ideas, look no further. We have got some super easy yet super delicious party dishes to help you throw the most berry cute birthday party ever! How about giving your party guests a very berry special surprise with this strawberry themed birthday party menu?

1. Strawberry Balsamic Crostini
This quick-fix strawberry and balsamic party appetizer is a complete delight for the senses yet the flavours don’t overpower your palette and stay subtle on the taste buds. All in all, it sure is going to leave you wanting for more! This strawberry appetizer is a great choice for your kid’s birthday party menu.

Ingredients

• Strawberries, sliced
• ½ cup of balsamic vinegar (will reduce to ¼ cup)
Bruschetta slices
Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil
Mozzarella, sliced
Mint or Basil

Instructions

1. Thinly slice the strawberries, and sprinkle them with a little bit of salt. Set aside.
2. Reduce the balsamic vinegar into a syrup. In a small saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar until it just barely comes to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and let it reduce (stirring occasionally) until it's about ½ the amount you started with. (5-7 minutes, depending on the quantity).
3. Drizzle the bread with the olive oil and toast it or grill it.
4. Assemble the crostini with a piece of mozzarella, strawberries, a drizzle of the reduced balsamic and some fresh mint.

2. Strawberry Salsa
Courtesy: myrecipes.com

If you think that salsa is all about tomatoes, think again! Add a strawberry twist to your same old salsa recipe for a confetti of bright, sunny flavours. Made with fresh strawberries, you can drizzle it over your main course to get a flavourful kick in every bite or even serve it as a scrumptious dip along with some tortilla chips. Go ahead and add this delightful strawberry salsa dish to your kid’s birthday party menu!

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups of strawberries, chopped
• 1/2 cup of kiwifruit, chopped & peeled
• 1/2 cup of cucumber, chopped
• 1/2 cup of onion, chopped
• 2 tablespoons of jalapeño pepper, chopped & seeded
• 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro or mint, chopped
• 1 teaspoon of lemon rind, grated
• 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice
• 1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives Floral Blend Honey
• 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Instructions

1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill. Serve the salsa with a slotted spoon.
2. Store the salsa in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

3. Strawberry-Ginger Ale Floats
Courtesy: myrecipes.com

These strawberry and ginger ale floats are here to liven up the party. The taste of the sweet frozen dessert paired with a fizzy carbonated drink is one that your guests are likely not to forget!

Ingredients

• 2 cups of fresh strawberries, chopped
• 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
• 1/8 teaspoon of table salt
• 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (optional)
L’Exclusif Tender Coconut Ice Cream
Ginger Ale

Instructions

1. Process the first 3 ingredients and, if desired, ginger, in a blender until they smoothen up.
2. Divide half of the mixture among 4 tall sundae glasses; top each of them with desired amount of ice cream.
3. Spoon the remaining strawberry mixture over the ice cream; top with desired amount of ginger ale. Serve immediately.

4. Strawberry-Lemon Shortbread Bars
Courtesy: myrecipes.com

Ditch the simple lemon bars for this triple-layered treat made from whipped cream and fresh strawberries! Make these sweet delights beforehand so that they are nicely chilled in time for your party.

Ingredients

• 2 cups of Healthy Alternatives Organic Wheat Maida
• 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon of lemon zest, divided
• 3/4 cup of cold butter
• 2 (8-oz.) packages  of cream cheese, softened
• 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
• 2 large Healthy Alternatives Free Range Country Eggs
• 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup of L’Exclusif Whole Strawberry Conserve
• Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, fresh strawberry slices

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Stir together the flour, the powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp. lemon zest in a medium bowl; cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it is crumbly. Press this mixture onto the bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
2. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until the mixture has lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and the granulated sugar with an electric mixer until it is smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat them just until they blend after each addition. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 tsp. lemon zest, beating well.
4.Spread the conserve over the shortbread. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the conserve, spreading until the edge. Bake for 28 to 32 more minutes or until it has set. Let it cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 4 to 8 hours. Cut into bars; garnish, if desired.

Looking forward to this berry delicious party? Get your ingredients here at Nature’s Basket.

Can’t get enough of the strawberries? Check out this Strawberry Chia Seeds Pudding Recipe

4 Party Food Ideas With Cold Cuts


We say cold cuts, you say sandwiches? Think again! Your leftover luncheon meat is good for more than just a quick salami sandwich. How about whipping up some scrumptious new meaty delights appetizers for that party you have been planning? Indulge your guests in some bacon-wrapped treats or a cold cuts platter paired with some new and exciting flavours. There are loads of mouthwatering ways to create quick and easy party snacks with these cold cuts appetizers using cold cuts and we are here to show you how.

1.Hawaiian Tortilla Roll Ups

Bring a Hawaiian twist to your casual weekend get together with this exotic tropical delicacy! Bite into layers of cream cheese, pineapple, and some flavourful ham. This is an easy, sweet, and savory party appetizer that you can whip in just a few minutes. Amaze your guests with your gourmet culinary skills.

Ingredients

• 4 12" tortillas
• 225 grams of cream cheese, softened
• ½ can of pineapple slices, all liquid drained
• 2 spring onions
• 12-16 slices of thinly sliced ham

Instructions

1.Combine the softened cream cheese, pineapple, and spring onions in a medium bowl. Stir until everything is well combined.
2.Spread ¼ of the cream cheese mixture on each tortilla to cover it evenly.
3.On top of the cheese, place a layer of ham (approx. 3-4 slices)
4.Roll the tortilla up gently but firmly, then use a serrated knife to cut the roll into 6 slices.
5.Serve immediately.

2.Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Courtesy: www.cookswithcocktails.com

A bacon wrapped seafood delight that will leave your guests wanting for more! These crispy, succulent scallops can be served as the perfect party food and will certainly blow your taste buds away.

Ingredients

• 12 large scallops, cut in half
• 12 pieces of bacon, cut in half
garlic powder
teriyaki sauce
cayenne pepper
Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil

Instructions

1. Cut large scallops in half. Wrap each scallop in half a strip of bacon and secure them with a wooden toothpick. (Smaller scallops may be left whole).
2. Brush them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle teriyaki sauce on both sides. Dust them lightly with garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
3. Place them in a baking dish and bake at 425°F, turning once for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are done.
4.Serve them with sweet and sour sauce.

3. Ham And Pineapple Skewers
Courtesy: www.sydneymarkets.com.

Pair juicy pineapple slices paired with the meaty delights of honey roasted ham and your palette will thank you for it. Whip this cold cut marvel appetizer in under 15 minutes!

Ingredients

• 1 pound honey roasted ham, thinly sliced
• 1 pineapple, peeled and cut into 20 long spears
• 2 tablespoons of Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil
• 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
• 3 inner celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces (optional)

Instructions

1. Fold each slice of ham in half and wrap it around the center of a pineapple spear.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 10 of the wrapped pineapple spears in the pan. Sear on each side until they are golden, about 2 minutes.
3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the vinegar over the pineapple spears and cook them until the vinegar bubbles up and thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
4. Transfer them to a plate and cover them with foil while repeating the cooking instructions with the remaining ingredients. Serve them with the celery stalks, if desired.

4. Cold Cuts à la Sushi

For a truly fancy party appetizer, this sushi-inspired dish is a marvel to bite into! Snack on these scrumptious cold cut rolls at your next wine tasting party along with a decadent meat and cheese platter.

Ingredients 

• 2 cups of sushi rice, hot & cooked
• 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
• 1/4 cup of cream cheese spread
• 2 sheets of nori (dried seaweed)
• 8 lettuce leaves
Cheddar cheese, sliced
• 8 slices of pork herb salami
• 2 cherry tomatoes, seeded, cut into thin strips
• 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
• 12 slices of chicken breast

Instructions

1. Use a moistened spatula to mix the rice and the vinegar until they blend. Let it cool slightly.
2. Spoon the cream cheese spread into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Place 1 nori sheet, shiny side down, on a plastic wrap-covered bamboo sushi mat. Use moistened fingers to pat half of the rice mixture evenly onto the nori. Top with half of each of the remaining ingredients, trimming as necessary to fit the nori sheet.
3. Pipe the cream cheese spread into horizontal lines across the topped nori sheet. Use the mat to tightly roll up the nori sheet while firmly pressing as it is rolled. Use the mat to turn and squeeze the roll-up into a round sushi roll.
4. Repeat the process with the second nori sheet and the remaining ingredients to make second sushi roll. Use a sharp knife to cut each roll into 8 pieces.

Ready to get the party started with these delicious cold cut party snack recipes marvels? Get your ingredients here at Nature’s Basket.

Looking for more cold cut inspiration? We have got you covered with these cold cut recipes.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Your 5 Course Christmas Menu


Holy moly, it’s time for Christmas! It’s the season of gingerbread houses and jingle bell carols. Christmas flavours are full of sweet and spice and we are so ready for some jolly good festive fun! Raise your holiday spirit and be the ultimate Christmas party host with your kickstarter 5 course Christmas menu.

1. Cranberry, Fresh Pear & Cinnamon Bubbles
Courtesy: costplusworldmarket.com

This season calls for champagne dreams and caviar wishes! This Christmas scented glass of bubbly is the perfect way to get the party started. Serve this fizzy holiday drink with some fresh strawberries to delight your palette with an explosion of fruity flavours.

Ingredients

• 2 ripe pears, peeled and cored
• 100ml of cranberry juice
• 2 tsp. cinnamon powder
• 1 bottle of cava

Instructions

1. In a blender, purée the pears until they smoothen up. Pour this mixture into a jug, then add a small splash of cranberry juice to stop the pear from discolouring.
2. When your guests arrive, put a few tsps. purée in the bottom of each glass, then add a splash more juice. Add a pinch of cinnamon, then top up with chilled Cava. Serve immediately.

2. Pita Chips With Lemon-Goat Cheese Dip
Courtesy: www. countryliving.com

Christmas or not, we bet you are going to have a house full of hungry guests this holiday season. This creamy lemon and goat cheese dip, served with a side of crispy pita chips, is going to be your go-to quick fix appetizer.

Ingredients

• 1 cup of mayonnaise
• 1 goat-cheese log
• 2 tbsp. Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil
• 2 spring onions
• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp. lemon zest
salt
Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole, freshly ground
L’Exclusif Multigrain Pita

Instructions

1.In a food processor, combine the first 6 ingredients, plus 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper; blend this mixture until it turns smooth.
2.Transfer it to a bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Serve the dip with the pita chips.

3. Bacon, Sausage And Prunes Rolls
Courtesy: bbcgoodfood.com

Succulent, juicy and so mouth-watering! These bacon-wrapped, honey-drenched sausages are sure to blow your taste buds away, this Christmas.

Ingredients

• 12 cocktail sausages
• 1 tbsp. Healthy Alternatives Floral Blend Honey
• 12 Healthy Alternatives Prunes
• 24 streaky bacon slices

Instructions

1.Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the sausages in a bowl with the honey until they are well coated.
2.Wrap each sausage and prune in a piece of bacon, then skewer them with a cocktail stick. Place them on a baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes.

4. Bacon Wrapped Pork Medallions

Your Christmas dinner is incomplete without that gourmet masterpiece of an entrée. These tender pork tenderloins may just be the dish that could light up your dinner table.

Ingredients

• 8 slices of bacon
• 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
• 1 Tsp. seasoned salt
• 1 Tsp. dried basil
• 1 Tsp. dried oregano
• 2 pounds of pork tenderloin
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 2 Tbsp. Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil

Instructions

1.Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.Place the bacon in a large, oven-safe skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and still flexible, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove any excess bacon grease from the skillet. Combine garlic powder, seasoning salt, basil, and oregano in a small bowl. Set aside.
3.Wrap the pork tenderloin with the bacon strips securing with 1 or 2 toothpicks per strip of bacon. Slice the tenderloin between each bacon strip to create the medallions. Dip both sides of the medallions in the seasoning mix. Melt the butter and the oil together in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each medallion for 4 minutes on each side.
4.Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake it until the pork is no longer pink in the center, 17 to 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

5. Skillet S’mores
Courtesy: www.countryliving.com

There’s something about warm, gooey s’mores that just makes you go “Aaah, Christmas is here!”. These skillet s’more cookies will make the perfect end to the perfect night.

Ingredients

• 1/3 cup of Healthy Alternatives Organic Wheat Maida, spooned and leveled, plus more for working
• 1/3 cup of Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Wheat Flour, spooned and leveled
• 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/4 tsp. baking soda
• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup of packed light brown sugar
• 2 tsp. Healthy Alternatives Floral Blend Honey
• 1 large Healthy Alternatives Free Range Country Egg
• 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 c. L’Exclusif chocolate chips
• 6 marshmallows 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with the racks in the middle and top positions. Line two baking sheets with some parchment paper. Whisk together the flours, the cinnamon, the salt, and the baking soda in a bowl.
2. Beat the butter and the sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until they turn light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the honey until it is combined. Beat in the egg and the vanilla until they are combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly beat in the flour mixture.
3. Scoop the dough (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each), 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time on the middle rack, until golden brown around the edges, 9 to 10 minutes. Cool the baking sheets on a wire rack for 5 minutes; remove to the racks to cool completely.
4. Place 1 (9-inch) cast-iron skillet or 12 (3.5 inch) cast-iron skillets on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill them with the chocolate chips, dividing evenly. Top with the cookies.
5. Use a serrated knife to cut the marshmallows in half crosswise; use a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter to cut into shapes. Top the cookies with the marshmallow stars.
6. Bake, on the top rack, until the chocolate has melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Switch the oven to broil. Broil until the marshmallows are golden brown, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

Is your kitchen Christmas-ready? Get all your holiday essentials at Nature’s Basket.

Drink to an egg-cellent Christmas with this simple eggnog recipe.




Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Are Infused Teas Good For You?


Infused teas have recently joined the par-tea and we can’t get enough of them! Tea enthusiasts all over have embraced herbal and fruit infused teas wholeheartedly. But where does the line between tea and infused tea blur and does it really make that much of a difference? We bet you have a million questions brewing up in your mind right now. But fret not, just read on and sip on for good health!

1. Tea Vs. Infused Teas- Get The Difference

Tea, infused tea, fruit tea, herbal tea, herbal infusions, is your head spinning already? Even the most devout tea-lover may not be able to tell the difference between regular teas and tea infusions. So, what is an infusion after all? Infusions are made by letting herbs and fruits simmer in hot but not boiling water for a long time. All teas are technically infusions except that, actual infusions are steeped for longer in chunks full of herbs. Simply put, you drink tea to get your brain ticking, you drink infusions to get your body moving.

2. The Health Booster You Need

Infused teas can supplement your body with a much larger dose of nutrition than regular teas. Sip on tea infusions to stock up on some much-needed vitamins and minerals. You can even brew up various infusions using particular herbs to fight certain illnesses. Down with the common cold? Get a pot of jasmine infused tea brewing!

3. Go Caffeine-Free

If caffeine is your answer to get the creative juices of your brain flowing, well we hate to break it to you but it’s not doing much for your body, mate. Caffeine can affect the calcium levels in your body that means that it is so not good for your bones! Most true herbal and fruit teas are decaf as they are not made from tea leaves. So, a cup of pure peppermint tea can do you more good than a cup of black tea.

4. Pure Fruity Goodness

Sipping on fruit tea infusions made using fresh fruits like blueberries, raspberries, orange, peach is a whole lot better than gulping down aerated drinks full of artificial sugar as pure fruit teas only contain natural sugar. How about that cup of flavourful, aromatic cranberry and raspberry tea now?

5. Infuse Teas With Fresh Fruit

Here’s a quick way to infuse that delicious fresh fruit flavour to your everyday teas! To make a pot of fruit tea, add two green tea bags and ½ cup of chopped fresh fruit into a one-quart mason jar and fill it to the top with boiling water. Steep for ten minutes, strain, and serve either hot or over ice.

Ready to brew up some infused tea magic? Get your ingredients here at Nature’s Basket.

The tea enthusiast in you can’t get enough? Check out everything you need to know about the tea cleanse here.

Hazelnut Chocolate Recipes


They say hazelnut chocolate is one of mankind’s most fabled inventions. Was this combination a freak accident or is it the work of serious experimentation and thought? All we know is that this creamy, thick, sinfully delicious treat is a God given gift. We aren’t talking about that store bought, ready-made hazelnut chocolate, but rather something truly authentic. Crafted with love and care, a homemade mix is possibly what heaven tastes like. You can stop dreaming now! Check out these hazelnut chocolate recipes that are out of this world, literally!

1. Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Courtesy – www.bakingbeauty.net

These tiny treats are like little treats of heaven! The smooth texture of the creamy chocolate hazelnut spread packed between two soft, crumbly vanilla cookies is sure to delight your taste buds!

Ingredients

• 1 kilo of Healthy Alternatives Hazelnuts
• ¾ cup of flour
• 1 kilo of Healthy Alternatives Cashew Butter
• ½ cup of Healthy Alternatives Organic Brown Sugar
• ½ kilo of dark chocolate, chopped
• Zest from 1 orange 

Instructions

1. Roast the Hazelnuts in the oven for 15 minutes at 80° C. After this, rub off the skins with a clean towel. Once cooled, blend the nuts into powder.
2. Combine this hazelnut powder with the flour, butter and sugar.
3. Work into an even dough, wrap in plastic foil, flatten, and let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. Take the dough out of the refrigerator, break small little pieces from it and roll into balls, approximately the size of a teaspoon.
5. Place the balls on a baking sheet, leaving an inch or so of space between each ball, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 160° C. Let them cool completely.
6. Melt the chocolate, place a teaspoon of the chocolate on the bottom half of the cookies and before the chocolate sets place the other hemisphere of cookie on top.
7. Sit back and soak in the moment. Sinfully enjoy the tastes of the Gods.

2. Chocolate, Cardamom & Hazelnut Torte

Courtesy – bbcgoodfood

This hazelnut torte is exactly as it should be-chocolatey and sinful! This cocoa covered treat can be your much-needed weekend delight or a rich party dessert that will surely  wow your guests away!

Ingredients 

• 150g of Healthy Alternatives Hazelnuts
• 8 Healthy Alternatives Cardamoms
• 150g of dark chocolate
• 125g of butter
• 6 eggs, separated
• 125g of castor sugar
• 1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder
• Crème fraiche, to serve
• A pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan until golden, then leave to cool slightly and blitz to a fine consistency in a food processor.
2. Remove the cardamom seeds from their pods and grind to dust.
3. Heat oven to 160° C. Grease and line the base of a spring-form cake tin.
4. Use the microwave to melt the chocolate with the butter in 30-sec bursts until it is glossy and smooth.
5. Whisk the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks.
6. Whisk the yolks with the sugar in a separate bowl until they are pale and voluminous.
7. Combine the chocolate with the egg yolk mixture.
8. Incorporate the cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, the cardamom seeds and the hazelnuts.
9. Add a spoonful of egg white to the batter, stirring it through to loosen the mix.
10. Then fold in the rest, taking care to keep in as much air as possible.
11.  Gently pour into the tin and bake for 35 mins.
12.  Leave to cool in the tin, then dust with cocoa powder and serve with crème fraîche.
13. Bite into the heavenly goodness, and taste the love!

3. Hazelnut Gelato With Rich Chocolate Sauce

Courtesy – bbcgoodfood

This creamy hazelnut gelato can save you from all your frozen dessert cravings! The creamy, made-from-scratch chocolate sauce goes well with the nutty flavours of this decadent sweet treat.

Ingredients 

For the ice-cream:

• 175g of Healthy Alternatives Hazelnuts
• 300ml of cream
• 300ml of full fat milk
• 100g of Healthy Alternatives Organic Brown Sugar
• 3 egg yolks

For the chocolate sauce:

• 150ml of cream
• 1 teaspoon instant coffee
• 100g of chocolate, finely chopped

Instructions

1. First off, for the ice-cream, toast the nuts in a dry pan for 5 mins until golden. Once cooled, roughly chop them and set them aside.
2. Heat the cream, milk and sugar in a pan until nearly boiling. Be sure to save some cream (approx. 80ml) for the chocolate sauce.
3. Whisk together the eggs yolks in a small bowl.
4. Pour a little of the hot cream over the eggs and whisk together.
5. Pour the egg mix into the pan and gently cook for about 8-10 mins until thick
6. Set a medium-size bowl over another bowl of iced water.
7. As soon as the custard has thickened, strain into the bowl, then stir through the hazelnuts.
8. Leave to cool a little, then pour the mixture into a blender and whizz until smooth. Freeze it until ready (approx. 2 hours)!
9. Now, for the sinful chocolate sauce,
10. For the sauce, heat the cream with the coffee in a pan until boiling.
11. Take off the heat, stir the chocolate until melted
12. Serve the ice-cream with the chocolate sauce drizzled on top with scatterings of chopped hazelnuts.
13. Take a bite of the ice-cream and be sure to stay grounded!

Taste the love, only at Nature’s Basket!

Is your sweet tooth still crying out? Maybe Peanut Butter & Cranberry Cups will do the trick!