Thursday, 14 December 2017

Star Wars Themed Recipes

Are you one of those people who have been dying for the 15th of December to finally arrive, so that you can get lost in a galaxy far, far away? Then you this article is for. Let your inner nerd out by trying out these fun movie recipes inspired from the Star Wars movie series. May the forks be with you!

1. Bantha Cocoa Recipe

Picture Courtesy: 

Craving some of that blue Bantha milk? Sip onto some delicious warm Bantha Cocoa as you geek out over The Last Jedi.


• 4 cups of Healthy Alternatives – Fresh Cow’s Milk
• 1 tsp. vanilla syrup
• 8 oz. grated white chocolate
• 2 drops of Blue food coloring
• Whipped cream


1. Stir together milk, vanilla, food colouring and white chocolate in a medium saucepan.
2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer and is melted. Do not let it boil.
3. Remove from the heat and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream.

2. Death Star Popcorns

Picture Courtesy:

Popcorns are a must for any movie, but this movie isn’t just any movie. So it goes without saying that the popcorns will also be just as special, right? While these popcorns don’t have the ability to destroy an entire planet, they definitely taste terrific!


• 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 280 g white marshmallows
• 6 cups popped popcorn
• 2 cups colorful marshmallows


1. Melt butter over low heat. Stir in the white marshmallows until fully melted. Add the colourful marshmallows and stir to coat.
2. Pour everything over the popped popcorns and stir to coat. Spray hands with cooking oil and form small balls. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. When it has cooled down, transfer it to the refrigerator and store it in an airtight container.

3. Yoda Soda Float

Some soda to wash down the Death Star popcorns? Yes, please.


Vanilla ice cream
• Lemon-lime soda (7Up, Sprite, etc.)
Lime wedges (optional)
• Green food colouring


1. For each serving, in a tall glass, pour the lemon-lime soda of your choice, add a drop of green food colouring and mix lightly to spread the colour. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and stick a lime wedge on the rim of the glass.
2. There you have it, your Yoda Soda float.

You’re all set to celebrate the release of the newest Star Wars film now with these Star Wars themed food ideas! The Force is definitely with you on this one, young Padawan. Just go on our online store to prepare for the big day or head to your nearest Nature’s Basket store!

Want some more geeky recipes? Check out these Game of Thrones inspired dishes to binge on some delicious food while you binge watch the show.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Everything You Need To Know About Pumpkin Spice

It’s Fall and that means it’s time for pumpkin spice and everything nice! Everything from cupcakes to lattes are getting their own pumpkin spice makeover and millennials can’t get enough of this Autumn food trend. So, if you are looking to make some pumpkin spice magic for yourself, here’s everything you need to know.

1. The Magic Ingredients

First things first, what makes this spice blend so irresistible? Contrary to popular belief, there is no pumpkin in this fall cooking mix. Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and ground cloves are the magic ingredients here. These simple ingredients combine to create the essentials for this deliciously distinctive flavour!

2. DIY Pumpkin Spice Mix

There is no secret, safeguarded recipe for this spice blend. You can make a fresh batch of some pumpkin spice blend at home in just about a few minutes and sprinkle it over just about everything!


• 4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
• 3 teaspoons of ground nutmeg
• 3 teaspoons of ground ginger
• 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cloves


1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Stir well to combine.
3. Store in an air-tight container.

3. What’s the best way to use Pumpkin Spice?

The comforting flavour of pumpkin spice goes well with just about any sweet treat. Oatmeals, pancakes, muffins, cookies, pies, puddings and every other dessert you can think of, you can certainly sweeten the deal with this fall-favourite baking ingredient.

You can even stir it in your coffee or some tea, add it to some whipped cream or some popcorn with an added sweetener. Try it as a spice in your meat dishes for a pumpkin spice blast!

Experiment with it by putting it in some spicy Caribbean and Middle Eastern dishes. Bring on the pumpkin spice on those hummus and veggies now!

4. Make Your Very Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

Now, you can enjoy this Autumn marvel of a drink at home as well! Try this recipe to whip up your own cup of pumpkin spice latte.


• 2 cups of milk (nut milk substitutes for vegans)
• ½ cup of pumpkin, washed, unseeded, peeled and chopped into smaller pieces
• 1 to 3 tablespoons of Healthy Alternatives Refined Sugar (or coconut sugar for the health conscious)
• 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, plus more for serving
• 1/2 cup of strong hot coffee
• Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, remove the stringy fibers in the pumpkin pieces.
2. Add them to the boiling water and cook for about 25 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.
3. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor.
4. Add the milk, 2 tbsp. of the pumpkin puree, and the sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until hot, but do not boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and the coffee.
5. Divide the mixture between two mugs. Top with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

5. Devour These Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

These pumpkin spice cupcakes are just what you need to beat those comfort food hunger pangs. The cream cheese frosting is bound to cheer up your taste buds.


• 1 1/2 c. Healthy Alternatives Maida (all-purpose flour)
• 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
• 1 c. pure pumpkin
• 2 tbsp. molasses
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 c. granulated sugar
• 2 large Healthy Alternatives Free Range Country Eggs

For The Cream Cheese Frosting:

• 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
• 2 c. icing sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, molasses and the vanilla.
3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and the sugar until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then, alternately add the flour and the pumpkin mixture, beating until they are just combined.
5. Divide the batter among the muffin-pan cups and bake them until they are cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the tray to a wire rack; let it cool for 5 minutes.
6. For the cream cheese frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and the butter until it is light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and the vanilla extract until it is light and fluffy.
7. To serve, frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

6. Dig Into This Roasted Garlic And Pumpkin Hummus

This savory pumpkin spice recipe is sure to jolt your palette with a blast of flavours! Impress your party guests this fall with this roasted garlic and pumpkin hummus.


For the roasted garlic:

• 1/2 cup of Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil
• 3 cloves of garlic, smashed

For the Hummus:

• 1 15.5-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
• ½ cup of pumpkin, washed, unseeded, peeled and chopped into smaller pieces
• 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, plus more if needed
• 2 tablespoons of tahini
• 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice
• Kosher salt

Pumpkin Seed Garnish:

• 1/4 cup of Healthy Alternatives Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
• Kosher salt and freshly ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Black Pepper


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, remove the stringy fibers in the pumpkin pieces.
2. Add them to the boiling water and cook for about 25 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Place the olive oil and the garlic in a small baking dish and roast it, making sure the garlic does not begin to brown but just turns a light golden color and becomes tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Add the roasted garlic cloves plus the 2 tablespoons of the oil from the baking dish (reserve the remaining oil) to a food processor along with the garbanzo beans, pumpkin puree, lemon juice, tahini, pumpkin spice and a nice pinch of salt.
6. Blend this mixture until it turns smooth, then add a bit more of the roasted garlic oil to smooth out the texture.
7. Taste and add a bit more salt and lemon juice if needed. Spoon into a bowl and pour any remaining olive oil over the top; cover and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
8. When it is ready to serve, add the roasted pumpkin seeds and serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Ready to get your pumpkin spice on? Get your ingredients at Nature's Basket.

There are lots of other ways to satiate your sweet cravings. Check out these Hazelnut Chocolate Recipes To Blow Your Tastebuds Away.

Gourmet Sandwich Recipes That You Will Love

This all-time favourite food has so much more potential than you think! Ever wondered if your grab and go afternoon snack could actually be your fancy gourmet dinner meal as well? From French toasts to classic subs, check out how you can add a dash of fancy to these classic dishes.

1. French Toast Sandwich With Mozzarella And Bacon


Melted mozzarella cheese and crispy bacon slices stuffed in between slices of fluffy French toast tastes nothing short of heavenly! Try this gourmet French toast sandwich recipe for your next Sunday brunch.


• 4 large Healthy Alternatives Free Range Country Eggs
• 3/4 cup of milk
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 8 slices of bread
• 1 tablespoon of butter, for the pan
• 8 slices of bacon, fried or baked
• 4 big slices of fresh mozzarella


1. Whisk the eggs, milk and salt in a large, shallow dish.
2. Soak the slices of bread into the egg mixture, coat them well.
3. Transfer onto a plate and prepare the sandwiches. Put one mozzarella slice and two slices of fried bacon in between the two soaked bread slices. Repeat this for all bread slices.
4. Heat a pan over medium high heat and melt butter in it. Fry the sandwiches, slightly pressing them down over the lowest heat until they get golden on both sides; 3-4 minutes for each side and serve.

2. Toasted Ciabatta Sandwich


What can taste better than the combination of toasted ciabatta, salty prosciutto, sweet onions and crumbly brie cheese? Give your palette a taste of this fancy ciabatta sandwich for a blast of flavour and fun.


• 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
• 3 Tbsp. Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil
• 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes
• 3 oz of prosciutto, thinly sliced
• 8 thin wedges of brie
• 1/2 cup of arugula lettuce
• 1/2 loaf of ciabatta bread, cut lengthwise


1. Add the sliced onions and 1 Tbsp. oil to a large sauté pan and cook on low for about an hour, maybe longer, until they’re nice and caramelized
2. Broil the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet for a few minutes until they start to wilt and split slightly.
3. Brush the remaining oil over the ciabatta bread and lightly toast it.
4. Layer one half of the bread with the onions, arugula, prosciutto strips and the brie wedges.
5. Broil the sandwiches for a few minutes, until the brie starts to melt.
6. Garnish with some tomatoes and basil and serve.

3. Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwich


The tender chicken, gooey melted cheddar cheese and tangy jalapenos is what makes this sub go from simple to simply delicious! This baked sandwich recipe is a must-try for any meat lover in the world.


• 1 pound of ground chicken
• 1 pound of lean ground chicken breast
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon of Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Black Pepper, ground
• 1 large Healthy Alternatives Free Range Country Egg, slightly beaten
• 1/3 cup of panko bread crumbs
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 jalapeños, 1 finely diced and 1 thinly sliced
• 8 ounces of cheddar cheese, freshly grated
• 8-10 whole wheat sandwich buns


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a large baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet with a non-stick spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the ground chicken with the salt, pepper, egg, panko, garlic cloves, finely diced jalapeño pepper and half (4 ounces) of the grated cheddar.
3. Mix thoroughly to combine. Roll into golf ball-sized meatballs. Bake for 30-35 minutes (the meatballs will release a bit of liquid, as well as some of the cheese), or until meatballs are cooked through. Remove and let cool slightly.
4. Slice each bun lengthwise and stuff some of the remaining cheddar in the bottom of each. Place 2-3 meatballs in each bun, then cover with additional cheddar.
5. Bake them in the oven for 6-8 minutes, then broil if desired to bubble and brown the cheese on top. Cover with some thinly sliced jalapeños and serve.

4. Blueberry Pie Panini


This blueberry pie panini is a game changer altogether when it comes to sandwiches and sweets! Check out this recipe to see how you can make a panini sandwich without a panini press.


• 2 slices of whole wheat bread
• 1 tbsp. vanilla yogurt
• 2 handfuls of Healthy Alternatives Blueberries


1. Spread 1½ teaspoons of yogurt on one slice of bread. Arrange the blueberries on top of the yogurt.
2. Spread the remaining yogurt on the second slice of bread, and place that bread yogurt-side-down on top of the blueberries.
3. Grease a heated stovetop skillet with oil and place the assembled sandwich in the center.
Lay another plate on top of the sandwich, weigh it down with a heavy can or a full tea kettle—or just push down on the surface as the sandwich cooks.
4. Be sure to remove the weights to flip the sandwich and press the other side for evenly distributed heat. Cook until the sandwiches are crispy and golden brown, then serve hot!

Ready to cook these gourmet sandwich dishes? Get your ingredients at Nature's Basket.

Don’t stop at sandwiches, click here to know how you can make gourmet desserts at home.

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.


• 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


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!


• 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


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!


• 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


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.


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


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

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!


• 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


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

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!


• 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


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

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.


• 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


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.


• 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


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

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.


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


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

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!


• 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)


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.


• 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


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

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.


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


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.

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.


• 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
Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole, freshly ground
L’Exclusif Multigrain Pita


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

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


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


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.


• 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


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

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.


• 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 


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 –

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!


• 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 


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!


• 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


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.


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


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! 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Organic Chocolates - The Healthy Way To Indulge

We have all heard about the aphrodisiac effects of chocolates and that dark chocolate is so much better for you than milk chocolate. Well, the word on the street these days is that there’s a bigger player in the candy world A.K.A organic chocolate. Wondering what the big deal is about going organic with your favourite comfort food? Don't worry, sit back and relax, because we have got all the answers right here.

1. The Full Scoop About Organic Chocolates

First things first, let’s get our facts right here. So, what exactly is organic chocolate made of? Cocoa beans straight from heaven? Not quite, though close enough. Organic chocolates are made from cocoa beans that have not been treated with any synthesized fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides but it doesn’t stop there. True organic chocolates are made of everything organic whether it’s milk, nuts, fruit, spices or cocoa butter.

2. Organic Chocolates Vs. Regular Chocolates

Let’s get to the real question, now. Does it really make that much of a difference whether your guilty pleasure snack is organic or not? Well, here’s a news flash for you. Conventionally grown cocoa has the second highest use of pesticides outside of commercial non-organic cotton. Not to mention that non-organic chocolates block the antioxidant and health benefits of chocolates as they are full of dairy, sugar, fat, wax, chemicals. So, which one would you prefer?

3. Health Benefits of Organic Chocolate

An organic chocolate bar contains as many antioxidants as a glass of red wine. It can help to lower blood pressure and contains very little caffeine. It also contains a high level of magnesium which can help your heart. Though, that doesn’t mean that you can go all out on them. Remember, moderation is key. Swap regular chocolate for organic dark chocolate or organic milk chocolate in those sinfully delicious baked goods and uplift the health quotient of your desserts!

4. Organic Chocolate Flavours You Must Try

Bite into these organic chocolates for some sinfully good fun! For a smooth and nutty texture, try the L’Exclusif Rose Almond Dark Chocolate. Get a zesty blast of flavours with the L’Exclusif Sea Salt Dark Chocolate or go all out on cocoa with the L’Exclusif 72% Dark Chocolate. Give your taste buds a fruity surpire with the L’Excusif Blueberry Walnut Dark Chocolate or refresh your palette with the tangy taste of the L’exclusif Lemon Ginger Dark Chocolate. So, which one do you crave?

Ready for some healthy indulgence with organic chocolates? Get your ingredients here at Nature’s Basket.

Wondering how to experiment with organic chocolates? Try these 7 Ingredient Divine Paleo Truffles with an organic chocolate twist!