Friday, 27 July 2018

5 Ways You Can Enjoy Corn This Monsoon


When the monsoon comes it brings with it some special memories that we will always cherish. And more often than not, they are related to food, especially, corn! And why not? Corn goes hand in hand with the monsoon season. Whether it’s the first bhutta with your Grandpa or that sweet corn cup while taking a  romantic walk with that special someone. Corn is the food that not only satisfies our taste buds but also gives comfort.
So, how can we enjoy corn apart from simply grilled on the cob? Read on to know more ways of relishing this delicacy!

1.Cheesy Corn Samosas

Who doesn’t love samosa with cutting chai on a rainy day? So, why not spice up the plain old samosa? Cheese, corn and potatoes combined with spices like green chillies and black pepper make for a tongue-tickling stuffing for samosas. It’s the perfect dish to serve your guests with some green chutney or tomato ketchup.

2.Sweet Corn Soup

Oh! The feeling of warm soup going down your throat after a long rainy day! What better soup variant than the very comforting sweet corn soup. Juicy vegetables perfectly complement the sweet taste of the corn. It can be made in a jiffy and is the perfect light and healthy dinner recipe to go for!

3.Corn Bhel

Our love for chaat and corn comes together in this amazing dish. If you think the roadside stalls selling sweet corn seasoned with chaat masala is exciting, then boy you are in for a ride with this combination of corn bhel! Think of your favourite ingredients in a bhel-puri ranging from onions, raw mango, tomatoes, onions to spicy powders and sev, now toss them together with cooked sweet corn and ta-da! You have yourself a delightful  (please use another word in place of this) snack to tickle your taste buds!

4.Grilled Corn Cheese Cakes

We all love fritters with hot beverages during monsoon, so why not replace it with something different and instead try these amazing corn cakes! The taste of sweet corn pairs beautifully with the combination of cheese and breadcrumbs, chillies, ginger-garlic paste and dash of spices in this recipe. Combine all the ingredients, make them into patties and grill.

5.Corn Coleslaw

A creamy, crunchy and cool coleslaw is hard to resist but by simply adding some bold flavours and spices to it, you end up creating something that is so delicious that you will forever crave it. Black beans, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and jalapenos add so much flavour and colour, plus when you add the delicious corn to it, you have yourself a really beautiful coleslaw! Put in a slider, tacos or a grilled sandwich and pair it with some hot chocolate and you have yourself a perfect monsoon hearty meal!

 Monsoon season itching you to try new hot beverages? Why don’t you read 4 Unique Tea Brews For You

How Does Ginger Help During Monsoons?


The monsoons are finally here to provide us relief from the scorching heat. Between getting wet in the rain, long drives and enjoying tea and pakodas, we often neglect the unhealthy habits we inculcate, making us vulnerable to health problems. To the rescue, the magical root, Ginger!

Apart from adding spice and taste to food and drinks, ginger also possesses some key medicinal properties. Ageing back to Ayurveda, ginger was recommended as a cure to prevent various health problems. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this magical root!

1.Prevention of Cold and Flu

For most of us catching a cold during monsoon is as common as breathing.
Packed with antibacterial and antiviral properties, ginger helps in protecting against flu and cold. The gingerol and shagol compounds present in ginger stimulates perspiration and reduces body temperature, hence healing pain & irritation.
Generally, fresh ginger, shredded or chopped, can be taken with honey or water to treat these symptoms.

2.Helps Digestion

We tend to binge on unhealthy food during the rainy season but this can lead to severe indigestion. Ginger is highly effective in improving food absorption and metabolism, which helps in preventing indigestion.

3.Strengthen The Immune System

In the monsoons, it is all the more crucial to take care of your immunity and ginger is full of antibacterial properties which helps to prevent nausea and soothe an upset stomach, supporting the immune system.

4.Natural expectorant

Coughing and congestion are common problems during the monsoon. This herb contains expectorant properties that loosen the mucus from lungs. The oleoresins in ginger prevent the formation of excess mucus and help in soothing the lung tissues. If you have a deep cough, opt for a crystallized ginger.

5.Maintains Blood Circulation

Known as a vasodilator, ginger opens up blood vessels and allows more blood to pass through. It also contains zinc, chromium and magnesium which can help improve the overall blood flow. Additionally, it helps to prevent fever, excessive sweating, and chills.

We are sure after reading all these benefits, you would want to have ginger in some way. Scroll down to read how to make that perfect healthy ginger tea.

Ginger Tea



Ingredients

• About 2 inches of fresh raw ginger peeled (use more or less, depending on how strong you want       it!)
• 1 ½ cup water
• 1 tbsp of Healthy Alternatives- Holy Basil (Tulsi) Honey
• ½ lime

Instructions

1. Boil the ginger in water for at least 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and add lime juice and honey to taste.
3. Serve in a cup and enjoy your hot ginger tea overlooking the rains!

You can also gorge onto L'Exclusif – Digestive Ginger and keep it handy especially during the monsoon season.

Rains making you crave for some warm beverages? Check Homemade Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipes.

5 Monsoon Essentials To Stock Up Now


Apart from the potholes and built-up traffic, don’t you love monsoons? There are so many reasons to fall in love with the season, one being the relief it brings us from all the heat and sweat of the summers. Not to forget the damp rainy days gives us the perfect excuse to gorge on our favourite snacks! However fun the monsoons may be, it is also the season many of us fall sick. If you don't want to spend the rest of this beautiful season feeling sick, it is important to take precautionary steps to stock up on these essentials!

1.Green Tea

Who doesn’t crave a cup of warm tea during a cold rainy day? But it’s best to substitute your regular masala chai with green tea. Packed with antioxidants, not only does this magical elixir strengthen your immune system but it also helps in improving memory and aiding weight loss. This super drink keeps you hydrated whilst being loaded with minerals and nutrients that help in detoxification of your body, leading to improved digestion and clearer skin.

2.Ginger

This spice is not only an essential part of our everyday life but it also has medicinal properties beneficial during the rains. The compounds called gingerol and shagol present in ginger stimulates perspiration and reduces body temperature, healing the pain & irritation caused by the flu. This spice contains expectorant properties that loosen the mucus from lungs and hence acts as a natural expectorant. It also improves digestion and strengthens the immune system.

3.Chicken Stock

Bone broth contains loads of gelatin, a cooked form of collagen that helps to repair joints and reduces inflammation in the body. It also helps in restoring gut health and promotes healthy digestion. Moreover, if you have ready-made stock in your freezer, it makes whipping up nourishing soups much easier after a long wet day. All you need to do is cook the veggies of your choice with the stock and blitz it before curling up on your sofa.

4.Aloe Vera

Including aloe vera capsules or aloe vera shots in your daily routine, especially during the rainy season is a great way to maintain your overall health. Loaded with enzymes, vitamins, magnesium, sodium, calcium and more than twenty amino acids, this magic ingredient keeps your hair and skin incredibly healthy and shiny. It also aids in digestion and is a handy cure for constipation and acidity.

5.Lychees

This seasonal monsoon fruit is packed with vitamins and fibre. It pumps up the immune system, assists in weight loss and optimizes metabolic activities. Not to forget that it also aids in improving digestion and tastes divine!

Wondering how to keep the doctor away this rainy season? Surely 5 Superfoods That Will Boost Your Immunity This Monsoon will help you!

Thursday, 26 July 2018

5 Ways To Make Your Food Healthy With Ginger


You probably are familiar with ginger as a common Indian staple that is added to food, but do you know of its other health benefits?
Building immunity, relieving from cold and flu and maintaining blood circulation are just some of the benefits that this magical herb has. It is also considered great for improving digestion. No wonder that “adrak wali chai” is our go-to relief for a sore throat!
Apart from your regular tea, here are some other ways to incorporate this herb in your diet.

1.Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup



This is a wonderful, zingy soup for those rainy days. It has the balance of sweet and sour and is also quick to whip up.

Ingredients

• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 2 sliced onions
• 1½ tbsp. fresh grated ginger
• 2 large peeled and diced sweet potatoes
• 6 cups water or stock
• 150ml fresh cream
• 1 tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 tbsp. maple syrup
• 1 tsp. lime juice

Instructions 

1. Melt the butter in a large pan and fry the onions until they soften.
2. Add the ginger and cook until aromatic. Add the potato and stir till it becomes slightly shiny.
3. Add the stock or water. Cook for 30 minutes, or until you can mash the potatoes easily against the      side of the pan.
4. Using a hand-held blender, stir in the pan until you get a nice smooth consistency.
5. Pour in the cream, soy sauce and maple syrup and the lime juice. Stir and then season to taste.            Serve hot.

2. Salad With Ginger Lemon Dressing


Courtesy: Detoxinista

With all the tempting fried munchies you consume during the monsoons, strike a balance in your diet with this zesty lemon and ginger based salad.

Ingredients

• Lemon Ginger Dressing (makes 1 1/2 cups)
• 3/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 1/2-inch fresh ginger knob
• 1 clove garlic
• 2 tbsp. honey

Salad

• 4 cups shredded cabbage (green and purple)
• 1 large carrot  (shredded)
• Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley (roughly chopped)
• 1/2 avocado (sliced)
• 2 tbsp. raisins

Instructions

1. Prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more ginger if desired.
2. Toss together the cabbage, carrots, and parsley in a large bowl and top with the sliced avocado and raisins.
3. Top the salad with 4 - 5 tablespoons of the lemon-ginger dressing and mix well. Let it marinate for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

3.Pickled Ginger


Often put in Vietnamese sandwiches, this delicacy is a perfect complement to fish or meat dishes. This sharp condiment has a sweet and sour taste and has a vibrant yellow colour.

Ingredients

• 250g fresh ginger
• 2 tbsp. salt
• 1½ tbsp. rice vinegar
•  ½ tsp sugar

Instructions

1. Wash and peel the fresh ginger and slice into thin strips.
2. Cover the ginger with boiling water and put 1 tbsp of salt. Let it sit for around 3-5 minutes until the
ginger softens. Be careful not to make it too soft though, the ginger should still be crunchy when you strain the hot brine.
3. Retain the hot brine and place the sliced ginger in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over rest of the salt. Squeeze the ginger with your hand so the salt is absorbed.
4. Add the vinegar to the ginger and rub well. Add sugar.
5. Put the ginger into jars and submerge it in the reserved brine. Leave it in the fridge overnight. Enjoy! (PS: The pickle will be edible for days if refrigerated.)

4.Ginger Hot Chocolate


Who doesn’t love a warm cup of hot chocolate especially in this ongoing monsoon season! But what if we told you that you can make that cup a little healthier by adding some ginger to it? Don’t worry it will still taste sweet just the way you like it.

Ingredients

• 2 cups milk
• 1 cup water
• 1 tbsp.sugar
• 1/4-1/2 tsp. ground or fresh grated ginger (depending on preference)
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder
• pinch sea salt
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

1Heat the milk and water in a saucepan. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce heat, slightly whisking in cocoa powder, sea salt, sugar and ginger. Whisk vigorously.
2. In about 3-5 minutes, once the cocoa is hot enough for your liking, remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Stir once more.
3. Pour it in a cup and top it with whipped cream or marshmallows – the choice is yours!

5.Ginger Cinnamon Caramels


Wondering how you can turn this spice into something as sweet as a dessert? Let us show you just how! So the next time you are putting in those calories, at least it will be doing something good for
your body.

Ingredients
• 2 cups fresh cream
• 3 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup light corn syrup
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup unsalted butte
• 4 tsp. ginger extract
• 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

1Line a 9x13 baking sheet with foil and butter generously. Put the cream in a small saucepan and let it warm over low heat.
2. Put the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat and stir vigorously until the sugar melts and dissolves. After you stop stirring, turn the heat to high. Cook until the sugar turns dark amber. Take it off the heat.
3. Whisk in the butter. Very carefully pour in the cream and whisk it. The caramel will bubble up furiously and steam. Whisk until well-combined and return to high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, then turn the heat to medium-low. Clip on the candy thermometer and let the caramel cook until the temperature hits 250°F. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the ginger extract, cinnamon, and salt. Pour into the prepared pan and let it cool.
4. When it has cooled for a couple hours, put it in the fridge to harden overnight. The next day, cut into small pieces and wrap. These are fine at room temperature. There, you have yourself some home-made caramels!
Craving for some more desserts? Learn how to make them through Easy Healthy Dessert Recipes With Blueberries

5 Foods That You Should Avoid During Monsoon


Monsoon has knocked on our doors relieving us from the heat of summers with fresh showers! While some enjoy hot chocolate or tea, others relish ice-creams. Each of us has their own food cravings when we sit by the window soaking in this romantic season. Even if our cravings are insatiable, it is easy to fall sick during this season.
Here’s how you can avoid a visit to the doctor!

1.Leafy Vegetables

Although we are always encouraged to include leafy vegetables in our diet, it’s best to avoid these during the monsoons since these grow in swamp and crude areas. These conditions make them highly susceptible to germs. Instead, go for vegetables like bitter gourd and apple gourd.

2.Sea Food

Who doesn’t love seafood? However, during the monsoons, it is best to avoid the same as monsoon is the breeding season for fish. Most water bodies are loaded with dirt, chemicals, viruses etc. during this time which might lead to food poisoning. Hence it’s best to avoid sea food consumption and replace it with chicken or eggs.

3.Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a great option especially for vegans, however, monsoons are not the best time for its consumption.
Most of them grow on damp soil, sludge areas and unhygienic places making them susceptible to bacterial diseases, hence avoiding them is the best bet.

4.Fried Food

Yes, we know the taste of hot pakoras or samosas with tea is something one would just love on a rainy day, but the humidity during this season slows down our digestion process which often results in a bloated tummy. Salty food also causes water retention so it’s best to stay away from it.

5.Fizzy Drinks

Sure, a can of soda sounds great after a heavy meal but did you know that fizzy drinks reduce the minerals in our body. This complicates the digestive process and we definitely don’t want this during the monsoons. Stick to warm beverages during this season instead.

Reaching out for that hot cup of tea already? Ever wondered What kind of tea person are you

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

5 Superfoods That Will Boost Your Immunity This Monsoon



Monsoons may be refreshing, but it comes with a string of diseases. A cough, cold, flu etc. are unfortunately something we have become accustomed to during this season. So, before you start adding your doctor to your speed dial, below are some foods which will help you boost your immunity naturally, keeping those nasty diseases at bay.

1.Fresh Fruits


Fruits contain antioxidants, which help boost your immunity and increase your energy levels. Make sure to always wash fresh fruits properly or even peel them before consuming them.
Bananas make for a great breakfast smoothie base, and you can top it up with seasonal fruits like blackberry, lychee or cherries. Now, you are ready to jumpstart your day!

2.Broccoli


Foods containing a high amount of Vitamin C make great immunity boosters
and broccoli comes packed with it. There are numerous ways to incorporate this into your daily routine. Broccoli tastes great with other veggies as well, so load up on this the next time you are making a stir-fry.

3.Herbal Tea


Fancy a cup of hot tea? Tulsi or Chamomile tea are your best friends in this season. Consuming these will not only warm you up but also build your immunity. A dash of honey can help increase the anti-bacterial properties of your tea. You can customize your Tulsi tea with a little bit of ginger to clear up those sinuses.

4.Yoghurt


Including this superfood in your diet, will prove to be a good decision as it contains gut-friendly bacteria that helps in increasing the body’s resistance to infections that are common during the monsoons. Don’t like the taste of plain yoghurt? Whip up a delicious dip with a cup of yoghurt, minced garlic, chopped parsley, finish it off with some salt, pepper and lemon juice. Consider Greek yoghurt if you are looking for added protein in your diet.

5.Protein Foods


Including protein-rich foods in your diet can have a tremendous effect on your immune levels. Hence, during the monsoons include food such as pulses, eggs, fish and meat. Tuna makes for a healthy hearty lunch. A quick way to incorporate it is by mixing some onions, celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper with the canned tuna. You can either have this as a salad or a sandwich.

Wondering what recipes to follow to include some of these superfoods? Check Gourmet Egg Dishes At Home.