Thursday, July 19, 2012

Homemade Granola

Nothing like crunchy granola in your cereal or as a yogurt topping or just as a snack on the go.Super easy and super fun to make your own granola! Once in a while I do buy from the store but most of the times I prefer to make my own. You can totally customize it to your taste. Considering my son's allergies, I find it easy to make my own instead of reading labels on the back of the granola pack. That way I have the whole control over what's going in and I also get to modify it the next time if I don't like what I added this time. Super flexible isn't it?

Here is what you will need-:

  •  3 cups of rolled oats
  • 3/4th cup agave
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract/ almond extract
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup of mixed dry fruit- I used dried blueberries and golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
Feel free to add anything else you like. Chopped walnuts or pecans is a great substitute for almonds. You can add dried papaya or any other dry fruit you may like.

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the oats on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Remember to stir twice in between.
  • Mix agave, water, vanilla extract or whichever extract you are using in a bowl. Add toasted oats, sesame seeds, and dry fruits and almonds.
  • Mix well and spread over the baking sheet and bake for 15 more minutes, stirring twice in between.
  • Let it cool and munch on some while still kind of hot...:)

Just few more captures that I enjoyed clicking..:)

Let them spill a bit!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Homemade Almond Milk

As I am preparing my homemade granola post(which is going to be the next), I thought I should write about this wonderful health drink, perfect for summer!

Making your own almond milk is very much exciting. I didn't know how easy it is to make your own almond milk at home and so I used to buy one from the grocer just like most of us do! Honestly this is the simplest recipe ever and the taste..oh..nowhere close to what you get from the grocer. Simply not the brand, that was my reaction after having first couple of sips..:)

All you have to do to make this delicious milk is to soak almonds overnight in some water. About 10-12 organic almonds and about 1 cup of water. To make it thick add less water and to make it watery add more.

Next morning put the almond into the blender after straining all the water from it. Add fresh water to it. If your blender is like mine, which grinds things better if they have less water content, don't add all the water right away. Just add all the soaked almonds and then add half of the water. Let the mixture get blended well and then add remaining water and blend nicely.

Use the cheesecloth to strain the mixture and you will get a nice snow white creamy almond milk! All the residue can be thrown or you can put it to good use as a facial scrub or even whole body scrub.

Recipe for the Homemade Almond Scrub-:
  • Almond residue
  • Jojoba oil
  • Lemon zest or orange zest
Mix all the 3 ingredients and apply on the face. Leave it for 10-15 minutes and wash. Or you can simply apply the scrub in shower and get the benefits of almond and the orange zest. Sorry I don't have the pic for the scrub. I will upload the pic when I will make the scrub again. The scrub should be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in a glass container.

Enjoy sunny afternoon with a glass of homemade almond milk with couple of cubes of ice and without all the horrible additives that are in the store bought milk!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dind- Steamed Wheat Wrap with Split Chana Dal Stuffing

A classic Maharashtrian ( A state of India where I grew up) recipe which is made on the occasion of Nag Panchami. For me, I don't wait for any occasion to celebrate great food! I usually make these for breakfast on any relax weekends. The recipe is not too hard but it takes some time to prepare the filling that goes inside the wheat dough.

  1. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  2. 1/2  cup jaggery, crushed or shredded
  3. 1/2  cup split chana dal
  4. 1 tbsp oil
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 1/4th tsp Cardamom powder
  7. Earth Balance butter 
  8. A few strand of saffron to garnish.

For the Stuffing-:
  1. Pressure cook the chana dal with 1:3 ratio. For 1/2 cup of chana dal add 1 and half cups of water. After the dal gets cooked strain it through the strainer and remove all the water from it.
  2. In a pan mix in the dal and the jaggery and start cooking the mixture on a medium heat.
  3. Keep stirring continuously as it can stick to the bottom easily. Mix it until the mixture becomes thick. Add cardamom powder. Mix and turn off the stove.
For the Dough-:
  1. Add salt to the wheat flour. Heat the oil  and add very hot oil into the dough. You should see the flour getting frothy after you add the hot oil. Add water and make a little harder dough than you usually make for roti.
Putting things together-:
  1. Divide the dough into nice round balls.
  2. Roll into thin round shape.
  3. Put about 1 tbsp of filling onto the rolled out dough.

    4.  Fold 2 sides of on to top of the filling.

    5.  Fold remaining 2 sides over the previous fold. Please see the picture below.

6.  I used electric steamer to steam the Dind, but you don't need to have steamer. You can simple put a big pan with some water in it. When the water comes to boil put a colander or any stainless steel pot  and line it with a thin cloth. Place the dind into the pan and cover and steam for about 15 minutes .

7.  Make sure that you don't put them on top of each other. Traditionally the ghee is used to top it off. It melts over the hot dind. But I tried pouring some earth balance butter since I was trying to find the vegan substitute and it tasted nice. Finally top it off with couple of strands of saffron to add some color...:)

Variation for the filling-:
  1. You can add some chopped nuts into the filling . I like to add sliced almonds. They give a nice bite to the filling.
  2. You can also try and add some shredded coconut. Lightly dry toast the coconut and then add it to the filling.

Have a great week ahead!