What is this Goji Business Anyway?

The Goji Berry – also called the ‘red diamond, ‘fruit of immortality’ and the ‘longevity fruit’. Celebrities like Madonna and Elizabeth Hurley swear by it. Chinese folklore says that it can reverse aging and let you live for centuries. Hang on tight as the Foodstree team attempts to demystify this mythical creature!

Origins

The goji berry is the small, red fruit of the goji shrub which is native to the temperate regions of China, Tibet and Mongolia. Historically, this plant has been consumed for thousands of years for medicinal and spiritual purposes, with its earliest known use being sometime in the 1st century B.C.

It has gained significant popularity in the last decade in Western markets due to its health benefits. While fresh goji may be difficult to obtain, dried goji berries are now available online readily in India. Shop them here.

Nutritional Value

There is a lot of buzz about the purported extreme health benefits of these berries. However, there is no concrete scientific proof whether these can actually reverse aging, cure cancer or fix arthritis.

What we do however know – goji berries contain all 8 essential amino acids, and are an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, vitamin A and zinc. They also have one of the highest levels of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) so they are a great anti-oxidant as well.

A single serving (15g or 1 tbsp) of goji contains:

  • Calories: 48
  • Protein: 2.1g (quite high for a fruit!)
  • Fat: 0.27g
  • Fibre: 0.75g
  • Sugar: 10.72g

They pack quite a nutritional punch in such a small package!

Taste

Fresh goji berries are sweet, but also quite sour. The dried version however, lose most of their bitterness and are a sweet but tart flavour. If you’re a fan of cranberries or cherries, this will be right up your alley.

Use

You can incorporate goji berries into your diet almost as you would raisins. Dried goji can be incorporated into your oatmeal, trail mix, salads, drinks or desserts. You can also soak dried berries in hot water for a few minutes till they are rehydrated and soft. Rehydrated berries pair well with spiced rice, salsas or chilli. Soaked goji can be easily blended into sauces, smoothies or ice-creams too.

Due to its high levels of vitamins and minerals (yes there can be too much of a good thing!), recommended intake per day is approximately 15g or 1 tablespoon, to a maximum of 2tbsp.

However, be forewarned – goji can interact with some kinds of medication. If you have low blood sugar, are using blood thinners, lactating, pregnant or have blood pressure outside the recommended range – we would advise you to talk to your medical practitioner before adding them to your diet.

To know more on how to incorporate goji into your food stay tuned – we have a range of great recipes coming up this month!

Mac ‘n’ Cheese Burger Bun

What could be better than biting into two of your favourite foods at the same time?

Imagine this – gooey, melt-y mac n’cheesiness with crunchy exterior,  a delicious patty, fresh tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, some more cheese (is enough ever enough?), a touch of Sriracha or Peri-Peri ketchup… You get our drift. A spin-off of the ramen burger trend, this bun seems like a match made in heaven. Without further ado, let’s get down into the nitty-gritties. You will need –

For the Mac’n’Cheese:

  • ⅔ cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup cheddar Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup medium cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 box macaroni, boiled
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

For making the bun:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup coarse panko bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • Oil for frying

 

In a saucepan over low heat, simmer the heavy cream until reduced by a third (the cream should lightly coat the back of a spoon). Add in the three cheeses and whisk thoroughly. Remove from heat. Place the cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl and pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. Season with salt and pepper, mix until well combined, and let it cool to room temperature.

Line baking tray with buttered parchment paper. Pour the prepared mac ‘n’ cheese onto the lined tray and spread out evenly; cover with another piece of buttered parchment paper. Place flat inside freezer for approximately 1-2 hours or until hard.

In 3 bowls make the following mixtures: Bowl 1 – whisked eggs; Bowl 2 – flour, half of the salt & pepper; Bowl 3 – breadcrumbs and the remaining salt and pepper. Remove the frozen mac’n’cheese as either use a cutter/katori to cut out buns of the required size, or use your hands to break and form the buns as per your requirements. Dip the formed discs in the 3 bowls in order – 1,2 and then 3.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the discs in batches, cooking them for approximately 2 minutes on each side until they become golden brown. Remove and set on a paper towel-lined plate to let the oil drain out.

Foodstree Pro Tip:

You can add a little extra to your mac’n’cheese mixture to take your bun to a new level. We’re thinking some spices – paprika, oregano or parsley? Or if you have a favourite cheese (that melts well) substitute one of the three recommended here!

Waffle Pops – Recipe & Exciting Toppings

If you’re anything like us, and can never decide whether to go for the Nutella, strawberries, maple syrup or ice-cream (or all of them) with your waffles, this is the ultimate solution. 

Waffles have been a brunch staple for ages, and every household has their go to recipe. The beauty of these waffle pops lies in their presentation not composition! By making regular waffles bite-sized and portable, the scope for variation in toppings is endless. Here’s our favourite recipe to get the crispiest waffles known to mankind before we get our creative juices flowing with the toppings.

via delsih.com

You will need:

  • 3/4  cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1+1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the dry ingredients – flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar – in a bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolk with a fork and add the milk, oil and vanilla. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes. In the meanwhile, whip the egg white still stiff peaks form and gently fold into the mixture right before spooning onto waffle iron. Cook until golden brown and crisp on the outside.

Once waffles are taken out and cooled enough to handle, take a biscuit cutter/katori/bowl or anything else and press them into the waffle to cut out even shapes. You can use your hands to break them into uneven shapes too, for a more rustic look. For the last step, gently slide in a lollipop stick or ice-cream stick (depending in the size of your cut-outs) and voila!

Foodstree Pro Tip:

Cornstarch in waffles? Yes! That’s one way to make them super crispy. The second is whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks. This helps to incorporate air into the batter, so that the waffle is light and fluffy from inside and crunchy on the outside.

Toppings:

Let’s get to the fun part! Once your basic pops are ready you can go wild with the toppings. After a lot of brainstorming, here are the Foodstree team’s favourite suggestions:

  • Spicy Honey – Add some Siracha, Tabasco or Peri-Peri to honey in a 1:3 ratio and drizzle all over
  • Vanilla Marshmallow – Melt vanilla flavoured Marshmelts and dip the pops into it. For some colour, use rainbow sprinkles on top.
  • Oreo Cookie Mint – Slather in Oreo Cookie Butter, dip into crushed oreos and drizzle with mint chocolate sauce
  • Cranberry Almond – spread some almond butter, and then roll onto dried cranberries. Drizzle with chocolate to finish off.
  • Cereal Burst – Dip into honey, and cover in your favourite cereal – Frosties, Froot Loops, Chocos it’s up to you! Optional: Add nuts or chocolate drizzle

Remember – these pops are a blank slate! You can garnish, decorate them into whatever takes your fancy. Hint: these could be useful for theme-based occasions too as they’re so versatile. All ingredients can be found on Foodstree.

5 Coachella Foods That You Need To Know About

Coachella – the mecca of flower crowns, boho ‘bindis’ and outrageous outfits. Formally known as the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, it attracts around 125,000 people each year – including some of Hollywood’s A-list stars – to the middle of the Californian desert each April for two much-awaited weekends. While fashion and music are certainly the main draw for this festival, the food here is always ‘on fleek’ too!

Since we’re right in the middle of this year’s festival and the food Instagrams are already going viral, let’s look at five of the most innovative and talked about Coachella dishes:

waffle pops foodstree

 

1.Waffle Pops

Easier, crunchier and more versatile than cake pops, waffles finally get the lollipop treatment that they always deserved. Simply put, they’re no more that waffles on a stick but it’s the variety of toppings, both sweet and savoury, that have us ogling. Whether it’s the staple Strawberries & Chocolate, or the more pioneering Cinnamon Toast, Smores or Oreo Cookie Crunch flavours – we can’t wait to try some of our own.

Check out @sweetcombforts in Instagram for more inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mac'n'Cheese Burger

 

2. Mac’n’Cheese Burger Bun

Yes please and thank you very much! Who needs bread for your burger, when you can get a bun made of Mac’n’Cheese. Filled with soft, cheesy, oozy goodness and a crispy breadcrumb exterior, this one of a kind delicacy is sure to up any burger game.

Take a look at @pigpendelicacy for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Churros

 

3. Cereal-encrusted Oreos

As if plain churros weren’t sinful enough, the folks at Coachella have gone a step ahead and smothered them in all manner of delicious things and served them with ice-cream. Our favourite would definitely have to be the neon-coloured Fruity Pebble studded churro. Other enticing flavours we saw include Cookie Crunch, Mint Chocolate Chip, Caramel and Strawberry Shortcake.

Visit @ridgeschurrobar if you want to test your resolve to eat healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chana masala frech fries foodstree

 

4. Chana Masala Fries

Chana masala, French fries – what’s not to love? We’re amazed how this isn’t a thing already. In fact, why limit yourself to chana masala – there’s a whole host of Indian flavours that would pair fabulously with fries. Badaam chaat, paneer tikka, cheese & sheesh kebab – the variations are endless.

Look at @badmaashla on Instagram for more fusion food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kimchi quesadilla foodstree

 

5. Kimchi Quesadilla

Mexi-Korean is definitely a kind of fusion cuisine we haven’t heard of yet! This Kimchi Quesadilla is filled with melting cheeses and caramelized buttery kimchi. Judging by how quickly this has become popular, we’re sure that this unusual mix of flavours is sure to please.

Kogi BBQ are the mastermind behind this invention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re anything like us and can’t wait to try everything out  – stay tuned as we’ll be experimenting and uploading recipes soon!