5 Unusual Products That Will Leave You Wanting More (Part 1)

  1. Masala Chai Gud

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Inspired by the rural classic, this aromatic and flavourful beverage originated in India but is now popular in snack houses across the world. This Masala Chai Gud is the ultimate cheat in making your daily cuppa. It contains coconut sugar (healthier than regular refined sugar, and all the spices needs to make the perfectly balanced spicy ‘chai’. Simple heat up your liquids, infuse tea and add a spoonful of masala magic! Masala chai prevents one from body inflammation and helps beat fatigue.

  1. Bee Pollen

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Bee Pollen is said to be an exceptionally nutritious food, and it is sometimes even labeled as “super food.” This pollen is extracted from honeybees who pack the pollen they collect from flowers into sacs. It is 40% protein by weight and is rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, due to which it can cure a multitude of health problems.

Confused how to use it? Here’s a quick and easy recipe:

Healthy Blender Drink :

Ingredients:

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until creamy and smooth.

Makes about 10 ounces – a light breakfast/meal for one.

  1. Rhododendron Chutney

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An edible flower indigenous to the Himachal region of India that blooms only from January to March. This chutney is traditionally made in Himachal homes and no where else. It’s like nothing else you’ll ever taste with a stunning spicy, earthy, floral taste. Best with any kind of crackers, breads or as an addition to a traditional thali,

Rhododendron is used to cure heart problems, high blood pressure, liver disorders. It increases red blood cells and is good for reducing anemia.

  1. Dark Chocolate Black Tea

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This one is for all the chocolate and chai lovers out there.  We have something really interesting for you but with a twist! A deep delicious black tea with the finest cocoa powder. Chocolate and tea together bring together a depth of flavour that is sure to leave you wanting more. Great with milk or water based brewing – and especially perfect for winter morning when you can’t choose between hot chocolate and chai!

This ultimate “guilty pleasure” is good for you in many different ways as well –

  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves heart health
  • Helps to reduce risk pre-mature ageing
  • Gives relief from stress and depression
  • Improves learning abilities/memory

5. Jowar Puff

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Globally, jowar (also called sorghum) is being touted as the “new quinoa” for its gluten-free, whole-grain goodness. But in India, it has long been a staple, especially in the western and southern parts of the country where it is ground into flour and used to make rotis, cheela, dosa etc. This is a new take on the humble jowar, perfect for snacking. Mildly flavoured to suit all palates, it is a guilt-free snack that is sure to make a home in your pantry!

Jowar is rich in fiber, high in protein & iron and is excellent for bone health

Almond Butter Chocolate Fudge ‘Nice’-Cream

This ice-cream is so healthy yet so tasty – all of the yum without any of the guilt! An easy no-churn recipe, with simple everyday ingredients most of which we bet you already have on your kitchen. Perfect for the summer months, for a decadent yet cool dessert.  It’s almost too good to be true, which is why this is no ordinary ice-cream – it’s a ‘nice’-cream!

Ingredients

For the ice-cream

  • 2 medium size bananas, ripe but not overripe
  • 3 cups creamy almond butter
  • 1 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)

2 tsp vanilla extract

For the fudge

  • 25 cups creamy almond butter
  • 5 cups dark chocolate, chopped
  • 5 tsp vanilla extract

Blend the bananas and almond butter on high until smooth. Add the milk, maple syrup, vanilla and blend again until just combined, but not too long. Pour the mixture into a butter paper lined 8×4 inch loaf pan and set aside (do not freeze yet!).

To make the fudge, heat the chocolate in a microwave in intervals of 15-20 seconds until melted, stirring well between each interval. Add the almond butter and vanilla and combine into a thick smooth mixture.

With a spoon, take dollops of the fudge mixture and drop it into the unset ice-cream in the loaf pan. Take some plastic cling wrap and tightly wrap the ice-cream, pressing down lightly on the liquid surface to eliminate as much air as it freezes. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or even over night.

Scoop into a bowl and serve! When storing be sure to re-cover with plastic wrap and re-freeze.

*Foodstree Pro-Tip: Don’t over blend the ice-cream mixture! This may cause air pockets and crystalline in no-churn ice-cream

Grilled Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate & Fruit Sandwich

This is no ordinary PB&J! It takes all the essential elements of one – bread, nut butter & fruit jelly, and gives it a mouth-watering gourmet twist. This is the PB&J for adults – a healthy, delicious, quality snack or even dessert. Once you have this, you’ll never go back!

Ingredients

  • 4 slices whole grain crusty bread
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 4 tbsp roasted salted almond butter
  • 4 squares dark chocolate (don’t exceed 70% cacao)
  • 2-3 tbsp fruit – pomegranate, banana, mango, peach, the choice is yours!

Gently butter (or oil) the outsides of the all the 4 slices of bread.

Slather the inside of 2 slices with almond butter.

Top the almond buttered sides with 2 squares of dark chocolate each, and your fruit (chopped as required).

Top with the other slice of bread, buttered slice up and place in a heated pan or skillet.

Push down with a heavy spatula to compress. Gently flip when the bottom is browned and crusty – about 2-3 minutes. Cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes & serve immediately!

*Foodstree Pro Tip: The choice of fruit is completely dependent on your mood and your taste! Bananas for a creamy texture, pomegranates for a sweet pop, peaches and mango for a tangy addition – the possibilities are endless.

Fat Is Our Friend! – Mythbuster 2.0

F-A-T. One of the most controversial 3-letter words in the English language. We’re not here to judge anyone’s lifestyles or bodies, we’d only like to dispel one of the longest held beliefs about fats in food. Fat has often been portrayed as the ultimate dietary nemesis and most people have been trained to choose low-fat foods over high-fat ones.

However, fat is actually an essential part of any healthy diet and necessary for a strong body and mind! The key lies in which fats you choose to eat, healthy or unhealthy. Healthy fats – namely mono and poly unsaturated fats help to reduce bad cholesterol, keep your heart in good shape and benefit insulin levels. Unhealthy fats, of which trans fats are the worst and saturated fats partially so, increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

So where can you get these good fats and avoid the bad ones? Most of the sources of healthy fats are common knowledge, so we’ll list them out for you here:

  1. Avocado: Versatile, delicious, cholesterol free and jam packed with monounsaturated fats
  2. Nuts: One to the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially walnuts. Also rich in other vitamins and minerals, depending on the variety
  3. Nut & Seed Butters: An easier way to get all the fatty goodness of nuts.
  4. Olives & Olive Oil: A cup of olive contains 15g of fat, and one tbsp. of oil contains 14g.
  5. Fish: Oily fish like salmon, trout, tuna etc are full of omega-3 fatty acids.
  6. Dark Chocolate: Contains healthy fats, anti-oxidants, vitamins A, B & E… we could keep going!
  7. Tofu: Along with healthy fats, one serving of tofu contains almost a quarter of your daily calcium needs.
  8. Eggs: An inexpensive source of unsaturated fat, protein and choline.

Unhealthy fats on the other hand are generally found in the usual culprits – processed and fried foods. When purchasing food, look out for terms such as ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’ oil on the nutrition label. Those are just fancy terms for hiding trans-fat, which is completely unnatural, produced under complex chemical conditions and extremely bad for you. It’s the common prevalence of these trans-fats and their adverse health impact that gives all fat a bad rap!

While saturated fat is not as harmful as trans fat it is still believed to increase cholesterol, which in turn can cause a host of other problems. In other words, while unsaturated fats are actively healthy, saturated fats are now considered neutral to the body in the within the correct quantities. These are hence best had in moderation, up to 15g per day. Common sources of saturated fat are butter, cream, red meat and cheese.

So that’s the low down on fat – the good, the bad and the ugly. However, one thing that we would like to reinforce is that just like the right friends, the right fats are in fact extremely beneficial for you! Most dieticians would recommend up to 20-35% of you daily calorie intake coming from fat, for a normal individuals diet. Some celebrity nutritionists like Rujuta Dwivedkar even promote the intake of healthy fats like ghee! So let’s not demonize all fat and instead make informed, conscious decisions to replace the bad with the good in our diets.