5 Hacks On How to Stay Sane & Healthy This Festive Season

Christmas, New Years, weddings, engagements, dinners, parties – December & January are always a hectic time for your social calendar! It’s definitely our favourite time of the year, with friends and relatives returning home from far-flung places, get-togethers where we laugh till our stomachs hurt and a mood of festivity in the air.

However, this festive mood doesn’t come cheap, and it’s our bodies that pay the price first. Whether it’s a lack of sleep, junk food, alcohol or just no rest – the fun starts adding up. At Foodstree, we don’t believe in lessening the fun. With a few tips and tricks that we’ve tried out for you, you can have your cake and eat it too. No need to compromise on the positives and eliminate the negatives this party season with these super simple hacks!

 

  1. Keep It Clean

A clean diet full of fresh produce and unprocessed foods is necessary to complement the processed food at parties. If you’re someone who loves to eat out or is always on the go, you’re either going to need to make commitment to prepare only fresh foods at home or simply login to www.foodstree.com to solve all your food related issues.

Consider an elimination diet, where you remove certain foods such as gluten, dairy, caffeine, sugar and focus on eating nutrient-rich whole foods. You will be surprised to see how much unhealthy food gets cut out by just sticking to one simple rule!  Control your food at home, and look for the healthy stuff outside – you might find it hard to go back once you’ve started!

  1. Keep A Consistent Workout Schedule

Your body’s composition will not change overnight, but making a commitment to your physical fitness will only help you feel more confident and energetic. Continuing you workout regimen, even if it’s only a walk or stroll will help you achieve real results. Sticking to the game plan, however basic is far better than no workout routine at all.

  1. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Drinking a glass of water before meals not only keeps you feeling hydrated and healthy, but it will also help you eat less since thirst is often mistaken for hunger. If appetite suppression isn’t enough, consider this- switch your tea’s and coffee’s with green tea/juices/detox tea. Even if you’re still ravenous, always remember drinking water makes your skin look better so there’s only good things that can happen!

  1. Stop Starving Yourself

Dont starve yourself all day to prepare for a heavy dinner at night – it could backfire! Starving yourself messes up your metabolism, and by dinner time you’ll be famished, eating anything in sight. Instead of strictly limiting your caloric intake here are few things which will satiate you without piling up the calories:

  1. Stay Committed

Consistency is key! Making these changes in your lifestyle will not be easy, but it’s always worth it. You might not see big results right away, but if you stick to these rules, you will feel amazing, both inside and outside and ready to celebrate!

5 Unusual Products That Will Leave You Wanting More (Part 3)

  1. Bhut Jolokia – The World’s Hottest Pepper 

  1. The Bhoot Jolokia also known as Naga Jolokia, Ghost Chilli, Ghost Pepper, Naga Morich. It is a chilli pepper originating in Assam that has earned Guiness World Record recognition as the World’s Hottest Chilli Pepper. If you are adventurous and like spicy food you can try our range of super hot pickles with this chilli. Or if you want the real adventure – try the dried chilli itself. Be forewarned: Take a small bite only, and do keep water, yogurt and sugar nearby once the fires have been lit.

2. Aglio Olio Garlic Chilli Oil

http://bit.ly/2zLQCLn

This is the ultimate hack for any Italian (or Indian, or Spanish or some many other cuisines!) dish. Simply put, this is an olive oil, infused with garlic and chilli with bits of the same. It is the perfect start to so many dishes, without the hassle of frying and chopping. Aglio olio? Check. Tomato based sauces and dishes? Check. Sauteing veggies? Check. Marinating? Check. We could go on and on but you get the gist! This has a permanent place on our kitchen shelves as a recipe starter, and a flavour adder.

     3. Orange Whiskey Marmalade

http://bit.ly/2AWhSDx

Yes sure you can spread it on toast. But why stop there? There are so many other ways to get your jam (with an extra whiskey kick!) on:

  • Make your own fruit flavoured yoghurt
  • Bake some brie
  • Shake it into a cocktail
  • Top creamy desserts
  • Make stuffed French toast
  • Top creamy desserts/pancakes
  • Use it to make popsicles
  • Serve it along side cheese
  • Add it to salad dressing
  • Fill crepes
  • Make better biscuits
  • Put it on your cereal

4. Himalayan Pink Salt

http://bit.ly/2AfugRT

Salt is such a daily staple most of us don’t pay enough attention to it. Regular commercially available salt undergoes many chemical processes before it reaches your table. Why not switch to something more natural, flavourful and better for your body?

Himalayan pink salt is naturally occurring rock salt, filled with minerals that ordinary salt is devoid of. It is stronger in flavour, and healthier. In addition to natural salt, we also have flavoured salts with added taste like chilli, mint, garlic, mustard, hing, ginger and many more. These are perfect to pump up the flavour in any dish as a finishing touch, or even within one as a base. We love ours sprinkled over chaats and salads!

 

      5. Seabuckthorn Jam

http://bit.ly/2iE7vNi

Seabuckthorn is a super fruit full of protein, vitamins, at least 20 minerals and healthy fatty acids. The leaves berries and roots can all be used in different forms. It is an ancient berry that naturally thrives in mountainous areas. Reap the benefits of this complete food that supports the body in many ways:

  • Cures infection
  • Improves eyesight
  • Eliminates skin rashes
  • Reduces Hunger
  • Slow aging process

5 Unusual Products That Will Leave You Wanting More (Part 2)

  1. Hazelnut Coffee

http://bit.ly/2mwFRGz

Craving for Starbucks Hazelnut Macchiato? We have this deliciously handcrafted drink at your doorstep along with the recipe on how to recreate your favourite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ teaspoon hazelnut coffee powder
  • 2 fl oz cold milk
  • 1 ½ cup ice
  • Powdered sugar to taste
  • Whipped cream – for decoration
  • Chocolate sauce – for decoration

Add ice and hazelnut coffee in a tall glass. Mix until the coffee is combined. Top with milk. Swirl whipped cream and chocolate on top. Serve and enjoy.

  1. Avocado Oil

http://bit.ly/2g516wJ

The avocado is an unusual fruit. Unlike most fruits, it’s rich in healthy fats and is often used to produce oil. While avocado oil is not as well known as olive oil, it’s just as delicious. Additional benefits of avocado oil include a high content of vitamin E which makes it great for skin and hair, oleic acid that is anti-cancerous and helps with weight loss and chlorophyll which is a strong detoxifying agent.

Here are few ways to add avocado oil to your diet:

  • Add a tablespoon to a smoothie.
  • Drizzle over a salad
  • Use it as a marinade.
  • Include it when baking.
  • Use it in homemade mayo.
  • Drizzle it over vegetables before roasting.
  • Top hummus off with it.
  • Drizzle over cold soups, such as gazpacho.

3. Infused Honey

http://bit.ly/2AIC6Qg

The fruit of bees is desired by all, and is equally sweet to kings and beggars. Infusing takes honey to another level with added flavours that pack a punch with the smallest of uses. But how to use infused honey?It can be enjoyed on fresh fruits, oatmeal, breads, desserts, smoothies, beverages, marinades and even drizzled over yummy homemade yogurt

      4. Quinoa Chips

http://bit.ly/2AO0XmD

In the quest of finding healthiest foods, it is nearly impossible to miss out on one of the best complete protein foods available – quinoa. This version of quinoa will ensure that you won’t crave for your packet of  Lays anytime soon. Super crunchy and filled with flavour, but no guilt when you reach the bottom of the can. We couldn’t ask more of a snack. (We love it with Indian food as a replacement to papad too!)

Fun Fact: While it is commonly known as an “ancient grain”, quinoa is technically not a grain or cereal grain, but a seed and does not contain gluten.

  1. Dried Goji Berry

http://bit.ly/2zb0i1G

Goji berries have recently garnered lots of attention due to their ability to make weight loss diets more efficient. They are categorized as superfoods, with a host of other benefits as well. Here is our favorite goji berries recipe for a delicious slimming, detoxifying drink:

Ingredients:

  • 1 spoonful dry goji berries
  • Lemon verbena leaves
  • Lemon zest (a little)
  • 3 cloves
  • Mineral water

Mix the ingredients together and leave for a few hours so that the water is infused with the elements. Drink a cup before every meal. It will not only speed up your metabolism but will also help you feel a bit satiated, which will reduce your appetite.

You also can make some tasty slimming goji berry juice. For this you’ll need:

  1. 1 Lemon
  2. 1 kiwi fruit
  3. ½ glass mineral water
  4. 8 dry goji berries

Juice the lemon and mix the juice with the rest of the ingredients in a blender until you get a smooth and delicious drink.

Miso Matcha Eggplant Rice

Matcha and miso are a match made in Japanese heaven! This recipe brings together classic ingredients from there into a more modern dish. Also a great twist to use that ‘baigan’ that nobody seems to like. (Very unfair, if you ask us! Maybe we’ll discuss the versatility of the eggplant in an upcoming article..? Let us know your thoughts on this.)

Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants (aubergine/baingan)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (dhaniya)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small piece ginger
  • ¾ cup rice
  • 2 tbsp. white miso paste
  • 2 tbsp. mirin (or any sweet cooking wine)
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 260°C.

Heat a pot of salted water to boiling. Add the sushi rice to the boiling water and cook for 16 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and keep aside.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, then crosswise into quarters. With the tip of a knife, score a diagonal crosshatch pattern into the cut sides of the eggplant. Place the eggplant on a lightly oiled baking sheet, patterned-side up.

Finely chop the cilantro. Peel and mince the ginger and garlic, smashing until they resemble paste. Whisk together the ginger, garlic, miso, mirin, and half the soy sauce.

Drizzle the eggplant with olive oil and spread the miso mixture on the top of the eggplant slices. Roast in the preheated oven 14 to 16 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender and the topping is lightly browned.

Add the cooked rice back to the pot. Add the rice vinegar, sugar, matcha powder, half the black sesame seeds, and all but a pinch of the cilantro; stir until well combined.

Divide the green tea rice and eggplant slices between 2 plates. Garnish with the remaining black sesame seeds, cilantro, and soy sauce. Enjoy!

Ultimate Asian Almond Butter Sauce

When most people think of nut butters, savoury is not what generally comes to mind. However, they can lend a beautiful creamy, earthy note to many recipes. This is one in particular is your ultimate Asian sauce – light, refreshing and smooth. It’ll complement any salad, bowl of noodles, rice or even quinoa!

Ingredients

  • 5 cup almond butter
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 25 cup water
  • 25 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 25 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 25 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 5 tsp sea salt

Add everything to a bowl. Whisk well will fully combined.

Drizzle over salad, noodles, rice – the choice is yours.

*Foodstree Pro Tip:

For a salad, we’d suggest a combination of –

  • argula
  • roasted asparagus
  • cherry tomatoes
  • roasted cauliflower
  • roasted mushroom
  • some almonds thrown in for extra crunch
  • hard-boiled eggs or chicken for the protein (optional)

For a noodle or rice dish, you can add some chilli to the sauce to give it an extra kick! Pair with the following ingredients –

  • udon noodles or sticky jasmine rice
  • peas
  • broccoli
  • bell peppers
  • chives

“Avoca-I-do!” An All Avocado Restaurant in Amsterdam

The skyrocketing rise of the avocado in the past few years all over the world has been unmissable. And if this new eatery has anything to say about it – it’s here to stay. The trendiest ingredient of this decade now finally has a restaurant solely dedicated to it!

Three intrepid restauranteurs in Amsterdam have opened up The Avocado Show, where avocados are prominently featured in every single dish and aspect of the menu. Amazed? We were too. While avocados are obviously great on toast, in guacamole, in salads – we were curious to see how an entire menu had been built around the fruit. According to one of the founders Ron Simpson however “The possibilities are endless… Our only rule is that the dishes need to contain the green super fruit in one way or another”.

Some digging up on the internet, and talking to friends who had been there revealed a lot. Firstly, all the dishes are inherently Instagrammable (as evidenced from their over 71,000 followers on the platform). And secondly, each and every single dish truly heroes the avocado. For the savoury they have mini burgers served on avo-buns (!), avocado hot dogs, poke bowls, along with the more usual fare like tacos, toast and egg dishes.  One thing is certain, there is no shortage of choice. Even for dessert, you can choose between avo-shakes, avo-cakes and an avocado based mousse and ice-cream!

While the food and concept sure look like they have knocked it out of the park, the interiors of The Avocado Show evoke the feeling of walking into a rain forest. It’s a literal urban ‘jungle’ of sorts, with lush green foliaged  walls complemented by comfy pink sofas. Fun graphics relating to avocados cover the menu and coffee cups (as though we needed more reasons to put this on our must-visit list).

What are your thoughts on having avocado, all day every day? Would you like us to demystify and recreate some of the recipes for you here on the blog? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page!

Spicy Goji Berry Soup

A healthy twist on your regular tomato soup. The addition of goji berries brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and adds a tart kick to the spice in this soup. An invigorating and healthy addition to any meal.

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cooking Time: 15 mins | Serves: 2-4

  • 1 cup dried goji berries
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (230g approx.)
  • 450ml vegetable stock
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small chili, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, torn

Wash and soak the goji berries for a few minutes to rehydrate them. You can let them soak overnight as well.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion and chili for few minutes. Add the tomatoes, goji berries and cumin seeds. Stir for another couple of minutes.

Add the stock, bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the fresh coriander and blend the soup until smooth.

When serving, decorate with a few fresh coriander leaves, cumin seeds or even an artsy swirl of yoghurt!

Quinoa, Herb & Goji Berry Salad

It’s blazing hot this summer, and nothing is as refreshing as a salad. This one is choc-a-bloc filled with protein, vitamins and all things essential. A light dressing and plenty of grain make it a complete meal in itself!

Prep Time: 15 mins | Serves: 1-2

For the dressing:

Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix well.

Toss the two together.

It’s as simple as that!

Here’s the Foodstree recipe card that you can print and add to your collection: