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

  1. Hazelnut Coffee

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

Matcha Chia Pudding

Never scramble about for a healthy breakfast again, or end up reaching for that croissant! This Matcha Chia Pudding can be prepared the night before, or even a few nights in advance and stored in batches too. Superfoods + fresh fruits – that’s your breakfast sorted! Though in our opinion, this works just as well as a dessert or day time snack.

Serves: 1 | Prep Time: 5 mins

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk (or any milk)

1/3 cup chia seeds

2 tbsp maple syrup or honey

1 tsp matcha

1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional toppings: shredded coconut, berries, fruits

 

Combine the matcha and chia seeds in the final container in which you want the pudding (we recommend making individual portions).

Mix the milk, maple syrup/honey and vanilla together in a separate container. Once combined pour over the chia-matcha mixture and stir thoroughly.

Let the mixture rest for 5-6 hours in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.

Before serving, top off with seasonal berries or fruits of your choice, and even nuts or dried coconut!

Matcha Protein Bars

This one is for all those gym devotees perpetually in the search for more protein (especially all you vegetarians out there!). This recipe is choc-a-bloc full of all the healthy alternatives to the usual culprits in other health bars. So go on, make this one post-workout snack you’ll never regret!

Serves: 10 pieces Prep Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

Line an 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper both ways.

In a bowl, add the almond butter, milk, stevia and lemon flavor. Beat on low speed.In another bowl, whisk together the protein powder, oat flour and matcha powder. Slowly add this to the almond butter-milk mixture.

Mix until everything is well-combined and has the texture of cookie dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and flatten the surface. Tightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, slice the protein bars and drizzle them liberally with chocolate! (More the better we say!)

To store, place the protein bars on a plate and wrap tightly.

Matcha Cucumber Lemonade

Kick your ‘nimbu paani’ up a notch! This concoction is delightfully zesty, refreshing and cooling. The health benefits are numerous as well – lots of Vitamin C from the lemon and antioxidants from the matcha! Perfect for these sweltering days, when you can’t bear the thought of hotter forms of caffeine.

Serves: 4 |Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

Lightly puree the cucumber and mint leaves in a blender (we like some chunky bits in out drink! If you don’t, go ahead and make it a smooth puree).

In a large pitcher, combine the water, lemon juice, agave/honey, and matcha powder. Blend well until all ingredients are fully combined.

Add the cucumber-mint puree and blend well again.

Serve in ice-filled glasses, with a garnish of fresh mint and cucumber!

Matcha-do About Something?

The world seems to be obsessed with matcha. Beautiful people are knocking back shots of it at fashion shows. Gwyneth and her tribe are toting jars of it to yoga classes. Cafes are serving it in lattes and chefs are turning it into everything from soup to brownies. Japan’s most revered form of green tea has now become a must-have ingredient for the ‘wellness’ set. But what’s the truth behind the health claims? Here’s what you need to know if you want to join the green party.

What is matcha?

Let’s begin with what it actually is: matcha is essentially a stone-ground, powdered green tea. It originates from Japan, where the green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, after which and the stems and veins are removed, and the leaves are processed and ground.

The main difference between  conventional green tea and matcha is that in traditional green tea, you consume the  essence of the leaf that is infused in water with the leaves themselves being discarded, while with matcha you are drinking the actual finely powdered leaves.

What are the health benefits?

One of the main reasons matcha is so wildly popular is that it has numerous health benefits. As one serving of matcha has the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea, it is packed full of anti-oxidants (including the powerful EGCg). These help to boost your metabolism, burn fat, increase immunity, detoxify your body, fight cancer and even slow down aging (phew that’s a lot!).

Matcha also contains a rare amino acid called L-theanine, which is a saviour for those who need a caffeine hit without the coffee jitters. Each cup of pure brewed matcha contains about 70g of caffeine – quite a kick. However, the presence of theanine helps the body process this caffeine better, inducing a calm, alert state of mind as opposed to the high and subsequent crash of coffee. In fact, Japanese monks have used it for centuries for meditation.

Does matcha taste sweet or savoury?

In a nutshell – both.  Our favourite compound Theanine influences the taste of matcha as well. This amino acid beings in a flavour of ‘umami’ – the fifth taste identified after sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Many people describe umami in different ways, but it is essentially a rich moreish flavour that is difficult to pin down but is adds a delicious richness and dimension to food.

The presence of ‘umami’ gives matcha a mellow, sweet, natural flavour, with moreish undertones. This combination of sweet and savoury makes matcha an easy match to use in cooking.

 

The last important thing that we’d like to tell you about matcha, is that it comes in various grades and qualities. Not every powdered green tea can be called matcha, and it is important to look for good quality to reap the health benefits. Always look for ceremonial-grade (high-quality, fit to be used in formal tea ceremonies) matcha, and keep a look out for the iconic bright green colour of the powder. If it’s yellowish or browning, it may not be in it’s prime or may be adulterated.

Shop original matcha here on our site!

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!