Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sweet potato Cinnamon Rugelach(pastry)

Scrumptious bite-size pastry made with nutritious sweet potato or pumpkin filling with touch of cinnamon,a neat variation to the original pastries of peace.

2 cups whole wheat flour( fine ground)
8 ounce low fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoon unsalted Organic Grass fed butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling
1 medium sweet potato,boiled ,peeled and mashed or 1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon Organic grass fed butter

Make the Dough
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a food processor or a hand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed, about 2 minutes. On low speed, mix in the sifted dry ingredients(flour mixture) until just combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed to blend evenly. Wrap the dough tightly and chill until firm, 15–20 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to an even thickness of 1 inch and fold in thirds, like a letter. Wrap the dough and let it rest for at least 1 hour and up to overnight in the refrigerator.

To make the fillingMelt the butter in a pan ,add the Sweet potato mashed or pumpkin puree and brown sugar/jaggery. Stir and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Mix in the cinnamon.
Shape and Bake
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a 10-inch round. Spread one-fourth of the filling over each round,then cut each into 16 or fewer wedges depending on the size of the pastry desired. Roll the wedges up starting with the wide end.
In batches, bake until the cookies are a light golden brown, rotating the pans as necessary to bake evenly, 25–30 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before serving. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ragi Kale idli (rice cakes) With Coconut Chutney and Sambhar

Ragi(Finger millet) benefits: 
Nutrition : Finger millet’s flour is also a good source of Calcium ,Minerals, Vitamins and some good number of Essential Amino Acids which are essential for human body.
Health Benefits : Control diabetes ,helps in weight loss ,treat anemia ,good for bone health and lowering cholesterol. [Source]
Recipe : Ragi Idli

2 cups Idli Rava(cream of rice for idli sold in Asian Stores) or 2 cups Idli Rice
1 cup Urad Lentil
1 Cup Ragi Flour(finger millet flour)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup very finely chopped Kale or Spinach

To make the Fluffy idli

Soak the lentils and Rava
Preparation requires soaking split or whole Urad lentil for 4 hours and Idli Rava or Idli Rice for about 3-4 hours.

Grind the Lentil and Rice
 Grinding the lentils and idli rice in to smooth paste in a grinder or traditional stone grinder. 

Drain Idli Rava(If using Idli Rava)
Drain all the water from soaked idli rava and squeeze out any excess water. Mix in the lentil paste in large bowl with lid. 

Ferment the mixture over night
Allow to ferment overnight in a warm dark corner of the kitchen or in the oven until DOUBLE its original volume. In low winter temperatures - Preheat your oven at warm and turn it off. Now place the mixture in the oven to ferment over night.

Steam the idli
Grease the cups in idli steamer with clarified butter(Ghee) or olive oil. Sprinkle some finely chopped kale in each of the cups or one can also mix the kale in batter before pouring in cups.
Put the steam in large pot with about 1 inch of water level in the pot(or use the pot that comes with the idli steamer)
Cover and steam for about 9-10 minutes. Turn off heat, wait for 2 minutes before removing the lid. Wait another minute before sliding out the idli from cups using a sharp edge of knife or spoon.

Serve warm with Coconut Chutney and Spicy Sambhar

For Coconut Chutney
1/2 cup Grated Goconut( fresh or frozen) ,thaw if frozen
2-3 Green chillies or halapenos
1/2 teaspoon Fine Salt
2 tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

For tempering the chutney
1/8th teaspoon each of Cumin and Mustard seeds
2 dry Red chillies
6-8 Curry leaves
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil 

Smoothly grind all chutney ingredients with about 1/4 cup of water or little more if needed. Mixture should be runny but smooth.
To temper the chutney. Heat oil and add the seeds,chillies and curry leaves ,when it starts to splutter turn off heat. Mix in the ground coconut mixture. Serve with idli or Dosa

Friday, November 18, 2016

Iron Rich Foods

Iron is an essential element for blood production and carrying oxygen through out your body and for maintaining a strong immune system. 

According to the American Society of Hematology (ASH) deficiency of Iron can cause symptoms :

  •  Fatigue
  •  Pale Skin
  •  Brittle nails
  •  Shortness of breath
  •  Dizziness
  •  Headaches
  •  Craving for unusual or junk foods.

Best foods to include in diet if diagnosed with iron-deficiency and also to balance Iron in daily diet(click on the links for the recipes) :

It's also essential to included vitamin C rich foods in diet to enhance absorption of iron in body

References : 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Gluten free : Berry Coconut Muffins

Made with gluten free coconut flour ,these muffins make a healthy start of the day. Coconut flour is high fiber ,healthy fats, protein and has low glycemic index which is good for diabetics. Great alternative to wheat ,the taste of coconut flour when baked almost tastes like almonds, nutty and delicious. Coconut flour can found in well stocked grocery stores.

Check out the recipe in this video - Gluten free : Berry Coconut Muffins

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Quick Refreshing Face pack : Jaggery and Aloe vera

 Jaggery is common in South Asian desserts and Candies. Produced by boiling raw sugar cane or palm juice,jaggery does not under go additional processing hence is richer in natural nutrients. Jaggery also has several health benefits according to the traditional Indian medicine of Ayurveda including respiratory illness and maintaining blood pressure. 
Besides being a great alternative to sugar ,jaggery is good for nourishing the skin. It is good source of glycolic acid that helps in preventing pimples , ache and clears blemishes on skin.

Commonly sold in Asian Stores at a very reasonable price. Make sure the jaggery is free of any preservatives or additives like sulfites

 Quick Refreshing Face pack : Jaggery and Aloe vera

1 teaspoon of Aloe vera gel
1 inch piece of Jaggery(free of any preservatives)

Crush the jaggery in a bowl using your fingers or a spoon. Mix in the aloe vera and mix well to form smooth glossy mixture. Apply on face and neck for 8-10 minutes and wash off with cold water. 

Allergy alert : Before trying anything new on your skin,apply in small area and check for any negative reaction.

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