Category Archives: Recipes – Mouth Watering and Fitness Friendly

Summer Smoothies – Cool, Simple and Nutritious

The heat is getting to all of us here and we supposedly haven’t even hit peak temperatures! Eating anything other than ice-cream or curd rice is an effort and cooking a meal is even more tiring, so how do we keep ourselves hydrated while ensuring that we get our daily nutrition?

The simple answer is a tall, cool and refreshing smoothie, that appeals to both the old and the young. Have it cool, chilled or frozen; sweet, sour or with a hint of spice. Either way these delicious recipes will keep you coming back for more.

Nutty Summer Harvest Smoothie (Serving: 2 glasses)

A summer addition, that will have you raiding the fruit shops.

Ingredients:

Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice – 1 cup

Musk melon or any other yellowish sweet melon – 1 small melon or 1/2 a medium sized melon

Almonds – 12 – 15 nuts

Freshly squeezed lime juice – 1 or 2 lemons (depending on personal taste)

Fresh ginger – 1 inch piece 

Honey or Palm Sugar – 1 large tbsp

Mint leaves to garnish

Ice cubes – 1/2 cup (optional)

Method:

Combine all the ingredients and blend till smooth.

Pour into a tall glass, top with a sprig of mint and enjoy.

Energy in A Glass (Serving: 2 glasses)

For those days when you have a lot on your plate and no time to stop for a meal.

Ingredients:

Plain cocoa powder – 2 tbsp + a dash to garnish

Flaxseed powder – 2 tbsp

De-seeded dates – 5 large

Banana – 2 medium or one large (frozen tastes the best)

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Method:

Peel the bananas.

Combine all the ingredients and blend, adding cold water if necessary, till the liquid is smooth and at a drinkable consistency.

Add ice to a glass, if required. Pour the smoothie into the glass, sprinkle cocoa powder on top and enjoy.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Advertisements

Treasures in the Kitchen

From the beginning of time, Indian cuisine has always been associated with the word “spicy”. The word itself rolls of the tongue in a variety of ways – spicy, as in mouth watering and delicious, or else spicy with a tinge of guilt, rather like a forbidden delight, or best of all just as a matter of fact – spicy is how Indian food is. We have eaten it this way for centuries, and it certainly has not harmed any of us, so maybe it’s not so bad? Perhaps it’s even quite good for us! Now this is where the conversation gets interesting.

In actual fact, most of the common spices found in the kitchen are among the best sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants being, of course, our greatest allies in the war against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. They can even slow the aging process (let’s see anyone say ‘no’ to that).

Unfortunately, as pizzas and burgers become easier and hipper to eat, the average Indian is consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrates and fat, cooked with very little spice; rather than the traditional Indian fare that includes a lot of vegetables, having large doses of fiber, cooked with hand ground spices. Preventive medicine has clearly established that almost all spices contain chemical compositions that have profound health benefits, which help to protect the body from numerous illnesses and, in many cases, act as effective treatments for established diseases. In addition, some spices also have chemicals that induce a “feel good” factor, with pepper being a great example.

In terms of their preventive health benefits, there are a few spices you don’t want to miss. Cinnamon, clove, ginger and garlic are great antioxidants, while mustard, turmeric and black pepper ward off the big ‘C’, cancer. Fenugreek and coriander are a great help if your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are high, while cloves and cinnamon are a boon to diabetics.

The only time when spices begin to harm you are when they are cooked with too much oil to make a rich curry or biryani. Obviously, the culprit here is the excessive use of oil, not the spices.

The best part about using spices as preventive medicine is that there are absolutely no side effects, and they are not really “medicines”. So when someone invites you over for a spicy meal, please accept. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favour.

About the author:

Sunitha Srinivasan has qualified with the National Association of Fitness Certification in the USA as a Lifestyle Consultant and Resistance Trainer. She focuses on helping people with their struggle to create a balanced and healthy lifestyle,  given the time constraints and stress present in today’s world.
She also conducts workshops on Wellness, Stress Management and Work-Life balance.
She can be reached at Sunitha@sans-souci.in

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

That Humble Bowl of Soup

As you’re reading this, if you chance to look out of your window, you will see the sun blazing outside, and the last thing that you can think of is the fact that winter will soon be upon us. After all, we are pretty much in the middle of November, right?

Winter brings with it the long chilly evenings, when you try to get home as early as you can, so that you can enjoy an evening to yourself with a warm cup of tea? Or even better some homemade soup. There’s something about soup, that’s so heart warming. That may be because of its sheer goodness. There are few things as healthy as a bowl of soup, made from scratch with lots of vegetables and perhaps a bit of chicken stock. For sure, the ‘healthy’ part is severely put to test when you load your soup with dollops of cream or sauté the veggies with a whole liter of oil.

Be smart here, and you will find that your humble bowl of soup is the perfect meal, full of nutrition and low on calories.  The great advantage of having a bowl of soup early in the evening is that it is extremely filling, which means you are not tempted into a heavy dinner. Therefore, as you treat your body, and your soul, to a bowl of soup early in the evening, you will have the double pleasure of watching the pounds roll off you.

This is extremely important during the Festive season, where overeating of calorie rich food is par for the course. This is a time when you need to keep your bowl of soup really close at hand. Make sure that you always have a nice, filling mug of soup before you go out to eat or party. This way you won’t be ravenously hungry and therefore you will be able to enjoy the treats laid before you with discretion, instead of gorging on the first plate of chips that you see.

Discretion is the key word here. It will ensure that you really enjoy the festive season, with all the accompanying goodies. Remember eat with caution, and step up your exercise, so that the extra calories are burnt easily. This will free you from the the typical post festivity depression that hits most of us around the first week of January.

Seasons greetings to all of you, as we leave you with a simple and easy soup recipe to start off. Here’s to a lovely, bright and colourful Diwali and festive season.

Mixed Vegetable Soup

Serves: 2 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (carrot, beans, cauliflower, green peas, sweet corn)
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • 6 cups water (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 tsp corn flour mixed into ½ a cup of milk
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Salt as per taste

Method

  • Heat a thick bottomed pan and add the butter.
  • Once the butter melts, add onion, ginger, green chilli and garlic, and stir fry for a minute on simmer.
  •  Once done add the rest of the vegetables and fry for a few minutes before adding the water or vegetable stock.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, add salt and the corn flour mix and stir well. The soup will thicken a little.
  • Remove the pan of soup from the flame and add pepper powder.
  • Top with coriander before serving hot.

For more ideas on staying fit, while enjoying the festive season check out our ‘Eat Right When you Eat Out: The Food Court‘ article.

About the author:

Sunitha Srinivasan has qualified with the National Association of Fitness Certification in the USA as a Lifestyle Consultant and Resistance Trainer. She focuses on helping people with their struggle to create a balanced and healthy lifestyle,  given the time constraints and stress present in today’s world.
She also conducts workshops on Wellness, Stress Management and Work-Life balance.
She can be reached at Sunitha@sans-souci.in

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2012 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle

WebMD Health

Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle