Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seed pudding is the new shinning food for the health conscious people. Chia seed is high on fiber and works great as a post workout breakfast or a snack. This ancient grain is now locally grown in some parts of Karnataka which works out cheaper than the imported ones. Read here about the nutritional benefits of chia seeds.

The overnight chia seed pudding is so easy to make that it requires less than five minutes to assemble. I like to make my chia pudding with almond milk, sweetened with honey or coconut sugar. Homemade almond milk can be made before hand and refrigerated for 4-5 days. In the morning, I just season my pudding with i2cook’s peanut butter, cacao niba, nuts like walnuts, sunflower seeds and fruits. You can also  soak  chia seeds overnight in PB banana smoothie for some extra flavour and energy!

almond milk

chia seed pudding

Ingredients:

1/4 cup chia seeds (40 gms US cup standards)

1 cup almond milk (240ml)

1 tsp honey

Procedure:

Measure and mix all the ingredients in a glass jar. Refrigerate for min 3-4 hours or overnight. Eat chilled with your favorite topping.

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

DSC_0232PB banana smoothie is high in protein and healthy fat, this recipe makes for a hearty breakfast, lunch, or after-workout snack. It’s easy to make , full of all sorts of delicious and healthy and protein-rich ingredients, and it’s the perfect use for ripe or overripe bananas. The yogurt creates a smooth desert-tasting consistency while providing  healthy digestion. Adding ice is optional, and makes for a thicker, cooler smoothie. I prefer to drink it chilled!

Drink this after a workout to recharge your energy with heart healthy fat and protein. Banana adds additional fiber with Potassium, Manganese (helps in bone structure) and Vitamins. Yogurt adds probiotics which helps in healthy digestion along with calcium. You can also add nuts like almonds, walnuts or flax seeds to this for an extra crunch. I added some raw organic cocao nibs.

Ingredients

1 large banana or 2 small, peeled & roughly chopped

1/2 cup yogurt

1 tbs i2cook peanut butter

a pinch of cinnamon powder

1 tsp or more coconut sugar (optional)

Procedure

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve chilled!


Introducing i2cook’s Spicy Peanut Butter

Spicy peanut butter

 

Spicy peanut butter is the new addition to i2cook family of organic products. After all the hoopla over the peanut butter, at i2cook we introduced something more suitable for the Indian palate. The idea of creating a spicy version of peanut butter was to make it more versatile as a condiment which can be used in both Indian and Western cooking. The best part about this product is that it is made with no added oil.  The combination of peanuts and spice is something we Indians have brought up with and you can’t go wrong with the combination right!

Spicy peanut butter can be used to make Thai dishes like Thai peanut dip, pad Thai or chicken satay. It is also great with khakara (Indian crackers) or you could also make peanut chutney by grinding it with some coconut. Since, it is in the wet form, you don’t have to add extra ghee or oil to moisten. You could eat it directly with your dosa, idli or chapathi. It is also great as a spread to make rolls of your desired filling. Needless to say that our spicy peanut butter is also great as a spread for sandwiches.

 

Spicy peanut butter

A note on peanuts: The peanuts are sourced from an organization which believes in  organic farming and practises multi-cropping and crop rotation to preserve soil fertility. Since there is absolute no use of pesticides, the farmers use neem and cow urine to keep the pests at bay. 

 

Our spicy peanut butter is available on our online store i2cook.com and in other stores too.

 

Spring roll

Recipe for Thai peanut dip

10ogms of spicy peanut butter

1tbs of soy sauce

1tsp of coconut or palm sugar

 

Mix all the ingredients together and add some water for a thinner consistency. Serve at room temperature with spring rolls. You could also use this as a dip to serve with some sliced cucumbers and carrots.

 


How I started using peanut butter in my diet….

Peanut butter has been my first product, ever since I started retailing i2cook products. You will be surprised that I hadn’t even tasted peanut butter (PB) until, then. I’ve noticed that a lot of you detest peanut butter or rather are not used it. I was one amongst you.

I was never brought up on PB and it took me some time to get used to it. I realized that PB is a MUST in my diet.  I started looking up on the net and found that there are some thousand recipes to gawk at ( I LOVE food porn, especially – food gawker). I took it up as a challenge to come up with some recipes that will not only make me like PB, but also give me variety for my everyday use.

Here is what I came up with

– Banana and peanut butter smoothie

– No bake peanut butter and oat cookies

The result – an instant win 🙂

Ingredients for Banana & PB Smoothie

1 banana, peeled, chopped roughly

2tbs natural peanut butter

1tsp cocoa powder

raw sugar or honey to your liking

1/2 cup milk, yogurt or soy milk

ice (optional)

peanuts for garnish (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender with some ice until smooth. Drink chilled. Serves one.

You can carry your PB smoothie in cute little bottles to work.

Ingredients for No bake PB & Oats cookies

1 cup rolled oats, lightly toasted

1tbs butter

1 1/2 tbs sugar

200gms natural peanut butter

1/2tbs raisins

Heat butter and sugar in a pan, on medium flame. Heat until the sugar has melted and bring it to a light boil.Turn off the stove and mix peanut butter and oats. Allow it to cool enough for you to shape them into desired shape. Lay them on a tray to dry and refrigerate for atleast two hours or overnight. Store them in an air tight container, refrigerated. They (can) last for about two weeks.  I got 16-20 small cookies.

Yum!

Why PB is good for you

  •  Peanut butter is considered as the “real food” and is stated has the best sport food.
  •  Peanut butter is perfect for dieters. It can satisfy you sooner and won’t keep you hungry for too long. Small amount can quell hunger faster.
  • It is packed with nutrients, which help you build and repair muscles.
  • Fat is good for you – the monounsaturated fat is good for your heart.
  • Peanut butter sandwich is healthier and better than a fast food burger.
  • Natural peanut butter (with oil formation on top) is healthier than the commercial ones, in which the oils get converted into harder and saturated (trans-fat).

Useful links

Harvard Health Publications

CNN Health

Home Cooking

About.com

Livestrong.com


Food Gifts for this Diwali

Diwali is all about food, food & only food  for me!  It is the time of the year to let go of your calorie count and indulge 🙂

Every Diwali I receive   3 very common gifts – mithai (Indian sweets), assorted chocolates or just plain dry fruits. It’s not that I don’t like any of the above. But Diwali is special and requires some thought while gifting your close friends and family members. Don’t you agree?

I’ve divided the gifting options into two categories:

  • Homemade/Handmade by you
  • Create your own Food Baskets – assortment of some hand made and some store bought

Homemade/Handmade

I love the idea of doing it yourself for simple reasons –  it’s different, made by you with love and your gift becomes the talk of the town 😉

Orangettescandied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate

It’s the most delicious thing to be nibbling on. I’ve made these and they are really easy and you really can’t go wrong with them even if you are an amateur cook. You can negate the chocolate  and gift them as plain ones too. They go great as a topping in salads or even on some of our Indian sweets – try using just the candied orange as a topping on gulab jamuns…..sounds yum right :).

Sesame Balls in Chocolate  – til ke laddoo dipped in chocolate

These will really surprise anybody. The combination is different and sure is a hit – don’t worry I’ve tried and tested this recipe at the Farmer’s Market and it was a hit!

Herb or Spice Infused  oilsuse your favorite spice or herb to flavor your oils

Recently I spotted them at a dinner during the Food Bloggers Meet. I love, love and love them!

Pickles – every house has it’s own special variety

We Indians love our spicy, tangy pickle with our food. You can bottle  them up in fancy bottles and proudly gift your in-house specialty, North – South doesn’t matter just add some spice this Diwali!

You can explore a wide ranging of gifting ideas depending on your personality. But remember whatever you gift, it sure does reflect your personality…….. So go ahead and put on your creative hats!


Few points to consider for your gifts:

  • If using glass jars, make sure you wash them properly and sterilize them.
  • You might want to include a card with instructions or ideas about how to use your fabulous gift. It might be completely new to the person whom you are gifting.
  • If using plastic bags, it’s advisable to use the food grade ones.
  • It’s always better to use biodegradable material for a safe and sound environment.

Create your own food baskets:

There are hundreds of combination that you can try while creating your own baskets. All you need is a good cane basket and  some attractive colored papers. Again put on your creative hats and lets begin to create some interesting combos 🙂

 


This was a basket created by me (all Organic) – a vanilla pod, homemade cinnamon salad dressing, homemade Indian fudge along with a recipe card for the dressing.

 

This is what I’m gifting this Diwali – i2cook’s Natural Peanut Butter & Mustard with colorful coasters from Freedom Tree.

Hope this post has given you  ideas/inspirations to start with your own food gifts. I’m sure you will do a good job!

I would love to hear your gifting ideas too 🙂