Friday, July 29, 2011

Beat the heat - Sugar free Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

Most of you must be wondering about so many beverage recipes coming up here lately. But it is summer time and with seasonal fruits in abundance,  it is very easy to live on milk shakes, juices and smoothies during the hot weather. In few places this is the time for summer school break for kids and that means lot of running around and entertaining the kids. So with less time to spend in the kitchen and frequent need to feed small hungry tummies thought that I will share my quick and easy to make recipes with you all. Most of the recipes are so simple, you can involve your kids to make it or if the kids are little older instruct them to make on their own. Healthy, simple home made stuff ready in minutes. This ice cream recipe is so simple to make and tastes great. Not to leave the point, is made without sugar and with protein rich nuts, coconut milk and vitamin c rich strawberries. Now let us get on to this recipe and do try this and let me know your feedback.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 10 Minutes


Coconut Milk - 4 Cups
Xylitol - 1 1/2 Cups or to taste depending on the taste of strawberries
Cashews - 1 Cup
Agar Agar Flakes - 4 Tbsp
Strawberry - 25 (Pureed and chilled)


1) Soak the cashews in enough water and leave it for 3-4 hours.

2) Soak the agar agar flakes in warm coconut milk and let this soften for 30 minutes.

3) Simmer the coconut milk along with agar agar flakes and xylitol till the agar agar flakes are dissolved.

4) Strain this to filter any undissolved agar agar flakes and let this cool for 30-40 minutes(luke warm)

5) Now grind the cashews into a fine paste adding just enough coconut milk and once it becomes a smooth paste add the rest of the coconut milk and blend for a second.

6) Place the coconut milk and cashew mixture in a refrigerator and let this cool for an hour. Now take it out and blend in a powerful blender like vitamix for few minutes along with the strawberry puree and  transfer the contents to an ice cream maker and process according to its instructions.

Note - In store bought ice creams a variety of stabilizers are used for a better texture and to prevent the ice cream from melting rapidly. Because agar agar is a vegetarian stabilizer and a much healthier choice I went for that. You can also use Corn starch or Arrowroot starch in place of agar agar.


This goes to Healing Foods Berries event hosted by Smitha an event started by Siri.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beat the Heat - Almond Butter Chocolate Milk Shake

Looking for a high protein, low sugar but super delicious milk shake. Then you have to try this out. Power packed with protein rich almond butter, calcium rich raw milk, antioxidant rich unsweetened cocoa and sweetened with xylitol these are perfect to kick start your day. Easy to make and absolutely delicious on a hot summer day. Do try it out and let me know, how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 1


Raw Milk - 3/4 Cup(Since I used raw milk it has little bit of cream on top, so the milk is a mixture of cream & milk)

Cocoa Powder - 1 Tbsp

Almond Butter -2 Tbsp

Xylitol - 1 Tbsp or as per taste

Vanilla extract - few drops

Ice - 4 to 5 (optional)


1) Place the raw milk, cocoa powder, almond butter, xylitol and vanilla extract in a blender and blend till smooth.

2) Now add the ice cubes and blend for a second and pour into tall glass and enjoy immediately.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beat the heat - Strawberry Smoothie

With certain parts of the United States reeling under a severe heat wave, I thought will share with you couple of Beat the Heat Recipes which are simple to make and good for you.

Strawberries have very high levels of vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium than most other fruits like bananas, apples and even oranges. These berries are good for your heart and acts as a shield for cancer protection. But strawberries are one of the most contaminated produce with pesticide. So grab a box of organic one even though it costs a few more bucks because studies show that the antioxidants are more in organic food than conventional ones. Even though strawberries are so good for you be wary of the fructose content and accordingly adjust your intake of fruits.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes

Cooking Time - None

Serves - 1


Plain yogurt - 3/4 Cup

Organic Strawberries - 6 to 8

Xylitol - 1 Tbsp or a pinch of Stevia

Ice cubes - 4 (optional)


1) Place the yogurt, strawberries and xylitol in a blender and blend till smooth.

2) Add the ice cubes and blend one more time and serve immediately.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ash Gourd(White Pumpkin) & Cilantro Smoothie

Ash Gourd/White Pumpkin/ Winter Melon/Poosanikai what ever name you call this vegetable, these are used widely in South Indian (Asian Indian) cuisine. This pumpkin unlike its yellow counter part is not sweet and tastes very neutral with lot of water content in it. It is believed that including this vegetable regularly in one's diet will help in reducing excess weight. So what are you waiting for? Try this one out and it not only tastes good but is so good for you and let me know, how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 2


Peeled, deseeded and chopped White pumpkin pieces - 1 1/2 Cups

Chilled Yogurt - 1 Cup

Ginger - 1 inch piece

Cilantro (Chopped) - Handful

Salt - 1/2 Tsp

Green Chili - 1 or to taste (or you can use ground black pepper)

Lemon juice - 1 Tsp or to taste

Ice Cubes - 4 to 5 (Optional)


1) In a blender (I used vita mix) place the white pumpkin pieces, yogurt, ginger, cilantro, salt  and green chili and blend till smooth.

2) Add the ice cubes and blend one more time and now add the lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper if you are not using green chili and serve and in tall glass immediately.

Note - Any fruit or vegetable juice gives you a sense of fullness only if you don't filter and discard the fiber. So if you are make these kind of juices regularly it is not a bad idea to get a good quality blender.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Scallion & Coconut Salad

 Do you love fresh raw vegetables and include salad as a part of your every day meal. Then this recipe is definitely for you. I try to include at least one raw vegetable dish as part of our meal and in order not to get bored, I try a variety of them. This simple salad is perfect for any body including carb watchers. Made with all low GI vegetables, these are perfect even for people on a diet plan.  Do try this out and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 2 Minutes

Serves - 2


Cucumber - 1

Yellow bell pepper - 1 (Small)

Scallion - 1 bunch

Grated coconut - 2 Tbsp

Salt - 1/2 tsp or to taste

Lemon Juice - 1 Tsp or to taste

Freshly ground pepper - 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Chopped cilantro - 1 Tbsp


Coconut oil - 1 Tsp

Asafoetida powder - pinch (avoid this in case of gluten intolerance)

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp


1) Wash all the vegetables, peel and chop the cucumber into small pieces. De seed the yellow bell pepper and chop into fine pieces. Remove the root of the scallion and chop the white portion and little bit of green portion alone into pieces.

2) Combine cucumber, yellow bell pepper, scallion, grated coconut, salt, lemon juice, chopped cilantro and freshly ground pepper and keep it aside.

3) Heat a small pan and once it is hot, add the oil. After the oil is warm, add the mustard seeds and once the mustard seeds stop spluttering add the asafoetida powder and transfer the tempering to the salad.

Combine well and enjoy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sugar free Chocolate Ice Cream using Stevia

The Ice Cream truck hovering our development during the summer months make the kids and adults crave for some of this Sinful treats. I normally don't buy these Ice Creams at all and  I promised to make different flavored Ice Creams through out summer to enjoy and this is one such one.  We no longer use sugar  in our house hold.(even for kids - less work for my kids dentist). I have used Stevia as the sweetener in the Ice Cream recipe and my kids weren't able to find the difference because of the chocolate flavor, but for the adults this was very much pronounced. So I am going to stick on with Xylitol for the rest of my Ice Cream recipes.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - None

Serves - 4 to 8


Half & Half - 1 Cup

Heavy Cream - 1 Cup

KAL Stevia - 1/2 Tsp

vanilla essence - few drops

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1/4 Cup


1) Place the Half & Half, Heavy Cream, Stevia, Vanilla essence and Unsweetened Cocoa powder in an Ice Cream maker and process till you get a soft serve consistency as per the manufacturer instruction.

2) Now remove this Ice Cream from the Ice Cream make and freeze over night to get a firm Ice Cream.

3) Run the outside of the container under a hot water tap and use a scoop dipped in boiling water to scoop out the Ice Cream. Enjoy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Coconut Milk Pannacotta

Panna cotta (from Italian cooked cream) is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. This chilled dessert is then served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce or fruit coulis. In this recipe I have used coconut milk instead of cream and xylitol instead of sugar, Agar Agar instead of gelatin and topped with grated truffle

made with Xylitol. This is a vegan version of the Italian dessert and  this is perfect even for people with diabetes. So try it and let me know, how you liked this.

Preparation Time - Nil

Cooking Time - 10 Minutes

Serves - 3


Coconut Milk - 1 1/2 Cups (12 oz)
Agar Agar Flakes - 1 Tbsp
Xylitol - 2 to 3 Tbsp or per taste
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp


1) Warm the coconut milk slightly and add the agar agar flakes and let this sit for 15 Minutes, till the flakes are softened.

2) Now simmer in the stove on slow to medium heat and add the xylitol to dissolve at this stage. Do not allow it to boil, but simmer till the agar agar flakes dissolve.

3) Once the flakes are completely dissolved, remove from the stove add the vanilla extract and pour the contents into small cups and allow it to set. Chill and serve with chocolate sauce or with some grated truffle on top, with nuts and fruits of your choice.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mango Milk Shake

Who doesn't love mangoes? The king of fruits. It is summer time and this fruit is in lot of abundance. But for some reason I find the mangoes from Mexico don't equal the taste of Indian mangoes. They smell great and look great but lack little bit of taste. I love mangoes by the look of it and tend to buy them, but most of it instead of getting consumed as a whole fruit because of the taste factor goes in making milk shakes, lassi (yogurt and mango drink), ice cream   jelly, cakes etc. Also I take the mango pulp out and puree them and freeze them in small bottles to be used during the rest of the season. So let us get on to the first mango recipe for this season, mango milk shake. Very easy to make and tastes great.

Preparation Time - Nil

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 2 


Mango Pulp - 1/2 Cup

Cold Milk - 1 Cup

Cold Water - 1/2 Cup

Xylitol - 2 Tsp or per taste and taste of the mango pulp used

Ice cubes - few optional


1) In a blender place the mango pulp, cold milk, cold water, xylitol and blend till well combined and smooth.

2) Pour into tall glasses and add few ice cubes if desired and enjoy.

Note - If you are diabetic this milk shake is not for you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pineapple Milk Shake

Looking for quick, delicious and filling milk shake. Try this one out.  Pineapples are rich in Vitamin C & A and a very good source of dietary fiber. Raw milk is a good source of Calcium and protein. Just put them in a good quality blender, blend and drink. Do not filter and discard the fiber. Fiber in these fruits are very important to the body and these fibers make you feel full for a longer time. You can also add chia gel to these milk shakes to fortify them with Omega 3 and 6 and also to give you sense of fullness. (Soak 1 Tbsp of Chia seed 3 Tbsp of Water and let this sit for few minutes). Now add this gel to the milkshake and enjoy.

Pineapple is a high GI fruit, so avoid this milk shake if you are diabetic.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 2


Pineapple pieces - 1 Cup

Milk - 1 1/2 Cups (Chilled)

Ice - few pieces optional

Cinnamon - 1/2 Tsp or Vanilla extract (optional)

Xylitol - 2 Tsp to taste (optional and depending on the sweetness of the pineapple)


1) Place the pineapple pieces, milk, xylitol(if using) and cinnamon powder in a blender and

blend till smooth. ( I used vita mix, so it was perfect milk shake with no necessity to filter and discard    the fiber).

2) Add few pieces of ice and serve immediately.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Weight Watcher Parfait

 Parfait is a french style dessert made with layering cream, ice cream, yogurt, nuts, fruits etc. This parfait is very unique meaning, I have just used strawberries milk, mixed with chia gel as the main middle layer instead of yogurt and used nuts and coconut as alternate layer, topped with some xylitol sweetened 100% Cacao truffle(grated). So you can have this any time of the day, either as a break fast or as a dessert. With the low GI strawberries and calcium rich raw milk, omega - 3 rich chia gel, they are not only healthy and also tastes great. Much better option than the morning break fast cereal !!! It is a myth that fat makes a person gain more weight, if the fat is from good sources like unprocessed milk, chia seeds, nuts etc the food keeps you satisfied for a longer period of time and curb cravings. It is the sugar and carbs that makes people to gain more weight.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 1


Raw Milk - 1/2 Cup

Strawberries - 4 (washed, trimmed and chopped)

Xylitol - 2 Tsp or to taste

Grated Coconut - 2 Tbsp (Heaped)

Chopped nuts - 1/3 Cup

Chia seeds - 1 Tbsp

Water - 3 Tbsp

Dark Chocolate Truffle - 1 (This is also sweetened with Xylitol)


1) Soak the chia seeds in water and set them aside for few minutes to soak and gel.

2) In a food processor blend the milk, xylitol and strawberries till smooth.

3) Combine the strawberry milk and chia gel and set them aside.

4) Take a tall glass and layer half of the nuts and top it with half of the grated coconut and press it nicely. Now pour the strawberry, milk gel on top of the coconut and layer it with the remaining nuts topped with the remaining coconut.

5) Grate the chocolate truffle on top and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brownie Trifle

 Can you make brownie trifle little healthy? Once you are in the health food wagon it is very difficult to let go and indulge. That too if you  subscribe to different health food newsletter and every day some thing or other article gets delivered to your mail box. It becomes even more difficult to let go and attack the food. Some times I think ignorance in bliss. Now coming to this quick brownie trifle, I just had one piece of my Black Bean Brownie left and my elder one wanted to have a quick dessert on a Saturday evening. I also had some Yogurt Cream Cheese in hand and few cherries and then this idea of Brownie trifle came up. Who said desserts have to be sinful and healthy food doesn't taste good? Try this out and let me know.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes

Cooking Time - None

Serves - 1


Brownie - 1 Piece ( If you have more, you can create one more layer of brownie, cherry & yogurt cream on top of this) and it will look fantastic.

Cherries - handful pitted and halved

Yogurt Cream Cheese - 1 Tbsp(Water strained and squeezed out from Greek Yogurt)

Powdered Xylitol - 2 Tsp or more to taste

Vanilla extract - few drops.


1) Take a piece of the brownie and press it in the bottom of a cup.

2) Arrange the cherry layer on top of it.

2) Mix the vanilla extract, xylitol powder to the yogurt cream and then put it on the top of the cherry layer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Eggless Sugarless Creamy Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate puddings are traditionally made with milk/cream, eggs & starch (corn) or with gelatin as the thickening agent and sweetened with sugar. But this pudding doesn't use eggs or starch. Neither does it use gelatin. I  have used agar agar flakes as a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. Sweetened with Xylitol and antioxidant rich unsweetened cocoa powder, they are a sure treat to have with no worries about cavities or sugar high and sugar lows. Try this out and let me know, how you liked it.

Preparation Time - Nil

Cooking Time - 10 to 15 Minutes

Serves - 4


Light Cream - 1 1/4 cup (I get raw milk and the cream settled on top was used along with little bit of milk)
Water - 1/4 Cup
Agar agar flakes - 2 Tsp
Xylitol - 5 Tbsp (Taste it and increase the sweetness based on your taste)
Unsweetned cocoa powder - 2 Tbsp
Unsweetened chocolate piece - 2 (100% Dark Chocolate)
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp


1) Soak the agar agar flakes in water and let it sit for 10 minutes till it soften.

2) Heat the water along with the agar agar flakes and once it is hot, add the cream, cocoa powder, chocolate piece, xylitol and simmer till the agar agar flakes are dissolved.

3) Pour them into small cups and allow it to set. Chill it and decorate with almond flakes and serve.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tomato & Mint Thirst Quencher

 Summer is synonymous to sweating and sweating  is good in a way as  it does helps the body to get rid of its toxins. But at the same time it results in the body losing precious water as sweat mainly contains water and other vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, copper, calcium and so on, which are needed by the body for its normal functioning.

Choose vegetables & fruits with high water content and replenish your body with the loss of fluid. Tomatoes are one such excellent choice when it comes to foods with high water content. Enriched naturally with Vitamin A & C, this not only quenches your thirst but also energizes your body. Tomatoes are low in fructose and this juice will be perfect for people with people with diabetes.

Preparation Time - 5-10 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 2


Tomatoes - 2 (medium sized)

Mint extract - 1/2 Tsp

Lemon Juice -  1 Tsp or to taste

Salt - 1/4 Tsp or to taste

Xylitol - 1 Tbsp or to taste

Crushed Black pepper - 1/4 Tsp

Ice cubes - 4 to 5 (Optional)

Water - 3/4 Cup


Place the tomatoes, mint extract, salt, xylitol, water in a blender and blend till smooth.

Add the ice cubes and blend once again.

Add the lemon juice and crushed black pepper and combine. Pour in tall glasses and serve immediately.

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