Healthy Strawberry Yogurt

Spring has finally arrived and how. The weather has now changed for the better. Gone are those dreadful chilling days and now that has made way for mild and pleasant weather. There are some days with exceptions, but then I will take spring any time of the year. The bare trees are now being replaced with beautiful flowers or small leaves and it is beautiful to see the transformation all around.

 

Also another plus for me is that the days are getting longer. Even when I get back home from work at 6:00 PM in the evening, it is still bright as day.  I get to open the blinds, the back door, stash those curtains and experience brightness for another hour and half. That lifts up my spirits and gives me a positive and energizing feeling all around.

This also gives me an opportunity to experiment more with the food pictures in natural light, which by itself makes a huge difference in the quality of the pictures.

 

Our local super market had a huge sale of strawberries during the weekend. They were fresh, beautiful and so brought bunch of boxes. Strawberries unlike the blueberries have smaller shelf life and so have to be used up quickly. I had prepared this Strawberry milkshake before, so I decided to try this Strawberry yogurt this time.

Strawberries are packed with flavonoids. Research shows that these two flavonoids help keep “bad” (LDL) cholesterol from oxidizing and damaging artery walls.Strawberries also contain ellargic acid — also found in raspberries, grapes, walnuts, pecans— which act as a scavenger to “bind” cancer-causing chemicals, making them inactive. In addition, it prevents binding of carcinogens to DNA and reduces the incidence of cancer in cultured human cells exposed to carcinogens. (Source)

The recipe here is only a basic guideline. The ingredients can be easily replaced based on taste or by anything that is available on hand. Pecans can be replaced by any other nuts, apple chunks, banana chunks can be replaced with other fruits. Flax seeds can be replaced by granola or they can be skipped all together. I used those ingredients that I had on hand and also the things we enjoy.

This is my second contribution and this goes to FIC-Pink an event hosted by Priya of Priya’s Easy N Tasty Recipes.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 3-4 strawberries (increase as per taste)
  • 2 cups yogurt (plain) I used fat free
  • 1 Tbsp honey/ sugar
  • Chopped strawberry, pecans, flax seeds for garnishing
  • Chopped apples, banana (optional)

 

Method

 

  • Chop the strawberries into big chunks.
  • Now put them in a blender and run through without adding any liquid. This makes good paste of the fruit. Otherwise if yogurt is added along with the fruit, the fruit does not get pureed and there could be some lumps.
  • Now add the yogurt, honey/sugar and blend again. Refrigerate and serve as required. Garnish with chopped strawberry, pecan pieces, flax seeds.

 

Masala Upma

 

OK, OK I know I have already posted 2 other recipes for Uppittu/Upma here and here. But bear with me, the taste is different from the earlier ones, aromatic and flavorful. This is different because the recipe uses Rasam powder and aromatic garam masala to enhance the flavor of this Upma.

 

Yet again, I learnt this variation of Upma of adding the masala while I was in India. All the 3 of us, my mother, MIL and me were chatting away to glory in the kitchen while making Upma for breakfast. Half way through my mother reached for garam masala and rasam powder to add to the uppittu, I almost yelped out and proceeded to stop her, thinking that she was accidentally adding the powders to the wrong vessel. But she explained that it was deliberate and proceeded to finish the dish. I was very curious about the taste, but then when I tasted it; it was very delicious and fragrant. Rasam powder adds a very unique taste to the Uppit.

 

This is a nutritious meal in itself as it is the combination of Sooji(wheat product) and vegetables. This is eaten as breakfast in many parts of India especially the southern side..

 

We use the coarse roasted rawa (sooji) while making the upma as it is able to withhold the high water temperature and does not form lumps easily. Also do not skip the ghee (clarified butter) in the recipe. It blends very well with the other spices and imparts a strong aroma of its own. We had it with Boondi on the side.

 

Continue reading →

Strawberry Banana Milkshake

I had not eaten or seen strawberries while I was in India. It was only after coming here to the US that I got a taste of it. It took a while for me to acquire the taste, but now that I am used to it, I just love it. We get a boxful of them each week and continue to eat them through out the week. 

 

 

 Strawberries as I understand are the most popular of all berries. Even though they are in season during summer and spring, I have seen strawberries available in the supermarkets almost any time of year.

 A strawberry is a superstar when it comes to anti-oxidant power, 1 cup of strawberries gives you a 140 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Strawberries are also packed with flavonoids. Research shows that these two flavonoids help keep “bad” (LDL) cholesterol from oxidizing and damaging artery walls. 

 

 

Strawberries also contain ellargic acid — also found in raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, grapes, cherries, walnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts — which act as a scavenger to “bind” cancer-causing chemicals, making them inactive. In addition, it prevents binding of carcinogens to DNA and reduces the incidence of cancer in cultured human cells exposed to carcinogens. (Source)

 

 After I got back from work yesterday evening, I scrutinized bunch of things in the refrigerator that were very close to the expiry date or too close on getting rancid. Milk and strawberry were among them. So I decided to make this milkshake by using milk, strawberry and banana. This milkshake is made with no ice-cream; milkshake without icre-cream and hence much healthy. This is a good idea for breakfast on the go.  Continue reading →