Archive for January, 2012

January 21, 2012

Chocolate Walnut Brownies……….Go nutty the healthy way!!!!

Proven beyond doubt….Walnuts are the healthiest nuts of them all!!!!Let’s find out why………………….

  • Munch just 7  walnuts a day and you will have eaten the  recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein.
  • Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E and anti oxidants which help to keep the skin well protected from dryness by protecting it from harmful free radicals which can otherwise damage collagen&elastin in the skin.
  • Eating just as much as 25 g each day provides about 90% of RDI (recommended daily intake) of omega-3 fatty acids which have been well known  to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and  cancers.
  • Regular intake of walnuts in the diet help to lower total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood.
  • These nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
    Cocoa is rich in antioxidants and flavanols which  help improve the appearance of women’s skin -by  increasing hydration, decreasing skin roughness and scaling, and helping to support the skin’s defense against UV damage.Chocolate nourishes,hydrates&rejuvenates the skin.
    So here’s  a way to combine the two-walnuts&cocoa to make sure we stay healthy&please our taste buds as well…:)
    Recipe for Yummy Chocolate  Walnut Brownies:
    1 cup Walnuts(finely cut), 1 and 1/3 cup cocoa(unsweetened),1 & 1/2  cup powdered sugar or brown sugar,1 cup butter or refined sunflower oil,1 cup flour or maida,1 tsp baking powder,4 eggs,2 tsp baking powder,1/2 cup milk.Optional few pieces of dark or semi sweet chocolateMethod:Sift 1 cup  flour  thrice with 1 tsp  baking powder.Whisk egg whites and egg yolks seperately with an egg beater.Finely grind one&half  cup of sugar.Melt butter or slightly warm sunflower oil in a bowl.Add sifted cocoa powder&mix.Add  powdered sugar to this mixture and cream well.Add whisked eggs,vanilla esence and mix well .Fold in the sifted flour  gently.Dust the finely cut walnuts with a little maida and mix half of it in the batter.Add milk such that you get a pouring consistency.
    Meanwhile Preheat the oven to 100 Centigrade.Grease the cake tin with ghee.Once the tin is pre heated in the oven,take it out&pour in the cake batter.Sprinkle the remaining  cut walnuts &pieces of chocolate on the cake batter.Bake at 175 centigrade for 30 minutes  till a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake.Switch of the oven and allow to cool inside.Take out after 15 mins &relish the delicious chocolate walnut brownies topped with vanilla icecream &Chocolate sauce……Yummmmmmmmmm:)
January 14, 2012

Open Sesame!!Til Laddoos with a walnut twist to lower cholesterol……

 OPEN SESAME!!;)….Guess   Alibaba &the 40 thieves did have a point there when they chose it as their magical password! Sesame seeds do have magical properties-they lower cholesterol,have antioxidants which maintain  healthy skin and delay ageing,reduce hypertension,strengthen the bone &teeth,reduce anaemia,prevent and reduce fatigue and stress and  reduce dryness in winter….No wonder our ancestors made sure we ate sesame seeds &jaggery  which are energy rich foods suitable for winter,by making it  a part of the rituals and traditions. Mum’s Recipe Ingredients:
  • 2oogms white sesame seeds
  • 400gms  yellow roasted gram dal
  • 100gms Walnuts
  • 100gms Almonds
  • 100gms  peanuts
  • 500gms  soft jaggery
  • 1 tsp ghee METHOD:
  • Roast white sesame seeds(Til) till a popping sound is heard&you get the aroma
  • Roast peanuts separately.
  • Let it cool
  • Coarsely grind walnuts,almonds, and roasted fried gram dal or hurikadale
  • Crush peanuts coarsely
  • Mash jaggery till soft.
  • Put in a large heavy pan with 2 tbsp of water and heat on medium flame.
  • Add ghee and heat, till it melts and starts bubbling.
  • Add a drop of the heated jaggery into a bowl of water.It should remain as a drop and not dissolve completely
  • Add coarsely ground walnuts,almonds,peanuts,roasted gram dal  and sesame seeds,mix for  a minute& take off fire.
  • Mix well till well blended.
  • While still hot, shape into small  ladoos, with moist hands (apply ghee on your hands).
  • Allow to cool completely, before storing in airtight container. Sesame seeds are a rich source of  mono-unsaturated fatty acid oleic acid, which comprise up to 50% fatty acids in them. Oleic acid helps to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood.Sesame seeds are also rich in minerals like copper zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium and sodium. Vitamins like vitamin A, E and B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, betaine and tocopherol are found in abundance in sesame seeds&they have been found to reduce cholesterol.Walnuts have high contents of Omega3 fatty acids and when eaten along with meals high in saturated fat have been found to limit the ability of the harmful fat to damage arteries.Sesame seeds,almonds&Walnuts are also an excellent source of natural  iron &vitamin E and help to keep the skin&hair well protected from dryness. So go on and enjoy these delicious sweets totally guilt free,while at the same time improve your skin &lowering your cholesterol….Now if that’s not magic,what is???:)
January 11, 2012

This winter,Give skin dryness a chill pill!!!!

Winter proof skin

Winter can be brutal to skin—between dry air and cold temps, your skin can feel rough, uneven and scratchy.Dry skin is a skin deficit in moisture and sebum or oil secreted by sebaceous glands. Due to poor sebum production, the skin fails to lock enough moisture and gets dehydrated easily, resulting in dryness. It acquires a parched, dull look, and cracking, flaking and chapping are the major signs of dryness. It is very sensitive and feels tightly stretched over bones. The dryness is most evident on cheeks, around eyes and corners of mouth where fine expression lines may show up.Thus it’s very very important during the colder months to maintain the moisture levels in your skin.
Keep dryness away this winter with simple tips……
1.Hydrate the body to keep the skin moisturized and flush out any toxins situated in the body. Don’t just moisturize on the outside; moisturize from the inside out. The more water taken in, the more hydrated the body will be, so drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

2.Avoid very hot water baths,and harsh soaps.Use soap free cleansers or showergels ,or if you have to ,a moisturising natural aloevera based soap.

3.Exfoliate daily in the shower with showergel or gentle cleansers to slough off dead skin cells and pat the skin gently instead of rubbing vigorously when getting out of the bath.
4.Add a few drops of olive,jojoba or coconut oil to the last rinse.

5.Use moisturising body lotion or a moisturising aloevera based gel immediately after stepping out of the shower&never forget to use lots of sunscreen immediately after.Ultraviolet (UV) rays can be intense on clear winter days, too, and those UV rays can sneak through even when it’s cloudy. Sunblock of SPF 20-30 will help protect the skin from the damaging and drying effects of UV rays.

6.Reapply aloevera gel or  moisturiser every four to six hours throughout the day and right before bedtime.
7. Don’t forget about your hands and feet this winter….The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear gloves when you go outside; if you need to wear wool to keep your hands warm, slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.Massage with olive oil daily&cover with cotton gloves at bed time.
8.Pamper your feet:Exfoliate regularly to remove dead dry skin&massage with olive oil daily before bedtime.Cover with socks &you will have soft feet if used regularly.Apply  rosewater&glycerine mix or aloevera gel for chapped feet,which helps smoothen out the skin .

9.Adding grapes and avocado to the diet, as well as foods rich in proteins,vitamin E and green, leafy vegetables, increases the production of good oils in the skin.
10. Go nutty this winter;)….and glow away
Munch on 2-3 almonds soaked overnight first thing in the morning.Include 2-3 walnuts or pistachios,groundnuts ,cashew nuts,sunflower seeds,or pumpkin seeds in your daily diet.Don’t forget to have 1 tsp of  raw flax seeds, freshly ground.You can sprinkle this on salads or mix with yoghurt.
Nuts are all glow food, rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids which keeps dryness at bay….
Try out  all these tips sincerely &watch your skin glow this winter!!!