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  • Quick snack recipes for toddlers

    In  On 11 July 2018

    When you have a toddler at home, it is a big challenge for parents in all aspects. I take it positively. The more they challenge you, the more they are challenging their own cognitive system. They can remember things very well, even the names of their favorite foods. Therefore, making their food choices is a real challenge. They remember what they had had, when you were on a vacation two weeks ago & they start demanding the specific food at home or when you pass by restaurant / similar food outlet chain. They even remember the cabinet where you keep their favorite food items in the kitchen. One moment they are playing & suddenly they come to you & demand something. (And let me tell you, most of the times it is something that you do not want to give them frequently like Chocolate or chips etc. OR it is not a right time for that food for example, when you are preparing lunch, they'll ask for their favorite snack). The same thing happened yesterday. While I was in my kitchen, thinking about evening snack for my two years old, and he came and said, " ??...??? ????? .. ?????? ??" (Mom, I am hungry, give me a chocolate)  ... (Recently, we had vacations in Switzerland & Belgium and he remembers it very well that we have chocolates at home  ) OMG... Now what .... what to do..???? I do not want to give him a chocolate..  ...IDEA...   THAT is what I am going to share with you. A quick recipe of what I did then....  [I even carry this with me while shopping or on a day trip. You never know when and where these kids will demand something to munch in.] Recipe 1-  Groundnut Laddu - a super-quick recipe    Ingredients (for two small laddus) Roasted groundnut powder - 2 tablespoons Grated jaggery (???/????) - 1 teaspoon Ghee - Half teaspoon or as needed (If jaggery is soft, even less ghee would suffice to ensure homogeneity of the mixture) Cardamom powder- 1 pinch Procedure: Mix the above ingredients to form a homogeneous mixture and make laddus (a size of a chocolate ball). For added benefits, you can even add dry-fruit powder to the mixture. Really a simple and quick recipe... right??? It can come handy when you have a lot to do, but have no time for a fancy recipe. I know they are not chocolates & your kiddo knows it very well. But you can always tell them "We do not have chocolates, but I made laddu for you. They are your favorite ones." If your kiddo loves laddu (most of the kids do), this trick will definitely work. They are healthy power packs of nutrients for your toddlers. Note: Store them at cool dry place in an air-tight container or in a refrigerator to store for longer period (and to prevent them from getting rancid). Nutritional benefits: Power pack of nutrients & energy No refined sugar Source of protein, iron & trace minerals Recipe 2 - Dry-fruit Laddu or Rolls Ingredients: (for 8-10 rolls) 1 cup seedless dates (I am taking a 100 ml measuring cup) 1/2 cup mixture of your favorite dry-fruits like almond, cashew nut, walnuts etc. (roughly chopped. If you are giving these to your toddlers- make it into a powder)   2  teaspoons ghee 1 pinch cardamom powder Procedure: Take one and a half teaspoon ghee in a non-stick pan. Add seedless dates & roast them till they are soft. Add the dry-fruits & cardamom powder & immediately turn off the heat. Mix the ingredients well. Take the mixture in a plate. Let it cool down for some time. When it is warm (the temperature you can handle to make laddus with your hands - but make sure that it is not completely cold) make laddus or rolls. OR you can even make it into burfis - just grease the plate / tray with ghee & remove the mixture from the pan to a plate. Spread it evenly in the plate with the help of spatula when hot. When warm, cut into square pieces & cool it down. Note: Store them at a cool dry place in an air-tight container or in a refrigerator to store for longer period (to prevent them from getting rancid). Remember that when you keep them in a refrigerator, they can get chewy, hence won't be a good option for toddlers. Nutritional benefits: Power pack of nutrients & energy No added sugar Source of iron, protein, vitamins & trace minerals   Both these the recipes are really good options (even for adults) as an 'on the go' snack, when you are away from home. You can store both these preparations at room temperature for 8-10 days in an air-tight container & cool dry place (not in really hot summer days). This long shelf life makes it a really good option even when travelling.    

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  • Healthy Tea-time snacks

    In  On 01 January 2019

    Want to eat something healthy at 'Tea-Time'? Always end up buying something unhealthy from the market? Here is the healthy snack recipe for you. Ingredients: Overnight soaked Chickpea or Kabuli chana (250 gm), Salt to taste, Chili powder (1 teaspoon / as per your taste), Chat masala (1/2 teaspoon), Lemon juice (1/2 lemon), Cooking oil (2 teaspoon) Procedure: Take overnight soaked Kabuli Chana in a pot. Add 1 cup water & 1 teaspoon salt. Boil it (covered) for 10 min. Then drain water. (Do no discard the water. You can use this water for next batch or for other recipes.) Spread it on a baking tray. Sprinkle 2 tsp oil, salt to taste (taste chanas first before adding salt, as we have already added salt while boiling), chat masala, chili powder, lemon juice. Mix it well (with your hands / spoon) so that the spices are coated well to all the chanas. Marinate the chanas for 1 hr & then put in the oven pre-heated at 180° C. for 30-35 minutes. (Toss them after every 10 min. to avoid uneven baking). No. of portions: 6 (130-150 Kcal. per portion)   Tips: 1. Do not let them sit in the oven till they are crispy (as when they cool down, they get too hard & not crispy). Remove them out just before they are completely crispy. When they cool down, will taste perfect. Heads-up : The tips are given after trying 2-3 batches (& wasting a batch) 2. You can make Whole moong  snacks/ Matki snacks / Whole masoor snacks etc. with the same recipe. (These pulses take lesser time to cook - 5-7 min & also in oven for baking 20-25 min) 3. Add chopped onion, tomato, coriander leaves & sprinkle some chat masala, lemon juice...And the healthy snack is ready for tea-time. 4. It is tasty, protein rich, low in fat as we are not frying. 5. You can also make a batch with just salt, jeera powder and lemon juice; if you do not eat spicy. This will also make it suitable for kids. Experiment with the toppings as per your choice.    6. Store in air-tight container. This will last you for a month.    

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  • Roasted Pumpkin soup

    In  On 19 November 2019

    Winter is here... Time for variety of delicious soups in dinner... Yumm..Yummm... Today's recipe: Roasted Pumpkin soup Ingredients: Pumpkin : 1 big bowl pieces (400-500 gm) Onion: 1 medium size Garlic : 2-3 big cloves Olive oil: 15 ml Salt & Black Pepper : As per taste Fresh cream: 1-2 tablespoon (Optional) Procedure: Step 1] In a pan take 10 ml olive oil & add pumpkin pieces to it. Roast them on medium high flame till turn soft & light brown colour. Remove in a bowl.                Step 2 ] To the same pan add remaining 5 ml olive oil & roast sliced onion & garlic on medium high flame till turns light brown.   Step 3] Now add roasted pumpkin & onion garlic to a mixer jar, add salt & crushed black pepper as per taste. And blend it in smooth paste by adding water to it. (Little at a time: I added 100 ml water at a time. In total I added 500-600 ml water to it to make it smooth soupy texture & consistency.)    Step 4] Pour it back in the same pan & boil it for 2-3 min. At this time you can adjust the taste by adding more salt/pepper if needed. At the end add 1-2 tablespoon of fresh cream & switch off the gas. (Fresh cream is completely optional. I did not add it, still the soup tastes delicious & creamy.) Serve hot.         

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Manasi Joshi

M.Sc. Dietetics & Certified Diabetes Educator , Netherlands 

Manasi Joshi is a renowned freelance Dietitian & Diabetes educator from Pune, India with expertise in different streams in Dietetics such as Clinical Nutrition, Diabetes Management, Sports & Fitness Nutrition and Lifestyle Modification. She is not just a professional dietician, but herself is a foodie.  Therefore, she always aims at finding a golden middle of your health and treating your taste buds. Rather than current trends like crash diet, meal replacers, skipping meals etc., she firmly believes in healthy food habits and natural ways to optimize lifestyle. Hence, she typically advocates seasonal and indigenous food habits. In order to keep up with the pace of our busy schedules, Manasi has adapted to online diet consultation program. So, save your precious time by connecting with her on a single click and invest it in your favorite sport, or spend it with your family. Manasi has happy customers accross the globe (India, USA, Europe, & Australia etc.)  Scientific approach to Manasi's consultation originates not only from  her attitude, but also from her active participation in research programs at different stages of her career. She is proficient in the field of clinical nutrition in versatile specializations such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiac diseases, Liver diseases, Neurology, Nephrology & Critical Care. She also has rich experience in lifestyle related disorders and weight management.  During a community based nutritional research project conducted at KEM Hospital, Pune, in her role as a research assistant, she has done nutritional assessment & given dietary guidance and counseling to adolescent girls & boys, pregnant women & their families.

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