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These deliciously nutty no-bake Raspberry Vegan Bars are creamy, tangy, and jam-packed with antioxidants. The perfect healthy dessert or snack, that contains no refined sugar – but tonnes of favour and goodness! Gluten free.

Just to warn you, you won’t stop at one bar because they’re pretty addictive! I wanted to post this recipe for months, but every time I make them, they’re gobbled up by my little monkeys (okay, me too!), before I get a chance to photograph them. This was attempt #4 (am not complaining). The tartness of the creamy filling is nicely balanced with the nutty-date crust to offer a great alternative to refined sugar-laden desserts.

Perhaps it was meant to be because this recipe is the perfect fit for Heart Month and Valentines Day. With minimal cooking (about a minute) and no baking required, these yummy bars can be ready in a dash. What a beautiful way to impress the one you love, and look after your heart too.

How to make Creamy Raspberry Vegan Bars – Step By Step

  1. I start by preparing the nutty-date base first, and place it in the freezer to firm up (Images 1 and 2), whilst I prep the filling and topping.
  2. The filling consists of soaked cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice + zest, maple syrup, and a pinch of sea salt. These are processed to create a creamy filling (Images 3 and 4), that’s poured, and spread evenly over the nutty-date crust.
  3. The topping is even more simple; I process fresh raspberries with a dash of lemon, and bring the mixture to simmer (ever so slightly) with the agar agar (to thicken) on medium heat. The heat helps to not only activate the agar, but also brings sweetness to the raspberries (Images 5 and 6).
  4. The raspberry topping is cooled for a few minutes, and then poured over the cashew cream (Image 7). This is placed in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until frozen.
  5. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer, thaw for 10-15 minutes – before removing from the loaf pan, and cutting into bars.

Enjoy!

You Will Love These Raspberry Vegan Bars Because They’re:
  • Creamy
  • Dreamy
  • Tangy
  • With no refined sugar
  • Easy to make
  • Good for your heart (and perfect for your Valentine)
  • & Luscious

These beautiful Raspberry Vegan Bars are the perfect choice as a healthy snack to have at home, to enjoy as dessert, and to mark special days – like Valentine’s Day.

With minimal cooking (about a minute) and no baking required, these yummy Raspberry Vegan Bars can be ready in a dash! #Recipe #Vegan #GlutenFree
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Are These Nutty Vegan Bars Healthy?

These vegan bars are loaded with health-promoting ingredients; such as nuts and fruits. Nuts are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, and both nuts and raspberries are rich in disease-preventing antioxidants. Besides helping to keep your ticker healthy, eating more nuts has also been associated with reducing inflammation in our body – and this too is linked to heart disease risk.

You’ll be spoilt by this recipe, because I’ve used three of my favourite nuts: cashews, almonds and hazelnuts. Coupled with the antioxidant power of raspberries – you’ve got yourself the bar of your dreams!

I can hear what you’re thinking – what about all those calories?! It’s important to limit your portion size (isn’t that the case with nearly everything?!). I always say that choosing nuts instead of a less nourishing snack (donuts, pastries or sugar loaded snack bars) could help us all stick to a heart-healthy diet.

Is It Healthy To Eat Nuts Everyday?

Research shows that eating nuts daily offers a myriad of benefits. Here’s why you should aim for a handful a day…

  1. Nuts contain healthy unsaturated fats and omega 3s (commonly found in salmon, mackerel, sardines and other oily fish) which have shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels and help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol levels. Think of HDL as a friendly scavenger that cruises through your blood stream, and  helps to clear LDL cholesterol away from the arteries. And did you know that nuts also contain fibre? We know that fibre helps to keep us full for longer, and is thought to not only help protect your heart (by lowering cholesterol levels) but may also play a role in preventing diabetes.
  2. Nuts are also a source of vitamin E; which helps to prevent plaque formation, and some types of nuts contain plant sterols. Plant sterols work by preventing the body from absorbing cholesterol, which in turn helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels. Rich sources are: peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans.
  3. Nuts contain L-arginine – a building block for proteins and it’s been shown that L-arginine may help your heart by making your arteries less vulnerable to clots – which block blood flow and cause a heart attack.

Nuts are so simple to incorporate into your diet. I mean, they’re easy to store and pack as a snack, and are full of goodness.

Top Tips for Making Lemon Raspberry Bars
  • It’s important to soak the cashews so they create a creamy consistency when blitzed. If you forget to soak the night before, soak for at least 20 minutes, and add 2 tbsp water to help create a creamy consistency.
  • Take your time processing the nut-date mixture, to ensure it begins to stick together. It should be very fine. If it’s too crumbly, the bottom layer will fall apart.
  • Use your knuckles and finger tips to press down the nut-date mixture in the pan.
  • Remember, as you prep each layer, place the pan in the freezer, to allow the layers in the pan – to start firming up
  • I used fresh raspberries but frozen and defrosted raspberries will also work
  • Make sure to line your pan with baking parchment so the bars are easy to remove
  • You can freeze these bars for around one months or store in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Don’t forget to thaw for 10-15 minutes before slicing
More Healthy Desserts You Might Like: Tell me, what’s your nut? Have you tried my raspberry vegan bars before? Leave me a comment and share your all-time fave nut recipe?

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

Raspberry Vegan Bars | No-Refined Sugar

These deliciously nutty no-bake Raspberry Vegan Bars are creamy, tangy, and jam-packed with antioxidants. The perfect healthy dessert or snack, that contains no refined sugar – but tonnes of favour and goodness! Gluten free.

Crust
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 2/3 cup dates (pitted)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ((a pinch))
Filling
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice ((juice of 1/2 lemon))
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
Topping
  • 1.5 cup raspberries
  • 1 tsp lemon
  • 1 tsp agar agar
Crust (make first)
  1. Add crust ingredients to a processor and pulse until very fine.

  2. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9" x 5" loaf pan. I recommend lining with parchment paper. It makes getting the bars out easier.

  3. Place in the freezer whilst you prepare the filling. Clean the processor to use for the filling.
Filling
  1. Rinse and drain the water from the soaked cashews.
  2. Add cashews to food processor, along with lemon juice, coconut oil, maple syrup, and lemon zest. Blend until creamy. You can add 1-2 tbsp of water if needed to achieve a creamy consistency.

  3. Pour filling onto the crust and using a spatula, spread across the pan evenly. Place in the freezer whilst you prepare the raspberry topping.

Topping
  1. Blend the raspberries and lemon juice, and add them to a small pan on medium heat. Stir in the agar agar. Bring to a slight simmer and remove the pan from the heat.

  2. Pour the raspberry topping over the cashew filling. Cool for 15 minutes and place into the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until mixture has firmed.

  3. Allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes. If you used parchment paper, use a knife to separate the bars from the edge of the pan. Pick up the bars using both sides of the parchment paper.

  4. Cut into bars using a sharp knife and serve cold.

  • It’s important to soak the cashews so they create a creamy consistency when blitzed. If you forget, to soak the night before, soak for at least 20 minutes and add 2 tbsp water to help create a creamy consistency.
  • Take your time processing the nut-date mixture, to ensure it begins to stick together. If it’s too crumbly, the bottom layer will fall apart.
  • Use your knuckles and finger tips to press down the nut-date mixture in the pan.
  • Remember, as you prep each layer, place the pan in the freezer, to allow the layers in the pan – to start firming up
  • I used fresh raspberries but frozen and defrosted raspberries will also work
  • Make sure to line your pan with baking parchment so the bars are easy to remove
  • You can freeze these bars for around one months or store in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Don’t forget to thaw for 10-15 minutes before slicing
  •  

The post Raspberry Vegan Bars | No-Refined Sugar appeared first on Shahzadi Devje.

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A classic from Nairobi, East Africa, this easy Vegan Coconut Curry, aka Bharazi, will make your taste buds dance. Perfect as a one-pot dinner, this mouthwatering creamy sauce is infused with the flavors of coconut, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cilantro – to create a flavor-packed plant powered dish. Meatless Monday….check!

Yes, it’s heating up here in Toronto, and am dishing out a vegan coconut curry recipe. Well, lets just say, this is what curry dreams are made of; done in under an hour, super yummy, and all the action in one pot! No matter how hot it gets, there’s always time for a curry.

If you’ve ever been to East Africa, then you’ve surely tried this addictive combo of bharazi and madazi (coconut donut-style bread) for breakfast. It’s typically found in small restaurants or sold by street vendors. I love to serve my vegan coconut curry with grilled veggies, as a low carb option. But honestly, it tastes great with roti too. We enjoy it as a breakfast, lunch and dinner option!

How To Make Vegan Coconut Curry (Bharazi) – Step By Step

Four steps and you’ve got yourself an easy and super delicious Bharazi recipe.

  1. Start by sautéing the onions, garlic and ginger in oil (Image 1)
  2. Once the onions are nice and golden, add the turmeric and stir well (Image 2)
  3. Pour in the thick and creamy coconut milk and salt (Image 3)
  4. Add the cooked pigeon peas, stir and simmer; allowing the flavors to infuse the curry (Image 4)

Don’t forget to garnish with cilantro and chillies!

What Are The Health Benefits Of Pigeon Peas?

Pigeon peas are a legume, with a remarkable nutritional profile; protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Not to mention, they’re low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium – making them – like other legumes – a healthy substitution for meats. Eating legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas), as a source of fibre and plant based protein, may help to keep blood sugars in check, prevent some types of cancers, and support a healthy gut and heart. And if that isn’t enough of a push to enjoy legumes more often, they’re also good for the planet – with a low carbon foot print.

Do Pigeon Peas Need To Be Soaked?

If you’re using raw pigeon peas, I’d  recommend sprouting them, in a bowl of water for several days. Sprouting can help to increase the digestibility of pigeon peas and does change the flavor slightly. If you’re short on time, opt for cooked pigeon peas. Trust me, your vegan coconut curry will still taste mega delish!

Top Tips For Making Vegan Coconut Curry (Bharazi)
  • The key to a thick and creamy curry is to use a high quality coconut milk. I love the Aroy-D brand.
  • Don’t skim on the aromatic ingredients; onions, garlic and ginger. Remember to keep these finely chopped and brown them in the oil – to release flavor.
  • Take your time and allow the curry to simmer for 15-20 minutes (you won’t regret it!)
  • Wait to garnish with cilantro till the end. The freshness of the cilantro will add another layer of flavor.
  • Make a big batch and freeze to use on busy weeknights.

Other Vegan Curries You May Like Tell me, what’s your best memory of curry? Have you tried my vegan coconut curry recipe before? Leave me a comment and share your all-time fave curry recipe?

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

Bharazi (Vegan Coconut Curry) | Easy East African Recipe

A classic from Nairobi, East Africa, this easy Vegan Coconut Curry, aka Bharazi, will make your taste buds dance. Perfect as a one-pot dinner, this mouthwatering creamy sauce is infused with the flavors of coconut, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cilantro – to create a flavor-packed plant powered dish. Meatless Monday….check!

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 3 onions (medium, finely chopped)
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic (crushed)
  • 2 inch ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp salt (sea salt)
  • 4 cups coconut milk (thick and creamy)
  • 8 cups pigeon peas (cooked)
  • 1 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 3 chillies (green)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and saute for a few minutes until golden brown.

  2. Add the turmeric and coconut milk and stir well. Once simmering, add the pigeon peas and salt. Stir to mix well.

  3. Place the lid, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

  4. Garnish with cilantro and green chillies.

  • The key to a thick and creamy curry is to use a high quality coconut milk. I love the Aroy-D brand.
  • Don’t skim on the aromatic ingredients; onions, garlic and ginger. Remember to keep these fine and brown them in the oil – to release flavor.
  • Take your time and allow the curry to simmer for 15-20 minutes (you won’t regret it!)
  • Wait to garnish with cilantro once the curry is done. The freshness of the cilantro will add another layer of flavor.
  • Make a big batch and freeze to use on busy weeknights.

The post Bharazi (Vegan Coconut Curry) | Easy East African Recipe appeared first on Shahzadi Devje.

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Stay energized with this 5-minute dairy free green smoothie recipe. It’s delightfully refreshing and perfectly sweet – with no added sweeteners. Thick and creamy; made with banana, frozen pineapple chunks, spinach and wheatgrass, to create a nutrient packed shake.  What a quick, simple and delicious way to get your greens!

We adore this green smoothie recipe because we can drink our breakfast smoothie, and get a couple of serving of greens – all in one sitting.

Let’s talk about something new I’ve been experimenting with – wheat grass.

What is Wheat Grass?

Wheatgrass is a type of grass, parts of which are used to make medicine. It’s regarded to be a concentrated source of nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and amino acids.

While it isn’t meant to replace eating fresh vegetables and fruits, wheat grass can be quick nutrition in a glass. It provides numerous vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients. One of its highlights, is the significant amount of chlorophyll it contains – purported to support blood purification and enhance cell function. There are also claims that chlorophyll enhances immunity and boosts energy levels.

How Confident Are We About these Claims?

Much of the research on wheat grass has involved a small number of people, and that’s made it hard to validate such claims.

I can, however, share my personal experience with wheat grass – the aspects I notice and feel. It’s been positive for me. I feel more energetic, enjoy clearer skin, and have had less bouts of painful joints – something I’ve suffered my entire life. But I’ve also changed my diet considerably over the last year – enjoying more plant based foods. I like to use wheat grass as a bonus and not as a substitute for fruits and vegetables.

But, there is something I’ve struggled with – the taste. Because it’s intensely bitter for my liking, I’ve worked round it to create one delicious sweet green smoothie recipe – minus any sweeteners.

The banana and pineapple disguise the bitter taste perfectly. The other tip I’ve found helpful, is to go easy with the amount of wheatgrass you add; start slow and build up to the quantity recommended on the package. I add half scoop to this recipe and that’s enough for me right now.

Is It Safe To Eat Wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass is generally considered safe. But, if you are allergic to wheat or grass, or have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, check in with your doctor before using wheatgrass. A heads up: avoid consuming wheat grass if you are pregnant or nursing.

While it's not meant to replace fruits & veg, wheatgrass can be quick nutrition in a glass.
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How To Make Green Smoothie Recipe – Step By Step

  1. In a high speed blender, add milk and spinach (Image 1), followed by banana (Image 2).
  2. Throw in frozen pineapple chunks (Image 3), and a scoop of wheatgrass (Image 4).
  3. Next, add in some ice (Image 5) and blend for a few minutes until smooth and creamy (Image 6).
Other Healthy Ingredients To Add To A Green Smoothie

This smoothie is so versatile and easy to change up each morning, here are some suggestions:

  • Apple
  • Kiwi
  • Pears
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Ginger
Toppings

Toppings are a fun way to add different flavours and textures plus they can give an extra boost of nutrients. I love to top mine with nuts such as almonds, cashews or hazelnuts and seeds such as chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds.

Coconut adds a delicious flavours to smoothies and so does dried fruit such as apricots or cranberries for an intense, sweet fruity flavour.

Top Tips for Making a Green Smoothie Bowl
  • Although I recommend using a high-speed blender it isn’t essential it just means it may take longer to blitz to a smooth consistency. You also may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
  • You can also use frozen bananas which will give the smoothie a thicker and cooler texture.
  • Get creative and choose your favourite healthy toppings.
  • This smoothie is best served straight away when the fruit is fresh.
More Delicious Smoothies You Might Like: Have you tried wheat grass before? Would love to hear what you’re favourite green smoothie is. Share in the comments below.

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

Green Smoothie Recipe | Dairy Free, 5 Minutes

Stay energized with this 5-minute dairy free green smoothie recipe. It's delightfully refreshing and perfectly sweet – with no added sweeteners. Thick and creamy; made with banana, frozen pineapple chunks, spinach and wheatgrass, to create a nutrient packed shake.  What a quick, simple and delicious way to get your greens!

  • 1 cup soy milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 banana (ripe)
  • 1 cup pineapple (frozen)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2 scoop wheat grass (powder)
  1. Pour the soy milk, spinach, banana, pineapple, ice and wheatgrass in this order in a high speed blender and blend for 1 minute or until fully blended and creamy in texture
  2. Add your favourite toppings – I used chia seeds, mango, coconut and grapes,

  • Although I recommend using a high-speed blender it isn’t essential. It just means it may take longer to blitz to a smooth consistency. You also may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
  • You can also use frozen bananas which will give the smoothie a thicker and cooler texture. If you do this – leave out the ice
  • Get creative and choose your favourite healthy toppings.
  • If you want to make less sweet,  add a dash of lemon juice. Fruits add their own natural sweetness, so use a balance of sweet and citrus fruits to achieve the sweetness you desire.
  • This smoothie is best served straight away when the fruit is fresh.

The post Green Smoothie Recipe | Dairy Free, 5 Minutes appeared first on Shahzadi Devje.

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BBQ corn on the cob, aka butta, is the quintessential taste of Indian and Pakistani street food. Take advantage of sweet summer corn with this spicy, flavor-packed side dish for your backyard BBQ! The addition of thyme and oregano dispense a warm and peppery undertone. How can you resist?

The wait is over for BBQ corn! Summer weather is finally here (on and off though), and we’re wasting no time. Yesterday, we couldn’t resist but fire up the BBQ and throw on these corn on the cobs.

It can’t get any simpler than this: Ignite the BBQ, prep your corn, rub on the spice mix, and lay the corn down – ready to grill.

I’ve been experimenting with this spice mix recipe for a few Summers now, trying to make it ‘just right.’  I can definitely say its had its fair share of testing and has never failed to impress our guests. We find this grilled corn recipe to be the perfect side to accompany vegetables, burgers, and tofu.

How To Make BBQ Corn – Step By Step Spice Mix For Making Spicy BBQ Corn
  • Sea salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • Amchur powder (dried mango powder)
  • Red chilli powder
  • Olive oil

  1. Start by pulling the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand (Image 1).
  2. In a medium bowl, add the spices and mix well (Image 2 & 3).
  3. Brush each corn on the cob with olive oil (Image 4).
  4. Dip half a lime in the spice mix and rub the corn to coat completely. Be generous. (Image 5).
  5. Grill on a preheated BBQ, turning regularly (Image 6 & 7).
  6. Serve with lime wedges and your favorite dipping sauce (Image 8).
Ways To BBQ Corn On The Cob

There are several ways to grill corn; in their husk, enveloped in aluminium foil or naked – like this recipe. I must admit this is our favourite. But before you start grilling, the most important thing to remember is to use the freshest corn you can find.

Did you know, that as soon as corn comes off the vine, its natural sugars undergo enzymatic reactions – converting them into a bland type of starch. Here are some fun facts about corn that may surprise you.

Fun Corn Facts (National Gardening Association)
  • Corn is an ingredient in over 3,000 grocery items
  • One acre of corn removes about 8 tons of carbon dioxide from the air during the growing season
  • The only place in the world corn isn’t grown is Antarctica
  • The long threads on top of an ear of corn are called silks
  • There is one silk strand for each kernel of corn
  • Corn can be yellow, white, red or bluish/black
How Long does it Take to BBQ Corn?

The cooking time will vary on the method you choose, here are my recommendations:

In the husk: this method will take around 15 minutes. You need to make sure to rotate the corn occasionally for even cooking then just peel the husk and enjoy!

Naked: this is the quickest method since there is no barrier between the grill and the corn. The corn will take around 10 minutes to cook and should have a slight but even char all over.

Some folks use aluminium foil to BBQ corn. I choose not to and encourage you to avoid this as well. Using foil in food preparation and cooking does no favors to the health of our planet. It leads to greenhouse gas emissions. Wrap responsibly!

Top Tips for Making BBQ Corn
  • Make sure your corn is fresh as it can shrink when placed in a hot grill
  • Make sure to preheat the grill so you get a nice char all over
  • Feel free to adjust the spice mix and make it your own. There will be some leftover.
  • Serve with other grilled veggies, salads or as a side
  • Leftover corn will store well in the fridge for around 3 days and can be eaten cold or reheated in an oven.
More Healthy Side Dishes You Might Like: What’s your favourite grilling memory? Share in the comments below.

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

Street-Style Spicy BBQ Corn (Butta)| Gluten Free, Side

BBQ corn on the cob, aka butta, is the quintessential taste of Indian and Pakistani street food. Take advantage of sweet summer corn with this spicy, flavor-packed side dish for your backyard BBQ! The addition of thyme and oregano dispense a warm and peppery undertone. How can you resist?

  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper ( )
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried )
  • 1 tsp thyme (dried )
  • 1 tsp mango powder (amchur powder)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 8 corn on the cob
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lime
  1. Preheat the grill.

  2. Start by pulling the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand

  3. In a medium bowl, combine the slices. Brush each corn on the cob with olive oil.

  4. Dip half a lime in the spice mix and rub the corn to coat completely.

  5. Grill the corn on all sides until slightly charred and cooked through – about 10 minutes.

  6. Serve with lime wedges and your favorite dipping sauce.

  • Make sure your corn is fresh as it can shrink when placed in a hot grill
  • Make sure to preheat the grill so you get a nice char all over
  • Feel free to adjust the spice mix and make it your own. There will be some leftover.
  • Serve with other grilled veggies, salads or as a side
  • Leftover corn will store well in the fridge for around 3 days and can be eaten cold or reheated in an oven.

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Heart healthy eating doesn’t mean skimming on the foods you love. Protect your ticker while enjoying these heart healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, and affects many individuals and families. There are many factors that can affect your risk for heart disease. Some of these risk factors you can’t change –  like your age, gender, and ethnicity. The good news is that around 80% of premature heart disease can be prevented, by following a healthy and balanced lifestyle. This means, you have the power to lower your risk; by eating well, exercising, limiting (or avoiding) alcohol, quitting smoking, and learning how to manage stress. In this guide, we will answer some of your questions about what it means to eat well for heart health, and share some delicious heart healthy recipes, that you and your family can enjoy!

What foods will clog your arteries?

The answer to this question has been under considerable debate over the last few years. One thing that almost everyone in the scientific and healthcare community agrees on, is that industrially produced trans fats should be eliminated from our diets.

Trans fats, are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils – used in processed foods; like:

  • Packaged baked goods – cakes, muffins, donuts, cookies made with shortening and vegetable margarine
  • Fried fast foods
  • Processed peanut butter
  • Non dairy coffee creamers
  • Pies
  • Pizza
  • Potato chips

There is strong evidence that industrially produced trans fats are linked to heart disease.  Fortunately, trans fats have been banned in Canada, and will soon disappear from our food supply.  

The big fat controversy is around our understanding of how saturated fats affect risk of heart disease. Saturated fats are found in animal foods, such as red and processed meat, higher fat poultry, higher fat dairy, and animal fats like butter, ghee, lard and cream. Saturated fats are also found in plant sources that are solid at room temperature, such as coconut oil and palm oil.

From the best available evidence, what we know is that saturated fats lead to an increase in “LDL” or lousy cholesterol. In other words, high “LDL” levels can increase the risk of heart disease. However, a few recent studies suggest that there was no association between eating saturated fats and heart disease.

Let’s dig deeper, and discuss some reasons for this.

One could argue that there isn’t sufficient research – to make a conclusive judgement. Not to mention, these studies are not of the highest quality. Some also believe that LDL alone  may not be the best way to measure risk for heart disease, and we need to learn more about the exact biological mechanisms of how blockages in the arteries form. This idea is not supported by others.

Let’s not forget, not all fats that fall under the umbrella of saturated fat are created equal. For example, saturated fat from butter and coconut oil are different chemically, and may be metabolized differently in the body (though both have shown to increase LDL levels).

The confusion around saturated fats doesn’t mean that “butter is back” or that coconut oil should be used as your main source of fat. In fact, studies have shown that having unsaturated fats from plant sources (think olive oil, avocados and oils from nuts and seeds) instead of saturated fats lowers  your risk of heart disease . So despite all the controversy, the recommendations to limit saturated fat in your diet – still stands.

The key with fats like butter, lard, ghee, cream and coconut oil is to eat them mindfully, and enjoy them in moderation rather than using them as your ‘go-to’ source of fat. For example, you can use olive oil as your main source of fat when cooking and mix in a little coconut oil to achieve a desired flavour profile for a recipe.

What is the healthiest diet for the heart?

When it comes to hearty healthy eating, we would encourage you to shift your thinking from individual nutrients; like saturated fats or cholesterol – to an overall dietary patterns instead. Research looking at the relationship between dietary patterns and heart disease consistently shows that predominantly plant-based diets can lower your risk of heart disease.

What about real population groups?

The Blue Zones are regions in the world, where populations live longer, healthier lives – compared to other areas of the world. These regions include Ikaria in Greece, Loma Linda in California, Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan and Nicoya in Costa Rica. When it comes to their dietary patterns, there is one thing all these regions have in common – they all follow predominantly plant-based diets, and eat animal foods like meat and high fat dairy in moderation. For example,  Ikaria and Sardina in the Blue Zones  follow a Mediterranean style pattern of eating.

Let’s delve deeper into the  Mediterranean Diet.

The Mediterranean Diet

It’s one of the most well-researched diets in the area of heart health. The benefits of this pattern of eating was discovered when a group of researchers, in the 1950’s, completed the “Seven Countries Study,” to explore the relationship between heart disease, diet and lifestyle. The researchers found the population that lived on the island of Crete, in Greece, had less heart disease – than other countries that they looked at. What was unique about the residents of this small Greek Island was that they followed a Mediterranean style eating  pattern.

What do you eat on the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is primarily a plant based diet that countries around the Mediterranean Sea (Greece, Italy and Spain) follow. It is a diet that’s rich in:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, split pleas)
  • Olive oil
  • Fish, 2-3 times per week
  • Higher fat poultry, dairy and red meat in moderation

You don’t have to eat like a Greek to reap the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. In fact, it’s a pattern that can be adapted to many different cultures.

What is a good heart healthy meal?

A heart healthy meal is one that is rich in a variety of unprocessed plant foods and includes higher fat animal foods in moderation. The plate method is an excellent way to plan a heart healthy meal that will give you a good balance of all the foods that promote heart health.

To follow the plate model, choose: ¼ plate whole grains:
  • Whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, barley, freekeh, steel cut oats
¼ plate proteins:
  • Fatty fish like salmon, trout, tuna, sardines and mackerel
  • Plant based proteins including legumes, edamame, tofu and tempeh
  • Skinless chicken with any fat trimmed off
  • Red meat can also be part of a heart healthy diet when enjoyed in moderation. Choose leaner cuts of meat more often.
½ plate vegetables and fruits:
  • Enjoy a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables at every meal
Healthy fats:

Complete your meals with healthy fats from foods like olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds

Take Home Message

A heart healthy diet is simply a delicious eating pattern that includes lots of plant based and whole foods! See the recipes below for some inspiration.

Heart Healthy Recipes Breakfast

Homemade Granola | Easy, Healthy Breakfast
Now you can easily create your own homemade granola - minus the preservatives. A plant powered recipe, made with real pumpkin and fiber rich oats, heart healthy almonds and sunflower seeds, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup - this recipe is the perfect choice as a healthy breakfast or nourishing snack.
Check out this recipe

Chia Chocolate Pudding With Mint | Vegan, Gluten Free
Need an excuse to eat chocolate chia pudding? Look no further. This easy and healthy chocolate chia pudding is perfect as a breakfast, snack or dessert. Vegan and naturally sweetened with dates, this is one sweet recipe you will make again and again. Made with brazil nuts and perfect as a make-ahead recipe to power you through the week.
Check out this recipe

Egg Bhurji Recipe (Indian Scrambled Eggs) | Low Carb Vegetarian
Weekend brunch doesn't get any better than this. Enjoy a delicious plate of hot Egg Bhurji (Indian Scrambled Eggs). Pairs perfectly with toast, roti, bread, paratha or potatoes. Easy to pull off and packed with flavour, this is a show-stopping egg recipe.
Check out this recipe

Chia Peach Green Smoothie | Dairy-Free, No Added Sugar
Shake up your breakfast game with this vegan energy-packed Chia Peach Green Smoothie. A beautiful blend of sweet fruits and fresh green spinach to create a tasty and satisfying recipe.
Check out this recipe

Easy Chia Pudding with Strawberry Banana Ice Cream | Vegan, Gluten Free
A cold and creamy dessert, this Easy Chia Pudding with Strawberry Banana Ice Cream will make your taste buds dance. Frozen strawberries and bananas are blitzed into a delicious soft serve ice cream that's dolloped over a thick and creamy chia pudding - all without added sugar. Devour these as a breakfast, snack or dessert.
Check out this recipe

Pineapple and Mango Smoothie
Creamy, thick and with all the Summer feels, this healthy tropical Pineapple Mango Smoothie, is truly sunshine in a glass. Super easy to pull off; it's made in under five minutes, and uses 100% whole foods to create the perfect refreshing treat to cool you down! Vegan and 5-year old approved.
Check out this recipe

Masala Tofu Scramble
South Asian inspired masala tofu scramble - A twist to the classic scrambled eggs! Perfect for breakfast or brunch, this spicy tofu scramble recipe is high in protein. Super easy to make, bursting with flavour and done in 30 minutes. Vegan and gluten-free.
Check out this recipe
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Creamy, thick and with all the Summer feels, this healthy tropical Pineapple Mango Smoothie, is truly sunshine in a glass. Super easy to pull off; it’s made in under five minutes, and uses 100% whole foods, to create the perfect refreshing treat to cool you down! Vegan and 5-year old approved.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love frozen pineapple and mango blended together, and topped with coconut. Simply delicious, and so pretty to look at – this Pineapple Mango Smoothie is a total hit in our home. We simply can’t get enough of it!

With every sip, I reminisce about our honeymoon, in 2001, to Mauritius and La Reunion. It really is sunshine in a glass!

This recipe embodies everything I love about smoothies…packed with nourishing goodness, easy to make, portable, and of course delicious. You don’t need to wash or prep any ingredients, as I have used all frozen fruits.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Turmeric?

Turmeric gives a beautiful earthy and fragrant tone to this smoothie. And with the sweet scent of pineapple and mango – you have the perfect balance of floral flavors.

Turmeric is a pantry staple in South Asian homes. It appears in virtually all traditional home cooked curries. But honestly, as much as I love curries, I can’t imagine eating them everyday – in the hope that we’ll get some turmeric into us.

Turmeric has been revered for centuries in Asia for its medicinal properties, many of which are now being validated by modern science. In fact, it’s the active ingredient – curcumin, in turmeric that’s responsible for many of the cited health promoting properties.

Research shows, that curcumin exerts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and neuro-protective activities. Evidence suggesting that curcumin may help prevent and/or treat colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes, is however limited. Yet, promising research is underway, assessing the efficacy of curcumin in patients with breast, prostrate, pancreatic, lung, and colorectal cancer.

How To Make Pineapple Mango Smoothie – Step By Step

  1. In a high speed blender, add the frozen pineapple and mango chunks (Images 1)
  2. Peel and throw in a large ripe banana for a creamy texture (Image 2)
  3. Pour unsweetened coconut milk (Image 3), followed by the spices (Image 4)
  4. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until you achieve a creamy texture (Image 5)
  5. Top with your favorite fruits and coconut (Image 6)

This dairy-free, tropical and refreshing pineapple mango #smoothie is delicious and full of goodness! #recipe #dietitian
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Top Tips For Making Pineapple Mango Smoothie

  • Opt for frozen pineapple and mango if you’re after that lovely thickness and want a chilled smoothie
  • Don’t miss out the ripe banana as this gives the smoothie a lovely creamy texture. The sweetness also helps to balance out the spices
  • Make clean-up easy by filling your dirty blender halfway with water, add some dish soap, and turn the blender on. All that’s left to do is rinse away those bubbles – ready to make your next smoothie
  • If you’re new to turmeric and cinnamon in your smoothies, just add a pinch and give it a try. You can always add more if it meets favour.
  • I sometimes add in almond butter and /or chia seeds to give this pineapple mango smoothie a protein kick!
More Smoothie Recipes You Might Like:

What are your favorite smoothie toppings? Have you tried my Pineapple Mango Smoothie? I’d love to know what’s is your go-to Summer recipe? Leave me a comment below!

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

Pineapple and Mango Smoothie

Creamy, thick and with all the Summer feels, this healthy tropical Pineapple Mango Smoothie, is truly sunshine in a glass. Super easy to pull off; it's made in under five minutes, and uses 100% whole foods to create the perfect refreshing treat to cool you down! Vegan and 5-year old approved.

  • 1 cup pineapple (frozen )
  • ½ cup mango (frozen )
  • 1 banana (medium, ripe)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 4 ice cubes
  1. Place all the ingredients, except the ice cubes in a blender
  2. Blend for 1 minute seconds, or until smooth and creamy

  3. Add the ice cubes and blend for 15 seconds
  4. Serve with your favorite fruit toppings

  • Opt for frozen pineapple and mango if you’re after that lovely thickness and want a chilled smoothie
  • Don’t miss out the ripe banana as this gives the smoothie a lovely creamy texture. The sweetness also helps to balance out the spices
  • Make clean-up easy by filling your dirty blender halfway with water, add some dish soap, and turn the blender on. All that’s left to do is rinse away those bubbles – ready to make your next smoothie
  • If you’re new to turmeric and cinnamon in your smoothies, just add a pinch and give it a try. You can always add more if it meets favour.
  • I sometimes add in almond butter and /or chia seeds to give this pineapple mango smoothie a protein kick!

The post Pineapple Mango Smoothie | Dairy Free, Summer Recipe appeared first on Shahzadi Devje.

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The World Health Organization has released its first official guidelines to reduce the risk of dementia. The full report lays out the healthy habits – including diet and lifestyle – thought to be critical for brain health.

Making sandwiches was my teenage jam.

My first job was at 16. I worked as a tea lady in a nursing home, in England. Most days, you’d find me preparing sandwiches, snacks, and tea for the lovely folks at Wingfield. I learnt so much about life; from listening to senior’s stories, and soaking in their wisdom. Not to mention, the pleasure of serving my elderly friends was a feeling like no other. We would sing songs, take part in plays and enjoy movement.

In those moments, I also realized the impact of disease – Dementia. I realized that the mood changes that accompany this heart-breaking condition are exhausting.

I’ll never forget Mary. She was a loving, creative and funny lady, who’s struggle with dementia was felt by all around her – including me. Some days, I’d find myself interacting with a jovial, happy-go-lucky Mary, who’d want to chat non-stop. On other days, Mary was depressed, withdrawn, and aggressive. I’d wonder, how frustrating and confusing it must be for Mary to lose control of her emotions.

And just like Mary, there are millions who struggle with this debilitating disease. A staggering 50 million in fact, are affected by dementia globally – projected to triple by 2050, according to a new report and guidelines by The World Health Organization (WHO). In 2015, the total global societal cost of dementia was estimated to be US$ 818 billion.

Colossal, indeed.

Your Diet and Lifestyle Can Reduce Your Risk Of Dementia

Whilst there are many causes, Alzheimer’s and vascular dementias are closely related to, and greatly influenced by the SAME diet and lifestyle factors. In other words, your diet and lifestyle can reduce your risk of dementia.

In WHO’s new Dementia guidelines, key healthy habits were assessed – shown to help reduce risk of dementia.

Here’s a summary of the WHO’s recommendations:

Enjoy A Healthy, Balanced Mediterranean-Style Diet

A growing body of evidence indicates that following a Mediterranean-style eating pattern, may protect against cognitive decline. In other words, eating a predominantly plant based diet; rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and seafood may help to reduce your risk of dementia. Besides offering anti-inflammatory benefits, such a dietary pattern is also linked with less build-up of plaque, associated with dementia risk. Find a collection of nourishing predominantly recipes here.

Incorporate Regular Physical Activity Into Your Routine

This was in fact the number one recommendation by the WHO to reduce risk of dementia. As cognitive function declines with ageing, being physically active helps to reduce this decline. Participating in any activity – for at least 150 minutes per week, has shown to lower the risk of dementia. Studies show that those who exercise more are less likely to develop dementia of any kind. It is believed that the neural and vascular adaptations to physical exercise improve cognitive function through promotion of neurogenesis (formation of new neurons), angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), synaptic plasticity (to support learning and memory), and decreased inflammation in the brain.

Minimize/Avoid Highly Processed Foods

It’s true; what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain. The WHO recommends minimizing or avoiding processed grains; like white refined flour, white rice, and white pasta. Not to mention, minimizing foods laden with added sugar, sodium, and saturated fats – like butter, ghee and red meat – as much as possible. Such advice echos what we typically hear to support cardiovascular health: reduction in high blood pressure, high cholesterol and optimal blood sugar management. What was interesting is that the WHO did not advocate any vitamin or mineral supplementation, to help reduce risk of cognitive decline or dementia.

Quit Smoking And Reduce/Cease Alcohol Consumption

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death globally, the WHO report states. Not only does tobacco use increase your risk of heart disease and cancer, but studies show that it can lead to cognitive decline – having a direct affect on your brain health.

Other Lifestyle Factors

The WHO share additional lifestyle factors that have less evidence but may also help; such as: getting sufficient sleep, positive relationships, and social interactions – shown to promote brain health

What’s the take-home message?

Whether you have a family history of dementia, or are experiencing mild symptoms of cognitive impairment; such as confusion and forgetfulness – embracing a predominantly plant based diet, regular physical activity, minimizing highly processed foods, quitting smoking and curbing alcohol use, can help to reduce your risk of dementia.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

The post Here’s What Will Help Reduce Your Risk Of Dementia, According To WHO Guidelines appeared first on Shahzadi Devje.

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Rich. Spicy. Exquisite. A mouthwatering and aromatic Indian dish, Daal Makhani is a thick, hearty lentil curry, made with brown lentils and red kidney beans in a creamy coconut and tomato sauce and seasoned with traditional Indian spices. This meatless meal is a guaranteed winner! High protein, vegan and gluten free.

When we’re at an Indian restaurant (which seldom happens), this lentil curry, daal makhani, is one dish I excitedly hunt for on the menu. I’m in love with it’s authentic rich taste and makes me feel like a proper Punjabi when I eat it.

Feasting on this took me back to the time when I’d had the best daal makhani EVER. It was at Niagara falls, when we were vacationing in July. To say it was incredible, would be an understatement.

Since then, I’ve wanted to create my version. After testing it out heaps of times with the family, I’m so excited to share it with you all.

What is Daal Makhani Made with?

Daal Makhani is a brown lentil curry, with red kidney beans. Traditionally, it’s made with butter and cream which is what makes is super rich and comforting.

To make this lentil curry less heavy and something we can enjoy more often, I swapped the dairy cream for coconut cream and omitted the butter. It’s still just as rich and intensely flavored with the most delicious and aromatic Indian spices.

The Key Spices for Making Lentil Curry
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Green and black cardamom
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric powder
  • Curry powder
What is curry powder?

When we talk about curry powder, we’re actually talking about a blend of spices from East Indian cuisine. Depending on the brand, the blend can vary, but usually consists of turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chillies, black pepper, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns and bay leaves.

What a line-up – I know. As it turns out, such a powerful concoction has shown to offer some health benefits; such as anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant properties.

How to make Daal Makhani – Step by Step

  1. Make sure to soak the lentils overnight to reduce cooking time (Image 1)
  2. Start the cooking process by frying the whole spices in coconut oil to release their flavor (Image 2).
  3. You want to fry the onion with the garlic and ginger until golden brown (Image 3)
  4. Next, add the powder spices and cook for a minute on low heat (Image 4)
  5. Now begin to create the sauce, by adding coconut cream and tomato sauce, salt and water (Image 5)
  6. Bring to boil, before adding the lentils and kidney beans (Images 6-7)
  7. Cover and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes until done (Image 8)
Top Tips For Making Daal Makhani
  • Don’t skip on the whole spices. Each type adds it’s unique flavor, which gives this recipe the typical daal makhani taste.
  • Keep the heat on low/medium and keep a close eye to not burn the whole spices – otherwise your curry will have a bitter taste.
  • If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you could certainly tone it down. Leave out the green chilli and keep it on the side
  • Use mild curry powder to reduce the heat in your curry (if you prefer), which is what I use so the kids can enjoy it. I must admit, the coconut cream with the sweet tomato sauce does a fine job in balancing out the spices and heat.
  • Use full-fat coconut cream which gives the lentil curry a perfect smooth and luscious consistency.
  • The more your daal simmers on low heat – the more creamy and luscious it will be. Still in between several times to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

More Delicious Curries You Might Like: Tell me, what’s your best memory of curry? Have you tried my daal makhani recipe before? Leave me a comment and share your all-time fave curry?

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

Daal Makhani | Coconut Lentil Curry | High Protein, Vegan, Gluten Free

Rich. Spicy. Exquisite. A mouthwatering and aromatic Indian dish, Daal Makhani is a thick, hearty lentil curry, made with brown lentils and red kidney beans in a creamy coconut and tomato sauce and seasoned with traditional Indian spices. This meatless meal is a guaranteed winner! High protein, vegan and gluten free.

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (whole )
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds (whole )
  • 2 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves (black)
  • 6 green cardamon (grind seeds)
  • 1 black cardamon (grind seeds)
  • 2 bay leaves (large )
  • 2 onion (medium, finely chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 inch ginger (fresh, grated)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (couli-style (thick))
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (madras)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup coconut cream (thick)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups brown lentils (soaked overnight)
  • 2 cup kidney beans (cooked)
  • 2 green chilies (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (fresh, finely chopped)
  1. In a large pan, melt the coconut oil and fry the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, black and green cardamoms and bay leaves. Be careful not to burn the spices. The whole spices should be golden brown – on low/medium heat.

  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and stir to fry until the onions are golden brown.
  3. Add the curry powder and turmeric and cook for 1 min.
  4. Add tomato sauce, coconut cream, salt and water and stir to mix well. Bring to boil.

  5. Stir in the lentils and kidney beans and cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, or until the mixture becomes a thick creamy texture and the lentils are cooked through and soft.

  6. Add the green chilli (optional) and garnish with fresh cilantro.

  • Don’t skip on the whole spices. Each type adds it’s unique flavor, which gives this recipe the typical daal makhani taste.
  • Keep the heat on low/medium and keep a close eye to not burn the whole spices – otherwise your curry will have a bitter taste.
  • If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you could certainly tone it down. Leave out the green chilli and keep it on the side
  • Use mild curry powder to reduce the heat in your curry (if you prefer), which is what I use so the kids can enjoy it. I must admit, the coconut cream with the sweet tomato sauce does a fine job in balancing out the spices and heat.
  • Use full-fat coconut cream which gives the lentil curry a perfect smooth and luscious consistency.
  • The more your daal simmers on low heat – the more creamy and luscious it will be. Still in between several times to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

The post Daal Makhani (Coconut Lentil Curry) | Vegan, Gluten Free appeared first on Shahzadi Devje.

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Quick, easy and bursting with nourishing ingredients, this is the only blueberry muffins recipe you’ll ever need. Loaded with antioxidant-rich blueberries, these morsels are fresh, flavourful and fluffy. Did I mention they’re also reduced in sugar?

Why these Muffins are Healthy

These muffins are made with kamut and almond flour, instead of refined white flour, which is not as nutritious as whole grains. Kamut flour, or Khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain, that provides more protein and fiber than wheat flour.

Almond flour is made from finely ground almonds. Not only is it gluten-free, and low carb, it also provides healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein.

Here’s What You Need to Make These Easy Blueberry Muffins
  • Kamut flour & Almond flour – a healthy blend of both of these will offer heaps of nutrition and tonnes of flavour
  • Coconut sugar – although it has a lower glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause a spike in your blood sugars and insulin like regular white sugar, nutritionally – it’s not significantly superior than white sugar. Both types are mostly sucrose. I like the rich caramel taste, that works well in this recipe.
  • Sea salt
  • Baking powder – an important rising agent
  • Almond oil – you could use grape-seed oil instead which is a budget-friendly option
  • Egg – medium sized
  • Soy milk – you could also use almond milk too
  • Vanilla extract – make sure not to use essence as it doesn’t have a great flavor
  • Blueberries – fresh (you can use frozen too)

How to Make Easy Blueberry Muffins – Step By Step

  1. Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl (Image 1).
  2. In a separate bowl, add oil, egg, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine (Image 2).
  3. Add milk mixture to the bowl with dry ingredients. Use a fork to gently combine and avoid over mixing (Image 3). Stir in the blueberries and fold gently to combine (Image 4).
  4. Pour the batter into muffin cups and divide equally. Fill to the top (Image 5)
  5. Bake in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out with no wet batter (Image 6). Cool on a baking rack.
Can I use Frozen Blueberries?

Yes, if you can’t find fresh blueberries or they aren’t in season then you absolutely can use frozen blueberries. You don’t actually need to defrost them before using them either as they will defrost when they are baked in the oven.

Is there a difference in flavour? you won’t notice much difference especially because these are baked. If you were making a fresh salad or eating blueberries uncooked I’d always recommend using only fresh.

Can I Use Other Fruit?

The great thing about this recipe is that it will work great with most fruits especially berries. Why not try using strawberries, raspberries or blackberries. Cooked apples would be great for Autumn, try throwing in a little cinnamon too for a festive feel.

How Long Do They Last?

These blueberry muffins will store really well in a cool dry place for around 4-5 days, maybe even up to 1 week (in the fridge) but they may start to dry out. Alternatively, you can freeze these and defrost them the night before you want to eat them.

This is a great way to prep in advance for quick and easy breakfasts or snacks!

Quick, easy and bursting with nourishing ingredients, this is the only #blueberry #muffins recipe you'll ever need. These morsels are fresh, flavourful and fluffy. Did I mention they're also reduced in sugar? #baking #dietitian
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Top Tips for Making Blueberry Muffins

  • For big-topped muffins, pour 2 tbsp water in the empty remaining cups. This will help the muffins bake evenly.
  • You can use an ice cream scoop or cup measure to divide the batter equally.
  • Store baked muffins in a cool dry place for 4-5 days
  • Muffins can also be frozen for up to 6 months
  • Instead of almond oil you could use grape-seed which is a budget friendly option
  • Feel free to add nuts and seeds to the batter for an extra healthy boost and greater texture
More Healthy Breakfast Recipes You Might Like: Have you tried my Easy Blueberry Muffins? I’d love to know what is your easy go-to snack recipe? Leave me a comment below!

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

Quick and Easy Blueberry Muffins | Reduced Sugar Recipe

Quick, easy and bursting with nourishing ingredients, this is the only blueberry muffins recipe you’ll ever need. Loaded with antioxidant-rich blueberries, these morsels are fresh, flavourful and fluffy. Did I mention they’re also reduced in sugar?

  • 1 cup kamut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup almond oil (you could use grape seed oil instead which is a budget-friendly option)
  • 1 egg (medium)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  1. Preheat heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a 8 standard-size muffin cups tray with paper liners.
  3. For big-topped muffins, pour 2 tbsp water in the empty remaining cups. This will help the muffins bake evenly.
  4. Whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. You can use an electric mixer.
  5. In a separate bowl, add oil, egg, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  6. Add milk mixture to the bowl with dry ingredients. Use a fork to gently combine and avoid over mixing. Stir in the blueberries and fold gently to combine.
  7. Pour the batter into muffin cups and divide equally. Fill to the top.
  8. Send in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins or until toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out with no wet batter. Cool on a baking rack.
  • For big-topped muffins, pour 2 tbsp water in the empty remaining cups. This will help the muffins bake evenly.
  • You can use an ice cream scoop or cup measure to divide the batter equally.
  • Store baked muffins in a cool dry place for 4-5 days
  • Muffins can also be frozen for up to 6 months
  • Instead of almond oil you could use grape-seed which is a budget friendly option
  • Feel free to add nuts and seeds to the batter for an extra healthy boost and greater texture

Thanks to Silva Mermer, for tweaking and sharing  your healthier twist to this blueberry muffins recipe. This recipe was inspired by Inspired Taste’s Blueberry Muffins Recipe.

The post Quick and Easy Blueberry Muffins | Reduced Sugar Recipe appeared first on Shahzadi Devje.

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Stay hydrated with these bright and cooling No-added Sugar Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles. The perfect healthy treat for a hot Summer’s day. It’s not only the kids who will devour these!

Oh, how we love this season of popsicles and backyard fun! First a quick confession: these sweet watermelon strawberry popsicles surprise was created by Master, IzaanAli, who was 3 at the time.

He’s our Desi~licious mini chef, and is obsessed with the blender. He just can’t get enough of it. With watermelon and strawberries being his favourite fruits, it came as no surprise that his first creation would include them.

This combo turned out so great, that we’ve made them three times this week. What a refreshing way to use up that giant watermelon; we’re trying really hard not to waste food.

Why You Should Make Your Own Strawberry Popsicles?

Apart from being so much fun to make, you have complete freedom over what to add to them. Luckily you really don’t need a whole lot of ingredients; we’re talking  fruit, real juice, and ice. They are so delicious.

In contrast, store-bought popsicles often contain a ton of refined sugars, additives, unnecessary colourants and E numbers.

The strawberries plus ice not only add mass, but give the lollies a lovely texture. We didn’t feel the need to add any sweetener because the watermelon and strawberries were pretty ripe and sweet. They’re so simple and quick to make; we froze them overnight, but they can be frozen and ready to be enjoyed in about 4 hours.

How to Make Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles – Step By Step

Master, IzaanAli starts off by adding the watermelon (already cut into pieces) to a high speed blender (Image 1), followed by frozen strawberries (Image 2), a cup of no added sugar orange juice (Image 3) and ice (Image 4). Then his favourite part; put the lid on and blend away (Images 5-6). He knows how to rev it up!! I helped him pour the pureed mixture into popsicle moulds (Image 7). We freeze these for at least four hours or overnight (Image 8).

Check out Master IZ’s mindful food moments – supporting the Raptors, of course!!

Storage Tips

Popsicle moulds are perfect for making the pops but if you’re freezer is fairly packed you can easily free up some space. Once the popsicles are frozen remove them from the moulds and place them in freezer bags. It’s a great way to free up some space if you need too.

Can I Make Popsicles with Any Fruit?

The good news is that most fruits can be frozen, so you can create homemade popsicles out of any fruit you like! All types of berries work really well, so if your supermarket is out of frozen strawberries you can use another frozen berry.

Bananas, apples and pineapple all work really well too and will create different textures. A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice helps to bring all the flavours together and add some zing.

These were the perfect refreshing treat after our weekend BBQ. We can’t get enough of our Street-style grilled corn recipe. It’s another hit this summer – spicy, smoky, tangy and absolutely delish. Check it out!

Top Tips for Making Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles
  • Frozen fruit works best for this recipe and can be found in supermarkets all year round. Opt for seasonal – it’s better for the environment, budget-friendly and you support your local farmers.
  • The orange juice really brings freshness and zing to the popsicles so don’t skip it.
  • You could also fill an ice cube tray with the mixture and use them to add extra flavour to water or drinks
  • Get creative and experiment with different fruits, any berries would work really well and banana would give a delicious creamy texture
  • For a grown-up twist add some torn fresh basil leaves
More Sweet Treats You Might Like: Hope these watermelon and strawberry popsicles bring a big smile on your face too. What’s your favourite popsicle flavour?

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,
Shahzadi

Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles – No Added Sugar

Stay hydrated with these bright and cooling no-added sugar watermelon strawberry ice lollies. The perfect healthy treat for a hot Summer’s day. Its not only the kids who will devour these!

  • 2 cups watermelon (fresh)
  • 2 cups strawberries (frozen)
  • 1 cup orange Juice (100% pure )
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  1. add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until a puree forms
  2. Pour into ice lolly moulds and freeze until set, about 4 hours
  • Frozen fruit works best for this recipe and can be found in supermarkets all year round
  • The orange juice really brings freshness and zing to the popsicles so don’t skip it
  • You could also fill an ice cube tray with the mixture and use them to add extra flavour to water or drinks
  • Get creative and experiment with different fruits, any berries would work really well and banana would give a delicious creamy texture
  • For a grown-up twist add some torn fresh basil leaves

The post Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles | No Added Sugar appeared first on Shahzadi Devje.

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