Monday 13 May 2024

Refresh your day with 5 flavourful infused water ideas

Image  by Nawalescape from Pixabay

Infused water ideas

Let’s face it, plain water—while delicious and oh so good for you—can get a little boring. But infusing your water means you can switch up your flavours whenever you like, keeping your H20 game extra fresh.

Adding your flavour combos to your insulated water bottle or cup is also a good choice as it lets you top up your water and re-use those delicious ingredients. Plus, it’ll keep it all cool as a cucumber. 

So get your favourite cup ready to go, it’s time to get onto some recipes!

1. Citrus Zing Explosion

Infusing your water with citrus isn’t just flavourful, it’s good for you too. Citrus fruits, like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit are packed full of vitamin C, helping keep our skin and bones nice and healthy. Plus, lemon and grapefruit can even help with digestion, so it’s great to sip on around meal times.

Citrus fruits are also delicious to add to other flavour combos, like with berries, mint or even rosemary. Just make sure you pick your drinkware carefully as lemons, limes and oranges can absorb into some plastics and materials. Your best bet is a reusable cup, as it keeps the flavours where they should be—in your water. 

 How to make citrus-infused water

  1. Add ice to a reusable cup. 
  2. Slice up half a lemon and half a lime, before adding to the cup.
  3. Gently rub a mint leaf between your fingers and put on top of the fruit slices.
  4. Fill the remainder of the cup with water.
  5. Carefully stir and let rest for about an hour.
  6. Head on down to flavour town.

 Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay 

2.Berry Bliss Medley

Berries are great to use as a base for infused water as they can either add sweet or tart flavours to suit your mood. Most berries will be a little more tart if picked before being entirely ripe, with blackberries, cranberries, raspberries and gooseberries known to have a little bite to them. Of course, strawberries, blueberries and cherries are the sweeter members of the berry family, so they’re ideal for quenching that sweet tooth.

The other benefit to adding berries to your water (besides the incredible flavours) is all the extra antioxidants you’ll get throughout the day. So while your taste buds are having a party, your hair, skin and nails will be thanking you too.

How to make berry-infused water

  1. In a reusable cup, add in a small handful each of sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
  2. Add in a couple of mint leaves.
  3. Using a muddler or the end of a rolling pin, lightly muddle and mix around the berries and mint leaves.
  4. Add in a handful of ice cubes.
  5. Top with water, mix and enjoy.

 3. Cucumber Mint Refresh

Cucumber is one of the most hydrating fruits and vegetables, made up of 96% water. So, not only is this vitamin-packed vegetable going to add so much flavour to your infused water, it’s also going to be a hydrating snack once you’re done drinking! 

 As for mint, it’s great for calming the mind and body, as well as the stomach. Adding cucumber and mint together is such a flavourful treat, and has the added benefit of making you feel more relaxed—almost as if you’re on a holiday.

 How to make cucumber and mint-infused water

  1. In the bottom of a reusable cup, muddle a small handful of mint leaves.
  2. Add in a quarter of a sliced cucumber.
  3. Throw in some ice cubes and top with ice-cold water.
  4. Gently stir and enjoy your new favourite beverage.

4. Tropical Escape Infusion

Food and drinks have the power to transport us to faraway places and distant memories. A tropical escape infusion is a way to add a little touch of holiday magic to your day with every sip. The combination of pineapple, mango and papaya is delightfully punchy and sweet, and can be infused overnight for an even more powerful flavour bomb.

On top of the flavourful surprise, you’re also getting a good healthy hit of vitamins. Papaya is renowned for its high level of antioxidants, while pineapple is known for being anti-inflammatory and mango has loads of immunity-boosting nutrients. 

How to make tropical-infused water

  1. Skin and slice the pineapple, mango and papaya into small chunks.
  2. Add the fruit into the bottom of a cup with a handful of ice.
  3. Top with water and stir to combine.
  4. Infuse overnight for the most flavour, or serve immediately to begin your tropical retreat.

BONUS TIP: Freeze mint leaves in ice cube trays with water to add to your drink for a refreshing twist.

 5. Herbal Serenity Sip

Herbal tea is a great way to unwind at the end of a long day. But did you know herbs make for delicious infused water too? 

Herbs (like rosemary and basil) and floral botanicals (like lavender) add a surprising, yet tasty, flavour to water. They can be combined with other flavours to shake up the recipe, or on their own for a relaxing and hydrating drink. Many herbs are also known for their revitalising properties, like rosemary for helping ease headaches and basil for being anti-inflammatory. Plus, lavender is a relaxing slice of heaven just to smell. 

How to make herbal-infused water

  1. In a reusable cup, add a few slices of lemon.
  2. Rub a sprig of rosemary between your hands before adding to the cup.
  3. Add a small spoon of honey.
  4. Fill the cup with water and ice.
  5. Gently stir in a lavender stem.
  6. Let the aromas transport you.

There are endless infused water ideas you can play with to find your favourites. Start with these recipes and try mixing them up or adding in your own favourite ingredients. The more you try, the better you’ll become at creating your own new flavour sensations!

 


Staying hydrated in hot weather is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. Adequate hydration helps regulate body temperature, supports proper organ function, and enhances cognitive function. Opting for drinks like infused waters with refreshing fruits or herbs, healthy fruit teas, and herbal teas provides hydration without excessive sugar or caffeine. These alternatives not only quench thirst effectively but also offer additional nutrients and antioxidants, making them ideal choices for staying cool and hydrated during scorching weather.

Some drinks you may like are:
 
If you enjoy my posts why not visit simplyf00d Instagram Channel for more ideas.

**Collaborative Post

Thursday 9 May 2024

Easy Mango Bhapa Doi -Bengali Baked Yogurt



What is Bhapa Doi?

Mango Bhapa Doi is a heavenly dessert that hails from the culinary treasure trove of Bengal, India. This delightful treat combines the richness of yogurt with the tropical sweetness of mangoes, creating a harmonious symphony of flavour's.

Origins and Tradition

Bhapa Doi, which translates to "steamed yogurt," has been a traditional Bengali dessert for generations. Its roots trace back to rural Bengal, where simple ingredients were transformed into exquisite delights. Over time, variations emerged, including the beloved Mango Bhapa Doi, adding a seasonal twist to this timeless classic.

The Essence of Mango

One cannot discuss Mango Bhapa Doi without highlighting the star ingredient: mangoes. Known as the king of fruits, mangoes lend their vibrant colour and luscious sweetness to this dessert. Whether pureed or diced, mangoes infuse every spoonful of Bhapa Doi with their irresistible flavour, elevating it to a new level of indulgence.

What type of mango is best for this recipe?

I highly recommend the Kesar mango or Alphonso but any mango that is available to you will work equally well

How to make Bhapa Doi?

Creating Mango Bhapa Doi is an easy and simple recipe to create with three main ingredients only.. Fresh yogurt is blended with condensed milk, and mango puree, creating a creamy base. This mixture is then delicately seasoned with ground cardamom and saffron milk and steamed, allowing the flavours to meld together while retaining the dessert's silky texture. The result? A decadent treat that melts in your mouth with each spoonful.

Individual portions or one larger bowl?

The Bhapa Doi can be made in individual portions, or one large bowl . there is no right or wrong way however just make sure the bowl used is heat proof and will withstand being placed in the steamer.

What type of yoghurt is best for Bhapa Doi?

Personally I recommend full fat thick and creamy Greek yoghurt. The authentic Bhapa Doi is make with hung Curd also known as strained yoghurt where water is drained from the yogurt  by placing it in a muslin cloth and allowing the water to drain out.. Full cream yoghurt works best for this recipe.

Variations and Innovations

While the traditional recipe remains cherished, modern twists on Mango Bhapa Doi have emerged. Some incorporate cardamom for an aromatic touch, while others add nuts or saffron for added decadence. Vegan versions swap dairy for coconut milk, catering to diverse dietary preferences without compromising on taste.

Can I make Bhapa Doi with vegan yoghurt?

Although you can make Bhapa Doi with vegan yoghurt, you will get the taste but the texture will be compromised.

Serving and Enjoyment

Mango Bhapa Doi is best enjoyed chilled, garnished with slivers of almonds, pistachio and fruit.  Its creamy texture and tropical flavour make it the perfect finale to any meal or a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. Whether served in elegant bowls or humble earthenware, each spoonful is a reminder of Bengal's culinary expertise.

Conclusion

In the world of desserts, Mango Bhapa Doi stands out as a testament to Bengal's rich culinary heritage. Its simple yet exquisite flavours capture the essence of the region, making it a beloved treat for all occasions. Whether you're savouring a traditional recipe or exploring innovative variations, Mango Bhapa Doi is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

 There are many sweet dishes from around the world made with yoghurt. Why not check out this, Coconut shrikand with strawberries and Srikand

 




If you make this recipe I would love to hear your feedback . Please share them in the comments below. 
If you would like to see the video of the recipe check the full recipe on  my you tube.



If you enjoy my posts please do also check out my reels on  simplyf00d instagram

Thursday 2 May 2024

Aloo Tikkis -Spicy Potato Cakes

 

Origin of Aloo Tikkis

Aloo Tikki, a beloved Indian street food, traces its roots to the streets of North India, particularly Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It emerged as a popular snack in the bustling markets and roadside stalls of these regions, capturing the essence of Indian culinary culture.

Ingredients and Preparation

To create the flavourful Aloo Tikki, boiled potatoes are mashed to a smooth consistency, infused with a tantalizing blend of spices. These spices include ginger and chili paste for heat, turmeric for color, a dash of lemon juice for tanginess, and a subtle hint of ground cinnamon and cloves for depth of flavour. Corn flour acts as a binding agent, ensuring the mixture holds together.

Shaping and Coating

After seasoning the potato mixture to perfection, shape it into golf ball-sized portions and gently flatten to form round patties. Coat the patties with breadcrumbs to achieve a satisfying crunch, creating a crispy outer layer when fried. This coating not only adds texture but also seals in the flavours, creating a delightful contrast with the soft, spiced potato filling.

Cooking Process

The Aloo Tikki is shallow-fried in hot oil until it achieves a golden-brown hue, ensuring each bite is crispy on the outside and irresistibly tender on the inside. The frying process infuses the patties with a rich aroma, enticing passers-by with its mouth-watering scent.

The best potato variety for making Aloo Tikkis

 For making Aloo Tikki, the best potato to use is one with a starchy and floury texture, as it yields a soft and fluffy interior when mashed. Cooks commonly choose Russet potatoes, also known as baking potatoes, due to their high starch content. They have a dry and mealy texture, making them ideal for mashing and binding the ingredients together without becoming too watery.

Alternatively, Yukon Gold potatoes can also work well for Aloo Tikki. While they are less starchy than Russet potatoes, they still offer a creamy texture when cooked and mashed, resulting in a slightly denser but still delicious Aloo Tikki.

Ultimately, your choice of potato depends on personal preference and availability. Ensure to select potatoes that are firm, smooth-skinned, and free from blemishes for the best results in your Aloo Tikki.

Elevating Your Aloo Tikki: Exploring Creative Varieties and Delicious Fillings

When it comes to transforming the humble aloo tikki into a culinary delight, the possibilities are endless. By infusing creativity into your recipe, you can take this traditional Indian snack to new heights. One way to do so is by incorporating a range of vibrant ingredients. Experiment with adding spinach puree for a burst of green goodness, or beetroot puree for a delightful hint of sweetness. For added texture and flavour, consider mixing in coarsely ground peas and finely shredded carrots, elevating both the taste and visual appeal of your tikkis.

But why stop there? The magic of aloo tikki lies not only in its exterior but also in its potential for hidden surprises. Imagine biting into a crispy outer layer only to discover a creamy filling waiting to tantalize your taste buds. Embrace the art of stuffing your tikkis with indulgent treats such as gooey cheese or rich paneer. The contrast of textures and flavours will elevate your aloo tikki experience to a whole new level, leaving you craving more with every bite.

Serving Aloo Tikkis

Typically, servers dish out piping hot Aloo Tikki straight from the frying pan, pairing it with a side of tangy and spicy green coriander and mint chutney. This vibrant chutney refreshes the palate with its zesty kick, enhancing the flavours of the Aloo Tikki. 

There is no correct time to enjoy the delicious Aloo Tikkis. You can eat them for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and teatime snack. They are also delicious cold for picnics and including them in lunch boxes.


Aloo Tikkis and Wine pairing

For an unforgettable culinary experience, I highly recommend pairing your delectable Aloo Tikki with a glass of chilled Barefoot California Moscato. This delightful wine boasts an expressive and fruity profile that harmonizes effortlessly with the bold flavours of the Aloo Tikki.

The aromatic spices infused in the Aloo Tikki find their perfect match in the sweet and refreshing acidity of the Moscato. As you savour each bite of the crispy tikki, the wine's notes of ripe fruits and floral undertones accentuate the dish's complexity, creating a symphony of flavours on your palate.




Barefoot California Moscato isn't just any wine – it's a brilliantly versatile choice that complements a wide range of cuisines. Whether enjoyed on its own, alongside cheese and fruit, or as a companion to Asian dishes, this Moscato never fails to impress. Its versatility makes it an ideal partner for the diverse flavour's of Aloo Tikki, enhancing every aspect of the dining experience.




So, the next time you indulge in the aromatic and spicy delights of Aloo Tikki, elevate your culinary journey by sipping on a glass of chilled Barefoot California Moscato. Together, they create a perfect harmony of flavours that will leave your taste buds longing for more.

Check out this recipe video for the Green Coriander Chutney



Enjoying the Delightful Treat

I hope you enjoy making this delicious Aloo Tikkis. With its irresistible blend of spices and textures, Aloo Tikki is more than just a snack—it's an experience. Whether you enjoy them as a quick bite on the go, or savour it leisurely for a delicious brunch with some chilled California Moscato with friends and family, each bite of Aloo Tikki transports the palate to the bustling streets of India, where culinary delights await at every corner. 
If you create the recipe please do share your thoughts in the comments below.

 *Collaborative Post

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Healthy Cauliflower Fried Rice


In my household, rice has always been a staple, but with concerns about its high carbohydrate and starch content, I've been exploring alternative options. That's when I stumbled upon the delightful and nutritious Fried Cauliflower Rice. This innovative take on the classic fried rice dish swaps out traditional rice for grated cauliflower, transforming it into a low-carb, gluten-free alternative that's both delicious and healthy.




Healthy Cauliflower Fried Rice is a vibrant dish bursting with colourful vegetables such as capsicum, peas, carrots, and onions. These veggies not only add a pop of colour but also contribute to its rich texture and flavour profile. Seasoned with aromatic spices like turmeric, chili powder, and cumin seeds, each bite is a harmonious blend of savoury and satisfying tastes.

This wholesome meal is perfect for those seeking to increase their vegetable intake while still indulging in a flavourful dish. With its light yet fulfilling nature, Healthy Cauliflower Fried Rice offers a guilt-free way to enjoy the comfort of fried rice while nourishing your body with essential nutrients.

Some facts about cauliflower:

Cauliflower: Your Nutrient-Packed Veggie Friend

Loaded with Goodness:

Cauliflower is like a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals that your body loves. It's got lots of vitamin C to keep you healthy, vitamin K for strong bones, and folate to help your body grow and repair itself.

Fighter against Bad Stuff:

This veggie is full of antioxidants, which are like superheroes fighting off bad stuff in your body. They help lower the chances of getting sick and keep inflammation away.

Good for Your Tummy and Waistline:

Cauliflower is low in calories but high in fibre, which means it's great for your tummy and can help you manage your weight. Plus, it's good for keeping your cholesterol levels in check.

So Many Yummy Ways to Enjoy:

The best part is that Cauliflower is super versatile! You can turn it into soup,  rice, mash it like potatoes, make cauliflower steaks or even make pizza crust with it. It's a tasty and healthy swap for lots of recipes!


Adding cauliflower to your meals is an easy way to boost your health and make your taste buds happy. 

Why is this called Cauliflower Rice? 

It is called cauliflower rice as when the cauliflower is grated it resembles rice grains.

I don't like cauliflower: 

That is not a problem you can make this cauliflower rice using broccoli instead or do half and half, it also works well with Romanesco a green cauliflower which is part of the cauliflower family.

Can I add other vegetables to the cauliflower rice?

You can add any vegetables of your choice such as green beans, sweetcorn or mushroom

Can I serve this hot or cold?

Yes the cauliflower rice can be served hot or cold  as a salad too.

What is the best pan to use to make the rice?

I prefer to use a heavy bottomed stainless steel pan  such as the Saveur pans described below to cook my cauliflower rice as it prevents it from sticking.

I absolutely adore preparing my cauliflower rice in the Saveur Selects Voyage Series Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Sauteuse with Insulating Lid. This pan boasts a sophisticated design coupled with remarkable features that enhance my cooking experience. 

Crafted with tri-ply stainless steel construction and a pure aluminium core, it ensures fast and even heat distribution, resulting in perfectly cooked cauliflower rice every time. The magnetic induction-friendly stainless steel exterior not only makes it compatible with various cooktops but also adds to its durability.


What truly sets this pan apart is its smooth, rivet less interior surface, ensuring hygienic food preparation and effortless clean up. The double-walled stainless steel lid keeps heat locked in, maintaining the ideal temperature for my dishes. 



Cooking with this pan is a dream – the cauliflower rice cooks to perfection without sticking or burning, making my culinary creations a breeze.

The sturdy heavy bottom pan is great for making sauces and warming liquids and for soups too.



 

Moreover, the pan's dishwasher-safe feature simplifies post-cooking clean up, while its oven-safe capability allows me to keep my rice warm effortlessly.


It's stove-to-table top design adds a touch of elegance to my dining experience, reducing the need for extra dishware.


With the added peace of mind of a lifetime guarantee, I couldn't be happier with my investment. As a foodie who spends a lot of time cooking having good quality pans that are long lasting  are of utmost importance for me.







Additionally, I also added the Saveur Selects Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 10-inch Frying Pan with Lid, Induction-Ready, Dishwasher Safe, Voyage Series to my kitchen collection,




The frying pan is perfect for an array of cooking tasks from frying, steaming and sautéing to searing and sauce reduction.

The beauty of both these pans is that the one lid fits both making it really versatile to interchange between the pans.




I find the Saveur pans really lovely to cook with, they are hard wearing and I can be rest assured that my family are not consuming any carbon from the coatings in the pan as they are made fully from stainless steel. 


I sincerely hope to add more to my collection over time. Please do take a few minutes to check out their full range. You can purchase both the pans from  buymeonce.com









Coming back to the Healthy Cauliflower fried recipe that I was talking about, I am sharing this delicious Cauliflower rice recipe below. I am confident that once you try it you will be making it again and again. 


You will need cauliflower, capsicums, onions red or white, peas, carrots, coriander, chillies, lemon, tomatoes and some basic spices such as turmeric, salt, chilli powder, cumin seeds and sunflower oil. The full instructions, quantities and method is highlighted in the recipe card below:

**Collaborative Post-I received the pans for review purposes, and all the opinions shared are true reflections of my personal experience after using them.

You can watch the full recipe on video here:
Healthy Cauliflower Fried Rice



Monday 19 February 2024

The Power of Healthy Eating and Quality Sleep in Promoting Optimal Health and Lifestyle


 

In today’s fast-paced world, where demands and stresses abound, prioritising health has never been more crucial. Two fundamental pillars of health, often overlooked yet immensely impactful, are nutrition and sleep. Adopting a lifestyle centred around healthy eating habits and maintaining a consistent sleep pattern not only benefits physical health but also enhances overall well-being and quality of life. Let’s look into the profound advantages of embracing nutritious diets, regular sleep routines, and the importance of a comfortable mattress, such as the Simba Hybrid Mattress, in achieving optimal health.

Nutrition: Fuelling the Body for Success

The adage “you are what you eat” holds profound truth. Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides the body with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for optimal function. Regularly indulging in nutrient-dense foods boosts energy levels, strengthens the immune system, and supports vital bodily processes, promoting longevity and vitality.



Benefits of Eating a Regular Healthy Breakfast

Starting the day with a nutritious breakfast kickstarts metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and enhances cognitive function. Research indicates that individuals who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, experience improved concentration and productivity, and exhibit better overall health outcomes compared to breakfast skippers. Incorporating a variety of whole foods into breakfast, such as whole-grain cereals, fruits, and protein sources like eggs or Greek yogurt, ensures sustained energy throughout the day and sets the tone for healthier eating habits.


Sleep: The Foundation of Wellness

Quality sleep is not merely a luxury; it is a necessity for the body’s repair, rejuvenation, and optimal functioning. Adequate sleep plays a pivotal role in regulating mood, cognitive performance, immune function, and hormone balance. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule, wherein individuals aim for seven to nine hours of restorative sleep each night, fosters physical and mental well-being. 


The Importance of Maintaining Regular Sleep Time Patterns

Consistency is key when it comes to sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate the body’s internal clock, promoting deeper, more restful sleep. Irregular sleep patterns disrupt circadian rhythms, leading to fatigue, irritability, and impaired cognitive function. Giving importance to sleep routines, such as creating a relaxing bedtime routine, optimizing sleep environment, and limiting exposure to screens before bedtime will enhance sleep quality and duration.

Here are five tips to prepare for a restful sleep:

  • Take a warm bath before bedtime.
  • Maintain a cool temperature in your bedroom.
  • Opt for loose-fitting cotton nightwear.
  • Avoid caffeine, instead drink herbal tea to help calm the mind and body.
  • Avoid screen time at least an hour before bedtime to minimize brain stimulation.


Exercise: Enhancing the Synergy

Pairing nutritious eating habits and quality sleep with regular physical activity amplifies their benefits, creating a synergistic effect on overall health. Exercise not only aids in weight management and cardiovascular health but also improves sleep quality, reduces stress, and boosts mood. Engaging in a combination of aerobic, strength training, and flexibility exercises for at least 150 minutes per week contributes to enhanced physical fitness and overall well-being.


Photo by Pixabay

The Role of a Good Mattress in Promoting Comfortable Sleep

A comfortable mattress is avital component of quality sleep. The Simba Hybrid mattress boasts a ground breaking design. It features double Aerocoil springs enhancing spinal alignment and pressure releif. The inclusion of open cell Simbatex foam ensures a cooler sleeping experience by allowing airflow. With the Support Core base providing complete edge to edge support, the mattress prevents any rolling off. at the sides. The mattress has a detachable breathable cover, made from soft knitted material with a zip top. This allows for easy washing or replacements. 



In conclusion, taking care of your healthy eating habits, maintaining regular sleep patterns, and incorporating exercise into daily routines are essential pillars of a holistic approach to wellness. By nourishing the body with nutritious foods, prioritising restorative sleep, and investing in quality sleep surfaces like the Simba Hybrid mattress, individuals can unlock the full potential of their health, vitality, and lifestyle

*Collaborative post
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