Who doesn’t love nutella? (update: I have found actual living breathing human beings who do not like nutella and they are currently under observation right now for mental illness and/or extra terrestrial taste buds)
I love granola bars. They’re the perfect snack but the store bought ones are so expensive and unnecessary when it’s so unbelievably easy to make your own at home!
You can eat them anytime – take them to school, eat them as a midnight snack, eat them for dessert, eat them for breakfast, eat them with more nutella on top, eat more than half the batch while you’re photographing them..
You can play around with the ingredients and mix and match to your liking.
Don’t like nuts? Don’t put them in.
LOVE nuts? Put in more!
Like your granola bars crunchy? Add 2tbsp. more oil to the batter and bake for a few minutes longer!
These make approximately 8-10 bars, depending on how big you cut them and how much of the mixture you ‘taste’ before baking.
Nutella Granola Bars
2 cups oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup mix nuts and dried fruit
6 tbsp nutella
5 tbsp honey
1.5 tbsp oil
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional but strongly recommended)
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius and grease a baking pan.
Mix oats, flour and nuts/dried fruit in a large bowl.
The saying about only appreciating things when you don’t have them – so true.
When we moved to India, one of the biggest problems for me was getting used to the fact that lots of the fresh products I was used to getting in Singapore were just not available widely here. I mean, you can still get things like raspberries, blueberries, avocados and asparagus but you have to go to specialty ‘gourmet’ stores and they’re extremely overpriced. Things I had taken for granted like basil, I now relished.
But now that we’ve moved into our own house we have lots of fresh produce growing in our own garden! We have spinach, methi (fenugreek), basil, mini oranges… So you would think that now I have an almost endless supply of fresh basil I would be using it 24/7. Right?
But yeah… not so much. Since we’ve moved into the house (5 months) I think I’ve used basil approximately… 3 times. And in that time we have probably gone through 10-12 jars of store bought pesto. I know, I know. Disgraceful.
It’s just that the whole process seems like so much work. It’s easier to just buy a ready made jar and not think about it. But when I went out one day and saw that the basil plant was slowly drying up I decided it was time to change.
And I’m so glad I did! Making pesto is so easy – it takes practically 15 minutes and most of that time is spent getting the pesto out of the food processor! When you make your own pesto, you can alter the flavors to your liking and experiment with different nuts and even add in other herbs. Also the taste of fresh pesto exceeds store bought by a landslide!
So no further ado.. here’s an amazing, customizable, pesto recipe inspired by love and lemons.
How to customize:
I always use 2/3 basil + 1/3 coriander because otherwise the basil flavor is a bit too strong, but feel free to use all basil or experiment with addition of other herbs like mint or arugula
For the nuts I used a combination of walnuts and almonds, but you can use any nuts – pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans.. Pine nuts are generally the best for pesto but I didn’t have any on hand 🙂
Add in some grated parmesan cheese, some nutritional yeast or a dash of balsamic vinegar for some extra kick. Most recipes also use black pepper but I prefer the taste without it. It’s a personal opinion though so if you like it – go for it!
(Makes around 1 cup)
1 1/2 cup herbs
1/4 cup nuts
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and paprika/chili flakes
Lightly toast the nuts in a small plan until lightly browned
Add all the ingredients in a food processor until well blended
Taste and adjust the salt or acidity if necessary. If too sour, add a splash of honey or agave syrup.
This is a take on indian ‘khichdi’, a simple traditional stew made with lentils, rice and vegetables. I used millet instead of rice and added some masala to brighten it up.
It’s a one pot meal – all the veggies, lentils and grains are dropped into a pressure cooker with some ghee and spices and voila, in twenty minutes you have a complete meal.
It’s already vegetarian but if you use oil instead of ghee and omit the yogurt topping, it’s vegan!
This dish is a nutrition power house! Protein rich from the lentils and millet, high in fibre, full of vitamins and minerals! Millet is one of the best sources of copper and manganese, while the ginger and yogurt aide digestion.
Did I mention it’s creamy, comforting and delicious?
I have used carrots and bottle gourd (an indian vegetable) this time, but most vegetables work really well in this type of stew or khichdi. Use whatever produce you have at home – Zucchini, Spinach, Kale, Beans etc. would all be fine. Just keep in mind some vegetables like greens decrease a lot in volume when cooked so you would need to use more of them to start with. If you don’t have millet feel free to use rice.
Lentil Millet Vegetable Stew
(Makes 1 large serving, just multiply the ingredients to make more)
~1.5 – 2 cup vegetables diced
1/4 cup lentils (I used green split mung – mung (gram) lentils work best)
1/4 cup millet
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1.5 tsp ghee/oil
1 tsp curry powder (can substitute with indian spices of choice like cumin, coriander or turmeric powder)
salt to taste
plain yogurt + coriander/cilantro to top (optional)
Wash the millet and lentils
In a pressure cooker turn on medium heat and add the ghee or oil
When the ghee/oil becomes hot, add in the diced onion and sautee until browned
Add in the vegetables, ginger, spices, millet and lentils.
and not just ‘healthy’ food good, but actually delicious.
if you ate them you wouldn’t be able to tell they don’t have any refined flour, sugar or butter.
(and they’re gluten free!)
now the best part about pancakes that are healthy is that you can have them anytime without feeling guilty because hey, they’re healthy. and they’re quick and easy too. win, win, win.
i really hope you make them. (like now) because once you make them, you probably won’t want to ever make the normal white flour-butter-sugar-egg combo pancakes ever again. i swear, they’re really not lacking in the sweetness department but if you like your pancakes sweeter just add sweeter toppings 🙂
and have fun with the toppings! GO CRAZY! because the pancakes themselves are so nutritious and good for you, you can even use crazy toppings like chocolate chips and sprinkles.
The cupcakes themselves were buttery and moist with a subtle and warming chai flavor. When topped with a rich and chocolatey frosting, they were elevated to the next level. Chai and chocolate are actually a wonderful combination. They complement each other beautifully.
I made them for a birthday and they were so rich, it was a perfect substitute for the traditional birthday cake. Cupcakes actually save a lot of trouble – no trying to get the cake out of the pan, no messy slices and frosting is much easier! And everything tastes better in mini form hehe!
The cupcakes are quite simple to make but the best part is the frosting. IT’S 2 INGREDIENTS. JUST TWO! And it’s so delicious, I bet once you make it once you’ll have to make it again!
So I hope you make these cupcakes because they are absolutely fantastic.
A wonderful crispy granola, perfect in the morning with some cold milk and some dried fruit added on top. Or however you like granola, but thats my preference 🙂
I find making my own granola much better than buying store bought because I can alter the flavors to my liking and mix and match it instead of having the same flavor everyday. Also, I know exactly what’s going into it – no chemicals or sneaky corn syrup hiding in here! Not to mention, it’s super easy. All you need is oats, toppings, an oven and less than half an hour of your time. And 20 minutes of that is just waiting for it in the oven.
This is a simple granola because I like making this and then adding whatever toppings I feel like on that day, but feel free to add in more flavors or dried fruits or anything into the recipe.
2 cups oats (rolled oats are best, but any oats would work!)
1/4 cup olive/coconut oil
1/4 cup honey/agave
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
More add ins: dried fruit, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, coffee powder, cinnamon, maple extract, cocoa nibs)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and take out a baking tray
In a small saucepan, heat the oil and add in the honey and vanilla extract. Stir on low heat for about a minute until well integrated.
Spread the oats, nuts and whatever other toppings on the baking tray.
Pour the wet ingredients on top and mix well.
Pop in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, shaking the tray ever 5 minutes to make sure the granola doesn’t stick and gets evenly baked.
Done! Serve with yogurt, milk or fresh fruit!
Note: If you use dried fruit, add in only in the last 3 minutes.