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Envi ene bon ti salade melanz? While the average Mauritian is not a huge fruit eater, he/she will hardly ever say no to a freshly prepared fruit salad topped with tamarind sauce and disel pima/ chili salt. A colourful meli-melo of tropical fruits including mangoes and pineapple, our traditional fruit salad is not a homemade entity but derives its popularity from the road side sellers who usually extend their fares to markets and beaches on Sundays and holidays.

It will not be an uncommon sight if you come across one today on our crowded public beaches, which are always so on the eve and the day of a public holiday. And as we are celebrating our Independence Day today, there is, I’m sure, no better occasion to do a post on something we can proudly call as our ‘national’ salad. As the official celebrations unfold this afternoon in Champ de Mars in the attendance of eminent personalities, many will undoubtedly gather in more informal surroundings with the same feeling of being fier d’etre mauricien/ proud to be a Mauritian.

MAURITIAN FRUIT SALAD

Ingredients:

2 semi ripe mangoes

1 medium pineapple

1 small cucumber

10 jamalacs/ love apples

1 carambole/ star fruit

2-3 dried red chilies

1 teaspoon kitchen salt

3 tablespoons tamarind

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Method:

  • Peel mangoes, pineapple and cucumber. Cut each fruit into bite size pieces or chop into thick slices.

  • Cut the jamalacs into halves and slice the carambole thinly. Place all chopped fruit in a large bowl.

  • Crush the dried chilies and salt together in a grinder or in a mortar until it turns into a fine powder.

  • Remove any seeds from the tamarind and soak the pulp in 2 tablespoons warm water for 5 minutes.

  • Combine the tamarind pulp with 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Add more water and grind together.

  • It should form a sauce of slow dripping consistency. Toss this dressing over the bowl of fruit salad.

  • Mix till well combined and leave to stand at room temperature for at least one hour before serving.

  • Top with extra tamarind and serve in plastic cups along with extra salt and chili powder. Serves 4.

Mauritian Fruit Salad

To start the new year on a healthy note, along with some serious health-conscious resolutions to make more informed food choices and to favour homemade as far as possible, I share with you this amazingly easy granola. With its blend of nutritious unprocessed ingredients, it makes a very satisfying meal for breakfast, served with low fat Greek yogurt and organic dark chocolate. I scaled down the recipe from Yummy Healthy Easy to make 2.5 cups, which is to be stored in an air-tight container and might well last over a week even if you plan to eat granola daily as your morning intake of carbs and nutrients. I would hereby like to wish a very Happy New Year to all my readers! May 2017 bring us yet more delicious recipes to blog about and more mouth-watering photos to upload and share on this space.

HEALTHY HOMEMADE GRANOLA

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup sliced raw almonds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

1 1/2 teaspoon flaxseed

1 1/2 teaspoon wheat germ

1/8 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

Greek yogurt, to serve

Raspberries and strawberries

Chopped dark chocolate

 

Method:

  • Mix first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Melt coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

 

  • Add the honey to coconut oil and combine. Pour this over oat mixture and stir to coat everything well.

 

  • Spread into an even layer on a cookie sheet and bake granola at 325 degrees for about 15-16 minutes.

 

  • Stir it gently and let bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Leave the granola to cool.

  

  • Store in an airtight container. When ready to assemble, place the yogurt in bottom of serving glasses.

 

  • Add a layer of granola over the yogurt, then top with chopped dark chocolate and whole fresh berries.

  

Happy New Year 2017!

For the August challenge Susan from The Kiwi Cook dared us to make a Seed & Nut Loaf, a super-healthy and gluten-free alternative to standard wheat-based bread. The theme of both challenges this month is ‘whole and healthy’! It is a gorgeously dense and nutty whole-wheat bread with lots of taste and texture along with masses of protein and fibre but without gluten. It may be slathered with all sorts of delicious toppings, from avocado and tomato, to salmon and cream cheese, to home-made nut butter and mashed banana.

The psyllium husk is the ingredient that binds the loaf together in the absence of flour. If you use ground flax seeds instead of whole, you will need to add more water to the mixture. Oats are inherently gluten-free, however they can be cross-contaminated with wheat. If you are gluten-sensitive, ensure your oats are certified ‘gluten-free’. Buckwheat or spelt flakes make a good alternative. While you can use any nut, it is best to chop them finely; if the nuts are too big, it is harder for the loaf to hold together and you might end up with a crumbly loaf.

GLUTEN-FREE SEED & NUT LOAF

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 ml) (140 gm) ( 5 oz) sunflower seeds

½ cup (125 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) flax seeds (linseeds)

½ cup (125 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) sliced almonds

1½ cups (375 ml) (135 gm) (4¾ oz) gluten-free rolled oats

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (20 gm) (¾ oz) chia seeds

4 tablespoons (60 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) psyllium seed husks

1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) fine grain sea salt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup or liquid honey

3 tablespoons (45 ml) coconut oil or ghee, melted

1½ cups (375 ml) water

Method:

  • In a standard sized silicone, non-stick, or greased and lined loaf pan, combine all the dry ingredients.
  • Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a separate bowl. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients.

  • Combine until it is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick. Transfer mixture to the loaf pan.
  • Smooth top and cover pan with plastic wrap. Sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • The mixture should feel very firm to the touch. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F or gas mark 4.
  • Bake bread initially for 20 minutes. Take the loaf out of the oven, place a wire rack over top and invert.

  • Remove bread from pan and remove the lining paper if using. Put inverted loaf on its rack in the oven.
  • Bake the bread again for another 30 to 40 minutes. The loaf should be starting to brown on the outside.

  • This gives a nutty crunch to the finished loaf. It should sound hollow when tapped. Cool it completely.
  • Slice with a fine serrated knife and store in an airtight container (or in plastic wrap) for up to 4-5 days.

Daring Bakers August 2015 Challenge

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