Blueberry Jam, Peanuts and Dates Hearts

Bluberry Jam, Dates and Peanuts Hearts.1 May 15, 2017

Heyyy my dear folks! How are you? 

I just finished reading an amazing book called “20,000 Days and Counting” by Robert D. Smith – a book on making the most of NOW and our lives. And although it sounds like a typical motivational book, there are some verrryyy important reminders. It got me reflecting and thinking about a lot of points like: 

  • “What can I do right now, in order to make the most of the years ahead of me?” 
  • “What am I doing today that will count 200 years from now?” 
  • The sum of what I do today is more expansive and far reaching that I can comprehend. So I need to do something important today. 

There are loads of such brilliant nuggets of wisdom in there which will remind us to live each day to the fullest. 

“Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die today.” James Dean

Yeah that’s what I would like to do. Every day. 

And that’s precisely the reason, why I eat dessert everyday. 😀 

I just created another another simple and delicious sweet treat. Is it a bonus that it is healthy as well? Maybe. Although by no means, be in that impression that I don’t eat non-healthy treats. If it is a treat for my soul, it goes in my tummy. Can’t believe this is my third dessert recipe post in a row. Promise to bring something different and hot and spicy next time. 😉 

I made these hearts last week around Mother’s Day. Last Friday, Miss A. came back home with a big pink heart which she had made at her school for me. She had the biggest smile on her face as she handed it to me and said Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂 Now, it doesn’t take more than this to make a mum’s heart melt. So inspired by her heart, I decided to make a few for her as well. 

Now, before I move to recipe details, I have to mention that this recipe was inspired by totally gorgeous and delicious looking Blackberry Chia Jam Crumble Bars by the very talented food blogger – Talida of Hazel and Cacao. However, I have made a few changes of my own. When I read her recipe, I thought of making my own no-bake version with a slightly different jam. The result was definitely fabulous! 

Blueberry Jam & Peanut Hearts

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Blueberry Jam (I used my no-sugar homemade blueberry jam. You can replace it with your favourite jam or fruit spread.)
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts – Unsalted and Roasted 
  • 1/2 cup Dates – Soaked in water for 3-4 minutes to make them soft 
  • 1/2 cup oats 
  • 2 teaspoons Cacao or sweetened Cocoa (whichever you prefer to use)
  • 1 teaspoon Honey or Maple Syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut oil or any cooking oil 

Method:

  • Put everything in your blender and pulse until you get a nice nutty dough. 
  • Next line a baking tray with parchment paper and brush it with coconut oil (or any other cooking oil) so that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface. 
  • Spread the dough and flatten it out as much as you can or to the thickness you prefer. 
  • Set it in the Freezer for 30-40 minutes. 
  • Take your heart shaped cookie cutter and cut small adorable hearts. ❤ 

Bluberry Jam, Dates and Peanuts Hearts.2 May 15, 2017.Nia

That’s it – Yay! Make these for your loved ones and friends at the next dinner or get together. I am sure that all of you will love them.

So on that note, I will bid adieu for today.

I will back with a completely different theme next time. Any ideas or suggestions or recipe requests for me? I would love to hear from you.

As always, if you do make these hearts, do let me know by tagging me #veggiliciousbyNia. It will make my heart pink and purple with joy. 🙂

See you soon folks.

Until then, stay cool.

Nia

Aam Ras

Aamras.2.Nia

Hey there friends! 

Let me begin with a question today – what are your favourite childhood memories? The ones that make you smile without reason, laugh like crazy and maybe even cry a little because you miss those days. We all have such memories, don’t we?!

One such memory for me is nestled somewhere in the branches of the the mighty mango trees at my Nani-Nana’s (maternal grandparents) home orchard. My brother and I would go to their home for every single school summer break, climb those trees with my grandfather every single morning and pluck the yummiest of Alphonso and Kesar mangoes. At the end of a couple hours, we would all go inside the home with our ‘loot’, all dirty and messy and feeling victorious. Once cleaned up, my grandfather would pick up the sweetest ones from the lot (somehow he could always tell) and then sit with us to make “Aamras”.

No other words in no other language can capture the essence of what Aamras means. Only those who have tried the real homemade one, know what I am talking about. Perhaps – Mango Nectar?! Not sure. Anyway. I am not even going to try. 

There is a special place in my heart for those trees, those mangoes and those moments. Perhaps because those trees were my best friends growing up. Perhaps because I loved and still love my grandfather so much and these are some of my best memories with him. And that’s why I wouldn’t trade Indian Alphonso and Kesar mangoes for even the most exotic fruit on this planet. 

So this year when I was in India for summer I made sure I ate loads and loads of Mangoes and Aamras. I also tried to recreate the magic here in Hong Kong. 

If you haven’t already had this deliciousness, go ahead and try it out ASAP! 🙂 And if you have had it already, you don’t need any convincing. Isn’t it? 🙂 

Aam Ras.1.1Nia

Ingredients: 

  • 4-5 ripe and juicy Alphonso mangoes
  • 1/4th teaspoon dry Ginger powder (Also known as Soonth)
  • Few strands of Kesar – Saffron (For decoration. Which by the way, is totally unnecessary. Who is going to wait and admire how the Aamras looks?)

Yeah. That’s all. No sugar. No water. No milk.

Now, there are lots of recipes out there, which say you can add sugar / water / milk. And while there is no rule or one right way to make it, I think the best way is to keep it as it is – without any outside flavouring. If your mangoes are too sour, then of course, you can add a bit of sugar according to your taste requirements.

Method:

Now we come to the most important part.

  • One way is to peel and chop all the mangoes, add the ginger powder and blend them in your processor or blender until you get a smooth puree type consistency.
  • Pour this puree into bowls and let them chill in the refrigerator for 30-40 min before enjoying them.

However, the traditional way is a bit different. You really need to get your hands dirty.

  • Wash the mangoes thoroughly.
  • Next take each of these mangoes one by one and massage them one side at a time, as if you are kneading a dough or squishing a baby’s rubber duck. Next roll it between your palms.
  • Remove a small bit of skin of the mango from the top and then squeeze out all the pulp with your hands in a large pot. Remember to squeeze out as much as you can – until the last drop. 🙂
  • Repeat this for the rest of them.
  • Don’t forget to squeeze out all the pulp sticking to their big seeds as well.
  • Once you have all the pulp in a large pot, take a hand blender and beat this pulp until it becomes light.
  • Now you can let this sit in the refrigerator for 30-40 min, pour it in your bowl and enjoy!

No matter whichever method you use, this dessert is going to taste divine. 🙂 


Cool! That’s it for now. 

Please do leave a comment if you make Aamras or give me virtual hi-five if you love it as well. 

I would love to hear from you about what you are cooking up these days or even about one of your favourite childhood memories. 

If you do make any of these recipes, do take a picture and send it to me on social media and don’t forget to tag #veggiliciousbyNia. It would make my heart almost as happy as having Aamras. 🙂 

Cheers folks and see you soon.

Until then, loads of love and inspiration

Nia ❤

Dates, Cacao and Orange Truffles

Dates Cacao Orange TrufflesMay 03, 2017

Hey there folks! What are you up to this beautiful weekend? 

I am reading this book called “#TreatYourself” (by Gail Russell)  – a quick read filled with ideas for what you could do to make yourself happy. And why not.. ?! 

Even though doing something nice for others always feels good, every now and then it is important to be selfish and do something nice for yourself. Don’t they ask in the flights to put on your own mask first, before you help others? So here is a question for you – when was the last time you looked after yourself – like real nice – pampered yourself or wrote a letter to yourself, or gave yourself a spa or something like that? 

Crazy as it might sound – I am a huge believer in self-love and self-care. That’s how I can care for the ones I love. That’s how I can love them unconditionally. 

That’s why even though this month is going to be really really busy with loads of training and coaching engagements, Miss A’s school and other commitments and other misc life stuff – I have scheduled the following in my calendar:

  • Visit the library and just scroll down the aisles of books (one of my fav ways to pass time) 
  • Get a relaxing Facial Spa (when you feel good, you look good and vice versa)
  • Visit the Flower market to buy some Lilies, Roses and Orchids
  • Bake some cookies or cake or anything sweet (in the end it doesn’t even matter..!)
  • Decorate our home with some of our favourite memories and pictures

Now that’s a pretty good list for me. What does your list look like? Would love to hear how you like to treat yourself.

Speaking of treating yourself, one of the things you could do is make these super yummy, super healthy and super easy no-bake truffles.

I often crave sweets, and by often I mean almost everyday. So I am always desperately looking for healthy quick fixes – like these no-bake, no-sugar desserts. Besides, you can mix and match the ingredients and make them healthier by adding some super foods like Flaxseeds, Hemp protein,  Chia Seeds,  Nuts etc.. 

Cool..so let’s hit the kitchen and make some noise. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oatmeal  
  • 1.5 cups Dates – washed and chopped. If the dates are too hard, then you can soak them in a bit of water for 15 minutes and drain them before blending. 
  • About 8-10 chopped Almonds 
  • About 8-10 chopped Cashews 
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice 
  • 2 tablespoons Honey (you can use another sweetener like Maple Syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons Cacao 

Method:

  • In your food processor, blend almonds and cashews so that you get a smooth flour. 
  • Next, add all the other ingredients and pulse until you get a sticky dough.
  • If your ingredients are not sticking together, you can add another spoon of honey / maple syrup or even olive oil or coconut oil. 
  • Once your smooth dough mixture is ready, put it in a bowl and start shaping it into small balls. To do this, rub your palms with a dash of oil and roll small scoops of mixture in your hands. 
  • Place the truffles in the freezer for half an hour or pop a few in your mouth right  away. 
  • Before serving,  garnish the truffles with a bit of grated orange peel. 

And voila – your sweet treat is ready! 

Dates-Cocoa-OrangeBlissBalls

Alright peeps..that’s it for now.

If you do make these truffles, don’t forget to send me a picture and tag #veggliciousbyNia on social media. 🙂 

And also, don’t forget to go treat yourself today. 

Loads of love and inspiration,

Nidhi