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Posts Tagged ‘nuts’

Are you happy with your diet? What does nutrition mean for you?  How important is to plan your nutrition?  How much time do you spend on finding new healthier recipes? Is there anything you would like to change about your food habits?

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Nutrition is very important part of our life like rest, exercise, fresh air, water, relationship with our Creator, temperance. It is essential to enrich yourself with body building foods. We need to find the right body fuel so that we could enjoy living. This will not only reduce the risk of common diseases but will empower us with good energy.

Let us remind ourselves what nutrients our bodies need:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Trace Minerals
  • Antioxidants and phytochemicals

And that brings us to the essential food groups that are:

Cereals and Grains Foundation of our diet! The best is wholegrain cereals and grains. They are rich in dietary fiber and complex of carbohydrates.
Fruits and Vegetables Should include a good balance of both, that are the richest sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds A wonderful source of protein along with minerals, vitamins, and other protective elements.
Dairy or fortified equivalents This is a vital source of important nutrients, including calcium and vitamin B12. If you are practicing vegan diet make sure you take it in a sufficient supplement form.
Fats, Oils, Sweets, and Salt These foods are required in a very small quantities. Chose unrefined products to get higher benefits.

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Please be aware that if you want to have a balanced plant-based diet it is very important to select a variety of foods color, texture and flavor. This ensures that a wide range of nutrients to support a healthy body and it will also give the pleasure of eating. Secondly, the food quality matters a lot. It is much more valuable to eat wholegrain and unrefined products because they are nutrient-dense. Otherwise you will be eating calorie-dense food that can increase your weight. Following that, it is important to balance your diet and the energy we expend during the day. Obesity is a great problem if we do not control our food intakes and physical activities.  There must be a balance for that. Next is moderation. There are foods that we should be taking in moderate quantities, like fats and salt. Finally, highly processed food has no nutritional value and should be avoided as much as possible like sodas, alcohol and coffee. You can make your own non-alcoholic cocktails, change coffee to substitutes made from roasted cereals like barley.

Agriculture in France

It is simply fascinating that God gave such an abundance of good food for us! And he wants us to treasure our bodies that we could enjoy our relationship with each other and with him. Planning and eating only plant-based diet could take a good amount of time but once you find the right ingredients and recipes it becomes your lifestyle and easy way to maintain a healthy body. To add, there are so many vegetarian and vegan cafes nowadays that you could also enjoy your meal outdoors with friends and get inspired to try new recipes, new tastes.

Take your time to invest in your nutrition and experience a much happier life.

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Those nuts’ balls…

It is time to treat yourself. And not only yourself but also others. However, it is sooooo delicious that you might decide to keep somewhere secretly and enjoy only yourself.  My family absolutely loves them. We also call it energy balls that we take each or two every morning. AS they say it is a great way to start the day alongside homemade smoothie.

Nuts’ balls recipe was adapted from the Fit Food Finds website (thank you Lee). But it also added additional taste from me 🙂 The recipe is very easy and it so much fun to do it with your children. It is a great way to spend some time together and also prepare something very delicious.

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Here is the recipe:

3/4 cups raw almonds

3/4 cups raw wallnuts

12/16 pitted medjool dates

4 table spoons all-natural peanut butter

3/4 cups grated coconut

Place the nuts on the pan and roast until you start feeling the smell of nuts. Then add more than half of the coconut to the pan and keep roasting together with nuts. Make sure you are roasting on a small heat because it is very easy to burn the nuts. You can also toast the nuts in the oven but always be near it as again it might burn too quickly. Once you roasted the nuts leave them to cool. Place the dates in the food processor and blend them very well. If you haven’t gotten medjool dates, but you have dried dates. You can use them too but before you should soak them in water. If you soaked them in water, do not forget to remove the water and let them dry properly. Then separately put nuts in the food processor and keep there until the nuts are finely chopped. Then add dates and finally peanut butter. Mix everything well – can do with food processor or with spoon either clean hands. Place remaining coconut on the plate then, start shaping nuts’ balls and roll them in coconut. All the balls put in the container and keep in the fridge.

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I wrote the ingredients however, I always mix and experiment. Recently I made these balls using macadamia, pecan nuts – tastes very good! I also added seeds – linseeds and sesame seeds. And you can always add more coconut because it is very healthy to our bodies.

One TIP: make sure you got powerful food processor because you will have to chop dates and nuts. I actually burnt mine. So learn from my mistake 🙂

Enjoy it!

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If you are a real Lithuania you probably thought that I am talking about hundred layer poppy seeds cake.  Indeed, it is a very yummy cake that I must share the recipe with you one day. However, today I am talking about Arabian 100 layers desert.  If you are a fan of Arabian food or you had a chance to taste it so you got a right guess.  That’s true – a week or even two weeks ago I baked baklava and finally decided to share the recipe today.  What I like about this recipe that you can improvise as much as you like.  If you do not have any of the ingredients I am sure you can still find something in your kitchen cupboards to subsidise  it with.

The other reason what I like about this goodie is that it is not as sweet as chocolate or any other creamy cakes.  Of course, it is very sweet and it requires a lot of honey or maple syrup but the orange taste  balance the sweet taste.

Thirdly, it is a very simple recipe and makes a lot of ‘food’.  You get the ingredients and here you go:

2 packed boxes of phyllo pastry sheets

500 g butter, or ghee butter (I used normal butter)

400 gr walnuts

300 g almonds

250 g brown sugar

250 g honey or maple syrup

spices: 1 big cinnamon stick, cloves

1 pealed orange skin

1 squeezed small lemon juice 

250 g water

Take the baking tray and start adding layer after layer of phyllo pastry and each layer has to be covered with melted butter. Keep doing that until you add 8-10 layers.  Then add chopped and lightly toasted nuts.  By the way, when you chopped nuts and put on the frying pan you can add a little bit of oil and grounded cinnamon for better taste.   Divide nuts into three equal parts and each time use each part of nuts.   So, when you done with first nuts layer, again add one sheet of phyllo pastry and again add melted butter.  When you done four layers like that, then add the second part of nuts.   Take the pastry and put four layers with butter.  Finally, add remaining nuts and remaining pastry.  I had eight layers on top.  Depends on how many sheets you had left.  Once it is done – add to the oven for 45 mins until the baklava is very golden brown.  The temperature should be around 170 C degrees.

IMPORTANT: Before you put baklava to bake in  the oven you must take a sharp knife and cut into small square pieces.

Let’s make the syrup now.  Take non-stick pot and add water, sugar, honey, spices, orange skin and lemon juice.  Let it boil for 10-15 mins.  Do not forget to stir while it is boiling.  Feel free to add other spices and ingredients.  It all depends on what taste you would like to have.

When baklava is baked, take it out from the oven and start adding the syrup.  Use the trainer that only liquid would cover the pastry.  It should be good if the syrup covers more than half of  baklava.  The liquid will be easily absorbed by the pastry.  Leave it to soak. Let the baklava sit, uncovered, on the counter for several hours before you dig in.

As with all my other recipes, do not forget to improvise.  Use different spices, grapefruit and lime in stead of lemon and many more other yummy ingredients.  Enjoy and make sure you share it with your family, friends, community, colleagues and neighbours otherwise it will be too many calories for your own.. Just joking.

Baklava

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Perskaitę šio recepto pavadinimą, ko gero, pagalvojote, kad kalbu apie šimtalapį.  Tikrai taip, tai labai skanus pyragas.  Bent kartą per metus mes mėgstame išsikepti.  Būtinai kito kepimo metu pasidalinsiu receptu su jumis.  Bet šiandien noriu pasidalinti arabišku desertu, kuris irgi turi daug daug sluoksnių.  Tai yra baklava.

Viena iš priežasčių, kodėl man patinka šis receptas, tai, kad gaminant jį galima daug improvizuoti.  Kita priežastis – šis gardėsis nėra toks įkyriai saldus, kaip šokoladas ar kitas kreminis/sviestinis tortas.  Būtent citrinos ir apelsino skonis atgaivina visą saldumą.  Bet neapsigaukime, tikrai šio recepto metu sunaudosime daug medaus ar klevų sirupo ir cukraus.   Galiausiai, tai tikrai labai paprastas receptas, o pagaminamas didelis sluoksniuotas ‘pyragas’.

Taigi, mūsų ingredientai gaminant baklavą:

2 dėžutės šaldytos Filo (phyllo) tešlos

500 g sviesto, ar ghee lydyto sviesto

400 g graikinių riešutų

300 g migdolo riešutų

250 g rudo cukraus

250 g skysto medaus arba klevų sirupo (galima abu maišyti ir kartu dėti)

prieskoniai: 1 didelė cinamono lazdelė, džiovintų gvazdikėlių

1 apelsino nulupta žievelė

1 citrinos sulčių

250 g vandens (galima ir daugiau)

Pirmiausia, pasiruoškime skardelę, iššsitirpinkime sviestą.  Paimkime atšildytą tešlą, ir sluoksnis po sluoksnio dėkime į skardą.  Ant kiekvieno tešlos lakšto tepkime ištirpdintu sviestu.  Kartokime taip iki kol sutepsime aštuonis/dešimt tešlos sluoksnių.  Prieš tai susismulkinme ir paskruzdinkime riešutus.  Kepinant riešutus galite įdėti cinamono ir pašlakstyti truputį aliejaus.  Taigi, visus pakepintus riešutus padalinkite į tris lygias dalis ir pirmąją uždėkite ant tešlos.  Po to vėl keturis sluoksnis tešlos, ir antrąją dalį riešutų.  Vėl dėkite keturis tešlos lakštus užteptus sviestu ir likusius riešutus.  Tuomet uždėkite paskutinius tešlos lakštus, kur kiekvienas išteptas sviestu.  Prieš dedant kepti į orkaitą būtinai reikia supjaustyti baklavą į mažus keturkampius gabalėlius.  Naudokite ypač aštrų peilį.  Kepkite apie 45 min 170 C temperatūroje.  Baklava turi gražiai paruduoti.

Kol baklava kepa – pasidarykite sirupą.  Į verdantį vandenį sudėkite cukrų, medų, prieskonius, apelsino žievelę ir citrinos sultis.  Galite dėti ir kitokių prieskonių – viskas priklauso nuo tai, kokio skonio jūs norite.

Kai baklava iškepė – išimkite iš orkaitės ir apipilkite sirupu.  Pilkie per kiaurasamtį, kad baklavą padengtų tik tai sirupas.  Būtų idealu, kad sirupo užtektų apsemti daugiau negu pusė baklavos.  Nebijokite, sirupas puikiai įsigers į tešlą.  Ideliausia ragauti kitą dieną, bet jei norisi dar tą pačią dieną, tad palikite bent jau porai valandų, kad sirupas visiškai susigertų į tešlą.

Eksperimentuokite, ragaukite.  Bet nepamirškite šiuo iškeptu gėriu pasidalinti su giminaičiais, draugais, kolegomis, kaimynais, nes jums tikrai užteks kalorijų.  Juokauju.

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