Friday, March 31, 2023

Limonana


Limonana is a refreshing mint lemonade from Lebanon, although it is popular throughout the Middle East. This thirst quencher requires just four ingredients to make and is the best one to make for you as well as for any entertainment!



I received samples from Melissa's Produce to aid the process of recipe development. The opinions expressed here are my own. This recipe uses the best lemons and the freshest mint from Melissa's Produce. Melissa’s Produce lemons are great in flavor and I have used them in many recipes. Try these Eggless Lemon Lavender Cupcakes, Honey Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake, and Lemon Blueberry Turnovers for an amazing dessert/snack. If you have access to Melissa’s products I would recommend you to try them.



Why this limonana?


This is easy to make and loaded with refreshing flavors! That fact is more than enough to convince anyone to make it. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked on it. Though there is a minor difference in this Middle Eastern version of mint lemonade when compared to the Indian Lemonade (we also add a little black salt and sometimes a pinch of cumin), this is also equally tasty and refreshing to beat the heat.



The ingredients needed to make this limonana are:


Lemon - Any variety of lemon can be used. 

Mint - This herb adds to the refreshing flavor and provides micronutrients.

Water - Makes up the quantity diluting the sour flavor of the lemons

Sugar - Balances the sour lemons

Ice - Crushed or cubed ice can be used. 


When making this limonana, simple syrup can be made, cooled, and then everything can be blended together. If you have a powerful blender, for a quick quenching drink, just blend all the ingredients together skipping the simple syrup step. It works! Just make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Chopped mint leaves or crushed mint leaves are also used to make this limonana, but the blender version makes a quick one. 



Lemonades are always refreshing when the rising mercury level makes you thirsty. It’s refreshing flavor along with mint boosts with fresh energy to go on for the rest of the hot day. Lemonades are not only just for drinking, but are also fun and can be used to make fun science experiments. This color changing lemonade with butterfly pea flower is the choice that is fun to learn pH and it provides health benefits. This Dragon Fruit Lemonade, with vibrant color and tasty flavors is yet another refreshing drink to make during summer. I cherish the nostalgic memories whenever I have this Nannari Sherbet



This month, in our Shhhhhh Secretly Cooking group, one of our amazing blogger friends, Sasmita, suggested the theme of refreshing summer drinks. In this group, we suggest secret ingredients, and my partner Narmadha suggested water and sugar as secret ingredients and I made this refreshing Lebanese Limonana. In turn with the ingredients that I gave her, she made this delicious strawberry Lemonade and I would love to have it right now. 

 




Ingredients
2- 4 servings

Ice - 2/3 cup
Water - 1.5 cups
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Lemon juice - 1/2 cup
Mint - 1/2 cup

Method

Add the sugar to half cup water, heat until it dissolves. Set aside to cool.


Add the sugar syrup, lemon juice, remaining water, and mint.  Blend everything together. If skipping sugar syrup step, add everything to the blender and blend. 

To Serve: Add ice to serving glasses equally. Pour the lemonade in to the glasses. Serve.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Heart Healthy Carrot Coconut Muffins


These vegan carrot and coconut muffins are the perfect choice to make the most amazing and flavorful breakfast! These healthy muffins are made with whole wheat, oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and raisins along with carrots and coconut. The simple and wholesome ingredients give the perfect nutrition to start your day whether you eat at the table or on the go. 



I received samples from Taylor & Colledge, Selefina Spices, and Melissa’s Produce in the process of recipe development, and the views expressed are mine alone. This recipe used Melissa’s Produce carrots, Selefina Spices Cinnamon, and Taylor & Colledge Vanilla extract paste. These products are of very high quality and give phenomenal flavors to the food made with them. If you haven’t tried, now it is the time to hop on to their website and order. Also, search the blog for recipes using these products.



If you are looking for the best breakfast idea, your search is over. Let me tell you why you should make these muffins.


These muffins are made with whole grains. No fillers! Nunca! These muffins are made with 100% whole wheat and rolled oats. These two grains make it a great choice.

This muffin provides phenomenal nutrition. The ingredients speak for the nutritional profile. Each and every ingredient gives wholesome nutrition.

The protein content also makes this a great choice. Proteins from wheat, oats, nuts, flaxseed, and chia give a great profile of amino acids, the building blocks for proteins.

Finally, these muffins have phenomenal flavors! The sweet carrots, raisins, almond milk, vanilla, and Selefina Spices cinnamon - mmmmmph, every bite is amazing!



The following ingredients are required to make these healthy muffins:


Whole wheat flour - Any brand of whole wheat flour can be used. This forms the base of the muffins


Rolled Oats - Oats are my favorite grain and they are heart healthy. Rolled oats work in this recipe. Do not replace it with steel cut oats as it requires a longer duration of cooking and may not work in this recipe.


Coconut flour - A little goes a long way adding hints of nutty flavor.


Salt - Adds flavor


Baking soda and baking powder - Leavening agent used.


Oil - Any neutral oil can be used. For a flavor boost, add coconut oil.


Carrots - Shredded carrots work in this recipe.


Aquafaba - Acts as binder


Flaxseed and chia seeds - Acts as binders, egg-substitute, and adds to the proteins.


Walnuts - Gives the crunchy bite, enhances flavor and proteins.


Unsweetened Coconut flakes - Adds to the extra coconut flavor.


Raisins - Iron rich raisins provide good nutrition and give a  sweet bite here and there.


Almond milk - Any plant based milk can be used. I prefer the flavors of almond milk in this recipe. Coconut milk would give extra dimension to the flavors. 


Selefina Spices Cinnamon - Carrots and cinnamon are perfect pairs and this gives a warm flavor to these muffins.


Taylor & Colledge Vanilla - The vanilla extract paste gives a beautiful vanilla hint and aroma. Substitute with regular vanilla if you can’t find this in your region.


Brown sugar - Sweetens the muffins. The sweetness is just right for me. If you prefer extra sweet, add a couple more tablespoons. 



Is this recipe vegan?


Yes. This recipe uses plant based milk, oil, and also vegan friendly organic brown sugar. 



Storage


These muffins are great to keep outside for 1-2 days if you are in cooler climatic conditions. These stay great for 5-6 six days in the refrigerator. Just pop them in the microwave for a quick 10 second run, or warm them in the toaster/regular oven.





Today is the final Monday of the month and we share tasty muffin recipes in our #MuffinMonday group. This vegan, heart healthy muffin loaded with nutrition that screams Spring flavors is my share for the event. Make these muffins for your Spring breakfast/brunch celebrations, and these will find a regular spot in your weekly menu. Check at the bottom of the page for more muffin recipes from fellow bloggers.


I am also linking this to Sundays on Silverado, Happiness is Homemade, Crafty Creators, and What’s For Dinner.



Ingredients
Makes 12


Whole Wheat flour - 1 cup
Rolled Oats - 3/4 cup
Coconutflour - 3 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Almond milk - 1 cup
Aquafaba - 3 tbsp
Selefina Spices cinnamon powder - 3/4 tsp
Taylor & Colledge Vanilla extract paste - 3/4 tsp
Unsweetened desiccated coconut - 1/2 cup
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Walnuts - 1/2 cup
Carrots - 1 cup, shredded

Method

To a bowl, add the flaxseed powder, chia seeds and half cup almond milk, and let it gel for 15 minutes. 

Add the whole wheat flour, rolled oats, coconut flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder, baking soda to a bowl. 


Add the soaked flaxed seed and chia seed mixture to a bow, remaining  Almond milk, brown sugar, and vanilla extract paste.


Mix well until it is combined.



Add the mixing, fold in completely.


Pour it into lines and sprayed muffin tins.


Make for 18-19 minutes, until brown cooled. Serve warm.



March #MuffinMonday Recipes. Thanks, Stacy!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Key Lime Cheesecake Easter Eggs



These are the most amazing, flavorful, easy, make-ahead, fun and delicious desserts that would be a showstopper! These crowd pleasing eggs are no-bake cheesecakes in chocolate shells, and every layer has the amazing hint of Key lime and vanilla. 


This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of the #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.


This recipe uses samples from Melissa’s Produce and Taylor & College to aid the process of recipe development. First, Melissa's Produce Key Limes! These key limes have a tart flavor but not too acidic and have a good aroma. The juice and zest adds immense flavor. Next, Taylor and Colledge extract pastes give the perfect flavor in baked goods and it is always my go to  choice to use for any recipe. Check here for delicious recipes using almond extract paste, vanilla extract paste, Lemon extract paste, and Lavender extract paste. If you haven’t tried these, do try now and do not miss on the flavors.

 


What is so special about this dessert is that it makes you indulge in it, and makes you want more and more of it. You might initially decide to share this cheesecake egg, but as soon as you start, every bite is addictive and you’ll eventually finish it all by yourself. This happens to me every time I have this dessert, just like this Rose Rasmalai Crinkle. The heart as well as the tummy wants more of it. Once it is done, you’ll long for more of this, eventually. This is what we call in Hindi “Dil mangta hai more” (meaning the heart longs or wants for more of that). 


This dessert is so perfect for Easter! The shells are also egg shapes and decorated with mini chocolate eggs. What can be more apt than this dessert that is simple, fun, and flavorful. This dessert screams Spring! Use any brand that you like to use as toppings. I love Lindt and Cadbury’s, and used them to decorate the eggs.



Why these chocolate cheesecake eggs?


  • No-bake dessert - No baking required at all to make this dessert. The same cheesecake filling is used to fill the eggs. It makes everything easier, and I love quick and easy cheesecake desserts like this Stem Ginger Mango Cheesecake Parfaits
  • Easy to make - This is SO easy to make.
  • Make-ahead - This can be made 1-2 days before, and that makes everything easier.
  • Fun - This is a fun filled dessert that would be loved by everyone.
  • Edible white chocolate shell - The shell is also edible! More chocolatey delicious dessert! This takes the dessert to a whole new level



Can White chocolate be substituted?


I prefer using white chocolate in this recipe. White chocolate and Key lime are my favorite flavors. The zest of Key limes are added to the white chocolate shell which gives a flavor boost! 


How many servings does this recipe make?


This recipe makes about 9. The mold used in this recipe is 4-in in length. If a smaller egg mold is used, it would give more number of servings.



How to make the shells?


The shells are easy to make. They are just like how you make the shells for a chocolate bomb. The only difference is that these eggs are not closed, and served as half eggs. The best way to make the shells is by adding the molten chocolate, swirling it all over the mold, removing the excess, and placing it in the fridge for 30 minutes to set. If it is not set completely, it will result in broken shells. The edges of the shells should also be smoothened and can be done the same way it is done with hot cocoa bombs. This gives a neat finish and a wonderful presentation.


Can this recipe be doubled?


Absolutely! This recipe can be easy doubled (like how I made), or even tripled. This recipe can be easily scaled up or down.



Things to note…….


Though this recipe is easy to make, the thickness of the chocolate shell is important. It shouldn’t be too thin or too thick. Too thin a shell will result in breakage while releasing it. If it is too thick it would result in a heavy and too sweet dessert. It is a great idea to use good quality white chocolate. Double boiler method is my preferred method of melting chocolate, but microwave can also be used. 


Storing this Dessert


Since this dessert has dairy products, I would highly recommend to store them in air tight containers until serving. The leftovers can also be saved in the same way for a couple of days.



Welcome to #SpringSweetsWeek 2023 hosted by Heather from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks! The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer, and we are celebrating the beginning of spring with plenty of spring sweets and a fun giveaway! This year 20 food bloggers from around the country are sharing over 75 sweet recipes that are perfect for spring. So get ready to enjoy amazing spring treats like cupcakes, cookies, pies, jams, and even a few beverages! We share recipes from #SpringSweetsWeek on Pinterest! Make sure you follow the board to see all the delicious recipes shared this week.

 Thank you to our #SpringSweetsWeek sponsors that are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you to Melissa's Produce, Anolon, Taylor and Colledge, and Selefina Spices for your generosity and support. We have an incredible giveaway with four amazing prizes and would love it if you would take a moment to read about it and the prizes that you can win!

Prize #1:  A Fresh and Dried Organics Basket from Melissa's Produce.

A box of fresh and dried fruits.

One winner will enjoy an abundance of fruit with Melissa’s Fresh and Dried Organics Basket. This hand-woven basket holds a delicious combination of fresh and dried Organic fruits and is carefully wrapped with cellophane and finished with a colorful ribbon. Melissa's Produce has everything from common apples and bananas to exotic passion fruit and kumquats. 

Prize # 2:  A $30 Gift certificate to Selefina Spices.

3 spice jars and a spoon with spices on it.

One winner will enjoy a $30 gift certificate to buy all their favorite spices for cooking and baking! Selefina Spices sells an assortment of spices gathered using dedication and care with which we’ve curated their online tea collection. With our decades of experience sourcing products and establishing global connections their mission is to be able to bring you fresher, higher-quality spices and seasonings at lower prices. 

Prize #3:  A selection of 4 extract pastes from Taylor and Colledge.

Five tubes of extract pastes

One winner will receive a selection of extracts to include almond, lemon, organic vanilla bean, and lavender. In 1897, Taylor & Colledge won its first award for excellence in vanilla. Since then, the Taylor & Colledge commitment for unsurpassed quality has earned its reputation as one of the world’s finest producers of vanilla.

Prize #4:  AnolonPro Bakeware 2 Piece Set of Half Sheet Cookie Pans.

2 cookie sheets

One winner will win a 2-piece set of 13-inch x 18-inch half sheet baking pans for cookies!  These aluminized steel professional sheet pans deliver unmatched durability and heat conduction for incredibly reliable results and are oven safe to 550°F.  You'll be able to bake all your favorite cookies to perfection. Anolon Pro Bakeware gives you professional grade bakeware at affordable prices.

a Rafflecopter giveaway










































Here are some delicious Spring breakfast as well as dessert recipes from the blog.


Blood Orange Frozen Yogurt


Blood Orange Mini Bundts With Pink Glaze


Eggless Lemon Lavender Cupcakes


Stem Ginger Mango Cheesecake Parfait


Carrot Halwa Ice Cream


Vegan Whole Wheat Carrot Banana Bread


Blood Orange Poke Cake


Carrot Cinnamon Rolls


Eggless Key Lime Coconut Lime Ginger Banana Bread




Ingredients

Makes 9


For the Chocolate Shells


White chocolate - 2 cups

Lime zest - 1/2 tsp


Cheesecake Filling


Graham cracker - 6 squares, crushed

Butter - 1 tbsp, melted

Cream cheese. -4 oz, room temperature

Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup

Key lime juice - 1 tbsp

Key lime zest - 1/2 tsp

Sour cream - 1 tbsp

'Heavy cream - 1 tbsp

Taylor & Colledge Vanilla extract paste - 1/2 tsp


For the Whipped Cream


Heavy cream - 1/4 cup

Powdered sugar - 4 tbsp

Taylor & Colledge Vanilla extract paste - 1/4 tsp


For Decoration


Chocolate eggs of assorted sizes or candies


Method


Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. (or in a microwave).



Add the lime zest and mix.



Pour the white chocolate mixture into the 4-in egg molds and remove the excess by inverting it. Keep refrigerated for 30 minutes.



Carefully remove the shells out of the mold.



Warm a baking sheet ion the oven. Carefully rub the edges of the egg to smoothen it. Repeat with the remaining eggs.



Crush the graham crackers, add melted butter and set aside.



Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, cream, sour cream, vanilla, Key lime juice until fluffy. Fold in the lime zest.



Whip the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until stiff peak consistency.



To Assemble: Add about 1.5 tbsp of the graham cracker mixture into each egg.



Pipe in the cheesecake filling.



Pipe whipped cream decorative stars around the edge of the shell.



Optional: Sprinkle a little graham cracker crumbs in the center. Add a couple of small chocolate eggs. Keep refrigerated until serving.





Friday #SpringSweetsWeek Recipes

  • Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies by Art of Natural Living
  • Black Forest Snack Cake by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
  • Blender Blood Orange Curd by Shockingly Delicious
  • Dairy Free Mexican Chocolate Pudding by Frugal & Fit
  • Frozen Coconut Mojitos by The Spiffy Cookie
  • Funfetti Pancakes by Family Around the Table
  • Key Lime Pie Cookies by Kate's Recipe Box
  • Kumquat Strawberry Lemonade Cooler by Palatable Pastime
  • Mixed Citrus Daiquiri by A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Morning Glory Cake by Jolene's Recipe Journal
  • Orange Creamsicle Mousse by Jen Around the World
  • Pear Blueberry Crisp by Sweet Beginnings
  • Pink Lemonade Sangria by Cheese Curd In Paradise
  • Polish Poppy Seed Roll by Cookaholic Wife
  • Spiced Orange Blondies by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
  • Spiced Orange Scones by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
  • Strawberry Lemon Lavender Cake by That Recipe
  • Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Breakfast Smoothie by Blogghetti
  • White Chocolate Fudge Sauce by Karen's Kitchen Stories

  • Disclaimer for non-alcoholic recipes: 

    Thank you #SpringSweetsWeek Sponsors: Selefina Spices, Anolon, Melissa’s Produce, and Taylor and Colledge for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #SpringSweetsWeek giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older.   All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #SpringSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #SpringSweetsWeek posts or entry.