The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

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November 12, 2020

Gluten Free Diwali Sweets - Badam Burfi (Almond Treats)



Are you excited about Diwali as much as I am??

🪔 Diwali, the festival of lights, is just days away. Every year, we celebrate this holiday with family and friends, yummy dishes, and desserts. 🪔

🪔 This year, it will be a bit different because of COVID-19. We are only celebrating within our family and keeping the group small. However, I'm still planning to make yummy dishes to enjoy the festivities. 🪔

My sister and I 💓 classic Indian sweets like Kaju Katli or Kaju burfi which is made with cashews. I never thought 🤔 about making the nutty burfis at home. 


Almond Burfi


My mom decided to give it a try. Instead of making Kaju burfi, she made Almond burfi. She also wanted to make a sweet that is easy and requires few ingredients and calories 😀. 



Costco to the rescue 👍! She found Almond flour at Costco and made the sweet without making the flour herself. Read below to see how easy it is to make this yummy dessert. 😋

Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cups Almond flour (we used Kirkland brand)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup room temperature water
  • 1/4 cup Mavva/Kova (milk powder) optional if not use 1&1/2 cups of almond flour
  • 6 to 7 cardamom, seeded and powdered
  • 1 tsp of ghee (clarified butter)
  • 4 to 5 pistachios, finely chopped 


Procedure

1) Heat water and sugar and cardamom powder in a medium non-stick saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. 


2) Slowly add the almond flour, mavva, and ghee and stir continuously until the water is absorbed and the mixture is not sticking to the fingers when tested. It took about 9 minutes until the mixture came together. 





3) Remove from heat and immediately press the burfi dough onto wax paper evenly that is rubbed with ghee to help make it non-stick. Make sure there aren't any bumps. Use a rolling pin gently to press down and adjust to even sides to a rectangle shape.



4) Then, sprinkle the pistachios all over pressed burfi dough and press them down gently with the rolling pin. We evened out the edges so we could cut burfi dough into diamond shapes (as shown below). 


5) Cover the cut burfis with wax paper and put it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set. Then place the burfi pieces onto your favorite plate or serving dish and enjoy! 



🪔 From my family to yours...Diwali Mubarak 🪔

November 10, 2020

Tip Five - Boost Nutrition with Food Pairings: Carrots or Sweet Potatoes with Plant fats





Carrots are orange because they are rich in beta-carotene which gives them their trademark orange color. But I was surprised to learn that sweet potatoes are also rich in Carotene. Both of these vegetables contain many healthy nutrients in addition to fiber. 

Let us consider their health benefits:

Carrots are crunchy, tasty and in addition to beta-carotene, they are a good source of fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. In addition to these nutrients, carrots are weight-loss friendly due to low calories, reduce risk of cancer, and improve eye health with Vitamin A formed from beta carotene in our body. Carrots also contain a 241% DV, a daily value of Vitamin A.

Carrots contain pectin which is a soluble fiber that can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down our digestion of sugar and starch. It can also feed the friendly bacteria in our gut leading to improved health. It can also impair the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract, lowering blood cholesterol. The insoluble fibers in carrots are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin which reduces the risk of constipation and promotes regular bowel movement.

Sweet Potato:

Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature's unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene which raises the blood levels of vitamin A particularly true in children. Betacarotene is an antioxidant that protects our body from free radicals (which damage DNA and trigger inflammation) that are linked to causing cancer, heart disease, and aging. Therefore eating antioxidant-rich foods is good for your health. A 100g serving of sweet potato consists of 769% DV, a daily value of Vitamin A.

Like carrots, sweet potatoes also contain a soluble fiber called viscous fiber that absorbs water in our gut and softens the stool. The insoluble fibers add bulk and also get fermented by the bacteria in the colon release short-chain fatty acids that feed the cells of the intestinal lining and keep them strong and healthy.

As we have seen here both carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in betacarotene that forms into Vitamin A to boost our eye health. But beta-carotene absorption is boosted in our body when these vegetables were eaten along with some plant fat as it is a fat-soluble nutrient.

We propose to pair carrots with hummus (or some type of fat like peanut butter) as an excellent snack, the oil content in hummus from the sesame paste will help absorb more beta-carotene.

For sweet potatoes, it is a better option to saute or steam them and cut into pieces and pair them with nuts like sunflower or pumpkin seeds to enhance the carotene absorption. Cooking reduces the beta-carotene but it can retain 70% of this nutrient and still considered an excellent source.

So next time you are at a supermarket, remember to grab a few carrots or sweet potatoes or both to help boost your health in many good ways.