Summer vacation is still on and I am trying my best to keep the kids happy and engaged. One thing that my kids love to do is watch films. Watching films without eating popcorn feels incomplete. So I sometimes make air popped popcorns season with salt and butter .
I never knew how easy it is to make popcorn till I came across these dried corn kernel in a supermarket aisle. Let me also tell you homemade popcorns are cheap, healthy and quick.
The only things you need to make popcorn from corn kernels are microwave or a thick bottomed utensil. It is prepared under 5 minutes and if air popped are super healthy and fun to share with friends and kids. Popcorn is a good source of dietary fibre and manganese. It is otherwise rich in carbohydrate.
I mainly use a microwave to air pop popcorns. You can also use a pressure cooker or any thick bottomed utensils. There is no need to add any oil, butter ( other than seasoning ) to the corn kernels to pop when using a microwave. You may want to flavour your homemade popcorns with different flavours like butter, caramel, cheese and anything else you fancy . My kids and I like it simple and only use salt for seasoning.
Let us know whether you made popcorns at home and how you flavoured it?
- Corn kernels – 50 g
Put ½ cup popcorn kernels and 2 Tbsp. cooking oil, into a large, deep, thick bottomed pot or your trusty old pressure cooker. Cover tightly and cook over medium-high heat until kernels just begin to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Give pot, a firm up-and-down shake every 30 seconds or so. When popping has almost subsided, remove pot/pressure cooker from heat and transfer popcorn to a bowl. Makes about 10 cups.
Place ¼ cup popcorn kernels in a paper lunch bag or a deep microwave safe mixing bowl. For the paper bag, fold over top edge to secure; microwave on high for about 2 minutes, or until kernels have mostly stopped popping.
This is the season of aam/mango. The summer vacations are on. I hate giving milk and Horlicks, Bournvita or Pediasure. Though I am blessed that my kids (fussy eater included) like to drink milk. (Not like their parents at all). So these days I often make mango milkshake. It’s simple, easy and healthy and made under 5 minutes.Many people like to add ice cream, nuts and dry fruits to their milkshakes. If you know me I like it simple and do not include any of those.
If you have a lactose intolerant kid or would like more varied nutrition for your kid you can include soy milk. Many don’t like the taste of soy milk, this mango milkshake is a wonderful way of consuming soy milk. We barely get the taste of soy milk in this milkshake since the taste and flavour of mango dominates.
Tips for making a thick Mango Milkshake
- Fully ripe mangoes yield the best taste to the mango milkshake. Choose juicy, ripe, non-fibrous mangoes.
- To keep it simple and healthy, I prefer not to include any sugar, ice cream or dry fruits or nuts. If you get a sweet ripened mango there may not be any need to add sugar.For the kids,I sometimes just add a teaspoon of honey on top, so that it looks interesting.
- Make sure to use chilled milk else there are chances for the milk to curdle.
- Add cardamom powder or saffron to make it flavoured and even more interesting.
- Mango Ripe – 200 g
- Milk (Full cream cow milk) – 300 ml
- Wash mangoes under running water
- Peel the mango and chop to cubes.
- Strain the milk to ensure no cream/malai goes into it.
- Blend all the ingredients together. Adjust the quantity of milk to get the desired consistency.
- Serve immediately or serve after chilling it for 30 mins
- You may add cashew nut, raisin, ice-cream for garnishing
Though I mostly make milkshakes for our kids, I must say I also like them quite a bit. I have tried plain banana milkshake with my kids and they were not hits. But this chocolate and banana milkshake was loved by the kids. Chocolate and banana share a great affinity, the two flavors blending together perfectly to create a rich and satisfying taste. When a banana is added to a chocolate milkshake, the drink suddenly takes on a richer, creamier and fruitier flavor than the usual chocolate milkshake. For many people, it’s all that’s needed for a healthy, hearty snack to get them through to the next meal. Here’s how to whip up a chocolate banana milkshake.
For adding chocolate you can use melted chocolate bars, unsweetened cocoa powder (like I do) or chocolatey drink like Hersheys (I also do this), Bournvita, and others.
- Milk (full cream cow milk) – 300 ml
- Bananas Ripe – 1 whole
- Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
- Dates – 2 whole
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- You can either use a blender or a shaker to make your milkshake.
- Blend the bananas in the blender or a fork. Blend or squash until it is mushy and smooth, with no lumps left.
- Next, add chocolate to the banana. If you are using chocolate bar melt it before use.
- Add sugar to the banana chocolate mixture. The amount is up to your liking of sweetness.
- Then add the milk, until the mix turns frothy.
- Top this mix with ice, whipped cream, or anything else of your choice.
It’s hard to feed veggies to the fussy eater. So I have to invent novel ways of doing so. I guess getting kids to eat veggies is a common problem. Recently I made this veggie scrambled egg which he liked. I think this a good way of including ( or should I say hiding) veggies in the meal.
- Egg – 2 whole
- Carrot (grated) – 25 g
- Spinach (finely chopped) – 25 g
- Wash and clean carrots and grate them.
- Clean and finely chop spinach
- Next, make the egg mixture by beating together eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper. If your kids or you love tomato sauce or any sweet-sour sauce you can add that too.
- Next, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Melt a little butter and add grated carrot. Stir fry till the colour changes.
- Next add spinach and stir fry till the spinach begins to wilt.
- Next add egg, keep stirring till your scrambled egg is ready.
Hummus is the Arabic for chickpeas. It tastes heavenly and I have never really liked the taste of the store-bought hummus in India. So decided to make my own and after some trial and error hit on this recipe.
The main ingredients of hummus are chickpeas (chole), garlic, tahini ( sesame seeds and olive oil paste), lime. All these ingredients are easily available in India. You may choose to add flavouring herbs like thyme, basil, parsley. If you like it spicy you may want to add paprika, black pepper.
From a nutrition point of view, chickpeas are a good source of dietary fiber, protein and copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.
If you have a fussy eater at home like me you might try giving hummus and side of veggies like carrot, leek, cucumber or any other steamed or boiled veggies. Or eat hummus, pita bread, and chicken or falafel. If you are like me you can eat it just like that ….
Hummus is more of an idea than a recipe — this is just one version. Hummus is very open to lots of variations. I plan to change the proportions, add some spices, and make many different variations of this recipe.
Do you already have a favorite hummus recipe? What do you put in yours?
- Chickpea – 200 g
- Garlic – 5 clove
- Extra virgin olive oil – 5 tbsp
- Sesame Seeds/Til – 50 g
- Lemon – 2 whole
- Salt – 1
- Flavoring/Optional Ingredient
- Thyme – 15 g
- Paparika (taste) – 10 tbsp
- Cumin powder
- If you do not have Tahini dry roast sesame seeds and keep aside. Take a large bowl and soak the chickpeas overnight. In the morning, they will look plump and swollen. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Take a large bowl and soak the chickpeas overnight. In the morning, they will look plump and swollen. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Pressure cook the chickpeas for 3-4 whistles. First two in high flame and last two in low or medium flame. Once cooked the chickpeas should be plump and soft. You should be able to squash them with a spoon.
- Save and the chickpea boiled water for grinding in a mixer/ food processor.
- Combine the chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of the food processor or blender.
- Process the hummus continuously until it becomes very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to integrate any large chunks.
- Taste and add more of any of the ingredients to taste. If your hummus is stiffer than you’d like, add more lemon juice or olive oil to thin it out and make the hummus creamier.
- Scrape the hummus into a bowl and serve with pita chips or raw vegetables. Hummus will also keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.