Curry Night!

I’m not a big fan of eating Indian food out, I think I find them too rich which might be the use of butter ghee, but I do like homemade vegetarian curry dishes, in particular lentil dahl. Last year I had an amazing meal at a vegetarian restaurant in Bournemouth called Zoukinis, so if your ever around that area you have to check it out! Anyway, on this particular day it was their Thali night  with a set dinner menu of Indian and Nepalese dishes and a great lentil dahl which the owner told us contained 11 different spices. This inspired me the next time I made dahl to layer up the spices and it definitely makes all the difference, making a tasty, fragrant and light, but filling meal. It just goes to show that  powerful flavours can be made by just using and combining spices without adding salt, stock cubes or ready made seasonings (which often contain high amounts of salt).

dahl

When I last made my red lentil dahl, I served it with roasted curried Squash and a refreshing yogurt and mint dip.

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Reinventing Granola

Granola is great as a snack, tastes yummy, travels well and full of healthy energy boosting ingredients….right?

To a certain point yes. Granola often contains a base of oats, aiding digestion, dried fruits, supplying nutrients and vitamins, and a mix of seeds and nuts, providing the good fats. But it is also full of sugar, either from syrups, refined sugar or honey that are used to sweeten the cereal and from sweetened dried fruits such as pineapples, papaya, cranberries and banana chips.

I wanted to create a granola without all this additional sugar and find a healthy binder instead, so I began with an investigation into ingredients substitutions.

I’ve often used homemade unsweetened apple puree as a substitute in baking for sugar and butter so i thought this might work and attempted to try it…now the granola tasted ok, but the apple made the ingredients too wet and it failed to get the crunchy texture that granola has… and it has got to be crunchy!

Therefore, internet searching recommenced…

Then I found a few sites that suggested using date puree as a sweetener…and I conveniently had some dates…

Let the cooking begin!

….

The Result?

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SUCCESS!

So Scrap the sugary granola and make your own healthier version. And the best thing about making it yourself is you get to add your favourite ingredients!

Check out my basic recipe for a healthy granola!