Sweet chili sauce: Just the way you like it!

food

20140518-015528.jpg

It’s been 4 months that I’ve been following this new cleaner lifestyle and I realized that I was constantly looking for the sweet and spicy flavor in my dishes. You might have noticed in my recipes that I was constantly making the honey + chili combination!

Before that I was using store bought sweet chili sauce which has a shelf life of more than 1 year and obviously full of the ‘bad’ stuff. One of the major hurdles of leading a healthy life is the addition of condiments, most of them are full of sugars and preservatives! It’s such a necessary but unnecessary addition!

So, while trying to come up with a new chicken recipe, I thought out the way I could bottle this sweet chili sauce! And it worked!!

I ordered these jars even before trying it out! ūüėÄ


What do you need?

1 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar it’s healthier)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Red and green chilies ( the amount depends on how spicy you want it)
3/4 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbsp of cornstarch with 1.5 tbsp of water

You will make 6 110ml jars!


20140518-114506.jpg

Sterilize the jars by placing them in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful when taking them out!

20140518-114450.jpg

On low heat, bring the honey and water to a simmer and add in the chilies and garlic

Continue to simmer for 5 minutes then add in the vinegar and lemon

Simmer for a further 5 minutes and add in the cornstarch and water mixture. Keep whisking slowly until sauce has thickened.

20140518-015413.jpg

Fill the jars with the sauce and keep open to cool completely.

20140518-015438.jpg

20140518-015429.jpg

Once cool, you can refrigerate and enjoy for up to a month! I doubt it will last that long!

I gave these jars as favors for my husband’s birthday lunch! I was happy to share this healthy change with my loved ones!

20140518-015510.jpg

Enjoy!!

20140518-015650.jpg

Why Chia Seeds?

food

Buy chia seeds

Chia seeds are native to South America and have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Today, they draw the interest of many people for their health benefits and uses in cooking. It turns out the South American staple is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.

In Bangladesh, a similar seed is called ‘tokma’ or basil seeds.¬†

Their benefits are: 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.

Fiber

Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.

Antioxidants

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

Minerals

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

Satiety

Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.

Gluten-Free

Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

Egg Replacer

The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Can Be Digested Whole

Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.

Dyslipidemia

A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

Reference:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/top-10-health-benefits-chia-seeds-6962.html

 

Why Matcha Green Tea?

food

MATCHA ANTIOXIDANT LEVELS

matcha

 Buy Matcha

6.2 TIMES THAT OF GOJI BERRIES 
7 TIMES THAT OF DARK CHOCOLATE 
17 TIMES THAT OF WILD BLUEBERRIES 
60.5 TIMES THAT OF SPINACH

 CANCER PREVENTER

Green tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals in the body. The most powerful catechin found in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen4.

A 2003 University of Colorado study confirmed that drinking 1 cup of matcha green tea has 137 times the amount of antioxidant EGCG compared to a conventional cup of green tea1.

 ANTI-AGER

One of the locales in the world where people live the longest is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawan people’s longevity has been partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha Green Tea1.

Matcha green tea is the most popular green tea in Japan, but is rapidly gaining more popularity throughout the world because of its ability to combat inflammation, oxidation and aging.

¬†HEART DISEASE PREVENTER: LOWERS LDL “BAD” CHOLESTEROL

A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that administration of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL “Evil Emperor Zurg” cholesterol concentrations5.

 WEIGHT LOSS

A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that green tea extract rich in catechins has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content.

It was found that consuming green tea increased thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure6.

Another study demonstrated that exercising immediately after drinking matcha green tea resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise4.

DETOXIFIER

Matcha is grown in the shade, which is why it is richer in chlorophyll than other green teas. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving leaves their green color. The Hulk would be proud!

Chlorophyll is purported to detoxify the body1, but this has yet to be scientifically proven. I wanted to mention it because of its supposed ability to clear the body of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.

 MIND IMPROVER

Matcha green tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green tea2. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive properties, capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain.

Stress is known to induce the brain’s beta wave activity, leading to a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure1.

Although matcha contains some caffeine, the relaxing properties of L-theanine counterbalance the “jittery” effects of caffeine. Therefore, a cup of matcha green tea promotes concentration and clarity of mind without producing any of the nervous energy typically associated with coffee2.

 FIBER

Matcha green tea leaves contain a high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber include its ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.

 ENERGY ENERGY

Try a cup of matcha green tea as an afternoon “pick-me-up” anytime you need extra focus. matcha green tea is an ideal substitute for coffee because it provides an energy boost without the headaches1¬†you might get from a coffee crash.

Reference:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-wonders-of-matcha-green-tea.html

 

My daily everyday

Lifestyle

It’s good to be back home, rejuvenated from a month long holiday! Even though I followed my London routine while I was away, it’s simply not the same.

I used to be pretty much like a sloth before; I went to school, ate whatever, sedentary mostly, sleeping at strange hours (with sleep aid), woke up past noon. Oh! It was a mess!! And by the way I was always tired or felt sick just ask my husband or sisters.

Looking at my everyday now, I must say I have come a long way in just a few short months. Remember it takes 21 days to form a habit!

My day starts with me craving for the fruit smoothie. Blitz the fruits with some spinach and kale. Add in matcha green tea and then stir in some chia seeds.

Why matcha green tea? Why chia seeds?

I drink half of the smoothie an hour before training.

Train with Gary for an hour and half. By that time I am dead beat!

Within 20 mins of training, I drink a whey protein shake with water followed by multivitamins that’s when your body is craving for all that goodness! Then i head to work feeling quite full. At some point before lunch, I take the remaining portion of the smoothie.¬†

Why whey protein?

 I take lunch around 12:30 pm which consists of carbohydrates + veggies

Between lunch and dinner, I have 2 snacks.

Snack # 1: Either apple with nut butter or seeds or porridge. Anything that is slow releasing. Fruit or milk chia puddings are great too.

Snack # 2: Another whey protein shake with water.

Then I take dinner  by 7:30 pm which consists of proteins + veggies

Why this food plan?

Around 9:30 pm I drink some chamomile or herbal tea

By 10:30 pm, I am already dying to sleep. This is so unlike me but I love it!

And all day I drink a lot of water (4 liters) in many forms and keep nuts and seeds handy. You never want to feel hungry thats a sign of your metabolism slowing down. 

You just have to make it work around your schedule. Everyone’s life is different and there is no template to getting it just perfect. You devise your own plan and make it work for you! Just remember to add in all the goodness so each day you are one step towards your goal. Everything you put into your body should have a reason, when something doesn’t thats when you toss it out!¬†

You decide what goes into your body, it deserves the best!