Now we try to replace all those over-processed foods with simple, nutritious yet tasty snacks like nuts, for one thing. Then there is the cheese, the fruits, dried fruits and so on, that we are trying to incorporate as well. But that is the subject for yet another post.
And believe me, we are seeing the benefits of that substitution atleast in my husband's and my case...since we feel much more full with just a handful of nuts and of course, we still do have our indulgences in the store-bought desserts and so on, once in a while. But this change makes us feel very much better about our diet and the kids' diets as well. The kids surprisingly dont seem to mind the absence of store-bought snacks(especially if I keep showering them with home-made snacks that they demand:))
Nuts, I understand(as I read more and more) have a world of goodness packed in them...considering that they are chock-full of protein, omega - 3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants and Vitamin E and Vitamin B complex. And of course, I cant even begin to list all the heart-healthy minerals that they contain...potassium, magnesium and zinc being just a few.
So, with all that said, I try to incorporate nuts in every kind of dish...what is not to like - they make every dish creamy and melt - in - your mouth!
Here is a Nutty - Minty Dip that I make very often, not only because it is ready in less than 10 minutes but also because it is extremely versatile...great for sandwich spreads, dip for savory cookies / crackers and also a wonderful accompaniment for Indian tiffin items like idli, dosa and even rotis.
Here is the recipe:
Nutty Minty Dip / Chutney / Spread
Prep/cook time: 10 minutes
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Mint - few leaves (5 or 6 or more if you can handle the strong taste)
Ginger - small piece (less than 1 inch size)
Garlic - 2 pods (roast slightly with very little or no oil)
White Sesame Seeds(Til) - 1tsp roasted slightly
Almonds - 8 to 10 roasted slightly
Green chilly peppers - 4 or 5( I used the long, thin Indian variety though any variety should work fine)
For seasoning: mustard(rai) and urud dal(split black gram), few curry leaves, 1 tsp light olive oil or any other cooking oil
Salt according to taste
Lemon juice for garnish
Clean and cut cilantro leaves.
Blend all the ingredients into a fine paste.
In a pan, add 1tsp oil and when it heats up, add the mustard and urud and curry leaves...wait till mustard starts to crackle and urud turns golden brown. Add these seasonings to the chutney. Top with some freshly squeezed lemon juice...yummmmy!!!
NOTE: All ethnic ingredients are easily available at most grocery stores in the Asian/Asian Indian aisle.