Change of Blog name

Hello Lovely followers

I am just writing to let you lovely people know that my blog has now moved to the following address.  www.balancewithsanaa.com

Please subscribe to stay posted on Healthy recipes, Yoga, Meditation etc to live a blissful life,

Check my new blog out and let me know what you think about the layout. www.balancewithsanaa.com

Hope to see you there

Love & Light

Sanaa

PicMonkey Collage1

Maple & Cinnamon Quinoa Oats Granola

Store bought Granola is often high in sugar , unhealthy fats and unwanted additives.

Make your batch using quality ingredients to control the quantity and quality of sugar/fat in your Granola. I decided to try a little something with quinoa to boost the protein content of this Granola , of course all the additional nutritional benefits of quinoa is just a bonus !!

Granola
Granola

Special thanks for my gf N.S who got me this authentic Maple syrup all the way from Canada !!

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups wholewheat  oats ( If gluten free, make sure it is Gluten free oats i.e it is uncontaminated)
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup Raisins
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (authentic)
  • 1/4 organic Coconut Oil

    Method

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celcius

1. In a large bowl combine the oats, quinoa, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup and olive oil and whisk.

3. Pour the above mixture over the Quinoa/Oats mixture and mix well to coat it completely.

4. Line a baking tray with baking sheet. Spread the mixture in an even manner across the baking tray.

5.  Bake for 10 minutes then stir the Granola. Bake for another 10 minutes and then add your raisin and give the Granola another stir. Bake for another 10 minutes. So in total 30 minutes, stirring the Granola every 10 minutes.

 Remove from the oven and cool.

Keeps it a sealed in a mason jar or any other airtight container for up to 15 days.

Store in Mason jar
Store in Mason jar

 

Enjoy xo

S

Kale Chips with Sumac spice

Kale Chips with Sumac spice

kale chips
kale chips



Ingredients
1 bunch of Kale
1 tablespoon Olive oil
Sumac (middle eastern Spice)

kale chips
kale chips

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius
1. Wash the Kale thoroughly ( discard the stems)
2. Dry Kale with a paper towel as I did or you could dry it in a salad spinner
3. Tear off the kale into small chucks ( see picture above)
4. Toss the kale chucks into a bowl, add the oil and sumac and mix well.
5. Spread kale out on a baking sheet and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until its becomes crispy and brown.

Enjoy
Xo S

Lemon & Chia seed Cake

Hello Readers,

If you have been following me on instagram you would know I have been doing heaps of baking experiments, mainly because I am trying to find a balance between taste, texture and nutritional value. We all know, all baking recipes call for the deadly mixture of Butter and Sugar. This is one of the reason why cakes, cookies and other baked goods are super high in calories.

In my next post I will give you a few tips to try cut out the calories and still maintain flavour and texture. I will be honest, the modified version are not 100% identical in flavour and texture but they are definitely still pretty yummy and go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee. I mean who would say no to guilt free treats. Seriously !!

photo (81)

Lemon and Chia seed cake
Lemon and Chia seed cake

photo (9)Ingredients

Dry

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Wet  Ingredient A

2 tablespoon Almond oil
1/4 cup Apple Sauce
1/4 cup butter, room temperature  ( Traditional recipes call for 1/2 cup butter)
1 tablespoon Sweet n Low Liquid sweetner
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Wet Ingredient B
1 tbsp lemon zest
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup low fat Greek yoghurt ( I used home-made Greek yoghurt)
2 tbsp chia seeds

Other equipment
9 inch round cake tin
1 medium bowl
1 medium – large bowl ( I used the Ikea mixing bowls)
whisk

Method

1. Pre – heat Oven to 170 degree celcius. Grease a 9inch round cake tin and set aside.

2. In the medium bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together.

3. In the Large bowl, Mix Wet Ingredients A Together. When adding the egg, beat in one egg at a time.

4. Now, add Wet Ingredients B to the the above mixture. First the Lemon zest and Lemon juice. Then mix in the Yoghurt and chia seeds

5. Now add half the amount of dry flour mixture from ‘MEDIUM’ bowl to the Wet ingredients ( large bowl). Mix well. Add the remaining dry mixture and mix well to ensure no lumps are left and that the chia seeds are well distributed.

if your batter is too thick add a little low – fat milk to it. I added about two tablespoon.

Pour this batter in the cake tin and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until your toothpick comes out clean when you do the toothpick test.

Let the cake cook down for 10 minutes. You may either dust some confectioners  sugar before serving OR eat it as it is like I did.

Enjoy
xo

S

How to make low – fat Labneh at home

How to make Labneh at home

Home made low fat labneh
Home made low fat labneh

What you need

  1. Regular Yoghurt , brand of your choice ( low – fat)
  2. A stainless steel strainer (what you use for sifting)
  3. A bowl large enough to sit the strainer high enough to allow liquid to drip to the bottom
  4. Cheesecloth ( I used muslin cloth and that works perfectly fine too; alternatively you can also use linens)

What you need to do

  1. Sit the strainer over the bowl
  2. Place a single layer muslin cloth or double layer cheesecloth in the strainer
  3. Pour the yoghurt into the cloth
  4. Cover it with a lid or a plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight (10 -12 hours) to allow liquid to drain out.
  5. Take the bowl out of the fridge and flip the strainer into another clean bowl. Carefully  peel of the cloth that is stuck to the yoghurt
Strainer & Muslin Cloth
Strainer & Muslin Cloth
Place a single layer muslin cloth or double layer cheesecloth in the strainer
Place a single layer muslin cloth or double layer cheesecloth in the strainer

Sprinkle some olive oil and zaatr on top and enjoy

Beet Blast Juice

Beet Blast AKA Miracle drink has countless health  benefits. Not only is this drink extremely nourishes, it also gets absorbed by our body very effectively.

Benefits of this juice includes

✔Blood purifier
✔Blood builder
✔Beats blood pressure
✔Beats cancer
✔Keeps your liver, kidney and bladder healthy
✔Healthy and glowing skin
✔Healthy eyes
✔ Hydrates Skin
✔Strengthens the immune system
✔Helps reduce pain caused from physical training

Beet Blast
Beet Blast

Ingredients

1/2 Beetroot

2 medium carrots

1 pear

2 stalks Celery

1 small cucumber (Optional)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

A little ginger (Optional)

Method

Wash all the above ingredients and Place one by one in your juicer.

Please Note: Your urine might turn your urine slightly reddish. But there is nothing to worry about.
– If you are taking blood pressure medication or  blood thinner medications or have kidney stones or  kidney / gallbladder related disorder consult with your doctor first prior to making this juice a routine.

 

 

April – The Cupcake Conundrum: Low- Fat Vanilla Cupcake

This months RECIPE REDUX CHALLENGE IS ‘The Cupcake Conundrum’

I don’t think I have ever met someone who does not adore cupcakes. I don’t know what it is about these miniature cakes that have people obsessed.

I personally do not have much experience with baking cupcakes. But yes, I have assisted my friend Mandi, who to me is literally the queen of desserts. Below are the cupcakes she baked and iced for my graduation party ( high tea ). How gorgeous are they ?

My graduation Party Last Year cupcake2 cupcake3 cupcake4 cupcake5 cupcake6

So I request you not to judge my baking skills as I am still a rookie 😛

Anyways, I looked up a few traditional cupcake recipes online and just swapped a few ingredients around to make it slightly healthier, still taste decent and also look like a cupcake. I don’t know if my standards are too low, but I was actually pretty happy with the end result of the cupcake minus the frosting (I altered a few things around and so of course it did not have that thickness to it, that it needs to hold up once I piped it. Oh Btw my sister bought me an amazing icing set. It has all the nozzles I need to get that fancy look (but shame the texture of the icing wasn’t the best, for me to test it out). Another thing, I couldn’t find cake flour in Kuwait (Sultan Centre) so I just added cornstarch to it

Ingredients
Ingredients

IMG_2428 IMG_2434 IMG_2439

Low fat Vanilla Cupcake
Low fat Vanilla Cupcake

For the Cupcake

1 Wholemeal all – purpose flour (Minus 2 tablespoon) + (Add 2 tablespoon cornstarch)

¼ cup all – purpose flour (white)

2 eggs

¼ cup Maple Syrup( Organic) – My best friend from Canada gifted this to me when she was visiting me in Kuwait 🙂

1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

¼ cup Oil (any vegetable oil)

¼ cup apple sauce

½ cup Low fat milk

½ teaspoon Salt

1 ¼ baking soda

Method

(Pre heat oven to 180 degree Celsius)
1. In a bow Mix the wholemeal and white flour together. Sift it twice. Add in the baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir with a dry spoon to mix properly.

2. In a separate bowl, add eggs, maple syrup, vanilla essence, oil and apple sauce and mix well with an electric mixer.

3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture whilst still mixing it with the electric mixer (on low speed). Simultaneously add the milk to it too. (I got help for this step. A third hand would be so useful when it comes to baking I think)

4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and pour the batter into it. Make sure to fill it about ¾ full.

Bake the cupcakes in the oven for about 14 minutes (Fan – forced). Once cooked, set it aside and let it cool down. While it’s cooling down you can prepare you icing

For the Icing

Ingredients

1 cup fat free cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)

7 – 8 tablespoon Butter

1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

4 tablespoon Stevia

4 tablespoon icing sugar

2 tablespoon heavy cream

Method

In a bowl, Mix the cream cheese and butter together until combined and smooth

Add the vanilla, stevia and sugar together and blend it to mix well.

Add the heavy cream and beat it for 20 – 30 seconds

Spread it over the cupcake with a spoon or pipe it (I had no luck with pipping it, it wouldn’t hold up )

So here’s the few ingredients I swapped around

White Flour –> Wholemeal Flour

Sugar –> Maple syrup & Stevia

½ Oil –> ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup Apple sauce

Buttermilk –> low fat milk ( I wanted to try almond milk and see how it turned out, so maybe next time)

Cream cheese –> Fat free cream cheese

XO S



Brilliant Benefits of Barley Water

Have you heard of Barley water before?

Well, I have my parents to thank who introduced it to me when I was a little girl. It was prepared in our house literally every week and my parents would make sure I drink at least a few glasses that day.  They would tell me it is great for your kidneys. Well they weren’t wrong. But little did they know it is good for more than just one thing.

Barley is a major cereal grain and is widely used in soups, stews and to make malt. It is a rich source of Fibre, B vitamins, Vitamin E, selenium, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc

Barley
Barley

Brilliant Benefits of Barley

–          Its rich dietary fibre content assists in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. It therefore is great for cardiovascular health

–          It also helps to maintain healthy bowel functions due to its rich fibre content and thus prevents constipation

–          It is a powerful diuretic and keeps the urinary tract healthy by preventing Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

–          It also get rid of harmful toxins from the body preventing gastric inflammation

–          It is also beneficial to people suffering from arthritis or other inflammatory diseases

–          Ancestors believe it helped improve complexion and reduce signs of aging

–          It is a trusted remedy for kidney stones and bladder issues

–          It is also known to help in weight loss due to its fibre content

–          It is the perfect summer drink as it brings down the heat content of your body. This is also why is it generally given to people who have a high fever.

Specific benefits for pregnant women

  1. It helps prevent yeast and UTI during pregnancy which can be harmful to the baby
  2. It helps ease morning sickness and nausea
  3. It  regulates blood sugar levels and thus helps in prevention of Gestational diabetes
  4. It also prevents edema (swollen ankle and feet) by improving circulation and preventing high BP.
  5. It prevents constipation and haemorrhoids which pregnant women usually suffer from
Barley Water
Barley Water

How to Prepare

Bring a handful of Barley in 1.5 litre of water to boil. Then turn the heat to slow, cook for 30 minutes.

Let it cool down and drink throughout the day. I usually drink the water with the barley. But it is totally up to you. Also keep in mind that its tastes really bland so if you can’t tolerate the taste ( like my sister) squeeze a little lemon in it or add a little honey. I have no clue as to why I actually enjoy that bland taste of barley water.

I will try experiment with a few barley recipes in the coming week. Till then drink away 🙂

Note: Avoid this drink if you are gluten free

GS1 GoScan: Most Trusted and Reliable Health App for the Australian Market Launched

“Did you know 30% of Australian adults have special dietary needs and almost 71% wish there was an easier way to locate the right foods for their dietary needs.”

People with a special diet requirement often find is very challenging to shop for suitable food.
Thankfully, yesterday the GoScan App was launched in Australia.

GoScan
GoScan

“GS1 GoScan app is FREE for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that empowers you to go beyond the product label and make more informed food choices for your dietary and lifestyle requirements – in the store, at home, or on the go. Receive accurate, authorised and trusted product information directly from brand owner that makes it.”

“GS1 GoScan has been designed for use in Australia and New Zealand and is based on the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.”

What to do :  Once you scan or enter the barcode of the product, GoScan tells you whether or not the food product is suitable for your diet. It also gives you the option to browse through a list of products that are available in the Australian market, and gives you a complete profile of that product.

photo (4)

What it tells you

  1. Ingredient list
  2. Allergen declarations and other consumer information
  3. Nutritional information and Recommended Daily Intake (% DI per serve)
  4. Dietary information such as Vegetarian, Vegan, Hosher, Halal, Organic and more
  5. Country of Origin Statement

    Browse through various categories
    Browse through various categories

Awesome Features

  • Up-to-date reliable information: The information entered in the database comes directly from the product manufacturers or brand owners. Furthermore, the app was developed in consultation with international food companies, major retailers, Australian universities and national health organisations ( such as Deakin University, Australian Food and Grocery Council, Allergen Bureau,Coeliac Australia, Coles,Victoria University,  and Woolworths)
  • Locate information quickly by browsing or scanning your products
  • Easy to read display of product information
  • Voice over enabled for vision impaired users, plus other accessibility functions
  • Add your favourite products to your ‘Favourites’ list
  • Set individual alerts for your allergen/s and other dietary requirements
    Set individual alerts for your allergen/s and other dietary requirements
    Set individual alerts for your allergen/s and other dietary requirements

     

Set individual alerts for your allergen/s and other dietary requirements
Set individual alerts for your allergen/s and other dietary requirements

My experience: I selected ‘Cereals/grains/pulse products which then gave me the option to choose between grains/flour or Processed Cereal Products. I selected the Grains/flour and there was a long list of self- stable products available to choose from. I then selected ‘Celebrate Health Food with heart lentils Indian Masala 150g’. It then gave me its ingredients, nutrition information, storage/use instructions, dietary info (stating if its suitable for halal/ kosher diets/ vegan and whether it is gluten free, dairy free, nut free etc and also preparation and serving instructions.

iPhone Screen Shots
iPhone Screen Shots

 

 

iPhone screen shot
iPhone screen shot

photo (8)I think this is a fantastic initiative by the Australian Food industry. I am sure as this is a fairly new App, there will be changes along the way to make it as user friendly as possible and of course further increase the product database. it currently has more than 70 brands and more than 1000 products on its database which is pretty amazing as mentioned by Emma Stirling (APD)
It definitely is an app to watch out for.

 

Green with Herb Envy : Lemon & Mint Panna Cotta

Green with Herb Envy

Recipe Redux 

In January this year I became a member of the Recipe Redux group. It is the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitian which focuses on turning a delicious recipe into a healthy but still fun and tasty dish. One of the reasons I joined this group was because of our common belief that ‘healthier eating should always taste delicious’.

This is my first post as I have been constantly on the move, I first moved from Brisbane to Melbourne and then Melbourne to Kuwait and then had to travel to Dubai around the same time as the Recipe Redux challenge. I am glad to have finally settled down with a new job and new friends.  It has started to feel like home again.

So we are in March, the month of St. Patricks Day….which has a GREEN theme, Registered Dietitian  day which to me also symbolises GREEN in way (us dietitians love to promote healthy eating especially the Greens) so I am not surprised that March means all things GREEN. This is exactly what our theme at RecipeRedux is. Our challenge is to use any ‘green’ herb and use it in a non-traditional way.

I chose to make Lemon & Mint Panna Cotta

Lemon and Mint panna cotta :Green with Herb Envy
Lemon and Mint panna cotta :Green with Herb Envy

IMG_1266-001

Lemon & Mint Panna Cotta

(Makes 3 serves)

Ingredients

1 cup Skim Milk

¼ cup Mint Leaves

1 envelope unflavoured gelatine

1 tablespoon Lemon zest

5 Tablespoon fat free Greek yoghurt

4 tablespoon Organic Maple Syrup

Method

  1. Heat the skim milk in a saucepan just up until it’s about to boil. Add the lemon zest and maple syrup to the milk.  Whilst heating the milk, in a separate bowl, mix gelatine and a little milk /water together and let it rest for a few minutes to soften up.
  2. Mix in  the mint leaves to the milk mixture and blend it in a blender. Strain this mixture using a sieve. Add it back to the saucepan.
  3. Reheat this milk mixture (low to medium heat) and add the softened gelatin and whisk until it has completely dissolved into the hot milk
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the Greek yoghurt and mix it well.
  5. Pour the mixture into your choice of ramekin and refrigerate until it is set

Serve with your choice of fruit

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)