Category: organic kitchen
Hibiscus & Tulsi Herbal Ice Cream

This dairy- and egg-free frozen treat is rich, creamy, and exploding with flavor ! Hibiscus & Tulsi Herbal Ice Cream is a unique idea. And it couldn’t be easier to make. The base is simply a strong, sweetened herbal tea or infusion. Strain, chill, churn, and enjoy!

Besides the hibiscus and tulsi (also known as holy basil) recipe, you can experiment with other flavor combinations, like hibiscus and rose or lemon balm. If desired, serve topped with a handful of fresh blueberries or sliced strawberries.

Ingredients for Hibiscus & Tulsi Herbal Ice Cream:

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup whole dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1/4 cup dried tulsi/holy basil or 3/4 cup fresh, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method:

  • Begin by placing a quart-sized storage container in your freezer to pre-chill.
  • Combine the water and herbs in a medium cooking pot.
  • Bring to a simmer, stir, and cover.
  • Remove from heat and steep for 1 hour.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, squeezing as much goodness as you can from the herbs. (Any color that transfers to your skin from the hibiscus is temporary and will wash off with soap and water.)
  • Compost the solids.
  • Stir the honey into the still-warm infusion, whisking gently until fully dissolved.
  • Add the lemon juice and transfer the liquid to a quart-sized mason jar.
  • Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (at least 2 hours or overnight).
  • Churn in your ice cream machine.
  • Transfer to your pre-chilled container, return to the freezer, and allow to set for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Hope you will enjoy this unique herbal ice cream, when you make it please leave your feed back in comments.

12 Herbs for Ramadan to Keep You Healthy

Allah (swt) has given us many plants and herbs through his miraculous creation. These plant and herbs have beneficial properties for both body and mind. Very easy to use in salad, sauce, dessert or to make into a herbal tea, they not only add flavour to dishes but also fight a range of physical and emotional ailments. This Ramadan use these herbs to fight problems such as bloating, tiredness and indigestion and feel the benefits!

1. Aniseed

Mix with yoghurt for a surprising yummy twist and fight bloating and indigestion at both iftar and suhur.

2. Basil

Season a simple tasty tomato sauce or toasted tomato bruschetta with this great stress busting and pain relieving herb.

3. Chamomile

The ultimate tool to fight a tummy ache! Make a simple tea with water and honey for a calming sweet remedy which can also ease anxiety, depression and help you get a great night’s sleep. To keep cool during summer, you can also turn your chamomile and honey mixture into ice lollies.

4. Cumin

Add to a simple tomato based meaty pasta sauce for a little tasty twist to both aid digestion and prevent insomnia.

5. Coriander

Combine fresh coriander leaves with avocado, tomato and a dash of fresh lime juice to make a yummy guacamole spread for toast at suhur, helping stimulate your digestion and freshen your breath.

6. Cinnamon

Use up left over rice in a delicious rice pudding and sprinkle with cinnamon – a great spice to lower your blood sugar and enhance your mood at suhur time!

7. Ginger

Make a refreshing tea with lemon, hot water and fresh ginger – a great spice for your digestive system which your stomach will definitely thank you for. Bye bye indigestion and nausea!

8. Garlic

Dress a tasty salad with vitamin packed fresh garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt for iftar to keep your blood sugar levels stable and stave off summer colds.

9. Mint

Give a fresh kick to a fruit salad by adding shredded mint leaves along with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Alternatively, make a mint tea using green tea and fresh mint leaves to promote digestion, sooth headaches and ease nausea, tiredness and depression.

10. Parsley

Prepare a simple soup with stock, parsley and thin pasta/noodles or prepare a healthy tabbouleh salad along with bulgur wheat, tomato, mint, olive oil and fresh lemon juice to fight bloating, bad breath, constipation and flatulence come iftar time.

11. Saffron

Brighten up your rice in colour and flavour and let this great spice fight bloating and constipation at the same time. If you suffer from mild depression or anxiety, this is also a great spice for you.

12. Thyme

To help with sore throats, stomach aches and flatulence, make a simple tea using thyme leaves and water or add to a salad, along with parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon and salt for either suhur or iftar.

 

In Ramadan What to Eat and What to Avoid

In Sahri:

Foods to eat during Sahri

Protein rich food:

Eggs are high in proteins and most nutritious. They not only help you to stay fuller, but can be made in several ways to suit your taste buds.

Fiber rich food:

Oat meal is rich in fiber and a perfect meal your body needs during Sahri. Soluble fiber turns to gel in the stomach and slows digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose, perfect to keep you energized throughout your fast.

Calcium and vitamin rich food:

Dairy products are a great source of nutrition. Opt for a yogurt smoothie or choose a vanilla and honey milk shake to stay full and hydrated throughout the day.

Foods not to eat during Sahri

Simple or refined carbohydrates:

These are food that last only 3 to 4 hours and they are low in essential nutrients Such as: sugars, white flour, pastries, donuts, croissants.

Salty food:

Imbalance of sodium levels in your body makes you very thirsty while fasting so try to avoid salted nuts, pickles, chips and food that contain soya sauce.

Caffeinated drinks:

Coffee has caffeine which leads to insomnia and restlessness. In addition, it doesn’t hydrate and keeps you longing for water the whole day.

Foods to eat during Iftar :

Potassium rich fruits:

Dates are nutrient powerhouses and excellent food-item to break your fast. It not only helps you hydrate quickly, but gives you instant energy to make you feel rejuvenated after the long-hours of fasting.

Sufficient fluids:

Drink as much water or fruit juices as possible between Iftar and bedtime to avoid dehydration.

Raw nuts:

Almonds contain good fats which are essential, particularly when your body has been craving for fats after the long-hours of fasting. It is a perfect Iftar item which helps you feel full and in control, without the need to binge.

Hydrating vegetables:

Cucumbers, lettuce, and other vegetables are high in fiber and laden with the goodness of hydrating properties. It not only helps your body feel cool, but is also a great choice to keep you skin healthy and avoid constipation during Ramadan.

Foods not to eat during Iftar

Carbonated drinks:

Avoid drinking processed beverages and carbonated drinks. Stick to regular water and or coconut water to soothe your thirst.

High-sugar foods:

High-sugar food items as sweets, chocolates should be avoided. They are instant source of weight gain and can lead to complexities if consumed every day.

Fried-foods:

Greasy and fried food like fried dumplings and samosas should be avoided. Also avoid oily curries and greasy pastries to reap healthy benefits for your body during Ramadan.

How To Take Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an important medicinal plant due to its pharmacodynamic properties. It has several beneficial effects but despite its therapeutic value, Ashwagandha sometimes is difficult to be consumed in its raw form. It has a very bitter taste. To overcome this, here are 21 effective formulations prepared with Ashwagandha powder, including snacks, drinks and sweets as well as remedies. These may be more acceptable and palatable to you then the raw powder alone.

Ashwagandha Remedies + Ashwagandha Recipes

Before taking any herbal supplement consult with your healthcare provider to see if it’s right for you.

1. Ashwagandha Roasted In Ghee to Reduce Sweet Cravings.

An ounce of Ashwagandha roasted in ghee and mixed with a tablespoon of date sugar is delicious. You may find it effective to eat this in the morning about twenty minutes before breakfast, in the mid-afternoon and at bedtime with a cup of hot milk.

Ashwagandha Powder ( Asgandh )

2. Ashwagandha With Honey [Aphrodisiac]

One teaspoon of Ashwagandha with ghee, sugar and honey is a very good aphrodisiac. It increases semen quantity, sperm count and mobility. It is effectively used in erectile dysfunction, low libido and premature ejaculation.

3. Ashwagandha & Vidari [Low Sex Drive]

For a strengthening drink for men with low sex drive, take 1 teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder with ½ teaspoon of the herb Vidari mixed in warm milk. Drink this at bedtime.

4. Ashwagandha To Increase Breast Milk

Ashwagandha acts as galactogogue. It thickens and increases the nutritive value of breast milk when given to nursing mothers.

5. Ashwagandha Tea

Ashwagandha Tea can be prepared by boiling the powder in milk. This is referred to in Ayurveda as the Kshirpaka method of extracting the active principle of the herb in milk.

Kshirpaka Method Of Ashwagandha Tea

Take half a glass of water and half a glass of milk in a pan. Add 1 gram of Ashwagandha powder and bring to a boil. When reduced to half, remove from the heat. Once cool, add sugar.

6. Rich Ashwagandha Sweet And Salty Cookies

You will need….
1/2 cup refined wheat flour
pinch of salt
2 tsp Ashwagandha powder
1/4 cup butter
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk

Directions

Sift the flour, salt and ashwagandha powder together 3-4 times with a sieve and set aside. Melt the butter in a pan. Add sugar to the melted butter and mix well. Next add the milk and mix together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix together and knead into a dough. Form the dough into cookies on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 375 F for 2-3 minutes.

7. Healthy Low Cost Ashwagandha Cookies.

Here’s another way of preparing cookies with Ashwagandha.

These are low cost nutritive biscuits made of Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Ashwagandha and Licorice (Yashtimadhu, Glycyrrhiza glabra) powder. They are rich in carbohydrates, energy, protein and fat. They have medicinal importance in particular for malnourished populations.

Ingredients
1 cup refined wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp dried coconut
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Shatavari powder
1/2 tsp Ashwagandha powder
1/2 tsp Licorice root powder
2 drops Vanilla essence
3 1/4 tsp baking powder
1-2 tbsp water

Mix all ingredients together to form a dough. Shape into cookies on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

8. No-Bake Ashwagandha Balls (Churan)

Ingredients
1 1/2 tsp jaggery
2 tsp Ashwagandha powder
pinch black salt
pinch black pepper

First, powder the jaggery. Then add the Ashwagandha powder to it. Rub these together well. Add black salt and black pepper and mix together. Shape into balls. This is easy to make and no cooking is required. Store in an airtight container. Ashwagandha Powder (Churan) Balls are highly nutritious.

9. Ashwagandha Laddus (Sweets)

Ingredients
1 tsp white Musali (Asparagus adscendens)
1 tsp black Musli (Kali Musli)
1 tsp Nutmeg (jaiphal)
1 tsp Cardamom (elaichi)
2 tsp Cinnamon (dalchini)
1 tsp Ashwagandha
3 tsp Tragacanth gum
6 tsp coconut flakes
8 cups ghee
2 cups jaggery
1/2 cup wheat flour

Directions
1. Mix and grind all ingredients together except the wheat flour, ghee and coconut.
2. Now thoroughly mix the wheat flour in the ghee.
3. Break the jaggery into pieces and then heat it with a little ghee. Then mix it with the flour mixture.
4. Now mix the wheat flour mixture with the jaggery mixture.
5. Add the coconut.
6. You can also mix in almonds, cashews or raisins.
7. Now bind the laddu with your hands. Keep the size appropriate, not too big and not too small (approximately one ounce each).

Take one laddu every morning at breakfast.

These laddus are effective in headache, back pain, weak bones, anemia, swelling, infections and vaginal discharge in women. It is very beneficial to males as it helps in building stamina and strength along with muscle, enhances youthfulness and is an aphrodisiac. This laddu strengthens the body and also provides vigor and vitality.

Ashwagandha Capsule

10. Ashwagandha Banana Smoothie

Peel 3-4 bananas and cut into pieces. Grind the pieces, along with 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Ashwagandha powder in a blender. Add 1 cup chilled plant-based milk. Dairy fruit should not be eaten together according to Ayurveda. Mix this again until smooth. This is a tasty and healthy alternative way to take Ashwagandha. It is most beneficial during hot weather.

11. Semisolid Ashwagandha Sweets (Avaleha)

This is a semi-solid preparation prepared with the addition of jaggery or sugar-candy and boiled with prescribed juice of the Ashwagandha or its decoction. It is useful for proper digestion, to control cholesterol levels and maintain blood pressure.

Ingredients
Ashwagandha Powder (Churna)
Jaggery or sugar
Ashwagandha decoction (Kashaya)

The ratio of ingredients used in this recipe is 1:4:4 (Ashwagandha powder:sugar:Ashwagandha decotion). If jaggery is used in place of sugar the ratio would be 1:2:4 in quantity.

Directions
1. Make the Ashwagandha Decoction. Add Ashwagandha coarse powder to 16 times water and soak it for at least 2-3 hours (12 hours maximum). Then heat it on a mild to moderate flame, stirring constantly. Continue to heat this until the amount of water is reduced to 1/8. Once warm, filter it gently through a cotton cloth and your Ashwagandha Decoction is ready to use.
2. Dissolve the jaggery or sugar into the Ashwagandha decoction and strain it to remove any foreign particles.
3. Boil this solution over a moderate flame until a Paka is formed. A Paka, also called inspissated juice, has a semisolid consistency. The way to make sure that the Paka is perfectly formed is to press a few drops of it between the thumb and the index finger and then, move the fingers apart. If the liquid draws into a string, the Paka can be said to be perfectly formed. Another way to tell if the Paka is perfectly formed is if it sinks down in a glass of water without getting easily dissolve. It should then be removed from the heat.
4. Fine powder of Ashwagandha is then added and stirred continuously and vigorously to form a homogenous mixture.

Ashwagandha Avleha is ready. This can be easily made at home. When commercially made, well known preservatives like Sodium Propyl and Sodium Methyl Parabens as well as Sodium Benzoate are added to increase its shelf life appreciably.

Store these in a plastic container and use within three years.

You may find this effective: 1 teaspoon Ashwagandha Avaleha with 1 cup of milk on an empty stomach daily. It is useful for proper digestion, to control cholesterol levels and maintain blood pressure.

12. Ashwagandha Ghrita Or Ghee

Ashwagandha ghrita is a medicinal preparation, especially beneficial for children as it increases their inner strength, body weight, lung capacity and improves muscle tone, reducing weakness of the muscles. It is also effective in problems related to male and female infertility. It is made with ¼ part fine paste (kalka) of Ashwagandha and 4 times decoction (kashaya) of Ashwagandha.

13. Indian Ashwagandha Dessert (Shrikhand).

Shrikhand is a popular dessert particularly in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and some parts of South India. Shrikhand is a semi solid, sweetish-sour fermented milk product prepared from dahi or yogurt.

Ingredients
4 1/4 cups curd
1/2 cup sugar
5 Tbsp Ashwagandha powder
charoli nuts
cardamom
nutmeg
saffron
almond leaves to garnish

The whey is drained off from the curd to yield hung curd (chakka), a curd whose whey has been drained completely. Sugar, flavor and color are mixed into the hung curd to form a soft homogenous mass that resembles sweetened quark, a soft German cheese.

Method Of Preparation
Curd which is well developed is tied with a muslin cloth. It is then placed in a hanging position for draining of whey for 8 hours. Hung curd (Chakka) is removed from the muslin cloth and stored under refrigeration. Then it is divided into 4 portions and Shrikhand is prepared by adding sugar and Ashwagandha powder.

It is mixed and kneaded to a smooth paste and stored in the refrigerator. Charoli nuts, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron and almond are added to it to improve the taste and nutritional quality. This product is enjoyed by many and has a great nutritional and therapeutic value.

14. Crunchy Ashwagandha Snacks

Maize flour, ghee, guar gum and Ashwagandha powder can be mixed together and used in making noodles, pasta and snacks.

For preparation of pasta, weigh out 250g of milled maize flour. Add one per cent salt and water to the flour along with 2 tsp of ghee, 2-6% Ashwagandha powder and guar gum (0.5-1.5%). Hardness of the raw pasta noodles, water uptake, swelling index and cooking time increases as the level of Ashwagandha powder and guar gum increases.

Ashwagandha powder can be incorporated up to 4% in pasta, snacks and 6% in noodles. It’s a healthy alternative for snacks.

15. Ashwagandha Tincture

Ashwagandha tinctures are highly concentrated alcoholic extracts. They are highly absorbable and easy to carry. It is prepared by macerating (soaking) Ashwagandha leaves and root in alcohol (usually vodka or organic grain alcohol) at a ratio typically ranging from 1:1 (herb to alcohol) to 1:10, depending on the desired strength.

Ashwagandha does not taste very pleasant so a tincture is an easily digestible way to take it. In this form, it absorbs quickly into circulation, and gives its effects faster than tablets and powders.

In acute manifestations of conditions like inflammation, anxiety or insomnia, when immediate relief is necessary, a tincture is highly effective.

16. Ashwagandha Calm Mind Tea (Medhya Kwath)

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) along with Brahmi (Centella asiatica), Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) and Vacha (Acorus calamus) in equal amounts are boiled in 2 cups of water. Reduce to half. This is used as a mind relaxing tea.

17. Tonifying Ashwagandha Milk

In 1 cup warm milk or almond milk, add 1 teaspoon ghee, 1 teaspoon grated coconut, 1 teaspoon chopped dates, 2 teaspoons chopped almonds, ½ teaspoon saffron, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom seed or fennel seed, 1 teaspoon raw honey, 1 teaspoon Ashwaganda root powder and 1 teaspoon of Shatavari root powder. Stir and your tnic milk is ready.

18. Therapeutic Ashwagandha Enema

In Ayurvedic medicine, an enema with extract of Ashwagandha is effective in treating colitis.28 Consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for proper use of Ayurvedic supplements and therapies.

A study observed that methanolic extracts of W. somnifera roots turns-on the synthesis of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by acting at transcriptional level resulting in increased production of NO by macrophage. This was attributed to immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activity. Roots of W. somnifera can potentially be utilized for the effective treatment of various inflammatory conditions.29

19. Ashwagandha Facial Tonic

For glowing skin, Ashwagandha with dried ginger and lemon acts as a toner. Take 1/2 teaspoon Ashwagandha powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger powder, mix it in lemon juice and apply over your face for 15 minutes. Wash with water.

Its potent antioxidant properties help protect the skin against free radical damage and slows down the aging process by firming the skin for a more youthful look.

Ashwagandha stimulates DHEA, which is a precursor to both testosterone and estrogen and stimulates the production of natural skin oils. It also promotes the production of vital compounds and proteins for healthy skin such as hyaluronan for skin hydration, elastin to keep the skin supple and collagen for skin strength.30

20. Ashwagandha Anti Acne Cream

An anti-acne cream containing Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.31

A homemade face pack containing Ashwagandha can be very useful for acne. Take 1 teaspoon Aloe Vera pulp or gel, add a half teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder, 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon Neem powder. Mix and apply it to the face.

21. Ashwagandha Gentle Face Cleanser

Mix 1 teaspoon Ashwagandha Powder and 1 teaspoon chickpea flour in lime juice. Gently massage it on the face for 2 minutes and then rinse with water. This is an effective cleanser. It cleanses the skin of impurities and pollutants very gently. It also revitalizes, rejuvenates and nourishes the skin.

Along with traditional Ayurvedic classical preparations of Ashwagandha, try these Ashwagandha remedies and recipes. Ashwagandha, a magical herb, is truly nature’s gift to mankind.

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