Rosemary and Strawberry Cocktail

Celebrate the day of love- Valentine’s Day with this magical love potion.

Rosemary and strawberry cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 cups fresh strawberry juice
  • ¼ cup of the rosemary simple syrup
  • 2 ounces of vodka
  • 4 cups sparkling water

Instructions:

  1. Prepare Rosemary Syrup: In a small saucepan, add a cup of water and 1 cup of granulated sugar over medium heat and dissolve the sugar for about 5 minutes. Make sure you don’t overheat. Add 3 sprigs of rosemary and let it steep for an hour.
  2. Mocktail per glass: Add ½ cup fresh strawberry into a serving glass. Add 1 Tablespoon (1/2 oz) of rosemary simple syrup and 2 ounces of vodka. Stir. Fill the remainder of the glass with sparkling water (about 1 cup)
  3. Garnish with 2 rosemary sprig
  4. Serve chilled

 

5 worthy substitutes of Dairy Butter when Baking

Who can say no to a delicious cake? If you raised your hand in “I can,” we weren’t talking to you. We are talking about the rest of us who simply cannot. Won’t it be just perfect if you could eat all the cakes and cookies without having to worry about the calorie count? Butter is an essential baking ingredient, and it is composed of milk fat that has been separated from other milk components. Since Butter is mainly composed of fat, it is a high-calorie food. One tablespoon of butter contains approximately 101 calories.

Butter

If you are a baker who has been struggling to find the butter substitute, help is at hand. Remember we are specifically talking about baking and no other form of cooking:

Yogurt: For a higher protein substitution, you can use yogurt. Make sure you use plain yogurt instead of flavored yogurt to maintain the taste. Using Mango Yogurt in a vanilla cake will undoubtedly throw off the palate. This substitution works exceptionally well in cakes because it creates a velvety texture to maintain the flavors. Yogurt’s distinctive, tart flavor adds complexity to baked goods.

Buttermilk: A popular dairy drink – Buttermilk is the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream. One can substitute 1/2 cup of buttermilk for every 1 cup of butter. Owing to their liquidly consistencies, they can help retain moisture in batters and dough. Buttermilk is also loaded with healthy fats and nutritional value making it a favorite butter substitute.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a powerhouse of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) instead of the average saturated fat making it a fantastic source of nutrition. When baking with coconut oil, it is generally substituted for other fats on a 1:1 basis. What that means if for every cup of butter use oil in equal proportion as a substitute. When using coconut oil in place of butter for pie crusts, make sure you use solid, room temperature coconut oil to create a flakier crust.

Applesauce: A healthy butter alternative when baking – Applesauce is packed full of vitamins and nutrients. If you are worried about the sugar content in applesauce, use the unsweetened variety. Applesauce is known to be a fantastic binding agent when baking and will create a slight change in taste and texture. Applesauce creates a sweet and soft texture in oil-based goods when substituted for butter. A good rule of thumb is to use half the amount the applesauce for every cup of butter

Nut Butter: Nut butter such as almond and peanut butter make excellent dairy butter alternatives. Owing to their sweet and creamy consistencies, they can help retain moisture in batters and significantly reduce the amount of sugar needed in a recipe. It’s no secret that they are also rich in healthy fats and nutritional value and mostly enjoyed as topping on a varied food. Although some might argue that nut butter has higher overall fat value than dairy butter, the quality of fat differs since nut butter is mainly comprised of monounsaturated fats.

Have you very own baking substitute for dairy butter? Tell us by leaving a comment below.

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5 whole vegetarian protein sources

Nutritionists often emphasize why adequate protein is an integral part of a well-planned diet. There is an umpteen number of animal protein sources, but the same can not be said about plant protein. Protein is essential as it promotes weight loss, satiety, and muscle strength. However, vegetarians repeatedly suffer from the lack of vegan/ vegetarian sources of protein. A generous helping of tofu is appetizing occasionally, but let’s be honest, surviving on tofu seven days a week isn’t something drool worthy. If you are someone who has been struggling to find a good source of vegetarian protein, read our list:

 

Vegetarian protein source

Vegetarian protein source

  • Tempeh and Edamame:  Tempeh and Edamame are both soy-based protein like Tofu. Soybean is known for being a whole source of protein, which means they provide all essential amino acids to the body.  While Edamame is immature soybeans, Tempeh is made by cooking and slightly fermenting mature soybeans before pressing them into a patty. You can use either one of them for a protein-rich meal. Both contain iron, calcium and 10-19 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces.
  • Lentils: They are an Indian staple food. Reason? A vast majority of Indian population is vegetarian, and lentils are a preferred source of protein in the country. Lentils can be used in a variety of dishes including soups, salads, and dahls. A bowl of lentil (250 ml) provides about 12 gm of protein. Lentils are also an excellent source of slowly digested carbs and fiber, so next time you need a quick protein source- don’t ignore the humble lentils.
  • Beans (kidney beans, garbanzo, black beans): Beans are a powerhouse of proteins along with being an excellent source of complex carbs, fiber, potassium, magnesium and more. A cooked bean bowl (240 ml) contains about 16 gm of protein. Studies show a diet rich in bean can significantly reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce belly fat.
  • Green Peas:  Regularly served as a side dish, the modest green peas contain 10 gm of protein per cooked cup (250 ml). Green peas also great to meet your fiber, B vitamin, iron, magnesium, and copper requirements. Get experimental and use them often in your dishes if you have been looking for a rich protein source.
  • Seitan:  Known as wheat gluten, early origins of seitan can be found in Asian cuisine. It has been a common meat substitute for many years. Traditionally, seitan was the byproduct of rinsing and cooking wheat dough to remove the starch, leaving a protein-rich substance that was an excellent meat substitute. Seitan is now readily available in stores and gave origin to ‘Gardein’ menu that you often see in the restaurants.

Have a vegan/ vegetarian protein source that’s not mentioned in our list? Tell us by commenting below.

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Tips to be a perfect host this Christmas

The most beautiful holiday of the year – ‘Christmas’ is only a few days away! If you are wondering how to host the ultimate Christmas dinner, read on…

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

  • Be a welcoming host: We can’t emphasize enough on this. Think about this – you get invited to a Christmas dinner. As soon as you enter you see the host distressed about how far behind schedule they are and how they still to get the bacon in the oven. We bet you will be immediately on your crisis control mode. Do you want this for your guest? We bet the answer is a loud – No! A well put together dinner demands the host be welcoming, relaxed and most importantly prepared. No matter how big or small the party is.
  • Be prepared: We did touch upon this in our last tip. A well-prepared host can make even the most elaborate party look easy breezy. Take the time to prepare the menu, finding caterers or finding simple recipes if you are cooking yourself, understanding any special dietary requirements, what kind of beverages do the invitees prefer. Planning can tackle a majority of your stress.
  • Stock Up: We all hate storing food we know will never be consumed but make sure you are stocking plenty of food and snack (if kids are invited) without going overboard. Extra liquor, salad, cheese is all an excellent place to start.
  • Invest time in picking the right menu: Food is central to a good party. Take the time to plan a full course meal from starters to dessert. You don’t want to put things off last minute that will not be enjoyed by your guests. Most of all keep the menu refreshing yet straightforward and make it easy for yourself. You don’t want to spend the entire party in the kitchen. Co-ordination is the key; schedule everything beforehand.
  • Consider Tableware and Crockery: Make your dinner table an oasis complete with scented candle, ideal centerpiece, silverware, and porcelain. Being a perfect host demands attention to detail.
  • Entertainment: There may be conflicting views regarding this suggestion of ours. Some of you might feel organizing games for after dinner might take away from the important family time but remember Christmas is also about the family having fun together. So we recommend some fun activities post-Christmas dinner to up your host game.

Have a tip that should be part of our list? Tell us by commenting below.

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5 interesting facts about Maple Syrup

Who doesn’t love maple syrup? Besides being an excellent pancake topping, maple syrup has become widely popular as a healthy sugar alternative. On the National Maple Syrup day here are little-known facts about your favorite maple syrup:

Pancake with Maple Syrup

Pancake with Maple Syrup

  • It takes 40 liters of sap to produce a liter of maple syrup:  It’s a well-known fact that most trees yield anywhere between 35-55 liters of sap in a season and a tree takes close to 40 years before it’s matured enough to tap, hence, producing syrup is a time and labor-intensive process.
  • Only three maple tree species are used for making syrup: Currently, there are 13 recognized species of maple tree (native to Canada). However, only three are utilized for maple production – sugar maples, blanch maple, and red maple.
  • There are three federal categories of maple syrup: CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and the provincial governments have established classification systems based on color and taste for commercially produced maple. Category 1 (extra light, light, and medium grades) and Category 2, (an amber grade) have maple flavors that are “typical” for their color grade. Category 3, which includes the dark grade and any other ungraded colors, also contains traces of caramel, plant bud or sap flavors.
  • Quebec, Canada produces two-thirds of the world’s maple syrup: The Canadian province of Quebec is currently the largest producer maple syrup. It is responsible for about three-quarters of the world’s output; Canadian exports of maple syrup exceed 141 million USD per year. Vermont is the largest producer in the United States, generating about 5.5 percent of the global supply.
  • Maple syrup as a sugar alternative: The sugar content of sap averages 2.5 percent; sugar content of maple syrup is at least 66 percent or more. The syrup offers many health benefits – A 60 ml portion of maple syrup contains 100 percent of your daily recommended allowance of manganese, as well as 37 percent of riboflavin, 18 percent of zinc, 7 percent of magnesium, and 5 percent of calcium and potassium

Know a fun fact about maple syrup that we missed mentioning here? Tell us by commenting below.

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5 Thanksgiving hacks to stay healthy

Yes, we are approaching that time of the year when every meal will be rich, flavorful and hearty. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. What this also means is most likely you will ditch your year-long healthy diet in favor of turkey, pies, and wine. Don’t like the sound of that? If you are committed to maintaining a healthy diet, learn our hacks to stay on track during the festive season:

Thanksgiving

  • One big meal a day: Yes, we know holidays are all about indulgence. However, concentrate on having one big meal in the day instead of three. Go easy on the other two meals. If you can’t, we strongly suggest portion control. Do not load up your plates and watch what you are eating carefully.
  • Whisk up a veggie gravy:  Gravy is a Thanksgiving essential, but it doesn’t have to be loaded with a ton of fat. Whisk up a veggie gravy, that’s still as tasty but without a ton of fat. We bet your favorite veggies can make a perfectly flavorful gravy that can be draped over mashed potatoes minus the saturated fat Plus, you will be thankful for eating the vegetables.
  • Go Brown: The humble bread is part of every Thanksgiving feast, and so are all the calories that come with it. To cut down on all the calories from bread – go easy on the butter even better replace it with a healthy oil – coconut or olive and use whole grains.
  • Grill Easy: Oil thick marinades are the most significant source of unnecessary calories when grilling. Avoid using them generously instead use zesty lemon or orange if you care to be experimental.
  • “Cut the Mas”: Finally act on the old age suggestion of adding cauliflower to your potatoes. Doesn’t sound appetizing? You can’t be further than the truth. This small tip already has many fans, and you will be one too once you try it.  Cauliflower has far lesser starch than potatoes, and it retains the unbeatable richness of mashed potatoes with a lighter texture and more minerals.

Have a great tip that should be here? Comment below to let us know.

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We love The Teal Pumpkin Project. Here is why.

At Burpy we love everything that says Halloween. This is one holiday that not only brings the family and friends together but inspires people to embrace the fun aspect of their personality and celebrate gluttony. Halloween is synonymous with candy. It is all about consuming special treats that mothers typically tend to keep away from the kids all year long – candies, chocolates, gummy worms, candy corn, pumpkins pies, and cupcakes.

Burpy_Teal Pumpkin Project

Teal Pumpkin Project

In the recent times’ Pumpkins of a different color has grown in popularity exponentially If you are a trick or treater, we bet you have noticed them too. Ever came across a Teal Colored Pumpkin? Do you know what it means? FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project is a nationwide effort to simply Halloween for kids with food allergies and makes it more inclusive. The incidence of food allergies has been on an upsurge, and according to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education®), one in 13 children has a food allergy. Does that mean kids and parents who suffer food allergies need to stay away from this holiday? Absolutely not and the Teal Pumpkin project is an answer to this.

If you wish to participate in this effort – all you have to do is put a teal colored pumpkin or a sign on the porch to let trick-or-treaters know you are partaking in this initiative where you will be offering both non-food and candy treats. Simply ask the child to choose which treat would they prefer?

If you do decide to participate in this initiative here are ten non-food treats we are sure the young trick-or-treaters will love:

1.    Halloween stickers or temporary tattoos

2.    Mini cans of play-doh

3.    Glow sticks or glow-in-the-dark jewelry

4.    Halloween mini Beanie Babies

5.    Small flashlights

6.    Origami animals

7.    Mini puzzles

8.    Spider or insect rings

9.    Coloring books (mini)

10.  Toothbrushes

Have an interesting fact about the Teal Pumpkin Project that we missed mentioning?Share with us by commenting on this post.

Want to get ready for Halloween? Order the supplies now on Burpy to receive a delivery from your favorite grocery store the same day.

Three foods you should pick up on your next visit to the grocery store

Every grocery shopper mostly breezes through the store trips. We remember the location of our favorite brands and the aisles in the grocery store.  Although great, this does mean that we tend to overlook foods and products that might add value to our health and kitchen.  Improving nutrition is a long-term goal, and if you are continually looking for ways to improve it, we are here to help:

Organic Spices

Organic Spices

  • Kefir:  Kefir is a fermented drink, conventionally made using cow’s or goat’s milk. The word ‘Kefir’ comes from the Turkish word keyif which means “feeling good.” The origins of the drink can be traced back to Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. It is made by adding kefir ‘grains’ to the milk. The grains are actually cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that look like cauliflower. The microorganism in kefir grains multiplies quickly in over few hours to the ferment the sugar in the milk, turning it into kefir. The grains are then removed, and the liquid is preserved in its purest form for consumption. The drink tastes sour like yogurts source the lactic acid bacteria turn the lactose in the milk into lactic acid. Kefir is the most powerful natural probiotic source, stronger than yogurt. Kefir contains over 30 strains of bacteria’s making it a rich source of probiotics. If you are looking at a natural source of probiotics Kefir is a great product to start with, what makes it even better is the fact that it is tolerated pretty well by lactose intolerant.
  • Organic Spices:  We never really pay much attention to the spices we pick.  You might still be struggling with selecting the organic produce over the regular produce, but here is something you should consider the next time you are buying spices. Nearly every time we cook we end up using one or the other spice to enhance the flavor of the food. Herbs and spices are derived from plants and thus are exposed to bacteria, pests and others forms of contamination. Hence, investing in organic spices can ensure you are not consuming food that is tainted with pesticides and chemicals.
  • High-fiber pasta or quinoa instead of white pasta: Pasta is the staple food of every household. It is delicious, easy to make and the best part is kids love it. If you are family enjoys pasta at home now and then, we suggest replacing the regular white pasta with high fiber pasta or if you are up for a challenge we recommend – quinoa. Your taste palette will require some ‘getting used to’ time but believe us you will be much happier with your nutritional choices in the future. Quinoa is an excellent alternative for the white wheat pasta, it is known as the mother of all grains and is available in three main types -white, red and black. A cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. We think that’s a powerhouse of nutrition.

Think we missed mentioning something that should be a part of this list? Let us know by commenting below.

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Four Health Benefits of Porridge

We consistently talk about why is breakfast the most important meal of the day. According to Scientists each ounce of whole grain reduces the risk of death by 5% along with 9% reduction in heart-related issues.

 

Porridge Bowl_Burpy

Porridge Bowl

Those are significant numbers and something you should be paying attention to if you strive to eat healthy on an everyday basis. It’s good to indulge in pancakes, waffles, and donuts once in a while but you statistically you will have a lot more energy if you eat whole grains when you start your day. Porridge is an excellent whole grain. We know it might not be on top of your favorite breakfast list, but we recommend including it in your diet plan. Here is why:

  • Curbs Hunger Pangs: Ever realized on the days you skip breakfast you end up eating a lot more calories than a regular day? You don’t need breakfast to merely fill yourself up. This meal regulates your appetite for the day. Eating sugar-rich food in breakfast is more likely to slow you down than you can imagine. Porridge is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and will help you feel fuller for longer. Sprinkle your favorite toppings – berries or nuts to make it even more delicious.
  • High on Calcium: Nutritionists love porridge and continuously recommend it as part of diet plans. Know why? Not only is it a great source of fiber and vitamins but this whole grain can be easily described as the king of calcium. Give a boost to your bone strength with Porridge.
  • Improved Immunity and Cardiovascular Health: Vitamin A helps your body fight free radicals and Porridge is rich in Vitamin A. Thus it improves your immune health. Porridge can vastly improve your cardiovascular health. It can beat high cholesterol and soak fat in the system which can give prevent heart-related issues to a great extent.
  • Combat Blood Pressure: According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition whole grains help regulate blood pressure, in fact, according to them a diet that includes plenty of whole grains is equivalent to taking medication for High Blood pressure. Isn’t that amazing?

Now that you are aware of all the fantastic benefits of porridge we are confident you are going to include this miracle food in your diet. Need to order your groceries now, log on to Burpy to shop from your favorite grocery store now.