Mar 28, 2015

Skincare Recommendations for Spring!

I wanted to share two products that I've been obsessed with recently! The first one is the solution to my hate for body lotions. I know a lot of bloggers and vloggers who LOVE their body butters and body lotions. They often talk about it as a relaxing ritual. I tried to get into it but really, I hate them. They don't absorb fast enough for me and my fingers are all sticky , so I can't play with my phone. Ugh, annoying!  That's enough reason for my lazy self to ditch moisturizing. Unfortunately, my skin does not respect my sentiments and decides to get all lizard-like and scaly, the moment the weather dries up. Enter the AMAZING Nivea in shower body lotion.



I'm on my second bottle now. I get the "very dry skin" blue bottle. It's so easy to use. Shower with your regular shower gel/ body wash. I switch to a moisturizing body wash like Olay during the winter and spring. After that, apply the lotion all over your body. I focus more on my baby bump, legs and elbows where I have the driest skin and get itchy. Rinse it off after a couple of minutes. Boom. Done! No greasy fingers. No waiting. No residue. I use it in the shower everyday, so I can tell for sure that it keeps skin moisturized at least for 24 hours.

Oh, one tip - don't apply it on the soles of your feet. It can get slippery.

This is a must buy if you are lazy about moisturizing but have skin that desperately needs it!! Strongly recommended.


The second one was sent to me by Influenster which is good because I was waiting impatiently for the product to show up in my local Target.Before this I was using Clinique's Moisture Surge. The Neutrogena Hydra Boost water gel is an amazing dupe for the Clinique. It keeps my combination oily-dry skin hydrated and moisturized, without getting greasy. No breakouts and no redness. This is great because my skin has gotten even more sensitive in pregnancy!

The gel-cream works great under makeup, so you can use it as a day time moisturizer! Don't forget to wear sunscreen though.

If you have an oily T zone and dry cheeks like me, definitely give this a try!!

FTC disclaimer - I was sent the Neutrogena hydroboost gel by Influenster. I bought the Nivea in shower lotion with my own money. All opinions stated are my own!

Mar 2, 2015

Healthy Homemade Larabar Bites

AKA, the remixed dry fruits laddoo!!

I've been trying to add a lot of iron into my diet. Recently, I decided to make the boring ritual of eating dates everyday into something fun by making this super healthy dry fruits laddoo. This tastes remarkably like my favorite chocolate chip Larabar, so if you love that, you'll love this recipe too!



Ingredients -

Dates - pitted - 15-20 (around 1 cup)
Roasted almonds - 3/4 cup (you can use cashews or any other nuts you like)
Chia seeds - 1/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
Mini chocolate chips - 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - a dash
Salt - a pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp (I used coconut oil and ghee)



Method - 

1. In a mixie or a food processor, pulse all the ingredients, except chocolate chips, till it forms a uniform, cohesive mixture.

2. Dump into a bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Use some melted coconut oil or ghee to form the balls and refrigerate for an hour. Serve!

Makes around 12-15 laddoos.

It took me five minutes to make the recipe. It's so easy. The laddoos are so tasty and chocolatey and nutritious! While this recipe makes an ideal energy booster, high in nutrients, watch how many you eat because it is also high in calories and sugar! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Feb 25, 2015

Chocolate Chia Pudding

I've been meaning to make a chia pudding for months now! With my new-found obsession with chocolate, I decided that maybe I should steer a teeny bit away from the brownies and donuts and eat something a little healthier. Perfect time to make a chia pudding!



The basic ratio for the pudding is  1/4 cup of chia seeds to 1 cup of milk. The rest of the customization is up to you. For this recipe, I used the following -

Ingredients -

Chia Seeds - 1/4 cup
Almond milk - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp
PB2 chocolate - 1 tbsp
Agave syrup - 1 tbsp (adjust to taste. I like the slight bitterness of chocolate)
Slices almonds - 1 tbsp
Salt - a pinch

To serve - bananas or fruit of your choice


Method -

1. Microwave the milk for about a minute.

2. Add the cocoa powder, PB2 and agave syrup and stir till fully dissolved.

3. Add the chia seeds, salt and almonds. Mix well.

4. Cover the bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.

The chia seeds will absorb the warm milk and swell up. This forms a gelatinous, spongy pudding consistency. The almonds help to add some crunch to the pudding.

 The recipe is about 300 calories, so serve it with a cup of fruit and nuts to turn it into nutritious breakfast. I just eat spoonfuls of the pudding all day, lol.

This is my first foray into chia seeds and I really love the taste and the ease of preparation! I'm excited to try out new flavor combinations. Hope I've emboldened a few of you to try out this wonderful seed! Thanks for reading!

Feb 8, 2015

Pound Cake with Blood Oranges

Hello hello!! How is everyone doing? I've been a bad blogger and a bad cook. I've been super busy the last month and been dealing with the normal but annoying pregnancy aches and pains. I've been making the same easy recipes in rotation, so I didn't have anything fun to post here. Today though, I decided to take a break from school stuff and baby stuff and celebrate these amazing blood oranges.

Oranges have been my pregnancy constant. I had a strong aversion to limes but cuties, mandarins and blood oranges have sustained me these last six months. I've made orange scones and cupcakes before and loved them! So today, I decided to make a pound cake with blood oranges. The awesome thing about this recipe is that not only does it taste amazing, it uses yogurt instead of butter, so it's so much healthier!




Pound Cake with Blood Oranges
Adapted from here

Ingredients

Flour - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Finely grated zest of 2-3 blood oranges

Vanilla greek yogurt - 3/4 cup
Olive oil - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2
Vanilla extract - 3/4 tsp
Juice of blood orange  - 1 tbsp

Peeled and sliced blood oranges - 2-3


Method

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and zest.

3.  Whisk together the greek yogurt, olive oil, eggs, vanilla extract and the orange juice.

4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Don't whisk or mix too hard.

5. Grease a loaf pan and pour in the batter.

6. Arrange the blood orange slices on top and press down gently.

7. Bake for 40-50 minutes depending on your oven . The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean.

8. Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes, slice and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar!




There you go. So simple! The cake is really moist and so flavorful! You could add some walnuts if you like texture in your cake. I hope you try this recipe. You'll definitely enjoy it!