Archive for February, 2016

Top Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 25th, 2016

Chocolate chip cookies are a universal favourite. Nothing can beat the sensation of biting into crunchy, chewy, gooey, chocolaty cookies, any time of the day.

But baking the perfect chocolate chip cookies needs a lot of care. Professional bakers know the secret of baking perfect chocolate chip cookies. After baking them with care, one can send cookies made of chocolates by post.

Here are few super tips to bake that perfect chocolate chip cookie:

  • Use high quality butter that is salted: Use salted creamy butter of top quality from good brands at the grocery store.
  • Melting the butter: It is good to melt the butter, around halfway in the oven. It is good to do the melting in a pre-heated oven rather than the microwave, so as to melt the butter halfway. It takes 3 to5 minutes only.
  • Butter temperature- It is vital to bring the whole butter to room temperature before beginning the cookie making.
  • Beat in eggs gently; Eggs must be blended into the sugar- butter mix, gently. Over beating will make the cookies tough.
  • Add enough flour: Add enough flour so the dough is smooth and not overly wet.
  • Use different types of chocolate chips: Add a variety of chocolate chips to make the cookies more interesting.
  • Baking small: It is good to bake cookies in small batches for better success.
  • Shaping cookie: it is always better to shape dough by hand to get ideal round balls for making cookies.
  • Use top quality flour: It is good to use high gluten flour to produce the right crust and chew to the cookies.
  • Right size: Size is also crucial for the right chocolate chip cookie. Professionals recommend a scoop size of 4 ounces for the right crumbliness and chewiness.
  • Keep away the dough: It is good to age the dough, for a day or two in the fridge for enhanced flavour r(don’t freeze).
  • Use best ingredients: There are very few ingredients in cookies so it is important to use ingredients of high-quality. This is especially true of chocolate, vanilla and butter. For best results, use top quality UK chocolate.
  • Fist mix a lot, then go slow: In the early stages, it is good to mix the ingredients really well. In this stage, the sugar crystals enter the butter and make air pockets to help the cookies rise while baking. But after adding flour, keep down the mixing. The flour’s gluten content will be activated by the liquid in the dough and with more stirring, the tougher will the cookies turn out.
  • Use salt: Salt is called for in the recipe to downplay the sweetness and enhance the chocolate flavour such that you get a well balanced cookie. Sea salt can be used for this purpose.
  • Take care of your baking pan: Avoid pan made of aluminium, which has the tendency to absorb heat and may burn the base of cookies.

These are some useful tips to help you bake the best chocolate chip cookies.

Amazing benefits of Hand of Buddha fruit!

February 22nd, 2016

We know this fruit might have a unique name but this is a real fruit. People are often awed by the unusual appearance of this fruit but trust us, this is a true gem. Originated from China and The Himalayas, this yellow finger looking fruit is packed with benefits. You need to make this a part of your fruit baskets if you want to enjoy this seedless citrus fruit. Here are some incredible advantages of having the Hand of Buddha fruit: –

  1. Good for respiratory system: This is one of the most famous reasons why this fruit is so popular in China. It is said to be extremely good for the respiratory system. The antioxidants and nutrients found in this citrus fruit quickly fix cough, breathing problems and common cold. You can just soak it in water before you consume it.
  2. Helps pain: This fruit has been trusted from thousand years and over to benefit aches. It is used in several medicines in China as it contains coumarin, diosmin and few other compounds, which help benefit pain and relieve it quickly. You can also treat swelling, bruises and wounds with the help of this super fruit.
  3. Controls blood pressure: Do you have blood pressure problems? Do you want to keep it in control at all times? Well, you need to start eating this exotic fruit. There is a little alcohol extract found in the fruit, which dilates the blood vessels and increases the circulation of blood in the body. This also keeps any heart problems away.
  4. Strengthens immunity: Packed with gazillion nutrients, Hand of Buddha fruit contains a compound called polysaccharide, which can actually improve your immunity system within days. If you regularly have the fruit, you will notice a vast change in your health. You can keep yourself away from common cold, flu or any other allergies or infections. Even if you do catch cold and cough, you will see that it treats these issues within 4 to 5 days.
  5. Helps menstrual discomfort: Menstrual cramps can be quite painful and can cause mood swings. Women should have this fruit as it provides instant energy, relieves cramps and uplifts mood too.
  6. High in fibre: Do you suffer from one of these gastrointestinal problems, constipation, stomach upset, diarrhoea, bloating, loose motions, etc.? Hand of Buddha fruit is the ultimate cure for all these issues. It provides a soothing feel to the muscles in the intestine. Plus it is high in fibre, which can clear out toxins from the body.
  7. Rich in Vitamin C: Hand of Buddha is a citrus fruit, and obviously, it is loaded with Vitamin C. This is good for your skin, hair, health and so much more. Not just this, but if you include this fruit in your face pack, you can fix a lot of skin problems.
  8. Keeps away infections: Antiviral benefits in this fruit can keep any viral infection away from your throat, nose and body.

So, if you are calling for fruit basket delivery at home, make sure you add this fruit without fail.

Best protein shakes with chocolate for building muscles!

February 22nd, 2016

Do you run a lot? Are you obsessed with building muscles? If body building is your main focus for this year, we have just the right protein shake recipes for you. These are few shakes, which are good for health and consist of chocolates, which again everyone loves. So, read this post if you want to know some exciting protein shakes recipes: –

  1. Hot cocoa shake – Hot cocoa is actually good for your health if you consume it without tons of sugar. If you have received chocolates by post, mainly dark chocolate, you can use it up for your post work out drink. Just add a little milk or have it with water. Blend the mix well so that it is easy to drink.
  2. Cream orange and chocolate shake – To add a boost of vitamins, throw in some oranges to your regular chocolate shake. Make sure you add fat free vanilla cream as it has a lot of protein. Blend these ingredients before you drink it. 30 grams of this drink has about 280 calories, which is incredible for building muscles.
  3. Chocolate almond brownies – If you don’t have to have milkshake, you can switch to brownies. Just add milk, good amount of chocolate and chopped almonds on top to finish the dish. This rich and delicious recipe serves about 500 calories with a good amount of protein too. If you are a fan of brownies, then this is perfect for you. Anyways, who can ever say no to brownies?
  4. Chocolate milk – Do you Nutella at home at all times? You can simple use it to make a shake post a vigorous workout session. Just take a scoop of Nutella and add some milk to the mixture. Now put in a little vanilla and blend it in a food processor until the shake is ready. Add chopped almonds and walnuts on top for nutrition. One scoop of Nutella has about 100 calories which is great for you if you want to build muscles quickly.
  5. Chocolate and peanut butter – A shake made with peanut butter and chocolates? Who doesn’t like that! Take 2 cups of whipping cream, add peanut butter, ice cubes, chocolates, water, and flax seeds and blend this mixture. You can also use a little milk if you don’t have flax seed in hand.
  6. Banana shake – This recipe was quite an expected one. Bananas are packed with proteins, calcium and all that goodness. Use unsweetened almond milk, chopped bananas and chocolate to make this delicious smoothie. You can also add some cinnamon and other fruits if you want a healthier version of this recipe. If the banana is not sweet enough, which is barely the case or you want a sweeter drink, then add honey instead of going for sugar. Honey has various antioxidants, which will give your body more than just calories.

So, what are you waiting for? Get chocolates delivered or cocoa powder at your place right now to make this delicious protein and muscle building drinks.

Some Interesting Facts about Bananas

February 20th, 2016

Banana is the most loved fruit type in the world.  Unlike popular perception, the banana is not a tree, but a herb that grows high even till 15 m. There are almost a thousand varieties of bananas in the world with over 50 sub-types.

Bananas are cultivated in over 150 countries and mostly for domestic consumption. Bananas that are locally consumed have a huge part to play in food security in tropical countries.

Bananas are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Here are a few health benefits of bananas, which you can keep in mind while creating fruit baskets:

  • Rich in Potassium and Magnesium: Potassium improves health of heart and counters high blood pressure.
  • Rich in pectin, a type of fibre: Helps in digestion and excretion.
  • Rich in Vitamins C, A and B6. Vitamin B6 helps prevent diabetes, makes the nervous and immune system strong and aids in weight loss. Vitamin A helps improve health of eyes. Vitamin C boosts immunity.
  • Free of cholesterol, sodium and fat.
  • Rich in antioxidants that counter harmful free radicals in body. They help fight cancer.
  • Rich in Tryptophans: These produce serotonin, which improves mood and counters depression.

Apart from these, here are some interesting facts about bananas:

  • Bananas might have been the first fruit to be cultivated going back to as early as 8000 BC.
  • On an average, 100 bananas are consumed on an average by a person in UK.
  • The name banana comes from the Arabic word- ‘Banan’ meaning finger.
  •  The trunk of a banana is not made of wood but of overlapping leaves.
  •  Banana skin can be used to treat itchy skin for a mosquito bite.
  • Bananas are produced in sub-tropical and tropical areas of Asia, Africa and the Americas.
  • Banana is classified as a perennial herb and the fruit as a berry.
  • Almost all bananas are derived from the type called as Cavendish bananas, native to South East Asia.
  • Cavendish replaced a variety called as Gros Michel, which was made extinct by fungal infection.
  • Gros Michel was tastier, larger and had better shelf life than the Cavendish variety.
  • Some botanists believe that the Cavendish is headed for the same fate as the Gros Michel, in the near future.
  • A medium sized banana contains around 95 calories. It provides fats but sustained boost of energy in an easily digestible, nutritious and natural form lacking cholesterol and sodium.
  • Fyffes, the first British suppliers of bananas got its first banana consignment 124 years ago (in 1888).
  • A banana stem is made of ‘hands’, consisting of 10 – 20 bananas. On splitting a hand, bananas become ‘clusters’ usually made of 3-8 bananas.
  • Shoes can be polished using inside of banana peel.
  • Wild bananas grow all over South East Asia but many are inedible.
  • Most bananas are consumed domestically. Only 15% is kept for export, globally.
  • Bananas make for excellent fruit gifts UK.
  • Plantains refer to raw bananas, used for cooking.

These are some interesting facts about bananas.

A marriage of health and indulgence!

February 20th, 2016

Festive seasons or happy occasions demand delicacies, and they usually are entirely comprised of sweets, or at least partially. Pastries, candies, cakes, fruit punches – these are some of the common examples of delicacies that are included in almost all parties and events, personal or corporate. So, the result is, after such occasions, especially during celebrations that last for a long time or those come one immediately after the other such as Christmas and New Years, a person ends up gaining a lot of weight and fat.

Cake delivery makes it easier for people send their regards to their loved ones from afar too. There is however a way you can make your wishes even more thoughtful, by selecting from one of the many nutritious cakes that are available in the market. Here are some of the top examples for you to choose from!

  1. Carrot Cupcakes – Did you know that this colourful and often-joked-about orange vegetable is a delicious ingredient when it comes to several desserts, including cakes? Some dough, grated carrots, sweeteners and a dollop of cream on top of the cupcake is something not many people can resist!
  2. Banana cakes – Sponge cakes with the main ingredient as bananas are favourites of many people because of its refreshing taste, easy availability and convenience of cutting, shipping and storing. Cream n Cheese used as frosting on this cake would present an irresistible combination to even the most health-conscious people.
  3. Yoghurt and lemon Cakes – Another sponge cake variant, this cake is famous for its unique sweet n’ sour flavour that is very different from the other usually-sweet cakes. Both main ingredients are extremely healthy when used on their own, but put together they just make the cake healthier.
  4. Chocolate cupcakes – This is one variety that chocolate lovers should not miss. Often, people, who love chocolate, are unable to consume their favourite happy food because of health issues like diabetes and heart problems, but these cupcakes mainly made up of milk, eggs and unsweetened chocolate will surely hit the right spot while not adding too many calories to a person’s body. These are popular choices for people, who send cakes online because they are easy to transport and there are very people who can say no to chocolate!
  5. Golden cupcakes – This is one dessert that you can make very, very easily at home because most of the ingredients are always present at home, such as unsalted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, flour and salt. The only fresh ingredients you’ll need are milk and eggs. Almost all the ingredients used are healthy and are required in small quantities.
  6. Glazed orange and strawberry cupcakes – The name looks delicious and you will find them delicious to have too! Made up of mainly orange juice, fresh strawberries and eggs, the other common ingredients that you will need are all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, unsalted butter and a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.

All these cakes are light on the stomach but great snacks and can be used for festive occasions too.