Thursday, May 24, 2012

No Fuss or Guilt-free Ice-cream

Have you ever tried making ice-cream at home? Do you think you have to invest on an ice-cream maker for that? Does the calorie guilt bother you? Here is an awesome solution for all these. This does not require ice-cream maker. This is a dairy free (yeah!!! No cream in the ice-cream!!) and a single ingredient ice-cream. Do you want to take a guess what that single ingredient is? its Bananas. Yep, Just bananas.
You will definitely scream for this ice-cream.....
Although I am not a fan of banana. My husband is. I loved every bit of it. This did not leave the banana taste in the end. I found this recipe on pinterest a couple of days ago and I thought I will give it a try. I did not expect such good results. For my surprise, it did turn out great! Thanks to Jen for a great recipe like this. Here is her blog with the detailed recipe. You can get creative with this one and try it with different flavors. I added cocoa for chocolate flavor, may be next time I will try it with peanut butter, nutella or some fresh fruits.

Preparation time: less than 15 mins
Freezing time: 1-2 hrs
Quantity: 3 large scoops

Spotted or ripe bananas - 2 nos
Vanilla extract  (optional) - 1/2 T spn
Cocoa, unsweetened (optional) - 1 1/2 T spn
Sugar (optional) -  2 T spn or to taste

1. Cut the ripe bananas and freeze them for an hour or two (depends on your freezer settings)
2. Put it in a blender or food processor and blend it till the frozen bananas turn to smoothie-like consistency (expect to stop in between to scrape the edges of blender)
3. Add vanilla extract, sugar and add any flavor - cocoa or peanut butter or fruits or nuts or even nutella. I used cocoa.
4. Freeze it again for an hour
5. Scoop that awesomeness and enjoy! (:

Gift Boxes

You know when people say - "the gift wrapper looks better than the gift", I guess its for me!! I love gift wrapping, so even a teeny weeny gift will have a fancy wrapping. For Sankranti, I made these gift boxes to put a packet of "yellu bella" (a mixture of sesame seeds+jaggery) and gave it to my friends. I used this tutorial from to make them. Also check out their video on youtube. You can make these boxes in different sizes, to put candies for halloween or to put some small gifts.
I used a regular letter size card sheet. I also used a scoreboard, its not necessary to have one. You can just mark them with the same measurements and fold them accordingly. I also used a mango shaped or paisley wooden stamp that I got it from India. Oh! I love those stamps. I bought them from a street vendor near Bull temple in Bangalore (I know, I just had to mention this! nostalgic!). They work best with fabric colors, I used a regular ink pad, it did not work that great. But its ok, now that the boxes are gone! :)


Yoga is a science much more than just exercise. Please read this article to know about the benefits of yoga. This gives insights about the physical, psychological and biochemical benefits. It also gives a comparison of Yoga with regular exercises.

Are there any prerequisites? 
Just a few like - 
  • practice yoga on empty stomach or 3 hrs after you have had food
  • do not practice during menstruation
  • children below 12 years should not practice yoga for longer duration
  • yoga should be practiced on a matted or carpeted floor 
Does Yoga help weight loss?
The answer is YES!!! It depends on the type of yoga you practice. There are different types of Yoga.  Hatha, Kundalini, Bikram, Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga are some to name. All these are found by various Yogis or masters who have practiced yoga for years.

I am Fat, do you think I can do it?
I am fat too. When I can do it, I am sure you can too! Start off with simple asanas. Where there's a will there's a way. Fact is, even people who are skinny will find it tough to touch the floor without bending their knees. Example - my husband! He can't touch the floor, I can do it!! (Yay!!) :)

I am skinny, do you think I have to do it?
Yes. Yoga not just builds strength in the body, but also helps beat stress. Along with flexibility, it improves concentration and longevity. Please read the article suggested above to discover more benefits.

What is Pranayama?
Pranayama is one of the basic principles of Yoga which promotes proper breathing. Better breathing improves the quality of life. Check this article for more benefits.

All of us breathe, so what?
Yes, all of us breathe, but we don't breathe properly. Most of us are chest breathers, we just use 1/3rd of our lung capacity. Pranayama almost triples the lung capacity, thereby increasing the oxygen capacity which in turn increases metabolic rate, it improves digestion and all the other body function. Don't u think its a good deal?

I am a full time working woman, do you think I can practice yoga?
Yes, you can. I practice 25 suryanamaskara everyday. It takes not more than 30 mins. You can spend at least 20 mins to see your great grand children getting married in future!

Oh, don't ask me to wake up early in the morning now!
Oh No! Although the best time to practice yoga is early in the morning, you can do it in the evening too. Just make sure that you haven't had anything to eat 3 hours before doing it.