Chilling With Mangoes – A wholesome Parfait & Smoothie


I love fruit desserts especially those made with yogurt. These days mangoes are in season and the intense heat has added more sweetness to them. I bought a dozen of Kesar variety a few days ago and they were insanely sweet. Here are two healthy recipes to beat the sticky summer heat. The ingredients are the same but the tastes are different. Also, sometimes one wants to drink something refreshing yet nutritious rather than eat. So, we have two healthy choices here -A parfait and A Smoothie.

So, what’s different in this Mango Yogurt Parfait?

We are all familiar with overnight Oats and fruit Parfaits but here is a desi and healthy twist to that recipe with the lusciousness of mangoes and flattened/Beaten Rice or poha soaked in home cultured yogurt and lightly flavored. Enjoy this highly nutritious parfait as a dessert or a main breakfast dish to kick start your day.This recipe is inspired by blogger Sangeeta Khanna’s mango poha.

Flattened rice or poha is prebiotic and probiotic apart from being a rich source of many nutrients. I’ve used Just Organik rice poha.  It is easy to digest too.  I have more poha recipes on blog which you can explore and enjoy. Write ‘poha’ in the search tab and you will have them all.

 Mango Yogurt Parfait with Beaten Rice Flakes or Poha 

I can bet that once you have this refreshing Parfait you are surely gonna make it again. Choose ripe, juicy, fragrant mangoes and home cultured yogurt to reap the maximum nutritional benefits.

Ingredients :

  1. Chill the glasses in the fridge before assembling this versatile Parfait.
  2. Whip the yogurt with honey and chill it. That will make it an instant eat.
  3. Dry poha needs to be rinsed under filtered water in sieve and kept for sometime to
  4. Mix the soaked poha or flattened rice flakes in it. Mash and mix properly. Keep it in the fridge to puff up more and chill.
  5. In the mango puree add ginger juice and cardamom powder. Mix well. Chill.
  6. Now, take the serving glass or goblet and carefully put two spoons of mango puree in it then add a layer of yogurt poha mix. Alternate layers Till you reach 3/4 of the glass. You can layer them as per your choice.
  7. Keep the top layer of dahi poha and Top it with generous amount of cubed and chilled mango pieces.
  8. Refrigerate your Parfait a little more to set properly.
  9. Sprinkle granola, muesli or popped amaranth seeds (ramdana) or chopped nuts of your choice just before serving.
  10. Enjoy this wholesome utterly delicious healthy parfait any time of the day.

There are times when you are in rush and do not have time to relax and enjoy this Parfait but still want something healthy and filling. Don’t worry, just turn this into a delightful chilled smoothie and drink it up.
Mango , Banana, Yogurt Smoothie 
 Freeze the fresh mango pulp and chopped bananas or even cubes of mangoes. Soak the poha in yogurt overnight in the fridge ( 2 tablespoons in 1/2 cup yogurt + 1 teaspoon of honey if required). Next morning Put everything in a blender and blend into a thick delicious smoothie. You can add or omit poha and banana. The smoothie is so versatile. Add popped ramdana (1 tablespoon if not using poha) or cooked oats .You can add explore the possibilities of tongue ticking taste by adding any other fruit with mango or nuts/ dry fruits etc.
But, I love it just like this. Too many flavors mar the delightful taste of mangoes which we don’t want. 🙂
My Tip: Brown or red poha gives it a nutty flavor and is more nutritious than the off white one. Do not go for white bleached poha. Try and used organic products. Prefer popped ramdana as topping but here I used muesli as garnish. Use organic as far as possible.
I do not use blender to puree the mango. I do it the traditional aamras way, rolling and pressing the mango between palms and, making a slit at one end to squeeze out all the pulp then mashing it nicely with hand till no lumps are left. This way the pulp has a nice texture and it gives the Parfait a unique taste too. Yes, there is distinct difference in blended pulp and hand squeezed pulp which you will notice when you have the smoothie. 🙂
Hope you will make these and let me know your feedback. So, go grab some mangoes till they last and indulge.

A Delicious Dates Banana Surprise Smoothie


We are into second week of September and it is still incredibly hot. I can tell from the afternoon sun flooding my room that winter is standing at the threshold waiting to step in anytime. As a healthy diet change I am using fresh fruits and home-made yogurt / Almond milk / Soy Milk / etc to make delicious smoothies. A quick wholesome breakfast drink that sometimes has a surprise ingredient just to make the mornings interesting and creative. A good start, I say.

I went for my second sitting for molar root canal today and the dentist told me to eat something soft so instead of having this in the breakfast I had it as a late afternoon tummy filler.  :p

Using home-made cultured yogurt is the best thing you have for a healthy digestive system. We were brought up on home cultured yogurt. We would always keep a little culture to set the new batch of yogurt and if we forgot, mom would send us with a little katori (bowl) to get it from neighbors. We would knock on all doors till we found a home that has home-made dahi and ask for a jaman (culture). Frankly it was a tad bit embarrassing so the best way to avoid it was to remember to save some jaman without fail.

These days a range of packaged yogurt is available easily. I use the one from ‘Mother Dairy’ for convenience but now I want to get back to setting my yogurt at home.

Full of protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12 Yogurt is very good for intestinal flora. I have a weak digestion so love to include a lot of yogurt in my diet.

This smoothie is a perfect blend of bananas, dates, almonds and a surprise ingredient that you will soon discover. 😀

High in protein, rich in taste and texture, this is one of my favorite smoothies. You can opt for milk, soy milk or almond milk instead of yogurt. It is your personal choice.

To make this refreshing smoothie you will need :

1 ripe medium size banana

6 dates ( soaked if using dry ones)

6 Almonds – soaked and pealed

1/4 cup Yogurt

Pure Vanilla or / and cinnamon powder  – just a little (optional)

and my surprise ingredient

a handful of soaked poha (beaten or flattened rice)  (about 3 tablespoons 🙂

I use poha because it is probiotic, prebiotic, and gluten-free food. It is low calorie, nutritious and gut friendly too.

I also use popped amaranth/ramdana or rajgira grains sometimes which is our indigenous substitute for quinoa. It is much cheaper and is equally nutritious, if not more. We will discuss its goodness in another post.

So once you have all the ingredients ready, here is how you make this lip smacking smoothie,

1. Wash poha under running filtered water in a sieve to drain out the water. I soak it overnight or for at least an hour in the yogurt that is to be used for the smoothie. Just the way we make dahi poha ( yogurt poha).

2. Wash, cut and soak the dates (seeds removed) in a little warm water/milk to soften them.

3. Soak the almonds ( I use sweet California almonds) overnight in a bowl of water. Keep it covered. In the morning discard the water, wash the almonds and remove the skin.

4. Chop the banana and place it in a zip lock bag. Place this in the freezer.

5. In a blender add yogurt, soaked beaten rice, banana pieces, dates and crushed almonds.

5. Add a dash of Cinnamon or/and a few drops of pure vanilla. (optional)

Remember to add the ingredients in this order for a rich, thick ,smooth texture.

Now cover and blend for 10 seconds at high-speed or till everything blends smoothly.

Pour it in a glass for an early morning power packed goodness.

The natural sweetness of dates is enough but if you wish you can toss in a teaspoon of organic honey.

It is in a way a healthy start to the day and a complete breakfast as far as i know.

Delicious too. 🙂

Smoothie don’t always need a milk or yogurt base. Next time we will do something different. Watch this space.

*You can replace Poha with oatmeal too.

A Healthy Yogurt Smoothie With Organic Apples and Pomegranates


I discovered I Say Organic  from their FB page and ordered a few fruits which were in the season. Mangoes to begin with. It was a bitter-sweet experience at first but then their customer support is excellent and they worked on my issues immediately. I have ordered things from them since then. Last week I got a package of red delicious apples and pomegranate from them. Both the fruits were fresh, sweet and juicy. I prefer my smoothies to have natural sweetness so decided to use the last few in a delicious apple, pomegranate yogurt smoothie.

I prefer organic fruits  because we can use the fruits like apple with their skin. Their website claims that the products are free of toxic chemicals and are organically grown. There is a vast taste difference between organic and conventionally grown apples. Eating apples with skin is a good high fiber, low sugar option. Apple skin has most of the nutrients like dietary fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidants. We all know the health benefits and nutritional values of this fruit.

Similarly Pomegranates are loaded with nutrients and are considered as one of the healthiest food. The arils are rich in fibers, vitamins, minerals and bio-active plant compounds, beta carotene. You can find all you want to know about the health benefits of these fruits from mother Google :D.

I use naturally cultured yogurt which I make at home but today for the lack of it I used the one from Mother Dairy. It is as close as one can get to home made one.

For the smoothie I used :

1 medium size organic red delicious apple

1 medium size organic golden apple.

1 1/2 medium size pomegranate

1/4 cup natural Mother Dairy dahi ( yogurt)

I did not use any sweetener.

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Process :

Wash and pat dry apples. Dice them with the skin into small pieces.

Wash and cut the pomegranate in half. Take a bowl of cold water and break apart one half of the fruit inside the water. The membrane will release the pearls beautifully as you slowly rub it with the thumbs. The membrane sticking to the peals will float up and the peals will stay down. Drain the water and you will have ruby red, juicy gleaming pearls of sweetness. Google is the mother of all life hacks but I remember it being done at our home since I was a kid. So…  😀

Now that we have both the fruits ready, take the blender, add the yogurt first then add the fruits to it. If you know the fruits aren’t very sweet then add a spoonful of organic honey to it.

To make smoothies healthy do not use sweetened yogurt, refined sugar etc. Natural fruit sweetness is the best. Honey or date/maple syrup is the next best choice.

Keep things simple and natural.

Cover and blend the ingredients for 10 seconds or till everything is blended to a smooth texture.

I use the pearls of the pomegranate fruits. You can take out the juice and add that to avoid the seeds.  Use only fresh juice in smoothies. If you don’t have a juicer, simply place all the pearls in a plastic sieve over a container and rub/press/squeeze with your thumbs till all the juice is out. I used pearls of 1 pomegranate and the other 1/2 fruit I juiced like this. To quicken the process I used a wooden masher used for making pav bhaji. 😀 It worked beautifully and I got super sweet deep red juice in no time which I chilled in the freezer and added to the smoothie before having.

The result was out of the world.

I am very fond of pomegranate margaritas and I simply love the salt rimmed cocktail glasses in which its served so I salt rimmed my smoothie glass and it made the flavor more enticing. It also made me crave for the margaritas 😉

Tomorrow will be another special smoothie wit ha surprise element. Watch out for it.

Till then Enjoy!