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.

Protein Packed Almond Milk Smoothie With Banana And Berries


I love when there is a explosion of color in my food. Yogurt and milk smoothies/ shakes are delicious but there are times when you can not digest dairy milk and need a substitute. Almond milk is healthy and a very good substitute for people who are lactose intolerant, diary intolerance, have some digestive issues or are vegan by choice. It has the same creamy texture and is well suited for many recipes including your regular tea and coffee. Home made almond milk is fresher, tastier, economical and nutritious. Almonds are good source of protein, omega – 3 and 6 fatty acids, fiber and minerals especially magnesium. You can keep fresh almond milk in the fridge for up to three days or freeze it too.

Recipe for Almond Milk :

Three step process to make almond milk:

Wash and soak 1 cup of raw almonds overnight or for at least 5 hours at room temperature in filtered water. (I don’t use hot water) Soaking makes the nut soft and buttery.

Once the almonds have soaked well, discard the water and wash the almonds properly. Add them to the blender and blend at high-speed with three cups of cold water added slowly. This helps in getting a rich, smoother milk. You should remove the skin of the soaked almonds before blending but the sweeter variety can be used with skin. The skin will anyway get filtered. You can make it both ways and decide which taste and color suits you. The skin given the almond milk a bit muddy color.

Once the mixture has blended properly, strain it in a glass pitcher. You can use the leftover almond meal in any of your favorite recipes or use it for a face pack too. 😀  You can add vanilla or dates, while blending, for a flavorful almond milk. I keep it plain and unsweetened.

Today I made a healthy berries and banana smoothie today. This nutritious smoothie has an exquisite color, tastes delicious and the three fruits complement each other very well. Both, strawberries and blue berries are full of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. I added a teaspoon of organic honey to sweeten it. Usually I use dates/ dates syrup or maple syrup. No refined sugar. You can also let the natural sweetness of the fruits to do the trick.

To make the smoothie you will need:

1 cup homemade almond milk

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1 medium size banana

1/4 cup fresh strawberries

Honey – to taste (optional)

Process :

I clean, cut and freeze all the fruits in individual zip lock bags for no fuss, quick healthy grab or sometimes just use them straight from the fridge. I think freezing the fruits gives a thick smooth texture to the smoothie and you don’t need to add ice that makes it watery.

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Place the banana pieces in the blender and then add the berries. Pour almond milk on top and add honey or whichever sweeter you plan to use.

Cover and blend at high-speed for 10 seconds or until smooth.

Pour it in an open mason jar or a glass and serve chilled.

You can use any combination of fruits to make the smoothies.

Enjoy your glass full of fruity goodness any time of the day.