Lazy Hummus {5 Minute Recipe}

Now that school’s back on, you don’t have all the time in the world. Here’s a quick pictorial on making hummus in your food processor! Who doesn’t love a one-bowl recipe and easy clean up?

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Osmaliyeh: Shredded Pastry with Cream {عثملية/عصمليه}

This dessert is super simple, and can be made by frying or baking. It tastes great plain but can be adapted to include various toppings to suit all taste buds!

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DIY Home Made, All Natural Face Mask {Cinnamon, Honey & Nutmeg}

What better way to calm your skin and feel refreshed than by getting a facial? Here’s a recipe for a super simple face mask made with all natural ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now. The spices in this mask give your face a deep cleanse and leave you feeling radiant.

Our nephew had quite the scare when he emerged from his makeshift tent in the living room to find his aunts with this mask on. We’d advise you keep any kids from finding you with a mask, or at least warn them ahead of time 😛

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Atyr – Lebanese Simple Syrup {قطر}

This simple syrup is an essential component to almost all Arabic desserts, and has a distinct flavor due to the Rose & Blossom water.

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Qatayef {قطايف}

This is the kind of dessert that is perfect to take with you to a friends place. In Lebanese households whenever formal visits are made, the person invited always brings something along – most of the time it is dessert – because nobody can object to dessert.
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Triple Threat Brownies {Easy & Fast Recipe}

Today we bring forth a recipe that is so easy and so good. In fact, we predict that on your next shopping trip you’ll be scooping up what you need to make these brownies. Thanks to the power of social networks and bake sales we have come to know this positively sinful delight of a brownie.

So most of the time, we watch what we eat, but sometimes you gotta just live on the edge.

Sometimes you need that kick of chocolate in your life.

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How to make the best Hummus {Lebanese Style}

Hummus is the arabic word for Chickpeas, or Garbanzo beans. Hummus is traditionally eaten in all parts of the Arab world, and each region makes it a little differently. This is the Lebanese style hummus that we grew up eating, usually with pita bread. Have you ever had a hummus sandwhich? Cause if you haven’t you are missing out – big time. Hummus was definitely not popular as we were growing up, but now you find people eating hummus with everything, and you find it everywhere! You could pretty much walk into any grocery store and buy some hummus, but it probably won’t be as good as this recipe. Actually we’re confident it won’t, because nothing beats home made. Also, packaged hummus doesn’t taste anything like the hummus we know.
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10 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Chickpeas {Nutrition}

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Food & Nutrition 101: Macronutrients

I’m sure you’ve all heard of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients at one point in your life, and if you haven’t, then your elementary school science teacher definitely didn’t do his/her job. This post will be dedicated to macro-nutrients, the main building blocks of our food! To understand how to make healthy food choices and more importantly, why- you first need to understand what your food is made, so let’s go back to the basics, shall we?

There are three macro-nutrients, and they are responsible for providing you with food energy in the form of calories to perform numerous bodily functions that keep us alive and well:

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….andddd THIS is why high fat foods are so high in calories


1. Carbohydrates
. Ahh, what would we all do without this poor demonized nutrient!? Carbohydrates happen to be our primary source of energy. Carbs are made up of building blocks (molecules) called monosaccharides (simple sugars). There are hundreds of mono-saccarides, but the three main ones are:

  • Glucose        ….I’m sure you’ve ALL heard this one
  • Fructose     ….main sugar found in friuts
  • Galactose     …one of the sugars found in milk

Now, just for those of you who find this interesting: What happens when we put two monosacharides together? Well they become disaccharides, (duh!) So, just for the heck of it…

  • Glucose + Fructose = Sucrose                      …which is our very own table sugar
  • Glucose + Galactose = Lactose                     …the culprit behind lactose intolerance
  • Glucose + Glucose = Maltose                        …also known as malt sugar

…and the list goes on., ya dig?

The take home message here is that mono and disaccharides are SIMPLE sugars, they digest fast and have the ability to increase your blood sugar levels at a fast rate (hence sugar rush), which isn’t that great for your health. (The rate at which a food can raise your blood sugar at is called a glycemic index- more on this in a future post!). At the end of the day, we want to aim to eat more complex carbs, also called polysaccharides (such as whole grains) to maintain good health. Polysacharides are none other than much MUCH longer chains of monosaccharides, that will take longer to digest and therefore help you maintain even blood sugar levels throughout the day. Carbohydrates are just as important as any other nutrient, and when you make the right choices you won’t ever have to think about eliminating them.

2. Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids that are arranged into long chains. There are 20 amino acids found in the human body, some of which we make, while others we get from food. The primary function of protein is to produce, maintain and repair body tissues, including skin, hair, nails, organs…you know, just everything! Basically, you need it to grow, which is why undernourished children who don’t eat enough protein tend to experience stunted growth and other health issues. The secondary function of protein is to provide us with a tertiary (3rd) backup source of energy (just in case we go on the Atkins diet and run out of our primary source!)

3. Fats, the most demonized one of them all, Fats serve as a secondary source of energy, they give our bodies an efficient way of storing excess energy (although seen in prudent light!), they provide cushioning for our organs, they provide body insulation to regulate our temperature and to regulate our neural impulses. Just like proteins and carbs, fats also have building blocks called fatty acids. There are three main types, saturated, unsaturated and trans.

  • Saturated fats are animal fats, they are solid at room temperature, BAD
  • Unsaturated fats are plant oils, liquid at room temperature, two types, GOOD
  • Trans fats are manmade fats, STAY FAR FAR AWAY!

Now, there are two types of unsaturated fats, mono-unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats (the name is associated with how many double bonds are present in the fatty acid chain, mono being one and poly…well you get the point). You may have never heard these exact terms before, but who’s heard about how good olive oil is good for the heart? And who’s heard about how great Omega 3’s are? Well-there you go! Olive oil is high in mono-unsaturated fats which are shown to have health benefits, and omega 3 is a poly unsaturated fat that is also very good for you. So you see, unsaturated fats are good in moderation, saturated fats are essential but only in small amounts and from healthy sources (like avocados and nuts) and trans fats are the devil, just don’t.

This may have been a lot to digest (no pun intended), but if you’ve learned about these before then this will have surely refreshed your memory. Having this basic knowledge will get you well on your way to making healthier food choices for both you and your families. Remember, healthy eating means eating a variety of foods with different colors and textures in moderation.

Please refer to the tables below for references on how much of each macro-nutrient you should be consuming!
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http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/nutrition/dri_tables-eng.pdf

To learn more about healthy food options check out the Health Canada website  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/index-eng.php

Delicious Low Fat Banana Bread

I’ve been using this banana bread recipe for a few years now, and it never, EVER, fails me! It is very low in added fat and sugar, the sweetness of the banana is enough. It is relatively quick and easy, and comes out tasting fantastic anytime. What could be better? Well, I’ll tell you, you can make many variations to alter it to your taste such as adding walnuts (like I do), or chocolate chips, or even raisins if you so choose. Happy Baking!
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