#GNI Indian Style: Vegan Mango Lassi

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Pouring for my guests.

Every girls night needs a signature drink, right? Instead of opting for a boozy beverage I decided to take a twist on the traditional Mango Lassi and “vegan-ize” it. Lassi is a common beverage enjoyed in most parts of India. It isn’t always flavoured; in fact, my favorite type of lassi is actually “plain”! It’s perfect on hot days when you need something to quench your thirst and keep you cool. For those of you (myself included) who love dairy milk, you can easily swap out the ingredients as you wish! My girlfriends Courtney (The Fig Tree) and Chantal (Nutty 4 Nutrition) don’t do so well with cow’s milk so I was more than happy to accommodate their restrictions. And guess what? Everyone loved it!

The ingredient list as you’ll see is minimal and perhaps the most important ingredient of all is yogurt. When you peruse through other lassi recipes you’ll notice they almost all contain yogurt which helps to impart the slightly sour taste that you can’t help but love.
Carrots and Cake, Nita ShardaCarrots and Cake, Nita ShardaAs far as spices go, you can be as adventurous (or not) as you want to be. I love using similar spices as I would in my chai (tea) so I tend to stick with cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. I also added some saffron which is a commonly used spice among many Indian dishes. Because it can be difficult to come by and also extremely expensive I only used a small sliver for each serving.

You can slurp on this beverage as part of a healthy breakfast, post workout nutrition or simply offer it up to your guests at any time and for any occasion. Heck, serve it as a liquid dessert (that’s a great idea).

Happy sippin’ folks…and now, the recipe:

#GNI Indian Style: Vegan Mango Lassi
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 3 - 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups frozen mango, cubed
  • 2 cups soy yogurt, plain
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • ¼ - ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Agave nectar (or honey) to taste *optional
  • Ice cubes
  • Saffron, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a high speed blender (or large food processor) puree the mango until it is in liquid consistency.
  2. Add in yogurt, milk and spices. Blend for 45 seconds.
  3. Next, depending on how thin or thick you want your lassi, add in water. Be careful! Just add a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Pour lassi into glasses, add in ice cubes and one sliver of saffron to each glass.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Nita Sharda, Carrots and CakeCarrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

Before you leave, check out this fun stop motion video about the girls night in I hosted, trust me you, you’re going to want to see it! It’s pretty darn cute if I don’t say so myself!

– With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

Tropical Green Smoothie

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Delicious as part of a meal or a yummy snack!

Have you ever tried your hand at a “Green Smoothie?” I was a big skeptic, I mean, it’s green. But don’t let that prevent you from giving it a go; you may very well enjoy it as I did! Heck, it is even husband approved.

Why go green? Adding greens can help you meet your quota of fruits and veggies for the day. But beyond that, green veggies come loaded with additional water content, iron, and fibre; in fact, kale contains a bountiful amount of vitamin C. And, most importantly, you most likely won’t even taste the greens since other flavours usually take over.

This version of a green smoothie is perhaps my very favorite. When you live in Winnipeg, also affectionately known as “Winter-peg,” you sometimes crave a bit of paradise. And voila, this comes close! (Ok, maybe not exactly white-sandy-beaches-paradise, but it kinda sorta tastes like it!).

Tip: Blend your green smoothie in stages. This ensures your green smoothie will be “homogenous”. Blend up your leafy greens and liquid-base first, then you’re ready to add any remaining fruits or veggies.

For more smoothie tips and hacks, be sure visit my friend Jessica Penner’s blog post, here.

I added a few heaping spoonfuls of hemp hearts. These little guys have a nutty flavour and come loaded with protein, fibre and fat; the good kinda fat! And now, for the recipe; makes 2 – 3 portions and keeps well over several days. Enjoy as a meal replacement, a snack or as a post workout beverage.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tropical Green Smoothie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen (should be ripe—frozen banana will make it more creamy)
  • 1 cup pineapple, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup mango, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups water (you can also use milk or your favorite milk alternative)
  • 2 cups packed spinach/kale
  • ½ - 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder *optional
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 4 tbsp hemp hearts/seeds
Instructions
  1. Blend your chosen green leaves with the water. Liquify for a few seconds until the leaves have emulsified into the water.
  2. This is a good time to blend in your protein if you decide to add some.
  3. Blend remaining ingredients until smooth.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Spot the heart?

– With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

 

 

 

GNI Feature: Raspberry Mojito

Carrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

Sip sippin’

I have a confession. 

I am  THE  Sober Sally, the expected designated driver, and – as a result – on rare occasions I am the wild “one-hit-drunken-wonder.” Honestly, two drinks and I’m out. Alcohol wasn’t present in my family home growing up. We usually enjoyed wine with specific meals and served up bevies when we had guests. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy a social drink here and there. Winnipeg summers scream for sangria, wine, and cool cocktails – it’s the perfect fit for a summer sunset and something many of us look forward to after a seemingly never-ending winter.

Having said this, it’s important to not get carried away by assuming you can make up for months of not-drinking and load up with copious amounts of alcohol. We all know far too well, too many drinks + drinking too fast = paying for it later on. When you look at calories per gram, carbohydrates and protein offer 4kcal per gram. Alcohol, on the other hand, offers about 7 kcal per gram. This just goes to show that for very little in the way of nutrition, the “empty calories” alcohol promises can really add up.

NOW, LISTEN UP PEOPLE!

If you don’t already drink, here’s raising a virgin drink to you. If you do enjoy a sip on occasion, drinking responsibly is just as important for good health as is eating fruits and veggies. For more information about drinking enjoyably but safely, visit this resource here.

For the GNI that I hosted, I prepared a jug of cucumber water for my guests topped with fresh mint leaves (which looked pretty cool, if I do say so myself). This ensures my guests can comfortably choose to keep well hydrated, and bonus: it’s a bit more sophisticated than plain ol’ water. The other beverage I mixed up was a Raspberry Infused Mojito.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and CakeNita Sharda, Carrots and CakeNita Sharda, Carrots and CakeNita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

The recipe calls for simple syrup so instead of toping the mojito with sugary soda, I poured sparkling water into the mix. Throughout the night, I excitedly emphasized all of the yummy (and nutritious) food I prepared by asking my guests what they thought of certain dishes, kick-starting conversations about food trends, and of course delving into fashion talks, politics, celebrity gossip and, most importantly, enjoying some darn good company.

I’ll toast to that! *cheers* Recipe below: 

4.0 from 1 reviews
GNI Feature: Raspberry Mojito
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • Raspberry Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups raspberry (fresh or frozen)
  • Ice
  • Lime, sliced into wheels
  • White rum
  • Springs of fresh mint
  • Tonic water
  • Raspberries for garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the simple syrup: In a saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the saucepan from the heat and add in the raspberries. Allow the mixture to steep for at least one day. The simple syrup will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  2. To make the raspberry mojito: In a cocktail shaker, muddle or crush the lime and mint leaves. Add in ½ - 1oz raspberry simple syrup, 1oz white rum and ice. Cover, shake shake shake, and then pour over ice into a glass.
  3. Top with tonic water as desired.
  4. Garnish with a raspberry.
  5. Toast and sip (responsibly)!

Like these photos? Visit Samba Joy Photo & Art to view more of their work.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Cheers to good food, good company and good health.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cakep.s. If you haven’t already checked it out, this is a short snippet of what my #gni looked like. Enjoy!

 

 

                 – With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda