The new year’s just around the corner, so why not consider revamping your snack choices? India’s Ayurvedic herbal medicine uses several types of herbs and fruits that allegedly slow down the aging process and make the body perform at its best while bringing vitality and peace. Healthy snacks made from these herbs, in addition to being tasty and filling your body with nutrients, may help your body fight aches and pains and neutralize free radicals and oxidants. While snacking is generally not recommended in Ayurveda, especially if you’re Kapha (heavyset), if you’re Vata (thin) or Pitta (average weight), you may need a small snack between meals to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). So here are some delicious recipes to whet your palate and promote good health in the new year:
Pomegranate Yogurt Pops
Pomegranate is a delicious fruit that may have been the “forbidden fruit” in the Garden of Eden. Its arils (seeds) are packed with vitamins C and K, and ellagic acid, punicalins, punicalagins and gallagic acid that may be effective in neutralizing free radicals and oxidants that can cause aging.
Here’s a recipe for Pomegranate Yogurt Pops that both kids and adults will love:
- 2 cups flavored yogurt (cherry or strawberry work especially well)
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- mixing bowl
- popsicle molds with sticks
- Mix remaining pomegranate seeds and yogurt together in bowl.
- Scoop mixture into popsicle mold compartments.
- Insert sticks into the center of each popsicle.
- Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
Rosemary Roasted Almonds
Rosemary, a member of the mint family, is an excellent source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6 and it reportedly can help improve memory, boost the immune system, alleviate muscle pain, promote hair growth. Rosemary also has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Almonds are great for reducing heart attack risk, lowering bad cholesterol, building strong bones and teeth and lowering the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 2 cups whole almonds, shelled
- Baking sheet lined with foil
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
- Scoop mixture onto baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature.
Real licorice (not the red licorice candy sold in the United States) is reported to be excellent for treating indigestion, sore throats and upper respiratory infections. In addition, real licorice has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and, of course, it tastes great.
- 1 teaspoon licorice root powder (available at your local Indian or Chinese food market)
- 1 cup water
- Pour licorice root powder and water in tea kettle or a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Steep for 10 minutes.
(Photo courtesy of L Goh)