Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mixed nuts chikki/ Mixed nuts brittle ~~ Holi recipes

An all time favorite of all age groups, these chikkis or candies can rival the taste of chocolates and are a perfect healthy treat for kids. A twist to the regular peanut chikkis by adding mixed nuts is just what you will need when you are craving for a nutritious sweet snack.

Chikkis are Indian brittles but sugar is replaced by jaggery in the Indian version. It is hard to stop eating peanut chikkis once you taste them and are my all time favorite snack from childhood. My mom used to prepare a huge box of chikkis from jaggery that we got from our hometown also called as Joni bella. The taste is unbelievably addictive and chikkis are the one thing that I can eat any time, any date irrespective of the diet I am in the middle of!  Though I can make peanut chikkis at home now, I don't because I have never come out with the chikkis that taste as good as store bought or mom-made. 

Last time when my mom told me that my dad has been craving for chocolates, I quickly got to making sugar-free Dry fruits and mixed nuts Burfi and decided to make some chikkis as well. Since I don't like my home-made peanut chikkis, I decided to make mixed nuts chikkis. I had to dry roast n powder/pulse the nuts for burfis anyway.

Chikkis are also made with sugar that is caramelized and you can taste the difference. I love the jaggery ones and they are a good option health wise too. So, here is an easy and fail-safe recipe for Mixed nuts chikkis that you will fall in love with, in your first bite!

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  92.7 Calories
Fat 6.2 %
Carbohydrates 8.3 %
Dietary Fiber 1.7 %
Sodium 1 mg
Vitamin A 0.6 %
Vitamin C 0.4 %
Calcium  2.2 %
Iron  3.6 %
Protein 2.7 Grams
Sugar 4.6 Grams

Walnuts 100 grams
Cashew nuts 50 grams
Almonds 100 grams
Pistachios 100 grams
Flax seeds 100 grams
Cardamom powder  1/2 teaspoon
Ghee/Clarified butter 1 teaspoon
Jaggery grated 1 & 1/2 cups

Dry roast Almonds in a pan under low flame till they turn crisp.Let them cool completely and grind into a coarse powder.
Dry roast all the remaining nuts together till they turn crisp for about 5-6 minutes under low flame. Remove from flame and let them cool completely.
Dry roast flax seeds covered in a pan since they pop. Once they turn a little dark, remove from flame and let it cool. Grind the roasted flax seeds to a coarse powder.

Mix all the ground nuts and set them aside while you prepare the jaggery. Grate jaggery and keep it ready.
In a kadai, melt ghee and add jaggery. Keep the flame under low and keep stirring. Once the mixture turns to One-string consistency {Take the mixture in a spoon and take it with your forefinger. a single thread is formed (and does not break) when your forefinger and your thumb are pulled apart gently.}
Add the nuts mixture, cardamom powder and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from flame.

Grease a plate with little ghee or oil. Spread the mixture quickly and using a rolling pin, gently roll on the mixture and let it cool down completely.
Mark and cut when it is still warm and it will be easy to remove the pieces once cooled down completely.

* You can replace jaggery with sugar and the quantity is same.
* You can also add peanuts (dry roasted and skin peeled) and Grated dry coconut. 

Dry fruits and mixed nuts Burfi/ Dry fruits and mixed nuts fudge (Sugar-free)~~Holi recipes

A sugar-free, highly nutritious and filling, tasty and colorful, addictive and delicious, these dry fruits and mixed nuts Burfis are a healthy dessert and a guilt-free snack. These nutritious Dry fruits and mixed nuts Burfis are a delightful treat for your little kiddos since these burfis give the goodness of all nuts and flax seeds.

As usual, I was thinking of making a sugar-free yet a healthy dessert for Holi. Every time I prepare a sugar-free dessert, I am encouraged by my DH and dad. My dad being diabetic particulary loves chocolates and he always tries to sneak few chocolates in his pocket like a naughty kid. So, I try to find new ways to make his desserts sugar free. Lately, he has been buying a lot of peanut chikkis and my mum told me about it. So, I made nuts burfi without sugar but fig and dates added for sweetness for my dad.

These burfis are made of Dates, Figs, Cashew nuts, walnuts, Almonds, pistachios and flax seeds bound together by just a tablespoon of ghee. It has the goodness of all the nuts and is rich in iron. Since a mixture of nuts is added to this burfi, the health benefits are numerous. Even though this dessert does not have added sugar, I have added just enough ghee to bind it all together. You can skip the ghee part and add Khoya instead, though that will change the taste altogether and will have lower shelf life. Apart from the mixed nuts, you can also add grated dry coconut, sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

My DH and I have a special liking for dates and my first option when it comes to dessert is a dish made of dates. It has been years since I started to curb my sweet tooth with dates as snack. I also try to make it a little more interesting by adding it to bread or cake. You can check these totally-sugar-free recipes which have helped me overcome my all time sugar cravings. This practice of replacing sugar to dates has helped me with weight loss and better health  to a huge extent. Anyway, here are few sugar free recipes to check if you would like:

Date Rolls
Dates and Nuts Loaf
Dates and Semolina Halwa

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  109.6 Calories
Fat 5.5 %
Carbohydrates 15.6 %
Dietary Fiber 2.8 %
Sodium 1.7 mg
Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin C 0.3 %
Calcium  3.1 %
Iron  3.8 %
Protein 2.4 Grams
Sugar 11.2 Grams

Dates 500 grams
Dry figs 250 grams
Walnuts 150 grams
Cashew nuts 50 grams
Almonds 150 grams
Pistachios 150 grams
Flax seeds 100 grams
Cardamom powder  1/2 teaspoon
Grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee/Clarified butter 1 tablespoon divided

Grease a plate and keep it aside. Heat a kadai and dry roast almonds till they feel crisp, for about 5-6 minutes. Let it aside to cool.
Once the almonds are cooled completely, ground them to a coarse powder. Meanwhile, heat a pan and dry roast flax seeds under low flame. You will have to cover the pan since the flax seeds starts to pop once the heat turns up.
Once the flax seeds starts to give out it's aroma, remove from flame and let it cool.

Meanwhile, Dry roast all the remaining nuts together till they turn crisp and let them aside to cool completely.
Grind the flax seeds into fine powder. Now, you can either chop the nuts to your desired size or you can pulse them all together into tiny uneven pieces. I have done the latter. Mix Almond powder, flax seeds powder and remaining nuts.
Chop the figs and dates. Heat a kadai, fry the dates with half a tablespoon of ghee till the dates look a little puffed. Transfer the dates to a plate and set it aside to cool.

Fry chopped figs with half tablespoon ghee till they look a little puffed up. Let them cool completely. Now, grind together dates and figs WITHOUT water. The mixture should be coarse and it is alright if few dates are whole. Heat the same used kadai, add ground paste, nutmeg and cardamom powder and mix well.

Cook the dates mixture for a minute till the mixture gets a little warm. Add dry ingredients to the dates and fig mixture and mix well. Remove from flame.
Smear some ghee or oil to you hands and knead the mixture into a dough when the mixture is still warm. Place the dough in the greased plate and press them with your palm. Cut and let the mixture cool in refrigerator for at least an hour. Cut into the mixture again before removing the burfis from the plate. Serve and enjoy!

* You can play with the quantity of nuts added but it works better if the quantity of fig and dates are not reduced.
* I have pulsed the nuts in my blender twice to make them into coarse pieces and powder. You can chop the nuts if you want.

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