Balance indulgence and nutrition with Luke Coutinho

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New Delhi– We are often told to have five small meals rather than three large ones. For those of us who haven’t yet got down to doing so, and others who love to snack in between meals… what should one eat? Of you’re low on energy which snack is a good boost and what should you sip on to cool you down in the sweltering months? Celebrated chef Luke Coutinho shares some ideas:

Low on energy – try the classic cacao balls with power packed ingredients


. Food processor

. Blender

. Air tight container


. 1/2 cup raw almonds soaked and dried

. 1/2 cup raw walnuts soaked and dried

. 1 cup sattu

. 2 tbsp raw cacao powder

. 1/4 to 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

. 3/4 cup dates chopped

. 1-2 tbsp water


. Pulse the almonds, walnuts, sattu, cacao and salt in a food processor until the nuts break down and combine with the other ingredients.

. Add the dates and a tablespoon of water and run the food processor until the mixture becomes thick and sticky.

. You should be able to squeeze a bit of the mixture between your fingers. If it’s too loose and crumbly, add another tablespoon of water and process until everything comes together.

. Scoop pieces of the mixture and roll it into balls between your palms, slightly smaller than the size of a golf ball.

. Line them up on the baking sheet and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour, overnight if possible.

. Sprinkle some fresh/dry coconut over the balls. (optional)

. Store the raw cacao energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.


. Raw cacao is a storehouse of antioxidants that have a positive effect on heart and brain health and inflammation.

. Cacao and dates, both contain great levels of magnesium, which is an essential mineral during times of stress and helps you to feel more relaxed.

. These balls serve as great snack or dessert. It’s a great snack to carry during travel or hikes.

. Raw cacao is not to be confused for cocoa. Cacao is made by cold-pressing raw cacao beans ensuring that no nutrients are . lost by heat treating.


. Calories: 200kcal

. Carbohydrates: 67.8g

. Fat: 8.75g

Kokum Coolant


. Mixing bowl


. 6-8 pieces dried kokum unsalted

. To taste Pink salt

. A pinch hing or asafoetida

. 1/2 tsp green chilies crushed (optional)

. 3-4 curry leaves

. 1 cup thin coconut milk

.1/2 tsp cumin seeds

. 1/2 tsp grated ginger

. crushed garlic optional


. Soak kokum in warm water or normal water for a few minutes and later extract the kokum water (just like extracting tamarind juice).

. Transfer the kokum water to a bowl and add coconut milk, pink salt, hing and mix it well.

. Take freshly crushed green chilies, ginger, and garlic in a strainer and dip it in kokum water so as to extract its flavors.

. Now add little coconut oil to a pan for tempering. When the oil is hot enough, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and mix them in the kokum mixture.

. Sol Kadhi/kokum coolant is ready to serve!


. Adjust the consistency so that it’s not too sour.

. Avoid reheating it. Just refrigerate if you want to store and remove it an hour prior to consumption.

. You can garnish it with freshly powdered flaxseeds and cilantro for extra taste and flavour.


. This drink acts as a coolant, aids digestion and many people drink Sol Kadhi /kokum coolant after eating a heavy meal.

. It is used for treating skin rashes and prickly heat as it has cooling properties.

. The leaves, roots, bark, fruits, seeds, shells of kokum tree – all hold a medicinal value.

. Sip slow and enjoy this tummy pacifier.


. Calories: 138kcal

. Carbohydrates: 3g

. Protein: 1g

. Fat: 12g

Oats Banana Muffins-Delish the delicious bite after bit


. 1 cup old-fashioned oat ground to flour

. 2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil

. 3 tablespoons organic honey

. 1 egg

. 1 cup mashed ripe banana about 1 banana

. 1/3 cup milk of choice or water I used almond milk

. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

. 1/4 teaspoon salt

. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus more for sprinkling on top

. 1/3 chopped almonds


. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease all cups of your muffin tin with very little coconut oil.

. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon.

. Add oats flour to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any nuts, chocolate, or dried fruit, fold them in now. (I have used only chopped almonds)

. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full.

. Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan.

. These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, the muffins are perfect to curb the sweet tooth cravings.

. Adding banana makes it rich in potassium too.

.Add on more variations by adding pumpkin seeds, grated coconut.


. Calories: 200kcal.

. Carbohydrates: 16g

. Protein: 3gFat: 4g

All in One protein bars, balance of indulgence and nutrition


. High speed blender or food processor


. 1 cup dates pitted

. 400 gm chickpeas presoaked and dried

. 1/2 cup almond butter or unsalted peanut butter

.1/3 cup powdered flaxseed

. 1/2 tbsp Srilankan cinnamon

. 1/4 cup mix of pumpkin seeds hemp seeds and sunflower seeds

. 2 tsp raw cacao powder


. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

. Take a food processor and add the ingredients at once.

. Keep mixing until it is well combined.

. Take a square dish and place a parchment paper.

. Pour the mixture into the container and then spread it uniformly.

. Bake the bar mixture for about 20 minutes.

. Take it out and let it cool before cutting it into pieces and munching on it.


. Dates have a Balance of many minerals like potassium zinc, copper, iron and calcium.

. Perfect snack to be munched on any time during the day.

. Loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and protein.

. Everyone can enjoy the benefits of super tasty protein bars free from additives and preservatives made with clean


Spiced Sattu Buttermilk/Mattha


. 2 tbsp sattu powder

. 3 tbsp fresh A2 organic curd

. 2 cups water

. black pepper a pinch.

. 1/4 tsp roasted cumin/jeera powder

. pink salt to taste

. 1 tsp Lemon juice


. Whisk the curd till smooth.

. Add all the ingredients to the yoghurt.

. Dilute with water. Some prefer my buttermilk thin, so add water accordingly.

. Serve immediately. You could also refrigerate and serve later.

For garnish:

. Finely chopped coriander and mint leaves

. You can also add 1/2 tsp. finely grated ginger if it suits you

. You can also make simple version with just cumin powder and pink salt added to curd and water.

. Some people like to add a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil to their buttermilk.

Turmeric Sesame Ladoos- anti-inflammatory bombs!


. 1/3 cup jaggery powder/grated jaggery

. 2 tbsp dry ginger powder

. 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder

. 1/4 tsp black pepper powder

. 3-4 tablespoon ghee

. 1 tbsp lightly roasted sesame seeds (black or white)


. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl except ghee.

. Add melted ghee slowly to the dry mix.

. Mix everything with your fingers to make a dough that’s wet enough to bind together

. Pinch out a bit of dough and roll to make a small ball – about the size of a marble.

. Make more balls of the same size till all the dough is used up.

. Store the balls in an air tight container. The balls remain good at room temperature for 10 days.


. Jaggery is loaded with various antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. It’s a great digestive aid, boosts immunity and guards the body against the harmful pathogens.

. Ginger powder is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

. Turmeric has been shown to increase the immunity-boosting proteins in the body, is packed with antioxidants and possesses anti-inflammatory properties too.

. Black pepper contains minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, as well as vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6.

. Ghee, a nutritional powerhouse contains plentiful amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. These nutrients are essential to a wide range of body functions from the brain to the immune system.

. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium and help balances hormones.

. One can also use dates or honey to sweeten. Add coconut flakes for garnishing.

Poha Chidwa (Traditional Indian snack)


. Cooking pan/iron kadhai


. 2 cups Poha/Beaten rice preferably thin and roasted

. Jeera/Cumin

. 1/2 tsp Rai/Mustard seeds

. 1/4 tsp Urad dal

. 1/4 tsp Chana Dal

. 2 tbsp Fried dal bengal gram roasted

. 1/2 cup Peanuts

. 1 tsp Chilli powder

. 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

. 1-2 sprigs Curry leaves

. 1 tsp Chaat masala

. 1 tsp Immunity boosting powder recipe

. Pink salt to taste

. 1-2 tbsp Cold pressed coconut Oil


. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, jeera, urad dal and chana dal.

. When they start spluttering, add peanuts and bengal gram.

. Now add chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, curry leaves, chaat masala and Immunity powder.

. Add poha now and fry well in medium heat until poha is well roasted (around 10 mins in medium flame is good enough).

. Switch off the flame and let it cool.

. Store in airtight containers.


. Poha is rich in iron and fiber, easy to digest too.

. Adding the peanuts, chana dal, bengal gram and urad dal makes it rich in protein too.

. It has a longer shelf life and can be stored in airtight containers for 7 to 10 days.


. Can add makhana for extra crunch.

. Nuts and seeds can be added too.

. Poha can be replaced by oats in this recipe too.


. Calories: 145kcal

. Carbohydrates: 24.8g

. Protein: 5.7g

. Fat: 6.3g



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