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Detox smoothies

By Asma Aziz

The long sweltering summer can be tough on the body, and dehydration in particular is a big concern. When we perspire, we lose not only water, but also salts and other nutrients.

Fortunately, the season comes with its own remedies, and fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables offer refreshing and healthy ways to deal with the heat.

Smoothies and other drinks are quick and easy ways to help stay nourished, and are always a great treat. With this in mind, I am sharing some simple recipes that make the most of what the summer has to offer, help us stay healthy, and also promote our body's natural process of detoxification.

Detoxification is a natural and ongoing process in our bodies. Toxins ingested in the form of food and medications inhibit optimal health and wellbeing. Detoxification is a process of self healing that has many goals, such as reducing fatigue, promoting digestion, increasing immunity against disease, in addition to improving concentration and producing a better state of mind. It is important to remember that detoxification is not intended as a cure for any particular ailment, but helps keep our body systems running smoothly.

While there are different views on the topic, many people go on detoxification diets to try and avoid consumption of toxins while giving their bodies the nutrients they need. While on these diets, detox smoothies, like the ones below, are used to supplement or even replace entire meals. But even without cutting back, these healthy drinks offer a fun way of getting essential nutrients, and can be enjoyed anytime during the day. They can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, are filling, and are a great way to start the day.

Beet and carrot smoothie
Per serving: 134 calories; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 g fiber
(Serves 2)
½ cup red beet
½ cup carrot
½ cup apple, peeled
½ cup pear
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp ginger (minced)

Steam beets and carrots until tender (about 10 minutes). Let cool to room temperature.Put beets, carrots, apples, pear, lemon juice, ginger and 2 cups of water in a blender and blend until smooth.

Mango and coconut-water smoothie
Per serving: 159 calories; 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g fiber
(Serves 2)
2 cups ripe mango
2 to 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 cups fresh coconut water
1 green chillies (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.

Cucumber, honeydew and mint smoothie
(Serves 2)
Per serving: 134 calories; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g fiber
1 cup cucumber
2 cups honeydew
1 cup fresh pear juice
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.

Carrot, mango and herb smoothie
(Serves 2)
Per serving: 225 calories; 0 mg calories; 5 g fiber.
2 cups ripe mango
1 cup fresh carrot juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup fresh herbs (such as mint, coriander and tulsi)

Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.

Watermelon-cucumber cooler
In this scorching heat, we all have to take care to avoid dehydration. The easiest way of doing this is to drink plenty of water, which is necessary to maintain the body's ideal fluid levels and ensure normal functioning. But the salts and nutrients lost during perspiration also need to be replenished, and consuming fresh seasonal fruits is one of the best ways of doing this. Watermelons are one of my favorites. They are sweet without the worry of calories, and abundant in the summer. Watermelons are also thirst quenching, a good source of vitamins and minerals, and a great to help ward off the heat.
5 cups watermelon
1 cucumber (large; cut into chunks)
Cucumber slices, for garnish
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp honey

Puree watermelon in a blender. Sieve the puree into a large bowl. Puree cucumber. Sieve and mix with the watermelon. In a small bowl, stir together lime juice and honey. Add to the watermelon and cucumber mix. Serve with ice and garnish with cucumber slices.

Watermelon lemonade
4 kg watermelon
2 lemons, quartered
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup brown sugar

Squeeze lemons into a large jug; add squeezed lemon quarters. Add mint and sugar; mash together until well mixed and the sugar is dissolved. Puree watermelon in a blender. Sieve puree into the jug. Stir to combine. Serve over ice.

Watermelon ginger limeade
2 kg watermelon, cut into chunks

Watermelon wedges, for garnish
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges, for garnish
1 cup ginger syrup

Puree watermelon in a blender. Sieve the puree into a large jug. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Serve with ice and garnish with watermelon and lemon wedges.

Ginger syrup
2 cups sugar
1 six-inch piece fresh ginger, finely diced
Place sugar, ginger, and 2 cups water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, till syrup reduces to 1 cup. Let cool.


As part of Star Lifestyle's expansion to a 20-page publication, we have re-introduced our shopping column, Shoptalk, in a new guise. It will now focus on highlighting specific products and to this effect businesspersons, retailers and product manufacturers are requested to send products and product information (except clothes)that they would like to promote. All product suggestions should be emailed to lifestyleds@yahoo.com or raffat@thedailystar.net.

The Pie you must try
What's life without a little dessert? We love pie, there is no denying that. So imagine a delicious offering of soft marshmallow goodness nestled between two chocolate layers. That's the dream! Get your hands on Orion's Choco-Pie for a dessert with little preparation and all the delicious sweetness of something one truly worked hard for.

Now you're set. Euro 2012, here we come! Go Germany!

Some Noodles and a Cup
3 minutes is all it takes to prepare a steaming cup of noodles available in shrimp, chicken, beef and masala flavours. There are numerous brands to choose from with Ramen Cup Noodles currently contending for the top spot. A 15-minute half time break would give you plenty of time to prepare this life saver of a dish. Kitchen Expertise required is minimal. Available from Tk.90, the convenience and taste beats the price.

Sausage Fest

Add a little something to your noodles or just serve them as heated or cooked in oil. Two minutes in the stove or 30 seconds in the oven is all the time you need for it. Once again, there is an array of options to choose from, but for those who prefer something completely handmade, then go over to Dhali's in Gulshan-2 or the Gourmet Butcher's Shop in Banani and take your pick among Beef and Chicken flavours at about Tk.200-260. Sausly's is of course an ever present option.

Cool off
A bottle of Gatorade should cool you off. Plus, it will also replenish you and give you back a second burst of energy just as the night time drowsiness starts to envelope you. Its Euro 2012, folks, a truly blink and you miss affair, so a cool refreshing swig of Gatorade has to be a most.

The best form of wedgies
We may have grown up dreading wedgies, but it wasn't these we were running from. Potato Wedges must mark the occasion, unless you can fall back on French Fries, which too are now available frozen. Potato Wedges are just a bit classier and more mature, as the occasion calls for. Heat oil for three minutes and pop the frozen beauties in until they turn a slight golden brown and you are good to go. Even if you burn them a little, it doesn't take away the taste. Something that allows mistakes and even rewards it sometimes is a must on any amateur's menu. Prices are from Tk.120.

Chip off the old block
A throwback to the past when frozen food just wasn't an option, indulge in some local chips and we don't mean just the branded ones. Head over to Yusuf Bakery, Muslim or just about any traffic signal and pick up a pack of real potato chips, without any additional flavours apart from a little salt and pepper. Costing around Tk.20 only, these chips are filling. However, if that doesn't tickle your fancy you can opt for Cheetos Flamin' Hot or one of Lay's seemingly endless options.

All these products are available at superstores around Dhaka.

-- LS Desk


Aarong accepts bKash

The concept of mobile money has recently created much hype amongst the users of cellular technology in the country. Mobile money, also referred to as mobile paym,ent, mobile banking, mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet generally refer to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. Instead of paying with cash, check, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile phone to pay for a wide range of services and digital or hard goods.

bKash Limited has recently launched its payment service at Aarong, which will now allow customers to make payments effortlessly from their mobile phones at any Aarong outlet. Kamal Quadir, Chief Executive Officer of bKash Limited officially launched the service by making a transaction at the Gulshan Aarong outlet.

Customers can now avail bKash services at any of the twelve Aarong outlets in the country (6 in Dhaka and others in Chittagong, Khulna, Comilla and Sylhet). The launch is accompanied by an introductory offer of 10 percent Cash Back for all purchases through bKash.

bKash aims to widen the net of financial inclusion by providing financial services that are fast, affordable, convenient, secure and available nationwide. bKash is revolutionising all other payment methods by providing customers with virtual accounts in their mobile phones. The service is currently available on Robi and Grameenphone subscribers, and will be available on other networks shortly.


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