Category Archives: Food Nutrition

Quick & Easy Oats Peanut Butter Squares – By Ganesh Teli, Culinary Director, MonkeyBox

Oats-Peanut Butter Squares (Serves 12)


220 g – Oats, dry

180 g – Crispy Wheat cereal

80 g – Peanut butter

1/2 cup – Natural honey

1 tsp – Vanilla extract


  • Grind oats into flour and pour into a bowl. Add crispy wheat cereal to the flour.
  • Prepare a pan by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper.
  • In a small sauce pan add peanut butter and honey. Melt together over medium heat and stir to form a uniform blend.
  • Pour the peanut butter and honey mix onto the dry ingredients and stir. Dump into prepared pan and firmly press into pan.
  • Cool in fridge for at least 25 minutes and evenly cut into 12 squares, and serve.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

Serving size: 1 square

Calories: 200 kcal

Carbohydrate: 34.3g

Fiber: 2.9 g

Sugar: 14.8 g

Protein: 4.4 g

Fat: 4.7 g

Iron: 0.7 mg

Calcium: 0.4 mg

Sodium: 0.67 mg

Festival Special – Deciphering Modaks

Come festival time, we always celebrate and rejoice with a wide spread of traditional dishes dedicated to that occasion. Ganesh Chaturthi is one such occasion celebrated with Modaks among other foods.

Modaks are dumplings made across India in various sweet and savory variations, although the sweet variant is more popular. The modak can either be steamed or deep fried.

Known by various names, these dumplings are called modak in Marathi, Konkani and in Gujarati languages. Kozhakkatta in Malayalam. Modhaka or Kadubu in Kannada. Modhakam or Kozhakkattai in Tamil and Kudumu in Telugu.

Although there are many modern innovations, the classic modak includes a rice flour or maida (refined flour) dough with a jaggery/sugar and coconut filling. Most of the times the steamed modaks are placed in vessels but they may also be steamed in turmeric or jackfruit leaves. The stuffing can include:

  • Toor dal, jaggery, and fresh coconut
  • Jaggery, til/sesame seeds, fresh coconut
  • Channa dal, coriander leaves, dill/shepu leaves, mint leaves and green chilies (savory)

The deep fried modaks are mostly made with maida flour and can have a variety of fillings like:

  • Toor dal, jaggery, and dry coconut
  • Jaggery, til/sesame seeds, and dry coconut
  • Roasted channa dal, sugar, dry coconut and dry fruits

Another regional variation is the besan modaks or steamed rice flour balls steeped in flavored coconut milk. The steamed modaks are served with ghee or coconut milk.

Apart from the classic modaks, the modern twists include the use of millet flour instead of rice flour. Fancy innovations include chocolate modaks, shrikhand modak, green peas modak, and the list is endless.

It’s not hard to see that what goes into making the traditional modaks is rich in energy, protein, and good fats. While the different dals prove to be good sources of protein, jaggery, coconut, til/sesame seeds and ghee are power packed and provide good fats as well.

The medium chain triglycerides or MCTs in coconut is said to boost metabolism and also help boost the body’s power to ward off infections, both beneficial for the winter/rainy season.

Ghee, on the other hand, is a concentrated source of energy and a rich source of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), a crucial element for brain development. It is also said that during the rainy season, the oils and fat help nourish the skin.

So go ahead and enjoy the modaks guilt free but remember moderation is key!


On Father’s Day, kids do their best to show their dads that extra bit of love and appreciation. And since we directly interact with kids on a daily basis, we decided to help them out.

MonkeyBox delivers fresh, nutritious, and delicious meals to school kids during their mealtimes, every day, and is a refreshing alternative to the average tiffin box. So, a few days before Father’s Day, we slipped the following note into the kids’ MonkeyBoxes, inviting them to do something special for their dads.


Father's Day

We asked them to do something simple: write a special message to their dads on the note, and send it back to us in their empty MonkeyBoxes. Out of over 500 notes sent, we received an overwhelming number of responses from the kids. Take a look at some of the cutest ones below – believe us, we had a hard time picking!


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67



What happened next was a surprise for both the unsuspecting dads and their excited kids. We delivered the notes to the dads on Father’s Day! The end result was a large number of euphoric dads, and tons of brownie points scored for their kids at home. To us, that sounds like a mission well accomplished.

Out of the many hundreds, here are responses from some very surprised Dads.

Asset 4

responssAt MonkeyBox, we know the things that make kids happy. And nothing makes them happy like seeing a smile on their parents’ faces. We hope this little surprise did just that and a little more.

7 Sunny tips for your sonny child!

It’s summer! Time for children to be excited and the earth to be scorched. Worried for your child’s safety? These 7 tips are sure to put the fun under the sun!

 sonny child


  1. Screen out the sun: Whoever said sunscreen is a purely cosmetic product needs to give such a thought a re-look. Children who engage in outdoor activities need sunscreen too. Opt for a product with a minimum sun protection factor of 15 and keep applying every 2-3 hours. More often if the activity is around water. Remember to apply them 20 minutes before you go out in the sun.
  1. Hydration, super important: Replace colas, canned fruit juice or even fruit flavoured beverages for coconut water, freshly squeezed fruit juice and buttermilk. Does your child find plain water, a bit too plain Jane? Then add wedges of lime, orange, pieces of watermelon, mint leaves etc to make the water flavour some and much more appealing to the little athlete playing away under the sun.
  1. Watch on the summer time diet: Summers for children would mean major relaxing in their diet patterns. For many, it could herald the time for fried foods and ice-cream. Although a little indulgence is okay, keeping a watch on the diet is supremely important. Know more about it in our related blog 8 Summer time diet tips for children.
  1. If rest is assured then rest assured: The sun may do more than just make your child sweat. It can zap your child off energy too. So ensure they get plenty of rest, at least for 8-10 hours a day.
  1. Cool clothing for cool summers: Ensure you opt for only cotton clothes. Also remember to pick out light coloured clothing to keep your child cool.
  1. Avoid the mid-day sun: The sun rays are the most damaging between 12 noon to 3pm. It is best to avoid venturing out at this time. In case you have something planned, then do arm your children with large brimmed hats and umbrellas.
  1. R.I.C.E to the occasion: In case your child experiences outdoor play related injury during summers, ensure they get enough Rest; Ice and Compression to the injured area; and keep the areas Elevated.




Lifestyle hacks to ace that test!

Exam period! The phrase is synonymous with stress among both parents and children alike. With all this going on, it is important for us to not forget about certain key lifestyle based hacks that can help your children ace those exams.



Eat breakfast daily

Breakfast, the first meal of the day is meant to provide fuel to the brain. Studies have shown that children did better on performance tests when they ate breakfast compared to those who didn’t eat or skipped it regularly.

Also, ensure that your kids eat breakfast made up of complex carbohydrates such as

idlys, stuffed vegetable paranthas and oats porridge, this helps in keeping focus and prevents decline in cognitive performance throughout the morning.

Don’t forget the Zzzzzz’s

Research suggests that adequate sleep on a daily basis is important for learning and memory. Lack of which is associated with negatively affecting the brain’s ability to assimilate information. Sleep is also important for maintaining mood, motivation, judgement and perception of events.

Keep the kids active

Being physically active has been linked with several positive health benefits. Besides reducing stress and anxiety, aerobic exercise particularly has been linked to be beneficial for brain building.

Also, when children are physically active they can help get past mental fatigue. Thus, by spending some time on play will definitely benefit their brain.

Inhale and exhale (relax and meditate)

Meditation provides soothing effects to the mind and body. A recent study has also found that regular practise of meditation increased the mental ability, focus and memory in school going children.

You can also have a routine to mediate along with your kids and let the positive energy flow.

Eat right to ace that test

Eating the right kind of food along with regular timely intervals has been linked with brain development and maintenance. You can read ‘Eat your way to a super functioning brain‘ to know more.








Eat your way to a super functioning brain!


As we brace ourselves for the exams and cram in that last bit of information, it is important not to ignore good nutrition. Food intake plays an important role in brain development and maintenance. Here are few tips for eating right during exam season for a super functioning brain:




Make sure not to skip any meals

The brain uses nearly a whopping 20% of the energy that we require per day. In order to be able to pay attention without distraction, a steady supply of glucose (energy) in the form of complex carbohydrates is a must.

Therefore include a variety of dishes such as vegetable kichidi- raita, ragi roti- peanut chutney, rajma curry-roti in your diet and ensure to eat on time.

Eat right

Foods rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, iron, zinc, vitamin B6 and B12 have particularly shown to help in improving cognitive performance. Hence, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, amaranth), pulses (kidney beans, chickpeas), nuts (almonds, walnuts), milk products (curd); root vegetables (sweet potatoes) and so on should be included in day to day diet.

Snack smartly

Candies, biscuits, colas, chips and sweets, are great for the tongue but are high in refined sugar which gives an instant sugar rush after eating but with time you mood slumps and get cranky.

Choose healthy snacks such as bhel puri with veggies & sprouts, khakra with pineapple salsa, trail mix (consisting of almonds, raisins, and pumpkin seeds), as they release energy slowly and help in sustained attention and memory.

Guzzle in H2O

Dehydration can make one feel lethargic and tired. Thus, ensure to keep yourself hydrated with water during studying; as research has shown that drinking adequate water helps boost memory, attention and improves cognitive performance.

You can also make it fun by sipping  in flavoured water (just add lime and/or fresh mint to water), tender coconut water or lemonade and tell “goodbye” to dehydration.




The Magic of Mangoes


The mighty mango, or the King of Fruits as it is popularly known, has a long list of praises in its kitty, but what is less known than its rich taste and seductive yellow-orange tone is the fact that it is packed with antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamins A & C – all pretty much in line with “healthy eating,” as the trend goes these days.

We all have our favourite mango recipes — those that employ a particular part of the wonder fruit, and those that spare none of it, from skin to stone. Raw mango thokku, pickle, gojju, aam panna, are all delectable in their own way, and yet it is the salt and chili-powder sprinkled Totapuri that brings us the full-bodied essence of it, not to mention a rush of school memories.

Take the ripe fruit and you can employ it in a zillion ways – in wobbly puddings and runny kheers, creamy smoothies and frothy lassis, pulp beaten down to leathery squares or slid into cake batters. And yet it is the whole mango, its flesh bitten into and relished with the earnestness of a child, while the juices trickle freely down from the elbows, is what appeals to the lots of us with a weakness for both the fruit itself, and a slice of our childhoods.

While the fruit is still in season, reach out for a naturally ripened batch in your favourite variety (and God knows there are enough), and enjoy its goodness. Or if raw mangoes are your thing, go all out for a peck of farm-fresh ones. Here are a few things to keep in mind, while you do that:

  1. Say no to carbide-ripened mangoes – you can tell them apart easily, by checking for uneven patches of skin colour. If the mangoes look uniformly yellow/ orange, they’re probably carbide-ridden.
  2. Always exercise moderation while feasting on mangoes – if you overdo it, it could cause a tummy upset. One way to counter that is to follow up mango intake with a glass of milk. Also, mango is best digested when eaten after a meal. When consumed on a hungry stomach, it could lead to stomach-related problems.
  3. Wash the mangoes thoroughly – raw or ripe – before use. Take care to clean out the sap from around the tips, and to chop off the tips of the mangoes before cutting into them. The sap causes canker sores on the lips and in the mouth, and not only are they a sore sight, they’re pretty painful too.
  4. While pickling or curing mangoes in order to preserve them and enhance shelf-life, make sure the mangoes and the knife/ peeler/ cutting board are completely dry.
  5. If you’d like to preserve ripe mangoes for use during off-season, you could freeze the pulp and thaw just before using in juices or desserts.


Looking for a quick-fix mango recipe? Try this instant mango pickle, which takes just minutes to put together and leaves you with a pitch-perfect aftertaste, long after you’ve relished it with your meal.

Instant Mango Pickle

Peel and chop 2 small raw mangoes. Heat 2 Tbsp sesame oil in a frying pan. Add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida/ hing. Once the mustard seeds pop, add salt to taste, a tsp or two of red chilli powder and 1/4 tsp each of turmeric and powdered fenugreek/ methi seeds. Now take the pan off the heat, stir in the mango. Wait for a few minutes and enjoy!




It is Time to go Bananas on Mangoes!

We sure are with our all-mango day and we are giving reasons for you to be so too!

mango edit

Summer is here and among all the things, it is the season of the much loved fruit, the mango! This brilliant yellow fruit boasts of a pleasant aroma, unique flavour and wonderful nutrition profile. This wonderful fruit is said to have originated from the sub-Himalayan plains of the Indian sub-continent, also a reason its botanical name is Mangifera Indica! Little known to all, mango has some nutty relatives: This wonderful sweet fruit belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae, a family that also includes the tropical trees of cashewnuts and pistachios!

MonkeyBox understands the love for mangoes that children share and hence are commemorating a day only to this King of Fruits. Right from infusing the healthy steamed idlis with mango to exploring the natural tart and sweet taste of mango in chats; our Monday menu can be officially renamed as Mango-day!

Vital stats of the beloved mango

Fresh mango season starts from April and lasts until August

Each fruit measures 5 to 15 cms in length and about 4 to 10 cms in width

The outer skin in unripe mangoes are green but changes to golden yellow, crimson red, yellow or orange-red depending on the type of mango!

The flesh of the mango is sweet with many tender fibres radiating from the seed.

Did you know, a high-quality mango fruit should typically feature no or very less fiber content and minimal tartness.”

Types of mangoes!

Every Indian state has a rich history of producing different varieties of mangoes. Have a look at this table

Indian State The Mango Heritage
Himachal Pradesh Chausa, Dashehari, Langra
Haryana Dashehari, Langra, Sarauli, Chausa, Fazli
Punjab Dashehari, Langra, Chausa, Malda
Madhya Pradesh Alphonso, Bombay Green, Langra, Sunderja, Dashehari, Fazli, Neelum, Amrapalli, Mallika
Jharkhand Jardalu, Amrapalli, Mallika, Bombai, Langra, Himsagar, Chausa, Gulabkhas
Uttar Pradesh Bombay Green, Dashehari, Langra, Safeda Lucknow, Chausa, Fazli
Rajasthan Bombay Green, Chausa, Dashehari, Langra
Bihar Bathua, Bombai, Himsagar, Kishen Bhog, Sukul, Gulab Khas, Zardalu, Langra, Chausa, Dashehari, Fazli
Goa Fernandin, Mankurad
Maharashtra Alphonso, Mankurad, Mulgoa, Pairi, Rajapuri, Kesar, Gulabi, Vanraj
Gujarat Alphonso, Kesar, Rajapuri, Vanraj, Jamadar, Totapuri, Neelum, Dashehari, Langra
Orissa Baneshan, Langra, Neelum, Suvarnarekha, Amrapalli, Mallika
West Bengal Bombai, Himsagar, Kishen Bhog, Langra, Fazli, Gulabkhas, Amrapalli, Mallika
Andhra Pradesh Allumpur Baneshan, Banganapalli, Bangalora, Cherukurasam, Himayuddin, Suvernarekha, Neelum, Totapuri
Karnataka Alphonso, Bangalora, Mulgoa, Neelum, Pairi, Baganapalli, Totapuri
Tamil Nadu Banganapalli, Bangalora, Neelum, Rumani, Mulgoa, Alphonso, Totapuri
Kerala Mundappa, Olour, Pairi


Surprised that your favourite fruit had so many variants? Of these varieties, we list down the 10 most popular mango varieties that has us salivating every summer season.

  1. Alphonso or Hapus

Undoubtedly, the showstopper of all the mango variants. India’s most exported mango, this is the mango most of us had drawn or coloured as a kid. This has a perfect sweet taste and colour. Do you know, alphonso mangoes are names after Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese soldier who established Portuguese colonies in Goa. This variant is one of the most expensive of all the produce.

  1. Banganapalli

This oblique oval shaped mango gets its name from Banganapalle town in Andhra Pradesh. Undoubtedly, this is south India’s most famous and favoured mango variant. The pulp of this mango is known to be tart yet pulpy without any fibres.

  1. Dussheri or Mallihabadi

This mango from the Northern part of India is known to be a fibreless fruit. Small and very sweet, this mango has a typical way to be eaten. It is mostly pulped and then sucked on!

  1. Chausa

The end of the mango season, around July-August marks the appearance of this mango variety. Chausa variety can be characterised by bright yellow skin and extremely sweet pulp.

  1. Totapuri

If you are a resident in the South of India, then you must have seen this mango being sold almost everywhere. This mango is named so because of the signature hooked tip like a parrot’s beak! It is not the sweet variety and hence makes for a great tangy addition to salads, pickles and even in the occasional sauce!

  1. Kesar

Behold the parent of the super tasty aamras. The striking part of the kesar mango is that it has a typical saffron aroma! In the mood for aamras, you know the variant of mango to pick up.

  1. Langra

Langra is one of the prominent and most superior variety of mangoes from North India. It gets this typical name, which means lame, because it first made an appearance in the orchard of a lame man.

Nutrition profile of the king of fruits

The brilliant yellow of the mango signifies the presence of vitamin A, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. 100 grams of mango provides 765 IU or 25% of recommended daily levels of vitamin-A. The polyphenolic compounds in mango acts like a great antioxidant warding off the free radical onslaught. Mango is also a rich source of antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, potassium, and copper. Many of these vitamins and minerals are involved in the production of enzymes which also have antioxidant activities in the body.

Ripe versus raw, which to go for!

Even raw mango has a place of its own in the kitchen. Right from the very refreshing aam panna to the spicy pickle, raw mango is a hit in its own right. Extremely tart, the raw variant of this fruit is richer in vitamin C than its sweet, ripened self. Where sugars are concerned, your bet is right; raw mango has 60 calories per 100 g serving whereas ripe mango has 72 calories per 100 g serving.

Did you know, raw mango is an excellent cure for stomach upsets and indigestion. Add a bit of aamchur (dried raw mango powder) for not just a good ‘gut’ feeling but also for a good dose of vitamin C in the diet


There, we have given you enough reasons to include mango in the diet. For those of you who haven’t experimented with this tasty fruit, this is time to do so. We are doing our bit and making Monday worth looking forward to!




3 Easy Popsicle Recipes to Enjoy in Summers: A Monkeybox Chef’s Special

Summer has arrived and how! Everyone can feel the heat. But we bring you 3 awesome sauce popsicle recipes that will beat the heat like never before. What’s more! It’s straight from our chef’s magic hat! Relish and leave behind the comments! Slurp Slurp!

Continue reading 3 Easy Popsicle Recipes to Enjoy in Summers: A Monkeybox Chef’s Special

How Important is Hydration for Children?

“A recent study showed that nearly 40% of school children in India suffer from recurrent bouts of constipation.”

Sounds familiar? A popular daily carried this news in the front page! How does this problem of constipation, earlier only seen in adults, get afflicted to children? If you read the news bit carefully then you would know that children slacking on water intake happened to be one of the main reasons.

Continue reading How Important is Hydration for Children?