Monday, 23 February 2015

The Health Benefits of Boiled Vegetables

The Boiled Vegetables
Photo Credit- Wikimedia Commons by Biswarup Ganguly 

The eating of the boiled vegetables has several health benefits, though they may not be relished for taste. But you will appreciate them if you know about their nutritious values.

The fried and baked food is not healthy. Whereas the boiled and light cooked food is not good for health. The boiling is better than frying and baking.

To increase the immune system of the body, just boil the water and add the vegetables in it with little salt.

The boiled food is safe and clean for eating as it becomes free from bacteria and the vitamins which get destroyed by overcooking are found to remain intact in it.

The boiled food is very beneficial as the nutrients remain as such in them.

It saves the body from the risks of several diseases and we can also get rid of many ailments by eating the boiled food.

The boiled vegetables boost the immune system of the body.

It helps in reducing and regulating the body weight as there is not fat in it.

The boiled vegetables could be easily eaten and digested and are preferable in case of mouth and gum problems.

The boiled food has different taste and the boiled vegetables acquaint with new flavor, as the tomatoes give new taste when taken in boiled form.

The preparation of the food saves the time and fuel and it is the healthy way to supply rich nutrient diet to the body. 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Dalia Helps in Weight Loss

A nice fresh colourful Algerian salad using bulgur wheat, cucumber, spring onions, peppers and cheese
Photo Credit- Wikimedia Commons by Jerry Pank

Dalia, a cereal food made from the groats of several different species of wheat especially the drum wheat is also known as Bulgur or Burghul or bulghur. 

It is the most common food in India, Europe and Middle East. It is known as Dalia in North India and is popular all over this wheat-consuming region. 

In US it is produced from white wheat in four distinct grinds or sizes viz. fine, medium, coarse and extra coarse. 

It is made from parboiled and dried wheat which is ground afterwards, and has a very small amount of the bran partially removed from it. 

It is a whole grain as per USDA and Whole Grains Council. 

This high fiber food is sometimes confused with cracked wheat. The latter is is crushed wheat grain and is not parboiled.

The whole grain, bulgur and cracked wheat are available in natural food stores and could be easily prepared at home. The highest quality of Dalia has uniform particle sizes and forms a consistent cooking.

It is a common ingredient in dishes and has a light, nutty flavor. It contains plenty of nutritious contents which keep us healthy. The high fiber diet of Dalia is good for overall health. It has a lower glycemic index and higher levels of most minerals and vitamins.

Benefits of Dalia

1. It contains both soluble and insoluble fibers. These higher levels of fiber reduce the cholesterol and increase the blood sugar levels. It controls the cholesterol levels, helps in proper functioning of heart and regulates the metabolism of the body.

2. It reduces extra weight of the body. The people who wish to reduce the weight should regularly take Dalia and add it to their daily diet chart. 

3. The intake of Dalia gives the feeling of fullness and satisfies hunger. A person does not feel hungry for a long time after taking Dalia. The people having the habit of always eating something should take Dalis in breakfast.

4. It provides sufficient energy to the body.It gives extra boost to the body. The daily intake of a cup of Dalia provides energy for the whole day. This high energy keeps the metabolism of the body in proper shape. That is why the intake of dallia is preferred in the mornings. 

5. Dalia contains enough antioxidants which flush out the toxins from the body and revitalize the body. The antioxidants help in proper metabolism too.

6. It reduces the presence of unnecessary elements from the body and helps in proper functioning of all bodily activities both internal and external.

Uses in Recipes

It is used in pilafs, puddings, soups, bakery products, stuffing, salads and breads. In breads, it adds a whole grain component. 

It is often mistaken for rice as both are prepared in a similar manner but the high nutritional value of Dalia makes it a good substitute for rice. But as compared to the unenriched white rice, it has more fiber and protein.

In India it is used as a cereal with milk and sugar while in US, it is often used as a side dish like rice or pasta. 

It is a popular Latin American carnival food and is often prepared with flower pollen and tapioca syrup and fried in patties.

In Turkey it is prepared as pilaf in chicken stock, with or without sauteed noodles or is cooked with tomatoes, onions, red pepper or ginger. The Turkish people use it in two forms, the fine-ground and a coarser one. The fine ground form is used for making kisir which is a bulgur salad similar to tabbouleh and is prepared with tomato paste or fresh tomatoes with cucumbers, parsley, olive oil and other salad ingredients as per taste.

The pomegranate molasses which is more sour than sweet is commonly used in favor of lemon juice to add tartness to Dalia dishes. A variety of dishes are prepared with it including the ezogelin soup as it forms the base of a tarhana soup too which is made with yogurt in which hellim or halloumi is added. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

How to wash the Fruits and Vegetables before Use

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Photo Credit- Wikimedia Commons by 
Elina Mark
We have to make sure that whether the fresh vegetables and fruits taken by us daily are healthy or not. Several germs, pesticides and insecticides remain attached with the fruits and vegetables purchased from the market. These unfriendly and disease casing living and non- living things enter our kitchens and cause several health problems. So it is better to get rid of these unwanted things.

Some traces of insecticides and pesticides remain stuck with the fruits and vegetables available in the market. These harmful chemicals are not visible to the eyes, yet they are very harmful to health.
So it is advisable to properly clean the fruits and vegetables before use. The following measures will help to clean them and get rid of harmful things attached to them.

Clean with White Vinegar

The white vinegar is the best to get rid of bacteria and chemicals sticking on the sruits and vegetables. Soak the fruits and vegetables in vinegar for 5-10 minutes and then thoroughly wash with clean water. The ratio of vinegar to fruit is 1:3.

Wash the fruits and vegetables with tap or drinking water. Soak them in water for half an hour if they are to be eaten with peels like cabbage etc. and then wash with clean water.   
Always peel the fruits and vegetables like apple, mango, kiwi, pumpkin etc. before cutting them. 

Most of the remains of the contents of insecticides get removed by steam or cooking. Therefore put the green leafy vegetables in boiling water for a minute and then wash with running water.

Wash the vegetables like cabbage, spinach,cauliflower, broccoli in warm water containing 2% salt.

The carrot, brinjal etc could be washed in tamarind water to leech out the harmful chemicals from them.

Always clean the hands before and after washing the fruits and vegetables.

As far as possible, use the locally grown vegetables.

Always buy seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Prepare the solution of any one of the following and sprinkle on fruits and vegetables. Let it remain for 5-10 minutes and then wash with clean water.

1. Take a large spoon of lemon juice and add two large spoons of baking soda in it.  Instead of baking soda, two large spoons of vinegar could also be added.

2. Add a cup of white vinegar and a large spoon of baking soda with 8-10 drops of lemon oil in a cup of water. Prepare the mixture and clean the vegetables and fruits by sprinkling the contents on it. Wash with clean water to remove the taste of vinegar.
Scrub the vegetables and fruits like broccoli, cabbage, leafy greens, watermelon, potato, and berries in the mixture before washing in running water.

In this way you can save yourself and your family from the harmful effects associated with unclean vegetables.