Category Archives: Food education

A-Z Guide on How to Store Vegetables without Plastic – Part 3

A-Z-Guide-Green-tomato

Green Tomatoes

Store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to colour.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Green-herbs

Herbs

Herbs stored in a closed container in the fridge can be kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Green-Lettuce

Lettuce

Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

Leeks

Leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Green-Okra

Okra

Okra does not like humidity. Use a dry towel to wrap it up and store in an airtight container. Best to be eaten soon after purchase, as it does not store well.

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Onion

Onions

Store in a cool, dark and dry place – Good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-poteto

Potatoes

Like garlic and onions, potatoes need to be stored in a cool, dark and dry place, such as a box in a dark corner of the pantry. A paper bag also works.

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Raddish

Radishes

Remove greens (store green separately), so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in an open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Green-spinich

Spinach

Store loose in an open container in the crisper.

 

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Spring-Onions

Spring Onions

Remove any bands or ties and store in the crisper.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-tomato

Tomatoes

Never refrigerate tomatoes. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to 2 weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag along with an apple.

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Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd (Karavila)

Bitter-Gourd

When one speaks of Bitter Gourd, lots would say that they don’t eat this vegetable, due to the bitterness it produces. However, the health benefits attached to Bitter Gourd are greater than those of many vegetables. To reduce the bitterness in this vegetable prior to cooking, one should lightly boil the sliced bitter gourd in coconut water. Cooked Bitter Gourd stimulates the appetite, cleanses the liver and purifies the blood. It also helps regulate diabetes and lowers bad cholesterol.

Bitter Gourd comes in two varieties, the normal vegetable shaped like a gherkin and the other an oval shaped vegetable with tiny spikes and called Thumba Karavila in Sri Lanka, which is delicious and not that bitter. Sliced finely and like chips, it makes tasty side dish.

From a medicinal point of view, Bitter Gourd juice is used in Ayuvedic treatment as a remedy for diabetes and liver problems, including psoriasis and in general is good for the skin, as it purifies the blood.

Along with the fibre, Bitter Gourd has several vitamins and minerals and from the vitamins is rich in Vitamin C. Bitter Gourd is also low in calories and is good to be eaten if you want to lose weight.

 

Bitter Gourd Curry

 

Bitter-Gourd-2

Ingredients

500 g Bitter Gourd, 01 tsp Mc Currie Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp Mc Currie Unroasted Curry Powder, ½ tsp Mc Currie Fenugreek Seeds, 1 tsp Mc Currie Unroasted Chillie Powder, 1 tsp Mc Currie Crushed Chillies, 1” piece Mc Currie Cinnamon Quills, ½ tsp Mc Currie Powdered Curry Leaves, 2 ripe tomatoes, 6-7 red onions (sliced), 4 green chillies (sliced) 4-5 pods of garlic (crushed), Mc Currie Salt to taste, 1 cup thick coconut milk, 1 cup coconut water, 2 tbsp vegetable oil.

Method

Wash the Bitter Gourd well and cut into circles or lengthwise (as you wish), removing the seeds (its optional – you could leave the seeds or remove them). Add coconut water and salt and boil until tender. Set aside. Add all the ground ingredients and spices to the boiled bitter gourd and set aside.

In a wok heat the oil and fry the crushed chillies, onions, green chillies, garlic and tomatoes. When the onions turn a light brown, add the bitter gourd mixture and let it fry for 2-3 seconds, stirring all the time. Add the coconut milk, lower the flame and let the curry simmer until thick.

 

Watermelon a Thirst Quencher Filled With Nutrients

Watermelon

The heat is back again and all of us are after thirst quenches, such as juices and smoothies and also ice cream.

The fruit that surpasses all these can easily to be said to be the watermelon.

Watermelon not only quenches your thirst, but also re-boosts your body with the anti oxidant Lycopene and Vitamin A. This wonderfully juicy great fruit is a great source of much needed water. Watermelon’s “family tree” consists of the cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin that grows in vines on the ground.

The Watermelon has a smooth greenish yellow exterior, while its pulp is a luscious pink with tiny black seeds embedded. Incidentally these black seeds are roasted and eaten as a snack.

Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelons carry a low calorie intake and fat as well, but it is rich in many health promoting phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants that are essential for optimum health. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin A.

It is said that a 100 g of fresh watermelon provides 569 mg or 19% of daily required levels of Vitamin A.

As stated it is rich in anti-oxidant flavonoids like Lycopene and Betacarotene which are found to protect against colon, prostrate, breast, endometrial, lunch and pancreatic cancers. It is also good in potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps in controlling the heart rate and blood pressure, thus offering protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

Preparation and Serving Methods

The watermelon needs to be washed in cold running water. This is to remove any surface dirt and insecticide residues. Slice the fruit and scoop out the flesh into a bowl or it could be cubed too. To get the wholesome goodness of the fruit, it should be eaten as it is, without any additions, when you will experience its delicious, natural and sweet flavor. Watermelon cubes could be added to fruit salads, to give the said an extra flavor and extra nutrients as well.

The Nutritious Green Apple

The Good Old Saying, “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”

an-apple-GREEN

This saying cannot be wrong, as you will see how nutritious apples are. However, the most nutritious of apples is the green apple and not the red variety. This is why most westerners consume one green apple a day and drink the juice of green apples, san sugar.

The green apple is rich in dietary fibre. Dietary fibre helps in digestion and also helps control gastritis. Western doctors are of the view that one could never suffer from Colon Cancer, if green apples are consumed daily.

Today lots of people suffer from constipation. This occurs when your intake of dietary fibre is less. It is advised that constipation can be overcome with the intake of a green apple a day. With acute constipation comes the passing of blood, which in turn paves the way for Colon Cancer.

Latest medical reports say that those with high blood pressure should add to their food intake, green apples.

Green apples also contain a certain amount of carbohydrates, which boost energy levels. Green apples are good for patients who are recuperating after surgery or major illnesses.

Green apples are also a rich source of vitamins containing Vitamins A, B and C and also Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium.

Another trio of diseases doing its rounds is Cholesterol, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, which in turn affect the liver. For those was have these diseases, green apples are a blessing.

Apart from the nutritious fact of green apples, there is also a “Beauty” secret and that is if those who consume green apples on a daily basis have their skin flawless and sparkling, you can rest assured that they consume a green apple a day! This is because of the Vitamins A, B and C which are embedded in the green apple and in return which are good for the skin. Karen Behnke of California bountiful, a Skin Care Company, says, “Most people are astounded to learn that the skin absorbs over 60% of what is placed on it.” After a person reaches 30 years, the skin slowly starts its journey up the “wrinkling” stage. Karen says that green apple treatment is indeed good for the skin and keeps wrinkles at bay. She further goes on the say that one green apple, 10 green grapes, one teaspoon of lime juice, with a helping of Aloe gel made into a paste and applied on the face and neck, helps give your skin a natural sparkle. This paste should be kept on for 20 minutes and then washed away with warm water.

So the next time you draw up your grocery list, do not forget to add a generous number of green apples.

 

 

 

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Health-Benefits-of-Green-Tea

It is common knowledge that most people do not like the taste of green tea and all because it tastes bitter. You cannot add sugar or milk to green tea, as then the entire purpose it holds perishes.

According to Christopher Ochner PhD, a research scientist in nutrition at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, green tea is the healthiest thing to drink.

No one food would protect you from disease. A person’s health depends on the lifestyle he leads and his genes. Hence, drinking green tea all day long will not curb disease unless you control or eradicate completely unhealthy foods and if you are a smoker, completely stop this bad habit. Exercise and eating a healthy diet along with drinking green tea will help you stay healthy.

According to Beth Reardon, RD, a Boston Nutritionist, green tea’s biggest benefit is the catechin content. Catechins are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage. Green tea is not processed much before it is poured in your cup, so it is rich in catechins.

Green tea helps improve blood flow and lower cholesterol. With catechins lowering cholesterol and blood pressure it also helps keep blood sugar from rising.

If while reading this article one thinks that green tea helps dissolve those fatty mounds around your tummy; no it does not. It has been argued that it does, but studies show that there is no effect.

But swap sugary drinks for green tea and stay healthy all the time.

The Holiday Spice That Is Food for Your Bones

christmas-gingerbread

 

As Christmas is around the corner, those celebrating this season have already started or may be even finished making the delicacies that go with the season, bringing with it spicy food as well.

The main spice that makes an appearance in Christmas Cookies, and Cakes is a powerful anti-inflammatory one and it is certainly not cinnamon.

Yes, it is none other than Ginger, the Root with a Punch. Ginger is used to make the traditional ginger bread cookies, gingerbread man and gingerbread house. Ginger has many  medicinal properties and is used to curb nausea, diarrhea and many more diseases. It is also an effective treatment for ulcers. However, when it comes to taking care of your bones, it is ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties that makes it such a powerful ally in promoting bone density. In other words ginger assists in stopping the body processes that lead to inflammation and this is vital to bone health. Chronic Inflammation is bad for your bones. Inflammation can be divided into 2 segments; acute and chronic. While acute inflammation plays a role in bone healing, chronic inflammation is not so. It has been seen in studies to reduce the density of the bone, resulting in the development of osteoporosis.

So this Christmas give your bones a gift. So let us adorn our Christmas tables with ginger based products, as a gift not only for you, but your family and friends.

The Disadvantages of Fast Food

fast-food

Today fast-food outlets are mushrooming all around Colombo and its suburbs. The flavours, colouring and preservatives used in fast-food, dish out an unhealthy range of food that are consumed by adults as well as children. Really children are more susceptible to the poisons that are hidden in fast-food. The level of nutrition and cleanliness in preparation of food nowadays has reached zero levels.

Fast-foods have always been labeled to cause a variety of health problems. Ingredients that have a high level of sugar or fat are not meant to be eaten regularly. The most high risk diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases are caused by ingredients that are not fit for consumption.

Fast – foods contain more calories. The biggest contributors to junk food are the “Burgher” specialists of the snacking culture. Children have got addicted to these and its alarming to see the number of kids who throng these fast-food outlets.

The main ingredients in fast-food are cheese, mayo, salt and soya. Are these four ingredients sourced from reputed sellers or do they fall into the “sweepings” category? This is something we will never know. The deep frying, dishes out a vast amount of calories, sans nutrition. Liver damage is the next significant risk of consuming fast-food. Today cholesterol in humans is equal to a common chest cold. Consuming fast-food, which has a high content of fat, adds to the risk of clogged arteries, which result in cardiovascular diseases, which in turn increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

If one thinks that fast-food saves money and time, that thought is absolutely foolish, as the money and time spent to cure diseases such as cancer, diabetes and valve blockages to the heart and strokes are twofold.

If one sits back and contemplates a home cooked meal for the family, the thought of it alone soothes the mind and frees it from unnecessary fear. So the next time you think of “fast food”, be “fast” enough to dispel it from your mind and you will bask in a pool of healthiness that would give you an extra lease in life.

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