Lemon Juice with Ginger and Basil

 Crushed Ginger & squeezed lemon

Lemon Juice with Ginger and Basil

Cold wave during  dusk and dawn, vibrant sun and high temperatures whole day is affecting almost everybody health here. Me and my family too had  bad and long cold  last for few week. Running nose and soar throats made me think of a lemon juice spiced up with ginger and fresh basil leaves.

Health note on main ingredients

Lemon

Lemon juice is a very good source of vitamin C, which increases immunity to common cold, flu and infections. It improves digestion, contains a good amount of dietary fiber. Also, it kills harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Lemon contains calcium in small quantity. But potassium of lemon proves beneficial to maintain bone’s calcium density. Potassium  prevents the loss of calcium through the kidney. Thus, it protects from osteoporosis. It is also good for skin health and in maintaining weight.

Ginger

Ginger has many medicinal properties. It has a very long history of use as a home remedy in Kerala. It is commonly used to help digestion, reduce nausea, help fight the flu and common cold.

Gingerol,  bio-active substance in fresh ginger,  help lower  risk of infections.  ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria .

Basil/ Tulsi leaves

A short description of use of tulsi / basil leaves was given in my earlier post Passion fruit medicinal leaves Smoothie .

Ingredients

3 or 4 lemon                                                                                                                    small piece of ginger crashed                                                                                            a handful tulsi/basil leaves                                                                                                   4 glass water and a pinch of salt

lemon & crushed ginger
lemon & crushed ginger

 

Preparation

Take the juice of four lemons,  Add crushed ginger, four water and salt into it and mix well. According to your preference for sour taste adjust water and salt.

You can use sugar or jaggery as a sweetener, in case you want a sweet taste for the juice.

Take this lemon juice when you are having strong cold and no taste in the tongue, you will feel better.

medicinal lemon juice

 

Thank You, and catch you later

Passion fruit medicinal leaves Smoothie

Passion Fruit

 

Whenever I think of a new recipe , I consciously brainstorm on including ingredients fetched from my back yard, as much as possible. This antioxidant packed passion fruit medicinal leaves smoothie has all the ingredients tulsi, guava and nutmeg leaves collected from our courtyard – (sweetener is store brought !).

Here, tulsi , tender guava and nutmeg leaves are blended with passion fruit. This ingredients make this juice a perfect immunity boosting drink and a good remedy for mild cough.

Passion Fruits

Passion fruits are rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C etc… In addition to being a vitamin A precursors, it has, thirteen different carotenoids including zeta-, beta- and alpha-carotene, b-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene.

Tulsi and Guava Leaves

 

Tulsi leaves

Tulsi leaves are having high medicinal properties. These leaves have the ability to regulate cortisol (stress hormone) and balance the hormone levels. They act as antibiotic, germicidal and disinfectant agents protecting us from bacteria, viruses etc. They are good source of vitamin K also.

Guava leaves improve immunity, enhances heart and oral health, lower risk of diabetics and cancer.

Passion fruit  and leaves Smoothie

passion fruit and leaves to the mixer jar

Normally, at home we eat passion fruit as raw fruit. When we got 10 fruit on a single day, I thought of a healthy juice with them. (True reason is that I don’t like them plain, as they are a bit too sour).

Passion fruit flesh in mixer

  Initially, I had a double thought on how this would taste; with all these green leaves in!!  After opening the jar and sensing the aroma of the fruit and leaves blended, I was sure that, this drink will  finish fast, and it did so!

Passion fruit and leaves out of the mixer

Ingredients

Passion fruit flesh –  of 3 medium-sized fruits

Guava leaves (Tender) –  3

Tulsi leaves (Tender) –  a handful (6-9)

Tender nutmeg leaf –  1 (or to taste)

Sugar / jiggery – as per taste

Water –     1.5 – to 2 glass

Preparation

For making this perfect health drink, transfer the flesh of passion fruit  into mixer jar. To this add, all three leaves and jaggery/any sweetener, to your taste**. Then blend everything in the mixer for 1-2 minutes.  The leaves and fruits combine together to form a smooth pulp. This mixture is truly aromatic and tempting.

Passion fruit and medicinal leaves health drinkPassion fruit and medicinal leaves health drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then add water to make it to your desired concentration. Now, enjoy the  energy boosting passion fruit and leaves smoothie. Chill in fridge, if you like it so.

**I have  tried  both sugar and jagerry, when adding jaggery you need more to make it sweet, but its healthier.

Hope you all will try making this health drink and let me know the results. I will be happy to know  your modifications to the recipes and the results too. Thanks for reading!!

You may also like to check Rambutan smoothie with cinnamon and peanuts

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Flat beans stir fry (Kathipayar ularth)

Flat Beans stir fry

 I found some beautiful flat beans hanging from the climbers’ net on a Saturday morning. Suddenly I wanted to have them stir fried for lunch. Home grown flat beans is nutritious. With cooked rice or roti, flat beans stir fry make a delicious side dish.

Flat Beans

Flat beans

As a natural source of proteins and fiber flat beans are good for digestive health.  They are good source of vitamins and minerals and beta carotene and fol-ate. Mature beans get woody and fibrous and are less edible.   So collect flat beans when they are young and tender.

Flat beans are known by the name kathipayar ,valanga, valavaranga in different localities of Kerala.

Onion

Onions fall under alliums family of vegetables and herbs, which also includes chives, garlic, scallions and leeks. Allium vegetables are always preferred in dishes not only for their characteristic, pungent flavors but also for their medicinal properties. Onions can vary in size, shape, color and flavor. The most common types  include red, yellow and white onion. Flavors can vary from sweet and juicy with a mild flavor to sharp, spicy, and pungent, often depending on the season in which they are grown and consumed.

Including onion in daily food could  lower the risk of several types of cancer, improve mood and maintain the health of skin and hair. Onions are  nutrient-dense food, i.e. they are low in calories with rich vitamins and minerals. Also they are good source of antioxidants.

Coriander powder

Coriander Powder is good for digestion. It increases appetite. Also helps in purifying the blood and curing inflammation, fever and  various allergies. It has great ‘cooling’ qualities. Coriander also helps in cleansing the body by detoxifying it. Due to strong medicinal properties consume it in controlled quantities.

Ingredients for flat beans stir fry

Flat beans – 10 (medium-sized tender beans)

Onion – 1 large

Coriander powder – 1tsp

Chili Powder – ½ tsp

Pepper powder – ½ tsp (optional)

Garlic -3 pieces

Curry leaves  and salt – as needed

Preparation of  flat beans stir fry

 

Flat beans stir fry

Cut the flat beans into small pieces to make the stir fry. Cook finely chopped flat beans in a pan with a little water (5-6 tbsp) and salt. Check the beans at times add more water if needed.** By this time in another pan pour oil. Splatter mustard and curry leaves. Add chopped garlic, onion and sauté till brown. Then put all three powders. Again sauté till the powders roast well. Now add the cooked beans to the mixture and stir fry till its properly cooked.

** You can also cook the beans in pressure cooker till one or two whistle. Then directly add it to the sautéed mixture.

Homemade Chocolate Spread

 Chocolate Spread with Dates & Peanuts

chocolate spread ready to go on bread
Chocolate Spread

After a hectic day, having bread or roti with chocolate spread is highly refreshing and energizing. The idea to make them at home !!,  is highly appealing and of course healthy.

Last weekend, I made a batch of chocolate spread nourished with dates and roasted peanuts. The left over spread was stored in fridge, as a saving for a hardworking week ahead. At home we  have it with wheat dosa or chapati for breakfast. This can also be taken with bread and cookies.

Health benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate is my weakness. Whenever possible, I try to incorporate chocolate flavor in to my dishes. Controlled intake of real or dark chocolate is good for health (but it is not that sweet to taste).

Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that has positive effect on your health. Made from seed of  cocoa tree, it is a best source of antioxidants . Studies show dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Health benefits of dates

Dates are super food for digestive system, recollect Muslims break the Ramadan fasting by eating dates. The benefits of dates include relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia,  diarrhea, abdominal cancer, and many other conditions. Dates are good for gaining weight also.

Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates.  It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.

Health benefits of peanuts

Peanuts feature an array of nutrients that are believed to promote heart health along with monounsaturated fat content. Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. In addition, peanuts provide resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant found in red grapes and red wine.

** I got the inspiration for this recipe from one of  my favourite food blog Green Kitchen Stories

 

Dates and Peanuts ready to go to mixer
Dates and Peanuts ready to go to mixer

 

 Preparing the Chocolate spread

Dates :  250 gm

Chocolate powder: 40 gm

Roasted peanuts : 100 gm

For better paste like consistency, soak washed dates in water overnight.  Peel off the outer cover, (you can save a bit of the water to be added during blending, if needed).  Remove seed from dates.

Put peeled dates and chocolate powder (you can use dark chocolate bars instead, if so melt them by double boiling and use) in the mixer jar and mix for a minute. Then  add the roasted peanuts and mix until blended smoothly.

Chocolate spread final stage in mixer jar

Add a spoon or two of sugar if you like it to be more sweet. Transfer to a container and refrigerate. When need, use it with you favorite dishes and enjoy!!!

***For those who don’t like chocolate flavor can omit chocolate powder. Dates and peanuts alone mixed, also makes a healthy spread.

Note: You can substitute peanuts with any other single or group of  roasted nuts as cashew, almond etc…. Also any other natural sweeter can be used instead of dates. But the taste will vary accordingly.

 

Note: When selecting chocolate powder try to use a brand with minimum ingredients, preferably one ingredients ie. Cocoa powder. The more the number of ingredients the more it will be treated with chemicals.  

Spread in a container 

Rambutan Smoothie with Cinnamon & Peanuts

 

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This is my first recipe on the blog. When looked around for a fresh fruit/vegetable in the courtyard, found our rambutan tree with fresh red fruits.  So, I decided to use them in my first recipe.

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Rambutan Smoothie with Cinnamon & Peanuts

Rambutan in our courtyard have 2-3 bunches of red fruits. This made me to think of a smoothie with them.

 

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Rambutan is a good source of vitamin C, copper and other essential nutrients. Peanuts are heart friendly nuts. Combining them in a smoothie provide a healthy drink.

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Peanuts give a nutty taste to the smoothie. Roasting the peanuts enhance the taste, (if you like them so or you can use them plain). Cinnamon is added to flavor the drink.

Ingredients

Rambutan ( flesh separated from the seed) – 8/10

Cinnamon- 2 short pieces

Milk- 2.5 tbsp (add a little extra if needed)

Peanuts – Handful  (roast them if needed)

Preparation

Put all  ingredients in a mixer/food processor. When everything is blended well transfer to a glass and enjoy. Chill it in refrigerator and use if you would like to have  a bit cold smoothie.

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Let me know your feedback on the post, so that I can improve my work.  Also try this easy recipe and I will be happy to know how it turned out. Thank you all.

 

About Quality Food

ONE WORD ABOUT QUALITY FOOD

We are always ready to spend a little more money on quality food items, if required. Are those health mix really healthy? Are organic labelled vegetables, really organic? Are the freshly packed meat really fresh? What makes a quality food.

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FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Best quality foods are always those grown at our home, whether it is your papaya, tender jack-fruit, tender plantain, spinach, lettuce or some other vegetable, or the chicken or duck. I know this is not possible 90% of city population, but we can do try and find time for a very small kitchen garden.

The next option is to choose food items from local farmers as far as possible. This will provide us more fresh vegetables; and reliable meat, as at least you that your food comes from a reliable source and them their living (than our hard earned money adding to the profit of a corporate brand).

In Kerala, we cultivate little vegetables and are highly dependent on fruits and vegetables from other states for our daily meals. These so called edible food items are highly contaminated with pesticides and hormones, during various stages of growth; which can leave their traits in our body. They are given various beatification treatments to gain weight, look fresh etc… during the whole process of cultivation and transportation. I have heard from a farmer in our neighbouring state that, they will put pesticides and hormones in regular intervals from 15- 20 times, for a plant once it is planted, till the harvest!! A proof is as below.

I remember an incident, one year ago. We have bought 0.5 Kg mozambi from a branch of a reputed retail store in India. One was left unnoticed for about 2 months.The most interesting part was that, the fruit didn’t had a single sign of rotting even after such a long time!!! It look little bit fresh too!! Do you think that the fruit was not at all treated with any chemicals?

MEAT, EGG & MILK

I always prefer meat egg or milk from homegrown animal and /or birds, above commercially grown caged birds and animals. Batch grown animals in crowded farms are given regular antibiotic courses to prevent them from illness and resulting loss of income. They are more stressed during their whole life time and are not free moving.

Home grown animals and birds enjoy freedom till they are killed. So their body accumulates more positive energy as they grow, due to low stress hormones as compared to caged animals and birds. This makes them more edible or suitable to be consumed as food.

Thus quality of food also contributes to edibility. Quality is not determined by the brand or price of food, but the knowledge of how that food reached us (as far as possible) from the source. If we can find time grow food items at home even less numbers, that will give us fresh and healthy food, and in long run we may save some bugs from the hospital bill.

INTRODUCTION

Edibles are something which are fit to be eaten as food. Edibility of food items available in the market is a big question for the fast moving young population; as they have least provisions (time and space) to cultivate and cook each and every food items. Food we consume greatly influence our health and of course, health is wealth!!! My thoughts on how to maintain this real wealth through conscious (thoughtful and selective) cooking,  led to  ‘ Thoughts on Edibility’.