Fruity facts!

With so many lifestyle diseases being evident today it is time to incorporate more fruits in our daily diet because fruits are great sources of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (a group of compounds that may help prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes) and soluble fibre. Except for a few varieties (coconut, olives, avocados) all fruits are low in fat and calories. Fruits also satisfy your sweet tooth without loading up on calories.

Eating a variety of fruits is vital because different fruits provide different nutrients. For example, oranges and kiwi fruit are good sources of vitamin C. Bananas are a good source of potassium and apricots are high in vitamin A. So if you rarely venture beyond a few of your favourites, you are missing out on the nutrients and benefits of other fruits.

Here are suggestions to help you select the highest quality fruits when you are shopping, ways to store them once you get home, and tips for preparing and serving fruits to enhance their flavour and retain their nutrients.

Selecting top quality fruits: Choose in-season fruits. Select fruits that feel heavy for their size as heaviness is a good sign of juiciness. Smell fruits for characteristic aromas. Fruits should generally have their characteristic ripe scent but not smell overly ripe. For example, muskmelon should not smell too musty, especially if you do not plan to eat it right away. Also test the texture. A kiwi that feels mushy to the touch is too ripe. However, an avocado with a somewhat spongy texture is ideal. Be sensitive to the correct texture for the specific fruit you are interested in.

Storing tips: Keep fruits at room temperature to ripen them. Store ripe fruits in your refrigerator. The cool temperature slows the ripening process, giving you longer storage times. The length of time you can store fruit depends on many factors, including how ripe the fruit is at the time of purchase and the type of fruit. Oranges keep well from one to two weeks in your refrigerator. Others, such as strawberries and grapes may ripen and spoil in less time, even in a couple of days.

Serving ideas:

  • Prepare fresh fruit within about an hour of serving to maximize flavour, texture and nutrients. Some salads benefit from a little chilling time (about 30-60 minutes) for the various flavours to mingle well together.
  • Wash all fruits thoroughly under cold running water before cutting or eating whole. This includes those fruits with hard shells or skins, such as melons. That is because the knife you use to cut the melon could transfer germs from the surface into the flesh. Wash your hands before and after handling fresh fruits.
  • Leave on edible peels whenever possible. The peels of apples, pears and most fruits with pits add interesting colour and texture to recipes and contain added nutrients and fibre.
  • Remove zest from citrus peels before discarding and save it for other recipes. The zest is the thin, brightly coloured, outermost layer of citrus fruit, such as lemons or oranges. Grated or shredded, it adds a bright spark of flavour and colour enhancement to both sweet and savoury dishes.
  • A healthy diet does not have to be monotonous. Be adventurous. Try all the new and unfamiliar fruits. You may be surprised to find that you like them, and they will add interest and more health benefits to your diet.

Try this recipe and find several more on http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com

FRESH FRUIT TART

FRESH FRUIT TART 

Ingredients

1 pear
1 small pineapple, peeled
1 medium mango
1 kiwi, peeled
2 plums
2-3 large red grapes
2½ cups refined flour + for dusting
1 cup butter + for greasing
½ cup castor sugar
1¼ cups chilled whipped cream

Method

1. Preheat oven at 180°C. Line a 7-inch tart mould by greasing with a little butter and dusting with little refined flour.

2. To make tart mould, combine refined flour, butter and castor sugar in a bowl. Rub well till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Add little water and mix into a soft dough. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. Dust dough with little flour and roll out into a large disc. Line the prepared tart mould and press from inside so that the dough set properly inside the mould. Discard the edges, press the sides with the thumb and prick the inside base with a knife. Fill the inside by keeping kidney beans on the base and put in the preheated oven. Blind bake for 12-15 minutes.

5. Remove mould from oven and demould.

6. Cut and deseed pear. Roughly chop pineapple. Peel, deseed and roughly chop mango. Slice kiwi. Deseed and roughly chop plums.

7. Spread whipped cream inside the tart mould and level it out. Place chopped fruits on it the way you want.

8. Deseed red grapes and halve them. Place them in the tart and serve immediately.

PS: This recipe is such that you can try out several different combinations of fruits and toppings, let me know if you put your own spin on it and how!

Till then
Happy cooking, happy eating! Stay healthy stay fit!

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Calorie conscious?

If you are health conscious the word calorie will mean the world to you! Yes, calorie is a unit of energy that can be measured by many methods. Here, we are focusing on foods that may help you lose weight as they, through the process of eating, chewing, digesting, metabolizing, actually make the body work harder to extract the calories.

This can be explained simply. You consume a generous wedge of Mocca Gateaux at the five star buffet. It is around 400 calories. To digest it your body may require only 150 calories…net gain of 250 calories which is added to your body fat! On the other hand, you munch on a stick of celery which is only 5 calories. Your body may require 150 calories to digest it, resulting in a net loss of 145 calories from the body fat! Here the common person may infer that the more you eat of such foods the more weight you lose! But anything in excess is harmful. Remember this – it is a guiding principle in healthy eating.

Any diet plan will focus not only on the total calorie intake for the day but also the break up in the meals and also the distribution in the proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals and fibre. This write up here is not to design any diet for you but to give you a brief dekho into the world of foods that can help you lose weight in a safe and natural way.

Foods that help in fat burning have three essential features: they are high in moisture and fibre and low in carbohydrates and protein. It could be a safe and natural way to lose weight without starving. It is a well-established fact that the extra bulk that fibre contains will help you feel fuller for longer and thus help you stave off hunger pangs and lose weight. These foods should be incorporated in the daily meals because they will provide all essential nutrients. In fact, once you look it over it will strike you that fruits and vegetables in the raw form are the foods that we need to munch on seriously and that they provide the essential fibre, moisture, vitamins and minerals to our daily diet. In fact, vitamins stimulate the tissues to produce enzymes that break down the caloric nutrients of the foods.

Experts tell us that we need to include five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet for it to be termed healthy. Eating this suggested amount is difficult for many people. Fruits and vegetables have maximum benefits when eaten without any junk foods that are empty calorie foods. I suggest when in need of a snack reach out for celery sticks or an apple and forget the chips and cookies. When you make a sandwich ensure some lettuce and thick slices of tomato make the filling. Salads can help to supplement any meal even when you are on a diet that is being monitored for calories. At the dessert display at a buffet or party, look for the bowls of chopped fruits. And serve yourself some!

I should bring to your notice that I have not included any non vegetarian or even eggs in the category of foods that can help you burn calories while digesting them. For ready reference I have a short list of foods that can help you in weight loss:

Asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, capsicums, cucumber, garlic, green beans, gourds, lettuce, onion, radishes, spinach, turnip, zucchini, lemon, grapefruit, apple, papaya, orange, pineapple to name a few. You can also see how much calories some of our favourite foods cost us here. Given here are some easy recipes that can help you along.

Clear Vegetable Soup

Healthy Cornflakes Bhel

Warm Thai Noodle and Papaya Salad

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Maha Challenge shoot begins…

Lights, camera, action!
Beginning with the marathon shoot of FoodFood’s Maha Challenge today at a studio in Dahisar. Super excitement in the air and I’m all geared up to take on the new and exciting project with the ever smiling Madhuri Dixit!
My team is also all charged up for the non-stop shoot which is going to end only on August 20, 2011. Kudos in advance to the team, as the show is just not possible without dedication from the team members.
And so the weekend also passed by in the preparations and relaxing…watched Transporters 2 yesterday and relaxed at home while munching on salads for lunch, and then went to the sets for a technical check-up. Alyona‘s sister, who’d come from Australia, was with us…so while on our way back, we decided to drop in at Goa Portuguesa Restaurant for a fabulous dinner consisting of Chicken Cafreal, Appam, Chicken Stew, Amboli and Fish Curry.
Here’s sharing some of my versions of the same…
Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Good time at FoodFood bash!

As another Monday arrives so does the list of work to be done this week! Beginning shoot for my show on FoodFood in two days’ time. Got to put down my list of recipes that I would like to cook.
Our party, hosted by Sandeep Goyal and myself, at Bungalow 9, Bandra on Friday went off really very well. We both had made it a point to invite all our guests personally and it was so wonderful to see friends and their families grace the occasion. I would like to use this space to thank each and everyone who took the time off to come to the party. It was a pleasure being with all of you. Giving you pictures in these elinks:
Food was the highlight, so to say, and I am sure everyone enjoyed themselves. We had a tremendous variety but giving just a glimpse here: Dimsums from a live counter, Sofiyani Paneer for veg starters, Lava Grilled Chicken and Crab Roll for non vegetarians. Salads were a great hit: Baby Potatoes in Curried Mayo and Prunes and Olives in Orange and Walnut Dressing were much appreciated. Italian Breads and Honey Wheat Mini Loaves graced the table. Whole range of pizzas and pastas were prepared live. I mixed the main courses, lots of Oriental and Indian: Vietnamese Chicken, Awadhi Chicken, Thai Green Curry, Paneer Pasanda and the quintessential Kali Dal. These had the supporting baskets of different rotis – all prepared live. The desserts were the star attraction and these were classics like Tiramisu and Phirni and new offerings like Red Wine Kulfi, Blueberry and Gin Cheesecake, Lime and Lychee Crème and Chocolate Madagascar Ice cream.
We had a small parting gift for all our guests: a FoodFood apron, hand gloves and a copy of my new book 100 Favorite Recipes. That they were thrilled was evident by the effusive thanks we got!
After such a huge meal at the party, spent the weekend eating light foods only! Some of my weekend specialties.


Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Nutrition – some hints for balanced eating

Eat a variety of foods in adequate amounts for each food has a different nutritional speciality. This way not only will your nutritional requirements be met, you will also be able to break the monotony of eating the same kind of food daily.

Always maintain a desirable body weight in order to prevent developing chronic diseases like diabetes or heart ailments or certain types of cancers. You can get this from the height-weight (easily available, especially with your GP) chart, which again is worked out, on the basis of your lifestyle.

Avoid foods rich in saturated fats and cholesterol as this can cause obesity, which in turn can give rise to heart ailments or diabetes or even certain types of cancer.

Eating foods with adequate fibres is considered very healthy for they not only provide bulk and thus prevent overeating, they also help prevent constipation, lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

Though water is not considered as a nutrient, it is very essential for the upkeep of our bodies. Lack of water over a period can prove to be life threatening as it could lead to dehydration and even death.

Salads should always find place on your daily menu because being mainly vegetable based they are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibres. Beans or sprouts add proteins and when combined with pastas like macaroni, spaghetti or roots like potatoes or beetroots the carbohydrate content is adequate. Something like Button Mushroom Salad is a nice offering.

Of all the non-vegetarian foods, fish is perhaps the most ideally designed for healthy and quick family meals. Healthy because most types of fish are very low in fat and high in protein. There are some fish which are oily but they are high in essential fatty acids. Fish and Green Mango Curry is perfect for this month.

Limit your intake of alcoholic drinks since they are high in calories but low in nutrients. The metabolites (end products) produced by alcohol are harmful to the body, especially to the liver.

Desserts are an important component of an enjoyable meal and if they are fruit based they also provide the desired nutrients because they are packed with vitamins and minerals and are high in fibers. Try Low cal Crunchy Fruits with Yogurt.

Adequate and regular exercises are necessary along with healthy eating to make way for a meaningful life devoid of health worries.

Be in total control: eat right without thinking!

How wonderful it would be if we were able to eat right without thinking? Small daily habits are what add or subtract calories. Let us look at the subtraction tactics very seriously! If you follow these regularly they can help you incorporate foods you need into your daily diet while removing those you do not need. As time goes, you will be in total control of your nutritional intake. And all the better for it!

Tip 1: At breakfast, put coffee in your milk instead of milk in your coffee. Fill your mug to the rim with skimmed milk first thing in the morning. Drink it down until all that is left is the amount you would normally add to your coffee; then pour your coffee on top. You just took in a quarter of the vitamin D you need every day, and a third of the calcium.
Tip 2: Drink two glasses of water before every meal. This will do two things: keep you hydrated and make you eat a little less. A study shows that drinking two glasses of water can make you feel less hungry, possibly reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.
Tip 3: Always order your pizza with double tomato sauce and light cheese. Ah, wasn’t it the other way round? To skimp calories go slow on the cheese. And lots of tomato sauce means more lycopene intake which has benefits. The same hold true with sandwiches. Always stack up the tomato slices in a sandwich.
Tip 4: Go for onions in a big way if you like them. Onions are healthful being a good source of flavonoids that are heart friendly. So use lavishly on hot dogs, pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches.
Tip 5: Junk food lovers should drink two glasses of water afterward. The burgers, fries, submarines are loaded with fat and sodium, which can be harmful for your heart. Well, one cannot do much about the fat once it is eaten, but you can flush away some of the excess sodium by drinking plenty of fluids. Another associated tip: when you are asked what you would like to drink, always ask for iced tea.
Tip 6: Have an afternoon treat. A snack between lunch and dinner keeps off fatigue. It should not be a chocolate bar! It could be some yogurt, or some fruit (with skin on!) or crackers with cheese, a hard boiled egg or an apple…
Tip 7: Whenever you have salad, keep the dressing on the side. You can actually enjoy a salad with the taste of the dressing by first dipping your fork in the dressing then spearing a piece of lettuce. It might look weird to your neighbour but know that this technique can save you loads of calories without compromising on the taste.
Tip 8: Have a second helping of vegetables. Try and take in at least one and half cups of vegetables every day. Vegetables ensure long-term good health so what’s in this small measure? Have them!
Tip 9: Cereal can help at night too! Cereals are not only for breakfast but also helpful as a low-fat, low-calorie carbohydrate snack eaten before bed in case hunger pangs are keeping you awake. Cereal is also one of the easiest ways to reduce your fiber deficit.
Tip10: Do not miss the dessert. Always eat a little of it. Sweets signal your brain that the meal is over. Without them, you might not feel satiated – which might leave you prowling the kitchen all night for something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
More on Healthy recipes.
Some ideas for healthy eating :
Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.

Tips to aid digestion

It came as a revelation to me: the fact that lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can lead to indigestion. And I am sure indigestion can ruin a perfect day for anyone. Anyway, there are other reasons too for indigestion so best to take care and avoid them. How? Best not to chew with mouth open, especially happens when one talks while chewing leading to swallow too much air while gulping down food. Some people advocate not having liquids during a meal simply because they tend to wash down needed enzymes needed for digestion. Experts also say that having any sort of food allergy causes fermentation of food in the colon that produces hydrogen and carbon dioxide. So better to get checked up.

In fact there are simple steps that can help one feel better. So why not help yourself? If you smoke, stop smoking. If some foods bother your stomach, try to avoid eating them. Carbohydrates are the main food source responsible for gas because of the bacteria they contain. It is important to find out which foods your body cannot digest and thereby stay away from those foods that cause this allergic reaction. Try to reduce the stress in your life. If you have acid reflux, do not eat just before bedtime. Raising the head of your bed with blocks under two legs may also help. Unless your doctor tells you, do not take a lot of anti-inflammatory medicines.

Consume well-balanced meals with plenty of fibre-rich foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereal products. Avoid refined carbohydrates (sugar), bakery products, macaroni, dairy products, caffeine, citrus juices, tomatoes, pepper, carbonated beverages, potato chips, junk foods, fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, red meat, beans, snacks and colas. Decrease salt consumption. Processed foods and all dairy products cause excess mucus formation, which results in inadequate digestion of proteins. Limit your intake of peanuts, lentils and soybeans as they contain an enzyme inhibitor which hinders absorption and thereby causes indigestion.

Exercise such as brisk walking and stretching enhance the digestive process.

And sleep? The topic that started it all! Anything between seven to eight hours.

Some light foods for you.

Asparagus and pears salad in honey mustard dressing
Tabbouleh
Crunchy Chicken Salad

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.