Healthy yogurt – its yummy and fun to eat

Eat yogurt chilled or those wishing to further titillate their taste buds can add fruits to it. Those who love chocolate can try a healthy yogurt dish called Chocolate Yogurt.
Have yogurt with a bowl of steaming rice. Vegetable Curd Rice is a popular version. In whichever form one wishes to eat it, curd or yogurt is a product that enjoys a special place in your plate.
Did you know that a good bowl of yogurt contains millions of microorganisms? This surely would make you think twice before you reach for the creamy concoction. But these microorganisms are ‘friendly’ bacteria that make the product good for health. The manufacture of yogurt involves the process of fermentation whereby the proteins in milk are curdled. This is carried out with the help of specific strains of bacteria (microorganisms) that make lactic acid. Besides providing a delicious addition to the daily diet, it is nutritionally sound too!
Curd or yogurt is being appreciated as a probiotic where ‘pro’ means ‘for’ and ‘biotic’ indicates ‘life.’ It is thus being hailed as a product, which promotes a healthy life. A product teaming with microorganisms yet they are not harmful! The intestinal tract may naturally contain microorganisms but not all of them are disease causing. The microorganisms in yogurt are of a type that prevents other harmful organisms to dominate the intestines.
Cup of health
Want a good protein source? Look no further! Yogurt besides providing proteins of a good quality is also rich in minerals, calcium and phosphorus. Those wanting a low fat yogurt could try the ones made with skimmed milk powder.
The process of fermentation to make yogurt improves its nutritive quality as the microorganisms added to it enhance the folic acid and vitamin B 12 available to the body.
It has been observed that yogurt is better tolerated than milk among people suffering from milk intolerance. The bacteria break down the sugar lactose found in milk and hence there is a lesser chance for lactose intolerance to be seen. It is a better source of calcium for those who cannot consume milk. A wonderful filling beverage is Chilled Watermelon Yogurt.
In case of diarrhoea, the consumption of yogurt helps to stabilize the gut environment, which gets upset by the invasion of disease causing organisms. When certain medications like antibiotics wipe out both the good and the bad bacteria from the digestive tract, yogurt can help restore the balance. Ulcer causing bacteria have something to fear when the microorganisms from yogurt take over.
Recent studies also point towards the ability of yogurt to boost immunity against infections.
Whatever way one chooses to eat it there is delight in every spoon of healthy yogurt. Any takers?

Healthy balanced diet – understanding the ‘fat’ factor

People are facing a lot of health problems these days and unfortunately one gets to hear of high cholesterol levels even in teenagers. This is a direct consequence of having too many processed foods that are so tempting for the new generation. Fruits or wholesome homemade food have taken a backseat. But the time has come now to tighten our belts and get back into shape. It would also be perfectly correct to say that high cholesterol levels are also a fall out of lack of exercise. When one can walk, one prefers to take transport, be it private or public. Most of the evening hours are spent sitting in front of the television and that too with the dinner plate in hand!

Low fat options

We should now incorporate healthy eating habits into our daily plan. We can substitute high fat foods with low fat food, which is made without the addition of visible oil or with very little of it. One can always question the pros and cons of an oil-free diet. The main thing is that we cannot do without oil. But we can certainly do with less oil in our food. And the sooner we adopt this mode of cooking the better for our health in the long run. One samosa adds 369 calories to your day’s intake, a small 105 grams pack of French fries add 320 calories. Instead, why not have two idlis which are just as filling but allow only 60 calories? Some more ideas: switch over from buffalo milk to cow’s milk – will save you up to 50 calories and 2.4 grams of fat per 100 grams. The yogurt you make will have less fat and so will the paneer.

All foods have fat

It is also necessary to understand that even if no visible oil has been used in the cooking process, all foods do contain some trace of oil/fat. Seeds like poppy seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, peppercorns, sesame seeds and turmeric powder do have some fat content. No food is ‘fat free’, it can only be labeled as ‘low fat’ and there are no great health hazards in having ‘low fat’ foods. Even a basic arhar/toovar dal preparation has a fat content that one can talk about – 100 grams has 1.5 grams as compared to 3.7 grams in a moong dal preparation. Dals are not eaten raw and once they are cooked they do have additions of seeds and spices.

Why do we need oil

Our bodily functions do need oil to operate at the optimum as they need to be lubricated well and for this all naturally present oils are good. All are aware that oil not only enhances the taste but also makes the cooked food look good. Yes, even some salads taste better with a dash of salad oil or olive oil. Oil is an integral part of most recipes because it removes the unpalatability of the dish, it adds the needed softness as also flavour and nutrients. We have seen that we do need fat for lubrication, the fat-soluble precious vitamins and for energy.

To sum up, it is recommended to follow a diet that is low in fat but healthy in essential proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. A good diet is primarily what we should be looking at. And also eating sensibly, exercising regularly will ensure a long and healthy life to all! For some ideas refer to Khumb Hara Pyaaz.

Diwali sweet recipes – Ah, the sweet tooth is waiting patiently!

Diwali means mithai, meetha, and more! Actually serving the sweets part is simpler than the savoury salty part. Our ideas what you could develop further: make Chilli Icecream and expect raised eyebrows at the name but pleased grins at the tasting! The mithai part can be continued in a Mithai Sundae with vanilla and butterscotch ice creams layered with crushed chikki, mini gulab jamuns, jam and cake! Cake is also superb paired with gajar halwa but sizzle it with rabdi and wow the guests with this ‘active’ dessert. Perfect fireworks on the table! For those who prefer dairy, dish up Apple Rabdi. It will score high on the novelty chart. Well, all is not done yet.
For an offering of Diwali sweet recipes with a difference make Beancurd Peda. Grate 100 grams of beancurd and place in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of grated khoya and mix. Add sufficient sweetened condensed milk to mix the above mixture into a soft dough. Divide into marble sized portions and shape into balls. Flatten the balls lightly and serve. Or you could impress your relatives with a Colourful Lassi. Blend hung yogurt with sugar to make thick lassi. Divide the lassi into four portions. Mix two tablespoons of strawberry puree with one portion, two tablespoons of kiwi puree with second portion and saffron with third portion. Let the fourth portion remain white. Take a tall glass and first pour the saffron lassi. Place two slices of kiwifruit over it and then pour a little of the kiwi lassi. Place three slices of strawberry over it. Now pour the strawberry lassi and place a few strawberry slices over this too. Finally pour the white lassi over it and place some more strawberry slices over it and serve immediately. If there is a rush, serve Vanilla Ice cream with Cookie Crumble. Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a long stemmed glass; sprinkle four crushed chocolate chip cookies and drizzle chocolate sauce as required and serve.
As you read through the Diwali sweet recipes, look out in this space for some low-cal Diwali snacks.