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winter foods

5 Seasonal Winter Foods To Try Before The Winter Ends

Here are some ideas on foods to try before the winter ends! Eating seasonal foods is a healthy option and as well caters to tasting those yummy foods before the onset of spring and summer.

Winter season is marked by a steep decrease in the temperatures in northern India. The northern parts of the country experience snowfall too. Regions in the plains are also no different. People clad in warm clothes are a regular sight. Compared to the north, the southern states do not experience harsh winters. Weather is lovely throughout. Winter season is marked by huge agricultural produce. Grains vegetables and also variety of fruits flood the local markets. The season also coincides with the harvesting season of rice, potatoes, sugarcane, sesame etc.

Makki roti with saag

Since there is a fall  in temperature, our body needs foods that keep it warm throughout the season. Staple food of wheat flour chapattis is replaced with missi rotis, bajra rotis, makka rotis and it is best  paired with the seasonal sarson ka saag,  mixed saag or any other leafy preparation. Laden with huge amounts of ghee and ginger, garlic, saag is a very good immunity booster which provides nutrition as well as energy to the body. It helps to keep the body warm. Makka roti saag should be tried in this weather .

Custard apple recipes

There is also abundant increase in the fruit produce, and  sitaphal or custard apple is one fruit which is available in this season only. It can be had as it is or you can prepare sitaphal kheer or custard apple rabri . it is easy to prepare and can be given to the kids as well. I had a sitaphal tree in my backyard where I lived before. Being a north Indian our family did not know about this fruit. But when they tasted it  they were so amazed. Earlier we used to give away the fruits to the people but afterwards we only gave away less. Sitaphal is extremely delicious and kids love it.

Red carrot recipes

This season is marked by a huge production of vegetables. Carrot, sweet potatoes, potatoes, radish, turnips etc can be found all over apart from the seasonal leafy veggies. Carrots are a favourite in indian households in winters not just for curry preparation but also for halwa. Laden with carotene and vitamins it is absolutely healthy. Carrot halwa is cooked using milk and sugar and nuts are also used to enhance the flavours. It is a must in the winter season as the carrots are more juicy at this time.

Paratha recipes

Chapattis and parathas are staple food in the north. Parathas are extremely popular in the northern states compared to the south. As veggies are abundant in every household, stuffed parathas are cooked and eaten with lots of butter and jaggery.

Makka parathas, aloo parathas, mooli ke parathey methi k parathey , gobhi k parathey are some of the parathas which are relished by everyone. Kids also love them and they are a good tiffin option as there is no fuss of making a different curry. They can be given away with a piece of pickle. They are equally healthy .

Good old khichdi

Another item which is relished during the winter season is khichdi. Cooked with the new rice produced in the fields mixed with lentils it is also one important preparation made throughout the country. Our festival of Sankranti is especially marked by cooking a variety of khichdi throughout India. Urad dal khichdi in east, moong dal khichdi in south and toor dal in bisi bele bhaath are noteworthy.  The process of making khichdi is almost same in all areas, excepting for a few changes. It provides natural immunity to the body during winters and is usually paired with accompaniments. There is a saying “ khichdi tere teen yaar- ghee dahi aur achar”. There is a fourth accompaniment too- papad.

Herbal drinks to fight infections

Apart from these foods try to keep the seasonal diseases at bay by drinking kadha (herbal concoction) which is a reduction of pepper, cloves, big cardamom, tulsi leaves and ginger.

Cook together cinnamon, a bit of mishri or sugar, bay leaf, a bit of tea leaves in two glasses of water. Now, reduce this to about half of the volume and can be consumed on a regular basis to keep the cold infections at bay.

Hope you will try the above recipes before the season ends and post your feedback. Happy cooking!

heat generating foods

5 Heat Generating Foods To Eat This Winter

Heat generating foods are important to maintain the balance in our bodies during winter. Heat generating foods are also helpful when someone is suffering from cold or flu.

With the onset of winter season there is a gradual decrease in temperature. Temperature of the body also decreases due to change in environment. The body needs to be kept at a suitable temperature so that there is no change in body functions. As in summers it is necessary to intake maximum water to avoid dehydration, in winters we need to take foods that generate heat in our body so that the functions of body go on smoothly.

In winters the shift is from cold to heat generating foods. Listed below are some heat generating foods which must be included in our daily diet in winters.

Nuts

Nuts are believed to provide nutrition to the brain. They keep the brain hydrated and all the bodily functions go on without any hindrance. It is advisable to have a handful of nuts during the day. It was believed that nuts cause weight gain but this myth is discarded by the dietitians as they have varied benefits which prolong the age of an individual.

The benefits of nuts are as follows:

  • They prolong the age of an individual.
  • They lower cholesterol formation as a result it is beneficial for a healthy heart.
  • They are a good source of vitamin E, copper and magnesium. Apart from this they are a good source of calcium too.
  • In Indian households the nuts are taken in various forms- raw, roasted and in powdered form. It can be included in your food in any form.
  • Dry fruits are taken in the form of laddoos, gajak til Patti which are basically nuts cooked in sugar or jaggery syrup. The famous one is chikki which is a groundnuts in jaggery or sugar syrup.

Vegetables

Come winter and the market is flooded with a rich produce of green and multicolored vegetables. Leafy vegetables like mustard/sarson, spinach, amaranthus, fenugreek, coriander, mint etc are available in this season.

Green leafy veggies are commonly taken as saag in Indian households. In the northern parts it is actually taken in the form of saag which is a preparation consisting of a combination of various leaves like mustard, spinach, gram bathua, fenugreek etc. It is a spicy preparation and provides energy to the body. The leafy vegetables which are full of fiber, prevent constipation and also maintain blood pressure. The leafy veggies can also be prepared in dry form as aloo methi or spinach potato or can be cooked with lentils. Tomato soup and other soups can be enjoyed sitting tucked in a warm blanket. Vegetables like red carrots, turnip, green peas and beetroot are a common sight in the markets. It is always said that we should eat according to seasons produce. Also, root vegetables are good heat producing foods too.

Today irrespective of the season, the veggies are available throughout the year, but they prove beneficial in the time of their natural production

Honey

Honey is an important item which increases the immunity of a person. Due to its diverse health benefits it is an important component of Ayurveda. It has various benefits which are as follows:

  • helps in weight loss
  • A spoon of honey mixed in warm water if taken regularly aids in weight loss.
  • cures cold and cough
  • Improves eyesight too.
  • it is antifungal and anti-bacterial in nature so helps in healing wounds faster.
  • helps in regulating blood sugar in the body hence aids in a healthy heart.

In the winter season it is likely that a person might suffer cold and cough due to changes in temperature. A valuable home remedy to keep cold and cough at bay is to mix equal quantities of ginger juice and honey and take it. Even today we stack our pantry with honey and ginger during all seasons.

Whole grains

Grains like maize ragi, bajra and jowar are said to be beneficial for a human body during the winters.

In rural india and mostly northern parts we find that makki ki roti and sarson ka saag, jowar bhakri, bajra khichdi bajra laapsi, ragi rice flour etc are included in daily diet during winters. Wheat flour is replaced by millet flours in most of the cases. This is due to the fact that they provide energy and also are warm in nature.

They are rich source of calcium and other minerals and a store house of proteins and amino acids. Highly rich in zinc magnesium iron and potassium they aid in keeping the body healthy and disease free.

Murabba

It is highly recommended that murabbas of different fruits like amla and apple are highly beneficial for providing heat to the body. As they increase the immunity of the body it is highly recommended that a spoon full of murabba or chyawanprash along with a glass of milk keeps the body healthy and strong during winters. Chyawanprash is available in the market and murabbas can be made at home or purchased from the market.

Winter is a season in which we become sedentary because of the coldness outside. It is advisable to eat light foods at regular intervals. One more suggestion is drink warm water. It keeps body warm and also aids in weight loss.Apart from food we should take extra care to cover up our body with essential woolen clothes. As a variety of produce is available do enjoy the joy of cooking and preparing new dishes and share your food pictures with us . Happy winter and happy cooking everyone.