Monthly Archives: December 2018

Nutritious Package – Sprouts : salad and sundal


 



The Sprouts Story

Sprouts have become a regular part of our diet, for a few years now. These are the sprouts that I have been using presently. Many whole millets/grams can be sprouted and made into healthy alternatives to snacks and meals.

  • sprouted green gram

  • sprouted black chick pea

  • sprouted fenugreek seeds

Before we move on to the benefits and usages of sprouts, my Sprouts Story is something to be shared.

Initially, the inclusion of sprouts started as a salad for breakfast. It was great, light, refreshing and tasty.. They were accompaniments to a light breakfast.  Only on a few weekends, we would start the day with sprouts alone to break the fast. After a few years, there was a change in breakfast. I converted to dosais or idlis with whole grains, millets or unpolished rice varieties. Hence, sprouts were shifted to be part of the lunch platter. Fresh salad with carrots, cucumber or any salad veggies with liberal juice of lemon, went with lunch.

 
Here, there arose a problem. While packing lunch in the morning, the freshness of the sprouts was lost.  I moved it further evening as a replacement for tea/coffee. Now, I couldn’t survive without my coffee. If coffee was consumed with a healthy stuff, I believe the goodness of the healthy food is eaten up by caffeine in coffee and tea. Tell me I’m wrong, and I shall include my lonely coffee with breakfast, lunch and dinner too.

Coming back to sprouts, I switched it over to evening.. as a snack during tea. Then, winter set in. The fresh sprouts wouldn’t go well raw, cold with fresh veggies- I wanted something hot for the chilly weather. Additionally, the sprouted black gram was posing problems to chew . I thought of cooking or braising it to make it softer. While we had elders as guests, it made a lighter healthier snack while cooked… Easy to munch and tastier with South Indian seasoning- mustard seeds, curry leaves and chillies. A great snack for a cold winter evening. I have to mention here, I had my coffee after sufficient time gap.

Beyond the health benefits, sprouts are a beauty to watch grow. They mark the beginning of growth or existence. One can truly see the glow of new life in the sprouted seeds. If you feel I am excessively exaggerating, please try for yourself.

There are different ways to sprout seeds. This is what I do.

Soak seeds overnight. Drain water. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a clean dry box and close with a damp cheese cloth. Shake every now and then. Be careful, if there is too much water in the seeds, they would attract fungal growth. If they are too dry, they wouldn’t sprout. It might take a few times to understand the process and succeed.

Note: Green gram sprouts quickly. Fenugreek is a bit sticky. Black gram poses greater problems… It  attracts fungus very easily. But be patient… Do not lose hope.. Slow comprehension of the process of each seed would help flawless sprouting, even after a few failures.

Health Benefits of Sprouts

Pre-digested foods refer to the foods that have been pre-digested for us either by another animal or machines or equipment. The nutrients are in pre-digested form, so they require very little digestion, and the nutrients are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Thus, an elemental diet provides you nutritional needs while giving your digestive system at rest. Sprouts nutrition reduces high blood pressure, helps in weight loss, lowers cardiovascular risk and helps us to fight against diabetes and fatty liver.

https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.thefitindian.com/sprouts-for-weight-loss/amp/

To know more about benefits of sprouts, google has loads of information.

Suggestions on how to include sprouts in your meal pattern

These salads are vey flexible, one can alter all ingredients as per preference.  These are only a few suggestions. Usage is purely one’s own imagination or innovation.

Sprouts Salad -1

Ingredients (serves appr.  3)

  • sprouted green gram – 2 cups
  • sprouted fenugreek seeds – 1/2 cup
  • grated carrots – 2 cups
  • pomegranate – seeds of 1 fruit

Mix all together and season if needed with salt,  pepper and lemon. This tastes awesome without any seasoning too.

Sprouts Salad – 2

 

Ingredients

  • sprouted green gram – 2 cups
  • sprouted fenugreek seeds – 1/2 cup
  • finely chopped or grated carrots – 1 cup
  • finely chopped onions – 1 cup
  • finely chopped green chillies – 2 no.s

 

Mix all together and season with salt,  pepper and lemon.

Steamed or Cooked Version of Sprouts: Sprouts Sundal

Ingredients

  • sprouted black chick pea – 1 cup
  • sprouted green gram – 1 cup
  • sprouted fenugreek seeds – 1/2 cup
  • finely chopped onions – 1 cup
  • finely chopped green chillies – 2 no.s

seasoning

  • oil – 1 tblsp
  • mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • dehusked black gram – 1 tsp
  • curry leaves – a few
  • asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  • salt – as needed

Method of Preparation

  1. Cook sprouts in very little water. One can pressure cook with 3/4 cup water for 2 whistles in full burner
  2. Or saute the sprouts and cover and cook in a closed pan
  3. Heat oil in a pan, let mustards splutter, then add black gram
  4. When black gram turns golden, add curry leaves, chopped onions and chillies
  5. Then, add the  cooked and drained sprouts, salt and mix well
  6. When they are mixed well, sprinkle asafoetida and switch off stove
  7. Sprouts Sundal is ready to be served.

My love for nutty jaggery Brittles – 2. Kadalai Mittai/Peanut Brittles 3. Dry Fruit Brittles


Smitten by the brittle bug, I continue my jaggery journey with peanuts and dry fruits. If anyone tells you – Kadalai Mittai and Ellu Mittai are one of his or her favourite snacks, waste no time in guessing their age. They must surely be in their late thirties or beyond…. Rarely early thirties…. More certainly, they grew up in a traditional environment with no space for the likes of popular fast food Giants.

Before our children look at us as bizarre creatures from an alien world – who say no to burgers or croissants for snacks, it’s high time we train them to accept the goodness of healthy traditional stuff. If you are already an alien, waste no time. Start immediately. Make them feel comfortable with their snack boxes with no junk. Now, before defining what is junk to our children, I think WE should understand JUNK.

One can’t actually make out what is junk and what is not. Correct me if am wrong…….

Junk can just be that which is craft fully made, temptingly displayed, yet made with UNHEALTHY ingredients.

A good snack or food can be equally craft fully made, temptingly displayed, yet not accepted as it is what your mother served you at home.

This acceptance of home made or even store bought traditional foods, would develop only if we change as a community of parents. Peer pressure seems to be the most common and simple reason for falling into certain traps… especially into the trap laid by fast food Giants . Peer pressure contributes to what children prefer packing to school for snacks and lunch.

With no more thoughts to elaborate, let us start making Kadalai Mittai (peanut brittles) and dry fruit brittle… Anytime healthier than snacks that constitute white flour, white sugar white butter. Brittles are called Chikkies in the northern part of India.

I didn’t want to do separate posts for both brittles… The method being the same and just alteration of nuts, this is a post with dual recipes.

Kadalai Mittai (Peanut Brittles)

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Ingredients

  • kadalai/peanuts – 2 cups
  • vellam/jaggery – 1 1/2 cups
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 2 tsp
  • elakkai podi/cardamom powder- 2 tsp

Dry fruit Mittai (Dry fruit brittles)

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Ingredients

  • combination of almonds, walnuts, cashewnuts, peanuts (one may also include pecan nuts, hazelnuts) – coarsely chopped – 2 cups
  • vellam/jaggery – 1 1/2 cups
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 2 tsp
  • elakkai podi/cardamom powder- 2 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Dry roast peanuts and keep aside / Coarsely chop mixed nuts, dry roast them and keep aside.
  2. The procedure is the same for any brittle…
  3. Grease a flat tray
  4. Heat up jaggery and water until jaggery dissolves
  5. Strain the liquid
  6. Boil the jaggery water along with cardamom and dry ginger powder until it reaches hard ball consistency – place a bowl with water and drop the syrup into it. If the syrup doesn’t melt and turns to a harder ball, that’s right for making brittles
  7. Switch off stove, mix the roasted peanuts and spread on greased tray.
  8. Make slices while hot with a greased sharp knife
  9. Break the pieces when cold.
  10. Store in air tight containers.

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Note:

  1. If one is unable to cut perfect bars, just break the brittles into random pieces… The crispy bars are what you want.
  2. If one hasn’t got the right consistency, if the brittles are chewy…no worries they are equally good while sticky
  3. If they turned out harder…. they taste like toffees, first suck the jaggery juice and then eat the peanuts.

Come along, Life is all about positivity.