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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014
Forgotten treasures
Shikha Sharma , Hindustan Times
October 17, 2013
First Published: 17:10 IST(17/10/2013)
Last Updated: 17:42 IST(19/10/2013)
Brown Rice Poha

A whole host of foods have simply dropped from our diets and menus. Rediscover these local healthy choices

Most of us eat only two kinds of grains – wheat or rice. Consider the following list: biscuits, roti, naan, bread, pasta, noodles, lasagna, cake, pastries and most bakery items, cookies, rusks, dalia, and crackers are all made from wheat. Poha, kheer, rice crackers and risotto all contain rice. But while eating just these is convenient, it’s not ideal. The body needs a variety of foods that have different sources of minerals and vitamins; even the kind of fibre present in these grains is different.

Here are some easily available grains you should be eating:

Amaranth (Rajgiri)
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/4/Grains.jpgAmaranth was the staple diet of the South American Aztec civilisation. They used it in many ceremonies.
Rajgiri is a rich source of potassium (for the kidneys, lowering high blood pressure and tackling water retention), Vitamin A (for improved eyesight) and Vitamin C (for boosting immunity and improving skin). It provides 9.3 gm of protein per cup and is rich in magnesium and phosphorus (for bone development) and zinc (for skin rejuvenation).
Grind amaranth and mix it with atta. Or mix it with wheat dalia and sweeten for a breakfast porridge with milk.

Quinoa
This nutritious South American grain was also used by the Aztecs and is low in carbohydrates when compared to many grains. It’s also rich in protein, and is a rich source of iron (for hair and boosting haemoglobin), copper and phosphorus.
Quinoa is faily expensive so use it in a salad, or grind and mix it in atta. You can also can make quinoa tikkis by adding steamed quinoa to mashed potatoes.

Barley (Jau)
This is a staple in many religious ceremonies. It is good for the Indian climate. According to the principles of Ayurveda, barley cools the stomach. Have it as lemon-barley water. 

Ragi (finger millet)
Ragi still widely consumed in certain parts of the country, notably Andhra Pradesh. It is an excellent source of calcium and is especially used for weaning babies.

To incorporate ragi into your diet, mix it in atta, use it to make biscuits (it has to be mixed with wheat flour) or make a sweet porridge with milk. Ragi dosa is also a delicious option for breakfast.

From HT Brunch, October 20

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