Yes, surely, monsoon is all about biting into crisp fritters dunked in tangy dips. While it’s okay to sometimes give in to these sinful fried indulgences, it’s also important to balance your nutrition with something healthy. And no, healthy ain't always boring. How about packing your immunity with some of the season’s best fruits! Well, it’s best however to avoid chopped or peeled fruits from outside or even juices from street side vendors in this season. It doesn’t take much to make fun smoothies at home with monsoon fruits. And we aren’t talking about those expensive exotic fruits but the easily available ones including plums or aloo bukhara, Grewia berries or the good ol’ faalsa, monsoon cherries that are now available at street corners, and of course monsoon’s favourite peach and lychee.
It’s best to avoid certain fruits including watermelons and muskmelons in monsoon, so do not opt for smoothies made of these fruits. “Both these summer fruits are high in water content, and if not handled carefully, they might get bruised, and bruised fruits can cause stomach infections because often harmful fungus and bacteria thrives in them. Also, go low on mangoes as monsoon mangoes aren’t the best of the produce and often result in stomach problems, apart from causing boils and pimples,” suggests dietician Somya Shrivastava of Max Healthcare.
1 cup non-fat milk
1 medium frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen sweet cherries
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
Sugar or artificial sweetener to taste, if desired
In a food processor or blender, blend banana until smooth. Add cherries and yogurt. Process until well blended and serve immediately, garnished with a cherry.
By food experts Ajay Kumar and Bijoy, Soy Bar N Restaurant
Nutritional value: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, cherries are a good medical aid for body aches, common in monsoon. It’s also a good source of melatonin, which regulates sleep patterns.
2 cups milk
2 cups frozen unsweetened sliced peaches
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp sugar
A few ice cubes
In a blender, mix all ingredients until smooth, and serve immediately. Don’t store it for long, as the milk might get spoilt if left long with citrus juices.
By: chef Raffaele, Ciro’s Pomodoro
Nutritional value: Peach is a great source of vitamin A, C, and also soluble fibre which is why it is helpful in conditions such as diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.
1 cup water
1/4 tsp black salt
1/4 lemon wedge
Boil sugar and water until thick like a syrup. Soak faalsa in water for at least an hour, and then blend well. Seive and discard the seeds and the skin, and mix the juice, sugar syrup and blend well in a shaker. Serve chilled with ice cubes, and sprinkled with lime juice and black salt.
By food expert Sandeep Aggarwal, Whitewaters Cafe
Nutritional value: Faalsa or Grewia berries are rich in potassium with anti-inflammatory properties that act as pain killers. Their deep purple pigment, curcumin, prevents heart diseases, and also helps lower blood pressure.
A bowl of plums (8-10)
1/2 medium apple
1 stalk (5” long) celery
1/2 cup, chopped Kale
1 serving protein powder
Chop the fruits and leafy veggies,
and blend till smooth.
Add protein powder and mix for another 30 seconds.
By chef Vinay P Singh, Zebaa
Nutritional value: Packed with anthocyanins, plums or aloo bukhara work well in mopping up harmful free radicals. Their high potassium content helps to lower hypertension.