Friday, November 20, 2015

Four types of food for good health, fifth for excellent




Goosefoot in Yoghurt with hot buttered unleavened bread and a herbal chutney

 Scroll down for recipes of items in the picture
The following four types of food if included as part of one’s regular meals would lead to simplicity yet good health for most humans as regards diet is concerned in the view of this author and these do not include meat although one may add eggs
  1. Food from seeds of grasses called food grains and the best of these are wheat and rice. A few are allergic to the gluten in wheat and they may choose from a range of other grass seeds
  2. Leafy green vegetable
  3. Milk or milk products such as yoghurt, processed and unprocessed cheese, butter
  4. A raw easily palatable food such as fruits and salad vegetables
In this selection, milk products are the protein source. In case that is not available, protein must be be made up from other things such as lentil beans, fish or eggs. Between these four groups of food a human may find all the carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, enzymes and micro nutrients a human body needs for good health. If a fifth is added that includes nuts from trees and the ground then excellent health is possible. The best nuts are almonds from the mountains, coconuts from ocean coasts and peanuts from the ground when roasted. One may ask what about the host of other foods Mother Earth produces. Do add them for variety and taste to make your meals a delight and joyful but it is best not to forget the basics to sustain good health.

It is winter just now in South Asia and leafy greens such as goosefoot and mustard leaves are available for free in farm areas. Others such as spinach and fenugreek leaves are also available at rock bottom prices. Wheat has been cheap in the modern world and farmers who have access to milk because they keep a couple of cows at home can expect to be in good health. For the raw component, there are bananas, radishes and carrots also plentiful in the fields, so that even the poorest of persons may hope to sustain good health. Wise farmers who plant drumstick and white mulberry trees on corners of their farms and know that their leaves are nutritious when goosefoot and mustard shall disappear from the fields may sustain good health round the year and their children and young adults shall develop rosy cheeks and a robust body.

However man does not live by bread alone and the many types of yoga ( for example see) as described in various articles of this blog would take care of the rest.

Check for health benefits at image source: http://herbs694.rssing.com/chan-28662168/all_p5.html


Recipes


Unleavened bread

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

Begin with two cups of flour ( will serve two) of your choice, plain, all purpose flour, refined or whole wheat flour may be used for different varieties. One can also mix in other food grain flours such as corn or millet if fresh (these other flours do not have a long shelf life like wheat flour).  In a large flat tray, sprinkle in a little water at a time in to the flour, mixing with your fingers at first and then with whole hands and kneading into a stiff dough. One needs practice to get it right. If it becomes too soft, mix in some more dry flour. You can oil your hands with cooking oil to reduce sticking.

Now take balls of this flour the size of large eggs. Roll it between both palms into a round smooth ball, then flatten and roll with a rolling pin after dusting with dry flour to prevent sticking. Try and get them as thin as you can without their breaking. The ideal shape is round but in the beginning if it comes out odd shaped that is OK.

Place the rolled out  dough ball on a hot iron plate place it to cook. If you do not have an iron plate, you may use a thick frying pan. Turn it around a few times until both sides are evenly done. Remove and rub butter on the surface, just one side. Fold and keep inside a folded cloth napkin for dinner time. Some oil can be added to the frying pan for a fried version that is easier for a beginner. In this latter case do not butter them after cooking. The fried bread is called Parantha and different names for the non-fried versions are phulka, Chapati, roti, mande in increasing order of thickness. Ususally the bread of the poor is thick and of the rich thin because the poor must derive most nutrition from bread while the rich have many other things to eat.

The edges of the bread come out broken as in picture if millet or corn flour is used but they are smooth with wheat flour. Making good unleavened bread requires much practice, the same as with any bread, but the results are edible and delicious from the word go so do not hesitate to begin. It is the most economical and healthy addition to food anywhere on the planet.

Goosefoot Raita (Sour cream and Green Sauce):

Ingredients:

2 cups yoghurt ( or a mix of butter milk and sour cream a cup each)
1 cup fresh Goosefoot leaves (Young Dandeloin leaves may be used as replacement)

Begin with either two cups of yoghurt or a mix of half and half butter milk and sour cream. Bring a cup of goosefoot leaves, well washed and chopped, to boil in a pan of salted water. Let boil for a few minutes. Drain and cool and mix it in the yoghurt mix. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Some prefer to grind the boiled goosefoot leaves in a blender before mixing in yoghurt . For an extra zing to the raita one may add a pinch of gum asofetida, a small crushed clove of garlic or roasted and crushed cumin seeds (half a tea spoon here) or even a chopped green chilli if one prefers it hot.. A few fresh green leaves of parsley, mint or cilantro may be used as garnish if serving to guests. This should serve two to four persons depending on what the other dishes at the meal are.

Raita is an ideal South Asian side dish for lunch with unleavened bread or steamed rice (never dinner because yoghurt is not considered as good for health at that time). The other dish often served with it is seasonal stir fried vegetables or a lentil dish to make a wholesome and substantial lunch.  Instead of goosefoot leaves it can be made with many other things. Diced boiled potatoes are very nice too. In some part a bit of turmeric is mixed in to give a yellow color to the raita.

Herbal Chutney:

Ingredients:

1 Cup, your favorite herbs and green leaves that are edible when raw (Do not use cabbage or lettuce leaves)
2 Cloves garlic, 1 Green Chilli that is not very hot and  few drops of lemon juice

Chutneys are a ground mix of herbs and spices with added salt to taste, few drops of lime juice and a touch of sugar for sweetness. It can be made with grinding together Mint or cilantro leaves, green chillies and a bit of garlic. Kale makes an interesting variation. fresh coconut, roasted peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or hemp seeds may be added before grinding to improve taste and nutritional value. In South Asia there are as many chutney recipes as their are homes. Try out your own variations before you come with an ideal recipe for your home. Chutneys do not store well like cooked sauces even in a fridge and must be made fresh for the day.

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