The variety that yiu find in winter is like no other. Though nowadays with technology at its peak we do find things all throughout the year, but nothing beats the taste of seasonal food.
Think about it why is it that we commonly find foods that give heat in winter and why cooling foods so abundant in summer. Nature has given us foods that the body needs. We need to go back and listen to nature.
He’s a quick look at some winter food favourites.
You just can’t resist the yummy palak and sarson da saag, can you? The other greens such as Methi, Chawli, Tanjaliya, Dill or Suva are all full of nutrients to nourish the system. These are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and carotenes. Have them in plenty this season.
Just nibble that juicy carrot for a good dose of Carotene. No other vegetable or fruit comes close to providing such nutrients. Loaded with vitamins and fibre – calcium pectate, it helps lower cholesterol. Juice it, eat it raw and make acchar or halwa but a must have this season.
Radishes and Turnips
These underground root vegetables are a storehouse of fibre, vitamins, minerals and folates. Add them to your salad, eat them raw or cooked but do add them to your diet.
The green peas or green garbanzo (hara chana) that you get this season are unbeatable. These are loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants. Think of a dish without peas. These are so versatile that you can add them to almost anything. Boil hara chana make a chaat, squeeze a little lime and voila, you have an awesome platter! Have the peas and chana out of the pods and eat them raw to experience their divine flavour. The broad beans, green beans, the valor and papdi all have high nutritive value and good protein.
Garlic and Onion
We are talking of the fresh green ones available in plenty in winter. This allium family has a lot of antimicrobial properties. Add them to salads, chaats, soups etc. Imagine the Chinese flavours with these spring onions and fresh garlic. Just add these to whatever you make and enhance your immunity.
Indian Gooseberry – Alma
This has the highest amount of vitamin C. It has a lot of antioxidant properties and boosts protein and metabolism too. Have it as a juice or jam or any other way you like.
The juicy orange that you get this season give you more vitamin C, Potasium, Folate, minerals and fibre when eaten whole than the tetra packed juices we are so accustomed to. Give these fresh oranges a try and you will never go back to the tetrapack for sure!
Its rightly said, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” This fruit has antioxidants, flavonoids and fibre – all needed to keep you healty. Grab this fruit and keep your mid-morning hunger pangs at bay.
Go for the seasonal paak and gaund ladoos made at home. Your grandma knew it all and hence these are made this season. The bajra roti or makke di roti is a must have. In Gujarat people love to eat PAUNK – its fresh green wheat. The taste of the tender wheat with a dash of lime is unforgettable. These grains give you the much needed energy to fuel the body during the colder months.
Herbs and Spices
Ginger, tulsi, haldi, all give you the necessary armamentarium to fight the cold and ward off the flu. They help build immunity. Sip on to your favourite adrakwalichai, or make a kadha, or simply add these to your dals and soups.
One of my favourite winter delicacy is UNDHIYA – a Gujarati speciality that has most of the above. Have it with bajra ki roti and you will keep asking for more. Ideally it is served with pooris but the calorie laden pooris can be substituted with wheat rotis or bajra ki roti.
Eat RIGHT and stay HEALTHY. Happy winter!