As we approach monsoon season, you may be thinking about preparing yourself for the upcoming wet months. Although we can’t completely escape the ill-effects of rains, many stresses associated with it can be avoided by taking the appropriate steps from a management and nutrition standpoint.
Just modify your recipes with a few change-ups and get another healthy dish. Your ingredient substitution talent can help transform many unhealthy foods into healthy ones – not a fat or calorie disaster. These alterations will reduce the amount of fat and calories without sacrificing flavour in healthy recipes. These recipes can also boost the nutritional content.
Try these variations in your food for a healthy living:
- Eat home-made muffins in place of creamy cakes and pastries. While making muffin dough, replace half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour to increase fibre content. Cut the sugar in half and use brown sugar instead of refined sugar. To enhance the perception of sweetness, double the cinnamon, vanilla extract and chopped apple (unpeeled). Add walnuts to enhance the taste. Omit coconut and double the quantity of grated carrot to increase vitamin A. Omit salt as well and add nutmeg. Keep the quantity of baking soda intact otherwise, muffins may be too dense or flat. Replace each egg with one-fourth cup of egg substitute. To further reduce fat and calories, cut the butter in half. You may make up the difference with unsweetened applesauce to help retain moisture. Cut back on the number of pecans as well. Making a few small changes can make a big difference in the amount of fat, calories and salt serving.
- Replace chowmein and other Chinese preparations with whole wheat pasta. It may improve your digestive health that is much required in rainy season. Whole wheat pasta is full of fibre that is a non-digestible form of carbohydrate that brings numerous benefits to the body. It has a moderate amount of protein that is much higher than that in Chinese food ingredients. It contains a good amount of iron that helps with immune function. Loaded with phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and selenium, whole grain pasta helps with energy production, reduces muscle soreness and aids tissue and cell repair. Selenium again boosts immunity and protects thyroid function. Include roasted broccoli or asparagus, sautéed greens like spinach or kale and steamed beans and peas to make it even healthier. Try not to add cheese, instead add chickpeas in the form of sauce. If you can’t escape cheese, save it for garnishing. This way you can get a fresh sharp bite of cheese with every bite spooning your little cheese on top only.
- Say no to besan (gram flour) pakodas. They are heavy and oily foods hampering the body’s ability to digest food during monsoon season. They can even bring it down to its lowest ever! Fried pakodas can also cause acidity. So, go for besan cheelas as they can be made with very less oil. An array of healthy vegetables can be added to them to enhance the nutrition content. Make the besan cheela batter adding fresh curd, water, finely chopped onion, capsicum, mushrooms, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, spinach, wheat germ, green chillies, fresh coriander leaves and ginger-garlic paste. Add healthy spices like hing, coriander powder, saunf powder and ajwain along with salt and red chilli powder. Besan contains a good amount of carbohydrates and protein. Also, it is gluten-free. Use healthy cooking oil that too in controlled quantity and a non-stick pan to cook it in a healthy way. Serve it with fresh coriander chutney that is again very healthy to eat.
Fill up on these delicious monsoon foods substitutes to stay healthy. Besides healthy recipes, you can help your diet by cutting back on the portion size.
Eat your meals more slowly as you will eat less in the long run. Give your body enough chance to register the fact that you are filling up.
Put your fork down in between bites to encourage less eating. Follow more healthy cooking techniques like broiling, grilling, poaching, steaming and sautéing. Use non-stick pans to further reduce the amount of oil. Add spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or vanilla and almond extracts instead of salt and sugar.
Before plunging ahead with a recipe, look it over and think about what you can change to turn it into a healthier dish!