New Year, new resolutions. To eat well, to know where one’s food is coming from, to eat consciously not just for ourselves but also for the land. Let us kick-start our year with some sensible, seasonal, and sensational produce!
Winter is still going strong in most parts of the country, and vegetables and fruits are available at low rates and great quality. This is the time to make changes to your diet and include more sustainable eating options in your everyday diet.
Here are our top recommendations for this month:
Flax seeds, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, are all great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, and should be consumed in the colder months to provide the body with warmth and lubrication. Use the seeds in salads, trail mixes, energy bars, pesto and chutneys (in place of nuts), or simply toast them in the oven with a seasoning of your choice and keep them in a jar at your desk for some guilt-free snacking!
Those cheerful yellow cherry-like berries sitting in their papery coverings on the fruit cart right next to the strawberries are cape gooseberries, or Rasbhari, in Hindi. Like all berries, these are also rich in antioxidants, and make for a great flavour booster in your breakfast smoothie or in a light yogurt parfait. Pair them in a salad with some roasted pumpkin and a minty dressing!
A natural lubricant, sesame oil is consumed orally as well as massaged into joints to alleviate arthritic pain. But of course, one needn’t be a patient to derive its benefits! Use sesame oil in salad dressings for a toasty flavour (especially in Asian-style salads), toss root vegetables in it for a roast, and even use some to massage into your hair for that glorious shine!
Green chana, field beans, peas, and pigeon peas (Toor) are now in the market. These chlorophyll-rich, green legumes are not just packed with nutrition (excellent source of folate, antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients), but are also incredibly tasty and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Steam and make a Chaat of the fresh green Chana, for instance. Add the whole young pigeon peas to vegetables such as pumpkin and eggplant or make a rice using the fresh field beans. If these sound too last year, substitute the chickpeas in your Hummus with the fresh ones or add the field beans to your Minestrone!