Nutrition

This Holi Go Colorful with your Diet Too

HOLI, a festival of vibrancy and joy, symbolizes triumph of good over evil.  The colors bring a lot of positivity and happiness in our lives. So do colorful foods. This Holi go colorful with your diet too. Have a rainbow on your plate. Take up the good deed of restricting/avoiding junk and unhealthy food to be in better health. A colorful, well-balanced diet is associated with good health and prosperity. Each of the color provides a number of health benefits and carries unique disease fighting phytochemicals. That’s why a balance of all colors is of utmost importance.

via healthyconcepts

So let’s color our palate with these foods this HOLI.

RED

The crimson reddish tint in fruits and vegetables is predominantly due to Lycopene. A carotenoid, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with protecting our heart against heart attacks and some cancers. Red fruits and vegetables are also sources of flavonoids, antioxidant which reduces inflammation. Cooking enhances the activity of lycopene.

Examples: Tomato, red grapes, cranberries, watermelon, pomegranate, cherries, strawberries, red bell pepper

Dessert to relish: Honey beet froyo

Ingredients:

Greek Yogurt – 3 cups

Beets – 5

Honey – 1/2 cup

Olive Oil – 1 teaspoon

Sprinkle of Salt

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wrap the beets with skin on in aluminium foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. 

2. Roast beets for 45 minutes or until fork tender.  3. Let cool slightly to remove peel with ease.

4. Puree the beets until smooth. Chill completely fot at least 2 to 3 hours.

5. Combine yogurt, smooth beet puree and honey into a bowl until mixed well.

6. Freeze the mixture and Churn the yogurt for about 30 minutes until the consistency is that of soft serve.

7. Top with chocolate shavings for texture. Serve immediately or freeze for later.

YELLOW / ORANGE

The sunny hues of orange foods come from carotenoids like Beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A, an important nutrient for vision, healthy mucous membrane, skin and bone health. Another carotenoid called lutein is associated with preventing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Yellow foods are a great source of Vitamin C. Relish these foods for a better immune system and healthy digestion.

Examples: mango, carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, papaya, orange, lemon, pineapple, yellow bell pepper, corn

Dessert to relish: Orange quinoa sevai

via NDTV

Ingredients:

Vermicilli – 100 gms

Quinoa – 50 gms

Fresh Orange juice – 300 ml

Dried figs – 30 gms

Sugar – 4 teaspoons

Almond milk – 250 ml

Desi ghee – 1 tablespoon

Organic Jaggery – 100 gms Walnuts – 20 gms

Melon seeds – 30 gms Peanuts – 10 gms

Method:

1. Heat ghee in a pan and roast the vermicilli (sevaiya) and quinoa in that.

2. Prepare reduction of orange juice by cooking it in a vessel.

3. Now cook the sevaiyan and quinoa in almond milk.

4. Add sugar and chopped figs to it and cook for 15-20 minutes. Let it cool. Then refrigerate.

5. Roast the walnuts, peanuts and melon seeds in oven.

6. Melt the jaggery in a pan and add the roasted nuts and cover them with jaggery well.

7. Serve the chilled Sevaiyan with the jaggery and nuts nougat

GREEN

Green colour of fruits and vegetables comes from a natural plant pigment chlorophyll. Green foods contain a range of phytochemicals like isothiocyanates, indoles and saponins which have anti-cancer properties. Green vegetables are also excellent sources of folic acid, potassium and vitamin K; low on calories. Greenish yellow foods are rich in lutein, another phytonutrient with amazing benefits. Green foods are good for digestive health, heart and a youthful skin.

Examples: Broccoli, cabbage, spinach, green capsicum, peas, bitter gourd, kiwi, avocado, pistachios, green apple

Dessert to relish: Pista nutty pan

Ingredients:

For Pista squares

Pistachios – 1 cup

Milk Powder – ¼ cup

Corn flour -1 tsp (optional)

Powdered sugar -1 tbsp

Edible green color- 4-5 drops

Condensed milk – 2 tbsp

Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp

For Filling

2 tbsp pistachios blanched, peeled, chopped

2 tablespoons almonds blanched, peeled, chopped

2 tablespoons walnut chopped

4-5 drops Kewra essence

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

a few saffron strands

Method:

1. Place a pan and roast the shelled pistachios on medium heat by continuously flipping them.

2. Let the pista cool down and then grind them in a mixer to a fine powder.

3. Sieve the powder for any bits of pista left.

4. Add milk powder, sugar, cardamom powder and corn flour and mix well.

5. Then add a few drops of edible green food color.

6. Add 1 tbsp of condensed milk to the above mix. Use your hands to mix it well. You will get a crumbly texture.

7. Again add 1 tbsp of condensed milk and make a dough.

8. Chop the dry fruits and set aside.

9. In another pan take 1 tsp of ghee on low heat and add 1 ½ tbsp of condensed milk. Keep stirring.

10. Add chopped dry fruits, cardomom powder and kewra essence. Stir for a minute or two and turn off the heat.

Keep the filling mixture aside. 11. Now roll out this dough in between 2 sheets of plastic till it is 5 mm thick.

12. Cut 8-12 squares pieces. Give a conical shape.

13. Divide the filling into equal portions, fill it in the cones and garnish with silver leaf and chopped pistachios.

Your Pista nutty paan is ready to serve and be a hit.

BLUE / PURPLE

Blue-purple-pink ish hues in foods is primarily due to their anthocyanin content. The phytochemical concentration is higher with deeper hues. These antioxidants are heart health and brain health friendly, lowers blood pressure, reduce cancer risk, inflammation and prevent destruction of collagen.

Examples: brinjal, jamun, red cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, prunes, plum, black grapes, raddichio

Dessert to relish: Blueberry mango swirlyo bars

via gingergarlickitchen.com

Ingredients:

Ingredients for blueberry lassi:

greek yogurt – 1 cup

blueberries – ¼ cup

white sugar – as per taste

cardamom powder -¼ tsp

Ingredients for mango lassi:

greek yogurt -1 cup

mango, chopped – 1⁄2 cup

white sugar – as per taste

cardamom powder -¼ tsp

Method for lassi:

Pour all the ingredients of blueberry lassi and mango lassi seperately in a blender and puree until smooth.

Method for freezing:

1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spread blueberry lassi evenly inside.

2. Top with 4-5 spoonfuls of mango lassi. Gently swirl the lassi.

3. Cover with the cling film and freeze overnight or until solid.

4. Remove parchment paper and cut into 7-8 bars.

5. Wrap each bar individually with the cling film before refreezing them.

Enjoy!

WHITE

White foods are loaded with phytochemicals flavonoids. These are potent antioxidants that help body counteract free-radical damage. Allicin in garlic is known for it’s antiviral antibacterial properties. Quercetin in onion reduces inflammation, boosts immunity, provide heart health etc.  There are more than 4000 different flavonoids with a wide spectrum of benefits.

Examples: garlic, onion, cauliflower, pear, banana

Dessert to relish: Pear rabdi

via tarladalal.com

Ingredients:

Milk – 3 cups

Grated pear (with skin) – 3/4 cup

a pinch of cardamom powder

a pinch of nutmeg powder

Sugar – 2 tablespoon

Almonds and pistachios slivers

Method:

1. In a deep thick bottom pan, add milk and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes while stirring continuously.

2. Add the grated pear, mix well and simmer for another few minutes.

3. Add the cardamom powder and nutmeg powder, mix well and keep aside to cool slightly.

4. Add the sugar, mix well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish with chopped nuts and serve chilled

There appears to be more reason to eat the spectrum of colours than to wear them.

Have a safe, happy and healthy Holi! Holi hai!!

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Prachi Bohora

A nutrition advocate and food lover, Prachi Bohora is a Registered Dietitian with Masters in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator by International Diabetes Federation, Certified Nutrigenomic Counsellor and a UGC-NET qualified lecturer. She is owner and director of “Nourishia”, offering nutrition counseling and consulting services to individuals, families and businesses. (www.prachinourishia.com) She is a writer, speaker and consultant amongst others with 8 years of experience. Passionate about nutrition and a strong believer in the power of foods, she translates current scientific evidence into practical lifestyle advice and educates and motivates clients of all ages to reach their health and fitness goals. Her areas of expertise include childhood and adult obesity, diabetes, medical nutrition therapy (diet in different disorders and diseases) and corporate nutrition. Her motto: “Life is stressful; your diet shouldn’t have to be!” Eat.Live.Love.Nourish.

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