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.
So let’s color our palate with these foods this HOLI.
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
Greek Yogurt – 3 cups
Beets – 5
Honey – 1/2 cup
Olive Oil – 1 teaspoon
Sprinkle of Salt
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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!!