It's the season of leafy greens and our grocery stores are teeming of various different types of nutritious vegetables. Some of the most common ones abundantly used in Indian kitchens are palak, methi, bathua, mustard greens, radish leaves etc. Be it curries, stuffed parathas or dry mixed vegetables, there are numerous dishes that are made from winter greens. Greens can also be added to salads to lend some seasonal nutrition to your diet. They can also be made into soothing soups that are just perfect for winters. Spinach is widely used as an ingredient in creamy soups that can be enjoyed as meals during winters. We give you some delicious spinach soup recipes that can help you brave the cold outside. But let's look at the rich nutritional profile of this quintessential winter green.
Spinach Nutrition: Facts and Benefits
Spinach is very low in calories. In fact, it is one of the most nutritious negative calorie foods out there. A 100 gram portion of the vegetable provides just 23 calories (as per data by the United States Department of Agriculture). It is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, most notably beta-carotene (a precursor to Vitamin A), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9 (folate) and Vitamin K, as well as iron, magnesium and manganese. The leafy green is known to help maintain eye health and improve the health of bones. Spinach is also said to regulate blood pressure and fight inflammation in the body.
Winter Diet: Spinach Soup recipes
1. Spinach Cauliflower Soup Recipe
Two nutritious low-calorie vegetables come together to make this amazingly nutritious recipe. Spinach and cauliflower florets are simmered in a stock with onions, until the vegetables are soft. The veggies are blended together and mixed with seasonings and skimmed milk.
2. Spinach Soup With Spicy Chickpeas Recipe
This unique combination of spinach and chickpeas is filling and sumptuous. Onions are cooked along with chickpeas and then further cooked again in water that chickpeas were soaked in. Once this is done, all the ingredients are allowed to cool down, blended together and then garnished with cream and black sesame seeds.
3. Chicken Spinach Soup Recipe
Add some protein power to your spinach soup meal with this simple recipe. Minced chicken is mixed with green onions, ginger, garlic, shredded carrots, an egg for binding and some seasoning, to make balls that are first chilled in the fridge and then boiled with the soup stock until they are cooked. You can then add vegetables of your choice, along with spinach leaves and cook everything together for a satiating meal.
4. Spiced Spinach Soup With Paneer Croutons Recipe
Bread croutons are passe. Paneer or cottage cheese is used as a healthier substitute in this recipe. The recipe uses three important winter greens- spinach, dill and fenugreek leaves to prepare this wholesome soup that is nutritious and delicious.
Stepping on to the healthy bandwagon can be an overwhelming affair, both mentally and physically. In order to keep healthy and fit, it is essential to monitor body weight and keep it maintained. For those looking to shed those extra kilos, it is important to strike a balance between regular workout regime and balanced diet. When it comes to weight loss diet, protein-rich foods could help you go a long way in meeting your weight loss goals. This is primarily because protein has the tendency to induce a feeling of satiety, which helps keep one full for a longer spell. While there's no dearth of protein sources out there, we bring to you a low-calorie and high-protein recipe that is a perfect combination of taste and health. Wondering what it is? We're talking about roasted green peas chaat. Made using green peas (matar) as its prime ingredient, this healthy chaat is high in protein-quotient.
Apart from being rich in protein, these edible pods as a whole are a powerhouse of nutrition. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, "Peas are rich in vitamin K, manganese, and vitamin C, and are a good source of folate and trace elements. Their insoluble fibre content is good for the gut and also helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Since this chaat is devoid of oil content and is completely roasted, it saves you a lot of calories and further facilitates weight loss.
Here's How You Can Make Weight-Loss-Friendly Green Peas (Matar) Chaat At Home:
Green Peas - 200 grams
Tomatoes - 1 small, chopped
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Carrot - 1 medium, grated
Green Capsicum - 1 small, chopped
Rock salt - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Cooking Method to Make Matar Chaat:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile place a parchment paper on a baking tray. Now place the green pea pods over the sheet and bake them in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Once they have turned all crispy and crunchy, transfer them to a bowl and add all the chopped ingredients to it along with rock salt.
Mix well and drizzle lemon juice over it. Your crunchy and healthy chaat is ready to be served and savoured.
If you were thinking all this while that all chaats are greasy and laden with oil, then this healthy chaat recipe is sure to change your perception. Make this a part of your daily diet and tread through your weight loss journey in an effective manner. Apart from following a healthy and balanced diet, pair it with a regular workout regime and watch out for results.
The usage of onion and garlic in an Indian kitchen is indispensable - thanks to the exceptionally amazing flavour they offer to curries, stir fries, stew, soup and what not. Both the ingredients, belonging to the allium family, not only add to the flavour, but also have numerous health benefits to offer. However, Ayurveda suggests that one shouldn't consume excessive amount of onion and garlic. Ayurveda defines nutritional properties of food based on six tastes that include sweet, salty, bitter, sour, pungent and astringent, and their qualities namely, sattva, rajas and tamas. While both onion and garlic are considered excellent foods, they still are not favoured by Ayurveda.
According to Ayurveda expert from NirogStreet, Ram N Kumar, "Ayurveda is not against eating onion and garlic; in fact, garlic is deemed as an important medicine in Ayurveda. However, onion is considered tamasic (makes people irritable) and garlic is known to be rajsic (disturbed sleep and drained energy) in nature, which means both these ingredients produce heat in the body. While body needs some amount of heat, excessive heat may only lead to increased risk of health problems."Undoubtedly, Ayurveda prizes onion and garlic as powerful medicines and do not recommend avoiding them. Ayurveda principles are generally confused with spirituality and yoga that recommend a no onion and no garlic diet, as they both are believed to distract an individual's focus and attention.
Health Benefits Of Onion And Garlic
Both the ingredients have a long list of health benefits. Garlic has often been considered as a wonder drug. It has been used to prevent infections due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, and it is also known to reduce chances of cancer; thanks to its anti-carcinogenic properties. Onions, on the other hand, are known to reduce inflammation, remove toxins, normalise digestion and reduce cough. These are just a few health benefits attributed to the two humble kitchen ingredients.
So, go ahead and add these two foods in your daily diet; just remember anything in excess is bad for your health and moderation is the key.