Mushroom Soup

Mushroom soup2Mushroom Soup

Hi Friends!

These button mushrooms are super rich with nutrients, having more copper, potassium, protein and selenium than either oyster or shiitake mushrooms. They’re also a good source of phosphorus, zinc, niacin and pantothenic acid, especially when you cook them down and eat more than one cup at a time.Additionally, mushrooms provide protein, vitamin C and iron. Because their cells walls are undigestible unless exposed to heat, you must cook mushrooms to get their nutritional benefits. Here is a recipe of delicious Mushroom soup for your winter evenings!

Ingredients:

  • 200 gms Button mushrooms
  • 2 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 15 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, finely grated
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ½  tsp freshly ground Peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 2tbsp All purpose flour/maida
  • 2 cups Milk

Method:

Step1.

Wash the Mushrooms well; cut the mushrooms into fine pieces. Keep aside.

 Step  2.

Peel and cut the onions into fine pieces. Keep aside.

 Step 3

Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan add chopped onions, garlic fry till onions are translucent. Add ginger and chopped mushrooms and cook till mushrooms are soft. Switch off the stove let the cooked mixture cool to room temperature. Puree and keep aside

Step   4.

Boil the milk along with bay leaves, strain and keep the milk hot.

Step   5.

Heat 2 tbsp butter in a non-stick pan add all-purpose flour and stir fry on medium flame. When it gets a sandy texture remove from heat and slowly add the hot milk into the fried all purpose flour and butter mixture, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Simmer gently for two minutes.

Step   6.

Add into this white sauce (step 3.) pureed  mushroom mixture

Cook the mixture on medium flame for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add salt, mix and switch off the heat.

Step 7

Serve the soup hot, garnished with sliced mushrooms sautéed in a little butter.

 

Health Benefits of Mushrooms:

Health benefits of mushrooms are abundant

1.Lower Cholesterol

Mushrooms provide you with lean proteins since they have no cholesterol or fat and have very low carbohydrates. The fiber and certain enzymes in them also help to lower cholesterol levels. Moreover, the high lean protein content found in them helps to burn cholesterol when they are digested. Balancing levels of cholesterol between LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and HDL (“good” cholesterol) is essential in the prevention of various cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

2.Prevent Diabetes

Mushrooms are an ideal low-energy diet for diabetics. They have no fats, no cholesterol, very low levels of carbohydrates, high protein content, and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. They also contain a lot of water and fiber. Moreover, they contain natural insulin and enzymes which help the breaking down of sugar or starch in food. They are also known to contain certain compounds which help proper functioning of the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands, thereby promoting the formation of insulin and its proper regulation throughout the body. Diabetics often suffer from infections, particularly in their limbs, which tend to continue for long periods of time. The natural antibiotics in them can help protect diabetics from these painful and potentially life-threatening conditions.

3.Improve Bone Health

Mushrooms are a rich source of calcium, which is an essential nutrient in the formation and strengthening of bones. A steady supply of calcium in the diet can reduce your chances of developing conditions like osteoporosis, and can also reduce joint pain and general lack of mobility that is associated with bone degradation.

4.Help in Nutrient Absorption

Vitamin D is a relatively rare vitamin to find in vegetables, and in fact, edible forms, in general, are not particularly common. However, mushrooms have it, and this essential vitamin can facilitate the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. Calcium and phosphorus are also present in good amounts in mushroom, so the combined effects of having all of these nutrients make them a good idea to eat whenever possible.

5.Boost Immune System

Ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant present in mushrooms, is very effective in providing protection from free radicals as well as boosting the immune system. It is actually an amino acid that contains sulfur, which is something that many people are deficient in, despite not knowing it or seeing its effects. That being said, the presence of this “master antioxidant” which is unique to mushrooms, can give a major boost to your immune system health. Ergothioneine helps to eliminate free radicals, which are dangerous compounds released during the metabolic processes of cells, and can float throughout the body and cause significant damage and diseases.

6.Lower Blood Pressure

Studies of various types of mushrooms, including shiitake and maitake mushrooms, have shown them to be high in potassium content. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, relaxing tension in blood vessels and therefore reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure is connected to a number of deadly conditions, particularly heart attacks and strokes. Potassium also increases cognitive function, because increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain stimulates neural activity. Studies have shown that increased levels of potassium improve memory and knowledge retention.

7.Increase Iron Absorption

Copper has a number of beneficial effects on the body and can be found in mushrooms. Copper can regulate and stimulate the absorption of iron from food, and properly utilize it by getting it released from primary storage spots in the body like the liver. Mushrooms also have high levels of iron, so the two work together for healthy bones and preventing anemia.

Ref.https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-mushroom.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

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Rasam / Spicy Soup

Rasam with Dal.jpg

Rasam / Spicy Soup

Rasam, chaaru, saaru or kabir is a South Indian soup traditionally prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chili pepper, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings. Steamed lentils can be added along with any preferred vegetables.

Hi friends ! Rasam is a thin, very spicy southern Indian soup served with other dishes, typically as a drink. In this recipe I have made Rasam with lentil and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Pigeon pea lentil / toor dal
  • 4 small tomatoes / 1 cup cut tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small marble size tamarind
  • 1 tsp level Salt/ or to tasteRasam powder / Rasam powder:

2 tsp Rasam powder, I used MTR Rasam powder

OR

  • 1tsp peppercorns / or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder

Tempering :

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seed / jeera
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro / coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method:

Step 1.

Soak the tamarind in hot water for ten minutes and extract the pulp.

Step 2.
In a pressure cooker take cleaned and washed Pigeon pea lentil / toor dal , add chopped tomatoes and tamarind extract , two cups of water, and salt. Place the cooker on high flame, when full pressure is formed reduce to low flame for fifteen minutes.

Step 3.

Let the pressure cooker cool down to room temperature, open the lid. Remove the cooked contents in a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Remove in a mixing bowl and keep aside.

Step 4.

If preparing Rasam powder , roast lightly peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chili powder, cool and grind into fine powder. Keep aside.

Step 5.

In a sauce pan heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seed / jeera, when it crackles,
add the curry leaves, and crushed garlic. Sauté for few seconds.
Step 6.

Add the cooked dal and tomato water to t the seasoning add Rasam powder. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and let it boil for 7-8 minutes on a low flame. Add finely chopped Cilantro /coriander leaves, serve hot with south Indian papadams.
Note :

  • All the ingredients required for home made Rasam powder are combined and ground beforehand into rasam powder and can be stored .
  • Nowadays, Rasam powder which is available commercially are good and time savers.
  • Rasam can be served with rice in a traditional meal . It is served with a sambar, fried vegetables, rice course and is followed by curd rice or separately as a spicy soup.
  • Rasam is both, delicious and healthy. Include it in your diet for many health benefits.

Health benefits of rasam:

The benefits of rasam come from its major ingredients – tamarind, tomato, and black pepper.

  1. Prevents constipation

Rasam contains tamarind that is rich in dietary fibre or non-starch polysaccharides, such as mucilage, pectin, hemicellulose, tannin and gums. It adds bulk to food and eases bowel movement. Thus, easing constipation.

  1. Has antioxidative action

The ingredients in rasam, especially tamarind, are rich in antioxidants. Thus, it protects the body against attack of free radicals. The skin remains young, supple, and healthy.

  1. Good for convalescing patients

The nutritious properties of rasam and its fluid consistency make it an ideal food for convalescing patients. By adding lentils and vegetables, the protein and nutrient value of rasam can be increased.

  1. Good for pregnant women

Pregnant women will also find rasam to be a good meal that will give them essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and proteins. It is also easy to digest and keeps the intestines working properly.

  1. Good for introducing baby to solid food

Babies can be introduced to rasam as their first solid food because it is easily digestible as well as tasty. Semi-solid food is the best type of food for a baby who has recently been weaned off mother’s milk.

  1. Rich in vitamins

Rasam is rich in essential vitamins such as thiamin, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, and riboflavin. Some of these vitamins act as antioxidants as well, keeping the body healthy.

  1. Contains a wealth of minerals

Being a fairly good source of minerals, rasam is an ideal food for people to include in a balanced diet. Potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper and magnesium are the minerals provided by a serving of this delicious food.

  1. Helps lose weight

The black pepper content of rasam is what helps the body lose weight. It promotes removal of toxins by making the body sweat and produce more urine. Thus, the body’s metabolism is kept working properly.

  1. Helps keep cancer at bay

Regular consumption of rasam may help keep cancer away. Black pepper present in rasam contains a substance called piperine. This substance has been found to have an inhibitory effect on cancerous cells, along with curcumin found in turmeric.

  1. Encourages digestion

Rasam plays the primary role of promoting digestion. Its black pepper content ensures that the stomach is signaled to produce more acid. This helps digest food, such as proteins better, and prevents flatulence, indigestion, gas, constipation, acidity and diarrhea.

Making healthy meals does not have to be time-consuming or unpalatable. Rasam is one of the best foods to be eaten when planning a balanced meal. Partake of this dish and revel in its delicious taste!

Ref. http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/10-health-benefits-of-rasam/

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Almond soup

Almond soup copy

Hi friends! here is a recipe with the goodness of apple and the richness of almonds, which makes this soup extra special for this winter season.

Prep Time : 5-7 minutes

Cook time : 15 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Easy

Cuisine : Continental

Course : Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple , finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Almonds (18-20 almonds ),soaked for an hour
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Leeks, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Onion ,( 1 small size onion)
  • 1 tbsp Corn flour
  • 2/3 tsp Salt /or salt to taste
  • 1/4tsp Black pepper, freshly ground

Method:

Step 1.

Wash the apple, finely chop (approx 1 cup) keep aside. Wash leek well and finely chop, finely chop onion, grind almonds to a paste and keep aside.

Step 2.

In a heavy bottom pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add, finely chopped onion, apple, leek and almond paste. Cook for 2-3minutes.

Step 3.

Add three cups of water and boil for 5-8 minutes. Switch off the stove. Cool to room temperature and strain.

 Step 4.

In a blender take the strained vegetables and add little soup to it and puree. Add the pureed vegetables to the strained liquid and mix well.

Step 5.

Add cornflour (dissolve it in two tbsp of water ) simmer for two-three minutes.

Step 6.

Serve soup hot garnished with slivered almonds.

 

Eating a snack of apples and almonds helps fuel your activity throughout the day and also offers health benefits:

Fiber

Both apples and almonds are rich in fiber, so combining these foods makes for a fiber-packed snack. As a result, you’ll likely feel satisfied long after your snack, because the fiber helps fill your stomach and slows digestion to keep you going until your next meal. If you suffer from cardiovascular disease or diabetes, apples and almonds offer additional health benefits by helping control your blood cholesterol and sugar levels. A snack of one large apple and an ounce of almonds contains 8.9 grams of dietary fiber — 42 or 32 percent, respectively, of the recommended fiber intake on a 1,500- or 2,000-calorie diet, according to Colorado State University.

Fat

Apples contain several nutrients but lack healthy oil; each large apple contains only 0.38 grams of total fat. However, eating fat each day is essential to your well-being, since fats help facilitate hormone production and provide a source of energy. Eating almonds with your apple boosts the snack’s fat content, with each ounce of almonds providing 6 grams of healthy, unsaturated fat. Getting your dietary fat from healthy sources, such as almonds, benefits your cardiovascular system, lowering harmful cholesterol levels and the risk of type 2 diabetes, notes the Linus Pauling Institute.

Vitamins

Apples and almonds have complementary vitamin contents. Apples provide a source of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, while almonds contain vitamin E. Consuming these two vitamins together benefits your health. Normally, your body relies on vitamin E for its antioxidant capabilities, and consuming this nutrient protects your cells from oxidative damage. However, without adequate vitamin C, your body uses up the active vitamin E, leading to an accumulation of an inactive form of the vitamin that no longer protects your cells. Consuming an apple along with almonds ensures that your body has both vitamins E and C to help support continued vitamin E function.

Snack Ideas

If you’re interested in pairing apples and almonds for their health benefits but the thought of eating a whole apple with a handful of almonds sounds dull, get creative. Roughly chop the apple and almonds, then combine them in a bowl with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a raw, apple crisp-like treat. Alternatively, drizzle warm, all-natural almond butter over a thinly sliced apple, or mix almond butter with Greek yogurt to make a healthy dip for apple slices.

Ref. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-apples-almonds-4240.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

Creamy Peas Soup

Pea soupCreamy Peas Soup

The green peas are not taken as an exotic food in terms of nutrient composition as green peas do contain some sugar and starch . But they also contain a unique assortment of health-protective phytonutrients.  Since one cup of green peas contains at least 10 milligrams of coumestrol, it’s not difficult for us to obtain this remarkable health benefit.

Hi friends ! Please try peas soup this winter. The green peas soup is very delicious and really easy to make.

Prep time: 7 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Cuisine: North Indian

Course: Soups

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup  green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp All purpose flour / Maida
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups Milk (low fat)
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 Mint leaves, for garnishing

Method:

Step 1.

In a pressure cooker place the shelled peas with 1/2 cup of water. Close the lid and pressure cook on high flame. The moment full pressure is formed, switch the stove off. Let the cooker cool down to room temperature, and take out the peas in a bowl.

Step 2.

Use a blender to puree the steamed peas. Set aside.

Step 3.

Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add butter. When hot, add the crushed garlic and sauté for 50 seconds.

Step 4.

Add  maida/all purpose flour. Stir and cook the butter-flour mixture/roux over low heat with a wooden spoon.

Step 5.

Once it gets the sandy texture, add cold milk and bring it to a boil, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.

Step 6.

Simmer gently for two minutes. Add pureed peas, salt and pepper powder and mix well. Serve hot, garnished with a pair of fresh mint leaves.

Health benefits of green peas:

  • Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
  • Fresh, tender peas are relatively low in calories on comparison to beans, and cowpeas. 100 g of green peas carry just 81 calories, and no cholesterol. Nonetheless, they are a good source of protein, and soluble as well as insoluble fiber.
  • Fresh pea pods are an excellent source of folic acid. 100 g provides 65 µg or 16% of recommended daily levels of folates. Folates are one of the B-complex vitamins required for DNA synthesis inside the cell. Studies suggest that adequate folate rich foods when given in expectant mothers would help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
  • Fresh green peas are very good in ascorbic acid (vitamin C). 100 g of fresh pods carry 40 mg or 67% of daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural water-soluble anti-oxidant. Vegetables rich in this vitamin help human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • Peas contain phytosterols, especially ß-sitosterol. Studies suggest that vegetables like legumes, fruits and cereals rich in plant sterols help lower cholesterol levels inside the human body.
  • Garden peas are also good in vitamin K. 100 g of fresh seeds contain about 24.8 µg or about 21% of daily requirement of vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone). Vitamin K has been found to have a potential role in bone mass building function (mineralization) through promotion of osteotrophic activity inside the bone cells. It also has established role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage inside the brain.
  • Fresh green peas also carry adequate amounts of anti-oxidants flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin as well as vitamin-A (provide 765 IU or 25.5% of RDA per 100 g). Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for maintaining healthy membranes, skin and eye-sight. Additionally, consumption of natural fruits/vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • In addition to folates, peas are also good in many other essential B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Furthermore, they are rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.

Ref.http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/green-peas.html

Nick’s kitchen medical disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

Yellow Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup 2

Pumpkin nutrition facts

Pumpkin fruit is one of the widely grown vegetables that is incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. While this humble backyard vegetable is less in calories but contains vitamin A, and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.The plant is a fast-growing vine that creeps along the ground surface in a similar fashion like that of other Cucurbitaceae family vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, squash, cantaloupes…etc. It is one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world, including the USA at the commercial scale for its fruit, and seeds.

Pumpkin soup simply exotic.

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking time : 10 minutes

Servings : 4

Cuisine : Indian

Course: Soup

Level Of Cooking: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 250 gms Yellow pumpkin , cut into small cubes
  • 5 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 12 Black peppercorns
  • 1 medium size Onion/ 1 cup, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Maida/ all purpose flour
  • 1 level tsp Salt or / salt to taste
  • 3 cups milk

Method :

Step 1

In a pressure cooker heat 2 tbsp butter, add bay leaf and black peppercorns. Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add cubed pumpkin, sauté for two minutes.

Step 2

Add one cup water and close the lid. Pressure cook until pressure is formed, switch off the stove. Let the cooker cool down to room temperature, open the lid strain excess stock and reserve. Remove the bay leaf and put it in the pumpkin stock. Puree  only the pumpkin onion mix.

Step 3

Add the reserved stock to the puree, keep aside.

Step 4.

Heat in a non-stick pan three tbsp butter, add all purpose flour, stir fry on medium flame. When it gets the sandy texture remove from the heat and cool.

Step 5.

Take boiling milk and pour the boiling milk into the fried cold all purpose flour and butter mix/roux, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Simmer gently for two minutes. Stir this white sauce, and then add pureed pumpkin mix.Cook the mixture on medium flame for about 2 minutes while stirring it continuously. Add salt, mix and switch off the heat.

Step 6.

Pour the soup in bowls and serve hot.

Possible Health benefits of Pumpkin:

It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol

it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.With 7384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes.

It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.

It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from “age-related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.

The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Ref. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Onion Soup

Onion soup.jpg

History : Onions are native to Asia and the Middle East and have been cultivated for over five thousand years. Onions were highly regarded by the Egyptians. Not only did they use them as currency to pay the workers who built the pyramids, but they also placed them in the tombs of kings, such as Tutankhamen, so that they could carry these gifts bestowed with spiritual significance with them to the afterlife. Onions have been revered throughout time not only for their culinary use, but also for their therapeutic properties. As early as the 6th century, onions were used as a medicine in India. While they were popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans, they were oftentimes dressed with extra seasonings since many people did not find them spicy enough. Yet, it was their pungency that made onions popular among poor people throughout the world who could freely use this inexpensive vegetable to spark up their meals. Onions were an indispensable vegetable in the cuisines of many European countries during the Middle Ages and later even served as a classic healthy breakfast food. Christopher Columbus brought onions to the West Indies; their cultivation spread from there throughout the Western Hemisphere. Today China, India, the United States, Russian, and Spain are among the leading producers of onions.

Hi friends !While many people love to eat onions are most often used as a seasoning, I want to share with you how to enjoy them as a healthy soup. For great flavor and nutrition I recommend Heatlhy Sautéeing of sliced onions.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Serves :6

Ingredients:

  • 3 Medium size Onions, cut into thin slices
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups white sauce
  • 1tsp level tsp salt / or salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups water

White sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons Refined flour /maida
  • 3tablespoons Butter
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Salt or / salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon White pepper powder

Method :

 White sauce:

 Step 1

Melt three tablespoons of butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Add the flour, stir and cook the butter-flour mixture/ roux over low heat with a wooden spoon.

Step 2

When it gets the sandy texture remove from the heat and cool.

Step 3

When the milk boils, pour the boiling milk into the cold butter-flour mixture/ roux stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Simmer gently for two minutes, till sauce thickens slightly. Switch off the stove add salt,  and pepper powder keep aside.

Step 4.                                       

In a pressure cooker heat the butter and fry the onions on a very slow flame until golden brown colour.

Step 5.

Add 3 cups of water, and salt close the lid and the moment pressure is formed, reduce the heat to low flame and cook for five minutes. Switch off the stove.

Step 6.

When cooker cools to room temperature, open the lid and add the white sauce, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper mix well bring it to boil. switch off the stove .Serve hot.

 Health Benefits of Onions:

Onions, like garlic, are members of the Allium family, and both are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odors and for many of their health-promoting effects. A wide variety of allyl sulfides are found in onion, including the four major diallyl sulfides: DMS (diallyl monosulfide), DDS (diallyl disulfide), DTS (diallyl trisulfide), and DTTS (diallyl tetrasulfide). Also present are a wide variety of sulfoxides, including (+) S-methyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide (MCSO), (+)-S-(1-propenyl)-L-cysteine sulfoxide (PRENCSO), S-methyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide, S-propyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide, and S-propenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide. Onions are an outstanding source of polyphenols, including the flavonoid polyphenols. Within this flavonoid category, onions are a standout source of quercetin.

Cardiovascular Benefits

In human studies, most of the cardiovascular benefits have been demonstrated in the form of overall diet. Multiple studies show onion to be a food that provides protection for the heart and blood vessels when consumed in a diet that is rich in other vegetables and fruits—especially flavonoid-containing vegetables and fruits. The benefits of onion in this overall dietary context extend to prevention of heart attack. In virtually all of these diet-based studies, participants with the greatest intake of vegetables (including onions) gain the most protection. The outstanding flavonoid content of onions supports these research findings. It’s also interesting to note that onion is most commonly consumed in relatively small amounts along with other foods rather than by itself.

Support for Bone and Connective Tissue

Human studies have shown that onion can help increase our bone density and may be of special benefit to women of menopausal age who are experiencing loss of bone density. In addition, there is evidence that women who have passed the age of menopause may be able to lower their risk of hip fracture through frequent consumption of onions. “Frequent” in this context means onion consumption on a daily basis! In this research on bone density in older women, very sporadic eating of onion (once a month or less) did not provide much benefit. That finding, of course, was very expected. But less expected was the finding that it took daily consumption of onion to show robust benefits for bone density. Just as in the cancer-related onion research, the take-away message here is clear: you don’t want to skimp on onions when you are incorporating them into your meal plan.

In and of itself, the high sulfur content of onions may provide direct benefits to our connective tissue. Many of our connective tissue components require sulfur for their formation. For example, with the exception of hyaluronic acid, all glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) are sulfated. (GAGS are the premiere family of molecules found in the ground substance of our connective tissue.)

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

While onion is not as well researched as garlic in terms of specific inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or allergic airway inflammation, this allium vegetable has nevertheless been shown to provide important anti-inflammatory benefits.

Ref.http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=45

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

Spinach Soup

Spinach Soup.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blanched and pureed spinach
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 clove of garlic, mashed
  • 11/2 tbsp fine flour/ Maida
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt or salt to taste
  • 2 tsp fresh cream (optional)

Method:

Step1.

In a pressure cooker place the washed and finely chopped spinach (palak) with 1/2 cup of water. Close the lid and pressure cook on high flame. The moment full pressure is formed (one whistle) switch the stove off.

Step 2.

When cool enough to handle, open the lid. Puree the spinach in a blender.

Step 3.

Heat butter in a non-stick pan. Add the mashed garlic and sauté for half a minute. Add all-purpose flour and stir fry on medium flame. When it gets a sandy texture remove from heat and cool.

Step 4.

Take boiling milk and pour into the fried, cold all purpose flour and butter mixture, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Simmer gently for two minutes. Stir this white sauce, and then add pureed spinach.

Step 5.

Cook the mixture on medium flame for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add salt, mix and switch off the heat.

Step 6.

Pour the soup in soup bowls and add freshly ground pepper on top. Serve hot.

Health benefits of Spinach / Palak:

Spinach is an excellent food loaded with tons of nutrients and a low calorie package. Greens like spinach are important for skin and hair, bone health, and provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.As per studies the possible health benefits of consuming spinach include improving blood glucose control in diabetics, lowering the risk of cancer, lowering blood pressure, improving bone health, lowering the risk of developing asthma and more.

 Ref.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270609.php

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

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