The Food of Ramadan

Ramadan month could be an opportunity to lose weight – provided you eat healthily when you break the fast. You should have a balanced diet, with the right proportion of carbs, fat and protein. If not careful, food eaten during the pre-dawn and dusk meals can cause some weight gain.

Food intake should be simple and not differ too much from your normal diet. It should contain foods from all the major food groups:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • bread, cereals and potatoes
  • meat, fish or alternatives
  • milk and dairy foods
  • foods containing fat and sugar

Try to limit sugary food and drinks, instead increase the amount of vegetables and fruits eaten daily. Good to avoid coffee, tea and cola. Caffeine promotes water loss through urination.

Read more:  Fasting and Your Health

“Cooking is like snow skiing: If you don’t fall at least 10 times, then you’re not skiing hard enough.” Guy Fieri

 

 

Detox Drinks

Every day we work hard and most of us feel energy drained by mid-day, needing some sort of energy boost. For a quick pick-me-up,we turn to sugar which does more harm than good Sluggishness and even bloated feeling during the day can be the result of excess toxins in the body. Detox drinks help to naturally reduce inflammation, boost energy, support digestion, cleanse the liver and promote healthy skin.

Let’s check out drinks that we can make easily to detox the body everyday without any side-effects:

  1. Watermelon/Cucumber, lemon/lime, mint leaves, and water.  Watermelon helps the body flush out toxins because it contains the organic compound citrulline,  an amino acid that help the liver and kidneys filter and get rid of ammonia. Lemon or lime juice helps stimulate and regulate the digestive track , stimulates bile production, and thins out bile, which allows it to flow more freely. Mint leaves help you digest more effectively, improving the flow of bile from the liver, to the gallbladder, to the small intestine, where it breaks down dietary fats. Mint also helps relax cramped up stomach muscles.
  2. Cruciferous vegetables & leafy greens: This group includes a lot of veggie superheroes, and is why you see so many “green” detox drinks or smoothies.
  3. Grapefruit: High in antioxidants and vitamin C, grapefruit or grapefruit juice also aids the liver in flushing carcinogens and possibly pesticides out of the body.

Read more: Detox Drinks for Cleansing Health Benefits of Detox Drinks

“Good Food is Good Mood.” Raw Juice Guru

 

Non-Dairy Drinks

There are many reasons why people opt to Plant-based milk. It could be due to digestion issue, dairy milk allergy, lactose intolerance or purely ethical. Below are some of the plant-based drinks that can suit individual taste buds:

  1. Coconut Milk –  is sweet and creamy due to its higher content of healthy fat. It’s a bit thicker than other dairy alternatives. Commonly used in coffee instead of creamer.
  2. Soy Milk –  has a rich taste and texture.  It contains 11 grams of the protein compared to 8 grams found in skim milk.
  3. Rice milk – tastes much different than nut milks. It is closer in taste to regular dairy milk, though it tends to be a bit more watery.
  4. Quinoa milk – it is harder to find than other dairy alternatives, but it’s becoming increasingly trendy.
  5. Hemp milk – is made from the hemp seed, nothing else. It tends to be on the watery side with a nutty flavor.

Read more: Non-Dairy Alternatives

“Count the Memories, not the Calories.” – Unknown

Dairy Milk

Dairy milk comes in many varieties to cater the needs  & preferences of consumers.

  1. Whole milk – contains 3.5% fat. It is the closest to the way it comes from the cow before processing.
  2. Reduced-fat milk – contains 2% milk fat. It is for those who still loves the creamy taste but minus the fat
  3. Low-fat milk –  contains 1% milk fat. Suitable for weight watchers
  4. Fat-free milk also known as nonfat or skim – contains no more than 0.2% milk fat.

All kinds of milk above contains the essential nutrients found in whole milk but less fat.

Milk Processing
Most milk undergoes processing before it reaches the store. The three primary steps are: pasteurisation, homogenization and fortification.

  1. Pasteurisation – is a process that heats the milk to destroy harmful microorganisms and prolong shelf life. Pasteurisation keeps milk safer while maintaining its valuable nutrients. Ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk is pasteurized at a much higher temperature to make it sterile. UHT can be kept safe without refrigeration.
  2. Homogenization – After pasteurisation, milk undergoes homogenization to prevent separation of the milk fat from the fluid milk. Homogenization creates a smooth, uniform texture.
  3. Fortification – Finally, milk is fortified to increase its nutritional value or to replace nutrients lost during processing. Vitamin D is added to most milk to facilitate the absorption of calcium. Vitamin A is frequently added to reduced-fat, low-fat and fat-free milk to promote normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction.

Read more: Healthy Eating

“Let Food be Thy Medicine & Medicine be Thy Food.” Hippocrates 

 

Bananas

Banana is an edible fruit, also known as plantains.  The fruit is variable in size, color and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The scientific names of most cultivated bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana, and Musa × paradisiaca. Wikipedia

Let’s get to know bananas and their uses:

  1. Apple Bananas – These bananas are exceptionally sweet. They are grown in the rainy tropical forests in Hawaii. The flesh is firm and has a slight pinkish tone. They are perfect for snacking or using in desserts and is particularly well suited to adding to fruit salads and other raw preparations since it doesn’t brown as quickly as other banana varieties.
  2. Cavendish Bananas – Cavendish bananas are the most common variety. They are the long yellow, slightly sweet bananas at supermarkets around the U.S.  The perfect ripeness depends on personal taste, of course. Super ripe and browning bananas can be used to make smoothies or banana bread.
  3. Lady Finger Bananas – These bananas are smaller and sweeter than the ubiquitous longer, milder Cavendish. They can be used the same way, but make particularly portion-controlled snacks, especially for kids!
  4. Musa Belle bananas / Pisang Raja – Pisang Raja bananas are popular in Indonesia & Malaysia, where they are often used to make banana fritters.

Read more: The Spruce

“Happiness is Homemade.” Unknown

Barbeque Essentials

To make sure your Barbeque party goes well, get the essentials ready:

Below are some ingredients that you should always have to start your Barbeque:

  1. Salts – Kosher salt is the salt for pre-grill and smoker seasonings. Flake sea salt for finishing steaks, lamb chops, and more, and smoked sea salts to add a little oomph of smoky flavour to some dishes.
  2. Essential Seasonings – Stock up smoked paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, and freshly cracked black pepper.
  3. Store-Bought Barbeque Sauce – To save time and money, you can buy  a store-bought variety and use seasonings, fruit juice, and fruit jams to make it taste unique.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar and Apple Juice – Especially when you’re making pork. You can inject vinegar or apple juice into pork before grilling to tenderize the meat, and the two are frequent ingredients in his barbeque sauces and marinades, as well.
  5. Granulated Honey – a Common ingredient in many of Cantwell’s barbeque rubs. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness to his rubs without creating a clumpy, sticky mess.

Read more: Barbeque Essentials

“Good Cooks Never Lack Friends.” Old Adage

 

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods consumption has many benefits. The microflora that lives in fermented foods creates a protective lining in the intestines and shields it against pathogenic factors, such as salmonella and E.coli. To get that healthy dose of bacteria, it’s essential to consume top probiotic foods.

Fermented foods also lead to an increase of antibodies and a stronger immune system; plus, they regulate the appetite and reduce sugar and refined carb cravings. In fact, fermented vegetables can help treat Candida gut.

Here is a list of the healthiest fermented foods and vegetables that will get you a healthy dose of bacteria:

  1. Kefir – Kefir is a fermented milk product  that tastes like a drinkable yogurt. Kefir benefits include high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics. It boosts immunity, heals irritable bowel disease, builds bone density, fights allergies, kills candida and improves digestion.
  2. Kombucha – It is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar (from various sources like cane sugar, fruit or honey). It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar.   After fermentation kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic). Kombucha improves digestion, helps with weight loss, increases energy, detoxes the body, supports the immune system, reduces joint pain and prevents cancer.
  3. Sauerkraut – is made from fermented cabbage, it’s high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and B vitamins. It’s also a great source of iron, copper, calcium, sodium, manganese and magnesium. Sauerkraut  it boosts digestive health, aids circulation, fights inflammation, strengthens bones and reduces cholesterol levels.
  4. Tempeh –  is a soybean product that is created by adding a tempeh starter (which is a mix of live mold). Tempeh reduces cholesterol, increases bone density, reduces menopausal symptoms, promotes muscle recovery and has the same protein quality as meat. It contains high levels of vitamins B5, B6, B3 and B2.
  5. Yoghurt –  is directly associated with better overall diet quality, healthier metabolic profiles, healthier blood pressure and increased triglyceride levels. Yogurt is one of the top probiotic foods.

Read more:  Fermented Foods

“The secret ingredient is always LOVE.” – Unknown

 

Natural Detox

The word “detox” seems to have a horrifying image of a miserable version of yourself consume nothing but water, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.

Detoxification is not as scary as it sounds. You can refresh your body gradually with natural foods without starving. Below are some of the foods known to cleanse our system:

  1. Cucumber –  contains around 95% water which helps flush out toxins and alkalize the body while delivering a powerful nutrient punch.
  2. Garlic –  stimulates the liver to encourage production of detoxification enzymes.
  3. Turmeric – stimulates liver function while being a great addition to your diet for all-around health).
  4. Mung beans –  used by Ayurvedic doctors for thousands of years, this easily digestible bean absorbs toxic residue from the intestinal walls.
  5. Grapefruit –  lowers cholesterol, prevents kidney stones and aids the digestive system.

Read more: Bodyunburdened

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  ― Julia Child

Table Settings

Firstly, identify the purpose of Table Settings: Formal, Casual, Or Buffet

Whichever the purpose of Table Setting, ultimately the comfort of your guests should be top priority. Each style has its own guidelines. However, the goal should be to have a table that is attractive and comfortable.

The different types of table settings do not require different tableware.  You don’t need to have expensive cutlery. The tableware must fit into its surroundings and that the tableware, tablecloth, napkins, centrepiece, and other accessories complement each other and looks well together.

Below is a guide to the table setting:

  1. Formal Table Setting

2. Casual Table Setting

3. Buffet Table Setting 

  • Start with plates, followed by side dishes, main dish, vegetables, salads, breads, and relishes.
  • The utensils are placed at the end of the buffet.
  • Table decorations are placed above and in center of buffet arrangement.
  • Set drinks, glasses, cups and dessert on a separate table to avoid congestion.
  • If choosing to use paper napkins, the napkins may be placed between each plate in the stack to conserve space (not more than 12 plates per stack)
  • See the setting below:

Read more: Recipetips

“Worries go down better with Soup.” Jewish Proverb

Nuts for Health

Good things come in small packages. True indeed when it comes to Nuts. These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

  1. Best nuts for diet – Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios. All nuts are about equal in terms of calories per ounce, and in moderation, are all healthy additions to any diet. “Their mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber will help you feel full and suppress your appetite.
  2. Best nuts for heart – Walnuts.  Walnuts (14 halves contain 185 calories, 18 grams fat, 4 grams protein) have high amounts of heart-healthy alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Research has suggested that ALA may help heart arrhythmias. Walnuts are effective at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a fatty meal.
  3. Best nuts for brain – Peanuts. Technically peanuts are legumes but generally referred to as nuts.  Peanuts are high in folate—a mineral essential for brain development that may protect against cognitive decline.
  4. Best nuts for disease prevention – Almonds. Relatively low in calories, almonds have more calcium than any other nut, making them a great food for overall health.
  5. Best nuts for men – Brazil Nuts, Pecans. Creamy Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, a mineral that may protect against prostate cancer and other diseases. Just one nut contains more than a day’s worth.

Read more: Health

“Cooking is LOVE made edible.” Unknown