Cool curd rice for summer

Ingredients: Rice: 1 cup Water : 3 cups Thick curd: – 3 cups Finely chopped coriander leaves – ¼ cup White grapes (slit into halves) – 1 cup Broken Cashews – ¼ cup Curry leaves – 15 Red chilly – 2 Mustard – ¼ tea spoon Asafetida – 1 pinch Sugar – ½ spoon Ghee – 2 tea spoon Oil – 2 tea spoon Salt to taste

Method: cook rice in a pressure cooker with recommended quantity of water. The rice should be cooked till it becomes soft. Take out the rice from cooker and spread it in a large bowl and allow it to cool. When rice gets cooled add finely chopped coriander leaves, curd, grapes, salt and sugar to rice. Place a ladle on stove and roast cashews with ghee and add it to rice. Heat oil in a ladle, add mustard to it. When it crackles add curry leaves, chilly and asafetida. Pour this on curd rice. Mix everything well.

Benefits of Ingredients:

Rice consists of lots of carbohydrates. This acts as an instant energizer and refreshes body and mind. It gets digested easily and quickly. It is an ideal health food for those who are debilitated and weak and require easy assimilation and quick energy. Texts of ayurveda recommend rice gruels along with buttermilk for digestive disorders such as diarrhea, dysentery, morning sickness, colitis, and jaundice.

Grapes: Grapes act as body coolant. They boosts memory power and act as a brain tonic. They help to relive constipation and promote digestion. These berries act as cardiac tonic and increase blood hemoglobin. Grapes are known to balance rakta (blood) and pitta. Hence they are very useful in gout and allergies. They strengthen the lungs and help in patients who are recuperating from tuberculosis, bronchitis and asthma. Grapes help in cystitis and burning micturition as they sooth the inner layers of bladder and act as diuretic. Fertility of men and women increases with the regular consumption of these berries. They strengthen the female reproductive system and increase the sperm count and sperm motility. Grapes play an important role in boosting immunity of skin and thus protecting it from various skin disorders.

curd:Intestinal infections like cholera, typhoid, amoebiasis etc usually surface during summer. Consuming curd daily during summer helps to increase intestinal flora (friendly bacteria present in intestine). These bacteria increase the resistance of our intestines to these infections. Hence curd is known as a probiotic.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that promote healthy digestion and build immunity. The most common friendly bacteria (probiotics) are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. These probiotics are easily available in the form of curd (yogurt). Persons who cannot digest milk can digest curd easily.

Consuming curd rice daily especially during summer, keeps the digestion and intestinal problems away. According to ayurveda curd absorbs water from intestines (hence called as Grahi). By the virtue of this property it is widely used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. It mitigates vata dosha, increases kapha and pitta. Curd helps to increase quality and quantity of semen, strengthens the body, accelerates digestion (agni), stimulates taste buds and acts as an appetizer.Curd reduces irritability of bladder and helps in emptying bladder easily.

Better Nutrition With Homemade Soup

Many of my clients tell me how much they like having soup for lunch in the colder months, but most of the time, they name off various brands of soups bought at the store. Don’t get me wrong: many commercial soups are great options for the calorie conscious. The problem with canned soups, of course, is the sodium content. Some products have an excess of 1,000 mg of sodium per serving. To my way of thinking, this is far too much salt for one simple food item. So while it’s easy to turn to grocery store shelves for your lunchtime soup, consider making your own soup.

The beauty of homemade soup is that you can literally take any basic soup recipe and modify it based on ingredients you have on hand. You can make adjustments and get the sodium content reduced without foregoing good taste. Most soups start with a stock, broth, or a vegetable base. You can make your own stock if you have the time, but starting with a ready made broth can cut down on preparation time. If you buy ready made soup broth, I recommend that you read the labels carefully. Regular broth will make your homemade version of soup just as high in sodium as canned soup. The low sodium versions of broth have sodium too! I found that most of the “low sodium” brands of broth had close to 500 mg. sodium per serving. This is still too much if you are sodium conscious. I found several organic low sodium stocks with just 140 mg. per serving, so it pays to look around.

If you want to try making homemade soup for your lunches, here’s an idea: make one batch pot of a different soup every week. Keep enough of the soup on hand for one or two meals, and then freeze the rest in smaller containers, preferably 1-2 portion containers. If you make a different kind of soup each week, you will soon have a “selection”of different soups in your freezer that you can choose from for a quick lunch or dinner meal. Take a single serving of frozen soup to work and you’ll have a nice healthful meal ready to heat up.

Here is my favorite vegetable soup recipe:

Vegetable Barley Soup

2 Tb. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup diced carrots

12 oz. fresh mushrooms chopped

1/2 cup barley (use pearl or hulless barley)

6 cups low sodium beef, chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 tsp coarse salt

2-3 cups chopped spinach, kale or Swiss chard

Heat oil in large pot and sauté onions and carrots until tender. Add mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Add barley, low sodium broth and salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer until barley is done. (Pearl barley takes about 40 minutes; hulless barley takes about 60 minutes to cook). Add chopped greens and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serves 6.