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Winter months are my favorite months for many reasons. Holidays for the kiddos, family time, exchanging gifts, hot chocolate and a warm blanket are a few. Winters are also that time of the year when the appetite is at its best. Fruits, vegetables, pulses, everything looks fresher. This is the time when our grannies and moms used to whip up some special winter foods. These special winter foods are tasty and help keep our bodies warm from within as well as boost our immunity.
Here are some of the special winter superfoods and some yummy recipes that are made using these ingredients.
Fenugreek or methi is available abundantly in winters. It has been known as a “fix-all elixir” owing to its strong anti-viral properties. Researchers have found that it could kill viruses that cause colds and sore throats and helps relieve symptoms. It is great to consume methi in winters due to its hot potency (taseer)
Puris made from methi, methi Roti (flatbread) or methi mutter malai are wonderful recipes that incorporate Fenugreek leaves. Methi laddoo a sweet made using fenugreek seeds is a great dessert as well as good for lactating moms
Bajra and Nachni (Pearl millet and Ragi)
Bajra and nachni both have a hot potency. They are high in energy and help regulate the body temperature. It thus helps keep the body warm in winters. Also, they are a very good source of iron and calcium. Since in winters our body needs extra nutrients, this helps absorb nutrients and build muscle tissue.
The simplest way to consume these is by making bhakris (flatbreads ) using bajra or nachni flour top it with some ghee and enjoy. One of the traditional dishes prepared using Bajra flour and green garlic. Team it with yogurt and papad and enjoy a yummy nutritious meal
Carrots, beetroot, radish, sweet potato
Beetroot, carrots, radish, sweet potato are all winter vegetables and available abundantly. They are a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber. With such benefits and easy and fresh availability, these are great food to be consumed during winters
Carrot halwa is my favorite winter dessert and its almost always found in my home. Coal baked sweet potatoes are abundantly sold on carts in winter and I love them too.
Mustard leaves or more commonly known as sarson are abundantly available in the winter months. A rich source of anti-oxidizing nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin E, iron and dietary fiber this is another amazing winter superfood.
The most common recipe using these is Sarson ka saag which is best had with makkai ki roti (flatbread made with corn flour), homemade white butter and jaggery.
Jaggery, also known as Gur is one of the favorite winter foods. It has a hot potency (taseer) i.e its metabolism generates heat in the body. Jaggery contains phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, potassium and is loaded with antioxidants. This helps to boost the immune system fight against diseases. It is also beneficial for respiratory disorders and throat problems. Gur is alos one of the best digestives and recommended to be had after every meal. It is best used while making any kinds of desserts.
My favorite winter dish using jaggery is Gur papdi – a dessert using wheat flour, ghee, lots of dry fruits and gaund which are all winter super foods by themselves too
Dry fruits are a very rich source of energy. This helps strengthen the immune system. Also in winters, our skin is prone to dryness. The natural oils present in dry fruits help prevent the skin from drying and keeps it supple.
We can eat dryfruits as is or in various desserts as a garnish. One of my favorite in winters is hot masala milk – which is nothing but milk boiled with some sugar, powdered dry fruits and saffron.
Til or sesame seeds
Sesame due to its hot potency is another great winter superfood. Consumed as is or in oil form are both beneficial.
The most loved dish made using sesame and jiggery in India in winter months is Gajak or til gur. They are extremely simple to make and super yummy too
Quick skincare tip: Mixing equal parts of olive, mustard oil, sesame oil & then massage it all over the body will help you to keep your skin smooth this winter.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post. Now, it is the time for departure, so meet Winter Express next at Sarah’s station where she shares some amazing winter hacks. Stay hooked on this journey with the Winter Express!!!