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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Know your Fruits - Orange

An Orange is a type of citrus fruit. Oranges originated in Southeast Asia. The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange.
An orange seed is called a pip. The white thread-like material attached to the inside of the peel is called pith.
Oranges are widely grown in warm climates worldwide, and the flavours of oranges vary from sweet to sour.


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There are various varieties of oranges like Persian orange, Navel orange, Valencia orange and Blood orange.

  • Persian orange: The Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe.
  • Navel orange: Navel orange, also known as the Washington, Riverside, or Bahie navel generated after single mutation of sweet oranges, where a second orange is developed at the base of the original fruit, opposite the stem. The second orange develops as a conjoined twin in a set of smaller segments embedded within the peel of the larger orange.
  • Valencia orange: The Valencia / Murcia orange is one of the sweet oranges used for juice extraction. It is a late-season fruit, and therefore a popular variety when the navel oranges are out of season.
  • Blood orange: The blood orange has streaks of red in the fruit, and the juice is often a dark burgundy colour. The scarlet navel is a variety with the same diploid mutation as the navel orange.




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Common usage of oranges:

  • The fruit is commonly peeled and eaten fresh, or squeezed for its juice.
  • It has a thick bitter rind that is usually discarded, but can be processed into animal feed by removing water, using pressure and heat.
  • It is also used in certain recipes as flavouring or a garnish.
  • The outer-most layer of the rind can be grated or thinly veneered with a tool called a zester, to produce orange zest. Zest is popular in cooking because it contains the oil glands and has a strong flavour similar to the fleshy inner part of the orange.
  • The white part of the rind, called the pericarp or albedo and including the pith, is a source of pectin and has nearly the same amount of vitamin C as the flesh.
Products made from oranges include:
  • Orange juice; Frozen orange juice concentrate is made from freshly squeezed and filtered orange juice.
  • Sweet orange oil is a by-product of the juice industry produced by pressing the peel. It is used as a flavouring of food and drink and for its fragrance in perfume and aromatherapy.
  • Sweet orange oil is efficient cleaning agent, used in various household chemicals, such as to condition wooden furniture, and along with other citrus oils in grease removal and as a hand-cleansing agent.
  • The orange blossom, is traditionally associated with good fortune, and was popular in bridal bouquets and head wreaths for weddings for some time.
  • The petals of orange blossom can also be made into a delicately citrus-scented version of rosewater.
  • Orange blossom water (aka orange flower water) is a common part of both French and Middle Eastern cuisines, used most often as an ingredient in desserts.
  • In Spain, fallen blossoms are dried and then used to make tea.
  • In the United States, orange flower water is used to make orange blossom scones.
  • Orange blossom honey, or actually citrus honey, is produced by putting beehives in the citrus groves during bloom, which also pollinates seeded citrus varieties. Orange blossom honey is highly prized, and tastes much like orange.
  • Marmalade, usually made with Seville oranges, pith & pips are separated, placed in a muslin bag and boiled in the juice (and sliced peel) to extract pectin for setting marmalade.
  • Orange peel is used by gardeners as a slug repellent.
  • Orange leaves can be boiled to make tea.

info src: wikipedia

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Know your Fruits - Banana

Bananas are a type of commonly eaten fruit and the herbaceous plant of the genus Musa (family Musaceae), which are cultivated primarily for food and secondarily for the production of fibers including ornamental purposes.
Each individual fruit has a protective outer layer (a peel / skin) with a fleshy edible inner portion. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas (yellow and fully ripe when eaten) or as green cooking bananas.
Bananas can be eaten raw (both skin and inner part) though some varieties are generally cooked first.
  • In Western cultures, the inside is eaten raw and the skin is discarded.
  • In some Asian cultures, both the skin and the inside pulp are eaten cooked.
  • In most tropical countries, green (unripe) bananas are either fried, boiled, baked or chipped.
  • In addition to the fruit, the flower of the banana plant (banana blossom / banana heart) is used in Southeast Asian and Indian (Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, and Kerala) cuisine, either served raw with dips or cooked in soups and curries.
  • The tender core of the banana plant's trunk is also used in Indian (Telugu, Bengali and Kerala) cuisine, including Burmese cuisine.
  • Bananas fried with batter, is a popular dessert in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
  • Banana fritters served with ice cream is another popular dish.
  • Bananas are also eaten deep fried, baked in their skin in a split bamboo, or steamed in glutinous rice wrapped in a banana leaf, a popular dish in Burma.
Selecting Bananas:
  • Bananas are usually harvested when green and ranges from green to yellow, with brown spots.
  • Bananas should be quite firm & bright in appearance and the peel should not be crushed / cut.
  • Their stems and tips should be intact.
  • Green bananas last more.
  • Yellow and brown-spotted bananas should be consumed within 2-3 days.
Storage of Bananas:
  • It best advised to store bananas at room temperature to complete the ripening process.
  • Do not store green bananas in the refrigerator as it interrupts the ripening process (below 8 degrees Celsius, the fruits will not ripen and will turn black).
  • Ripe bananas can be stored in the refrigerator (peel may become brown, but the pulp will not be affected).
  • Place the banana in a paper wrap (to allow air) with an apple if you need to hasten the ripening process.
  • Bananas can be stored for over 1 month, if freezed. Remove the peel, sprinkle some lemon juice over the pulp (to prevent discoloration) and then freeze in plastic wraps.
Commonly available varieties of Bananas:
  • Red bananas: bananas with green/red peel and pink fruit flesh and taste like yellow bananas. The redder a fruit, the more carotene it contains, known to be healthier than other yellow vaieties
  • Fruit-bananas: normal, yellow bananas (15-30 cm)
  • Apple-bananas: smaller, yellow bananas (8-10 cm), known for faster ripening process
  • Baby-banana (pisang susa): yellow banana (6-8 cm) and sweetest of the banana family
  • Baking bananas: large, green, yellow or red banana (30-40 cm), generaly cooked and not eaten raw.


Health benefits:

Banana is one of the healthiest of fruits and a valuable source of protien & fibre content including vitamins (Vitamin B6, Vitamin C) and minerals (potassium, sodium etc.)
  • High fibre, potassium and sodium content in bananas helps to prevent high blood pressure.
  • High potassium may also prevent renal calcium loss (bone breakdown).
  • In diarrhoea, it works as electrolyte replacement and improves nutrition absorption.
  • Bananas also known to protect from peptic ulcers.
  • Pectin content helps in curing constipation by normalizing movement through the intestine.
  • Carotenoid content has antioxidant effects and protects against night blindness (Vitamin A deficiency).
  • The low glycemic index in unripe bananas is of particular benefit to people with diabetes.
  • Regular consumption of bananas minimizes the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Know your Fruits - Apple

Apple is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, is a pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, known for its high yields and long storage life.
The tree originated from Central Asia and there are over 7,500 known cultivars of apples, with red, yellow and green varieties.
Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical / forbidden fruit.



Storage:

  • Commercially, apples can be stored for some months in controlled-atmosphere chambers.
  • For home storage, store apple for approx 2 weeks, at the coolest part of the refrigerator (below 5°C).
  • Several types of apple, have an even longer shelf life.

Use of apple:

  • Apples can be canned, juiced, and optionally fermented to produce apple juice, cider, ciderkin, vinegar, and pectin.
  • Distilled apple cider produces the spirits applejack and Calvados. Apples are also used to prepare apple wine.
  • Apples are an important ingredient in desserts like apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cake.
  • They are also eaten baked or stewed, sometimes dried and eaten or re-constituted (soaked in water, alcohol or some other liquid) for later use.
  • Puréed apples are generally known as apple sauce. Apples are also made into apple butter and apple jelly.
  • Apples are also used (cooked) in meat dishes.
  • Toffee apple is a traditional confectionery in the UK, prepared by coating an apple in hot toffee and allowing it to cool.
  • Candy apples (coated in a hard shell of crystallised sugar syrup), caramel apples (coated with cooled caramel) are popular in the US.
  • Apples are eaten with honey at the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year.

img src: doh.sd.gov


We believe "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"

  • Apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer.
  • Apples contain relatively low amounts of Vitamin C as well as several other antioxidant compounds.
  • The fiber content, helps regulate bowel movements and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • They also help in controlling heart disease, weight loss and cholesterol.

Some popular varieties of apple across the globe:

  • Braeburn Apple
  • Empire Apple
  • Fuji Apple
  • Gala Apple
  • Ginger Gold Apple
  • Golden Delicious Apple
  • Granny Smith Apple
  • Gravenstein Apple
  • Honeycrisp Apple
  • Jonagold Apple
  • McIntosh Apple
  • Pinata Apple
  • Pink Lady Apple
  • Pippin Apple
  • Red Delicious Apple
  • Rome Beauty Apple
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

All about Sauce

A sauce is liquid or sometimes semi-solid food served on or used in preparing other foods. Sauces are an essential element in global cuisines and are used to enhance flavour and visual appeal to a served food.


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Sauces may be ready made sauces, usually bought, such as soy sauce, or freshly prepared like Béchamel sauce, generally made just before serving. Sauces for salads are called salad dressing. Sauces made by deglazing a pan are called pan sauces.


Sauces in French cuisine...

Several varieties of sauces are available in French cuisine; known for their unique flavour & taste and basically derived from 4 mother sauce (grandes sauces).

  • Béchamel: based on milk, thickened with a white roux.
  • Espagnole: based on brown stock (usually veal), thickened with a brown roux.
  • Velouté: based on a white stock, thickened with a blonde roux.
  • Allemande: based on velouté sauce, is thickened with egg yolks and heavy cream.

Sauces in other cuisines:

Sauces also play an important role in other cuisines

  • British cooking: Gravy is a traditional sauce used on roast dinner, which (traditionally) comprises roast potatoes, roast meat, boiled vegetables.
    Bread sauce is one of the oldest sauces in British cooking, flavored with spices brought in during the first returns of the spice missions across the globe and thickened with dried bread.
    Apple sauce is used on port and mint sauce is used on lamb.
    Salad cream is sometimes used on salads.
    Ketchup and brown sauce are used on more fast-food type dishes.
    Strong English mustard (as well as French or American mustard) are also used on various foods. Custard is a popular dessert sauce.
  • Italian sauce: White sauces (alfredo and balsamella) and red sauces (siciliana, pescatore, napolitan, pizzaiola, amatriciana, arrabbiata, ragù and pesto sauces mainly based on oil and garlic.
  • Salsas: Salsas or sauces in Spanish like pico de gallo (salsa tricolor), salsa cocida, salsa verde and salsa roja are a crucial part of many Latino cuisines containi ingredients like tomato, onion, and spices.
    Mexican cuisine uses a sauce based on chocolate and chillies known as Mole.
    Argentine cooking uses more Italian-derived sauces, such as tomato sauce, cream sauce, or pink sauce (the two mixed).
  • Japanese cuisine: sauces are based on soy sauce, miso or dashi.
    Soy based sauces - Ponzu (citrus-flavored soy sauce) and yakitori no tare (sweetened rich soy sauce)
    Miso based sauces - gomamiso, miso with ground sesame and amamiso (sweetened miso). Chinese cuisine: contains prepared sauces based on fermented soy beans (soy sauce, doubanjiang, hoisin sauce, sweet noodle sauce) including chili sauces and oyster sauce.
    Sweet and sour sauce is a popular Chinese rice.
  • Korean cuisine: doenjang, gochujang, samjang and soy sauce are popular sauces available in Korean cuisine.
  • Southeast Asian cuisines: Fish sauce is a popular sauce in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
    Peruvian cuisine: sauces are based mostly in different varieties of ají combined with several ingredients, like salsa huancaína (based in fresh cheese) and salsa de ocopa (based on peanuts or nuts.)

Sauce variations:

  • There are also many sauces based on tomato (like tomato ketchup, tomato pancake sauce, and tomato sauce), other vegetables and various spices.
  • Sauces can also be sweet, and used either hot or cold to accompany and garnish a dessert.
  • Another kind of sauce is made from stewed fruit, like apple sauce and cranberry sauce, are often eaten with specific other foods (apple sauce with pork, ham or potato pancakes; cranberry sauce with poultry) or served as desserts.

info src: wikipedia

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Natural Home Cure Remedy - Cough

Cough is caused by inflammation of the larynx / pharynx. A cough can also develop in the chest due to seasonal changes including weather changes.

Some effective natural home cure remedies to cure Cough.


Grapes: Grapes help a great deal in treating cough and cold. Consume 1 cup grape juice mixed with 1 tsp honey.


Almonds: Almonds are excellent for curing dry coughs. Soak overnight 5-6 almonds in water, peel off the brown skin and grind them to form a powder. Add a little butter & sugar to the ground almonds to form a paste.


Onions: Raw Onions can be grated to extract onion juice. Mix 1 tsp of onion juice with juice of 1 lemon & 1 tsp of honey. Consume 2-3 times daily.


Raisins: Raisins are also very useful in treating Cough. Blend 100 gms of raisins with equal quantity of sugar and a little water. Heat the mixture till thick. Consume at bedtime daily.


Aniseed Tea: Tea made with Aniseed is another effective remedy to cure hard dry cough.


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Monday, July 6, 2009

All about Sandwich


img src: ehow.com

A sandwich is a food item made of one or more slices of bread with one or more fillings. The bread can be used as is, or it can be coated with butter, mustard, mayo to enhance flavor and texture.

Sandwiches generally contain a combination of salad vegetables, meat, cheese, and a variety of sauces.

Sandwich varieties:

There are a wide range of sandwiches. Some of them being...
  • Standard Sandwich: A general sandwich with a filling between two pieces of bread (Standard Sandwich).

  • Sometimes the filling can be placed between more layers of bread like...

  • Double decker sandwich: Double decker sandwich consists of three slices of bread with two layers of fillings.

  • Club sandwich: Club sandwich is a type of double decker sandwich with chicken, bacon and salad as filling.

  • Triple decker sandwich: Triple decker sandwich consists of four slices of bread with three layers of topping.
    Toasted sandwich: Toasted sandwich is another type of sandwich where the bread slices are toasted.

  • Open sandwich: Open sandwich (open face sandwich, Ulrich Sandwich, open faced sandwich or tartine) is a type of sandwich consisting of one single slice of bread with one or more food items on top.

img src: topnews.in


Sandwich Types

  • Cold sheets of bread (Sandwich)

  • Heated sheets of bread (Toastie)

  • A breaded bun (Burger)

  • Ciabatta (Panini)

  • A long bread (Baguette)

Sandwich Fillings
There are also a wide range of filling options for sandwiches. Some of them being...

  • Eggs (Egg Sandwich)

  • Ham (Ham Sandwich)

  • Ground Beef (Burger)

  • Cheese (Cheese Sandwich)

  • Chicken (Chicken Sandwich)

  • Cucumber (Cucumber Sandwich)

info src: wikipedia

Some useful links to know more on types of sandwiches

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Natural Home Cure Remedy - Constipation

Constipation is a disturbance of the digestive tract and referes to infrequent bowel movement including hard / dry bowel movements, which don't remove toxins from our body.
Constipation if not cured may cause Appendicitis, Rheumatism, Arthritis and High Blood Pressure and sometimes Cancer too.....

Some effective natural home cure remedies to cure Constipation.



Water: Regular drinking of 6-8 glasses of water is advised to flush out the toxins from the body.

Another effective remedy is sipping hot water. Slowly sip a cup of hot / lukewarm water (not boiling water).


Lime water: Consume a glass of hot water, added with juice of half a lime and a pinch of salt.



Chapati: Chapati / Phulka / Roti made with wheat (2 parts) and roasted black gram powder (1 part) is beneficial to cure constipation.


Vegetable Juices: Spinach juice, Cabbage juice, Carrot juice are beneficial for curing constipation.


Figs: Figs (dipped in water) are an effective remedy.


Dates: Dates mixed in warm milk if eaten in the morning cures constipation.


Fruits: Fruits like oranges, pear, guava & grapes are beneficial to cure constipation.

Raw Papaya: Raw papaya also helps in curing constipation.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Natural Home Cure Remedy - Common Fever

Common Fever generally begins with slight shivering and pain in the head & other body parts.
Some effective natural home cure remedies to cure common fever.



Grapefruit: Grapefruit juice (fruit juice from grapefruits, rich in Vitamin C) is effective in all fevers and removes the burning sensation produced by the fever. Mix and consume 1/2 a glass of grapefruit juice with half a glass of water.


Orange: Orange is also another natural cure, which enhances body resistance against infections and helps in digesting foods. Mix and consume 1/2 a glass of orange juice, add a little sugar with half a glass of water.


Holy Basil: Leaves of holy basil are effective in curing common fever. Boil 12 gms of basil leaves in 1/2 ltr of water. Add 1 tsp of sugar and a pinch of powdered cardamom. Consume this with 1/2 cup of milk, twice daily.


Fenugreek Seeds: Tea made from Fenugreek Seeds, helps in reducing fevers.


Saffron: Tea made from Saffron is another effective home remedy for fever. Put 1/2 tsp of saffron in 30 ml of boiling water and have a teaspoon of this tea every hour till the fever reduces.


Raisin: Raisin extract is beneficial in the treatment of common fever. Soak 20-25 raisins in 1/2 cup of water and then crush them in the same water. Strain the water, add 1/2 tsp of lime juice to the tonic. Take take twice daily.



Apricot: Apricots are also used to cure common fever. Mix fresh Apricot juice with 1 tsp of honey and take twice daily. This juice eliminates the waste products from the body and supplies vitamins and minerals.

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Natural Home Cure Remedy - Common Cold

Common Cold is diagnosed with sore throat and blocked nose and happens from exposure to the virus, changes in temparatures, dust and allergies.
Some effective natural home cure remedies to cure common cold.



Lemon: Lemon (rich in Vitamin C) is used to treat common cold, as it increases the body resistance. Consume one glass of luke warm (not hot) water, mixed with a little lime juice and 1 tsp of honey, once or twice for 2-3 days.


Peeper powder: Pepper powder is effective in curing common cold. Take 1 tbsp of pepper powder and boil it in a cup of milk. Add a pinch of turmeric and sugar for taste. Consume once in a day for 2-3 days.


Onion: Onion juice is also very effective to cure cold. Grate a big onion, strain to have 3-4 tsp onion juice. Mix 3-4 tsp honey and mix well.


Garlic: Garlic soup is age old & effective remedy. Boil 4 cloves of garlic in one cup of water and strain. Consume once for 2-3 days.


Ginger: Ginger can also be used to cure cold. Boil 10 gms of chopped ginger in a cup of water and strain. Consume the hot soup with 1/2 tsp of sugar added to it. You can even have ginger tea by adding chopped ginger before adding the tea leaves.


Turmeric:Turmeric is another effective remedy for curing common cold. Consume 30 mil of warm milk with 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder once / twice daily.

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