Fresh food is good to taste

To live a longer life, it is important to understand what we should eat and what we should not. Recently, I have watched a television show featuring Gordon Ramsay, a celebrity chef and an individual who believes in eating healthy and fresh food. He is someone who chooses the best ingredients to make his own signature dishes. He can just find out whether a food is fresh or frozen by tasting it. A superior talent that everyone does not possess.

How to understand the freshness of food?

Today, when it is tough to differentiate between fresh food and adulterated ones, we have to be careful and learn how to figure it out. Fruits and vegetables available in the market these days are not fresh, although the shopkeepers claim it to be. Either they are infected with pesticides, preservative, or some artificial colours to make them look fresh and extra shining. I believe that using fresh ingredients is one and the only way to get great taste in food.

I am jotting down a few instances that will help you to differentiate between fresh and frozen food. For example, when you cook pulses, if you refrigerate it for a day or overnight and consume it the next day, you will find the freshness is no longer there.  However, if the same pulses are consumed the very day, the taste is flavorful and fresh. Freezing can change the texture of all type of cooked items. I am not saying freezing is bad but it is also not naturally fresh. Pay attention to it when you eat refrigerated food next time. Every food has got its shelf-life.

Cooking with fresh and local ingredients is very vital in order to attain the best quality dishes. How can you identify the fresh quality of food? Let me explain it to you properly. Storing bread in the freezer tends to hold up better for a few days but it freshness disappears during the process. Cakes also become ideal to eat once you store them in the freezer but after few days the cake’s bread becomes harder and texture changes after lengthy freezing.

The biggest difference in frozen food can be seen in meat (including all types of poultry products). Consequently, how will you identify whether a chicken is fresh or frozen? Do you think you can smell it? No, you cannot identify it through smelling. If you get a piece of chicken and blood stains are there next to the bone, this is an indicator that the chicken is frozen. In fact, you can also understand if the chicken is undercooked if the blood sticks like glue to the bone and does not disappears.

 Maintaining healthy eating habits

Foreign countries like the US, EU and UK are following firm measures to protect human, animal and plant health.  The US healthcare department updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years based on their latest research on nutrition. These guidelines are helpful to maintain a healthy eating pattern and guide restaurants, eatery joints and food companies to understand what healthy items to sell.

In a recent information provided by local authorities and compiled by the Food Standard Agency (FSA) in the UK, have also given a detailed breakdown of enforcement activity across the three countries such as England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The new data shows that the percentage of food hygiene interventions achieved, which covers food safety, increased to 87% in 2017-18 compared with 85% in 2016-17 and food standards interventions, which covers areas such as authenticity and food fraud, increased to 42% in 2017-18 compared with 40% in 2016-17 in the above three mentioned three countries. In fact, the food hygiene compliance in food establishments has remained stable at 90% since 2016-17.

The data mentioned above are quite encouraging. It shows that the local authorities in the UK have made improvements in the percentage of interventions achieved and are continuing to monitor food safety, food fraud and food standards, thoroughly.

In comparison, India is slowly trying to transform the food safety norm and standards but unfortunately is not at par with the western countries. Most recently, we have heard about occurrences of food contamination and adulteration in the branded food retailing business in India.

Starting from the selling of low-quality food, unhygienic kitchen condition and storage facility have created havoc among the minds of the consumers in India. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which regulates over 28 lakh small, medium and big food businesses in the country, is handling around 10,000-12,000 complaints every month. The body is making every effort to curb the menace in food eatery joints and compelling them to adopt basic safety and hygiene practices. The challenge for FSSAI is to handle such an enormous size of the food retailing business that is operating in India.

But FSSAI has taken rigorous steps in India lately by asking the food delivery platforms to delist unlicensed eateries after receiving complaints about serving and supplying sub-standard food. The issues are many in the Indian restaurant business. Many restaurants do not serve you fresh food. Food available with the restaurants is frozen, which they have to serve for quick service to the consumers. The restaurant business is facing tremendous downside from late delivery to serving unhygienic food to reducing the cost of raw materials to survive.

Adopting healthy eating habits

 If we are able to revive the farm to food concept in both households and restaurants, we will be adopting to healthy eating habits that people have forgotten. The farm to food concept has changed and is not an ideal scenario in today’s living conditions or on a day to day basis. I love the concept of farming and cooking. Nothing is better than eating fresh produce from the ground with free from pesticides and chemicals.

For good health, we have to eat healthy food. There are advantages to eating healthy food to boost the immune system and maintain good moods. Fresh food is a good source of nutrients. Eating fresh will help to consume less sugar and salt, which will lessen the risk of diseases like obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease and blood pressure. You will experience full of energy and strength. Definitely, you consume 10 times more fibre from your fresh food and vegetables. It is also wise to opt for organic food as it tastes better and is also healthy. Organic food has great antioxidants.

The frozen food process was developed by human minds to make life easier. People have a hectic work schedule and started consuming frozen food for convenience. Frozen are easily available and come pre-cooked and pre-seasoned. I am not telling that frozen food is bad but when you have the option for fresh food, it is better to opt for it. Please remember don’t confuse yourself with fresh and frozen food because a food that has been frozen is not fresh, ever.

After reading this blog, please share, like and comment!

Author: Namrata Roy
An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 
Follow us on Twitter I Facebook I LinkedIn I Instagram

Know which is more beneficial, Curd or Yogurt?

For the longest time, I got confused with Curd and Yogurt. I was told that both are same with different names. I remember during my journalism days, after every conferences and seminar, luncheon was served for the delegates visiting from foreign countries. So, one day when I proceeded to the buffet served for the gatherings after the conference, I noticed a European was looking for Yogurt. He asked several times to the waiter to serve him Yogurt. The poor waiter offered him curd with which ‘raita’ was prepared. He said, “I don’t want curd, I need Yogurt. Do you serve?” he asked.

My confusion rose and I immediately checked the definition of Yogurt. I must say both the ingredients share a slight difference in component and process. Today, I will explain to you the major difference between Yogurt and Curd.

Curd for household

The curd is highly common among Indian households. ‘Dahi’, by which it is popularly known among Indians is consumed by every household at least thrice a day. It is obtained from curdling of milk with an edible acid- such as citric acid from lemon or vinegar. Sometimes, the little curd is dissolved in lukewarm milk and kept it at room temperature overnight to get the required curd.  In the process, the presence of bacteria- Lactobacillus makes fermentation and causes lactic acid to form, which turn the milk into curd.

Curd has two important types of vitamins such as vitamin A and Vitamin B 12. It is good for the digestive system and productive for an upset stomach. It is protein rich and has carbohydrates, minerals and fat. It also helps to fight germs causing diseases in human body. It boosts body immunity. So, eat fresh curd every day if you are suffering from the weakened immune system. Curd helps in skin treatment as it has the moisturizing effect that helps to care dry skin. Consuming yoghurt daily will help to keep in check your high blood pressure and maintain a good heart.

Yogurt and its use

On the other hand, Yogurt is also made through the same technique as curd. The fermentation is done with the help of two specific strains of bacteria called lactobacillus Bulgaria and Streptococcus thermophiles due to this the product is considered to be standardised. This is an industrial product and cannot be easily made at home. However, the curd is a homemade substance.

Yogurt has multiple vitamins as compared to curd such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Although the benefits of Yogurt is same as Curd, there are certain extra vitamins, nutrients, high protein and other added benefits in Yogurt. If you like to eat Yogurt, choose to eat Greek Yogurt.

Yogurt contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus and, sometimes, vitamin D, which helps diseases such as Osteoporosis. Lack of the basic minerals, vitamins and calcium weakens bone. It helps to fix issues with the weak immune system. Yogurt has certain properties that help in weight management. Other benefits of Yogurt are it enhances complexion, nourishes hair, prevents hypertension, provides Omega 3 for vegetarians, and many other benefits.

Moreover, Yogurt is not for everyone. People having an allergy to milk and has lactose intolerance should be careful with this product. Lactose intolerance occurs when our body lacks lactase, which is an enzyme required to break down lactose, a sugar component found in milk. It leads to several digestive problems, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, after consuming milk products.

I hope I am able to resolve the confusion between both the products. So, now enjoy your curd and yogurt. Also, live a healthy life!

After reading this blog, please share, like and comment!

Author: Namrata Roy
An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 
Follow us on Twitter I Facebook I LinkedIn I Instagram

Dark chocolate is good for your heart

Cake baking

Everybody loves to eat chocolate. I also love to eat the dark chocolate. In fact, in my cooking school, I have introduced the process of chocolate making designed for my students. I am quite versed in the art of chocolate making and usually make chocolates of different shapes and sizes.

I feel that whatever I am preparing at home are actually providing my body with some health benefits when I consume it.  It should not be adulterated and should have the required health benefits.

What makes Dark Chocolate so healthy?

Dark Chocolate has the necessary antioxidant. Antioxidants are considered to be good for the body. It (antioxidant) protects the body from the damage caused by the harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that may lead to illness, ageing, forming wrinkles, etc. Free radicals may be formed through natural human physiological processes as well as from the environment.

Made from the seeds of the cocoa tree, it has the nutrients that are required for the body. People think that if they consume plenty of chocolate, it will lead to harmful health conditions. It is so untrue. Dark chocolate rather helps the body development and functioning.

From this blog, you will understand how dark chocolate will add health benefits to your body. I recommend my readers to have dark chocolate that has 70 percent of the cocoa content in it. Such type of chocolate has good antioxidant (which have already mentioned above) and less sugar.

In addition, dark chocolate also has the necessary minerals that help the body to fight against harmful illness. These are:

Iron: Eating dark chocolate with iron-rich food will help you get rid of anaemia deficiency. Iron is an important component of haemoglobin through which oxygen transport from your lungs to your body.

Magnesium: Dark chocolate also helps to boost energy in the body. It helps to deal with insomnia and digestion problem. It gives relief from muscle ache and spasm.

Copper: Copper is an essential nutrient for the body. Dark chocolate has the component that helps to maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune system.

Manganese: It helps in the production of enzymes and antioxidants that fight dead cells and help in skin care. Manganese in dark chocolate also helps to maintain a healthy nervous system and brain function.

Potassium: It works alongside sodium to maintain a normal blood pressure. It helps to maintain a proper flow of fluid in the body. Consuming dark chocolate will enhance the functioning of the nerve and muscle.

Phosphorus: The body needs phosphorus for many functions, such as filtering waste and repairing tissue and cells. Dark Chocolate contains phosphorus that helps the body.

Zinc: Zinc is required for the body’s immune system to work properly. It plays a role in cell growth, wound healing, etc. It helps to sense smell and taste of food, water, colour, etc.

Selenium: Dark chocolate has selenium that helps in the production of thyroid hormones. A healthy thyroid gland is important as it regulates metabolism and controls growth and development in the body

Moreover, consuming dark chocolate in moderation per week will help you to reap the following benefits:

  • You will have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke
  • It will help you to maintain your blood sugar level
  • You will have a low blood pressure level
  • Improve brain functioning and wards off dementia
  • It helps to prevent asthma attacks
  • It will help to fight teeth decay
  • Will protect your skin from the ultraviolet rays
  • Help to boost sex hormones and sexual life
  • It also helps to boost vision

After reading this blog, please share, like and comment!

Author: Namrata Roy
An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 
Follow us on Twitter I Facebook I LinkedIn I Instagram

The right ways to take Vitamin D in your body

Are you falling prey to vitamin D deficiency? Do you know that 88 percent of Delhi’s population is suffering due to vitamin D deficiency? This has been found out by ASSOCHAM Healthcare Committee recently.

Vitamin D is necessary to keep good health of bones. Lack of it will lead to muscle pain, spasm, low energy levels, depression and other ill health. Obese people are usually deficient in vitamin D. In fact, the doctors observe that among 350 patients merely 3-4 patients are having good health and sufficient vitamins in their body. The report finds that deficiency of vitamin is between the age group of 21 to 65 years.  And, maximum insufficiency of vitamin D is between the ages of 21 to 35 years.

Delhi is a very polluted city. The main reason for lack of vitamin D deficiency is due to the high pollution level that is obstructing the intake of vitamin D from sunlight. Speaking to a nutritionist, Dr Shalini Singhal, Founder and Chief Nutritionist at Dr Shalini’s Diet and Wellness Clinic based in Delhi, says, “Good sun exposure is necessary to our body. Many are not able to absorb it in plenty due to high pollution level in Delhi. Lack of vitamin D makes the bones weak. In fact, white complexion absorbs sun rays better than dark people.”

Afternoon Sunrays
According to the experts, when people with lighter complexion spend time under the sun rays, their bodies produce melanin. This is a pigment that gives colour to our skin and creates a tan. On the other hand, dark complexion already has a high concentration of melanin in their skin, which is responsible for the dark complexion and protects the skin from burning easily. So, it absorbs little Ultraviolet (UV) rays directly into the dark skin.

The doctors recommend that you should spend 20-25 minutes in the afternoon under sun rays as it is best time of the day to absorb maximum sunlight. Light from the window won’t work abundantly for absorbing vitamin D to your body. In addition, Dr Shalini also suggests that it is important to eat a balanced diet. Your diet with help to get the daily vitamins.

Fatty and Oily Fish
If you are maintaining a busy schedule and cannot bath under the sun then you can also rely on food that has sufficient vitamin D. Fatty fish can be a good source of vitamin D. Fishes such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and cod can be the best choices for you. All these fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids whether you are having canned or fresh.


Egg Yolk

Daily one egg and the yolk will give sufficient vitamin D to your body. Dr Shalini recommends everyone to eat a whole egg every day if you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Do not consume more than an egg daily. The American Heart Association recommends not to consume more than 300 milligrams eggs a day for good heart health.

Milk and Eggs

Fortified Milk
Drink fortified milk in a day. Why should you only drink fortified milk? The manufacturers mix certain extra nutrients such as vitamins and minerals in the whole milk so that it provides sufficient nutrition to the body. In fact, you can use fortified milk products too such as butter, ghee, etc. If the milk is unfortified it will provide less value to the body.

Shitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms are the only vegetarian food that can make vitamin D. Similar to human’s skin which synthesizes the vitamin in response to sun exposure, mushrooms also function in the same way. Shitake mushroom can be the best choice among all types of mushrooms available in the vendor’s shop.

Supplements
Dr Shalini also suggests that only food intake will not be sufficient. “Medications in form of the supplement of vitamin D is essential too,” she says.

Moreover, it should be balanced as too much vitamin D can also be toxic. Vitamin D supplements will help to get the daily dose properly and can protect you from the cancerous diseases that UV rays may cause.

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 

Follow us on Twitter I Facebook I LinkedIn I Instagram

How cooking at a young age can help your kid?

Children want to learn new things. They need to get involved in certain activities. Usually, the most popular form of extra curriculum activity for kids are sports, arts and crafts, painting, etc. However, I suggest you involve your kids in cooking as well. Cooking is fun. It engage kids visually. It is more fun when you work together with your kid in the kitchen. Don’t shoo them away from your kitchen rather get them engaged in your kitchen tasks. Parents, I want you to understand why cooking can be the best activity for your kids. Cooking helps in developing the brain of a child. How? It is a ‘Jugalbandi’ of both math and science. There is a concept, measurement, chemical reaction, physics and language.

Preparing for Better Adult Life

I meet parents who let loose their kids in the kitchen from an early age, which helps in setting them for a better adult life. Kids learn very fast. Few parents realise the magic of cooking that can have on their children. Many housewives and working parents (especially mother) want to make their children independent. You will be surprised that I started cooking since a tender age. I love it. Today, I made it is my passion and profession. I teach whomsoever it may concern and give my best shot to it.

We cannot afford to let our kids not know where milk is produced. The survey said that kids in the many countries lack basic knowledge of dairy products and few could not even identify vegetable and fruits. When you admit your kids to a preschool, there is a potential scope for learning and personality development. In India, the trend of pre-schooling is in great demand. Speaking to the kids’ mothers I understand that pre-schooling makes a child smarter, independent, social, improve their communication skills, boost overall knowledge, and shape a child into a good human being. Preschool is an opportunity for kids to learn, share, follow instructions, and begin the foundation for learning that will occur in elementary school. Once in the kindergarten, the kids will have the pressure of new academics, sports, new friends, competition, etc. To get accustomed to this environment, parents are sending their kids to pre-schooling.

A eight year old kid learning cooking technique at Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen

Enhance Learning

On the other hand, cooking is a fun-filled activity. Whether your kids perform in a group or individually, your kids will learn both concept and mechanism. Parents are unaware of the benefits cooking as an activity can have on their kids. I want to discuss the vital impact cooking can have on your kid.

Being in the kitchen will help kids to recognise veggies, fruits and spices. Not only this, they will also learn how an electrical equipment or motor works. In fact, a kid has different ways of learning and it is grouped into three basic styles- auditory, visual and kinesthetic (learning through physical activity). In the kitchen, kids will learn whatever is explained to them and remember the ingredients required for cooking. Kids may also enjoy group discussion and things explained verbally. Kids remember what they see and hear. Kids learn through watching. This is one of the most dominant styles of learning in the entire cooking process. However, kinesthetic learner wants to do everything that is being talked about or learned. They like to touch things in order to do something with them. Kids in the kitchen will behave in a similar manner to learn new things. Thus, cooking is the best kind of activity for kids in the today’s date.

Few tips to train your kids:

I suggest if your kid is two or three years old then engage him or her for washing the veggies that will lay the foundation for healthy eating habits. They will learn to maintain hygiene at a tender age.

You can teach your kids to mash veggies with kiddie fork, pour the liquid in the cake tin, stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon, sprinkling spices or seasonings, kneading and dough making of pizza base or Indian bread, etc. This will help them to sense the spices, smell the herbs, touch the veggies and feel the food.

What more you can do parents? Guide kids to plant the veggies in the kitchen garden or veggie patch. Teach your child how to seed plant, nurture them, grow and harvest it. How happy the kids will be when they eat lunch or dinner from your homegrown veggies and fruits. Kids will love the idea. Try it! The kids are having their holidays these days. Spend some time with them to seed a plant today.

Not only this, when you engage your kid and spend regular time with them in the kitchen, kids more easily learn seasonal eating, herbs, food quality, sourcing and procuring of food, and preserving too. It will also build a lifelong love for food.

The benefit of cooking on kids

Cooking will help your child to boost self-esteem, creativity, independent thinking improves imagination and discovers oneself.

The entire learning process in the kitchen will help to identify products and ingredients.

Enhance knowledge and grip on the subject. Help to develop the courage and put across questions without hesitation.

Moreover, kids will become patient and understand the value of waiting as cooking is quite time consuming process.

In my kitchen, I try to teach all the basics, introduce kids to new ingredients and herbs, and help them come up with a dish that they can call their own. Don’t forget to praise them and make them proud of their cooking. A pat on the back will make them more confident about themselves.

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 

Follow us on Twitter I Facebook I LinkedIn I Instagram