Introducing i2cook Quinoa – Eat Local

 

Quinoa 3

 

Today, on this world health day, I would like to talk about the super food “quinoa”. Diabetics being the prime most concern; over 30 million Indians have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is time for us to wake up and spend some time thinking about what we consume. That eat as you wish attitude is costing us our health and financially, hospital bills too.

This locally grown ingredient (Yes, locally grown, no more importing) is a super seed which can be consumed as a grain. The first project of growing quinoa was started by a farmer in India with the aid of our Government as a testing ground to see if this seed can be grown in a similar way as millets are commonly grown. The success of one farmer encouraged forty others to grow quinoa in the same region. This is a big change and this new revolution will not only help to provide farming with less water belts or drought laden area with a new crop, but will also encourage consumers to include it in their diet. This is a great news for Indian market, however the high price is still catering to the urban market. It is believed that as the demand rises and more and more farmers believe in the product there will be a huge change in the diet of several  health affected Indians. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

Burrito Bowl

 

Quinoa is a seed, the size of a millet. On cooking, it becomes translucent and the germ of the seed uncoils to form a little tail. Its leaves are not only fit for human consumption like any other green leafy vegetable but the excess of it can also be used as a fodder for cattle.

i2cook Quinoa is  close to amaranth (millet) in terms of nutritional value. Here is the comparison between i2cook quinoa and amaranth seeds. However, it is difficult to use amaranth seeds in salads or pulav due to its sticky or non fluffy nature. i2cook Quinoa works great in salads and in pulav!

i2cook Quinoa can be cooked in a similar way as rice 1:2 ration, 1 cup of quinoa : 2 cups of water with a dash of rock salt in a pressure cooker (cook until one whistle) or in a pot, cook for 13 minutes. Quinoa from i2cook can also be sprouted to enjoy  maximum anti oxidants.

i2cook Quinoa can be used as a substitute to your rice dishes or salads or in pretty much everything. I enjoy one bowl meal during summer and like to use quinoa as a base accompanied by lots and lots of vegetables. We recently made a burrito bowl for lunch and it made a nice wholesome and a lite meal. We served only 2 tbs of quinoa per person which was enough to take care of our daily nutrient in take.

i2cook Quinoa is grown without pesticide, non GMO and the main advantage of our quinoa is that you don’t have to rinse it many times as it does not contain any saponin which imparts a bitter taste if not rinsed several times.

Burrito bowl 1

 

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Liquid jaggery in my carrot cake!

Of late I’ve been hearing a lot about “healthy food”. More since last month. Nature’s Basket opening up a new section “Healthy Alternatives” and Phoneix market city organizing a” World health day”. It makes me wonder why now! Why only now are we thinking of eating healthy?

A very interesting point that Dr.Anjali Mukerjee, a nutritionist discussed was that there is so much information that a consumer is exposed to that it is difficult to decipher what is really good for you. End result the consumer is confused.

Let us for example take sugars or sweeteners in our diet. Some say unpolished/unsulphured  sugar or commonly known as raw sugar, is better than polished ones  or jaggery is even better  or for that matter blackstrap molasses is  the best or what about coconut sugar? Have I confused you?

All the above sugars are good for you. Yes. I tend to ratio my usage of these different sugars depending on the usage. Jaggery does have an overpowering quality and actually can change the taste of your recipe. For example, lets take liquid jaggery in baking. I found liquid jaggery a bit sweeter than cane sugar and jaggery. Jaggery is  also high on medicinal and nutritional values.

liquid jaggery in bottle

So what is liquid jaggery?

Sugarcane is boiled for hours to achieve a thick consistency of liquid -like. This is liquid jaggery. The further boiling of this mixture results in jaggery.  Jaggery is a good source of iron that helps in improving haemoglobin levels and prevents anaemia. Jaggery should be consumed with extra precaution if you are a diabetic. Don’t confuse liquid jaggery to molasses. They are different in terms of taste and nutrients.

So now that we know what liquid jaggery is..how about some baking with it?! Liquid jaggery is a new ingredient to  me and I was a bit nervous to use it in baking. I tried asking on twitter and couldn’t find any recipe. I took it up as a challenge and thought of using it in my carrot cake. I had my first bite and  I knew, I had created the recipe that was  not only healthy but flavorful. My cake was dense but the cream cheese frosting made it the best wheat based cake I’ve ever had!

pic 312

Ingredients for the cake

140gms wheat flour

60gms all purpose flour

50gms grated carrot

80gms butter (Amul or Govind)

1 egg

100gms liquid jaggery (you can add 25gms more if you like yours sweeter)

1tsp baking powder

1tsp cinnamon powder

Ingredients for the frosting

50-80gms of cream cheese

25gms unsalted butter

1tbs liquid jaggery

For Garnish

25gms or more caramelized walnuts

Strawberries (optional)

1. Preheat the oven at 160 degree centigrade and grease a round mini cake pan (I used 18cm dia pan).

2. Sieve the flours along with baking powder and cinnamon powder.

3.  Add  liquid jaggery, butter and beat until mixed well.

4. Add egg and beat lightly until fluffy. Add  grated carrot and mix well.

4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients gently and mix it with the help of a spatula.

5. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and  bake for about 20-25 minutes or until its done based on your oven settings.

6. Allow it to cool on a wire rack for about one hour.

7. Prepare the frosting by mixing all the ingredients until combined.

8. Top the frosting on the cake and garnish with some caramelized walnuts for a crunch.

carrot cake 2

Notes:

  • If you don’t like wheat flour in your cake, go ahead and use  any other type of  unrefined flour.
  • This recipe makes a single layer cake for four. You can also double the recipe and make a two tier cake with cream cheese frosting in between.
  • You can replace powdered jaggery with liquid jaggery.
  • This cake tends to be a little dry in texture. So if you don’t want to use cream cheese frosting, you can also top your cake with fruits, jam or cream.