Summer Salad| Skin Glow Salad

Best wishes to all of you on the occasion of Maha Shivratri! I am here today with a recipe for a colourful Summer Salad, which also doubles up as a Skin Glow Salad. You can have this salad even if you are fasting!

Summer is, really and truly, settling in into Bangalore. Rather early too, at that. The days are getting hotter and hotter, and it is becoming difficult to get out of the house post 10 AM! Standing in the kitchen for any time above 10 minutes is becoming a sweaty affair. I have started resorting to preparing very simple meals and a lot of salads, these days. This Summer Salad is a fruit-and-vegetable salad that takes bare minutes to prepare, perfect for hot days when you totally don’t want to come up with something elaborate. Why is it called Skin Glow Salad? Because every single ingredient in this salad has been carefully chosen to contribute towards better skin health!

Let us take a closer look at the ingredients of this salad:

  • Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, which helps repair skin tissue and offers protection to the skin against the harsh rays of the sun. They are also full of beta-carotene, minerals and antioxidants, which help in maintaining better skin complexion.
  • Onions are rich sources of sulfur-rich phytochemicals, which help slow down the process of ageing. They improve blood circulation, and help keep one’s skin moisturised, youthful and radiant.
  • Pomegranates possess a high degree of antioxidants, which arrest the process of ageing. They help in cellular regeneration, keeping wrinkles and sagging skin at bay.
  • Cucumbers have a high water content, as well as a good amount of ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, thanks to which they are great in soothing skin irritations and rashes. They are high in various minerals too, which helps keep replenish skin losses and keep it healthy. 
  • Lemon is high in Vitamin C and citric acid, which aids in collagen production, helping in the removal of tan, age spots and dark spots. Consuming lemon also helps in flushing out toxins from your blood, which in turn helps in keeping your skin clear and radiant.
  • Ayurveda considers rock salt or sendha namak as far more superior than commercially available salt. Being rich in minerals, rock salt helps in removing dead skin cells, strengthen skin tissue, improving blood circulation, and protecting the natural layers of skin. All of this, in turn, helps in retaining youthful, glowing skin.

Isn’t that just amazing? You are what you eat, after all.

And now, here’s the detailed recipe for this Skin Glow Salad.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 1 medium-sized carrot
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  4. 2 baby cucumbers
  5. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  6. Salt to taste
  7. A dash of black pepper powder
  8. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

Method:

1. Peel the carrot and grate medium-thick. Place the grated carrots in a large mixing bowl.

2. Chop the onion and baby cucumber finely and add to the mixing bowl.

3. Add the pomegranate arils, salt to taste, black pepper powder, finely chopped coriander, and lemon juice to the mixing bowl.

4. Mix everything well together, gently. Let sit for just about 5 minutes for the flavours to meld together. Your Summer Salad or Skin Glow Salad is ready! Serve immediately.

Notes:

1. You can add in other vegetables or fruits of your choice to this Summer Salad too. Raw mango, tomato and sweet corn would be good additions.

2. Other ingredients like roasted cumin (jeera) powder, black salt and honey can be added to this salad too. I have avoided these, and kept the salad really simple. The sweetness from the carrot was just right, and the Summer Salad didn’t really need any sweetener.

3. Since the baby cucumbers were really tender, I haven’t peeled them. You may want to, if they are a bit mature.

4. Don’t let the Skin Glow Salad sit around for too long after it is ready, for it might start leaving too much water and get tasteless. Serve it after about 5 minutes of the making.

5. If you want to prepare ahead of time, you can keep the vegetables chopped/grated and ready. Add the salt, black pepper powder, fresh coriander and lemon juice just before serving the Skin Glow Salad.

6. This Summer Salad is made using rock salt, and can hence be consumed even during fasts.

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a Facebook group wherein a bunch of us cook for a pre-determined theme every Monday. The theme for the week is #GlowingSkinRecipes, suggested by Amrita of The Food Samaritan.

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #265. The co-hosts this week are Laurena @ Life Diet Health and Kat @ Kat’s 9 Lives.

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Phool Makhana Namkeen| Roasted Foxnuts Recipe

The seeds of the lotus plant – called Foxnuts or Gorgon Nuts – were always quite commonly used in North Indian households. Called Phool Makhana or simply Makhana in Hindi, the seeds are typically used to make Makhane Ki Sabzi (a gravy-based curry), Makhane Ki Kheer (a sweet dish), Makhane Ka Rayta (a yogurt-based dish), or Phool Makhana Namkeen (roasted and salted foxnuts). Considering that they are a ‘seed’ and not a ‘grain’ per se, they are extensively consumed in North India during fasts, too. Today, with the growing awareness about the numerous health benefits of foxnuts, they have begun to be considered as a ‘superfood’, with people the world over beginning to use them in various forms.

Makhana or foxnuts are low in calories, fat and sodium, but rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and calcium. This makes them a great snacking option for those in-between-meals hunger pangs. Moreover, they are low in glycemic index (GI) and gluten-free, due to which they are just right for diabetics and weight-watchers. The high potassium and magnesium content in foxnuts helps regulate blood pressure, regulate kidney functions, and control heart diseases. They are rich in a flavonoid called kaempferol too, which has a positive effect on inflammation and also slows down the process of ageing. Foxnuts grow organically, without the need for any pesticide or fertiliser, and hence perfectly safe for consumption.

Makhana was something I would only ever occasionally pick up while grocery shopping, before the bub happened. Then, one fine day, the bub tried some roasted makhana and the world changed for us. It instantly became one of her favourite foods, and stays so till date. And, then, makhana began to inevitably wrangle its way into our shopping bags regularly. 🙂 I must say I haven’t experimented with the seeds much – I use them only to make a simple roasted namkeen, the way the bub likes it. This Phool Makhana Namkeen or Roasted Foxnuts Recipe is what I am about to present to you today.

Let’s now check out the Roasted Foxnuts Recipe, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 3 cups foxnuts or makhana
  2. 1 tablespoon ghee
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Method:

  1. Heat ghee in a pan.
  2. Lower flame to medium and add in the foxnuts. Roast on medium flame till the foxnuts get crisp, 6-7 minutes. You must stir intermittently, to avoid burning. The foxnuts are done when you press one between two fingers and it does not crumble.
  3. At this stage, turn flame to low. Add salt to taste and the turmeric powder to the pan. Mix well for about a minute, ensuring that all the foxnuts are evenly coated with the salt and turmeric powder. Avoid burning. Switch off gas.
  4. This Phool Makhana Namkeen can be served hot, immediately. If you plan to store it for later use, allow it to cool down completely before transferring to a clean, dry, air-tight container.

Notes:

  1. You can use oil, butter or ghee to make this Phool Makhana Namkeen. I prefer using ghee.
  2. You can add other ingredients like red chilli powder, amchoor powder, garam masala and/or chaat masala to the Phool Makhana Namkeen. There are other flavour combinations that you can explore too – garlic, tomato, onion, peri peri and the likes. I prefer keeping it really simple, as the bub likes it this way.
  3. The Phool Makhana Namkeen stays well for up to 10 days when stored at room temperature, in a clean, dry, air-tight box.
  4. You can mix the salt and turmeric powder in a little oil and then add it to the pan, to ensure even spreading. I usually don’t do that, and add them in directly.
  5. For the best Phool Makhana Namkeen, roast the foxnuts on a medium flame to avoid burning, stirring intermittently . Add in the salt and turmeric powder after turning the flame down to low.
  6. You may use more ghee if you so prefer.

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A to Z Recipe Challenge

This post is for the A-Z Recipe Challenge. Every alternate month, the participants cook with an ingredient beginning with a particular letter of the English alphabet. This month, we are cooking for the letter F. I chose ‘foxnuts’ aka makhana or phool makhana as my star ingredient for the theme.

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #265. The co-hosts this week are Laurena @ Life Diet Health and Kat @ Kat’s 9 Lives.