Cleaning of grains is very important like any other agri produce. This helps in avoiding an upset stomach.
This step helps the grain to get rid of anti-nutrients, and shortens the cooking time.
Similar to Soaking , this process uses natural yeasts to convert anti-nutrients into vitamins/minerals in the grains.
Roasting increases the flavor of the grain, and decreases cooking time.
Styles of Cooking
We can bake, steam, or pressure cook and consume the grains, as convenient...
Oats and, Millets are grains which have entered into modern lifestyle as healthy foods. Millets and Oats, both, are beneficial to one's health in their own way. While oats help in lowering cholesterol; Millets, taking Ragi for example, are beneficial for diabetics.
Oats have nearly 40% more protein than Proso Millet and Foxtail millet. Oats have more fibre than Barnyard millet and are richer in phosphorus and Thiamin than any of the millets.
Millets trump over oats in case of Calcium content (Ragi has close to 5.5 times calcium than Oats), and Pearl Millet (Bajra) has more than 3 times Iron content than Oats.
Oats grain is not used much in a person's daily routine; we prefer rolled ones which are readily available in the market. As oats are in flakes format they are pretty easy to cook.
Millets, predominantly available as grains and in value added forms (flakes, semolina), are gaining popularity nowadays. But recipes and awareness have not reached many people, so it remains unadopted in large quantities .
But the simple fact is that most millets can be cooked like rice. Millets can replace rice in various dishes such as idli, dosa, payasam/kheer.
The cost of a Kg of Oats is about INR 105/- to 150/-. This is of the plain variety, and the costs vary based on the flavour and version of oats that are offered. Compare this to Millets, which cost anywhere between INR 30/- to 70/-. So the value for money is extremely good for Millets and affordable by many.
Millets are wonderful crops, easy to grow during droughts, and cheap to procure. Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans and, are also unique due to their short growing season. By eating millets, we will be encouraging farmers in dryland areas to grow crops that are best suited for those regions. Using more millets we really support our own farmers who are dependent on 50% of rain fed Indian agricultural landscape.
Now a days, People look at the Energy and Carbohydrate levels in nutritional labels. This shows that they are consicious about eating a high amount of carbs. But the effects of cutting out a vital amount of carbs from diet will lead to missing out on key nutrients including B vitamins which convert food into energy, to fight tiredness and fatigue.
Athletes needs carbohydrates, because they need to replace energy in muscles. Complex carbohydrates have high amout of fibre, which has less of an effect on your blood glucose levels.So, Include carbs in your diet, but also include wholegrains and pulses and beans because they are a valuable source of fibre, which protects against illnesses like colorectal cancer.
White carbs, like pasta and refined flour, will fill you but are broken down quickly, so they’ll make you feel hungry and quite sluggish. But white carbs can be beneficial for some including young children who don’t need too much fibre.
Putting weight due to carbohydrates is a partial reason for the fear in consuming carbs. That can be handled well in what kind of carbs are we consuming. Eating more vegetables and fruits will fill the stomach, but will not suuport to gain weight because of fibre.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates hit your blood stream quickly causing a high rise in blood sugar and the result is higher levels of insulin being released from your pancreas. One role of insulin is to tell your body to store fat. That leads to obesity . All carbohydrates break down into glucose, but at what speed it breaks down matters are lot.
Unrefined or complex carbohydrates give you greater, longer-lasting energy and stable blood sugar because your body digests them more slowly. These come in the form of whole grains, pulses, beans, fruits and vegetables.
Millets are tough but still cooks up like rice so they can be used like a form of starchy carb. Millets are high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. These ancient grains are a super addition to our regular diet, providing plant-based essential omega-3 fats, fibre and protein.
Carbs are important, but choose and consume wisely !!!
Amaranth is not a grain like quinoa or millet. It is a seed, but due to this seed's nutritional profile and its usage in casual cuisines, it is referred as a grain.
Amaranth is the common name for more than 60 different species of Amaranthus, which are usually very tall plants with broad green leaves and impressively bright purple, red, or gold flowers. They are commonly grown for their edible seeds. One plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds.
Amaranth has a long history and has been in use for many centuries by many different cultures. Amaranth was once a staple food in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs. It is grown and consumed as a leafy vegetable in many countries around the world. Amaranth is, easy to cook, highly palatable, and, can easily be included in snacks and dishes. Cooked amaranth is 90% digestible.
Amaranth contains more than three times the average amount of calcium and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It’s also the only grain documented to contain Vitamin C.
Amaranth is relatively rich in lysine. Most grains like wheat are short on lysine, an amino acid. This makes amaranth a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids. Amaranth is gluten free and good for your heart. Amaranth has shown potential as a cholesterol-lowering whole grain in several studies conducted over the past 14 years.
Amaranth can be cooked and consumed as porridge, which is a great option for breakfast. In fact, amaranth porridge is a traditional breakfast in India, Peru, Mexico, and Nepal. Its is a famous leafy vegetable in South India.
Names in other languages - Rajgeera (Hindi), Rajgiri (Kannada, Konkani, Sanskrit), Mulaikeerai (Tamil), thotakoora (Telugu). The Hindi name for amaranth, rajgeera, means “the king’s grain.” Its other name, ramdana, means “God’s own grain.”
Common Myths and Misconceptions about breakfast...
"I don’t have time to eat breakfast."
- It's a lame excuse. If you are serious about time, plan your day well in advance. Allocate time for food, including your breakfast. Can't you afford to find 5 minutes to eat an energizing breakfast ?
"I don’t need breakfast."
- Every machine requires some form of energy to run. In the same way, your body requires energy to work. If a healthy breakfast is consumed, your body and mind will be really productive.
"Skipping breakfast does not matter – I can cover that in the lunch."
- If you skip breakfast, two things happen for sure: You do not have enough stamina to last the day (as you miss out on the nutrients that a breakfast supplements) . And, you are allowing the stomach to produce acid, without putting it to work. This damages the walls of the stomach, giving rise to painful Ulcers and unease.
"I want to reduce weight, let me skip breakfast and have lunch directly."
- In fact having proper breakfast allows you to keep fit. Further, it is a natural phenomenon to fill an empty stomach, and, human tendency forces us to reach out to snacks and high caloried junk food, which is totally unhealthy for a morning hour.
Hence, a Healthy Breakfast is very important and makes sure you are well-nourished to keep you energized for the day .
Let us compare breakfast with warm up exercise.
A breakfast is the first meal after a long night's sleep, where, your body detoxes and repairs itself. It can be compared with a warming up exercise done by an athlete before going for a run or, players preparing themselves before a match,which will make them ready for a stable performance.
What happens during warm up? Muscles and tissues stretch and relax, so that it can be more flexible in play. Similarly, anything we eat in the morning should help the natural process of detox and repair/regain to a ready state for upcoming foods of the day.
Can we skip warm up?, Will it affect our performance? Yes, Absolutely. Tight muscles and tissues are not relaxed, so it may slow down our response during play. Sometimes you can even sprain a muscle. Skipping breakfast will make you feel hungry, tired and lethargic. This is because the energy required is not provided, so the body start taking the necessary glucose from the tissues. On the other side, your stomach will start producing real acid to enable digestion. Empty stomach with acid leads to heartburn, which is not a healthy sign. It may lead to an ulcer and build up of gas.
Does that mean a heavy warm up exercise will be beneficial? Absolutely NOT. Too much of warming up will make us feel exhausted and tired. Warm up exercise should be mild and fresh. Likewise, a heavy breakfast is not advisable in the morning. Foods which contain complex carbohydrates, rich in fibre will be best kind of breakfast.
Digestive action starts mildy in the morning and goes to peak in the noon and slows down by evening.
A breakfast with a variety of choices as mentioned below, is considered healthy:
- Fresh fruits like bananas, avoid sour fruits.
- Boiled potatoes and vegetables.
- Whole grain bread, oatmeal or a porridge.
- Fresh juice (not from a can or tetra pack.)
Do not confuse yourself between a full meal and heavy meal. A full meal is just loading your stomach full with eating more of prescribed foods, but a heavy meal contains fat rich foods like fries, cheese and paneer, which may be little difficult to get digested.
In simple, a breakfast is, Eat easy to digest food and don't over eat.