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Monthly Archives: April 2017

A Toy Top, Miniature Flying Saucer or Veggie?

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Here I am again, with something interesting for you to identify in, “Guess What’s This”. Let me not beat about the bush but directly plunge into the topic. Look at the visual below:

Toy top vegetable

Toy tops, miniature flying saucers or veggies?

Have you seen them anywhere before? Do you know what they are?

I was awestruck by these vibrant yellow, shallow shaped things with scalloped edges in the ‘Exotic section’ of the supermarket. At first sight, I doubted if these even belonged there for they appeared more like play things than fruits or veggies. They resembled toy tops, miniature UFOs – flying saucers to be precise; or if they had been rightly placed there, could they be some kind of hybrid lemons or bell pepper variants? I did not fail to notice the striking similarity their shape bore to the moulds used for baking tarts, patties, pies and their sorts. Reading their label I was convinced that I had neither seen them nor heard of them before.

They are actually summer squashes. Just like cucumbers and tomatoes, though they are fruits they are always referred to as veggies because of the way they are used in our cooking. Their name is made of three words (5, 3, and 6 letters in order). The 1st word points to a food item usually fried or baked, the 2nd to a container and the 3rd to the veggie’s colour.

So, start guessing now. I know, the spur of the moment I gave the clue for the 3rd word, you were confidently out with its answer. Even if you have a faint idea about any of the 3 words, post it in the blog’s comments. If it is right, it may give a lead to the others guessing, if not it might at least succeed in confusing them ;-). What else! Team up with your friend to make the guessing game more fun.

Wait until tomorrow for the right answer.

Related Topics

Food Incognito

The Bitter-Sweet Pod

The Pricey Potato Look Alike


Breakfast is Brain Food

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On a day, we eat three major meals and two intermediary snacks. The major meals are breakfast, lunch, dinner and the intermediary ones are mid-morning snacks and tea. The first meal of the day breaks the fast during sleep after previous night’s dinner and so is called breakfast. After a fast of 8-10 hrs during sleep, the various organs of the body crave for energy and brain craves it the most. That fresh surge of energy is supplied to the brain by glucose from the first meal. Hence breakfast is popularly known as brain food.

Breakfast is universally considered the most important meal of the day. It does not stop with nourishing the brain but also impacts cognitive function. Here is a gist of the benefits of regular consumption of breakfast given by researches conducted all over the world:

In short, regular consumption of breakfast improves overall physical and mental performance.

“No man can be wise on an empty stomach”.

“Hungry bellies have no ears”.

“A hungry man is an angry man”.

True to all these sayings, research has proved that having to function on an empty stomach undermines productivity, causes irritability and unpleasant disposition, especially during mid-morning which could be cured by just having a proper breakfast.

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”, so goes an adage by a famous American Nutritionist, Adelle Davis. But unfortunately, in reality many skip breakfast, eat an improper lunch and binge during dinner. The India Breakfast Habits Survey conducted by the Home Science Department of Nirmala Niketan College, Mumbai in 2013 showed that 1 in every 4 persons in India skipped breakfast. That’s alarming!

The most common reasons people give for skipping breakfast are:

  • No time.
  • Not used to eating so early.
  • Not hungry in the morning.
  • Would rather sleep than prepare breakfast.
  • Get hungry sooner when breakfast is eaten.
  • Dislike breakfast foods.
  • Want to lose weight.

How to overcome these problems? How to solve them and inculcate the habit of consuming breakfast regularly? Here are a few tips:

  • Wake up 10 min earlier.
  • Prepare as much as you can the night before (check if you have a stock of the ingredients required, keep dishes and utensils ready, etc.).
  • Have grab and go alternatives (fresh fruit, individual boxes of cereal, yogurt or smoothies, trail-mix).
  • If you are not a breakfast eater, begin with something as simple as whole wheat bread toast and /or a piece of fruit. In a few days add more food.
  • Try split-breakfast. For Eg, eat a boiled egg and leave to college or work. At the earliest break you get there, have a sandwich and drink a glass of milk or juice.
  • Stock your kitchen with healthy breakfast options and use your imagination to cook something interesting.
  • Most important of all, understand that breakfast skipping does not help in shedding weight. On the contrary, breakfast skippers tend to eat more during other meals and crave for fatty foods. This would only result in weight gain!!! 

It is also vital to learn what constitutes an ideal breakfast to eat a balanced meal. An ideal breakfast should:

  • Provide 25% of the day’s nutrient requirement, especially that of vitamins and minerals.
  • Contain more of complex carbohydrates and fiber that are filling.
  • Contain less of saturated fats like butter but adequate amounts of good fats like nuts and avocado.
  • Include good quality protein like milk or egg that can supply calcium for bone building.
  • Include a seasonal fruit.
  • Neither be too sugary nor too salty.

And finally, this topic would not be complete without the mention of a few breakfast quickies. Here are a few items that require less preparation time, minimal cooking but are still healthy:

  1. Cereal with milk and fruits.
  2. Oats porridge topped with dried fruits and nuts.
  3. French toast/Bombay toast.
  4. Breakfast bars (home-made ones prepared beforehand and stored in airtight containers) and a glass of milk.
  5. Instant Idiappam/String-hoppers with milk and jaggery.
  6. Vegetable poha.
  7. Bread toast with egg scramble or bread and egg sandwich.
  8. Smoothie.
  9. Idli and sambhar.
  10. Dosa and chutney (If the batter has been prepared, idli, dosa and aapam are also definitely quickies; Sambhar leftover from the previous day can also be used as a side dish if you are pressed for time).
  11. Lemon sevai.
  12. Ragi porridge or multi-grain flour porridge.
Bombay toast Collage1

Bombay toast – a popular breakfast item.

With a bit of prior planning and preparation, breakfast skipping can easily be avoided. So, vow not to skip breakfast; eat breakfast like a king to boost not only your brain power but also your physical power.

Also read: 

Bajil – A Quick Fix for Breakfast

Hangry, are you?

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