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Tag Archives: Food

  • Foods to Grow in Your Kitchen Garden


    We've seen so many beautiful home images of kitchen gardens and fresh herbs growing on the windowsill. As homeowners we often hesitate whether or not these items can grow in our home, especially given our weather conditions. However, many gardeners and chefs say you can grow a few food items at home, and what is better than eating fresh produce straight from the source? With growing your own kitchen garden, any homeowner will always have a fresh supply of herbs, and it is a healthy and economical practice to make your kitchen more sustainable. With some sunlight, pots, soil, and a little bit of space you can grow some extremely healthy and frequently used herbs in your kitchen.

    Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass is a germ shoot of wheat that is full of magnesium and potassium. From your kitchen garden it can be ground fresh and consumed with juice. Growing them is very simple. Simply soak a handful of wheat grains in water overnight, and place them in a pot of soil the next way. Repeat the process with 7-10 pots, and water all of them regularly. Once the grass is about 6-7 inches tall, cut it about 1 inch from the base, and you have some fresh wheatgrass! The best part about wheatgrass is that it can grow all year long.

    Image Credit: Houzz

    Mustard Cress: Mustard, or the sarso in sarso ka saag, is a delicate herb that adds that extra bit of flavor to all types of foods. Using mustard seeds, they require moderate sunlight throughout the day, without heat hitting the pot and a sprinkle of water on a daily basis. Therefore, modern climate, such as the winter, is the best time to grow mustard cress.

    Image Credit: Global Foodbook

    Lemongrass: In our food lemongrass is used quite often to infuse flavor in drinks and dishes. Lemongrass can be purchased by the stalk from the market and requires full sunlight for growth. As the plant grows, you'll get abundant lemongrass all year long!

    Image Credit: Werbe Artikel

    Basil (Tulsi): Basil is another key ingredients in our beloved Indian dishes. With its medicinal properties, it is definitely a must-have for the kitchen garden. The best time to grow Basil plants is in the winter, with plenty of water and sunlight.

    Image Credit: Kitchen Meets Girl

    Coriander (Dhania): Coriander leaves are another a key staple in todays homes. Coriander, or Cilantro as its said in the west, is an essential for the kitchen garden. However, in growing coriander, one has to be careful. It must be kept moist through, and should be kept in a shaded area. Therefore, the best time to grow it is in winter.

    Image Credit: Kitchen Garden Plant Centre

    Mint (Pudina): Whether it is making a chutney or adding flavor to chilled mojitos, mint leaves are another common ingredient in Indian homes. Along with their flavor, they also add a refreshing fragrance, when kept indoors, and are very easy to grow. Collect mint cuttings, then snip off the stalk and pluck the leaves from the bottom. Plant it in soil, and place the potted mint plant on a sunny spot, watering it daily, and mint leaves will be sprouting everywhere. They are best grown in winter.

    Image Credit Lady Lees Home

    Growing a kitchen garden is a great way to have healthy staples at your fingertips. Try some of the plants above and see how they'll add flavor to your food, aroma to your kitchen, and that extra something to your drink!

  • Tips to Stay Cool in the Kitchen This Summer


    We already knee-deep in the extreme heat! Hot summer days are mentally and physically exhausting, and at this time of the year, the days are only going to get hotter. Kitchen activities, in general, generate so much heat that we want to spend as less time in the kitchen as possible. Rather than torturing yourself by using a kitchen during a never ending heat wave, crank up the air conditioning and follow these summer kitchen tips to make your life much easier this summer season.

    Cooling Food Items-In India, we often associate delicious meals with hot, flavorful food on our dining tables. However, in the summer months, whenever we eat all of this hot food, we start sweating and feeling a little too warm. Contrary to popular belief, cold meal options are delicious, cooling, and healthy. Stalk up on your summer fruits to keep yourself hydrated and nutrient-rich this summer. Eat cold sandwiches, and drink lots of cooling drinks and water. Even opting for a salad-whether its a pasta salad, quinoa salad, or leafy greens, or a cold soup-called gazpacho; can be delicious and welcoming in the upcoming summer months.

    Use a Microwave-In the event to heat your meals, use a microwave rather than a stove or an oven. It is an energy-efficient appliance that uses less heat and does not emit heat or moisture into the air. Using the microwave speeds up the cooking time, and prevents the the entire kitchen from overheating.

    Use a Pressure Cooker-Another item that is an efficient way for heating food is using a pressure cooker. Your meal cooks faster and emits less heat. It also keeps the heat within the the container itself. If the same meal was cooked on a stove, then the entire kitchen space would have heat fumes due to cooking. Using a pressure cooker will confine the heat rather than having it spread through the entire kitchen.

    Prep before Heating-With cooking a warm meal, there is always prep. However, to save heat time, prepare all the ingredients before even turning on the heat. Do all the slicing, dicing, chopping, and measuring before starting the actual cooking process. This way, as you progress through the cooking, the ingredients will already be prepared to use. If ingredients are prepped during the cooking process, then more time will be wasted and the heat will be on even longer. Therefore, steps for getting a meal together: prep all the ingredients, turn on the heat, do the cooking.

    Use the Smallest Pot-In the event of using a stove, use the smaller pot to cook your email. A smaller pot will emit less heat than a larger pot, and it will allow you to manage your quantity and keep the heat at a minimum. Put the pot on the smallest burner possible and ensure the flame is not skirting the sides of the pot. That means there is too much heat. Even if the cooking process takes longer, keep your burners at a lower heat to emit less heat in the kitchen space.

    Less Liquid while Cooking-While boiling any food item, especially vegetables, water is required. However, in the warmer months try to reduce the water so it covers the your ingredients just enough. When the food is being boiled, less moisture will evaporate in the kitchen, and yet the job will still get done.

    Follow these tips and keep yourself cool through the summer months!

  • Food Storage in Humid Weather


    We're getting to that time of year where it's extremely hot and humid!  Everything from our skin to our clothes gets affected by this challenging weather, especially food. All food items have to be securely stored, and it is important to keep your kitchen clean so food is preserved to its maximum quality.  These tips and tricks will benefit yourself and your family having long-lasting food through this summer!

    There are only a couple basic rules in storing food in humid weather: seal it and cool it. That's it. That is all you need to know. Remember these tricks and you are a food storage pro!

     

    Seal It: One of the huge risks of humidity is the moisture getting to your food. To avoid this issue, it is best to store your food items in glass jars or air-tight containers to prevent infestation of your food. Store your non-perishable items in your cabinets. These include canned foods, cereals, soups, pasta, ketchup, vinegar, cake mixes, spices, flour etc. The cabinets are a dry and dark place that is relatively cooler than the open kitchen space. This will maintain the life of the food, and also preserve the its quality.

    Spices stored in Airtight containers.

    Cool It : The most obvious to avoid heat and humidity on your food is to refrigerate or freeze your food items. Foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt, fruits, and vegetables should be refrigerated immediately. Other frozen foods should be put in the freezer right away. If you ever cook a meal and have leftovers, they should be sorted separately in your refrigerator. Even dryer items such as breads and rotis should be stored in the fridge during humid weather to delay the growth of mold.

     

    Follow these kitchen tips in organizing your kitchen space for the summer months to maintain food safety and freshness. Good food is best for a happy home!

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