Friday, December 5, 2008

Carrot, the best way to eat them....

...is with some oil or a type of fat. Give them to kids grated or cut into thin slices.

It is the oils and fats which are necessary for the good pro-vitamin A (β carotene) to be absorbed by our body. Let the children chew the carrots properly as well.

These are three tempting ways that I remember of doing it for the kids:

  1. A yoghurt dip: mix some yoghurt (strained, if possible)/curd/low fat- quark with whipped cream or clotted cream (Indian malai), add some salt and pepper or a pinch of ground roasted cumin. Serve with carrots, grated or cut into thin sticks or rings to be eaten as finger food
  2. Just sprinkle grated carrots (or in any form) with some edible oil (which has not been heated!), a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper or ground roasted cumin
  3. A vinaigrette: mix some olive oil (or oil of choice) with natural white wine vinegar , salt, mustard (optional), roasted ground cumin, pepper or a pinch of chili powder, stir thoroughly with a spoon till you get homogeneous mass and dip your carrots in it, like we did today (see picture above)
We will use the leftover vinaigrette tomorrow, maybe again with carrots or some cucumber and tomatoes.

TIP: try to use as much oils high in unsaturated fatty acids (mono and poly unsaturated), as they contain the types of fatty acids which cannot be produced in our body. For example.

cold pressed rapeseed oil
cold pressed mustard oil
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

These oils are not good for deep frying, as they mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids degrade on heating on high temperatures, the reason why one needs to buy these which have been extracted by cold pressing. But, these can still be used for cooking or (stir-) frying or baking

Some examples of oils which should :
  1. not be heated (at best to be used cold),
  2. always kept in the dark,
  3. in air-tight containers (should not come in contact with too much air - oxidative degradation)
  4. and at best be used up fast as they are very unstable, being so rich in unsaturated fatty acids which make them so healthy :
  • walnut oil
  • sesame seed oil
  • almond oil
  • pumpkin seed oil
Some more comparatively stable oils, which are good for deep frying (should not be done too often, of course!):
  • peanut oil
  • sunflower oil
  • coconut oil
  • ghee - not a plant oil, but animal fat, but, is also a good substitute. But, one should keep in mind the high amount of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol in it
Therefore, deep frying should best be done not more than once a month, or at best even lesser.
Any type of oil should always be stored in airtight containers otherwise it degrades (becomes rancid) and even the comparitively stable ones, once heated on high temperatures, also start to degrade much more and faster, so repeated heating of oil, especially in large gaps of days is not good. Do not store deep fried oil for long, but, either use it as much possible in the next few days or throw it away. Wastage or not, nothing is wrong if it is for your health.
Give me more names of oils if you want to know about them which I have left out. I have only mentioned the most common ones.

1 comment:

Deepa said...

I de-lurked and got to your blog. Thanks for all the valuable research and info. It saves our time :-)