Dejunk the junk - Ideas to make junk food healthy!
PurpleKaddu 09-07-2015 06:28:11 AM
Before we think of modifying junk, let's define it. Food low in nutrients and high in fat, sugar, salt (i.e. calories) qualifies for being junk/good for nothing. But frankly, it's not just kids, but we adults too crave for such foods. Enjoying them once a while isn't really a big deal, but a pizza party every day doesn't sound healthy. The good news is that these foods can be altered and given a healthy twist. Here's how it can be done: Read More
Use bhakri/khakra/jowar rotla as pizza base instead of white bread. Apply red chilli + garlic sauce/salsa sauce on base. Top it with enough boiled vegetables and grated cheese/paneer. There you go, healthy Indian version of Italian pizza is ready to relish. If your child is too fussy about the base, try this protein rich pizza base @@@READ_MORE@@@
Sandwiches are options for child's tiffin. But, eating bread too often is not recommended. Replace bread slices with paneer and try this sandwich. To begin with you need to prepare marinade for paneer slices. Roast chana flour, add curd, red chilli, turmeric, salt and mix well. Marinate paneer slices for an hour. Grill/toast Paneer slices. Use these instead of bread. Stuff in between vegetables of your choice
The burger bread is out of your control (Unless you bake it freshly wholly at home). The next ingredient is the burger patty which you can play around with. Instead of the classic potato peas tikki, you can try and make tikki of the following combinations -
- Soya granules-potato-peas
- Paneer-leafy greens-potato
But, how exactly does this change make the burger a bit healthier? Classic method of making burger loads your body with carbohydrates. In our body, excess of carbohydrates get converted to fat. So, let’s replace carbs by some proteins. And that’s what the change in patty ingredients will help you achieve. Between the two slices of bread and patty, you could add in some veggies to up the fibre content. Also, use soyflour or rice flour as a coating to fry the patty. The amount of oil absorbed will be relatively reduced. (Please note - Potato used in the modified patty will be only for binding purpose. Potato should not be the major ingredient)
Commercial cakes are loaded with sugar and bad fats. While preparing cakes at home, you have control over ingredients used. Besides, freshly baked cake tastes even better and is not really a task. Coming to ingredients (because that's what you can modify), try replacing maida with whole wheat flour/oats/quinoa. One can also add in carrots, cucumber, nuts or seeds. Here are a few sample recipes -cucumber cake, whole wheat cupcakes. If you do not have oven/microwave at home, try these no bake cookies. Find sugar, egg and butter free chocolate balls recipe here. So Parents, you just need to put in little time, effort and explore the healthy alternatives available!
Finding a healthy alternative to potato chips isn't really troublesome. Chips can be made of banana/zucchini/kale or carrots too. And they are either baked or air dried (not fried). Here's how to get started.
Commercial juices loads body with sugars, which unless utilised will get converted to fat! If your kid is a fan of juices, make him/her home-made juices such as blends of carrot, beetroot, mint OR pomegranate, grapes, chia seeds. Do not completely strain juices
Noodles and Pasta:
The general consensus is that noodles/pasta is an unhealthy dish, thanks to the extra sauces added along with the high carbohydrate hype. But a few changes to these humble strands will make it healthy. Adding more of fibre rich green leafy veggies (spinach, lettuce) and other veggies (carrots, onions, roasted eggplant, peppers) or protein rich sprouts, minced meat or shredded chicken pieces is a great start.
Instead of heaping your pasta with white sauce, adding a slice of melted cheese or grated mozzarella will give the flavour required.
Also, do not throw away the water you boiled the pasta/noodles in. Use it to make sauces as the starch in it helps add more flavour to the dish.
And last but not the least sprinkle some herb mix of (rosemary, thyme, basil, chilli) to make the dish come alive. As far as possible avoid ready-to-eat instant noodles and pasta as they are pre-fried.
And that's how you create healthy version of food otherwise labelled as junk. The secret trick here is 'play with ingredients' and cooking style!