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How to Make Kitchari – and a Quinoa Kitchari recipe

Quinoa Kitchari - Passionately Keren

If you’ve never heard kitchari before, then you’re in for a treat. This beautiful recipe is a request from my equally beautiful friend Jess who wanted me to create a kitchari recipe, and I’m so glad she did. Because, this recipe goes straight to my number 1 favourite for winter! A protein pack grain-free quinoa kitchari that will warm your body and nourish your soul. Enjoy it friend, this is comfort in a bowl.

What is Kitchari

Kitchari /ˈkɪtʃ(ə)riː/

If you’ve never heard of kitchari before, it’s an Indian-vegan-equivalent of a chicken soup. ou eat it when you have a cold, or a digestive issue, or a stomach ache, or a hangover. It’s considered to be very soothing to the body and easily digestible. At its simplest and most traditional, kitchari is made with a mixture yellow moong dal, ghee (clarified butter) and Indian spices. It is minimally seasoned and is often used by mothers to feed their young children (or infant, when pureed).

Kitchari is also popular Ayurvedic medicine and is believed to have detoxifying, restorative properties as a cleanse. As for me, I think it a perfect dish for winter, or whenever you feel like some tasty and comforting, but also good for you.

Quinoa Kitchari - Passionately Keren

How to make kitchari

Making kitchari is fairly straight forward. You just need these key ingredients:

  1. A mixture of grains and legumes – such as yellow mungbeans or moong dal, split peas, rice (either white or brown)
  2. Coconut oil – coconut oil makes the perfect plantbased replacement for ghee (and tastes better too!).
  3. Spices – the key spices are cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, and turmeric, however I highly recommend adding fenugreek if you can source it, the rest is optional.

Adding quinoa to kichari

This is my little twist to the traditional kitchari recipe. Technically a seed, I think adding quinoa to the bean mixture makes the dish a little more wholesome. You can add it to your rice and legumes mixture or use it to replace the rice. It adds a lovely nutty taste to the kitchari and is pack full of protein.

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram or Facebook. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

Quinoa Kitchari

A comforting and delicious grain-free kitchari that you will absolutely love

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword ayurvedic, kitchari, quinoa, turmeric
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 massel stock cube
  • 1/2 cup yellow mungbeans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup split red lentils
  • 6 cups water

Spices

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob of ginger minced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vegetables

  • 2 cups of chopped vegetables. I use carrots and cauliflower

Instructions

  1. 1. The night before - rinse mungbean, quinoa, and lentils and soak them. Make sure you use a large bowl filled with with water.


    2. The following day - drain the soaked beans and seeds and rinse under running water. Set aside.


    3. Heat coconut oil over medium heat, in a cast iron pot (or any heavy-bottomed pot). Add onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek and ground coriander. Cook for a few minutes until seeds begin to pop.  Add the rinsed beans, and stir to coat. 

    4. Add stock cube and water. then bring to boiling over medium heat. 

    5. Cover and reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the chopped veggies and cook until they become soft, about 20 minutes. 
Stir the pot every now and then to prevent it sticking on to the bottom.

    6. Season with salt and pepper.

    7. Adjust the consistency to your liking by add more water for a soupier consistency, and increasing the cooking time for a thicker, creamier soup.

    8. Serve with fresh coriander.


Recipe Notes

If you like your spices like I do, you can add some freshly sautéed spices for bolder flavours. In a separate saucepan, sauté 1 tsp of mustard seeds in a bit of coconut oil until they pop. Then add 1/2 tsp of cumin seed. Stir together to release the flavours. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked kitchari mixture just before serving.

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Turmeric, Mushroom, Non-Dairy Icecream, Milk Myth and Curing Diabetes

Green Nutrition News – Top 5 nutrition news items

Each week we bring you the latest plant based nutrition news and articles so you can stay informed and empowered.

This week our top 5 nutrition news items include some of the amazing health benefits of turmeric; ways to make healthy non-dairy ice-cream; dispelling common myths about cow’s milk and calcium consumption; the cancer and immunity-protecting properties of the humble mushroom, and whether or not vegan diets help with diabetes.

SPRING

Why Turmeric May Be a Vegetarian’s Best Friend

Turmeric, a perennial plant belonging to the ginger family, has been used as a spice in Asia for thousands of years. Turmeric can provide a rich, orange-yellow colour to foods, and is used in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn colour, cereals and sauces. Turmeric is a significant ingredient in most curry powders.

Turmeric also has known medicinal benefits. A recent press release published on 17 June 2015 reported a study that found the yellow pigment and active therapeutic ingredient of Turmeric, curcumin, enhanced the synthesis of DHA in the liver and brain from essential omega 3 fatty acid ALA.

According to researchers in the study, turmeric can be used to help convert plant derived omega-3 fats to DHA. This can potentially be helpful to individuals who do not eat animal-based food, or who are vegetarian/vegan.

Other studies highlighted by Dr Michael Greger on his Nutrition Facts website have shown turmeric/curcumin has protective effects against some cancers, including Multiple Myeloma, colon cancer, and some types of skin cancers .

Mushrooms Enhance Immune Function and Protect Against Cancer

A recent online article by Dr Joel Fuhrman noted the benefits of mushrooms in boosting immunity and protecting against breast and other types of cancer.

According to Dr Fuhrman, mushrooms have certain phyto-chemicals such as beta-glucan, which enhance the activity of certain types of immunity or ‘killer’ cells in the body, which attack and destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells. These immune-enhancers are thought to help the body fight off microbial invaders and developing tumors, and prevent respiratory infections.

Mushrooms also have compounds that protect against the proliferation of stomach, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.

Dr Fuhrman advises that mushrooms should only be eaten cooked. This is apparently because several raw culinary mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking mushrooms significantly reduces their agaritine content.

How to make dairy-free ice-cream at home

Do you ever feel the need for a delicious frozen treat that won’t ruin your diet, that’s simple to prepare and make at home? Well, dairy-free ice-cream could be your answer

Vicki Brett-Gach, a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator writing on the T Colin Campbell Centre for Nutritional Studies website, shows you how make fresh, healthy vegan ice cream or sorbet in your own kitchen.

Vicki uses an ice-cream machine, but provides tips on how to make these treats using a blender or food processor instead. She showcases several of her favourite mouth-watering recipes, including Cinnamon Spiced Ice Cream; Tart Lemon Pineapple Ice with Fresh Blueberries; Bartlett Pear Sorbet and more.

Vicki’s ice-cream recipes are very easy and straightforward to make, and typically use non-dairy milk and maple syrup for the dairy and sugar alternatives, or simply fruit and dried fruit in the case of sorbets.

You can also check out our very own Vegan Mango Ice Cream recipe which we regularly enjoy here at Littlegreenhabits HQ.

So give these recipes a try and let us know how you found them!

Milk-Myths: Getting clarity about calcium

Rosane Oliveira, DVM, PhD is Founding Director of the UC Davis Integrative Medicine program and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Public Health Sciences at the School of Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

Dr Oliveira recently wrote for the ‘Forks Over Knives’ website about calcium and dairy products. She explains how and why a whole food plant based diet can provide adequate calcium, and what can deplete calcium stores from your body.

A study showing the dangers of taking dietary calcium supplements is explored by Dr Oliveira, who notes in closing that:

“You don’t need dairy or supplements to get enough calcium (in fact they may be a hindrance rather than a help). As long as you eat a calorically sufficient whole-food, plant-based diet that drastically reduces or completely eliminates added sodium, you’ll get all the calcium you need.”

Are Vegan Diets effective against Diabetes?

An interesting study revealed last May in the Journal Nutrition & Diabetes was led by doctors and nutritionists at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a non-profit organization that looks for ways to reduce the amounts of medication being used by the patients with healthy diets.

Researchers in the study chose 17 overweight adults with diabetic neuropathy on a five month low-fat diet that consisted of fresh vegetables and high-fiber. This adult group also attended nutrition classes every week and took a vitamin B12 supplement

The participants were compared with 17 other adults, who received the vitamin but were not on the vegan diet. Those with the plant based diet said they felt better and had less pain. Tests done to participants also showed better blood circulation and nerve function. Not only that, the participants lost an average of 14 pounds.

Despite the encouraging findings of the study, doctors are not sure which part of the plant based diet caused the changes, if any. It could all just be them losing weight that made everything change, the researchers said.

Do you have Type 2 diabetes? Have you ever tried eating out as vegan? If so, have you noticed any changes?