Monsoon and rains…, my cloud of imagination includes relief from scorching heat of summer, splashes of water all around, fragrance of humid soil, colorful umbrellas and rain-coats, the living-room couch, a favorite TV show and something crunchy to eat…!!
Now.., I am sorry to disappoint readers who thought next phrase would be ‘kaanda bhajiya and chutney’..! As here I am going to share a healthier aspect of munching while you feel lazy and want to calmly enjoy the ‘saawan scenario’.
Seldom we would have noticed the fragrance and crunchiness of fruits that are exclusively available in monsoon. This read would make you familiar with the gifts of Mother Earth to brunch upon…..
i. Jamun or Java Plum
Also called as ‘Kala Jamun’, the tropical fruit is native to the Indian subcontinent but is eaten globally as a healthy snack option. Loaded with a number of vitamins and minerals, it also has medicinal properties and its seeds are utilised to prepare medicines in Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes. Consumption is also known to reduce risk of cancer and prevent liver disorders.
The best way to have it is with a light sprinkle of salt that complements its tangy taste and astringent nature with calories as less as 62 per 100g.
This yellow-orange color fruit with a velvety skin is native to northwest China and just like plums and jamun, belongs to ‘stone fruit family’ that is they have a large single seed inside. It forms a good source of beta carotene, has high antioxidant activity and also contains fluoride which helps in maintaining gum and teeth health.
Also referred to as ‘Fruit of Calmness’ due to its stress and anxiety relieving factors, they contain antioxidants like ‘lutein’ that help maintaining a healthy skin and desirable weight with only 50 calories per 100g.
The fresh variety which is bright red to dark purple in color are called as ‘plum’ while the dried ones are known as ‘prunes’. Both contain an assortment of nutrients. They are an excellent source of phytonutrients, antioxidants and A, C, K and B-Complex vitamins.
While purchasing plums, look for the ones that are soft at the tip, the firm ones can also be bought and ripened at home. Avoid the excess hard ones as they may be immature with an unpleasant taste. Good quality plums have a bright color with a whitish bloom.., relish on these with not more than 50 calories per 100g.
With the sweetest taste and fragrance among all monsoon fruits, it is native to China and now cultivated in many parts of the world. Its delicate whitish pulp is usually enjoyed fresh but has also gained popularity in the form of squash, sherbet and jellies.
Every 100g provides about 119% of daily vitamin-C requirement with only 60 calories. They also form a valuable source of polyphenols that makes them a highly recommended antioxidant.
Also called as “America’s Super Fruit”, these bright red miniatures are full of health and taste. These belong to the same family of ‘stone fruits or drupes’ and are often regarded as ‘dessert fruits’ due to their excessive utilization in garnish of pies, ice-cream and cocktails etc.
High in potassium, low in sodium and packed with antioxidants they have a high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbing Capacity) value and thus benefit the overall well being in many ways. Choose on ripe, red and plump cherries with their green stem intact and indulge into the delicacy of this monsoon fruit, with only 60 calories even after having both hands full.
“Enjoy this monsoon with a pack of colorful, plump, juicy and tasty delicacies to replenish the immune system, keep monsoon infections at bay and have a touch of ‘good health’ everyday.”