Going Natural: Minimizing Artificial Foods in Your Kitchen

By Piyushi Dhir

After suggesting ways in which you can replace chemicals on your bathroom shelf with natural alternatives and also keep your child chemical free, I am offering some tips to minimize artificial foods in your kitchen.

All of these are tried and tested methods that I have personally employed within my house. I am sharing these with you in the hope that you find at least some of them useful.

So, here are a few simple ways to make your kitchen more natural:

  1. Your Own Atta Instead of a Processed One

A staple food for many Indians is the chapatti and while previous generations always got their atta ground in front of themselves, we have started increasingly relying on packaged and branded flour. Since flour does not spoil quickly, if you can make that little extra effort to buy wheat grains and get it ground, you can have some fresh, preservative-free flour with your own variations. For instance, we experiment every time by having either soya chunks or black chickpeas (chana) or ragi or jowar or a combination of these added to the flour. What would you like to add to your flour?

Fresh Flour for Chapati

Fresh Flour for Chapati

  1. Try Infused Water Instead of Cola

Google this one and you’ll find a variety of easy recipes. Instead of drinking plain water, infuse a jug of water with a few slices of lemon or cucumber or ginger or any other citrus fruit. Not only does the hint of flavour in the water make it more refreshing and enticing, it also helps you detox, hydrate and lose weight! Infused water is rich in antioxidants and rids your body of toxins. So splash your water with your favourite natural flavour and replace the colas and packaged juices in your life.

 

Health Benefits of Infused Water

Health Benefits of Infused Water

  1. Fresh Juice Instead of Packaged

Talking of packaged juices, aren’t they convenient? But most of them have sugar, preservatives and have been processed. As difficult as it may sound, fresh juice can be quite simple to make. Don’t go for a complicated juicer with a hundred different parts that will need cleaning. Just stir up your preferred fruit or vegetable in a mixer and strain the juice out. If you can, don’t throw the pulp and consume it as well because that’s where the real fiber lies. So what’s your choice? Watermelon, pineapple, apple or orange juice?

 

There's Nothing Like Fresh Juice

There’s Nothing Like Fresh Juice

  1. Home-made Cereals Instead of Sugary Alternatives

Pick up any brand or box of cornflakes and breakfast cereals and take a good look at the ingredients. Almost all of them have roughly 30% sugar. If you have read my article on making your child’s life chemical free, you would have already read about my suggested alternative. Just keep some roasted oats, wheat, ragi, besan, atta etc in different bottles. All you have to do is put a couple of spoons of your preferred cereal for the day in a pan, add some milk and cook for a few minutes. A bit of jiggery and honey and you have a healthy, natural, non-packaged cereal ready to eat.

 

Home made cereals

Home made cereals

  1. Fresh Fruits Instead of Packaged Desserts

Have a sweet tooth? The urge to eat something sweet after a meal attacks many of us. You will be surprised at how well a sweet and juicy fruit like papaya, pineapple, grapes and peaches can soothe that urge.

Fresh Fruits to Suppress the Urge for Sweets

Fresh Fruits to Suppress the Urge for Sweets

Some Other Tips:

  • Look through your kitchen and eliminate as many packaged and processed items as possible
  • Try to make some home-made chutneys to replace ketchup- you can easily prepare these on a holiday and freeze them in small parts to last you for a month
  • We also did away with packaged non-vegetarian foods like sausages and prefer to buy fresh chicken and fish to prepare in a variety of ways
  • While they are more expensive, if possible, try to use organic varieties of dals, masalas etc. Especially for your children
  • Opt for fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables instead of those that have been stored

 

Do you also have any suggestions about how to go natural in the kitchen? I’d love to hear from you.

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About the Author

PIyushi Dhir is the author of the romantic novels, 'In Search of Love' (2014), 'I'm Yours, The Next Time' (2015) and 'Enmeshed Evermore' (2015). A voracious reader, a keen traveler and an ardent dog-lover, Piyushi currently resides in Ivory Coast, Africa. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.

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