Although snacking might have gained a bad reputation over the years, it is in fact an important part of our diet. Good healthy snacks between meals provide us with energy throughout the day and keep us from overeating at mealtimes. A popular Indian snack is poha. It is known by many names and is prepared in a variety of ways across the country.
Poha is rice that is par-cooked and then rolled, flattened and made into flakes. Since it is already par-cooked it can be consumed without much additional cooking as well. The thickness of the flakes may vary depending on the rice that is used and the degree to which it is pressed. The thinner flakes crisp up quickly when roasted and are ideal for making a chivda mixture- a common teatime snack.
Poha has numerous health benefits. The nutrition levels differ based on the type of rice used. Generally, poha is high in carbohydrates which boost energy. Red rice poha is a healthier option as it is a good source of dietary fibre as well as iron It is also packed with natural trace elements like calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium that fuel the body with essential nutrients, help in regular bowel movement and the removal of body toxins.
While the nutritional highlight of red poha is fibre and iron, it also contains an exceptional amount of antioxidants. Research shows that red rice has significantly more potential to fight free radicals and contains higher concentrations of flavonoid antioxidants than even brown rice(1). These flavonoids can contribute towards decreasing inflammation in your body, keep free radical levels in check, and may reduce your risk of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
These antioxidants, called anthocyanins, are also why the red rice poha has its distinct colour. Anthocyanins are a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Red rice is also known to alleviate the risk of allergies and help in weight management. Its low glycaemic index means that is good for those with dealing with obesity, pre-diabetes, diabetes and even heart conditions.
There are many ways in which you can enjoy poha as a good healthy snack. Whether you prefer eating it cooked or uncooked, sweet or savoury, we have a few recipes to sate your cravings.
Sweet Red Poha or Goan Kalayle Phovu
This is perhaps one of the easiest recipes usually prepared in Goa. It can be used as stuffing for pancakes or be served by itself as a sweet snack. The quantities can be adjusted as per your preference.
- Wash 1 cup of poha and let it dry for about 15 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of grated jaggery,1 teaspoon of cardamom powder and 2 tablespoons grated coconut.
- Stir the mixture and it is ready to serve.
Poha and Fruit Yoghurt
Another interesting poha dish for those with a sweet tooth is a poha and fruit yoghurt. You may use a glass to layer out your ingredients and jazz up the presentation.
- Mix some roasted poha in yoghurt or you may wash and dry the poha if you prefer a softer consistency.
- Arrange your mix in your glass and top it up with your favourite fruit.
This makes for an excellent last-minute dessert or a clever way to get your kids to eat some fruit as a healthy snack option.
While kanda poha is an evergreen Maharashtrian breakfast snack, you can give it a tangy twist by adding tomatoes and peas. Garnish it with some lime, coriander leaves and roasted peanuts to make this good healthy snack all the more wholesome. Don’t forget to add a dash of lemon as it is rich in Vitamin C which enhances the absorption of iron present in red rice poha.
Whatever the recipe, it’s always important to pick good quality grain. Tata Sampann’s red rice poha delivers taste and nutrition in every bite.
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