With winter whetting your appetite, food usually becomes the centre of attention.
When the ambient temperature drops, the body generates heat by increasing its basal metabolic rate in order to keep up the body temperature. There are two ways in which this metabolic feat is achieved - by increasing the breakdown of the body’s stored fat, and by providing the body more fuel to burn in the form of food. Thus, in cold weather, the feeding centre is stimulated, increasing the food intake.
Another important reason for a noted increase in hunger is a marked drop in water intake during colder days. When the temperature is low, you don’t really feel the need to drink more often, as you don’t feel thirsty again and again. As the fluid intake reduces, you tend to confuse thirst with hunger, which leads to increased consumption of food and thus, a bigger appetite. So, focus on keeping the fluid intake constant throughout the year, not just in summer. Less hydration has many disadvantages. It is the underlying reason for cold sores, dry and flaky skin, itching, cracked lips and lacklustre hair.
If gulping down glasses of water doesn’t appeal to you, try increasing the intake of other fluids like milk, juices and caffeine-free tea, like jasmine, chamomile and other natural flower extracts. Do remember that caffeinated beverages are never counted as liquid in take; instead, they sap your system of water. Soups are a healthy and delicious way to stay hydrated and warm during winter. Soups need not be loaded with cream and grease; opt for recipes that contain chick en or vegetable broth and a variety of vegetables, beans, and lean meat - the kind of ingredients that make you feel light and healthy.
Soups are a great way to in corporate nutritionally-rich foods in your diet. Plus, they work as a wonderful option for picky eaters. You can cook your soup longer or shorter to vary the crunchiness of the vegetables. You can also puree the ingredients to add a creaminess.
CHICKEN TOFU LEMON CORIANDER SOUP
Ingredients: Olive oil: 1 tsp, Garlic cloves: 2, Green chilli (small, crushed): 1, Oil: ½ tsp, Vegetable or chicken stock: 500 ml, Coriander leaves (finely chopped): 2 tbsp, Cornflour: 2 tsp, Fish sauce: ½ tsp, Boneless chicken or tofu (small pieces): 50 gm, Carrots and beans (finely chopped): 50 gm, Egg: 1, Salt and lemon juice to taste
Method: Take one tsp olive oil and saute garlic and green chillies in it for 1 min. Add tofu chicken pieces and saute further for 2 mins. Add stock and boil for 10 mins. Add salt. Turn off the gas and add coriander leaves. Just before serving, bring to a boil and add fish sauce. To thicken the soup, take two tsp cornflour in a bowl and dilute it in little water. Add this diluted cornflour to the soup and stir it well. Add the beaten egg as well. Add lemon juice as per taste. (Vegetarians need to do away with fish sauce and egg; the soup tastes delicious without them too). It is a healthy, nourishing soup that tickles the tastebuds with chillies and garlic and hydrates the body.
POTATO AND MUSHROOM SOUP
Ingredients: Boiled potatoes (medium, grated): 2, Mushrooms (sliced): 50 gm , Garlic cloves (crushed): 1 to 2, Vegetable stock: 2 cups, Celery (finely chopped): 1 tsp, Dash of butter, Salt and pepper to taste
Method: Saute garlic in a dash of butter. Add grated potatoes, 1 cup water and boil it till it becomes smooth. Add the vegetable stock and sliced mushrooms. Boil for 5 to 7 mins. Add salt to taste and coarsely ground pepper. Garnish with finely chopped celery. This thick, smooth soup is very filling and warms you on cold winter nights.