Tag Archives: Fruits

Shojin Ryori: A Food Style by Zen Buddhists of Japan

Culinary experts across the globe are quite enthusiastic when it comes to “Shojin Ryori”.

Shijon Ryori, a typical meal P.C.: https://goo.gl/B1cV1N

Shojin Ryori, a typical meal
P.C.: https://goo.gl/B1cV1N

Shojin Ryori, mostly implies their vegetarian cooking style. It’s the abundant availability of both wild and cultivated vegetables in Japan that led to the emergence of such a culinary style. It started during the 13th century, when Zen Buddhism, a kind of Buddhist practice started in Japan.

Zen Buddhist nuns P.C.: https://goo.gl/uDSUX5

Zen Buddhist nuns
P.C.: https://goo.gl/uDSUX5

A typical Shojin Ryori meal consists of a soup, and three dishes, together called as ichi ju san sai. Soy, tofu, kozu – are common ingredients in a Shojin Ryori meal, usually complimented with pickles of various kinds.

Ichi Ju San Sai, the soup P.C.: https://goo.gl/a1jpR6

Ichi Ju San Sai, the soup
P.C.: https://goo.gl/a1jpR6

During the training span of a Buddhist monk in Japan, experting in Shojin Ryori culinary form is important. Some of its dishes require elaborate preparation time with dedicated efforts. One example would be sesame paste, a popular dish that needs long hours of grinding in a pestle and mortar.

Seasame paste P.C.: https://goo.gl/gd8hvz

Seasame paste
P.C.: https://goo.gl/gd8hvz

Speciality of Shojin Ryori cuisine includes, there happens to be no waste during production of this food. Every spread necessarily has a balance of five flavours and colours that completes its composition.  Use of garlic, onion, meat, fish, insects and other pungent flavours is completely abstained in Shojin Ryori.

Shojin Ryori menu is also very much based on nature. Buddhists consider seasonal agricultural products as flow of nature and thus, incorporate them in their plates. During spring, emphasis is led on new sprouts that come up; in summer it’s the green leaves that are preferable; during autumn, it’s more of fruits and nuts while in winter, root veggies and fruits are the main ingredients.

Before the consumption of a Shojin Ryori spread in a Zen Temple, five principles or prayers are chanted which includes:  Reflect on the effort that brings us this food; Reflect on our imperfections as we receive the meal; Reflect on mindfulness to be free from attachment, anger and ignorance; Reflect on taking this food as a medicine to sustain good health and Reflect on the fulfilment of our practice as we accept the offerings.

Buddhists monks during feast P.C.: https://goo.gl/lEN6Qw

Buddhists monks during feast
P.C.: https://goo.gl/lEN6Qw

book P.C.: https://goo.gl/uMvnUh

Shojin Ryori: The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine
P.C.: https://goo.gl/uMvnUh

Authors and bloggers have already made ample research on this culinary style and produced elaborate thesis on it. Among them, “Shojin Ryori: The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine” by Danny Chu is one of the best work to know more about this special culinary style developed by Zen Buddhist monks of Japan.

Christmas Plum Cake: Soaking and Baking Tips

Christmas is synonymous with the word cakes. Cakes make an important part of the feast on this festival. The practice of baking cakes on this day can be traced back to ancient times and the tradition is still followed by most. Middle ages saw the introduction of fruit cakes as in those day dried fruits and nuts were not affordable by all.

Fluffy and Soft Christmas Plum cake P.C.:http://goo.gl/zm0bP1

Fluffy and Soft Christmas Plum cake
P.C.:http://goo.gl/zm0bP1

The unique thing about fruit cakes that set it apart from the other cakes is that its preparation starts long before it is actually baked. The fruits, generally dried ones, are soaked in alcohol that acts as both a preservative and adds flavor to the cake.

The fruits and nuts are soaked in rum weeks or months prior to baking so that they can imbibe in the moisture and turn soft. The goodness of rum enters into the fruits that taste heavenly. The mixture used for soaking is generally rum and caramel.

Traditional Plum cake P.C.:http://goo.gl/cR0AC0

Traditional Plum cake
P.C.:http://goo.gl/cR0AC0

Families follow traditional recipes for the preparation of this cakes that have been handed down over the generations. The sinfully yummy cake fills in your home with heavenly aroma while being baked.

So if it’s your first time trying out culinary skills at baking a fruit cake, we are here to help you out with  basic and easy tips.

Soaking

  • This part of the recipe should be done a month before Christmas or by the end of November. For novice bakers, it is important that you soak the fruits in the right mixture.

    Fruit soaked in Rum P.C.:http://goo.gl/jAT94X

    Fruit soaked in Rum
    P.C.:http://goo.gl/jAT94X

  • Soaking is generally done in either rum or brandy
  • Add the dry fruits of your choice. Usually raisins and dried grapes are added in abundance.
  • A week later dates are added to the mixture.

    Fruits bottled up in Jar P.C.:http://goo.gl/bEsWiE

    Fruits bottled up in Jar
    P.C.:http://goo.gl/bEsWiE

  • After bottling the fruits, keep shaking them periodically to keep the fruits wet.
  • The bottle is kept in dark.

Baking

  • Most of us complain that the fruits sink down at the bottom of the cake. To meet this problem, coat the fruits with flour before adding them to the batter.christmas 13 533
  • To experience the best taste, make sure that the ingredients used are all fresh.
  • If you miss on soaking period or dislike alcohol, you can carry out soaking overnight before the baking day.
  • The batter should be thick and have the consistency to be scooped out.
  • The cake tastes much better if it is baked 2-3 days before having it. Meanwhile, do not let the cake dry after being baked. Keep brushing it with rum to keep it moist.
  • The caramel syrup added to the batter should be thick so as not to loosen the mixture.
  • Never bake in a cold oven. Preheating is always suggested.

    Enjoy Christmas with Tempting Cakes  P.C.:http://goo.gl/vvWRwL

    Enjoy Christmas with Tempting Cakes
    P.C.:http://goo.gl/vvWRwL

 

Animal vs Plant Protein

Before even beginning to talk about which protein is better suited for the human body, let us re-run the old concepts about Protein, just once more…

Proteins! P.C.: http://goo.gl/hBrgIZ

Proteins!
P.C.: http://goo.gl/hBrgIZ

What is ‘protein’?

The term ‘Protein’ refers to a molecular constitution in the food that we consume that can be broken down to form amino acids. The human body requires about twenty different types of amino acids, out of which only 9 the body is incapable of producing and needs to extract from the food eaten.

Hair to Nails... P.C.: http://goo.gl/1UY3xB

Hair to Nails…
P.C.: http://goo.gl/1UY3xB

But why is ‘protein’ important?

Proteins are the body’s basic building blocks and everything in our body are made up of proteins, right from our hair, skin to our nails. Thus the body requires a basic amount of daily protein intake to meet up the maintainance of the body. But the production of amino acids are require the influence of other elements like vitamins and mineral salts. Together, they pump up our system to function to the best of the physical abilities.

Plant protein - Legumes and Cereals P.C.: http://goo.gl/JUVe3e

Plant protein – Legumes and Cereals
P.C.: http://goo.gl/JUVe3e

Now comes the question on food and how to maintain the intake of protein and which one is better, animal protein (non-vegetarian food) or plant protein (vegan food)?

It is a proven fact that animal protein comes with additions like saturated fat and cholesterol that contribute relentlessly to heart-diseases where as in plants, almost all plants have proteins which come with the gifts of antioxidants, fibers, mineral salts, vitamins and ‘photochemicals’. Needless to say, there are absolutely no side-effects for not consuming animal protein but for every ounce of animal protein you’d eat, there have to be a variety of vegetables to ‘balance’ out the effects!

Quinoa Summer Salad P.C.: http://goo.gl/DF1YyI

Quinoa Summer Salad
P.C.: http://goo.gl/DF1YyI

Foods like lentils, quinoa, buckwheat, kale, peans, beans, all sorts of nuts, soy, chick peas and many such foods are more than sufficient for the human body to thrive and live healthy. Plant protein is known and acknowledged to have almost no side-effects at all!

For some healthy lavish fine dining plan, check out BYT and enjoy your time!

Fruit Salad

To relax your taste buds and to give a break to your tummy from all the spicy delicious luscious food, a healthy and fashionable option is Fruit Salad.This can be a main meal, a desert, an appetizer or a snack.

Fruit Salad P.C. : http://goo.gl/Dm2cak

Fruit Salad
P.C. : http://goo.gl/Dm2cak

We all know fruit salad is primarily a combination of different fresh, dried, candied or sugared, and stewed fruits or vegetables in a bowl served with ice cream, honey, syrup or juice of different flavors. Cashews, nuts, raisins are additional to this.However all fruits cannot be a part of the salad family.

Fruit Salad P.C. : http://goo.gl/Au2PNp

Fruit Salad
P.C. : http://goo.gl/Au2PNp

The common fruits used to prepare salad are pomegranate, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, grapes, banana and kiwifruit.The ingredients used in a fruit salad are dependent on what fruits were available in the country or what fruits are available in a specific season.

Fruits used in making salad P.C. : http://goo.gl/kGNZEP

Fruits used in making salad
P.C. : http://goo.gl/kGNZEP

Experiments over the choice of fruits had led to the birth of different types of salads. Some of them are:

Waldorf style fruit salad:

This salad was first created in the Waldorf Hotel, New York. It is generally made of fresh apples, celery and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise, served on lettuce. Other ingredients like chicken, turkey and dry fruits are also added. It acts as a light meal or an appetizer.

Waldorf Style Food Salad P.C.: http://goo.gl/UvQyPQ

Waldorf Style Fruit Salad
P.C.: http://goo.gl/UvQyPQ

Rojak :

‘Rojak’ means mixture in Malaysian language. This is the Malaysian/Singaporean style of fruit salad that is composed of both fruits and vegetables. Rokaj also contains fried dough fritters, bean curds, boiled potatoes, prawn fritters, hard boiled eggs, bean sprouts, cuttlefish and cucumber mixed with a sweet thick, spicy peanut sauce.

Rojak P.C: http://goo.gl/kLuoJZ

Rojak, Singaporean/Mexican style Fruit Salad
P.C: http://goo.gl/kLuoJZ

Bionico:

Mexican fruit salad is referred to as ‘Bionico. This consists of a variety of fruits, cream , granola, shredded coconut, raisins honey condensed,milk and sour cream.

Bionico, Mexican Fruit Salad p.C.: http://goo.gl/z1nQ1X

Bionico, Mexican Fruit Salad
p.C.: http://goo.gl/z1nQ1X

But why should we have fruit salad over daily course of food?

It’s because of the health benefits.The top three benefits are as follows:

a) Eating a high-fiber diet helps to lower cholesterol levels and prevents constipation. Eating more fiber helps to feel fuller, eat less, and ultimately lose weight.

b) Anyone can make a salad anytime.

c) Salads help to fill you up, but they do not feel heavy nor do they make you feel lethargic.

Healthy Fruit Salad P.C. : http://goo.gl/hBVOUQ

Healthy Fruit Salad
P.C. : http://goo.gl/hBVOUQ

Now go to the nearest grocery, whip your wallet, combine and prepare a delicious fruit salad for your next meal. You will feel the ‘good’ factor of fruit salad.