Inspired by You No3
The mindset of frugality might be appropriate for us all right now. Not just for those who cannot afford to stock up the fridges and freezers or for the millions of people who rely on the monthly salary to do the grocery shopping for the month ahead.
Today my thoughts are with those who shop for the most nutrient-dense foods at the lowest possible cost—the people who know what type of food sustains life on a small budget.
The same people who cannot afford to indulge in fast foods and fancy foods. The same people who suffer from hunger but do not suffer from modern-day decease caused by eating too many unhealthy foods.
Unhealthy foods find their way onto the shelves at the supermarkets. Fancy packaging and deceptive marketing convince some of those who can afford it, to buy it.
Some of the fortunate people frequent the famous fast food outlets where there is usually an abundance of processed and not so healthy food.
I was inspired to write this blog post by Lorraine Gutteridge, a good friend who is diligent about healthy eating. Yesterday we discussed how long we could hold out before we have to go out to buy more food. Chatting with Lorraine set me off thinking about our stock of dried beans, lentils and chickpeas. These dried foods form part of our regular shopping list; they are not expensive and are highly nutritious.
For 28 years we lived on a smallholding out of town. The closest food store was three kilometres from home. The store was a small general dealer with a limited stock of essential foods, plenty of hardware and always a variety of good quality fresh fruit and vegetables. An Indian family owned the store, and my husband Franco had a special friendship with the ladies of the family. A friendship founded due to their mutual love for food.
The ladies inspired Franco to make Indian style food, they shared samples of their home-cooked meals as well as the recipes and instructions on how to make the meals. Dahl was one of the meals we were introduced to by the ladies at the General Dealers store. Dahl is a low cost simple, quick, highly nutritious and most delicious meal if you enjoy spicy food. Dahl is made with lentils and served with rice. Lentils are rich in protein, minerals and fibre.
Dahl is comfort food for Indian families, and the Mother has her own way of making it. The internet has many recipes for Dahl.
If you are not fond of spicy food here are some Other Lentil Recipes.
Dried beans are as nutritious as lentils. Chic peas are also rich in protein and minerals but have more carbohydrate value than protein. Chic peas are also a good source of Vitamin C.
Bean soup is a favourite at our house. When I make a bean soup, I often remember the times when we had a house full of guests at the farm, and we served up bean soup and crusty bread. There are many ways to make bean soup, with or without meat, with or without spices. Our favourite is Chilli Bean Soup. Red chillies are full of Vitamin C, my mouth waters at the thought of Chilli Bean Soup.
Chickpeas are also good for making soup. Dried chickpeas need to be well soaked, overnight in the fridge is best because they have a hard husk. Adding ½ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of dried chickpeas makes the water more alkaline, and softens the chickpeas.
My Sister-in-law Louisa makes a hearty Chickpea soup, here is an Italian Recipe that you may enjoy.
Hummus is a delicious healthy snack made with chickpeas. Just one can of chickpeas makes enough Hummus for a small family to savour for at least one week. If you use dried chickpeas to make Hummus, the baking powder soak helps to make the texture more creamy and less grainy. Humus is not exactly a low-cost food, but as with nuts, if eaten with respect and in moderation, it will give you lots of energy and is full of goodness.
Having a frugal mindset is food for thought. The future is uncertain; we want to stay well-nourished to be able to cope with the lock-down. We need to stay physically and mentally fit to keep our immune system strong.
Going back to basics, buying simple foods, spending time in the kitchen, preparing food and cooking is a perfect way to nurture ourself, our families and maintain our overall health.
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