Kitchen on your desktop

Quick recipes

Kitchen on your desktop

How often have you gazed at a quickfix cheese-filled lunch or a mouthwatering tiramisu video-recipe online and wanted to try it out? With the fast-paced lifestyle that we follow now, such ready-to-make recipes come as a blessing. Although some of them might lack nutritional value, they are quite popular.

These recipes can be prepared quickly but are impractical for regular consumption, says Angeline David, an associate catalogue executive. She feels that though these videos might cater to the ‘yum-factor’, they work for people who are expert cooks and know what to avoid. “These videos are not of much help to beginners as they do not include details like the quantity of oil to be used or the preparation time. They are attractive and can lure anyone but need to be analysed before they are followed,” she says.

The calorie content in such recipes can be quite baffling. “There are videos which use oats for a dessert but the amount of butter and sugar or packaged condensed milk added to the final product take away the goodness of the oats itself,” she says.

Siddharth Sinha, a law student, who prefers to cook only when there is no other option, was depending on these recipes. “The ingredients would be lying around and to fix a quick meal, it was a great option. But I soon realised that I was putting on weight and feeling lethargic as my food was high on fat and carbohydrates and low on proteins,” he says. Siddharth quickly consulted a dietician who advised him about the nutrition he required on a daily basis. He now sticks only to desserts or finger food video-recipes.

Preethi Nagabhushana, a homemaker, says that these are good for those who want to add some zing to a recipe they have already tried out. “I have liked a page on Facebook and I often check for additional tips for ‘pineapple curry’ , bitter gourd curry or a simple ‘sambhar’ recipe. These videos are a great timesaver  and help in learning new things,” says Preeti.

But, they do not explain the process in detail. “When trying something new, these videos could be misleading even about the smallest of processes like kneading the dough,” she adds.

Sticking to traditional ingredients would be the best way to do it. Rekha Prabhu, a freelance dietician, says that these videos often offer quick solutions to satiate one’s hunger pangs but can be detrimental to one’s health. “When a recipe consists of elements like mousse, cream cheese and other packaged items, the amount of stabilisers and preservatives one invites to the body are overlooked,” says Rekha. “It is not easy to determine the calories and nutritional value of a meal or dessert. Though these foods can be nice for the palate, those who refer to these videos for quick meals are missing out on wholesome goodness — they take a longer time to digest and are stored up as fat if the person’s physical activity is less,” she details. It’s best to keep the portions smaller, especially when it’s a dessert, Rekha adds.

Being choosy when trying such recipes and knowing what to replace with what is important, says Ranjani Raman, a nutrition consultant. “The fresher the food is, the better the results are,” she says.  “Ingredients like cornflour or maida which is easy to use are refined and cook fast but aren’t good. On the other hand, millets or ragi take a longer time to cook and have good nutrients in them. In a nutshell, anything that is a quickfix is not always nutritious,” she says.

“It is always best to consume local fruits and vegetables. We are so enticed by Western foods like blueberries, dragonfruit and nectarines etc that we forget our traditional food. Our bodies are well tuned to local vegetables and fruits and apart from exposing oneself to fertilisers or additives, these fancy-looking fruits might look nice but do not serve as healthy options,” says Ranjani.

She adds that nothing can be easy and more healthy than a banana with honey or some nuts together. “It’s best to stay away from deceiving quick recipes. Always opt for healthier replacements like flavoured yoghurt with curd or cheese with scrambled ‘paneer’ in a dish,” she adds.

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