Go desi and healthy this summer – Enjoy Ragi drink

 Go desi and healthy this summer – Enjoy Ragi drink

Summer and heat go hand in hand. With the mercury rising, the scorching sun has the potential to deplete us of energy, and drain us completely. Many fall under the sun’s spell and experience dehydration, heat stroke and exhaust themselves. Summer triggers appetite loss and increases thirst. The loss of hunger is your body’s way of communicating what it needs. So instead of force-feeding yourself this summer do what your body wants and drink lots of water & healthy drinks. Ragi drink is one such super nutritious drink you should consider having during these hot summers. Are you ready to trade your cup of coffee for this healthy drink?

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Ragi drink? By the way, what is ragi exactly?

It is popularly known as finger millet (Eleusine coacana) or nachini in north India. It is an annual herbaceous plant widely grown in arid and semi-arid areas of Africa and Asia. It is an important part of the diet in southern India, especially Karnataka and Tamilnadu. The weather, heat and the temperature explain the reason behind ragi drink being an important part of south India. This is an extremely nutritious millet that resembles mustard seeds in appearance.

Ragi is a powerhouse of many nutrients. As per the National Institute of Nutrition studies. Nutritional value of finger millet per 100g are-

• Protein 7.6g
• Fat 1.5g
• Carbohydrate 88g
• Calcium 370mg
• Vitamins – A: 0.48mg
• Thiamine (B1): 0.33mg
• Riboflavin (B2): 0.11mg
• Niacin : (B3) 1.2mg
• Fiber 3g

Health benefits of ragi drink :

Loaded with calcium:

According to the National Institute Of Nutrition India it is one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium when compared with other millets and grains.

Helps in controlling Diabetes:

The low glycemic index lessens food cravings and maintain digestive pace, consequently, keeping blood sugar in the safe range.

Battles Anaemia:

Ragi is an excellent source of Iron and thus a boon for anemic patients and also for those with low hemoglobin levels. Once ragi is allowed to sprout, the Vitamin C levels tend to increase and lead to easy absorption of iron into the bloodstream.

Helps in weight loss:

The high amount of dietary fiber combine keeps the stomach full for longer and prevents unwanted cravings. This, in turn, leads to minimized appetite and weight loss.

Reverts skin aging:

Ragi works wonders for maintaining young and youthful skin. Vital amino acids like methionine and lysine present in it make the skin tissues less prone to sagging and wrinkles. Studies from NIN explains Ragi is a natural source of Vitamin D which is mostly derived from sunlight. Vitamin D is a carrier molecule for calcium, which accounts for vitality.

Relaxes the body:

As per a study conducted by MedIndia in 2000, regular consumption of ragi is highly beneficial in dealing with conditions like anxiety, depression insomnia. The presence of antioxidants, mainly tryptophan and amino acids, helps as they work as
natural relaxants.

Gluten-free:

Gluten is the protein found in wheat. It gives wheat the least quality that helps it the rise and keeps its shape while making bread. It does so by creating a gluten network in the dough to trap carbon dioxide during fermentation. This causes the dough to rise and results in a chewy texture. Foods rich in gluten are fairly acid forming since it is not easy for our bodies to digest gluten. People with celiac disease are completely gluten intolerants. Ragi is the mighty millet which is free of gluten. This creates a more alkaline medium in your body and gets easily digested.

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How can you conveniently include ragi drink in your diet?

Ragi Malt or Ragi drink is the most convenient way to add millets in your diet. By adding
cooling ingredients and spices this drink can hydrate your body and cool down your system. Apart from its umpteen health benefits, it’s delicious too. You can think of having quick ragi drink during your busy morning or as an healthy evening snack.

All you need is a maximum of 5-7 minutes to make this ragi drink. Keep the ragi flour handy and you can relish this drink often. Now there are two options- either you buy ragi flour from the market or make the ragi flour at home. The choice is yours.

How to make ragi flour?

If you are a health enthusiast and want to ensure the quality of each ingredient then it’s better to know the process of making ragi flour from scratch. Yes, it takes an additional 30 minutes to make this flour, but the time put in is totally worth it. You can think of making this ragi powder once or twice a month and enjoy instant ragi drink throughout the month. Okay, now follow the following steps-

Step 1: Sprout Ragi
step 2: Dry roast the ragi in a skillet (preferably iron) on low heat.
step 3: cool it completely.
Step 4: Make it to a fine powder.
Step 5: Let the powder cool down completely
Step 6: Transfer it to an airtight glass/stainless steel container
Step 7: Preferably store the jar in the refrigerator

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How to make ragi drink?

You can make both sweet and salty ragi drink.

Recipe for making salty ragi drink –

Ingredients:
• 4 tbsp Ragi flour
• 3 cups of water
• 5 cups buttermilk ( 1 and 1/2 cup curd in 3 cups of water)
• salt to taste
• 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
• 1/4 tsp hing
• 10-12 curry leaves
• 1 tsp fresh coriander
• 2 tbsp onion, chopped.

Process:
1.Heat 2 and 1/2 cups of water in a pan.
2. Meanwhile, mix ragi flour in the remaining 1/2 cups of water.
3. Make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
4. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, slowly add the ragi mixture in the boiling water.
5. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid the formation of lumps.
6. Remove the pan from heat and lets this mixture cool completely.
7.slowly add the buttermilk and whisk nicely.
8. Add salt roasted cumin powder, Hing , curry leaves and onions. Mix well.
9. Add more water if the drink is too thick.
10. Chill for a few hours beefier serving.
11. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Recipe for making sweet ragi drink –

Ingredients:
• 4 tbsp Ragi flour
• 3 cups of water
• 3 cups of milk
• Jaggery (as per taste)
• Cardamom powder (1/3 rd of a teaspoon)

Process : 
1.Heat 2 and 1/2 cups of water in a pan.
2. Meanwhile, mix ragi flour in the remaining 1/2 cups of water.
3. Make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
4. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, slowly add the ragi mixture in the boiling water.
5. Cook for a minute, stirring continuously to avoid the formation of lumps.
6. Add milk and jaggery and cook until jaggery melts
7. Add cardamom powder and cook for 2 minutes.
8. Remove the pan from heat and lets this mixture cool completely.
9. Add more water/milk if the drink is too thick.
10. Chill for a few hours before serving.
11. Add finely chopped almonds and pistachios for garnishing.

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*You can add few more interesting ingredients according to your personal choice to make  more healthier version of the drink.

 

You can add oats to this drink while boiling the water,you can add few flax seeds while making the ragi powder, you can replace milk with almond milk (esp for vegans)

What is the best time to have ragi drink?

As it is high in carbohydrates it takes time for digestion so the best time to have this drink is in the morning or early in the evening.

How much ragi is safe to consume?

Moderation is the thumb rule of nutrition. 2-3 tablespoons of ragi are safe to consume three times a week.

As Ragi is rich in calcium it is not advisable for patients with kidney stones and other kidney disorders. Also, as it has few goitrogens , so people with thyroid issues should limit its intake to once or twice in a month.

Also read

Recipe of sattu drink

Recipe of carrot orange juice

Recipe of beetroot pomegranate juice

Bottom Line:

Ragi (finger millet) has umpteen health benefits which makes it stand apart and above other millets and grains. Do include this healthy convenient ragi drink in your diet to get its benefits.

Ms.Akhila Yallapragada holds clinical Nutrition and Dietetics certification from Apollo health education and research foundation.She is experienced in menu planning, calorie counting and  diet counselling for both inpatient and outpatient individuals at Apollo. 

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Akhila Y

Akhila holds a Post graduate diploma in clinical nutrition and dietetics from Apollo health education and research foundation. She is into this field since a year.She worked as an intern at Apollo hospitals, Hyderabad. She is trained in both inpatient and outpatient dietetics department. She did nutritional assessment, diet planning and clinical counselling for individuals with Hypothy-roid, Diabetic mellitus, Hypertension and kidney dysfunctions at outpatient department in Apollo. Akhila was into agricultural biotechnology but destiny had different plans and her strong passion towards nutrition and food sciences got her into clinical nutrition field. Having a strong background in biochemistry and human genetics she acquired a deep knowledge in the statistics specific to whole body macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism and its relation to metabolic diseas-es.Coming from agricultural background she did research on how organic foods are beneficial than conventionally grown counterparts in terms of nutrients such as antioxidants.She always motivates to encourage locally grown food for better health. She doesn’t encourage usage of supplements and crash diets. She believes the blend of traditional food wisdom and modern nutritional science is necessary for healthy body and mind. She em-phasises more on health gain than just loosing weight.This can only be possible by Sustainable diets.She is all happy in to help her clients who are ready to lead healthy, happy and nourishing life through Wellness munch!

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1 Comment

  • Well articulated with both nutritional benefit and culinary aspects…

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