Article by Soumita Biswas, Chief Nutritionist, Aster RV Hospital
Holiday season is here and with it comes a bonanza of tasty treats such as rose cookies, cakes, pies, breads, etc. While this is a delightful time of the year, and everyone will want to indulge, we must also keep our nutritional intake in mind. Maida consumption is increasingly growing in our daily lives. Maida is consumed in the form of breads and other dishes like parathas, samosas, pizza, burgers, bakery items, and so on and any holiday season entails a lot of preparing delicious delicacies and sweets. A majority of the delicacies are made with maida as a base. It is also known as refined flour, and is a finer type of wheat flour prepared from a section of the wheat grain. Wheat is milled to remove the germ and bran, leaving just the endosperm, which produces white flour. It is then thoroughly ground and bleached, giving Maida its characteristic white colour. Maida can cause digestion troubles, diabetes, cardiac problems, impairs bone density, causes chronic inflation, obesity, and many other problems in your body. The following are some examples of alternatives to maida that you can use while preparing your yummy treats –
· Almond flour- This is an ultra-low-carb flour which works well in baking as an alternative for refined flour. Due to its rich nutty flavour, it is often used in keto sweets and is the most popular flour. Its remarkable nutritional profile quickly makes it a favourite among keto dieters. Because almond flour is high in fat, you can reduce the amount of butter or other fat sources you use in your recipe.
· Coconut flour- It is low carb, gluten-free, and this vegan flour is simple to make at home, which is also good for your wallet! This high protein flour may be used to make cookies, bread, cake, and pancakes. Because it is gluten-free, you will need to use eggs or more baking powder to give it structure.
· Buckwheat flour- Buckwheat flour is high in antioxidants and a good source of fibre. It is widely accessible online and in local grocery shops, and referred to as gluten-free flour or Kuttu atta. It may be used to create anything, from pancakes and cakes to pizza bases and bread.
· Tapioca flour- Tapioca is a starch made from the cassava root. Tapioca flour is often used in gluten-free baking in addition to being a fantastic thickening agent. It can be used to produce crisp pizza and gluten-free doughnuts.
· Quinoa flour- Quinoa is one of the most protein-dense plant foods. Quinoa flour is gluten-free, has a low glycaemic index, and is high in antioxidants, making it one of the costlier options. It can be found at high-end grocery shops or online. It has a good flavour and a nice texture, making it an excellent baking ingredient.
· Ragi flour- Ragi can also be referred to as Nachani or finger millets. It contains iron, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and dietary fibre and is also gluten-free and easy to digest. It is now being used for much more than just rotis, idlis, and dosas. It can also be used for cookies and biscuits to cakes and sourdough. While it is also high in glycemic index, it can be used due to its good fiber content.
· Banana flour- Banana flour is a gluten-free flour that is becoming increasingly popular. It has a powdery texture and is widely used as a thickener. As a result, it works well in milkshakes and smoothies. This flour gives a faint banana flavour and is excellent for baking banana bread, muffins, or cupcakes.
· Soy flour- It is high in several vital vitamins, protein, calcium, manganese, iron, folate, and zinc. Some of the dishes which can be made in alternative to Maida are dosa, paratha, cake, muthia, dal dhokli, and pancakes.
Maida-based foods are widely available and consumed. Such meals are not only unhealthy for the body, but they may also lead to a variety of ailments. Therefore, it is vital to understand the negative effects on health and restrict its intake and switch to better healthier alternatives.