Ditch the Tin Can, Let’s Eat Natural


When I mention tomato puree, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. A tin filled with pureed tomatoes, right? Credit where it’s due, it’s easy and quick to use the tinned tomato puree. But, is it really worth it?

Credits- Unsplash

Now I’m not here to get all science-y and talk vitamins so let’s get that out of the way already. Canned food isn’t always necessarily unhealthy. Sometimes, canning may even help preserve some vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K.

At the same time though, canned food contains small amounts of BPA, the chemical used to preserve food. Too much of this chemical can cause health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and male sexual dysfunction.

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Your canned food may also contain added sugar, salt, or preservatives. This isn’t much of an issue for a lot of people, but patients with high blood pressure have to bear the consequences. Moreover, it also contains a deadly bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria with a super confusing name can cause paralysis or even death.

Credits- Pixabay

Keeping all this aside, canned food spoils the fun of cooking from scratch. I’m pretty sure everyone has a memory of sitting with a parent or a grandparent and removing peas from their shells. That step is practically gone if you whip out a can of peas. Plus you’d be lying if you said that canned food somehow tastes better than food made with fresh ingredients.

Credits- Unsplash

Apologies if I came across as grumpy, but I think a valid point has been made. After all, fresh ingredients are the reason “maa ke haath ka khana” tastes the way it does! Now, who doesn’t like that right? *Alexa cue nostalgic music*

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Crispy and crunchy Namak para

Ingredients required:
Maida/All-purpose flour – 1 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Ajwain(carom seeds) – 2 tsp
Chilled/cold water to knead the dough
Oil for deep frying

How to make namak para:
1. Add flour, ajwain, salt, and ghee in a wide bowl. Mix with your fingertips until all ingredients combine and resemble a breadcrumb-like texture.
2. Gradually add chilled water and mix until you get a soft and smooth dough. Keep aside covered for about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a wide pan for deep frying.
4. Divide the dough into equal portions.
5. Take a portion and roll it into a thin circle. Dust flour as and when needed. Roll it as thin as possible.
6. Using the cutter(you can use your pizza cutter or a simple knife, too), cut first vertically, then horizontally to form small diamonds. Carefully separate them and make them ready.
7. To check if the oil is at the correct temperature, first pinch a tiny portion of dough, and add it to the oil if it rises to the top immediately, then the oil is at the correct temperature…else heat the oil for a few more seconds. Now gently gather the diamonds and drop them sprinkled.
8. Cook on medium-low flame and flip them for even cooking. Deep fry till golden brown and drain in tissue paper to absorb the excess oil. Repeat the process for the remaining dough.
9. Drain them on kitchen tissue paper and allow them to cool. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container.