MAKHANE KI KHEER / FOXNUTS/LOTUS SEEDS /VRAT RECIPE

Makhana ( foxnuts/lotus seeds ) is a popular choice to make yummy creamy desserts during fast /vrat during Navaratris.
Makhane ki kheer is a great choice for its host of benefits and its a great alternative for those looking to fast with a low fat , low calorie option too.

Ingredients:

1 cup makhana ( lotus seeds/ foxnuts)
1 1//2 cup low fat milk or skimmed milk
3-4 tbsp sugar or powdered jaggery ( light variety)
A pinch of cardamom powder or nutmeg / cinnamon
2 tsp ghee
1 tbsp cashewnuts or blanched almonds
Some saffron strands soaked in warm milk

Method:

In a pan add little ghee , roast the makhana till light golden . Keep flame on very low as the makhana gets browned quickly.
Let it cool .
In a vessel or pan boil skimmed milk till little thickened . Add the half of the makhanas that we toasted to cook along with the skim milk and take the remaining half of the toasted makhanas and coarsely powder in the mixie .( not too fine ) Keep aside .
When the milk has started thickening . Add sugar or powdered jaggery, other flavors , Saffron milk, the powdered makhanas . 
Let whole mixture boil on a very low flame , add toasted cashewnuts or blanched almonds . Bu adding the coarsely powdered makhanas the milk mixture would have thickened and appears creamy too . The whole makhanas would have cooked well in the milk .
Serve either warm or chilled .
If you are not calorie conscience , use milkmaid as replacement for sugar and milk by cooking the makhanas in little milk and then adding condensed milk . It is faster , creamy and yummier of course but also high calorie! Your choice !

More about Makhana and its benefits and uses 

Protein rich and high in  and calcium, makhana or fox-nut when combined with low fat milk makes a creamy dessert / kheer. Add your favouriteflavors like nutmeg or cinnamon Makhana is also a great choice for weight-watchers as it is low in fat.

It has  carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Lotus seeds are also low in sodium. Their low sodium and high magnesium content makes them useful for those suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity

Fox nuts are lotus flower’s seed. It is grown in water and is largely found in India and know as ‘Makhana’ here. Also found in Korea, Japan and Russia and known as ‘Gorgon Nut’ there. It is also known as Euryale Ferox. This is an Asian water plant and is mainly cultivated for its edible seeds which look like popcorn.

Extracts from different parts of this water plant including its leaves, stems, roots and seeds have been reported to show several benefits, such as antioxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, and immuno-modulatory activities. 

Makhanas have also been used in religious rituals in India. Interestingly, the lotus seeds are also called fox nut or gorgon nut. 

However, being low in fat and high in carbohydrates, these are nutritionally distinct from nuts and seeds. 

Lotus seeds are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. 

Lotus seeds are also low in sodium. Their low sodium and high magnesium content makes them useful for those suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.  

These seeds contain an anti-aging enzyme, which is believed to help repair damaged proteins.

 Lotus seeds are also known to  a natural flavonoid also found in coffee which prevents inflammation and aging. It is believed that roasted lotus seeds make a coffee substitute. In addition, lotus seeds are high on phyto-nutrients.

Most  significantly, the glycemic index of lotus seed is significantly lower than most high carbohydrate foods like rice, bread and others. It appears that lotus seeds may have a beneficial effect on diabetic individuals, and may be one of the more appropriate foods for them. 

 The seeds can be eaten raw, roasted, or ground and boiled into a syrup or paste. The most common use of the seed is in the form of lotus seed paste, which is used extensively in Chinese pastries as well as in Japanese desserts. 

Dried lotus seeds may be soaked in water overnight prior to use. They can then be added directly to soups, salads or used in other dishes. Puffed seeds are used in curries, kheer, puddings and dry roasted snacks. . 

 Lotus seeds hold a promising future as an alternate gluten-free protein supplement .

 Blending its flour with other nutritionally rich legumes like daals and soybean or millets like bajra and jowar will be of immense value .

 Hence, introduce the ‘makhana’ snack food in your regular diet for that healthy edge.

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