In India, makhanas are commonly consumed when fasting, thanks to their strong nutritional value. Commonly known as lotus seeds or fox nuts, they are also used as an ingredient in several foods or sweet dishes of the Indian cuisine.
When we think of a light evening snack, we often think of a packet of fried chips or Kurkure. However, it is time to think of something healthier, as we are already aware of the ill effects of these snacks all around us. This is where snacks like fox nuts are gaining popularity.Grown in the wetlands of Asian countries, they are also known as phool makhana (because of their flowery appearance) and lotus seeds. They are a great snack and have multiple benefits. Read on to know about this wonderful, economical, tasty, and healthy dish.
- They are low in calories, fat, and sodium. They are therefore the perfect in-between-meal snack. They also make you feel full, so further cravings for binge eating are reduced
- Their low sodium and high potassium and magnesium content makes them very useful for people with high blood pressure
- The high calcium content is good for bone and teeth health
- Their sugar content is low, and so are highly useful for diabetics, who have the urge to eat at short intervals
- The fox nuts have astringent properties and are useful for kidney ailments
- Dietitians recommend people looking for weight loss should try makhana, as they are very low in calories but can fill the stomach. This helps control hunger pangs and intake of high-calorie foods
- It is rich in fiber and so can be used in weight loss as well as for digestion problems like constipation
- Fox nuts are rich in antioxidants and therefore useful in fighting ageing and chronic inflammation and stress in the body
- In both men and women, makhana is believed to improve fertility rates. The sperm quality and quantity is believed to improve when makhana is consumed
- Given its multiple benefits, especially calcium and iron, pregnant women are given makhana. It also helps prevent hypertension and diabetes in the pregnant mother
- Fox nuts are believed to help get rid of insomnia
- If addiction to coffee is your problem, try some fox nuts to get rid of the addiction
Methods of use
- The seeds are actually tasteless and so whether it is salt or sweet, they take on the added taste
- Roast the seeds with a little ghee on a light flame. Sprinkle salt, and the yummy snack is good to go
- Other spices like cinnamon or oregano can be added to suit one’s taste
- They can also be used in sweet dishes like kheer and other desserts
Sample Recipe- Roasted Makhana
- 100 grams of makhana
- 1 tsp olive oil
- A pinch of haldi
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast the makhana on low to medium heat. It will take about 10 minutes to roast evenly.
- Mix the oil, salt, pepper and haldi. Add to the roasted makhana and stir for a few more minutes, until the makhanas are crisp to taste. Allow it to cool completely and store in an air-tight container.
Makhanas have several health benefits that make them a great snacking option. One can consume them in the form of the healthy recipes mentioned above, or they can also be eaten uncooked. One way or the other, you can reap the benefits of this healthy snack by simply keeping some handy in your pantry at all times.