You must have eaten different types of nuts like cashew-nuts, almond, walnut, groundnut, sesame seed , pista, mustard, and khus-khus. These are mostly foods we eat in very small quantities. Groundnut are eaten more often. Oilseeds are rich in fat and may be used to extract oil. Groundnut, til and coconut are the main oilseeds used.

What is nutritive value of Nuts and Oilseeds :-

Nuts and oilseeds are good source of protein. However, the protein quality may be improved by combining foods are good source of fat. They are also good sources of beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. Niacin (also called nicotinic acid) is also present in nuts. Nuts and oilseeds are also good source of minerals like iron and calcium. Sesame seed is very rich source of calcium.

Selection of Nuts and oilseeds:-

Nuts as we have mentioned, are expensive foods. We cannot afford to consume them in very large quantities. Among the cheaper foods in this group are groundnuts, which compare favourable in their nutrients content, with the more expensive nuts like almonds. While purchasing nuts and oilseeds, it is important to see that they are not spoilt. Any change in smell or taste will mean that these are stable. The appearance of the nuts is also important. Shriveled nuts are to be avoided. The presence of nuts is an indication of poor quality.

Uses of Nuts and oilseeds:-

You already know that groundnuts, sesame seed, and coconut are most commonly used to extract oil for cooking purposes. The use of oil as compared to ghee is encouraged since it reduce the risk of heart diseases. Some other uses of these food are listed below:

  • Nuts may be roasted or fried and eaten as such. These make very tasty snacks. A thin coating of besan or jaggery add to the flavour of these nuts.
  • Additional of nuts like peanuts (groundnuts ) to various snacks not only increases the nutritional value but also gives flavour to the foods. Dishes like cutlets, ladoos , burfi, pakoras, become more tasty on the addition of these roasted nuts.
  • Groundnuts may be roasted and ground to form a paste. This paste is used in sandwiches, buns. It may be used instead of fat in preparing sakkarparas..
  • Groundnuts like soyabean may be used to prepare groundnut milk which is good for children who have allergic to cow’s milk.
  • Coconut milk is prepared by grinding grated coconut in water and filtering to obtain a clear liquid. This is ideal for very small children and infants.
  • Sesame seed may be roasted and added to snacks, biscuits, cakes to enhance flavour. They can also be roasted and mixed with jaggery syrup to make ladoos. You will really enjoy eating these delicious foods.
  • Khus-khus seeds are also used in many ways in our diet. Beside sherbats, khus-khus is used in the preparation of different indian sweets. Similarly other nuts and oilseeds may be included in our daily diet to provide not only good nutrition but variety and taste.

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