Sunday, 21 April 2019

Guide for Seed Germination

Seed Germination has always been a bit tricky. Even experienced gardeners struggle at times to get the germination right. We have put together a guide below to help you get this part right.




Set Up
  • Some seeds require transplanting from a seed tray or a cup. Some can be sown directly in the soil. Typically this will be mentioned in the back of the seed packet. 
  • Use Organic or Open Pollinated Seeds. Ensure they are not coated with poison.
  • If you are a healthy buddha customer, you can treat with Pseudomonus (available in healthybuddha.in website) before sowing the seed.
  • The beneficial microorganisms present in Pseudomonus help the seed from any any fungal disease, harmful soil-borne and expedite germination
  • Seeds in general requires lot of humidty and it should not go dry.
  • Plan it such, it is kept away from rain, wind, insects, birds, and pets.
Instruction for using Seed Tray
  • You can use either cocopeat or mix of cocopeat and compost in the seedling tray.
  • First fill the trays 3/4th with the mix. Start sowing your seeds and space them so they have enough room to grow. Then fill the rest of the top 1/4th space lightly with the compost mix or cocopeat. Do not tap down or press. Too many seeds can cause crowding and dieback in seedlings. Sow just enough to suit your garden space.
  • You can place the tray under a simple bench in a protected balcony or patio corner should work well
  • Seeds need sufficient light but also can’t be too exposed to the sun; else they will dry out and not germinate. Moisture needs to be retained through the day.
  • Water the seedlings twice a day with a gentle spray. First thing in the morning and around 5pm. Follow your instincts to understand that there should be enough moisture/dampness and not too much that the whole tray stays soggy.
  • The little seedlings cannot take too much pressure, so make sure you spray them gently and evenly with water.
  • Some seeds come out in a few days and some take weeks depending on the variety and weather conditions. 

Expediting Seed Germination
  • When you soak seeds before planting, you can significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for a seed to germinate.
How to Soak
  • Put the seeds in a shallow bowl and cover with water as you would a bean seed before cooking. One can also put seed in zip-lock bag with a damp paper and seed and then seal the bag.
  • Instead of just water, one can add Pseudomonus as well to the liquid. This will help against any fungal issues, soil born disease and help expedite germination.

  
Soaking the Seed
Sowing or Transplanting
Greens
Soak for 2hrs
Most greens don’t require transplanting. Can be sown directly.
Sow the Seeds 0.5 to 1 inch gap. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil. Cover it slightly with Compost.
Bitter gourd &snake gourd
8 hours
Sow directly in the soil gap with 3ft distance
Bottle gourd, ridge gourd,
4 Hours
Sow directly in the soil gap with 3ft distance
Cucumber, ladies finger, 
4 hours
Sow directly in the soil gap with 1.5ft distance
Tomato, Brinjal, Green Chilli, Cabbage, Cauliflower
2 Hours
Need to be transplanted from seed tray

You can buy organic seeds and related material in Healthy Buddha Farm Shop

Above article put together by Gautham PB, he also blogs here


3 Refreshing drinks you can make at home this summer

How many times have you found yourself feeling thirsty even after drinking a few glasses of water? You eventually end up drinking only water to quench your summer thirst, and don’t even feel like eating anything.

This scenario is rather common with practically everyone in summer. You feel all dehydrated, and water just doesn’t seem to help much at re-hydrating and rejuvenating you.

There are people who drink a cold glass of cola which unfortunately is unhealthy. They are full of preservatives, carbon dioxide, and so much sugar. Besides, they don’t even hydrate you because they don’t contain any electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium found in blood, urine and other body fluids. They balance the body’s water amount, maintain your body’s acid/base pH level, move nutrients into and waste out of cells and ensure your nerves, heart, brain and muscles work properly.

It’s instead much better to drink these healthy summertime coolers anyone can make at home using everyday ingredients. Though sweet, these drinks are not high in white sugar like carbonated drinks. They instead contain natural sugars like Jaggery, honey and sweet fruits which is better for the body.

1.    Raw mango cooler or the famous aam panna

 If you love mangos, then this cooler is a must for you. Raw mango is not only tantalizing to the taste buds, but it’s also high in vitamin C. It reduces body heat, prevents dehydration, relieves diarrhea and constipation and also helps the liver. In other words, it’s just what your body needs in the hot summer.

All you have to do is boil one raw mango in 250 ml of water in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. Keep the liquid for later but peel the mango and scoop out its pulp. Discard the seed and blend the pulp in a mixer with 10-15 grams of jaggery powder and some mint leaves.

Now strain the blend and add the remaining liquid to it. You can then either freeze the concentrate into cubes to use as required or dilute with chilled water and drink immediately.

2.    Coconut, orange and muskmelon drink


Coconut water on its own is a refreshing summer drink. It’s full of electrolytes, minerals and simple sugars that help counter dehydration. So you can imagine its cooling effects if mixed and drunk with some other cooling fresh fruits like muskmelon and orange!

It’s really easy to make. All you have to do is combine 1 segmented orange, 2 cups of cubed muskmelon, the water of one large tender coconut and ¼ tsp black salt powder and blend till smooth.

Pour it into glasses, garnish with mint leaves and serve. It’s better to not strain the juice to retain and use the goodness of its fibers.

3.    Lemonade with a jaggery twist

Instead of drinking a glass of lemonade with sugar, try adding jaggery to it this time. While both sugar and jaggery have the same glucose content, jaggery also contains antioxidants and minerals like iron and zinc. This is how it not only cools the body but also helps with digestion when mixed with water. 

Make your cooler by soaking 25gm jaggery powder and 1” piece ginger in 4 glasses of water for 2-3 hours. Let it soak, and chill in the fridge. Remove from the fridge after 2 hours; squeeze the juice of a lemon in it and strain and drink. Adding some soaked basil leaves enhances its cooling effects.

The recipes all contain natural sugars, so diabetics can replace them with stevia if need be. While these are healthy coolers, too much of anything is always bad. This rule applies here too. So it’s better to restrict yourself to drinking one glass of these coolers a day, preferably chilled for better effects.

Do try these 3 refreshing coolers, made using natural ingredients and let us know which of the 3 is your favorite in the comments below. You are sure to agree they are much cooling and refreshing than a glass of soft drink on any hot summer day! 

One can get organic ingredients for your juicing needs from Healthy Buddha

Sources:

Friday, 12 April 2019

Community Buying Discount

Community Buying Discount 10% - We want to encourage community buying, wherein we'd like our customers and their neighbors/family/ friends to combine and place orders together. 

This way, we can deliver bulk orders at the same time and place, and the savings we incur as a result of reduced logistics cost and higher volumes, will be passed on to our customers directly in the form of a 10% cash back (to wallet).  

Conditions
      • A single order needs to be placed through any one account on behalf of all.  No Clubbing of orders.
      • Minimum order value of Rs.15,000
      • Cannot be clubbed with other offers and wallet discounts
      • Applicable for Bangalore Customers only

Heal’thy’ self - 7 Easy Ways to go Healthy

‘Eat healthy’ is a line we’re bombarded with very often. But what really does eating healthy comprise? Eating healthy begins with how your fruits and vegetables are grown – it’s all in the roots. Going the organic way is the best way to take care of your body. Sure, organic sounds like a fad that’s been stuffed in your face by every ‘dieter’, but organic means better taste and health – grown with no synthetic pesticides, organic produce is not only fresher, but is also richer in nutrients.


Eating healthy may sound terribly unexciting to some of you (we don’t blame you), but just ‘cos you’re going the wholesome way, it doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of tasty food or scrumptious treats. Making small changes and taking tiny steps towards the wellness world is something you should certainly try. 
Here are seven ways to kickstart your healthy eating journey:

  1. The first thing to add to your healthy to-do list is to hydrate yourself more.  If plain water sounds boring, then spruce it up with some lemon! With every cell of your body needing water to work properly, most people are told to have 6-8 ounces per day. Blazing summers call for more water intake and to remind yourself, you could keep a bottle with you, wherever you go. Don’t forget to sip it and stay fit.

   2. Stop skipping meals. Remember to eat a wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner on time, every day.If you skip meals, it could cause your metabolism to slow down and even put on extra weight. Now you wouldn’t want that happening, would you? Also, missing meals can cause your blood sugar to decrease, which also affects your ability to think, so stick to eating regular meals every day.

  3. Start buying organic and farm-fresh vegetables and fruits as they’re richer in nutrients and antioxidants, certainly have fewer pesticides and of course, taste better. Organic isn’t just a fad, it’s your first step towards healthy living.

   4. Switch to healthy snacking instead of binging on processed or junk food. Every time you feel like having a snack, don’t stretch out your hand and reach out for chips or high-sugar food. Opt for healthier options like dry fruits, nuts, makhana, fruits or sprouts.

  5. Start roasting instead of frying! Lesser the oil, better the health.Frying food increase fat and calorie intake, and this directly affects your health risks and could cause heart problems or obesity. So, the next time you want to binge on deep-fried chips, doughnuts, french fries etc, do remember that you can always opt for baked or roasted or grilled stuff, which is way healthier than food that’s absorbed copious amounts of oil.

    6.   Cut back on your sugar intake. Whether it’s sugar in coffee or tea or your dessert dosage, going the ‘cheenikum’ way really helps. High sugar contributes to diabetes, heart disease etc and you wouldn’t want to have a sick body when it can be avoided, right? Also, learn to check for hidden sugar in packaged products.

   7.   Not all fat is unhealthy - switch to healthy fats like nuts, avocados and coconut oil, unless you’ve been asked to avoid all fat. Good fats keep insulin from spiking and keep fatigue at bay.While bad fats can wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases, good fats can protect your brain and heart. Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, soy milk, peanut butter etc are some great examples of good fat.

We hope that our little guide to getting healthy has encouraged you to take the ‘well’thy plunge! 

Article by Ikyatha Yerasala

Healthy Buddha home delivers fresh organic produce in Bangalore & Goa. Their non perishables are available on Amazon and Big Basket.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Moringa – The Humble Superfood


In 2010, when Haiti, reeling from destruction caused by a massive earthquake, was hit with an outbreak of cholera and a widespread hunger problem, Cuban leader Fidel Castro wanted to help. He sent an emissary to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra to study the cultivation of Moringa, and bring seeds back to Cuba.
He had learned that Moringa, originating in India, was the only plant that contained every kind of amino acid, was packed with nutrients, and had dozens of medicinal properties. Moreover, the plantcould adapt to many climatic conditions, was draught resistant and required very little water to grow.
So enamoured was he by Moringa that he cultivated the seeds in his own garden, and his home in Cuba was lush with drumsticks!

While you may not agree with Fidel’s ideologies and methods as a leader, you most definitely should take a leaf out of his book when it comes to his adulation for the Moringa or Drumstick tree. Here’s why –

Every part of the Moringa tree is a treasure trove in itself




The humble Moringa tree, also known as the Drumstick tree, Horseradish tree, Ben tree and even the Miracle tree, requires very little effort in terms of cultivation. It can be easily grown from seeds or cuttings, needs less water, is a resilient tree, and blooms just 8 months after planting.
Yet, every part of it – leaves, seeds, pods, flowers and root, packs a punch, and can be consumed for their numerous health benefits. Soil is an important factor that determines the nutrient content and strength of the tree, and hence organically grown Moringa is most beneficial for you.

Moringa leaves


The tiny, dark green Moringa leaf has been in use medicinally, and as food, for thousands of years. It is rich in - 
-          Minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, copper, zinc and magnesium
-          Vitamins C, D, E, Beta-carotene of Vitamin A, and Folic acid in Vitamin B
-          Phytochemicals, Anti-oxidants, Proteins and essential Amino acids

Studies have found that, compared gram to gram, Moringa has –
-          Twice the amount of protein in yogurt
-          Thrice the amount of potassium in banana
-          Four times more Vitamin A than found in carrots
-          Seven times more Vitamin C than that found in oranges
-          Four times the calcium found in milk

How can you include Moringa or Drumstick leaves in your diet?


The leaves can be consumed fresh in a variety of ways. Chop them up and addin dal, parathas, soups or sambar, or simply prepare a delicious stir fry.
An easier way to consume moringa is in the form of Moringa leaf powder, made from dried moringa leaves. You can add the powder to pretty much anything. Sprinkle on salads, pasta and roasted veggies, blend in to chutneys, smoothies, juices, and ice creams, add while baking savoury items, or simply stir into soups, curries or dips.




It is interesting to note that drying the leaves and storing moringa in powdered form helps increase its shelf life without the loss of nutrients.

Moringa Pods or Drumstick


Long, slender and dark green with a triangular shape, the pods of the Moringa tree, often known as Drumsticks, are exceptionally rich in Vitamin C.
They also contain high amounts of calcium and iron, proteins, Vitamin A and B Vitamins such as thiamine, niacin and riboflavin, and amino acids. They are also a natural antibacterial agent and help keep the gut healthy by cleansing it.



Drumsticks are commonly used in south Indian cooking; cut into smaller sticks of approx. 1.5”, the pods are added to sambar and curries, giving them a subtle, fragrant flavour. The flesh alone is sucked out and the outer skin is discarded.
We’ve added Moringa recipes at the end of this article, which will help you in including the superfood in your diet. But, before that, there’s more you need to know about the many benefits of Moringa for your health.

Why is Moringa worthy of being a superfood?

Moringa has earned the title of ‘The Miracle Tree’ owing to the numerous health benefits it offers. From helping balance hormones, boosting immunity, to nourishing skin and hair, keeping the heart healthy, and even aiding in the treatment of anaemia and asthma, the list goes on and on. Here are a few of its many health benefits –
1)      Heart health: Organic moringa leaf powder helps regulate blood pressure, prevents the formation of plaque in the arteries, and helps keep cholesterol levels in check. Niaziminin and Isothiocyanate, 2 compounds found in moringa, help prevent thickening of arteries, a condition which can cause blood pressure to rise.
2)      Immunity booster: Moringa has super immunity boosting powers as it is a rich source of iron, essential amino acids, and vitamins A and C, all of which are essential for a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that Moringa can even help prevent certain types of cancers due to the presence of phenolic compounds, kaempferol and quercetin. 
3)      Strong bones:Vitamin K, calcium and phosphorous in Moringa, help keep your bones healthy and strong. Moringa leaves extract, with its anti-inflammatory properties, can also help treat arthritis and help heal damaged bones.
4)      Anti-diabetic: Moringacontains chlorogenic acid and isothiocyanates that regulate the amount of glucose in blood. It also helps reduce oxidative stress, thereby protecting against cell damage in diabetic patients.
5)      Anti-ageing:Moringa leaves contain high levels of vitamins A and E, and antioxidants, all of which help keep the skin healthy. Vitamin E protects cells against oxidative stress, which helps fight the signs of ageing. Antioxidants, apart from doing the same, also help fight against free radicals that cause premature ageing by damaging collagen, which causes skin dryness, and formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
6)      Stress reliever: Moringa is part of a unique set of plants and herbs that are classified as adaptogens. These are plants that help the body achieve homeostasis (a state of perfect harmony and balance) by combating physical, chemical and biological stress. Used in Ayurvedic medicines for centuries, Moringa leaves help keep the body’s adrenal system healthy. The adrenal system is what manages the body’s hormonal response in the face of stress.
These and several other benefits are why Moringa has risen to the status of a superfood. It’s therefore time to start including fresh organic moringa leaves, drumsticks and moringa leaf powder in your diet. You can shop for all of these at healthybuddha.in.

Here are a couple of Moringa recipes you could try


Moringa leaf chutney (MurungaiKeeraiThogayal in Tamil)
Ingredients
·         250 grams Moringa Leaves
·         1-2 dried red chillies (the ones at Healthy Buddha are pretty hot, so you might want to add just 1!)
·         1 ½ tbsps. Urad Dal (preferably whole)
·         A pinch of asafoetida (Hing)
·         1/4th cup grated coconut
·         Tamarind (add 1 or 2 bits, depending on the level of tanginess you would like)
·         2tsps oil
·         Salt to taste

Method
Wash and drain the Moringa leaves. Make sure to pluck only the leaves (leave the sprigs out). Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and fry the urad dal, red chillies and hing, and keep aside. Urad dal should turn slightly reddish. Add rest of the oil in the same pan and add the Moringa leaves. Fry the leaves until they are wilted. Grind the leaves, friedurad dal, chillies and hing, grated coconut, tamarind, and salt and your thogayal is ready. You can enjoy this by mixing with hot rice and a dollop of ghee!
Drumsticks leaves stir fry
Ingredients
·         250 grams drumstick leaves
·         2 tbsps. Moong dal
·         1 tbsp. Chana dal
·         ½ tbsp. Toor Dal (Arahar Dal)
·         5 garlic pods
·         1 medium sized onion
·         1 medium sized tomato
·         1 dried red chilli
·         1 tsp ghee, urad dal, cumin seeds and asafoetida for tempering
·         Salt to taste

Method
Wash and cook the dalswith garlic. You can either pressure cook for 2 whistles or cook in a vessel till just soft (dals should not be mushy when cooked). Drain the dals of any excess water, and keep both aside. Wash and chop the drumstick leaves (remove stems). Heat the ghee (preferably Healthy Buddha Organic A2 ghee!) in a pan, add cumin, red chilli, urad dal and asafoetida. Once the cumin splutters, add chopped onion and fry till translucent. Add chopped tomato and cook. Now add the drumstick leaves and sauté for a minute. Add the cooked dals, salt and retained dal water, and lower the heat. Mix well and serve once the leaves are cooked (should take about 10 minutes). This can be enjoyed as a side dish with sambar/rasam and rice, or mixed with rice and some ghee.
Do try these at home and let us know how they turned out! And remember to use organic Moringa leaves; in fact, the more organic ingredients you include, the tastier the dishes!

You can find all the organic ingredients you need at healthybuddha.in

Author: Vidya N

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