Romantic Rose Water

Cardamom and rose water kulfi
Cardamom and rose water kulfi

This week , I’m sort of revisiting my Iranian roots by discussing the  origin and different uses of Rose water. Nowadays it is more and more fashionable to use it , in perfumes , cooking , baking and different beautifying regimes.

My first encounter with rose water was many years ago in Turkey on a family holiday. Then I found it weird and it tasted like soap…oops! Ah, children! 🙂

But now as I’m older I can feel the true aroma better and enjoy it as it meant to be.

Rose bath
Rose bath

Rose water was first produced by Muslim chemists in the medieval Islamic world through the distillation of roses, for use in the drinking and perfumery industries.

Since ancient times, roses have been used medicinally, nutritionally, and as a source of perfume. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians considered large public rose gardens to be as important as crop lands such as orchards and wheat fields.

Rose perfumes are made from rose oil, also called attar of roses, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam-distilling the crushed petals of roses, a process first developed in Iran (Persia). Rose water is a by-product of this process. It has been suggested that the Persian polymath Avicenna discovered how to make rose water in the tenth century.

Rose tea
Rose tea

Edible versions

Rose water has a very distinctive flavour and is used heavily in Persian and Middle east cuisine—especially in sweets such as nougat, raahat and baklava. For example, rose water is used to give some types of Turkish delight their distinctive flavours.

In Iran, it is also added to tea, ice cream, cookies and other sweets in small quantities, and in the Arab world, Pakistan and India it is used to flavour milk and dairy-based dishes such as rice pudding. It is also a key ingredient in sweet lassi, a drink made from yogurt, sugar and various fruit juices, and is also used to make jallab. In Malaysia and Singapore, rose water is mixed with milk, sugar and pink food colouring to make a sweet drink called bandung. Rose water is frequently used as a halal substitute for red wine and other alcohols in cooking.

Rose bath-salts
Rose bath-salts

Marzipan has long been flavoured with rose water. Marzipan originated in the Middle East and arrived in Western Europe by the Middle Ages; it continues to be served as a snack. American and European bakers enjoyed the floral flavouring of rose water in their baking until the 19th century when vanilla flavouring became popular.

In parts of the Middle East, rose water is commonly added to lemonade with mint.

Cosmetic and medicinal use

Rose water is a usual component of perfume. A rose water ointment is occasionally used as an emollient, and rose water is sometimes used in cosmetics such as cold creams.

Medicinal use , Ayurveda: In India, rose water is used as eye drops to clear them. Some people in India also use rose water as spray applied directly to the face for natural fragrance and moisturizer, especially during winters. It is also used in Indian sweets and other food preparations (particularly gulab jamun). Rose water is often sprinkled in Indian weddings to welcome guests.

Rose petals
Rose petals

Religious uses

Rose water is used as a perfume in religious ceremonies (Hindu, Muslim and Zoroastrian). Water used to clean the Kaaba, the Qibla for Muslims located in Mecca, combines Zamzam water with rose water as an additive.
Rose water is used in some Hindu rituals as well. Rose water also figures in Christianity, particularly in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I think we can all agree on the fact that Rose water has endless uses… use it inside and out it will benefit you.

For some of us , it might take time to get use to the taste, but I think if we use the right amount and we got the right recipe , simply cannot go wrong.

Lemonade with mint and rose water
Lemonade with mint and rose water

I experimented with rose water , by adding sugar to it and pouring it on ice cream and panna cotta, it was fantastic.

I will look for other alternatives to try with Rose water… maybe adding it to my bath water! 😀

I hope you will all try it!

Bye now!

Hanna

Charming Chia (seeds)

 

Chia Seed Pudding , with pomegranate and pistachios...Perfect!
Chia Seed Pudding , with pomegranate and kiwi…Perfect!

As you all know it by now, I’m not a huge fan of veggies. I know , they are important to have my health in order, so that’s why I always try to find new ways to add some fiber and nutrition to my diet, but in the way it won’t taste or feels like I’m eating grass or something too green! 🙂

In my previous post , I wrote about kale and its wonderful properties. Now I’ve found Chia Seeds.

Slowly, but summer is here , so we an experiment with salads, puddings and smoothies . The great thing is that we can ALL , add Chia Seeds to ALL of the above  mentioned. YAY!

Raw Black Chia
Raw Black Chia

Ohh, little wonders! It is the perfect way of eating healthy , but still enjoying it.

Nowadays, chia is becoming better known as a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fiber, and it’s an easy food to add to your diet.

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala, and history suggests it was a very important food crop for the Aztecs. It’s remained in regular use in its native countries, but was largely unknown in North America until researcher Wayne Coates began studying chia as an alternative crop for farmers in northern Argentina about 29 years ago.

Benefits
Benefits

Coates started his work on chia in 1991, and since then has become an advocate of the tiny seed’s health benefits. The human trials are limited —as is often the case with food research— but the anecdotal evidence of chia’s positive health effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterol.

 

Coconut-Chia Pudding
Coconut-Chia Pudding

The little seed — which comes in either white or a dark brown and black colour — also has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled, while flax seeds have to be ground before consumption in order to access their health benefits for example.
When you’re buying chia, both the white and black seeds are good choices, but Coates warns to make sure you’re getting a good quality product by avoiding either red seeds (immature chia seeds), or black seeds that are smaller than regular chia seeds (weed seeds). Coates sells the seeds himself, but they are available from many different health food stores and supermarkets.

So once you’ve got your seeds, how to you add them to your diet? “The easiest way is to add it to everything and anything,” Coates says.

The seeds are tasteless so they won’t affect the flavor profile of your food, which makes them easy to integrate into your meals. They can be sprinkled whole on top of salads or toast or added milled to smoothies, and even add them to ice cream.

Very good reasons to add Chia Seeds to your diet ASAP:
What is Chia?
What is Chia?

Antioxidants

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

Minerals

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

Satiety

Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.

Gluten-Free

Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

Amazingly filling!
Amazingly filling!

Egg Replacer

The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Can Be Digested Whole

Unlike flax-seed, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.

Dyslipidemia

A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

 

Easy and “Must-Try” recipes with Chia Seeds:

31 easy and delicious recipes:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/healthy-and-delicious-chia-seed-recipes

Kid-friendly ways to add more fibers to our little-one’s diet:

http://wellnessmama.com/4981/10-uses-for-chia-seeds/

And one more website for luck :

http://noshon.it/blog/2013/08/10-must-make-recipes-using-chia-seeds/

Blueberry and Chia Combo
Blueberry and Chia Combo

There you have it! If you are still in the group of “non-believers” , try to add it to a smoothie at first… you won’t regret it for sure!

If anyone finds new recipes and more info, please let me know!

Please try my Charming new friend Chia! 🙂

Till next time everyone! 🙂

Hanna