Finger millet, more commonly known as ragi or nachani. It is one of the few cereals that needn’t be polished making it healthier than its counterparts. Here are a few more reasons to include this wonder grain in your diet:
Ragi flour is one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium when compared to any other grains. According to the National Institute of Nutrition in India, 100 grams of Ragi contains 344 mg calcium. Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth and prevention of osteoporosis – a disease which weakens the bones.
Good for Diabetes
The grain’s seed coat is abundant in polyphenols and dietary fibres as compared to rice, maize or wheat. The low glycemic index of ragi helps in keeping blood sugar within the safe range.
Good for Skin
Ragi works wonders for maintaining young and youthful skin. Vital amino acids like Methionine and Lysine present in it make the skin tissues less prone to wrinkles and sagging.
Good for Anemia
Ragi is an excellent source of iron and really helpful for anemic patients and also for those with low haemoglobin levels. Once ragi is allowed to sprout, the Vitamin C levels tend to increase and lead to easy absorption of iron into the bloodstream.
Regular consumption of Ragi is highly beneficial in dealing with conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia.The presence of antioxidants, mainly Tryptophan and amino acids, helps as they work as natural relaxants.
Promote weight loss
The high amount of dietary fibre combine keeps the stomach full for a longer and prevents unwanted cravings. This in turn leads to a minimised appetite and weight loss.
Recipes with Ragi/ Finger Millet
Ragi Oats Laddu/ Balls
An healthy option when it comes to Indian sweets, Ragi Oats Laddu/ Balls is a dish made with ragi flour, oats flour, honey, dates and milk. Coated with sesame seeds and coconut this ladoo recipe is perfect for a combination of healthy and delicious.
Ingredients Of Ragi Oats Ladoo (Laddu)
1 and 1/2 Cup Ragi flour
1 Cup Oats flour
1/4 Cup almond milk
1/2 Cup Honey
3 Tbsp Ghee/ Olive oil
1 tsp Green cardamom powder
1/4 Cup White sesame seeds
1/4 Cup Coconut powder
12 Cashew nuts
Dry roasts the oats lightly and grind them in a mixer.
Remove the seeds from the dates and blend 15 of them with the help of milk in a blender into a paste. Cut the remaining dates into small pieces.
Dry roast white sesame seeds and cashew nuts.
Take 1 tbsp of ghee in pan and roast the oats flour on low flame for few minutes.
Now take another pan and heat the remaining ghee and roast ragi flour until the rawness is removed on low flame. Now mix the oats flour in the ragi flour and mix well keeping on low flame.
Now add the dates paste into it and mix well. Then add half of honey and mix. Now add cardamom powder and mix well. Keep on low flame for few minutes and off the stove.
Take the mixture out of stove and let it cool for some time. Now add the pieces of dates.
Now add the remaining honey and mix well into dough.
Now take some dough into hand and put a cashew and make it in the form of ladoo or balls with your greased hands.
Mix the sesame seeds in to coconut powder. Now roll the ladoo in this mixture and coat it.
Do the same with remaining dough and serve them.
Confused about what to feed your baby in solid foods? Do not worry as I have the perfect dish for them. Ragi Porridge is a perfect recipe to be fed to infants. Adults can also have ragi porridge in breakfast.
milk as required
1 1/2 tablespoon powdered jaggery
water as required
To prepare this easy recipe, heat a pan with water over a medium flame and add jaggery powder to it. Bring them to a boil until the jaggery melts completely.
Once done, add the ragi flour to the pan and keep stirring. Make sure no lumps are formed.
Add milk as required and cook until the porridge achieves a thick consistency.
You can also add nuts and raisins to make it more healthy. (optional)
Turn off the flame and remove the pan from the flame. Allow the porridge to cool down.
Serve and Enjoy!
(Also read –> Are Soaked Almonds Healthier Than Raw?)