Today is Friday, happiest day of the week, yes weekend is coming. I enjoy this day just like my daughter do. Recently my friend Marisa asked me if I wanted to contribute a post to World fruit and vegetables day /5+day initiative started in New Zealand last year. They are celebrating second anniversary today; it is about including more fruit and vegetables serving in kid’s diet. I told her immediately yes I would love to do this one. And I made this delicious Bael fruit tea, I don’t have any fresh fruit bael in hand so used dried fruit.
Just like 5+ days in New Zealand, here in US to 5 a Day for better health program aim to increase the fruit and vegetables intake in kid’s food serving. 1 piece of fresh fruit , a glass (6 oz. or 3/4 cup) 100% juice , 1/2 cup cut vegetables ,1 cup leafy vegetables ,one handful (1/4 cup) dried fruit and 1/2 cup dried peas or beans . Even when I was asked to bring snack for my son in his preschool, I need to bring healthy food, like apple, banana, and 100% juice. In my household, food is mainly vegetarian with occasional eggs and sea food so kids gets their fruit and vegetables in a reasonable amount. My daughter likes salad with bell pepper and apple and roasted bell pepper dressing. Son is fan of strawberries, banana, and both loves 100% apple juice. I will make sure they get enough veggies and fruits in their diet. Yes mama is correct we need a good serving of fruit and vegetables to get healthy living.
Coming to the bael fruit tea recipe, Bael /bel or sirphal/wood apple is native of India, Its unripe and ripe fruit, root, leaf, and branch has medicinal properties according to WebMD. Bael contains chemicals called tannins, which helps to treat diarrhea by reducing swelling (inflammation). Its ripe fruit is used to make juice. A decoction of the unripe fruit with ginger and fennel is said to be effective for the treatment of hemorrhoids. The juice of its leaves mixed with honey, can help to reduce fever. The pulp is used in the treatment of Vitiligo. The Bael leaf decoction is said to be helpful in reducing asthma. The bael fruits are rich in fiber and have mild laxative effect what makes it useful in the treatment of disease like diabetes. The root and leaves of bael are used in the treatment of snake bites from ancient times and found to be very effective. The bael fruit also bears anti-fungal and anti–malarial properties, good to use in the treatment of malaria. Read more from here. More over Bael tree is also important in Hindu culture and is a favorite tree of Lord Shiva, he will be pleased if you worship him with leaves of Bael tree. There is also folk tale about a cruel hunter who unknowingly worshiped Lord Siva with Bael leaves on the night of Shivarathri. By the end of the night he turned into good person and was relieved of his sins, if want to read that story read from here. My grandma used to tell me stories from Hindu mythology. Not only in India, is Bael fruit used in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, French and Portugal. I got a packet of dried bael fruit from vitacost.
I decided to try tea with bael fruit/Nam Matoom, for that you need boil 4 dried bael fruit with water until it changes into brown color. I didn’t add any sugar as my diabetic hubby can enjoy it. If you want you can add sugar or sugar supplement. It has a nice tangy taste similar to Agua Flor de Jamaica/Agua Fresca/Hibiscus tea. Serve with or without ice. I made hot tea.
This is Swathi ( Ambujom Saraswathy) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.