Mar 30

Health Foods A-Z: UGLI, Unagi and Upma

My research on the internet tells me that there are no ingredients that begin with U. So I am going to dedicate this post to anything that I can find that begins with a U. Here are a few things I found on the internet- Ugli fruit, Unagi, and Upma

Ugli Fruit is an exotic tangelo fruit that belongs to the exotic land of Jamaica.

I found this somewhere on the internet and when I dug deeper, I discovered that UGLI is a registered trademark under which this fruit is sold.  The fruit grows exclusively in Jamaica and is exported to different parts of the world. You could find it in the market between November and April. It was discovered growing wild in Jamaica and is believed to be originally a hybrid of the Seville orange, the grapefruit and the tangerine families. You can find this fruit in many colors-right from yellow to green and even orange. It has a sweet and tangy flavor and can be peeled easily just as a tangerine or cut in half and eaten as a grapefruit. Its flavors are great for using in various recipes and is great for drinks since it is quite juicy.

As far as nutrition goes, it has zero fat, zero cholesterol and zero sodium. Like all citrus fruits, it is a great source of vitamin C, and also provides dietary fiber, some calcium and carbohydrates.

Unagi is the Japanese word for freshwater eels. This is a popular food owing to

the Unagi rolls that Sushi bars sell. They are so popular, in fact, that the eel population has been greatly reduced over the last fifty years, and there are organizations recommending that consumers do not eat these eels in order to preserve their populations. However, 90% of the eels sold in the US are farm raised.

Personally, I find Unagi to be the most flavorful of all the different rolls available. Although I was skeptical of the concept of eating sushi at first, I have converted into a hardcore fan. It took a few times before I actually discovered how awesome sushi can be, but it has to be very fresh and made well to really appreciate it. So if you are on the fence, go try it-and start with Unagi.

Upma is a popular south Indian breakfast dish, cooked as a porridge.

The main ingredient is Rava, or Suji,( which is coarse, purified wheat middlings) and mustard seeds. Typically prepared by pre roasting the rava and then cooked with mustard seeds, ginger and onions. Some people choose to add vegetables to make it healthier. It is usually garnished with lemon juice.

When made properly, upma can be very light, tasty and healthy and a great start to the day. With vegetables, it becomes nutritious and much more flavorful. Its a great preparation and can be had by itself. It also goes very well with idli, sambhar and coconut chutney.

Of course, like all things, Upma is not a favorite with everyone. The taste and texture may not find favor universally. But it most definitely is a staple for most south Indians.

The ingredients in Upma provide for vitamins A, C, Iron, protein, carbohydrates and some fat (this depends on how much oil you add). It is a zero cholesterol preparation. The nutritional value can be improved by adding vegetables.

This post is part of a series on health foods. I have previously written about Avocado, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Dates, Eggs, Fennel, Green chickpeas or chholiya, Honey, Iceberg lettuce, Jackfruit, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Milk, Nectarine, Olives, Peas, the alphabet Q, Radish, Spinach and Tomato.

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