CAREFULLY CHOSEN ORGANIC PRODUCTS
The lentil is one of the first food crops ever grown. In Larisa, Greece, with the support of specialized institutions such as the National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF), some of the best indigenous types are cultivated.
Among them, Samos variety, developed by the Institute for Feed Crop of Larisa, is a fine variety of high nutritional value, literally a superfood. The health benefits from its consumption have proven to be substantial. Besides being salutary to the digestive system and the heart, Samos lentils also contribute to the regulation of blood sugar, decelerating the rise of glucose levels after meals and Boosting metabolism at the same time.
Α few of the nutrients contained are: High-quality proteins, Folic acid, Fibers, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, B1, Pantothenic acid, Zinc, Potassium, B6.
Samos lentils cook easily, taste delicious and give a creamy effect.
Over the last years food scandals have been recurring more and more often and involve more and more food categories, causing concern regarding our nutritional habits.
The concerns of the average consumer stem from the uncertainty and fear over the provided foods and modern technological developments such as genetic modification and radio exposure of foods. Thus, over the past few years, an increased demand for bio products has been observed. The term “bio” or “organic” applies to foodstuff produced according to the specifications of EU regulation pertaining organic farming. Bio products come from crops with strictly no use of any chemical-based pesticide, fertilizer and growing hormone.
Alternatively, organic substances such as green manure, animal manure etc. are widely used. In a bio crop, the treatment of various pests is based on exposing the harmful organisms to their natural rivals, bugs, fungi, bacteria and other germs (benign to the crops), that combat the harmful ones. Additionally, in organic livestock-farming they use fodder that has been produced without chemicals and no usage of pesticides or insecticides whatsoever is allowed near their forage surroundings. The living conditions are also different, all animals provided with vital space, free movement and no preventive or treating medication applied during the stages of development.
Τhese methods result not only to the produce of healthy alimentary goods, but also to the protection of the environment, an aspect that unfortunately eludes many consumers. Bio products are friendlier to the environment, since organic agriculture contributes to natural balance and high yielding of soil, ecosystems sustainability and the reduction of pollution.
It has been a highly controversial issue among the scientific community, whether bio products are nutritionally superior to conventional ones. Various studies have shown that their nutritional value is not remarkably higher, with the exception of vitamin C, slightly increased in organic products. Therefore, the consumer may fulfill nutritional needs equally by consuming bio and conventional food. However, what makes organic products a much healthier choice is the lack of harmful agents (pesticides, hormones etc.) used in conventional farming for the increase of production.
There is a wide range of bio products, fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, bread, pastry products, breakfast cereals, baby foods and desserts. It is of great importance to opt for bio products when it comes to infants and children, in order to provide them with a safe and nutrient-sufficient diet that contributes to their proper development.
It is equally important that sensitive groups such as pregnant women and the elderly should also prefer bio products. Especially during pregnancy it helps prevent harmful substances from entering their systems and remain there for a long period. In conclusion, bio foods are the safest and most advantageous for the environment and the consumer.
8 amazing effects of lentils on your health!
Lentils are a dominant species of legume adopted by the culinary tradition of many different civilizations. This is partly because of their high nutritional value. They are relatively poor in calories and rich in fibers, amino acids and antioxidants. In general, they are an excellent choice for any diet applied, promoting your physical wellness. They come in a range of varieties, all of which containing substantial amounts of vitamins, metals and carbohydrates. Among other benefits, lentils increase and retain your energy to high levels. Since many of you may still be unaware of the profits you gain from eating lentils, here are 8 more reasons why you should introduce them into your eating routine.
- They prevent constipation
- They reduce glucose levels in the blood
- They improve cardiovascular function
- They contribute to building muscle volume
- They are beneficial to cases of anemia
- They boost weight loss
- They defend the nervous system
- They support the health of skin and hair
So, how often do you eat lentils? Now that you know how good they are for your body, you should include them in your diet, at least twice a week.
However, bear in mind that consuming lentils is not recommended in cases of gout or any problems relating to uric acid, because of their rich purine content.
Below you may find a traditional recipe from our homeland, followed by a vegan one, enjoyed by non-vegans also.
Traditional recipe from our grandmothers, with Samos variety lentils from Thessaly farmlands.
- 500 gr. of Samos variety lentils (6 servings)
- 1 large size onion (chopped)
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- 1 teacup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon mild red paprika
- 2-3 bay-leaves
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 ½ lit. of water
Preparation: 10 – 15 min.
Cooking: 45 min.
Remove any grit from the dry lentils. Wash them, sieve them and put them in a pot with tap water. Heat until they start boiling, leave for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with tap water and sieve again. Put the lentils back to the pot, add 1 ½ lit. of tap water, making sure they are well covered. Then add the chopped onion, the garlic, the salt, the bay-leaves, the oregano, the paprika, the tomato paste and finally the olive oil. Bring to boil and cook for 45 minutes. For a creamier consistency, increase the cooking time, adding boiling water, if necessary.
Delicious vegan burgers and fasting burgers, with salad or roasted, crunchy, sweet potatoes with herbs.
Preparation: 35-40 min from scratch, 15-20 min., with pre-cooked lentils and rice. If you make the vegan burgers from scratch, prepare the remaining ingredients while the lentils are boiling. Easy and time-saving recipe.
Ingredients (4-5 servings)
- 2 teacups (500 ml) boiled lentils, preferably cooked with 2 large grated carrots.
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1-1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4-6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 medium-size (50-55 gr)
- 4-5 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons brown rice (boiled)
- 1 egg (regular size) beaten, or 1 tablespoon grounded linseed sage seeds (chia) mixed with 3 tablespoons of water and refrigerated for 15 minutes
- 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
For the eggplants
- 2 medium-size eggplants cut in long slices of 1-1 ½ cm.
- 80 ml olive oil (for frying)
- salt and fresh-ground pepper
For the yogurt-feta sauce
- 4 tablespoons feta cheese
- 4 tablespoons strained yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pinch paprika
- salt, white pepper
For eggplants presentation
Lettuce leaves and cherry tomatoes
Burgers with yogurt-feta sauce
- Prepare the lentil and the mixture: Drain the lentils and put them in a large ball. Add the egg and mix. If you prefer the linseed, take the mixture out of the fridge for 15 minutes and then use it instead of the egg.
- Put the olive oil in a frying pan in medium fire and brown the onion and carrot for 2-3 minutes. Add the seasonings (curry powder, paprika, cumin) and cook for 4-5 minutes until their flavors are extracted. Then add the balsamic vinegar and leave to evaporate. Withdraw from fire.
- Empty the cooked mixture in the ball with the lentils and add the remaining ingredients, salt and pepper.
Νote: The breadcrumbs absorb moisture, so add it in the end, occasionally checking the required quantity, making sure that the burgers are easily shaped and firm. If needed, add some extra quantity.
- For the aubergines: Put half of the olive oil in the frying pan and heat in medium fire, then add half of the sliced eggplants. Fry for 5-8 min. on each side, until they brown nicely. Remove and place them on a plate covered with kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining slices. If you don’t wish to fry them, you may alternatively grill them. Place them on an oven tray laid with baking paper, spread some olive oil and grill them (200 C) for 20 min.
- Fry the vegan burgers: After you have shaped them, fry them in a hot, dry, non-stick pan, alternatively with some olive oil in medium fire for 2-3 min. on each side. Use a spatula to flip them over. Avoid pressing them down.
- Prepare the yogurt-feta sauce: Put the ingredients in the food processor and blend. Add salt or pepper if needed.
Presentation: On lettuce leaves put 1-2 slices of fried eggplants, the burger (in any order), the cherry tomatoes in halves (facing down), again a slice of eggplant and pin a whole cherry tomato on top with a toothpick. For a classic vegan burger with cheese, add cheddar sauces on the burgers and put them in the oven (100-120 C) for a gew minutes!
A few FACTS about our area
Psichiko is a lowlander settlement within the boundaries of the municipal community of Krannonas, municipality of Kileler, Larisa. It is situated on an elevation of 250 m., 28 km southwest of Larisa and is occupied by 129 inhabitants (2011 Census), the majority of whom work in the field of agriculture and stock-farming.
During the Ottoman occupation, the village was named Ketseli. After the incorporation of the region of Thessaly into the newly founded Greek state, it was renamed to Psychiko. In the census conducted in the same period, the population amounted to 176 inhabitants. In 1900 31 families lived in Psichiko. During the German occupation, the population was plagued by German army raids, aided by Greek militia troops.
Psichiko used to be part of the former municipality of Krannonas. In 1912 it was part of the region of Larisa and in 1998 that of Krannonas. Since the 2011 administrative chart it appertains to the municipality of Kileler.
The distribution of Samos variety lentil into the market starts in July or August, after the harvest. It usually falls out of stock immediately, as it has been pre-saled before harvest, due to the high demand.
Depending on the year and the bulk of production it is normally upsold within the following months.
Beware of imitations of Samos variety lentils marketed as original, from the surrounding of Thessaly or elsewhere.
Always shop from branded Thessaly producers you will find there every year in every harvest, and in stores you trust.
If you wish to shop from us directly, you may find the original Samos variety lentils either οn site at Psichiko village or have them shipped to your preferred location.