It is hard to provide a clear definition of what dumplings are. This is because there are so many varieties across the world. Essentially, they are cooked pieces of dough shaped into balls. You can enjoy them plain or with savory fillings. Whether you prefer sweet American or salty Chinese dumplings, these flexible foods can be prepared according to your taste.
What are Dumplings Made of?
The three basic ingredients in all dumplings are water, flour and salt. These ingredients are then combined to make dough. You can season the dough with any spices and herbs of your choice. Many cooks prefer to make dough and cook it in a meaty casserole or stew to give it flavor. Dumplings have a neutral taste, which makes it easy to manipulate the flavor to your liking.
What are Dumplings’ Nutritional Profile?
The nutritional profile of dumplings depends on the kind of flour you use. Generally, cooks use all-purpose flour. In Britain, using self-rising flour is common. The healthiest type of flour, however, is whole wheat. This is because it contains more fiber than any other. Fiber aids digestion and can fill you up better than white flour, which usually has simple carbohydrates.
What you serve dumplings with is also very important. If you prefer dumplings in stews and soups, add plenty of vegetables for vitamins and minerals. You can serve it with beef for iron, with chicken for protein or fish for omega fatty acids. Breakfast dumplings with eggs and cheese can also provide the selenium and calcium needed for healthy bones and muscle.
What are Dumplings’ Effect on Your Health?
Dumplings can be healthy if you choose whole wheat flour over white flour. White flour is discouraged because of its simple carbohydrates. These carbs are processed too quickly in the body and can make you hungry soon after a meal. Whole wheat often has complex carbs and fiber, which hold back hunger and reduces overeating.
The foods you serve dumplings with also determine the amount of nutrients you consume. Green vegetables, eggs and lean meats make nutritious, low-calorie fillings. You can serve dumplings alongside main dishes or make delicious fillings with the ingredients.
How to Make Dumplings
To make 12 dumplings, you will need:
- 2 ½ cups flour (whole wheat preferred)
- ¾ cup low-fat milk
- 4 tbsp. oil
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- Water or broth as needed
- Pinch of salt
Combine flour, milk, oil, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Heat enough water or broth to cover dumplings and bring it to the boil.
Use a large spoon to drop the dumpling mixture into boiling water or broth. Cook one spoon at a time for 10 minutes or until you insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. Serve with broth, soup, gravy or stew.
Dumplings can be whatever you want them to be. You can make them meaty, spicy, sweet or plain stuffed with fillings. They are quick to make, and only need a handful of ingredients. With wheat flour and healthy add-ons, they can be a nutritious meal you can prepare in minutes.