How to Make Your Festive Sweets Healthy yet Scrumptious | Photo Credits: The Foodie&
New Delhi: It is that time of the year when rich cultures, lavish festivals, and a plethora of mouth-watering food items are going to be at a surge. The air is filled with delight, the spirit of togetherness, and spirituality. Amidst this, what’s most overlooked is- your health. Around this time of festivities, people are convinced to overlook all the criteria of wellness and just dive into the binge, mainly because what’s healthy is considered to be bland. However, this belief is not true. You can make your favourite dessert, absolutely guilt-free, yet flavourful. Brownie points for not ruining your health. To know how you can do that, read on.
Replace sugar with jaggery
Jaggery is the desi substitute for sugar and has many health benefits too. Whereas sugar has no nutritional value, and it causes health issues when consumed. Jaggery is full of crucial minerals and antioxidants like potassium, zinc, and selenium which help in combating the action of free radicals in the body. It also helps in metabolism, improves digestion, eases the menstrual cycle, and cleanses the body. However, it must be kept in mind that jaggery too is a kind of sweetener and must be had in limited quantities for the body to benefit from it. Also, you can add jaggery in anything and everything to replace sugar.
Use dates and figs for adding sweetness
Figs are exceptionally sweet fruits with crunchy seeds in them. Since they are so densely sweet, they are also known as nature’s candy. They are rich in flavonoid antioxidants, which prevent a host of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and inflammation. Dried figs, on the other hand, are rich in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Dates, on the other hand, are rich in fibre, and trace minerals like magnesium, manganese, and zinc. They also provide you with abundant energy. So, when you next prepare your dessert, include these natural sugars in place of the empty calorie of the processed sugar.
Ghee, but in limits
Ghee is a healthy fat. According to Ayurveda, ghee is rich in healthy fats (mainly omega-3 fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides), which helps in increasing the good cholesterol by reducing the bad cholesterol. It also provides strength to the body and eliminates toxins. Ghee also boosts your immunity, keeps your gut healthy, hair shiny, skin healthy, and joints lubricated. But, try to keep a check on the portions and then you can make halwas, ladoos, and also cook vegetables in ghee.
Baked in place of fried
Fried foods create more health issues than what you can fathom. They put you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. With each reuse, the oil degrades more and also gets absorbed in the food more. This can make you gain weight, increase the levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and your chance of developing heart disease. Hence, choose to bake your sweets, whenever you can. It will not only add a crunch but will also save you from the ill-effects of frying.
Whole in place of refined
When you use refined flours in place of whole flours, you eat food that only pleases your taste buds, but not your body as it has no nutritional value. It gets digested easily and spikes up your blood sugar levels. Hence, choose whole-grain flours like wheat, jowar, bajra, or ragi to make your festive delicacies this time.
Festivals though are cherished with a lot of enthusiasm across the country, just like they should be. But, what shouldn’t happen in this jamboree is any compromises with health. So, include the mentioned tips to make a healthy way for the celebrations.
Nmami Agarwal is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.