Diwali is a festival of lights, crackers, and of course sweets. India is famous for its vast selection of sweet dishes; all delicious and, of course, rich with ghee, milk, and sugar. While these sweets are tempting to indulge in, they do have a tendency to add a lot of empty calories and excess fat into your system. A serving of halwa, for instance, contains up to 40% fat*. However, this need not mean a Diwali without sweets. This is a joyous occasion and you should be able to celebrate it, guilt free, with these healthy and low-fat sweets:
- Baked Gulab Jamun:
Gulab Jamuns are among the most popular sweets exchanged during Diwali. These balls of fried skimmed milk in sugar syrup are absolutely delicious. But Gulab Jamun is also an extremely rich and indulgent dish dripping with oils and sugars. A simple method to enjoy these sweets without any guilt is to bake the gulab jamun instead of frying them and to soak the sweets in jaggery syrup. This reduces the amount of oil and refined sugar in the dish considerably without compromising on taste.
- Multi-grain Laddu:
Laddu is one of India’s favourite sweets, and every Diwali is an excuse to gorge yourself on these delicious round treats. If you want to indulge yourself without compromising on health, then multi-grain Laddus might be just what you’re looking for. These Laddus are made of wholesome ragi or jowar instead of the usual refined flour. You can sweeten the laddus using palm sugar syrup in order to avoid the unhealthy calories that come with common sugars.
- Date and fig barfis:
Kaju Burfi is an Indian classic that is a staple sweet during Diwali. The name Barfi is derived from the Persian word for snow owing to its smooth and soft texture. It is prepared with cashews, thickened milk, and sugar. However, the cashews add some fat and calories to this dish making it a tad unhealthy to consume. The cashews can be replaced by figs or dates to prepare a sweet that is healthier without losing its taste.
- Ragi Kesari:
Kesari is a sweet dish particularly popular in the south for its rich lingering taste. The dish is usually prepared using rava, or ground wheat along with ghee and sugar. In order to provide a healthier indulgence for your sweet tooth you can use unrefined ragi as a base instead, and use jaggery as a natural sweetener. This ensures that the kesari’s famous taste is not lost while providing a healthier option.
- Steamed Halwa:
Carrot Halwa is a sweet of Arabic origins but we have made it our own with a wide range of regional flavors being added to the basic recipe. To make it healthier, you can decrease the ghee and oil needed for the dish by steaming the carrots instead of frying them. Further, you can reduce the fat content by opting for a milk powder base instead of rich condensed milk.
These dishes are delicious and have the added advantage of being healthy and easy on your digestion. Sweetmeats are a tradition that is close to India’s heart and are often a gesture of goodwill and love. So this Diwali, surprise your friends and relatives with these sumptuous dishes and indulge in a guilt-free and joyous celebration.
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