The festive season is here, and this means that it’s time to decorate our homes, get new clothes and of course, get ready for feasts! And if you’re Indian, you know that no festival feast is complete without dessert – in fact, you don’t need a meal to have dessert! We serve our guests sweets when they visit us, we give out sweets as gifts. Yes, there’s no denying the fact that sweets have an important role in our lives!
However, having loads of sugar or refined ingredients isn’t exactly good for your waistline or your health in general. Yet, in India we have a multitude of whole grains, millets and natural sweeteners that make traditional desserts taste even better than with refined ingredients! To get you started on this year’s feasting, we’ve rounded up 10 healthy Diwali sweets for the whole family to enjoy this season.
10 Healthy Diwali Sweets for the Whole Family
Ragi is a millet that most parents feed their babies during the first year, and then leave by the wayside after that. However, ragi is packed with calcium, protein and iron – all important ingredients for growth and development in children and overall health in adults. Take a cue from Yellow Thyme with this delicious recipe for ragi laddus that look as great as they taste.
One of the best ways to make desserts without sugar is to use natural sugar in fruits and dry fruits. This recipe from Chitras Food Book uses dates as the main ingredient in this khajoor katri, along with poppy seeds and an assortment of nuts for a nice crunch along with oodles of taste!
Quinoa isn’t something you’d consider using in a traditional recipe, but this recipe from Sharmis Passions works really well! This kheer uses just 3 tablespoons of sugar along with spices and of course, quinoa. Quinoa is actually a pseudo cereal, packed with protein, fiber and an array of micronutrients.
It’s surprising that we tend to use mostly rice and wheat flour in our cooking when we have so many other amazing ingredients available to us! Kurry Leaves makes use of jowar or sorghum flour to make delicious burfi. The best part is that this doesn’t use refined sugar – it uses jaggery instead!
Chana Dal Halwa
If you’d like to try some regional cuisine this Diwali, try out this Udupi-based dessert recipe from Poonam Bachhav. The recipe from the blog Annapurna uses Bengal gram and fresh coconut along with cashew nuts and raisins. The halwa is sweetened with jaggery and is unlike any other halwa you’ve had before – both in terms of taste and nutrition!
Oats isn’t just great for your breakfast, it’s also an excellent ingredient for desserts! Lite Bite shows us how to use oats with other healthy ingredients like sesame seeds and nuts to create some truly healthy and filling laddus. Studies show that a diet rich in nuts and seeds can help in weight management and reduce the risk for heart disease. I have a different version of this which I am experimenting with to make a vegan variant and when I do, I will share the same.
Whole Wheat Nan Khatai
Nan khatai is a common dish made in Indian homes, but Veg Recipes of India shows us that it can also be made with whole wheat flour. If you’d like to make it healthier, replace the sugar with powdered jaggery. It gives the nan khatai a more mellow and earthy taste, and a beautiful caramel color as well.
Baked Mawa Gujiya
You’ve probably had fried gujiya before, but if you’re watching your weight, you must give this recipe from Jopreets Kitchen a try! This recipe is made from wheat and millet flours for the cover, along with mawa, coconut and semolina for the filling. The fact that it is baked will help you enjoy this treat guilt-free!
When you think of burfi, you think of loads of ghee and calorie-heavy ingredients. Well, can’t blame you since most burfis are like that, but not this one from Sharmis Passions! This delicious anjeer burfi uses the natural sweetness of dates and figs, doing away with the need to add any additional sweetener. We love the crunch that comes from the nuts too.
Millet Sweet Pongal
Sweet Pongal is considered the perfect dish for auspicious occasions, and what can be more auspicious than taking care of your health? If you love Pongal and want a healthier version, check out this recipe from Blend with Spices that uses barnyard millet, moong dal, cashews and raisins along with jaggery for a truly wholesome dessert!
So there you go. Here are lots of options for you to have an enjoyable and more importantly, healthy Diwali sweets! What’s more, your friends and relatives will greatly appreciate these healthy versions of their favorite sweets. After all, who doesn’t want to eat healthy and enjoy at the same time!
Note: Click on the links to visit the websites where you can view the original recipes.