Yes, as true and surprising it may read, healthy sweets are possible. The thought of a healthy dish makes us end up relating it with either a bowl of greens or a cup of chopped up fruits. Sweets have always been known as enemies to your well being. People often boycott eating sweets while trying to lose weight or trying to control their unhealthy habits. It’s not often that we think of sweets as healthy and safe enough for our longevity. However, being on a diet or are trying to adapt a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to ban yourself from eating sweets.
Albeit, you can eat your dessert in moderation and be joyful about it. To make healthy sweets, it is best to make them at home under your critical watch. Because, isn’t it always better to be conscious and decide for ourselves what we are putting into our bodies?
While you may not want to participate in the rigorous process of making your ladoos, pethas and what not, you can still opt for ways to make the process smooth and efficient with the end product being healthy and hazard free. Afterall, healthy eating doesn’t always have to be an unsweet one.
Let’s now decode the hacks for crafting the best healthy sweets at our own kitchen space and live a guilt free life.
What makes a sweet healthy?
Sweets that are made of organic, wholesome ingredients like fruits, nuts and fibre-rich flours are considered as healthy. The reason being that they are free from rich processing techniques, artificial colours and sweeteners. A sweet which is crafted at home using natural ingredients would always satisfy your sweet tooth while helping you to stay healthy. Start getting your fix of healthy sweets with the basic ingredients listed below.
Basic ingredients that make your sweets healthy
1. Dates: An excellent source of natural aspirin, dates ease digestion problems and have laxative effects which help to prevent constipation by increasing bowel movements. They are high in several types of antioxidants that aid in the prevention of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease .
2. Ghee: It is loaded with vitamins A, D, E & K and is also rich in dietary fats. Ghee is a rich source of butyric acid that helps in maintaining the gut microflora of the stomach. Ghee is also an important food for winters as it helps in keeping the body warm from within and boosts the immune system. It is famous for its anti-constipation properties as it promotes the steady working of the digestive system and timely output of daily bowel movements .
3. Almonds: Low in bad cholesterol, high in good fats, almonds takes us a long way in keeping our health sound. Their richness in vitamin E, magnesium, potassium facilitates free flow of nutrients in the bloodstream. They are also known as bone building food because of their high phosphorus content. Phosphorus also helps in keeping the bones and skeleton healthy and strong.
4. Pistachios: They possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As they are high in soluble fibre, they help in relieving constipation, managing sugar levels. Pistachios can also help weight watchers to keep their weight stable. As they are high in fiber and protein, they tend to provide a feeling of fullness and keep you from indulging in binge eating or emotional eating .
5. Peanuts: They are the most inexpensive source of high quality protein. They are very low in carbohydrates and hence a great option for diabetics. An excellent source of vitamins and minerals, they are also rich in protein and provide long lasting satiety which prevents overeating, helping in weight loss. They are also good for heart health .
6. Semolina: It is a great source of nutrients like fiber, folate and magnesium. Its high magnesium content helps in maintaining sugar levels. It also reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes .
7. Pure Cow’s Milk: It is a great source of calcium, protein, iodine and vitamin B12. It contributes hugely in making and keeping the bones strong. It is a great source of high quality protein as it contains all the nine amino acids essential for our body. It reduces muscle loss and promotes muscle growth. It has the ability to strengthen bone health in elderly populations .
8. Stevia: It is one of best sugar substitutes to be used to make a dish healthy. It is 200-300 times sweeter than white sugar yet has no negative affect on health. Being low in calories, it helps in managing diabetes, lowering bad cholesterol and reducing cavities..
9. Besan or Gram Flour: It has a low glycemic index (a number between 0 to 100 assigned to food that measures how quickly the sugars might shoot up or go down). This means that it helps in managing and preventing type 2 diabetes. High in folic acid, thiamine, vitamin B6 and other vital nutrients, it is rich in fiber, and thus, helps in weight management .
10. Kesar: Kesar is one the most naturally occurring herb which has been proven to relieve anxiety to some extent by uplifting the moods. It is also a powerful antioxidant. It has the ability to reduce appetite which might result in weight loss .
4 tips on how to make the best healthy sweets at home:
– Replace white wheat flour with healthier alternatives like almond flour or whole wheat flour.
– Use ghee or coconut oil over butter.
– Switch to stevia or jaggery.
– Pick dry sweets over treats drenched in oil and sugar syrup.
It is about eating right and in moderation. Craft your own sweets at home and eat your way out by keeping the mantra of moderation in consideration.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
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