Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the important rituals celebrated in India, especially in Mumbai. Huge Ganesh idols, glittering pandals, with the traditional chanting of Vedic prayers, make the atmosphere blissful.
The aromatic fragrance of incense sticks and flowers makes the air feel so pure and refreshing. Several types of food (naivedyam) are offered to appease Lord Ganesh.
As we all know from the tales of the Vedas, Ganesh is portrayed to be very passionate about foods, and modak is his favourite food amongst all.
Special arrangements are made both at home and the pandal, and different types of naivedyam are offered. These are then distributed among the devotees as prasad.
How about a naivedyam which is healthy yet tasty? You can eat it without having a fear of affecting your health.
Ten such healthy foods that can be offered as naivedyam are as follows.
Modak is one of the most loved foods of Lord Ganesh. But to make it healthy, you can avoid the use of coconut and jaggery and instead make your stuffing with beetroot, nuts, sliced fruits or oats. These ingredients have essential nutrients required for your body. Also, you can opt for dehydrated fruits and fruit pulp as the outer cover instead of corn flour or rice flour.
Puran Poli is a mouth watering authentic dish of Maharashtra, especially cooked and offered during Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a sweet dish made of chana dal, jaggery, grated coconut and cardamom. Dal is a high source of protein as we all know. So having this as prasad is a good option.
South India is famous for its vast stretches of coconut trees and coconut ladoos form an integral part of the naivedyam thali. Coconut is grated and mixed with sugar to form round balls or ladoos. If you want to keep a check on your sugar content, then replace it by using sugar-free which will add sweetness and at the same time reduce the chances of high glucose intake.
Another authentic dish from the Maharashtrian cuisine, shrikhand is made of yogurt and garnished with dry fruits and saffron. To make it healthy, you can use low-fat yogurt that will reduce the chances of consuming fat that get stored and add weight to your body. You can use several types of nuts as they are rich in fibre and vitamin.
After modak, motichur ladoo holds special significance during Ganesh puja. It is said to be one of the most loved foods of Lord Ganesh. It is made of gram flour and sugar. If you are a diabetic patient and you want to have motichur ladoos, replace sugar with sugar-free powder to give the exact sweetness without consuming extra glucose.
Patholis are steamed rice rolls with coconut and jaggery stuffing, steamed in turmeric leaves. Rice is a rich source of carbohydrate which is necessary to boost our energy level. Also, turmeric has antiseptic properties, and once it reaches your body, it can fight with any host disease and prevent you from falling sick. However, to make the prasad healthy, use vegetables instead of coconut or nuts to enhance its quality.
Karanji is a fried sweet dish made of flour with coconut and jaggery stuffing. You can improve its healthy benefits by opting for some other stuffing like oats or beetroot that have nutritious value. Fried things can be harmful if you are suffering from heart ailment or cholesterol. So steam it to retain its health benefits.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa:
Dal is a rich source of protein and having it every day can suffice your daily protein requirements. Moong dal ka halwa is a sweet dish made of moong dal, sugar and dry fruits. To lower your calorie intake, you can use sugar-free tablets or powder. Sugar often causes tooth decay and is detrimental for diabetic patients. So, use the alternative to eating without worries.
Til or sesame seed is mixed with jaggery and formed into round crispy balls and offered as naivedyam. Sesame contains phytosterols that lower your cholesterol level, protect your heart, improve blood pressure and balance hormones. It also reduces fat and is a significant source of vitamins and minerals. So ladoo made of such ingredient will not only enhance your taste buds but also improve your health.