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Resisting the sugar cravings can be hard, especially if it's a season of festivities like Diwali. With all the tempting and sugar-loaded delicacies around, the risk of diseases like diabetes, weight gain and high cholesterol increases.
How about we give you some of the best alternatives to sweets which will keep you healthy as well as satisfy your taste buds? In this article, we will discuss some of the healthy options with which you can replace sugary treats and bring a small and effective change to celebrating a festival amidst COVID-19 pandemic. Take a look.
1. Oats kheer
It contains the richness of oats which are packed with dietary fibre, antioxidants and many other micronutrients. They help lower cholesterol, control blood pressure and prevent sudden glucose spike in the body. Oats kheer makes for a traditional Indian dessert in every festival.
2. Stevia-based bread pudding
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from a shrub called Stevia rebaudiana. It is known to have zero calories and multiple health benefits such as preventing diabetes and lowering blood pressure. Consider making pudding from gluten-free bread and adding stevia as a sweetener.
Honey almond burfi
Honey contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, organic acids and amino acids. Raw honey has multiple health benefits such as reducing oxidative stress, preventing diabetes and protecting the nervous system. Almond burfi made with roasted almonds and cashews and honey can be a delicious treat during Diwali.
4. Cinnamon apple cake
Cinnamon apple cake gives the classic flavours of apple and cinnamon. The combo taste of these two nutritional food items is a must-have among other Diwali sweets. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. On the other hand, apple has incredible properties such as promoting digestion, preventing heart disease, lowering cholesterol and preventing cancer risk.
5. Maple syrup pancakes
Maple syrup is a thick sugary liquid used as a natural sweetener. It contains polysaccharides, vitamins, amino acids and oligosaccharides. Phenolic compounds in maple syrup possess anticancer, antioxidant, antibiotic and anti-neurodegenerative effects. Maple syrup is low in calories and carbs compared to honey.
6. Coconut sugar crackle cookies
Coconut sugar is derived from the coconut palm tree and is considered nutritional compared to white sugar. Apart from containing iron, calcium, potassium, antioxidants and polyphenols, coconut sugar is also rich in a fibre called inulin that keeps away diseases like diabetes, colon cancer and gut-related diseases.
7. Dates halwa
Dates are energy-rich snacks that facilitate bowel movement, proper brain functioning, risk of cancer, blood glucose and nervous system functioning. Dates halwa made with dates, milk, cashews and cardamom can be the best flavoursome sweet retreat for Diwali.
8. Banana puree muffins
Banana puree made with ripe bananas can be used as a natural sweetener in many dishes. It is packed with vitamin C, magnesium, copper, vitamin B6, potassium and fibre. Adding oats to the recipe will enhance the taste as well as the nutritional profile of the sweet. You can also add blueberries and apple.
9. Cane syrup gingersnaps
Gingersnaps are like extra-crispy cookies. Cane syrup is made by boiling sugar cane juice for several hours to obtain a thick syrup which can be used as an alternative to sugar. Cane syrup is known to boost immunity and fight infections. It is rich in antioxidants, iron, calcium and magnesium.
10. Yacon syrup chocolate muffins/cookies
Yacon syrup is effective against constipation and other digestive problems and prevents the risk of diabetes and obesity. The syrup is made from the yacon plants root and contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin. Yacon syrup contains around one-third fewer calories compared to sugar. You can also top it over pancakes or yoghurt and serve.
11. Black rice kheer
Black rice has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is great against the prevention of osteoporosis and liver and kidney injuries. Replacing white rice with black rice for kheer preparation can be a delicious traditional sweet for Diwali. Use natural sweeteners such as stevia to sweeten the dish.
12. Bajra and nuts ladoo
The healthy combination of bajra and nuts in this dish is a delight to the taste buds. Bajra or millet contains magnesium, potassium and fibre and is a heart-healthy whole grain. Nuts such as cashews, almonds and pistachios are rich in omega-3, fibre and vitamins that reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity.
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