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A little healthy twist to Christmas treats

Even though the festival of lights, Diwali, may be over, around the corner awaits X’mas and the New Year celebration. Preparing ourselves for the family-oriented subdued Christmas to the boisterous and wild New Year party, we get down to making some delicious goodies. While we foodies cannot wait to lay our hands on delicacies like Kulkuls, Bebinca, Christmas cake, homemade gingerbread cookies and such snacks, this year we are trying to make them healthier. Now, now, don’t give us that look. We are not robbing you of the taste, we are just trying to make a delicacy a little health friendly. Though Christmas goodies are not totally sinful, yet it wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just substitute some ingredients to make it top class and your doctor happy.

Here are some food ideas which are absolutely delightful and wholesome:

Plum Cake

Like other festivals, food plays a major role in Christmas celebration.  It is led by fruit cake which is also known as plum cake. The prep turns towards healthy when making a plum cake requires us to soak dry fruits and nuts in fermented juice. This enhances their flavours, adding to the taste of the cake. To increase the health quotient, decorate with slices of black grapes and green apple, cranberries, blueberries, raisins and yes, plums.

Kulkuls

Instead of making it with maida, try preparing it with other healthier flour such as wheat flour which will give it an earthy flavour. Replace the white sugar with brown sugar and enjoy these munchies. Kulkuls are an anytime snack and a great festival delicacy.

You can also opt for sugar-free sweeteners.

Guava Cheese

A very popular dessert in Goa, guava cheese is also known as Perad. Though it has ‘cheese’ in its name, there is no actual cheese in it. It is like a guava paste with a fudge-like texture which you can easily enjoy along with your toast by spread it on like a jam. It is also used to make pies and pastries.  Guava cheese is healthy as there is no oil used in the prep of this delicacy. Yes, just like in kulkuls, you can substitute white sugar for brown sugar.

Bebinca

Though this goody has six layers, you can make lesser layers and still get the taste. As you need to use ghee under every layer, it is best that you have a lesser tier for your bebinca. Better still, alternate ghee with caramelized bananas or apple between the two layers. It may not be the traditional way of preparing this delicacy, but it will be a whole lot healthier. If egg yolk is a no-no for you, just go with egg white.

Smores

What fun it would be to have a barbeque evening and roast some marshmallows on skewers! Have brown, melted marshmallows on whole grain biscuits or crackers…give me some more of this smores!

Some more healthy hints:

  • Fruity Candy Christmas cane: Make a Christmas cane with slices of apple, bananas and strawberry. Sprinkle some cinnamon and icing sugar on top. You can also sprinkle trail mix on the cane. Yummy!
  • Gingerbread cookies made from whole wheat: These gingerbread cookies are a healthy version of our staple Christmas favourite.
  • Rudolph Reindeer trail: Mix different types of trail mixes and let your creativity decide on the pattern.
  • Fruit dip: Make awesome dips using fruits or even lemon. Yummy and healthy!

By adding healthy touches to Christmas delicacies you can have fun, joy and festival full of guilt-free eating.

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