Every special occasion is commemorated with a special dish - cakes for birthdays, pancakes for Sunday breakfast and Biryani for family get-togethers. Cooking a sumptuous meal for a loved one is one of the nicest things to do. Unfortunately, the problem with special treats is that they are often loaded with excess carbs and sugar. These are incredibly unhealthy if consumed in excess quantities or quite often. But there’s no need to fret; there are many easily adaptable, healthy alternatives to these sinful delicacies.
For elaborate, celebratory family dinners, add an extra dose of fibre by preparing Biryani with brown rice instead of the regular white rice - that’s when you have instantly made an extremely unhealthy dish, nutritious and healthy. Similarly, make stove-cooked, low-fat Tandoori Chicken by using the breast (low-fat) and replacing the oil with the slightest bit of Nutralite. A wonderful replacement for oil or butter, Nutralite is a zero-cholesterol spread which has Omega 3, essential for a heart healthy diet. For Vegetarians, a bowl of baked vegetables on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes with gravy, is a sure winner. A general rule to follow would be to pack your food with vegetables and proteins in large quantities, while also including good carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams, etc. in limited quantities. It is important not to leave out any food group for a well-balanced diet.
For dessert, quite a few options are available. While traditionally, baking has always been associated with highly calorific ingredients like butter, flour and sugar, there are many ways to make a cake without them. Looking to make some delicious mouth-watering but healthy cakes? Replace white flour with whole wheat flour. There are many flourless dessert options that you can try as well - flourless chocolate cake, flourless lemon almond cake, paleo muffins, etc. When making cheesecake, replace heavy cream with Greek yoghurt and voila! Your cheesecake is loaded with protein and probiotics. This works as a tasty and healthy birthday cake alternative. Use natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, applesauce, etc) instead of sugar. For toppings, instead of regular frosting, go for fresh fruit toppings or whipped cream.
With a little bit of experimentation and quick kitchen restocking, you could be whipping up amazing treats in no time. When you can create yummy treats for special occasions with a healthy twist, there’s only more cause to celebrate!