Navratri is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals celebrated in India. Those who celebrate it mark it by fasting and adopting a sattvic diet to cleanse and detoxify the body and mind. The fasting is done with spiritual significance during this time and excludes ingredients that are heavy, rich or cause indigestion.
For those who have a sweet tooth, this can seem like a time with very limited options. But if you actually take a closer look at traditional sweets and desserts, you’ll find that simple substitution of unhealthy ingredients with healthier ones can give you sattvic dessert options which are super low-calorie and healthy as well.
Here are three healthy sweet dishes that you can try this Navratri season without worrying about gaining any extra weight in the process.
1. Buckwheat halwa
Buckwheat flour or kuttu ka atta is one of the ingredients used to make Navratri dishes. This gluten-free flour is low in calories and contains good amounts of proteins, fiber and minerals. What’s more, you can make halwa with it the same way as you make besan ka halwa.
- Roast 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup rajgira flour in about two tablespoons of ghee in a pan until golden brown
- Meanwhile, boil 1.5 cups of water in another pan
- Add the water to the flour while stirring to make sure it does not form lumps. Use a whisk if required
- Let the water absorb completely, which indicates that the buckwheat flour is cooked, and then add 1/2 cup of sugar or jaggery to the mix
- Keep mixing until the sugar dissolves
- Remove from the heat and garnish with chopped almonds
- Can be served hot or cool
2. Makhana kheer
Makhanas (fox nuts) are a low-calorie food with almost zero fat and cholesterol and good amounts of calcium, sodium and potassium. Makhana kheer can be prepared quickly with ingredients easily available in most pantries or grocery stores. Here is how:
- Heat two tablespoons of ghee in a pan and saute the makhana seeds in it on medium flame until they turn golden brown
- Add about five cups of low-fat milk to the pan and bring it to a boil. Turn the flame to low and cook for 10-12 minutes
- Add 1/2 cup jaggery and some cardamom powder and cook for 10 more minutes
- Add a few strands of saffron (kesar) and heat on medium for a minute.
- Take the pan off the heat and let it cool before serving
3. Kaddu barfi
Kaddu or pumpkin is yet another fiber-rich low-calorie food that you can use to make a healthy dessert for your Navratri feast. The delectable dessert is not difficult to make and does not require fancy ingredients.
- Chop about 2 cups of yellow or ripe pumpkin
- Heat two tablespoons of ghee in a pan, put the pumpkin in and let it cook for about 15 minutes on low heat
- When the pumpkin becomes soft, mash it with a spatula and continue to cook until the water dries completely
- Add two tablespoon (or to taste) of sugar and a bit of cardamom powder and mix it well until the mixture starts to leave sides
- Add about a tablespoon (or less) of mixed nuts of your choice, like almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds or walnuts
- Take the pan off the heat and pour the contents on a greased rectangular tray
- Let the mixture cool and set. You can keep it in the refrigerator for this stage
- Use a greased knife to cut evenly-sized pieces of the barfi, and serve
For more information, read our article on Healthy recipes.
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