Festivities scream Mithai! But this festive season, however, don’t forget to include a few superstar and healthy ingredients that contribute immensely to a healthy lifestyle. As we say goodbye to Raag Malhaar and Dal Vadas, and with the monsoon making way for autumn, the great Indian festive season has arrived. Even as we welcome the Gods and make our peace with fasting and feasting during Karva Chauth, Dussehra, and Diwali or be it Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, there is an unparalleled celebration of food and festivities all over the world with much emphasis on the different ingredients explored during this time of the year.
Scrumptious mithais, which are a cross between a snack, a dessert, and a confection, are elevated to a higher level of culinary finesse, providing a wide range of products and ingredients that would be well-suited during this festive season. Gourmet options are an important ingredient used in food dishes during the festive season and hence, chefs often find it difficult to stay on track with healthy alternatives. As guests keep arriving home, invited or unannounced, healthy snacks are just the right food to be offered to them during this festive season.
Festivals and the respective delicacies that are prepared are synonymous with the festivals. Consumers relish these dishes and hence, these festivals are made much more memorable. Festivals bring in a variety to our staple foods which highlights each festival’s cultural diversity and significance. With the festive season at par, we have no option but to savour these delicious yet healthy superfood options.
1. Dry fruits
A mithai dabba is a no-go without dry fruits in it! Dry fruits are rich in vitamins and proteins; they also boost immunity and prevent lifestyle diseases such as cholesterol and diabetes. Most dry fruits like almonds, cashew, walnuts, and raisins are rich in minerals, proteins, fiber, and vitamins. Sunflower seeds are also known to be highly nutritious. These can be used to prepare different delicacies during festivals.
All those who have an eye for sweets never stay away from a generous helping of Gajar ka halwa. This sweet is prepared using carrots which provides the body with adequate health benefits. The carrot’s fiber content can aid in regulating blood sugar levels. Additionally, they are abundant in beta-carotene and vitamin A, both of which have been linked to a decreased incidence of diabetes. They can make your bones stronger. Both calcium and vitamin K, which are found in carrots, are crucial for making bones strong.
Known as a plant-based protein, quinoa offers a wide variety of amino acids. Amino acids are critical for sustaining immunological function and muscular development, among other crucial processes. Due to this, quinoa is a fantastic food option for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Quinoa seeds can be prepared and consumed similarly to most cereals, although the quinoa plant itself is more similar to spinach and beets. The easiest way to consume quinoa is to consider quinoa puffs for healthy snacking options.
Consuming more cranberries could reduce inflammation and enhance digestive and cardiovascular health. One must be mindful that many commercial brands contain a lot of added preservatives and sugar. To give a salad dressing a tart kick, try using pure cranberry juice. For your roast chicken, avoid the canned variety and make your own cranberry sauce. Bake whole cranberries into your preferred nutritious snacks for dessert.
India is a land rich in spices, and turmeric is one of the most useful among them. Turmeric is used in almost every dish in India. From dal and sabzi to spicy chicken, turmeric is a key ingredient used. This inexpensive everyday spice has prime medicinal benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties.
Vitamins, antioxidants, and healthful fats are abundant in ghee (clarified butter). Studies have shown that eating fatty foods like ghee can aid the body in absorbing several vital vitamins and minerals, even though fat should be ingested in moderation. You may be able to absorb more nutrients by using ghee to cook vegetables and nutritious foods. Ghee can be used to prepare halwa or other Indian delicacies. Gourmet options include goat-milk ghee, which is a supplement for all those who are health-conscious. It is an essential ingredient used extensively while catering to making Indian sweets this festive season.
When it comes to sherbet, buttermilk can be consumed, which will keep you energized throughout the day this festive season. Buttermilk contains vitamin A which improves your immune system and keeps the kidney, the lung, and the heart healthy.
Ragi has an outstanding nutritional profile that includes high quantities of important micronutrients like vitamins and minerals as well as all the necessary macronutrients including carbohydrates, fiber, fats, and proteins. It has very low amounts of salt and cholesterol and, therefore, supports heart health. Ragi also has significant amounts of vitamins C and E, which help maintain healthy skin, hair, and the immune system. You can make healthy + tasty ragi ladoos during this festive season.
9. Multigrain atta mix
Multigrain flour is better for weight loss as compared with wheat flour! Now, we know that multigrain flour is easily available in the market and does give you the same benefits as compared to homemade flour. It helps in boosting one’s digestive system, which also promotes weight loss. Hence, it is a practical choice to consume multigrain atta-mix bread instead of normal wheat flour bread during this festive season.
The holiday spirit is once again back in the air because it is that time of the year when festivities invade our senses. Festivals demand unrestrained indulgence in all things gastronomical. Make sure to enjoy yourself during the celebrations of Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, Thanksgiving or Christmas while also taking care of yourself by eating healthy food, including certain superstar ingredients.
About Author: S.N. Rao is the Managing Director Of Supreem Superfoods
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.