Diwali Festival 2018: 10 healthy ways to use flour in special Diwali Recipes
Festive seasons pose a stop on any kind of diet that an Indian might be following, especially during the Diwali festival. The mouth-watering Indian snacks, sweets and feasts that are churned out during the Diwali festival is an irresistible temptation for one and all. This festival, therefore, becomes 10 days of cheating on diet food. But a cheating diet does not have to become a Diwali norm. The ground reality of today’s urban India is that most of us are inclined towards healthy eating. Attribute this to the pace of life, lifestyle in general or the felt pressure to keep energy levels high for a work-life balance, the fact is we are becoming a health conscious country today. This is probably the reason why sweet marts and pastry shops have also started looking for healthier alternatives to be included in the recipes. One of the basic ingredients used in the making of any sweet recipe or bakery product is flour. Replacing this one ingredient with a healthier version is the first step towards making Diwali enjoyable, without going down the guilt trip of calorie consumption.
Here are a few ways to do that:
1) Replace wheat with bran wheat or brown wheat: May it be puran poli or karenji, wheat flour is the base of most sweets. Wheat in itself has many health benefits. However, for those who are extremely calorie conscious, wheat should be replaced with wheat bran to take it a step further.
2) Replace the All purpose wheat: The All purpose wheat is probably the most known flour for people interested in baking and cooking snacks. After all, it is the most recommended and used in flour in most of the recipes. All- purpose flour is a combination of hard and soft flours. These flours are differentiated by the gluten content in them. Hard flour is high in gluten content whereas soft flour is low in gluten. Interestingly, Gluten in flour develops as it is worked on towards making it a dough. A needed element, Gluten is what makes atta a good binder. However, since all-purpose flour contains overly refined flour as its content, it is best to opt for packaged flour or wheat bran flour.
3) Opt for healthier Diwali snacking with semolina & flour: Snack the healthier way this Diwali. For instance: Malpuas are the deep fried succulent Indian savoury snacks made especially using flour & semolina. Traditionally a deep fried snack, this Diwali , however, divert from tradition in a healthier.Make your way to the kitchen to eat your fill of Malpuas made out of Wheat and semolina. Since both of these are healthier choices, malpuas made out of them can definitely be feasted on.
4) Opt for gram flour pancakes : Gram flour or besan is one of the healthiest flour that can be used for a healthy Diwali fare. Though besan chilla or besan pancake is not a typical Diwali fare, take a break from the feasting with these for dinner. Light on the stomach Bengal gram flour has its own health enhancing qualities too. It is an absolute aid in regulating blood pressure. This is due to the magnesium content of besan.
5) Let maida weave its magic: For coating deep-fried snacks, savoured by guests, especially during Diwali, replace bread crumbs with besan or maida. Light batters help the recipes cook evenly on all sides too. A healthy choice is to replace potatoes with mashed beetroot and sweet potatoes for cutlets and coat the cutlet with maida and besan rather than with cornflour. The starchy disposition of cornstarch is actually highly processed carbohydrate. This Diwali go for the healthier version of batters with besan and maida flour.
6) Snacking on Nuts and flour: Who does not enjoy a batch of crispy and crunchy peanuts?` Given a choice most will reach for a bowl of crispy masala peanuts over the salted one. This Diwali let the besan coated roasted spicy peanuts welcome your guests. Along with a mouthful of taste, you will also serve them a handful of health. If you find chickpea flour, not to your taste, go with a light batter of wheat bran atta or maida.
7) Stick to wheat atta laddoos: Traditionally, Diwali was never the same, without the ghee-laden wheat atta laddoos. This year, however, keep the calories in check. Replace the boondi for the sweetmeat balls with wheat. These turn out to be interesting, tasty and healthy.
8) Give a healthy twist to tradition: Many of the traditional Diwali sweets, especially towards the South of India use rice powder along with other flours. Though they are light in texture, rice flour makes it heavy on the stomach. Give this traditional touch a miss. Opt for wheat flour along with besan and churn out lip snacking goodies.
9) Give in to your sweet tooth craving: Being conscious about your health does not have to make your Diwali celebrations bland and tasteless. Kheer is an integral part of a Diwali feast. Yet that guilt trip might stop you from indulging in this sweet dish. Indulge in the healthier version of this irresistible dish, replacing the primary ingredients with wheat flour.
10) Replace the starchy foods with wholesome ones: A Diwali festive season in India is never without the starchy ingredients making savoury dishes. For many, these 10 days will be a guilt trip that they would go down on. Hence chose to make it a healthy indulgence this Diwali.
Conclusion: Every festive occasion calls for indulgence. However, there are those unfortunate foodies too who are either on a healthy diet call or are unable to indulge due to medical reasons. Opting for a healthier option is a choice. Make this your choice to continue with your journey towards an overall well being.
Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Samrat India’s policies”.