Try These Healthy Protein-Rich And Low-Fat Gujiyas This Holi
Holi 2019: The festival of colours is round the corner! Try making some healthy gujiyas by using healthy ingredients like nuts, dried fruits and seeds.
Some people also experiment with the cooking method like baking or air-frying the gujiya.
- Gujiya is the most inevitable part of Holi
- A typical gujiya is a semi-circular crispy dumpling
- The gujiya filling can be substituted with something healthier like nuts
Holi is the most colorful festival of the year and gujiya is the most inevitable part of Holi, apart from the colors, of course! A typical gujiya is a semi-circular crispy dumpling, made of maida, stuffed with khoya and some nuts, deep-fried in desi ghee and generously dipped in sugar syrup. It is prepared in millions of households, apart from the lakhs of mithai shops, big and small, all over the country, around this time of the year. Apart from its traditional avatar, you can now see it in different shapes, from circular discs to samosas.
To celebrate any festival in its true spirit, we must do everything that's traditionally associated with that festival. Traditionally, our grandparents started preparing delicacies associated with a particular festival many days in advance.
While it's important to savor the traditional delicacies, it's easy to go overboard and indulge, what with a plethora of bhang, poori-kheer, thandai and gujiya all around. So it's important to not only exercise restraint in portion size, but also to make some healthier substitutions and prepare the sweets at home.
Some ways to make your gujiya healthier are:
Substitute maida with a healthier flour like suji or whole wheat. Health freaks could experiment with millet flours or oat flour as well.
Khoya is basically dried or condensed form of milk; it's quite heavy and high in saturated fat and calories. The gujiya filling can be substituted with something healthier like
- a mixture of nuts
- some anjeer & date mixture
- some raisins/ munacca alongside sesame or sunflower seeds
- a mixture of dried fruits like dried apples, cherries, mango, apricots, kiwis, pineapples etc can add great flavor and zing to your gujiya
- a mixture of dessicated coconut with pounded nuts can also be used
- some protein packed variations can be done by stuffing a sweet filling made of some dried chana, urad or moong dal
Some people also experiment with the cooking method like baking or air-frying the gujiya, though none turns out as crispy as the deep-fried version. The best choice for frying medium obviously is desi ghee.
Desi ghee is safe as the smoking point is high. It also slows down the breakdown of sugars and lowers the glycemic index of your sweetmeats.
Some people also replace the sugar with artificial sweeteners, though I personally don't recommend the use of any artificial sweeteners or stevia. However, you could resort to the lesser refined sugar variants like khand, brown sugar, demerara, jaggery or honey, though it just makes a small difference to the total calories.
However, together a few of these substitutions can make a substantial contribution. Yet, what is more important is to do everything in moderation as moderation is the key.
Wishing you all a very happy, colorful and healthy HOLI!!!
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
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