Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all of you!
So as you know, it is that time of the year when Ganpati Bappa comes to our homes and blesses us with his best wishes. All of us are pleased seeing Bappa’s idols at our homes or at different pandals. What amuses me most about Ganesh Chaturthi apart from those beautiful looking Ganesha idols, is the sweets which we fondly call ‘Naivedya or Prasad’ in Marathi. These sweets are always the highlights of all festivals but are also extremely sugary and full of ghee. Being a Nutritionist, I am often asked about different healthy recipes that can be incorporated so that we can celebrate a guilt-free festival and indulge ourselves into eating these sweets and enjoy the festival to its fullest! So today, I bring to you 5 healthy recipes which can be good options for your Naivedya and also are easy-to-make!
1 – Khajoor Modak – Modaks are Bappa’s favourite delicacy. Therefore, Ganesh festival without Modak is impossible. But at the same time, Modak has a lot of jaggery which then becomes a big ‘NO’ for all the health freaks out there! So, here I give you a Modak which is healthy and is a fount of essential minerals as well especially Iron.
For the outer covering –
1 cup Rice flour
1.5 cups Water
1/4 tsp Ghee
1 pinch Salt
For the inner filling –
1 cup crushed Dates (seedless)
1/4 cup grated coconut
- For the inner filling, mix the grated coconut and crushed dates together and keep it aside.
- For the outer cover, boil the water in a non-stick pan. Add the ghee and salt to it.
- When the water comes to boil, add the rice flour and keep a lid over it for 5-10 minutes.
- Then knead it into a soft and smooth dough.
- Apply pinch of oil/ghee/ water on your palms and make small balls of the dough.
- Flatten it to give it the shape of a katori.
- Press the edges of the katori-shaped dough with slight pressure at every 1 inch distance.
- The edges of the katori will now look like the petals of the flower.
- Put some stuffing in the katori and close the ends to give them a shape like fresh figs or momos.
- Take a soft cloth like muslin, and apply bit oil/ghee on it and place it in the steamer pan.
- Place all the modaks on the muslin cloth and close the lid.
- Steam it for 5 to 6 minutes and turn off the flame.
- Your delicious modaks are ready to be served.
(Note – Do not over steam the modaks, else they will become hard).
2 – Mix Fruit Smoothie – Smoothies are a great way of including fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy nuts and dairy in your diet. This fruit smoothie will help you pack up on essential nutrients and will kick start your day in a healthy way. Also this smoothie is a great replacement of your Shrikhand!
1 cup Mix fruits (Include Bananas, Apples, Custard apple, Pear or any other seasonal fruit)
1 cup thick curd
- Grind all the fruits together in a mixer-grinder and then add the curd to it.
- Mix it well and serve chilled.
(Note – Can add a teaspoon of honey to it if you want it more sweet).
3 – Dark Chocolate Modak – Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can have a positive effect on your health. Dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content has been known for imparting protection from cardiovascular disease risk, fight insulin resistance seen in diabetes and is good for your skin and brain functioning. Remember, moderation is key!
1 cup Dark Chocolate
1 cup mixed Nuts or Dry-fruits (Include almonds, walnuts, groundnuts,Til, etc.)
- Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave or on a double-boiler.
- Coarsely grind all the nuts and add it to the melted chocolate.
- Pour this mixture into modak shaped moulds and let it cool down for 5-10 minutes.
- The modaks are ready!
(Note – Can also add roasted Oats or wheat flakes to this).
4 – Dates- Nuts Modak – Popular in almost every Indian household, these melt-in-the-mouth nutty modaks are a mix of great super foods found in a conventional Indian pantry. These decadent modaks are a great source of essential nutrients and at the same time are irresistibly delicious.
1 cup Dates
1 cup mixed Nuts or Dry-fruits (Include almonds, walnuts, groundnuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc.)
- Grind the dates and the mixed nuts separately and then mix them together.
- Add this mixture into modak shaped moulds and keep it for 2-3 minutes.
- The modaks are ready!
5 – Oats and Dates Kheer – Enjoy this delicious kheer on a gloomy day without the guilt of packing up unhealthy calories and carbs. This refreshing dessert is made with Black Dates which is a power packed with vitamins and minerals and is also known for preventing and curing a spectrum of disease and disorders.
1 cup Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Black Dates
2 cups Milk
1 pinch Cardamom powder
Walnuts for garnishing
- Soak whole almonds in hot water for about 15 to 20 minutes or give one boil to the water and let the almonds steep in it for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, peel the almonds. Chop about half of them (around 10).
- Deseed dates and keep about 4 to 5 for garnishing. Place the rest of the peeled almonds (about 10) and pitted dates in a blender jar and make a fine paste with a little milk.
- In a saucepan, roast the oats on medium high heat, stirring continuously till you get a nutty aroma; about 2 to 3 minutes. Tip in the milk and the ground almonds-date paste (rinse the jar with additional milk) into the pan and bring to a boil on medium high heat.
- Add cardamom powder when the mixture starts thickening like a pudding and off the flame.
- Garnish the Kheer with walnuts and is ready to serve!
Suggested Read: 5 diet lessons you can learn from Ganapati Bappa!
So, these were the 5 healthy sweet recipes that you could serve as Prasad this festival. Do try them and let me know how do you like it. Also, if you have your own healthy recipes, do share so that even I can try them at home!
Stay fit and keep munching!
Abha is a Food Science and Nutrition graduate and currently pursuing M.Sc. in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She calls herself an amateur Food and Health Blogger and an extremely big foodie at heart. For her food is not just about calories, carbohydrates and fats; it is a way of life! Abha truly believes that no food is unhealthy, what can be unhealthy is our attitude towards it. So if we correct our attitude, we can enjoy all those yummy foods! 🙂