Everyone is getting ready for what is officially the festive season! But with numerous gatherings, comes constant eating out. Eating foods high in sugar and salt can often leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. This blog shares how you can make your festivities special by rustling some easy homemade snacks that are light, healthy, and can be made easily without spending too much time in the kitchen.
Festive homemade snacks
India is a country rich in culture and heritage. This vibrant fabric of the country is apparent in the sheer number of festivals that we celebrate. The fact that every state and region has its own beliefs and customs make way for just another reason to celebrate.
For instance, the beginning of the harvesting season draws celebrations all over the country, albeit by different names. While it is Makar Sankranti in the north, southern India celebrates it as Pongal. Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated with equal fervour as Eid.
Every community celebrates by preparing their special sweet and savoury foods. While all these snacks taste scrumptious, it is always advised to snack wisely to avoid stomach upsets, feelings of lethargy, and weight gain.
Typically, people tend to have oily, sweet, and savoury food items such as jalebi, malpua, cashew burfee, rasgulla, and more. However, with these homemade festive snack ideas, you can focus on bringing in the festive cheer instead of worrying about your health.
How homemade snacks can keep you healthy
During the festivities, you cannot do away with snacking. But, what you can do is make these snacks at home to prevent numerous health problems. Let’s look at why homemade snacks are better for you:
- Home made snacks can be easily customised according to your specific needs. For instance, if you are diabetic, you can do away with sugar in your snacks and still enjoy their wholesome taste.
- You can substitute ingredients high in fat, salt, and sugar with healthier alternatives. This not just makes them better for you but you can also avoid food allergies.
- With healthy homemade snacks, you can easily control portions and eat as much as is required.
- Another important benefit of homemade festive snacks is that making them at home saves money. When planned well, making these snacks at home will cost you much less than eating at a restaurant or buying them from the supermarket.
Healthy festive snacks
Looking for some healthy homemade snacks for this festive season? Here are some of the best tasty snacks to make at home without potential guilt trips:
A healthy twist on the regular Modak, which is usually eaten during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in the western states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, peanut modak is all taste without the calories.
Made with jaggery instead of sugar and peanuts, it is a low-calorie dessert that enhances your energy levels and aids digestion.
All you need to do is to mix and heat fresh coconut, peanut powder, jaggery powder, raisings, and cardamom powder. Add rice flour to this and knead it into a soft dough. Make into small balls and serve.
Also known as Payasam, kheer is eaten during numerous festivals such as Sharad Purnima, Eid, and Diwali. This recipe is created using halim seeds (Garden cress), which have been found to be a great source of iron, calcium, and potassium. They help treat fatigue and are excellent immunity boosters.
Add halim seeds, jaggery powder, chopped almonds, and pistachio to boiled milk and simmer. Once the kheer thickens, take off the flame and serve warm.
Any Diwali get-together calls for Diwali special snacks such as chaat. This year, replace the deep-fried unhealthy chaat with this recipe created using healthy and light-on-the-stomach ingredients. Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, fibre, and vitamins and help in regulating blood sugar levels and control weight gain.
Mix boiled chickpeas and sweet potatoes with chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, green chillies, red chilli powder, garam masala, haldi, dhania powder, salt, and chopped coriander leaves. Add a little water and oil to make cutlets. Shallow fry the cutlets till they are crispy. Serve with fresh mint chutney.
Cottage cheese (paneer) is one of the best foods to eat during Navratri celebrations and fasting. It keeps you full and its protein content is perfect to keep your spirits high during the festive season.
Marinate chunks of paneer in a mix of mixed herbs, black pepper, red chilly, jeera powder, and salt. Heat butter in a pan and add pieces of marinated paneer. Sear on both sides until golden brown and serve hot.
Enjoy your festivities without the fear of putting on weight with this delicious recipe. Perfect for guilt-free post-meal dessert snacking, oats paneer balls are made using protein-rich oats and paneer. It has been found that oats are a rich source of fibre and proteins that help in weight management.
Saute mashed paneer in a kadhai for around 30 minutes and keep it aside to cool down. Add saffron strands, cardamom powder, roasted ground oats, and chopped dates and mix well. Make in laddoos and serve.
The quintessential Holi food, this is one of the most delicious and easy-to-prepare quick home snacks. This high-fibre snack is not just super healthy but is also great for lifting your mood.
Combine bajra flour, chopped garlic and ginger, green chillies, salt, rice flour, and curd and mix well. Put small portions of this mix in hot oil and fry till golden brown. Serve hot with mint chutney.
A Makar Sankranti and Pongal staple, khichdi is often consumed as a Prasad. This oats potato recipe makes it a one-pot meal rich in antioxidants, fibre, and proteins.
Heat ghee in a pan and add rai, hing, kadi patta, and jeera. Sauté well and add oats. Once the oats are roasted, add soaked moong dal, grated ginger, diced potatoes, haldi, salt, and a little water. Once cooked, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with curd and mint chutney.
A winter festival special food that’s eaten mainly in West Bengal and Maharashtra, aseriyo na ladoo is abundant in iron and keeps fatigue away. It is rich in omega-3 that keeps your heart and joints healthy.
Mix halim seeds, grated fresh coconut, jaggery powder, cardamom powder, and ghee. Roast till golden brown. Once the mix cools down, roll it into small balls and serve.
Loaded with flavours, these festive snack ideas are worth trying. As a parting tip, you can also try those special chips for Navratri while celebrating the occasion with friends and family. These chips are called so as they come with packages labelled “Special Navratri Chips”, and are produced by some of the leading snacks makers. Thus, all these delicacies will allow you to indulge in festivities without upping your guilt ante! Be creative with these recipes and don’t hesitate to experiment.