Nut flours, sugar substitutes and edible flowers. Dig into desserts that scream healthy this season.
There is such a thing as a healthy festive dessert
WHAT’S A FESTIVAL without delicious desserts? With a distinct shift towards eating healthy and sticking to different diets, desserts this season are all about making people feel good about what they are eating rather than guilty. So, the baker’s kitchen is experimenting with unconventional ingredients such as unrefined flours, raw sugars, more spices, nuts and grains that we didn’t ever imagine would go into cakes and cookies. Sugar, which is seen as the chief enemy by those watching calories, is making way for naturally sweet ingredients like panela and rice bran syrup which are going into desserts.
Look at international dessert trends and you will see that vegetables and fruits like avocado, sweet potato, tapioca, coconut, bananas and apples are taking centre stage when it comes to desserts. Traditional ingredients like nuts and grains are now being adapted into flours which can be used as substitutes for the traditional all-purpose flour, thus making desserts gluten free and accessible
to a wider number of people who otherwise would skip these sweet treats.
The general assumption is that a healthy dessert is usually inedible and boring but for the past two decades, we have been customising everything to our preferences and restrictions. The trends keep changing—we’ve made gluten and dairy-free desserts and what is trending now is vegan, paleo and keto diet choices. So, the desserts also reflect that.
Ingredients like panela (rapedura), jaggery, rice bran syrup, honey, stevia, coconut sugars and dried fruits like figs, dates, raisins and sultanas have replaced the more commonly used refined sugars. When it comes to flours, tapioca, coconut, sorghum, rice, buckwheat, banana and maize seem to be the best choices Desserts this season also come with seeds like flax, sesame, chia, sunflower and pumpkin for that extra dose of good health.
Festivals and celebrations are incomplete without sweets but now, the focus has shifted from the traditional to a more wholesome and alluring dessert. People want offbeat flavours and combinations. So we see that our lavender, sesame and chilly coriander cookies, the ever colourful rose and pistachio granola, and a fun chia seed pudding are what people are opting for. Berry tarts, besides being a treat for the eyes, come packed with antioxidants and are also popular this season. Although healthy is trending, you cannot entirely disregard luscious chiffon sponges, rich chocolates and cream fillings.
Diwali is a time of celebrations and it is said you eat with your eyes. That definitely holds true this season— it’s all about fresh berries, silk and edible flowers, those gold and silver foil accents and elaborate chocolate garnishes, albeit all healthy.
Avocado, sweet potato, tapioca, coconut, bananas and apples are taking centre stage when it comes to desserts LOOKS GOOD, TASTES BETTER