White Christmas cake by Swayampurna Mishra.
Christmas is one of those seasons where you don't really pay attention to what you are eating. Your only goal is to eat everything you see and blame the season for gaining those couple of kilos. It all seems well until you go for that health checkup. That's why some home bakers are making a conscious effort to opt for healthier Christmas desserts this year.
Riya Patel, a home baker, is using alternative ingredients for baking some spectacular delicacies this festive season. Her goal is to make gluten-free desserts that everyone can enjoy. She says, "I know a lot of people are diabetic and can't enjoy the desserts this season. Using alternative ingredients is a good way to let them enjoy the holidays."
Her specialities include desserts like 'spiced jowar brownie cake', 'rum and raisin muffin', 'lemon rosemary loaf' and 'whiskey nutty ball'. She says, "In the brownie cake, I've used 'jowar' instead of flour and brown sugar; there is no butter added either. The muffin is made with 'kodu' millet which gives it a rustic feel. I used foxtail millet for the loaf and almond powder for the nutty ball." She adds that not many are comfortable with millets as it does have an acquired taste to it but it's a great way to enjoy desserts this season and not feel left out.
A few others like Swayampurna Mishra have been baking using alternative ingredients due to health problems. The food stylist and photographer explains, "I have gained a few kilos since I started blogging and because of my health issues, it is very difficult for me to lose weight. That's why I make the conscious effort to take care of myself. So making healthy versions of desserts this Christmas didn't seem like a hard job."
Swayampurna has made items like 'carrot banana cake with honey', 'pear and ginger cake' and 'white Christmas cake'. "I use ingredients like olive oil, yoghurt and banana instead of butter. I had a lot of fun making the 'white Christmas cake' and when I added ginger cookies shaped like trees and stars on top and it turned out to be absolutely beautiful."
Sai Priya, blogger at 'My Cooking Canvas', too prefers making healthier versions of desserts. She says, "I make the 'pearl millet carrot cake' with olive oil for Christmas and it's always a huge hit at home. Millet is very rich in fibre and has a lot of health benefits to it."
Using organic brown sugar and palm sugar is also something that she follows while baking.
"Using the right amount of jaggery and dried fruits is very important. I also like to experiment with flax seeds. I might even make something with it this year," she adds.
Looks like it's safe to say that everyone seems to be having a jolly good time this Christmas, even if it's not with sugary sweets!