Raksha Bandhan is a beloved Indian festival that brings families together to celebrate the sibling bond. Everyone gathers for the puja and is it the tradition for a sister to tie the Rakhi on the wrist of her brother and feed him sweets. In return, the brother makes a solemn vow to protect his sister and gives her gifts. Over time the festival has come to celebrate all types of sibling and sibling-like bonds including that between two or more sisters or brothers, friends who consider each other family, cousins, and so on.
The traditional sweets and foods that are prepared for Raksha Bandha are delicious but loaded with sugar, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats. As people get more and more health-conscious, they have started cutting down on their intake of sweets and other foods that will throw them off their healthy habits. This could be a bit of a damper on the festivities as the food and sweets are a part of coming together as a family. But food can be both healthy and delicious, so why not choose some of these healthier options so that you can still enjoy your Rakhi celebrations this year?
Here Is How You Can Make Your Food Menu Healthy
Starters and Snacks
While a little bit of oil is not a bad thing, many snacks and starters are deep-fried and have more oil than is good for us. Shallow fried and baked snacks are a healthier option that can be enjoyed instead. Vegetable kebabs can be brushed lightly with olive oil and then baked to reduce the fat, retain nutrients and have a lovely texture. Roasting or grilling paneer tikka, baby corn, and vegetable skewers is an improved way of cooking these dishes. Replacing potato chips with baked sweet potato or banana chips also helps to cut down on extra carbs and oil.
The vegetarian dishes prepared for the Raksha Bandhan feast are all healthy in their own right, but the addition of extra ghee and oil can send your diet far off track. Refined carbs like white rice and maida used to prepare some of the dishes can also cause sugar spikes after a meal. A few modifications and substitutions can vastly improve the quality of nutrition without affecting the taste in any way. Switching to whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat and whole multi-grain flour, can help to stabilise blood sugar. Reducing the use of oil and using healthy oils like olive or avocado oil will not just reduce unhealthy fats but also increase the healthy ones which the body requires. You can still enjoy your pulao, rotis, and sabzi by simply tweaking your ingredients a bit. Include more dark green veggies for that added nutrition value. And, if you are having dhal, go ahead and add some ghee to it, the key is moderation.
Finally, we come to the sweetest part of the meal; dessert. Let’s face it, on Raksha Bandhan we don’t wait to have the sweets but have them in abundance all through the day. Using fresh or dried fruits to replace sugar in ladoos and barfi is a good idea for healthy sweets. Stevia and jaggery are also sugar alternative that can be used to sweeten all your favourite mithai and help stabilise your blood glucose levels. If you are calorie conscious you can choose zero-calorie sweeteners as well.
We wish you a Healthy and Happy Raksha Bandhan!