You know that sugar is bad for you, yet you can't seem to stop eating it. Every time you decide to cut down, those sugar cravings hit. All those yummy laddus, barfis, chocolates - how can you give up your sweet treat?
You're not alone, here are 3 yummy sugar-free recipes for you!
A recently published article highlights the difficulty that most people find in cutting down on sugar intake and eating healthy in general.
Here is an except from the article published by the Hindustan Times
"Only 1/3rd diabetics have blood sugar under control: Lancet study
The findings, comprising a vast sample size of 113,043 people, illustrates the scale of what are considered as non-communicable disease, which now have a growing disease burden and have been linked to unhealthy lifestyles among other factors
Only a third of individuals with known diabetes in India have good control over the disease, a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation suggested."
Even people diagnosed with diabetes can't seem to check their sweet tooth and keep their blood sugar levels in control. This is despite the growing awareness of the harmful effects of refined sugar and sugary foods. Today, many of you know of the sugar content in processed foods. You know that be it white sugar, artificial sweeteners, brown sugar or any other substitute for sugar, these store-bought sweets are not healthy for you.
What is the alternative? Give up all your favourite sweets to meet your health goals? Absolutely not!
You can enjoy delicious dessert everyday, while still keeping your blood sugar levels in check if you're diabetic. You can eat a completely healthy diet while enjoying a wide variety of sweets.
Today, we will be talking about three lip smacking sugar-free recipes, that are also vegan, free of refined flour, oil-free! Completely healthy sweets free of refined sugar, that is every bit decadent and delicious!
What sweets can you eat on a sugar free diet
You can enjoy a variety of lip-smacking sweets on a sugar-free diet. In fact, you can make a sugar-free version of pretty much any sweet with healthy sugar substitutes. The most popular store-bought sugar-free sweet is probably dark chocolate, but did you know you can make anything from laddus to barfis, payasams to pops, cakes to cookies all without any refined sugar? You can make it all the more healthy by making it vegan and free of all purpose flour. You can use almond flour, coconut flour, whole wheat, oats instead of all purpose flour and you can substitute dairy butter with all-natural peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc.
If you're looking for a healthy sugar-free option to buy, we have a whole range of sweets at sampoornaahara.com everything from festive treats to decadent everyday sweets that are 100% whole food plant based. No white sugar, no jaggery, completely vegan, oil-free, free of refined-flour, yet so delicious.
The best part is you can enjoy a sugar-free treat everyday since it's made with all healthy ingredients.
How to sweeten Dessert without Sugar
You can sweeten your dessert with a range of healthy, sweeteners that have shown not to cause blood sugar spike. This includes natural sweetener like dates, fresh fruits, molasses and dry fruits which are the healthiest. You can use extracted sweeteners like erythritol and stevia, in small quantities as a transition food and to increase the consumption of other healthy foods.
Dates is super versatile and at sampoornaahara.com, we make everything from laddus to barfies, sugar-free date cookies, peanut butter cookies, and even gulab jamun and cakes sweetened with dates. Have you tried them?
What dessert is the healthiest
The absolute healthiest desert you can have are fruits and dry fruits. Nature cooked sweet packed with flavour, antioxidants, and fiber. Mango, jackfruit, sapota, dates, raisins, figs, apricots...yummy.
The next best is of course desserts that are sweetened with a natural sweetener like fruits, dry fruits, and blackstrap molasses.
Desserts that actually promote health are made with ingredients that are whole not processed, that come from plants and not animals. This is why at Sampoorna Ahara, all are sweets are vegan, oil-free, maida-free, sugar and jaggery-free. We make them with the healthiest ingredients. We use nuts and nut butters like peanuts, cashew, and almond. Seeds like watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed. We use spices, whole grains, dates and dry fruits to make not only the healthiest but also the most delicious sweets.
Sugar-free Recipe 1: Kesar Elaichi Laddu
One cup seedless dates
One cup of almonds
A few strands of saffron
One or two pods of cardamom
Pulse in the mixer grinder to preferred consistency (smooth or chunky according to your preference)
Roll them out into individual laddus
Roll each laddu in almond powder to coat it
Sugar-free Recipe 2: Oats and Vanilla Energy Ball
One cup seedless dates
Half cup of cashews
Half cup of roasted (or unroasted) rolled oats
Quarter teaspoon of sugar-free vanilla extract
Pulse in the mixer grinder to preferred consistency (smooth or chunky according to your preference)
Roll them out into individual balls
Roll each ball in oats to coat it
Sugar-free Recipe 3: Orange and Chocolate Pop
One cup seedless dates
One cup of cashew or any nut of your choice
15 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder (for dark chocolate taste)
Half a lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pulse in the mixer grinder to preferred consistency (smooth or chunky according to your preference)
Roll them out into individual pops
Roll each ball in nut powder to coat it
Video Transcript: Sugar-free Sweets - 3 Easy recipes
Hello everyone and welcome to today's live on SampoornaAhara.com, my name is Shyamala and today we are going to be talking about something that's very exciting because it's something that you can actually try at home and that is recipes.
So I'll tell you a little more about the kind of recipes that we're going to talk about today after I go over what recently came in the news. So the Indian Council of Medical Research recently conducted a survey and found that in India only one third of people who know they have diabetes are able to keep their sugar levels in control.
Why is this? we all know that sugar is bad for us, we all know that many of the ingredients that go into making sweets are also harmful for us but still there are a growing number of people who are unable to control their cravings or who don't really feel it's worth it to give up all their favorite sweets and move into a diet that is you know imagined to be health. Today, however, we're going to break all these barriers and actually talk about delicious sweets that you can make at home and enjoy without a single compromise on health and if you've been here before you know who we are going to get on board to talk about this.
So today we have Aditi Eswar with us. Aditi is the co-founder of Sampoorna Ahara and she heads the sweets unit at Sampoorna Ahara. Her amazing recipes have reached out to so many of you who enjoy our sweets on a regular basis and today, Aditi will be talking to us about three simple sweet recipes that you can make at home with ingredients that are going to promote health instead of destroy it.
So, we're so happy to have you back on the live Aditi.
Thank you for having me once again.
Wonderful, so without any further ado let's jump right into it. We just saw the study that came out that spoke about the fact that many diabetic people are finding it difficult to keep their sugar levels under control and this may largely be because nobody wants to give up eating delicious sweets even though you know it's not healthy for you. With that as a background, you have some really fun recipes for us do you want to start off with the first one?
Let's jump right into it. Wonderful!
So the first recipe we have today is the Kesar Elaichi Ladoo. This is a really really really simple recipe to follow and make. You don't need any equipment as such, apart from a mixture grinder and maybe a few bowls. You don't have to bake it or cook it, it's completely raw. So we need one cup of dates, I usually use red seedless dates, kind of like the dates that you get in, you know those lion date packets those are the easiest to find. If you want to be particular about getting oil-free, sugar-free dates, then please do that as well and you will also need one cup of almonds a few strands of saffron and one or two pods of cardamom. It's really a one-step thing. You just take all the ingredients, put them in a mixer grinder and grind them. But when you're grinding up keep in mind not to use the medium or high speed settings in your mixer grinder but rather use the pulse setting, this way your mixer grinder's life is for longer, and that's about it. So once you have it all ground up smoothly, if you want it to be a little bit more crunchy you can grind it up halfway through but I like my sweets to be quite creamy and smooth so I grind it up nice and smooth on the pulse setting. Take it out of the mixer grinder, transfer it into a bowl and take little by little and roll it into balls. So what you can do at this point, you'll find that the balls that you, the laddus basically, that you have made and kept aside, a little sticky on the outside and kind of stick to one another so you can grind up some almond make almond powder and just coat the laddus in the almond powder and then transfer it into an airtight container. Now this will be good for a month at room temperature and if you were to keep it in a fridge, then it will come for longer. That's about it. It's really as simple as that
Wow! that almost sounds too good to be true right? Because, who would have thought that with just such few ingredients, which is easily available, you can make such a rich and decadent sweet. It's not even something that one would consider as quote unquote healthy. I'm saying quote unquote because you know when people think of health they have the fact that it can't be decadent, or it can't be indulgent. So, is there a story behind how you came up with this recipe? Is it something that, are the flavors that you enjoy? or how did this happen?
Well, I used to be a big fan of milk pedas and milk based sweets and so this was the closest alternative I could find to those and this was one of the first few flavors that we experimented with when we turned whole food plant-based and we used to do this a lot for our in-person workshops that we had that Dr. Achyuthan conducted, the #BeYourOwnDoc workshops or plant-based recipes workshop that we used to have and this would be something that we would keep for people to sample and you know really get a feel of what they're getting into and this was perfect for them to get introduced to the whole whole food plant based world because it was familiar flavors but also tasted so amazing and yummy.
That's excellent, it's it's just mind-blowing how such a simple recipe can go such a long way in helping people gain health while still indulging in some of their favorite foods. So we'll jump straight into the second recipe which I'm very excited about because I mean you will talk about it and we'll come back to that but let's jump right in.
So, the second one is gonna be an Oats and Vanilla Energy Ball recipe so this is something that I really love making for myself on a regular basis and it's again pretty simple to make, except this time you will have to roast the rolled oats that you will have. So you start off again with one cup of dates and half cup of cashews and half cup of roasted rolled oats. I prefer it roasted because it brings out a lot of flavor and really I like the nutty flavor that you get from roasting your oats, but if you don't want to then you can't have it raw, no issues and of course you'll also need about a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract. Now please make sure that the vanilla extract does not have any sugar or sugar like substances in them and again grind it all up and this time what you can do instead of rolling your sweet in a nut powder you can roll it right into the oats itself so you have a nice crunch from the oats on the outside and it's nice and creamy on the inside. This is one of my favorite snacks, I love eating it on the go, it's so convenient to just pop one in your mouth and just feel so satisfied and for someone who believes in intermittent fasting this helps me a lot in the in between times when I'm really hungry or you know I need a little bit of a pick-me-up, this is perfect.
Excellent, that's exactly why I was excited about the recipe as well I just wanted you to finish talking about it because I think it makes for such a great post-workout snack when you're really hungry and you're craving for something and it's just perfect because it's not too sweet it's it has the right ingredients to kind of give you the energy that you need, so that's really nice as well. When you think of oats, a lot of people think of the bland boring boiled oats that you make for breakfast, but there's so much that you can do with such a simple ingredient like oats, to actually enhance health. In both these recipes I noticed that you spoke about quantities in a way that was instead of it being exact it was more about you know based on how you like it or how the viewer the person who's watching it depending on whether you like it too sweet or whether you like it textured. So how how does one find that the perfect balance of ingredients and the perfect proportions? is it a trial and error? what is your method? and what are some tips that you would like to give people?
It depends on what you're going for, I find that 50 percent like a one is to one ratio of nuts to sweetener is what works best and sweetener being dates. If you were to use something like erythritol or stevia then you would want to cut down on the dates a little bit because otherwise it would become too sweet. But generally a 50 per cent of dates and then a 50 per cent of any other ingredients you're putting in whether it's grains or nuts or beans of some sort soy or whatever it is. This is usually how it works in terms of being like not too sweet but decadent enough. Now if you want to go a little bit more creamy, you would do a 40 percent dates and a 60 of nuts now it it will get a lot more creamier like this. So it's really about experimenting. I personally like the 50 ratio the one is to one ratio that I use.
Wonderful, yeah, I think this is really going to be helpful for people because a lot of people aren't accustomed to sweetening using dates. So we typically see that when you say use dates they use very little of it and then they're like "oh my god why isn't it sweet" unlike sugar or jaggery, I think this is a very helpful measure of 50 per cent and also interesting to note that just a 10 per cent difference can make a much bigger taste difference in terms of it being creamy or you know not. Also, when it comes to flavors, right, when it comes to things like cardamom like what you mentioned in your previous recipe or saffron and even vanilla how do you decide how much of it to use in any of these recipes is there again a fixed amount or?
Yes, there is a certain amount that works right, so if you're using something like cardamom that's a little bit more strong then I would maybe use one pod of cardamom for about 200 to 300 grams of sweet base. Now if you're using something like saffron saffron is pretty I mean decadent you don't need much maybe three to four strands for a whole recipe, and say something like cinnamon I would use it as a powder rather than as a whole spice and preferably some something that's store-bought or if you are good at grinding it smooth then please do so by all means. But something like cinnamon that I would use as a powder I would use maybe 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon depending on the end result that I'm going for. If I want my sweet to be a little bit more spicy then 1/4 teaspoon would do the trick. Say you're using something like vanilla again that's the same that's a similar ratio if you're using it along with other flavors say like lemon or coconut or almond then you'd use a little lesser 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon would be the perfect measure but say you're using vanilla as a standalone flavor then you need a little bit more so you go up to say 1/3 a teaspoon for 200 to 300 grams of sweet.
Perfect! I think those are great numbers to go off. I think you've kind of given people a base from which they can see if they want to go up or down or you know just stick to what you've said. I think that's great. Also, let's move on to the final recipe and I think this is again going to be a crowd favorite because of an ingredient that is much loved but you have brought in a very nice twist to it so I'm interested to hear the recipe and also if you can describe the taste of like what what the end product will taste like that will be great as well.
So, the final and last recipe that we're gonna talk about today is an orange and chocolate pop. Now, this is something that I really really loved when I first came up with it. So, again you start with one cup of dates and one cup of any nut that you choose this one you can go wild. I personally like cashew because it's you know a little more creamy and stuff but if you want to use almond or walnut or pecan or anything or you can even just use pumpkin seeds or watermelon seeds that would work well as well. So one cup of dates, one cup of any nut or seed that you choose, and at this point now you're flavoring with unsweetened cocoa powder, you can also use cacao powder that's a little bit different, I don't want to go too much into detail about what the difference is please do google it you'll find many many many answers. So the thing to keep in mind with chocolate when you're flavoring with chocolate, is that it can get bitter very very easily so the proportion that I like using and I like my sweets to be a little bit on the darker side. I would maybe use about 15 grams of cocoa powder for two cups of sweet base. So you have your one cup of dates and you have your one cup of nut, I would use 15 grams to flavor that. Now, here's the twist, for this particular sweet for the orange and chocolate pop even though we have orange in the title we're going to put in some lemon juice. So in India, lemons are generally a little smaller than the ones you get abroad, so a lemon here in India you'd use half a lemon. If you're outside of India please you just use a quarter that would be more than enough. So, you add in your lemon juice and then you're going to add in some orange zest. Now the reason why I don't like using orange juice is because it's not really going to give you too much flavor it's just going to add a little bit and it's not going to do much but then if you were to use lemon juice a little bit more sour and not so sweet so you get a few more sour notes and on top of that if you add your orange zest you're going to get that beautiful orange flavor running through. On top of that you're going to add 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Now you follow the same thing as the other two recipes you put all of this into a mixer grinder and grind it up to whatever level of smoothness that you would like. Again, I would like to let you know that not to use the continuous speed settings, but rather the pulse setting. Your mixer grinder will definitely thank you. Now, before I go on onto you know finishing this video today, I want to add one thing. Do not soak your dates. This is going to take a lot of flavor out of your dates you want the flavor to stay in there. You're already not using any other sweetener and if you were to soak it now all the sweetness are going to get into the water and you're not going to have much sweetness left over in the dates. If you use my tip of using the pulse setting on the mixer grinder you're not going to have any problems with grinding unsoaked hard dates. Just wanted to put that out there.
Absolutely! I think that's a great tip along with also the other things that you spoke about in this recipe. It's so surprising that when you're getting an orange flavor to come through you're also using a little bit of lemon and I also like that there's a little bit of vanilla in there, that I'm sure adds layers to this sweet in terms of flavor. So this is an exciting one for sure. I think people can play around with it you can see what flavor you want to dominate you can add a little more little less if you want it slightly darker like what you said you like, Aditi. I think that's then they have the recipe just they can just follow it but if you like it to be a little lighter then you can play around with the flavors as well. When you were talking about you know grinding the dates dry instead of soaking them because of the loss of flavor, I also want to add please check even if you're getting seedless dates, please check it once, because oftentimes there'll be that one date that has a seed in it so you want to remove that you want to remove that before putting it in your mixer grinder and grinding it. So that's just one thing I wanted to add. Also, one of the ingredients that you mentioned through the video for all of the three sweets is nuts or nut butters in some form and I just wanted to show people that there is an option for you to get these especially if you're in Bangalore there is an option for you to get these nut butters home delivered. So at Sampoorna Ahara, we have nut butters we have almond butter, cashew, as well as peanut butter. They, I think they're such a great condiment to have on hand for both sweet and savory dishes but especially if you want to whip up a quick sweet like this, would you recommend that people keep nut butters handy just to speed up the process as well? Although, the texture then remains one way since they are using the nut butter.
So, if you're gonna be using a nut powder you will find that it's a bit more fudge like but if you were to use a nut butter it's gonna be a little bit more creamy. So do keep that in mind a balance of the two however is really yum. So you can use half the amount of nut and then for the rest half you can use nut butter you could do something like that. I would recommend a combination of nut powder and nut butter, not entirely just nut butter because that would make a little bit too sticky and a little bit too fudgy.
Absolutely, so that's a good idea. So you can have nut butters as well as nut powders. Maybe you can make it even once a week or something and store it because when that sweet craving hits you then you can make the sweet in less than five minutes if you have all the ingredients pre-prepped. Would you also recommend that for dates? Maybe making dates powder once a week or something and storing it so that you can make fresh sweets or use it for whatever it is throughout?
So what I usually do is I chop up my dates and store it, so when I need to grind it it's pretty easy for me to just take a handful and grind it up, because then I don't have to keep you know worrying about whether there's a date seed gonna get caught up in the mixer grind or something because I would have already cleaned it and prepped it and it's ready to go. So that's something that you could try out.
Wonderful! Thank you so much for those tips. I think they're great you also know where to find some of the ingredients that we spoke about, you can also look up more recipes in case you want for sweets. We have over 200 whole food plant-based recipes on NutritionScience.in. You can sign up for the free plant-based kickstart and get your hands on these recipes and you can try them all out. The other thing is, if you're watching this video and you really feel like having sweets but you know you don't really want to sit and make them at home then, we have a whole range of sweets for you to choose from and I have two here that I have at home which I wanted to show you. The first one is the Flaxseed B12 Laddu and this is such an amazing sweet simply because with this one laddu you get both your flaxseed as well as your vitamin b12 requirements. How cool is that? It's such a great dessert after your meal so this is something that all of us have a stock of at home and you should get it as well because this is something that you can't really make at home because vitamin b12 is something that we add to it to make sure that you're getting enough of it so that is one. And the second one, again completely Indian sweet and that is the Obbattu. So it's just look at just how soft and yummy it is. I wish you could smell it. I wish I could just transfer the smell through the screen. It's just amazing to have these sweets on hand as well. Do try out the recipes for sure and if you are looking at buying sweets while still keeping yourself healthy and actually you know eating something nutritious - how cool is that? You can check out SampoornaAhara.com and get yourself some of your favorite sweets.
So Aditi before we finish today's video do you have any last tips for someone who's just starting out? Who's trying to be sugar-free, who's trying to eat healthier, and who still want to enjoy their sweets?
I think the main thing I'd want to say is just have fun. There's so much that you can do you're not depriving yourself you're gonna have so much fun it's gonna be such a yummy yummy journey to be on. I totally don't regret it at all. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself stop moping around you're not going to die you really aren't. It's gonna be amazing and I really really wish you all the best and I hope you have a great great time experimenting on these sweets and I really hope we've helped you in some way to feel better about your journey.
Wonderful. have fun! That's a great note to end this on, whether you're trying out the sweet or you know you're just looking at moving into the journey and you're going to order sweets, just have fun in the process. Yeah that's all there is to it. So with that we come to the end of today's video. Thank you so much Aditi. And for everyone else who's watching us live don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel also hit the bell icon so that you get notified every time we go live or every time we upload a new video and there are loads of videos coming up which you're definitely going to love. So don't forget to subscribe. If you want any other recipes or you want to learn anything specific about a whole food plant-based diet, do comment and let us know we'll be happy to make a video or answer your questions in the comments. So we're very happy to interact with you and get to know you better as well. Last but not least if you found this video useful share it with your friends and family so that they too can upgrade to a healthy whole food plant-based diet.
So with that Aditi and I are saying bye to you we'll see you in the next video. Bye