If a craving for something sweet and decadent means you relish a whole candy bar, the sleeve of cookies, or a jar of chocolate spread, “healthy sweets” may sound contradictory. But, here is some amazing news for you! You can enjoy the sweeter things in life while working towards a healthy diet. Unlike highly processed, sugar-loaded snacks that aren’t healthy, a sweet healthy snack is one that is made of natural, unprocessed sweeteners. Natural sweeteners have a lot to offer like vitamins and minerals that your body requires along with fibers and proteins that help keep your appetite in check. Two sources of natural sweeteners that can satiate your sweet cravings while achieving your healthy diet are raw honey and natural jaggery. These can be used to substitute complex processed sugars that you’d usually consume.
Why Raw Honey?
Natural and raw honey contains bee pollen and bee propolis that possess high nutritive value. The texture and flavor of raw honey may vary across batches, seasons, and flowers from which the nectar is collected but the natural sweetness remains the same. The thick texture of raw honey goes well with teas, toasts, and desserts. If you’re a fan of runny amber honey, place the jar of Himalayan Natives Natural Honey in warm water for a few minutes and enjoy the decadent honey!
Want to know exactly how many types of honey exist?
Read our blog here and learn about the different varieties of honey.
Here is a recipe for a sweetie with honey that’s going to impress your guests the next time you host!
Banana - Honey Muffin
Here’s what you’ll need :
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 12 tbsp soy flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 5 tbs salt
- 14 cups softened unsalted butter
- 13 cups jaggery
- 12 tbsps honey
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 3 cups cow ghee
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- Preheat your oven to 350°F/ 180°C.
- Lightly spray the muffin mold or place muffin liners.
- Combine ingredients using an electric mixer or a blender.
- If the consistency is thick, you can add some fruit juice or water.
- Fill ⅔ of the muffin mold with batter.
- Bake for 25 minutes and check if a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let it cool partially in the pan and later remove to a wire rack.
- You can store some in an air-tight container or relish them all!
This recipe ensures you a delicious dessert after a healthy meal. The flavorful muffin can be enjoyed by seniors, parents, and kids!
Let's Talk Jaggery!
Jaggery comes about by using traditional methods of pressing and distillation of cane juice. It follows a 3 step process of extraction, clarification, and concentration which removes impurities from the raw product. Once cool, it is either molded or powdered. Including jaggery as natural sweeteners in your diet can benefit you in many ways. Jaggery helps relieve constipation as it’s filled with natural properties that help the flow of digestive enzymes. If you are facing issues concerning your liver, a spoon of jaggery after each meal helps in detoxification. Jaggery powder also is one of the most natural blood purifiers.
Check out our facts about jaggery on our Instagram page.
Thinking of a decadent dessert that can be made using Jaggery?
How about an irresistible brownie?
Here’s what you will need:
- 6 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup of boiling water
- 1/3 cup of melted butter
- 1 cup natural powdered jaggery
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips (of your choice)
Here’s what you need to do:
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Add cocoa powder in hot water and mix well.
- Add melted butter to the chocolate mixture to form a thick paste.
- Add natural jaggery powder to the mix and slowly sift in whole wheat flour.
- While mixing add vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Once incorporated, fold gently.
- Add in chocolate chips and fold in gently.
- Pour into the desired pan and place in the preheated oven.
- Let it bake for 30-40 mins depending on the dimensions of your pan.
- Once done ( you’ll know when you poke with a toothpick and it comes out clean) take out the pan from the oven. Let it cool with a resting time of one hour.
This brownie can be stored at room temperature for about two days and four days if refrigerated. This recipe not only is healthy because of the addition of jaggery but also super delicious.
Other benefits of natural sweeteners
Natural sweeteners help control weight gain. The natural and raw sweetness of jaggery and honey brings along with it the nutrients that are essential to the body. They do not have the excess fat content that is usually found in processed sugar. Therefore adding natural sweeteners can help in your journey to reduce or maintain weight.
Another benefit of using sweeteners is that it is a healthy alternative to processed sugars. No celebration is complete without sweets and desserts. Having something sugary releases serotonin or the happiness hormone in our body, this is the chemical that makes us happy. Therefore having natural jaggery and raw honey instead of sugar helps keep you healthy and happy.
Processed sweeteners are composed of a few harmful chemicals such as sulfur dioxide, phosphoric acid, and calcium hydroxide. These chemicals if consumed over some time or in considerable quantities could result in serious illnesses.
Now you know how natural sweeteners like raw honey and jaggery powder are healthy and essential for our body. By including these sweeteners in your diet you can start feeling the improvements not just physically but also mentally. Now you can have Healthy sugars that not just enrich your blood and detoxify your body but also help you enjoy your favorite desserts guilt-free.