Snacks of all trades – Hindustan Times

As Indians, we love our traditional sweets and flavors that not only bring festive cheer to celebrations, but also accompany countless cups of tea and become our constant companions while traveling. With the rise in lifestyle-related diseases, the search for healthy alternatives has accelerated. A host of new-age brands working to give Indian snacks a healthy makeover are proof. Millet is rapidly replacing maida and stevia is increasingly being used as a substitute for refined sugar. Plant-based ingredients, greens, plant-based oils, whole grains, nuts, and even fruits and flowers have also come into play. There is plenty on offer, from good old mathris and chikkis to laddoos and bhujia.

Sugar-free versions of some of the most popular Indian sweets find plenty of suitors (Healthy Mithai Co)

Millet biscuits and keto bhujia

Plant-based, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free, these chewy cookies now have a healthy version, with millet in their preparation. “We use amaranth, jowar and buckwheat to enhance the nutritional value of our products. Our ingredients are organic and chemical free,” says Priyasha Saluja, founder of The Cinnamon Kitchen. The cookies are baked, not fried, and gluten-free. The Delhi-based brand delivers across India.

Typically high in carbs, snacks like bhujia and murukku have been given a keto avatar by Lo! offering a variety of healthy Indian snacks. “We use plant-based ingredients like mixed seeds and peanut flower oil,” says founder Sudarshan Gangrade, adding that the namkeen taste just like their maida versions, due to the seasonings used.

Snack Amor, a Mumbai-based brand hoping to transform late-night snacking, offers jowar sticks and quinoa puffs in flavors like tomato masala, onion masala, mint and lime. These snacks are minimally processed with no artificial colors or flavors.

Sugar free kaju katli, vegan barfi and more

Think of the many mithais you’ve grown up eating: motichoor and besan laddoos, kaju katli, kesar petha, all but the sugar. Mumbai-based Healthy Mithai Co uses stevia, a natural sweetener derived from the diabetic-friendly plant of the same name, shares founder Prabhinder Singh. The brand offers these, as well as crowd favorites like gulab jamun and rasgulla, pan-Indian.

Pune-based brand Meethi Kahani makes and delivers pan-Indian anjeer and besan barfis. On the namkeen menu are methi mathri and chakli, teatime snacks made from whole wheat. “These are made with plant-based oil and have the goodness of brown sugar. We use fresh, plant-based ingredients. The mathris are fried in rice bran oil and covered with fresh methi,” shares founder Anuradha Sawhney.

Gulkand chikki and mahua laddoo

Made with gulkand which has gulab chaitri honey (sourced from Haldighati in Rajasthan) and energy-boosting whole grains like amaranth puffs, quinoa, almonds, jowar flour, and naturally sweetened with dates, make it a rich food. in nutrients and healthy snack. The chikkis are seasoned with the quintessential Indian spices, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom and rosemary, all of which give them a deep flavor. “These provide a good source of antioxidants and are a rich source of protein and fiber,” says Gouri Gupta, founder of Mumbai-based Gouri’s Goodies, which offers Gulkand Minis that bring the above ingredients together in a unique twist.

A twist on the indispensable Indian sweet, Aazol’s Mahua Laddoo is a tribal specialty from Nandurbar, Maharashtra, made from the eponymous forest flower known to be naturally sweet and have a host of culinary and therapeutic benefits. “Laddoos are quite popular in the region and we make them with organically sourced ingredients and no sugar,” says founder Siddharth Purohit.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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