As the festive season of Durga Puja, Dussehra and Diwali, leading up to Christmas and New Year begins, snacks and special treats will be gracing the festive spread quite frequently. Without doubt, celebrations will be muted due to COVID-19 and parties and get-togethers should be avoided to maintain social distancing, but this doesn’t mean you can’t cook your heart out for your family and enjoy the festivities – the healthy way.
What are your favorite accompaniments and savoury snacks to go with the celebrations even as the weather turns chilly: cutlets, nuggets, kebabs, patties, tikkis? They’re warm and tempting to munch on, but considering that the festive season will last long, indulgence may soon turn unhealthy. Not to worry though!
Stay Home, Stay Safe … Cook Healthy!
Here are a few tips to make healthy snacks, at the same time retaining their flavour and keeping them as scrumptious as can be.
Avoid Ordering In
The first step to stay safe this year: Avoid ordering in unless you’re sure the snacks being delivered will be completely free of germs, considering safety protocols might be compromised during the higher load of festive orders. Cooking at home is sure to keep you safer!
Choose Olive Oil for Brushing
To make healthy kebabs and cutlets, lightly brush olive oil on their surface. This helps them cook better, enhancing their outer texture and making them crispier, at the same time keeping the fat content low.
Use Cornflakes for Crusts
To coat any cutlets or patties, use crushed cornflakes instead of bread crumbs. Cornflakes not only give a good, crispy outer crust but are also a healthier alternative to bread.
Coat with Eggs
While making any shallow-fried nuggets or tikkis, a coating of beaten eggs provides additional crispiness and helps in binding the crumb coating better. Use of eggs in the recipe also enhances its nutritional value.
Choose Healthier Ingredients
Instead of using potatoes for making patties or cutlets, use paneer, sweet potatoes or leftover multigrain bread. By using these healthy alternatives, you don’t need to worry about additional carbs in your dish. They also bind better and have great texture once cooked.
Go the Veggie Way
Not sure what to do with your leftover vegetables? Mash them in when making a patty or tikki. Not only does this reduce food wastage, it boosts nutrition and gives a unique twist to a regular recipe, making the dish more delectable and varying in taste.
Leftover kidney bean curry, chickpea stew and various recipes with pulses can similarly be used while preparing the mixture for patties, tikkis, kebabs and cutlets. They are protein-rich, give additional flavor to the dish and bind well too.
Oil Free Cooking with IFB Microwave Ovens
While there is the conventional way to cook these dishes by deep- or shallow-frying in pans or griddles, using a microwave oven is a quick and healthy alternative. IFB Microwave Ovens come with Oil Free Cooking technology – you can cook with minimal or no use of oil. Furthermore, microwave cooking is faster and suitable for making a number of dishes during festivals, especially when you’re in a celebratory mood and wish to Set Yourself Free for festivities!