The pandemic may have consumed the better part of the year, but it has not marred the festive spirit. This year, as we gear up for another round of festivities, we can rely on food to quickly give us some sense of normalcy and cheer.

Ahead of big celebrations like Navaratri, Durga Puja and Dussehra, here are some healthy recipes brought to you by nutritionist and wellness coach Ruchi Sharma. Remember, you must pay close attention to your health so as to boost your immunity while being in the celebratory mood.
Sago Vermicelli Kheer

Sago – 70 gm
Vermicelli – 30 gm
Ghee – 1 tsp
Milk – 500 gm
Sugar – 50 gm
Cardamom powder (optional) – ½ tsp

Method:

Take the ghee in a pan, roast vermicelli in ghee until golden brown. In another pan, cook in water until they turn translucent and soft. This will take 5-6 minutes.

Take milk in a pot, on medium-low flame.

Add vermicelli to it and keep stirring. Once cooked through, add the sago or sabudana to the milk. Continue stirring.

When the milk starts to thicken and turns creamy, add sugar to it.

You can add cardamom powder at this point.

Garnish with pistachio and saffron strands.

The sago kheer naturally thickens after cooling, so keep in mind the consistency you want in case you want to serve it cold.

Gluten-free pinnisServing: 10, 2-inch pinnis

Ingredients:

Amaranth flour – 35 gm
Buckwheat flour – 35 gm
Water chestnut flour – 30 gm
Milk – 3 tbsp
Powdered sugar – 50 gm
Ghee – 4 tbsp
Cashews – 6 to 7
Almonds – 6 to 7
Raisins – 8 to 10

Method:

Heat ghee in a pan. Add the flours and roast well on medium-low flame for 6-8 minutes or until you can smell the delicious aroma of ghee. Roasting the flour is important. So make sure you roast them properly until the raw smell goes away.

Add milk slowly and keep stirring, at no point leave the mixture unattended as it can burn.

Take the mixture off the flame and let it cool down for a few minutes. Stir in sugar and mix until well incorporated. After dry nuts and sugar are added, the mixture will come together like a ball of dough.

You can also add unsalted pistachio and unsalted pumpkin seeds if you wish to make it healthier.

Now mix everything together and shape it like a ball. Repeat the process with the rest of the mixture.

Makhana BhelIngredients:

Makhana – 40 gm
Onion – 1
Tomato (deseeded) – 1
Green chillies – 1 to 2
Asafoetida – a pinch
Ghee – 1 tsp
Rock salt – to taste
Chaat masala – to taste
Lime juice – 2 tsp
For garnishing:
Pomegranate – a handful
Fresh coriander – a handful

Method:

Roast the makhanas in ghee, until they are crisp.

Add asafoetida while roasting.

Once they cool down, quickly add diced onions, tomatoes and chopped green chillies.

Add rock salt, chaat masala and lime juice, and mix well.

Garnish with fresh coriander and pomegranate.

Enjoy fresh and crisp.

Oats Banana MuffinIngredients:
Oats powder – ½ cup
Ripe mashed banana – ½ cup
Milk – ½ cup
Jaggery powder – ½ cup
All-purpose flour – ½ cup
Oil – ¼ cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – ¼ tsp
Cinnamon – ¼ tsp
Choco chips – ¼ cup (optional)

Method:

Mash the ripe banana.

To this, add milk, jaggery, oil.

In a separate bowl, sieve all the dry ingredients.

Mix them well with the wet ingredients until they become lump-free.

Add choco chips (optional).

Bake at 160 degrees preheated oven for 15 minutes.

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