Sweet celebrations

Anjali Jhangiani
Sunday, 17 December 2017

Nutritionist and lifestyle educator Neha Ranglani shares recipes of delightful desserts that diabetics and weight-watchers can treat themselves to this festive season

December brings with it the spirit of Christmas, the mood for celebration and a whole lot of sweets to indulge in. While Christmas is a special time for everyone, diabetics and weight-watchers have a hard time trying to stay off all the baked goodies that the season has to offer. But gorging on treats is a big part of all the festivities and it doesn’t really seem fair to them for being strictly off sweets.

However, not all desserts are harmful for diabetics or will add inches on your hips. However hard it may be to believe, there are healthy desserts that you can make in your home and enjoy them without the spike in blood sugar or the extra calories that you’d regret later.
To encourage those who must watch what they eat and stay off sugar, nutritionist and lifestyle educator Neha Ranglani shares three lip-smacking dessert recipes.

Raw Tiramisu

Ingredients
For the crust
  Walnuts     1 cup
  Dates    1 cup
  Coffee    2 tblsp  

For the ladyfinger biscuits
  Almond meal      1 cup
  Dates     1 cup
  Coffee    2 tbsp
  Vanilla extract        1 tsp
  Cacao powder    1 tbsp

For the cream
  Cashews, pre-soaked       2 cups
  Coconut oil     2 tbsp
  Maple syrup        3 tbsp
  Vanilla extract        1 tbsp
   Water        1-2 cups
   Coffee powder      1/4 tsp
Method
To make the crust, put the walnuts, dates, coffee and flour into a food processor and mix well. Take out the mixture on a 8x4 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and press it down evenly to make the base.

To make the ladyfinger biscuits, blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Take it out in a pan and press to make an even layer. Put into freezer for 20 minutes.

To make the cream, blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and thick, add water only if needed.

Spread half the cream mixture onto the walnut crust, then place the layer of ladyfinger biscuits and top it with the rest of the cream mixture.

Set in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours to harden.

Use a fine mesh strainer to sift some cacao powder as garnish. Cut into squares and serve.

Choco Ganache Tart
Makes 3-6 small tarts

Ingredients
For the crust
  Cacao powder     3 tbsp
  Raw cashews, soaked and rinsed     1 cup
  Flax seeds     1/2 cup
  Almond meal     3/4 cups
  Dates, soaked and pitted     6 nos
  Salt a pinch
 
For the ganache
  Raw cashews, soaked and rinsed     1 1/2 cup
  Full-fat coconut milk     1/2 cup
  Cacao     1/2 cup
  Maple syrup     1/8 cup
  Coconut oil     2 tbsp
  Vanilla     1 tsp
  Cherries or assorted berries for garnishing
  Salt a pinch
 
Method
  Blend ingredients for the crust, press into tart pans, and refrigerate for half an hour.
  Blend ingredients for the ganache, and pour on top of the crusts in the tart pans.
  Refrigerate tarts for another 30 minutes.
  Garnish with berries and enjoy.

Raw cup cakes
Makes 6 medium or 12 small size cupcakes

Ingredients
  Hazelnuts     1 cup
  Unsweetened cocoa powder     ¼ cup
  Dates, pitted     2 cups
  Honey     ¼ cup
  Vanilla     2 tsp
  Cinnamon     ½ tsp

Method
  Put the hazelnuts and cocoa powder in a food processor and mix. Add the dates, honey, vanilla and cinnamon and pulse and mix well.
  Line the muffin tin with parchment paper.
  Evenly distribute the hazelnut mixture into the tins, making sure to press down on the bottom and smooth out the sides either with a spoon or with your fingers.
  Place tin in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, allowing the mixture to harden and take the shape of the mould.
  Serve cold. 

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