Ganesh Chaturthi 2023: 7 Healthy Dessert Recipes For Festivities
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Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayak Chaturthi is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu calendar. The 10-day festival is celebrated across India, with celebrations in cities in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha being the most prominent ones. The festival marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, and in 2023, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated from September 19 to September 28. 

Also known as Lambodara, Ekdanta and Vighnaharta, Lord Ganesha is known to be quite the foodie according to Hindu mythology. So, Lord Ganesha’s favourite foods form an integral part of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations across the country. From Modaks in Maharashtra to Kozhukattai in Tamil Nadu, the offerings to Lord Ganesha for Ganesh Chaturthi mostly consist of sweet treats because this Hindu deity has quite the sweet tooth. 

So, what happens during Ganesh Chaturthi is that plenty of Lord Ganesha’s favourite sweets are whipped up in every home and shared as Prasad among loved ones. While a part of the festive spirit and rituals, many of these traditional sweets are quite rich and heavy and can cause health issues for people. Whether you are on a weight loss diet or have a pre-existing condition like diabetes, indulging in sweets during Ganesh Chaturthi can be quite the problem. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Tastyvegrecipe

How to overcome this while still engaging with the festive spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi? Here are seven healthy and delicious sweet dishes you can try out during Ganesh Chaturthi. 

Ragi Modak 

Modaks are traditionally made with a rice flour shell and a stuffing of coconut, jaggery and dry fruits, but you can certainly make the dish healthier by replacing the rice element with millets. Choosing ragi or finger millet is a good idea because it can make the modak more protein-packed while also added a natural reddish-brown colour to the dish. You can use ragi flour to make the shell, the stuffing can be loaded with coconut, dry fruits, and then steam the Ragi Modak until done. 

Gur Mewa Laddoo 

It might be tradition to have laddoos for Ganesh Chaturthi, but you can and should make these healthier. One of the best ways to do that is with this Gur Mewa Laddoo. Made with jaggery and packed with mewa or dry fruits, these laddoos are quite the nutritional powerhouse. The jaggery is mixed with almonds, cashews, raisins, dates and seeds, then given the shape of laddoos. Often, some millet flours are also added. 

Whole Wheat Kheer 

Also known as Gavhachi Kheer in Marathi, this regional and healthy delicacy is made with cracked whole wheat grains. These grains are cooked with milk, jaggery and dry fruits, nuts and seeds until you have a kheer that is thick and sweet. If you want to skip the jaggery, you can also add dates and raisins to sweeten the dish naturally. 

Jowar Banana Sheera 

Ganesh Chaturthi festivities are incomplete without Sheera, so making this Jowar Banana Sheera is a must. The semolina in a traditional Sheera is replaced with jowar flour or sorghum, while banana paste is used to sweeten the Sheera without any sugar or jaggery. Add plenty of dry fruits, nuts and seeds to the cooked dish to make it even more nutrient dense and healthy. 

Coconut Dry Fruits Laddoo 

Another traditional Ganesh Chaturthi treat, coconut laddoos can be given a healthy upgrade by using no sugar or jaggery and instead using plenty of cashews, raisins, dates and even apricots to make the laddoo. Dry roasting the coconut with chopped nuts and seeds can enhance the flavour of these laddoos. You can also use dates paste to bind everything together instead of using jaggery or sugar. 

Foxtail Millet Kozhukattai 

Foxtail millet is known as Thinai in Tamil, and Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Tamil Nadu always include delicious Kozhukattai. So, given the traditional dish a millet twist is quite natural and can lead to delicious results. The foxtail millet flour is cooked and used as the shell for the Kozhukattai, while the stuffing is loaded with coconut, dry fruits, nuts, seeds and jaggery. Making this delightful Millet Kozhukattai is quite an auspicious treat. 

Mango Shrikhand 

One of the dishes offered up to Lord Ganesha during Ganesh Chaturthi in states like Gujarat and Maharashtra is Shrikhand. Made with hung curd and sugar, this dish can provide a lot of protein and calcium along with deliciousness. Mango Shrikhand, also known as Amrakhand, makes for a great and healthy sweet dish because it replaces sugar with mango pulp paste. This gives the dish a natural yellow hue while also making it more nutritious.