Evenings are when we tend to snack on unhealthy food items, ranging from fried chips to refined biscuits. This not only disturbs our overall health but also affects our eating patterns by either pushing our dinner timings ahead or leading to midnight hunger pangs. So, instead of picking heavier foods, go for snacks that are light on your stomach and can also satiate your cravings.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts are great in taste and naturally rich in proteins, minerals, healthy fats and fibre, and act as an instant energy booster. As such, you can have almonds, peanuts and walnuts. You can also opt for seed and nuts mixture and have them between meals too.
Fox nuts, popularly known as makhana, are a healthy snack option. A bowl of roasted makhanas peppered with some rock salt and pepper is the ideal substitute for popcorn to keep hunger pangs away. Also known as euryale ferox or lotus seeds, they make for the perfect tea-time snack.
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The mix of roasted chickpeas and gur or jaggery is a powerhouse of energy, besides having numerous other health benefits. Regular consumption of gur chana helps prevent tooth decay as it has high phosphorus content.
Pinni or Panjiri
If you are one of those looking for a nutritious yet healthy dessert that not only satiates your sweet tooth but also has less fat content, look no further than Punjabi pinnis — small round laddoos made of atta, nuts and oodles of ghee. Pinnis, which have a nutty taste and a light, crumbly texture, are a perfect snack during winters as they keep the body warm and increase the body’s immunity against diseases.
2 cups – Wheat flour (atta)
2 tbsp – Fine sooji
1 cup – Superfine sugar (or powdered jaggery)
1 cup – Melted ghee
1/4 cup – Chopped almonds and pistachios
1/4 cup – Yellow raisins
3/4 tsp – Cardamon powder
*Slow cook wheat flour in ghee on a low flame.
*Cook until the flour becomes light brown in colour. Keep stirring continuously.
*Do not leave flour unattended at any time as it may burn.
*The secret to perfect pinnis is to stir constantly and maintain the heat between medium-low and low.
*Semolina has a slightly gritty texture, and when added to wheat flour lends a grainy-textured bite and an extra crunch, but it’s optional.
*After dry nuts and sugar are added, the mixture will come together like a ball of dough.
*Take the mix off the flame and allow it to cool until comfortable to touch.
*When it’s cooled enough to handle, shape the dough like small ping-pong balls.
*If the pinni mixture feels dry and crumbly, add a teaspoon of milk and knead – it will bind well.
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