Weight loss is one of the most debated topics in health. In an effort to lose weight, many people follow fad diets which not only hurts their overall health but can also make them gain back the weight they lost. On the other hand, making small changes in your diet can affect the outcome of your weight loss journey, as it can reduce your overall calorie intake. You need to be aware that certain foods have hidden calories and sugar which can further affect your weight loss goals.
Here are food swaps that you can try:
- Aam panna over diet soda
Be careful of sodas, as it is full of sugar and empty calories. Not only that, but it negatively affects your health by interfering with weight regulation mechanisms, disturb gut bacteria balance, and alter blood sugar regulation. On the other hand, a cool glass of aam panna helps in electrolyte deficiency and keeps heat stroke at bay. Moreover, you can prepare aam panna within the comforts of your own home.
Aam Panna Recipe
- Raw Mango
- Jaggery – Roasted Cumin seeds + Rock salt
- Black peppercorns
- Fresh Mint leaves
1. Rinse the mangos under tap water. Gently rub them with your hands to remove any debris or deposits. Set aside. Add 1.5 cups of water to the Instant Pot insert. Add the rinsed mangoes to the insert.
2. Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Seal and secure. Press the ‘Pressure cook button’ and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Make sure the venting knob is in the sealing position.
3. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Once the pin drops, carefully open the Instant Pot. After the mangoes are boiled, they will lose their vibrant, rich green color and may not look pleasing, and that’s absolutely fine.
4. Remove the mangoes from the boiled water and immersing them in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process altogether.
5. Once the mangoes are comfortable to touch, peel the outer skin of the mangoes.
6. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp from the boiled mangoes.
7. Scrape off the seed and remove all the remaining pulp.
8. Save the pulp.
9. Transfer the cooled pulp to a blender.
10. Add jaggery.
11. Blend until smooth.
12. Pour in 4.5 cups of water and blend until thoroughly combined.
13. Pass the pureed Panna through a fine-mesh strainer.
14. Strain through the strainer, pressing to extract all the mango liquid into the bowl. Discard the mango fibers.
15. Add fresh mint leaves to a blender. Pour in 1/2 cup of water and blend until smooth.
16. Pass the mint puree through a fine-mesh strainer into the previously strained aam ka Panna. Discard the leftovers.
17. Time to spice up our drink. Add rock salt, black pepper, and roasted cumin seeds to the pureed aam ka Panna.
18. Mix until thoroughly combined.
19. Seal the container and transfer it to the fridge to chill.
- For this Aam ka Panna recipe, always choose the raw mangoes that are firm and dark green in color. Dark-colored mangoes are tasty and lend a sweet, tangy flavor to this drink.
- This recipe uses 3 large mangoes. You can use 6-7 medium raw mangoes instead.
- The tangy taste of Aam ka Panna drink depends on how sour the mangoes are. If your aam ka Panna is not tangy, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to it.
- To save time, you can pulse the mint leaves along with mango pulp + jaggery mixture.
- To avoid the raw mango fibers from going into your mouth, you can pass the Aam ka Panna through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Adjust the water consistency to your liking. If you like your aam ka Panna thick, reduce the water quantity to 4 cups.
- Aam ka Panna stores well for a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- Lauki nutty kheer over pastries
Source: Yum Curry
When you are on a diet, be careful with pastries as it’s high in refined flours, sugar and trans fat. Instead, beat the craving for something sweet by eating kheer instead. Bottle gourd is rich in dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble. Additionally, lauki combined with milk provides protein, making it a low glycemic index food for diabetics. Add some nuts on the top and dig in!
Lauki Nutty Kheer Recipe
- 2 cups grated lauki/bottle gourd
- 1 cup water
- 1 can 400 ml coconut milk
- ½ cup jaggery/unrefined cane sugar or Jaggery syrup according to taste
- ½ tsp elaichi/cardamom powder
- Few almonds and raisins
- 2 tbsp ghee/oil if vegan
- If jaggery is very pure, add directly to the kheer. But if you think it has impurities, melt it with a splash (very little) of water and strain to remove any impurities if any.
- This syrup can be made in large quantities ahead of time and added to desserts, coffee, tea etc. any time!
Now, to make the lauki kheer.
Roast grated bottle gourd/ lauki in ghee/oil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Add 1 cup water and cook for 3 minutes. Add coconut milk, jaggery (powdered or syrup), and mix well.
- Bring to a boil and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in a few strands of saffron, add powdered cardamom and mix well.
- Meanwhile, roast or fry nuts and raisins in ghee or oil if vegan.
- Garnish kheer with saffron, almonds and raisins. Serve hot!
- The same recipe can be done with grated carrots, beetroots, chana dal (cooked in a pressure cooker until al dente or just soft), tapioca /sabudana pearls, fine vermicelli etc.
- You can make this with regular milk too!
- Adjust the sweetness according to personal taste.
- Homemade chutneys over readymade sauces
Sauces are a hidden source of salt or sugar, and at times unhealthy fats as well. Instead of that, we recommend you make some delicious chutney with all-natural ingredients. The reason is because homemade chutneys are full of micronutrients that are good for gut health and can help in digestion. As a result, you can get better metabolism.
- Steel-cut oats over instant oats
Instant outs are delicious, easy to make and versatile. No wonder it’s a favorite of many people! Yet instant oats contain added sugar or salt and some chemicals as well. On the other hand, steel-cut oats contain soluble fibre, keeping you fuller for longer. High fibre foods keep hunger pangs at bay and make you lose weight.
- Homemade butter over readymade butter
Many people mistake the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. Not all fats are good, and not all fats are bad either. Unhealthy fats like trans fat increase chances of disease while healthy fats can help mobilize stubborn body fat. Trans fat contained in market-made butter (which is also high in sodium content) can harm our body while homemade butter contains healthy fats, which can help our diet. Still, it should be consumed in moderate quantities.
Once you’ve made butter at home, you’ll never go back to store bought.
- Pour the cold cream into your food processor. You can also use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Whip the cream until it separates. After around 2 ½ minutes you will see it start to over whip and really thicken — don’t stop!
- After around 4 minutes it should be fully separated. You can see yellow buttery solids and a cloudy liquid at this point.
- Once it separates pour in your ice cold water. This helps separate the butter fully and it separates from the liquid (buttermilk) and you will see even more buttermilk appear.
- Once your butter forms, place a sieve over a bowl and pour in the contents of the mixer.
- The liquid that remains is buttermilk. Save the buttermilk in the fridge and use it in your baking or to marinade meat.
- Squeeze the butter solids in your hands to make sure there is NO more buttermilk in there. You want to remove it all otherwise your butter will be wet. Also you can squeeze it in a clean tea towel or a cheesecloth.
- Stir in some salt or flavors to your soft butter.
Have you tried switching any of these food ingredients? Tell us your experience in the comment section below!