August 2015 By S Ramachandran Is it possible to take the sin out of sweet treats? Yes, says Dr S Ramachandran, while serving up a range of delicious vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free delicacies! This is the second instalment of a three-part series on veganism Everyone is fond of desserts. Imagine how wonderful it would be to indulge in desserts which are absolutely healthy yet tasty! Here are some tantalising dessert recipes, which are made without dairy, wheat, oil, sugar, artificial colours or flavouring agents! Some of them are raw vegan desserts! And using organic ingredients for preparing these desserts would be the icing on the (vegan) cake. Mango mousse (raw vegan dessert) Ingredients Ripe mango slices 2 cups Ripe avocado pulp 1/2 cup Coconut milk or almond milk 1/2 cup Chopped Kimia dates 1/4 cup Black raisins 1/4 cup Method Blend the mango slices, avocado pulp and coconut milk in a blender till smooth. Serve the mango mousse in glasses /cups and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Garnish with chopped dates and raisins. Mango, known also as “the king of fruits” provides Vitamin A, C, E and carotenoids which can delay the aging process. Avocado offers plenty of vital nutrients, healthy fats and antioxidants. Lutein, found in avocado, helps prevent cataracts and improves vision. Raw vegan vanilla ice-cream This is a healthy ice-cream which can be relished by diabetics and weight watchers. Ingredients 6 ripe bananas Coconut milk or almond milk – 100 ml Organic vanilla powder – 1-2 tsp Raisins – 1/4 cup Method Peel the bananas and freeze them for 24 – 48 hours in the refrigerator. Blend the frozen bananas with a little coconut or almond milk and organic vanilla powder. Serve in ice-cream cups, decorating with raisins. Bananas provide tryptophan which will be converted into serotonin, the natural mood and sleep enhancer. Potassium in bananas, helps in the normal functioning of heart. The water soluble pectins in bananas enhance better digestion and help maintain the friendly bacteria in the lower intestine. Cocoa bliss balls (Raw vegan) The delectable vegan cocoa bliss balls that melt in your mouth The very thought of chocolate brings happiness and a feeling of high in us. Here is a natural chocolate recipe with the nutrient-dense unprocessed super food – raw cocoa! Raw cocoa has the bliss molecule “anandamide” and mood enhancing phenylethylamine. Magnesium and antioxidants found in raw cocoa are beneficial for the heart’s health! Ingredients Kimia dates, pitted and chopped – 1 cup Coconut milk – 50 ml Almonds – 1/4 cup Organic raw cocoa powder or nibs – 4tsp Method Blend the dates with coconut milk and raw cocoa powder/nibs in a blender to get a thick chocolate paste. Roll this into small balls. Garnish each ball with a whole almond and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bliss giving cocoa balls are ready! Dry fruits and nuts laddoo (Raw vegan) Ingredients Kimia dates, pitted and chopped – 1 cup Raisins (black and golden )- 1/2 cup Almonds soaked– 1/2 cup Walnuts soaked – 1/4 cup Coconut shredded – 1/2 cup Cinnamon powder or cardamom powder – 1 tsp Method Blend the soaked almonds, walnuts, dates, and raisins in a blender to a consistency resembling a paste. Mix this paste with shredded coconut and cinnamon or cardamom powder and form into laddoo balls. Refrigerate them for two hours and enjoy! Almonds are the richest sources of the antioxidant vitamin E and they also provide protein, fibre and minerals such as magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Walnuts have a significantly high amounts of the plant-based omega 3 fatty acids (ALA) ,which are essential for a healthy heart and to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. Melatonin present in walnuts helps in the regulation of sleep. Coconuts are rich in fibre and provide lauric acid, which can help protect against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Dates are abundant in minerals and provide natural sugars which boost energy levels. Raisins are rich in Vitamin C, B complex vitamin, iron, boron and phenolic phytonutrients. Oleanlic acid in raisins prevents tooth decay and cavities. Beet halwa A healthy treat with the colourful root vegetable! Beetroot provides vitamin C, folate, manganese, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Betaine, a phytonutrient found in beetroot can help reduce inflammation. Beets help aid in the detoxification process. Ingredients Beets 2 Coconut milk – 50 ml Dates paste – 4 tsp Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp Dry roasted almonds – 12 nos Black raisins – 1/4 cup Method Grate and steam the beets till they are well cooked. Add coconut milk, dates paste, cardamom powder, mix well and cook for few minutes. Add the raisins and dry roasted almonds, mix well and serve hot. Carrot kheer Mouth-watering vegan carrot kheer is high in health and taste Carrots provide plenty of beta carotene (the precursor of vitamin A). An antioxidant called falcarinol present in carrots offers protection from cancers. Ingredients Carrot paste – 1 cup Coconut milk – 2 cups Dates paste – 1/2 cup Cardamom powder – 1 tsp Preparation Mix the carrot paste and coconut milk together. Add the dates paste, cardamom powder and mix thoroughly. Heat on a low flame and allow to boil. Serve hot or chilled. Sweet ragi kozhukattai (Sweet finger millet dumplings) Ingredients Ragi (nachni) flour – 1 cup Grated coconut – 1/2 cup 2 ripe bananas (mashed ) Dates paste – 2tsp Cardamom powder – 1 tsp Water Preparation In a bowl mix ragi flour with grated coconut, mashed bananas, dates paste, cardamom powder, by adding water little by little and make this into dough. Take a lemon size of the dough and roll into a cylinder shape and press it with fingers. Repeat the same with the remaining dough. Steam cook the dumplings for 10-15 minutes. Ragi or finger millet is a gluten-free source of protein. It also provides vitamins, calcium and iron. Try these healthful, wholesome vegan treats and nourish yourself while enjoying yourself. Win, win, everyone! Caption: The delectable vegan cocoa bliss balls that melt in your mouth Caption: Mouth-watering vegan carrot kheer is high in health and taste Bio: Dr. R. Saravanan, is a holistic health professional associated with the vegan nonprofit organisation, SHARAN. He is also the contributing author of the book “RETHINK FOOD – 100 plus doctors can’t be wrong”
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