The festivities are in the air. While I love to start my day with some hot chocolate to beat the chills, I am also prepping myself to make some Christmas goodies this year.
The sole purpose is that my twin boys have the winter break and they are hungry every waking hour! And if that wasn’t enough, I generally have a troop of boys landing at my home looking expectantly for “something good’’ to eat, courtesy my boys.
Rather than serving packaged food, this year I decided to make some goodies at home – healthy of course! Here are some of my favourite home-made winter goodies that also double as Christmassy snacks.
I had some dates left over after the ones I used for the cake I just baked. So, I decided to make this quick snack that is also warming in the winters. Plus, it’s home-made and healthy!
What you need:
- 200 gm dates de-pitted (Use the soft variety of dates, not the hard ones)
- 250 gm mixture of finely chopped walnuts, and coarsely ground sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
- 2 heaped tbsp of freshly ground flax seeds
- EVOO to bind the snacker
How to make the snack:
- Blend the seeds and walnut to a slightly coarse powder.
- Knead the dates slightly so that they are separated.
- Mix the powder with the dates and add oil bit by bit till you can roll it into firm balls.
- Roll in the powdered flax seeds and store in an air tight container.
Christmas Special: Kalkal
Have you ever tasted these? I am told it’s a Goan delicacy. My mum would make these for Christmas along with the rich plum cake. The art of kneading the dough, taking small balls and rolling it at the back of the fork and shaping it was a sheer delight to watch.
These are deep fried (and they do taste the best that way!), but since we are talking healthy food, let’s bake them instead.
What you need:
- 200 gm Refined flour or Maida
- A cube of cold butter
- 1 whole egg and one white of an egg – beaten well
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk or plain milk at room temperature
- A pinch of salt
- 100 gm powdered sugar
- 1/4th tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp semolina (suji)
How to make the kalkal:
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. Keep it aside.
- Add the butte to get a slightly crumbly texture.
- Add the beaten eggs and mix gently.
- Now add the powdered sugar and enough milk to give it a dough like consistency. (If you are unsure of this step, add 1 tbsp of milk at a time). a
- Knead to form a stiff dough and leave it to rest for 1 hour.
- Make small balls with the dough.
- Grease the back of a fork and flatten the ball at the back of the fork. It should cover the entire area of the fork, shaped like a rectangle.
- Very gently, roll it back to form a curl. The curl should be slightly tight because it can open up when it is baked or fried.
If you want some interesting shapes, let your kids make fun shapes. You can also add organic food colours to make a colourful variety of kalkal.
To bake the kalkal:
- Pre-heat your oven to 240 °F for about 3-5 minutes.
- Grease the baking tray with a bit of butter and place the kalkals in it.
- Bake for 15 mins until golden brown and leave it on the rack to cool.
- When it is completely cooled, dust a bit of powdered sugar if you want or just store it in an airtight container.
A trail mix is simply what it says. A mix of everything healthy. I used a handful of almonds, cashews, raisins, dried figs, dried prunes, cranberries, apricots and walnuts. To this, I added roasted flax seeds. And another handful of pumpkin and melon seeds. Store it in an airtight container.
The good part is that you don’t have to worry about the boys snacking on it, because they are eating healthy!
And if you are an indulgent mum (I am not), you can add some M&M’s or gems in the trail mix.
It serves as a healthy snack even for guests, plus it’s always cost effective to make your own trail mix because you can choose what you can add to it. And if your kid is a fussy eater, blend a portion of the trail mix into a fine powder and add it to a hot breakfast of porridge or oats.
Aren’t these fun snacks to make for the kids this Christmas? Perfectly healthy and all made at home. Involve the kids when you make these snacks so that they are occupied in the holidays too! I am planning to start cooking these goodies soon. What about you?
(Pratibha Pal spent her childhood in idyllic places only fauji kids would have heard of. She grew up reading a variety of books that let her imagination wander and still hopes to come across the Magic Faraway Tree. When she's not rooting for eco-living or whipping up some DIY recipes to share with her readers, Pratibha is creating magic with social media. You can view her blog at www.pratsmusings.com or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.)
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
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