About Date Nectar and Sugar free alternatives:
According to the researches about sugar free alternatives, it has been revealed that no sugar alternative is proven to be 100 % sugarless. Though, they are found to be lower in calories than table sugar and have less sugar per 100g. Date Nectar is one of those alternatives to sugar and honey which has very less sugar content as compared to the table sugar and honey. Not just this, if used sparingly, it rather adds a lot of health benefits.
Date Nectar has a rich history that spans thousands of years and has been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine since the biblical era.
In fact, when ancient Middle Easterners reached for a bottle of “honey” to sweeten a cup of tea, marinate chicken, dress a salad, or top off some yogurt, historians believe that they were actually using date nectar!(Info Source: Dvashorganics.com)
Date syrup might be more than a tasty marinade, and could actually contain chemical compounds that help ward off a number of bacterial infections, including those caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Dates have tons of health benefits. I have already discussed it in one of my previous blogs(Click for-> Date Almonds Sugarfree Rolls).
You can create as creative recipes with this sugarfree alternative as you want. Example of one of those creative recipes is a fusion dessert below. It’s called Shrikhand and it comes from the Globally famous Indian Cuisine. Visit Ginger-it-Up for more such recipes. It’s a food, life and inspiration blog focussed on healthy, easy and friendly recipes along with some inspirational articles.
Shrikhand is an Indian sweet dish made of strained yoghurt (Hung curd).
It is one of the main desserts in Gujarati cuisine and Maharashtrian cuisine. Generally, dessert preparations in the Indian households mark some occasion or festival. So, what is the occasion today that I am bound to make a dessert in my premises?
Hurray, It’s my Mom-Dad’s 35th Wedding Anniversary!
Happy anniversary to the couple who does everything in their power to make my happiness double. You are my true inspiration, I love you Mamma and Papa. You are the real Superheroes for me.
This day is no less than a Thanksgiving Day for me to thank you for being the most amazing parents, to thank you for understanding my needs and fulfilling all the wishes even before I could ask for them. Thank you for raising me wonderfully and bringing out the best in me.
I stay miles away from my parents. I wish I could be with them and treat them with some delicacy exclusively prepared for both of them. But feelings can cross any distance in seconds. I can still make it here and dedicate it to my loving parents as a virtual treat.
My dad is a diabetic and at the same time a big admirer of sweets. So, for him dessert always means a sugarfree-sweet treat! Along with going Sugarfree, low-fat has become a craze in today’s time where the skinny bodies are in trend. Celebrity chefs are leading the way forward with sugar free recipes and sugar alternatives. So, being a health enthusiast, I am always in the lookout for Low-fat options and sugar free alternatives for my family. Keeping both the criterion in mind, I thought of preparing the very famous Shrikhand with a twist.
This Shrikhand Parfait is an absolute fusion dessert with the Indian spices and flavors blended with the goodness of the secret ingredient, ‘Lemon zest’, along with some amazing fruits. Lemon Zest, date nectar and the combination of fruits I used, just added a twist to the original Shrikhand recipe.
Goodness overloaded in this Shrikhand Recipe Below
Along with using this 100% alternative to sugar and honey, I used home made fat free yoghurt. To make it, I prepared curd using 2% milk and then hung it in a muslin cloth for a couple of hours to remove all fat.
So, basically, the main ingredient of this Shrikhand recipe is low-fat hung curd and date nectar to add the desired sweetness. Not just this, this recipe is loaded with the goodness of Saffron, spices and antioxidant rich fresh berries and fruits. The nuts like Pistachios and Almonds add a wonderful bite to this fusion dessert.
If you don’t have time and patience to make the hung curd(yoghurt) at home and want to instantly prepare the dessert for some last minute parties, then use greek yoghurt as an alternative to it. The consistency might be a little thin but the taste would just be the same.
So, let’s get started with the Sugar free, Low-fat Shrikhand Parfaits- An Indian spiced Fusion dessert recipe.
Sugarfree Low-Fat Shrikhand Parfaits- An Indian Spiced fusion Dessert
Total Time: 1 Hr Serves: 5
4 cups hung curd or greek yoghurt
1 tsp freshly ground green cardamom powder
½ tsp Lemon Zest
¼ cup Date Nectar (add 1 tbsp more if you like it to be more sweeter)
2 tbsp warm milk
Few strands of Saffron
Fresh Fruits (Strawberries, Kiwis, Blueberries, Oranges)
¼ cup Finely chopped pistachios and almonds
¼ cup slivered pistachios and almonds for garnish
SUGARFREE LOW-FAT SHRIKHAND PARFAITS – AN INDIAN SPICED FUSION DESSERT
1. Hang the homemade curd using a muslin cloth for 2-3 hours unless all the fat drips down and you are left with fat free thick yoghurt. Alternatively, use greek yoghurt directly to save time.
2. Add saffron strands to the warm milk and set it aside for 5-7 minutes so that it leaves color and flavor.
3. Take the hung curd(strained yoghurt) in a bowl. Add cardamom powder, date nectar, lemon zest to the curd.
4. Add the saffron milk and the chopped nuts to the mix above.
5. Whisk well using a hand whisk. The Shrikhand is ready. Keep it in fridge for 30 minutes to serve it chilled.
6. To serve, take the Parfaits glasses or wine glasses.
7. Fill a ziplock bag with the shrikhand and a cut a small whole at one corner to use it as a piping bag.
8. With the help of ziplock bag, pour the Shrikhand into the glasses with alternate layers of fruits and shrikhand to make the parfait.
9. Garnish with the drops of saffron milk and slivered nuts. Serve chilled.
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The Author, Mani Mukhija is an established Blogger, an inspirational coach, a freelance Creative Writer ,a huffpost contributor, an enthusiastic freelance journalist (For her own Rendezvous series @ the blog)and an aspiring Entrepreneur. To know more about her, Visit her About page on Ginger-it-Up!