Oh, the joy! The Chinese New Year festivities group so many remarkable traditions, with special foods being counted among these. The trouble with them is that they tend to be awfully fattening and unhealthy. Can you make it through the CNY without the gastronomic specialties? We thought you wouldn’t, so here we present you with some truly healthy, yet still delicious Chinese foods typical for the feast.
1. Yu Sheng or Raw Fish Salad
Standard Yu Sheng has loads of calories, although it’s only a salad. Here’s how to reduce them: use less oil, cut on the plum sauce and even reduce the quantity of pickles, because these have loads of sugar. Also, try to reduce the count of those golden pillows which are actually deep fried flour crisps. Other than that, the vegetables and raw fish do not have many calories. If you’re making the salad yourself, you can replace the plum sauce with maple syrup.
2. Homemade shrimp rolls
The readily made type is too high in calorie for dieters. To control what goes into your shrimp rolls, make these at home. Use less oil and just fry them lightly instead of deep frying. Also, put as little sugar as you can or none at all.
3. Healthy Nian Gao
These lovely looking small cakes are sticky and made with rice flour, egg, oil and sugar. These are obviously not that healthy! Even worse, they’re usually deep fried. Make these at home and simply steam them instead of frying. This is the alternative way and will provide fewer calories. Also, it will be healthier.
4. Dried pineapple
It’s hard to stay away from those sugary pineapple tarts. If you feel you’re missing the pineapple taste, choose the healthy option and buy dried or dehydrated pineapple slices. To give them more crunch and turn it into a nice snack, add these pineapple pieces on toast bread.
5. Healthy dumplings
The Lunar New Year is often celebrated with dumplings, too. Did you know that instead of the deep fried ones you can have steamed or boiled dumplings? Search for shui jiao. They’re pretty simple, too.
6. Soba noodles
Can’t skip the noodles, after all they’re a symbol for long life and luck. Choose Soba noodles, because these pack loads of iron, fiber, protein and amino acids. They’re made of buckwheat flour and you’ll find them in most big supermarkets that sell Asian food. You can prepare these in countless way: in salad, soups, and stir-fry dishes.
While you may not be able to avoid or replace the Bak Kwa, Love Letters or peanut puffs, you can remember the tips above and either ask for healthier foods or cook them yourself.
Here’s an important tip: if you wish to avoid overeating, have some fruit. Their nutrients and the water content will keep you full, so you won’t have to fill your plate with fattening foods and snacks and you won’t be munching the whole day.
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