5 ways to make traditional Arabic sweets healthier

...including Dates Maamoul, Basbousa and Sfouf
5 ways to make traditional Arabic sweets healthier
Ghada Makarem -

If you've been craving alotta sweets lately then same. But Dubai-based The Healthy Treats have shared their ultimate tips and tricks on how to put a healthy spin on classic Arabic treats. 

Tips to a healthier life this way:

1. Stay away from non-processed ingredients by substituting refined sugar with healthier options like honey or maple syrup. These substitutes do not only add a silky sweet quality to any treat, they also induce a gooey consistency, making each cookie or cake soft rather than hard and crumbly.

2. Avoid processed white flour and use natural almond flour or oats instead. Too much processed flour can increase your risk factor for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, inflammation and obesity thanks to the high dose of carbs you take in and lack of nutrition. Therefore, it’s vital that you take into account what you can do to modify your baking recipes in order to help ensure that you are doing all that you can to eat great and stay healthy. Whilst almond flour is much higher in total fat content than most other flours are, you’ll get a great dose of unsaturated fat, so not something to shy away from completely. Meanwhile oats and oat flour offers a much slower and nutrient dense source of carbohydrates, giving you more energy that burns slower throughout the day.

3. Swap unnecessary fats for ingredients that are natural and nutritious. Not every cake and cookie need heaps of butter, refined sugar or heavy cream – in fact, some of the best cakes remove these completely! Apple sauce or mashed banana can make a great substitute for anything sweet whilst yogurt is a great option to replace cream. Are you a vegan? Then swap your eggs with flax seeds. Whether you sneak in a few spoonfuls of ground flaxseed into your batters or craft a flaxseed egg in place of real eggs, incorporating this superfood into your baking will turn a regular cookie into a super healthy treat. Flaxseeds promote healthy digestion, help lower cholesterol, and also cut your risk for diabetes.

4. Retain the flavour by using Arabic favourites like pistachio and dates. Dates give everything a delicious caramel taste and texture whilst pistachios offer a sweet and nutty consistency. They also offer great source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and various nutrients, including vitamin B6 and thiamine.

5. Add cardamom to your Dates Maamoul – this will only make the recipe more nutritious but will also give the cookies a special taste that goes brilliantly with coffee or karak.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty in the kitchen, The Healthy Treats is here to help make your life a little sweeter (in the best way!). In our kitchens, we make a selection of sweet, guilt free snacks made from natural ingredients. Offering a menu full of sugar free, gluten free and dairy free goodness, The Healthy Treats is the first online concept to offer healthy Arabic sweets including Dates Maamoul, Basbousa and Sfouf, using unprocessed items to create delicious homemade treats. With a mission to produce natural and healthy food, we try to transform limiting factors into indulgence using scratch made food – we also wanted to pioneer healthy Arabic sweets and believe that we have successfully mastered this at The Healthy Treats.

For more information click here.