Lunar New Year is always the time to eat, drink and be merry with all the family and friends. Traditional Lunar New Year snacks such as pineapple tarts, bak kwa, fried nian gao…aren’t them just irresistible? However if you don’t want to add extra kilos, you may want to look for something as yummy but with less calories. Here are some tips to make sure all you keep are your red pockets for Lunar New Year:
1. Read the food label before purchase
You would be looking for something that’s low in both sugar, salt and fat. Check the nutrition information per 100g for:
- Low fat – 3g or less per 100g
- Low sugar – 5g or less per 100g
- Low sodium (salt) – 400mg or less per 100g
2. Replace with healthy alternatives
Pineapple Tarts (1 tart=73 Kcal / 100g=365 Kcal)
One of the most popular Lunar New Year delicacies is pineapple tart. The tangy sweetness makes them truly mouth-watering. But the calories they contain are “impressive” too.
Cut the calories and keep the tanginess by serving your guest with pineapple with lime and mint. Cut a small pineapple into chunks and mix with zest and juice of 1 lime, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. One whole cup of pineapple chunks contains just 74 kcal!
Almond Cookies (1 cookie=80 Kcal)
Almond cookies are crunchy and you just can’t stop popping them into your mouth once you started. But you will definitely hope that you didn’t, because 100g of almond cookies contain around 980kcal! 2 cookies equal to a bowl of white rice. So, DON’T START!
Replace these cookies with roasted almonds with 580kcal per 100g. Roasted almond is a great source of protein and healthy fats.
Bak Kwa (1 slice=180kcal)
The dried sweet barbecued meat, made of beef or pork, similar to jerky. If you eat 2 slices of these sinfully delightful Bak Kwa, it would take 50 minutes of running to burn off.
Try dried shredded squid, which some call the “beef jerky of the sea”, for chewy and salty treats. Finishing one whole small pack (30g) of these would only cost you 84 kcal!
Kueh Lapis (1 slice=157 kcal)
Though the buttery, soft and moist Kueh Lapis tastes divine, let’s face the fact that enjoying a slice of it will require climbing 100 stairs to work those calories off.
Switch to angel food cake, containing 75 kcal per slice, if you are trying to cut your calorie intake.
Enjoy the festive holiday with these lovely alternatives for Lunar New Year snacks!
Candied lotus roots (1 slice = 80 Kcal)
It is traditional to eat candied fruits and vegetables on New Year. The homonym for lotus root is abundance year after year. However, the sugar-processed snacks contain 80 kcal in just a slice!
Try some fresh fruits this year, especially oranges and other citrus fruits like kumquats, tangerines and pomelos. These are also common Chinese New Year gifts because they’re believed to bring good luck and happiness. The Chinese words for “orange” and “tangerine” closely resemble the words for “luck” and “wealth.” The gold color of these fruits also symbolizes prosperity!