Healthy Chinese New Year Snacks Welcome your Chinese New Year guests with a healthier take on the traditional “chuen hup.” By Sarah Fung.
“Chuen hups,” or Chinese candy boxes, are everywhere at Chinese New Year. Filled with sweetmeats, chocolates and candy, these selection boxes are offered to house guests to symbolise a sweet and auspicious start to the new year. But all that sugar ain’t exactly the best for us, which is why we’ve come up with some healthier alternatives.
Instead of Ferrero Rocher, try…
Organic Traditions dark chocolate-covered hazelnuts
Gluten- and dairy-free and with no added sugars or sweeteners, these dark chocolate-covered nuts are a healthy alternative to the ubiquitous gold foil-wrapped chocolates. Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and are also an excellent source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, and these ones are sourced from an organic family-run farm in Italy.
$82 per bag from Food For Life stores citywide, including 7B, Gee Chang Hong Centre, 65 Wong Chuk Hang Rd., Aberdeen, 2833-2932, www.foodforlifehk.com.
Instead of nougat, try…
GoodEarth Healthy Treats rose, fig and Almond energy bars
Your guests will thank you for offering them these tasty bars. Made with almonds, dried fig, saffron, rose extract and topped with dried rose petals, they’re super pretty and really good for you, too.
$160 for 20 pieces from www.goodearthhk.com.
Instead of traditional dried coconut, try….
FoodCraft raw coconut crisps
Shredded coconut is a chuen hup fixture, but the traditional variety is tooth-achingly sweet. The raw organic coconut crisps from FoodCraft are flavoured with cinnamon and matcha for a crunchy, healthy snack.
$48 from foodcraft.hk, or at health food stores citywide.
Instead of Danish butter cookies, try…
Spicebox Organics ladoos
A traditional Indian snack, Spicebox Organics’ version of ladoos are made with chickpea flour, almonds, cashews and ghee, and are sweetened with coconut sugar and jaggery. They’re naturally high in protein and offer an energy boost to get you through the celebrations.
$28 for two or $70 for five from Spicebox Organics, various outlets including 72 Third St., Sai Ying Pun, 2568-2728, spiceboxorganics.com.
Instead of Sugus, try…
Double D Sugar-free candies
Sweetned with Stevia, these treats from sugar-free confectionery company Double D are suitable for diabetics, and they’re low-GI and tooth-friendly to boot.
$20 per pack from Three-Sixty, Shop 1090, 1/F, Elements, 1 Austin Rd. West, West Kowloon, 2196-8066, www.threesixtyhk.com.
Instead of winter melon seeds, try…
Superfood Lab sunflower seeds
While winter melon seeds are commonly used in Chinese medicine, the black, salty variety served during Chinese New Year are high in sodium. So why not swap them out with raw sunflower seeds? Rich in protein, magnesium and iron, these tasty morsels also come pre-shelled, so you don’t have to wreck your teeth opening them.
$23.50 from Great Food Hall Basement, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2918-9986, www.greatfoodhall.com.