It is almost time for the Lunar New Year! With each passing year, Chinese New Year brings a different meaning and expectation to each individual.
As children, we always looked forward to house visitations, not only for the Ang Pows (red packets) but also for the delectable array of biscuits and treats!
One of everyone’s favourite is the Sesame Peanut Brittle or “Fah Sung Thong”, as referred to by the Cantonese. Many locals also call the treat Teng Teng Kacang.
Why is the Sesame Peanut Brittle a must during Chinese New Year?
The Sesame Peanut Brittle is a great treat to be shared between your family and friends during gatherings. The sweetness from the caramel signifies sweetness and happiness to usher in the new year. Combined with roasted peanuts, it creates a light, nutty and crunchy texture – like a nougat. There is no stopping when it comes to eating this delightful peanut candy.
In the olden days, sugar and candy were considered expensive. Families did not know how to produce candy. Therefore, every year, they would often invite a Shi Fu (master) to make peanut brittle for the joyous occasion.
Fortunately, now Sesame Peanut Brittle is widely available in most stores at a low price.
A Sweet Warning?
While we understand that Sesame Peanut Brittle is an addictive piece of candy, be sweetly warned that too much of these delicious snacks may bring some adverse effects to your health.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects the control of blood sugar levels in the body.
Do not forget that our Teng Teng Kacang is caramelised sugar and with every piece, you can be sure that you have achieved your daily carbohydrate intake.
The key to making this Chinese New Year a delicious yet healthy one is taking small steps at a time to prevent the occurrence of health hazards. Start by making your own homemade Sesame Peanut Brittle! Cut down on the amount of rock sugar and add more coarsely chopped nuts instead. The Sesame Peanut Brittle will be a little less sturdy and messy to eat, but lesser sugar is great for your health!
Alternatively, limit yourself to a certain number of Sesame Peanut Brittle pieces per day. A cautious limit will allow you to savour the original taste of the snack but also keeping a watch out on your blood sugar.
A whopping 30% of Malaysians have hypercholesterolemia, a condition where one has too much cholesterol in the blood. High cholesterol increases the risk of succumbing to cardiovascular diseases.
The culprit that may increase your blood cholesterol is taking in large amounts of peanuts. Peanuts are high in saturated fat, and with large consumption, the saturated fats may clog your blood vessels too.
When we discuss homemade snacks, the advantage lies in versatility. You can modify, change, increase, reduce or substitute any ingredients to make your very own Sesame Peanut Brittle.
You can even resort to using healthier nuts. Walnut is an excellent choice as it contains omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. A perfect alternative!
Eat, but Keep Fit
“Har, this one cannot eat, that one cannot eat. Then what is Chinese New Year?”
This is the part where you find your solution to unhealthy snacking during the festive season. As you can’t control the ingredients when you purchase your Sesame Peanut Brittle, why you should try making your own!
The recipe is fairly easy and foolproof. If you still want to enjoy the authentic taste, limit your treat intakes to smaller amounts. However, if that doesn’t work, the answer is to KEEP FIT. Regular exercises help to keep the heart pumping and the body healthy by eliminating unwanted toxic substances.
Stay healthy this Chinese New Year! Enjoy to the fullest with some lifestyle changes!
Check out other delectable CNY treats by clicking here!