The Diabetic Dessert Trail 2016: A Wonderful Experience

I was recently offered the opportunity to be associated with the Diabetic Food Trail (Second Edition this year), and grabbed it with both hands. I got to be a part of the Diabetic Dessert Trail 2016 in Bangalore – a compilation of ‘diabetic-friendly’  dessert recipes put together by the chefs of some of the top-notch eateries in the city. Along with some other food bloggers, I got to sample the desserts that these experienced chefs have come up with. What an enlightening, wonderful experience all of it has been!

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For the uninitiated, here is a a bit of background about the Diabetic Food Trail.

Seema and Manoj Pinto, husband-wife duo and the brains behind this trail, have had a long-standing association with diabetes in their families, and have seen first-hand how the disease wreaks havoc on one’s body. In spite of over 75 million people affected with diabetes in India, Seema says, it is shocking to see the lack of awareness about the disease and its complications. So many people go on to suffer from diabetes, year after year, kids included, when all of it could be avoided with just a few lifestyle changes and the right sort of diet.

That said, Seema says it has been a struggle to find the right sort of healthy food, fit for diabetics, on Manoj’s and her extensive travels across India. ‘Healthy food’ has often been equated to bland or tasteless food that no one would want to eat. The Diabetic Food Trail was launched by Seema and Manoj, in 2015, as an attempt to change all of this. Over 120 eateries across India were brought on board, in different cities of India, including Bangalore. Each of these restaurants served specially designed healthy food that is not bland and tasteless between November 14 and 30, 2015 (considering that November 14 is World Diabetes Day).

This year, 2016, the Diabetes Food Trail is bigger and better. Fava, Caperberry, Tea Trails, Little Italy, Barleyz, Nimisserie, Via Milano, Green Theory, Smokehouse Deli, Chianti, Anjappar, Arbor Brewing Company, The Ritz-Carlton, and Republic of Noodles are some of the eateries in Bangalore that are participating in the Trail this year.

“Our vision is to see a healthy, diabetic-friendly menu served in every restaurant in India, so people with diabetes can make an informed choice about what they eat,” say the founders of the trail.

For more information about the Diabetic Food Trail, do visit the website.

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The Diabetic Dessert Trail that I was a part of is a sub-section of the Diabetic Food Trail. It is an attempt to showcase healthy desserts that diabetics (as well as health-conscious people) can enjoy in a guilt-free manner. It is aimed at teaching people that healthy desserts don’t need to be boring – all they need is a different sort of thinking.

Now, enough of my blabbering, eh? Let’s move on to all those wonderful desserts that we sampled for the Dessert Trail!

Fava, UB City

The first pit-stop for all of us food bloggers undertaking the trail was at Fava, UB City.

I loved how paper placemats had been used at the tables to debunk various common myths about diabetes. Way to go! I can now safely say I understand diabetes quite a bit better than I used to, thanks to the trivia and the pep talk by Seema and Manoj.

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Places set with mats indicating diabetes-related trivia, at Fava

Well, at Fava, we were served the first dessert of the trail -Fresh Ricotta and Red Grape Timbale with NutriChoice Essentials 5 Grain Cookie Crumble and Organic Honey. What a beauty! It tasted just gorgeous – the ricotta was super fresh and melt-in-the-mouth, the organic honey and grapes lent it a beautiful, beautiful flavour. I am quite sure I am going to try this out at home some time! (PS: NutriChoice Essentials is the title sponsor for the event)

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Fresh Ricotta And Red Grape Timbale

The second dessert served by the Fava chef was a Sugar-Free Callebaut Belgian Dark Chocolate Sorbet With Cut Fresh Fruits. To a chocolate lover like me, this was a glimpse of pure heaven!

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The chef explained to us how his team had just whipped up some high-quality sugar-free chocolate to create the mousse, with nothing else added in – which was what gave it its clear, slightly bitter but gorgeous pure chocolate taste. The sorbet was perfectly complemented by the fresh cut fruits that it was served with.

Caperberry, UB City

The next two desserts of the trail were courtesy of Caperberry, UB City.

First to go was the Sugarfree Belgian Chocolate Decadence with NutriChoice Essentials Oats Cookie Crumble and Fresh Berries. This eggless dessert was so, so, so beautiful – I was left licking my spoon, literally!

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Sugarfree Belgian Chocolate Decadence

Next up was the Eggless and Sugarfree Pannacotta with Orange Compote, Vanilla Sauce and Crunchy Tuille. What loveliness, I tell you! The tang of the orange, the scent of vanilla and the melt-in-the-mouth pannacotta complemented each other just perfectly.

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Eggless and Sugarfree Pannacotta with Orange Compote, Vanilla Sauce and Crunchy Tuille

Smally’s Resto Cafe, Church Street

To sample the next two desserts on the trail, we headed to Smally’s Resto Cafe on Church Street.

Here, we were served a No-Bake Muesli Cheesecake With NutriChoice Essentials Oats Cookies. It was a lovely, lovely confection made of hung curd, muesli and the graininess of biscuit crumbs. Light and frothy and delish, it was something you could have for breakfast or at any time of the day.

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No-Bake Muesli Cheesecake

Next, we were served a Twisted RagiChoco Cake with NutriChoice Essentials Ragi Cookies. This dessert had the beautiful crunch of peanuts, which went very well with the crumbled ragi cookies and dark chocolate used in it. What an idea! I am definitely going to steal it soon.

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Twisted RagiChoco Cake

The Ritz-Carlton, Residency Road

We headed to The Ritz-Carlton on Residency Road for the next part of the trail, where decorations and preparations for Christmas celebrations have already started.

We were each served a plate consisting of Apple-Plum Strudel, Apricot Cranberry Cupcakes with NutriChoice Essentials Oat Cookies, and Blueberry Mint Parfait with NutriChoice Essentials Oats Cookies.

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The plate of desserts we were served at The Ritz-Carlton

All of these desserts had nil to very little sugar, most of the sweetness coming from the fruit/s that had been added to them. They were just the way healthy, diabetic-friendly desserts are supposed to be – though a tad tough for an average person to gulp down, sadly.

Post the dessert session, one of the restaurant chefs demonstrated the technique to make the Apricot Cranberry Cupcakes that we had just had.

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A Ritz-Carlton chef demonstrating how to make Apricot Cranberry Cupcakes
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Decorating the cupcakes with fresh cranberries!

Then, Seema Pinto went on to brief us about the short cookbook that she has designed, along with her husband Manoj, for diabetics. It is a work-in-progress, she said, to which they are hoping to add a whole lot of new recipes. That said, the book still has a lot of lovely, healthy recipes that I am definitely going to try out. Each food blogger present at the venue was gifted a copy of the cookbook, which I am waiting to use.

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Seema briefing us about the healthy recipes in the cookbook

And that was the end of a very interesting, very enlightening experience. 🙂

Here’s wishing the Diabetic Food Trail and all those associated with it the best of luck. May they be successful in their mission to spread awareness about diabetes, and help in the prevention of at least some part of it. May there be healthy food available across the world, out of home, to everyone who wants access to it.

Notes:

  1. Some of the sugarfree desserts we were served at Fava and Caperberry had used Stevia as a sweetening agent. Unlike artificial sweeteners that are chemical-based and believed to have carcinogenic properties, Stevia is plant-derived and relatively safer to use in desserts, tea and coffee, and other savoury preparations for everyday use. If you want to read up more about Stevia, please go here. I don’t have the necessary knowledge to comment on how safe it is to use Stevia, so I will refrain from doing that. Personally, though, I would rather use fruits, honey or palm sugar as a sweetener for a dessert, if I don’t want to use refined sugar.
  2. Honestly, none of the desserts we were served at Fava, Caperberry or Smally’s tasted bland or bitter or uninteresting. They were all gorgeous confections, pieces of art that tasted as great as they looked. I wouldn’t mind it at all if these restaurants continued to serve these desserts even after the Diabetic Food Trail ends on November 30, 2016. I would surely love to taste them again!
  3. The desserts were served to us, free of cost, in exchange for an honest review on our respective blogs. The views expressed herein are completely my own, and haven’t been influenced by anyone else.

 

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