The main ingredients that goes into the making of mooncakes are lotus paste and sugar- lots and lots of sugar. Traditionally, there are the lotus paste mooncakes and ‘kam tui’ (paste fillings consists of various types of nuts). In modern times, we now have many new emerging mooncakes such as chocolate paste, sugar free, ice cream mooncake, pandan, durian flavoured, etc.
For pictures, check out the Bakers Cottage website on mooncakes (Bakers Cottage is a local bakery chain in Malaysia). Their creative mooncake box designs never failed to fascinate me:
Due to over commercialisation of the festival, the price of a piece of mooncake had soared greatly- the lotus paste mooncake, now cost more than RM10. It could well be a blessing in disguise as due to the rising cost, people are more price conscious and tend to consume less.
Mooncakes, regardless of the fillings used and with exception of the salty and sugar free variants, are made with lots and lots of sugar. I know this for a fact because I help my mom make them. Therefore, to enjoy your mooncake this festive session and to avoid the guilt thereafter, you may want to consider adopting the following simple tips:
1. have your mooncake after a meal, preferably the meal should consists of low to middle G.I food (like vegetables and meat) and citrus fruits. This will reduce the overall G.I of your meal and would led to less tendency to eat less (if you are not sure what G.I means, you can click on the Glyceamix Index topic listings on your left. Don’t ever take your mooncake on an empty stomach- you will end up eating more.
2. if you eat when chatting with friends and family or watching the TV, then there will be tendency to overeat. Since a piece of mooncake is very expensive, the host will normally cut it into 6 or 8 small slices. Try your best to eat mindfully and try to keep that little piece in your hands for as long as possible. Better still, hold a glass of drink in your hands (preferably water, hee hee) when your mind is distracted in catching up on the latest news and gossips with friends and family or watching the latest suspense movie shown on Astro (I am not sure why, but many people’s idea of a good time is gathering together with the TV blasting on the background- nowadays, many homes have mini home theaters and state-of-the-art loud speakers).
For most families and friends gatherings, food is always the central of attention and the main agenda. Such gatherings, no doubt meaningful, constantly post as a challenge to those who are battling overeating or food cravings. But this is only a learned habit. All habits are learned and it can be unlearned. It is not that we have to stay away from food or feasts, but we learned to adopt portion control and be mindful of the amount of food that we eat.
A method we can adopt is that to put certain amount of food in our plates, take a good look at them (so that your mind remembers how much that you are taking) and make the determination not to refill or go for seconds. I have been doing that a lot recently and I find that it helps to curb the tendency to overeat.
Also, learn to eat slower – by the time friends and families are going for second or third helpings, you are still eating from your first plate of food. You get to savour the food instead of mindlessly gobbling it down. I have noticed a few of my friends doing that and they stay slim.
Still, here’s wishing you HAPPY MOONCAKE FESTIVAL.
Check out my article on childhood reflections of Mooncake festival.