Harsh Kedia, 23, found out that he was Type 2 Diabetic at the age of 15. It happened by chance for him when he playfully checked his blood sugar while helping his aunt check hers.
“You could be living with diabetes without knowing. However, among pre-diabetics, the light symptoms observed are frequent thirst and hunger, excessive sweating and urination, as well as a feeling of fatigue and exhaustion,” says the Mumbai lad.
It’s been eight years since then, and through trials and errors, research and doctor’s advice, he has developed a healthy and wholesome diet without depriving himself of too many things.
The multi-talented Harsh is an author (Journal of a Serial Entrepreneur, a book on branding and entrepreneurship), a digital marketer and an entrepreneur with his own gender-fluid clothing line. However, out of all the feathers in his cap, the one that changed his perspective towards life in general, was turning into a self-taught pastry chef cooking up guilt-free desserts for people living diabetes.
Read on to find out how he took on the challenge of diabetes head on and the scrumptious dessert recipe he has given especially for our readers.
For the Love of Pastries
Harsh had to make massive lifestyle and diet changes after being diagnosed with diabetes, out of which the hardest part was giving up sugar. To make up for things that he couldn’t eat, he started making diabetic-friendly sweets such as cookies, brownies and even milkshakes.
Infact, he founded ‘The Diabetic Chef’ – a cloud kitchen – in 2017, but he started experimenting with food the same year (2013) he was diagnosed as a diabetic.
His goal with the cloud kitchen was to cater to diabetics, the health-conscious and to sweet-lovers alike and treat them to stuff that they could enjoy without worrying about their health. Yet, he had to shut shop after his kitchen caught fire two years ago. Harsh still takes orders, but mostly for the old-age people or the differently-abled.
“Just because you’re diabetic, doesn’t mean you have to give up foods that bring you joy. Tweak the recipes to make them safe for your consumption. I highly recommend the famous Dalgona Coffee to all the diabetics and even the non-diabetics out there. Just switch sugar with stevia (it’s one of the best natural sugars available in the markets today). While it may not look as foamy and frothy, there will be no compromise on taste, I promise,” says Economics graduate, who started experimenting with sugar-free desserts when he was in college in Pune.
You Can Still Eat Dessert if You are a Diabetic
Harsh informs the key to good health, especially for diabetics, is portion control. Eat all your foods, but in moderation. “Incorporating more fruits, nuts, vegetables and eggs in your diet is essential. One shouldn’t go too heavy on refined carbs such as rice, breads or pasta.”
He also insists that a diabetic must keep either a bar of dark chocolate, protein bar, some digestive biscuits or even roasted nuts like almonds on them at all times. Sometimes, when the blood sugar drops, people tend to overlook or neglect it.
Instead of waiving it off, Harsh stresses on addressing it. “Eat a little chocolate to stabilise your blood sugar. Don’t go to sleep just like that,” he says.
To round things off, Harsh shares a simple recipe of Gajar Ka Halwa that almost anybody can make with simple ingredients at home.
25 gm raisins
25 gm cashewnuts – chopped
1 kg sweet carrots – grated
1 litre milk (skimmed)
1 tsp stevia
- Heat some ghee (clarified butter) in a cooking-pot and add cardamom and milk to it. Let it cook until it reduces to half.
- In a separate pan, heat some ghee, and add the grated carrots to it. Let it cook for a while, stirring occasionally.
- When the carrot’s half-cooked, add the cardamom-milk to it. Cook until the carrots soak it up completely.
- Add stevia to the halwa and mix properly.
- Cook for further 8 mins.
- Garnish with raisins and cashewnuts.
- And it’s ready to be served!
“It has been quite a journey for me. I’ve struggled with bad times. I’ve seen good times. The scenario now with the coronavirus pandemic is again quite challenging, especially for entrepreneurs like me. But I’m sure this too shall pass,” he signs off.
Check out Harsh’s instagram handle.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)