Mooncakes are notorious for being the culprits for expanding waistlines whenever Mid-Autumn Festival come around.
Not only are they high in sugar, high in trans-fats and high in cholesterol, they are also traditionally very calorific.
There have been mooncakes touted as healthier alternatives in the past, but they always seem to come up short.
Enter Lean Bento‘s Protein Moon Bites.
“Mooncakes” under 150kcal each
For the uninitiated, Lean Bento is a halal-certified food company specialising in healthy bento meals.
And they do not just claim to serve healthy meals; all items on their menu come with a calorie count and a breakdown of all the macronutrients by weight.
Lean Bento’s mooncakes, or protein moon bites as they call them, are no exception.
With each moon bite containing less than 145kcal, this is most certainly the healthiest mooncake we have ever discovered!
But how do they do it?
It’s all in the micro details
In a blog entry by Lean Bento’s owner, Charles Ng, he explains in great detail his process in coming up with the unlikely creation.
According to him, the end goal was to “create delightful protein mini moon bites that are realistically below 150 kcal per piece”.
The moon bites must not just be healthy; they need to be tasty too!
In contrast, a regular 150g eggless mooncake contains 770kcal (Carb 118g, Fat 30g, Protein 6g).
A regular 70g mini mooncake would be 350kcal (Carb 55g, Fat 13.8g, Protein 2.7g).
Basically, each Lean Bento protein moon bite contains less than 40% of the calorie, carb, fat, and packing in three times more protein than a regular mini mooncake.
With than end goal in mind, Ng first had to decide on a binding medium to give the moon bites structure.
Ng acknowledged that an “oil-free” mooncake is impossible to create, despite oil being a big contributor to calories in conventional mooncake recipes, second only to sugar.
It is especially bad if an unhealthful variety of oil was used. Or worse, a chemical that mimics the texture of oil as it will certainly do more harm than good to health.
Ng eventually chose to use organic coconut oil for its “good” cholesterol properties. “It is more stable and beneficial oils that I consume daily to optimise metabolic activity and improve high-density lipoproteins (HDL),” he says.
To substitute sugar, Ng went with a variety of naturally sweet and aromatic sweet potatoes to “omit the need for additional sugars (brown or honey, sugar is still sugar) and other artificial flavour enhancers”.
Four flavours in total
With four flavours in total, Lean Bento offers a tasty selection of healthier mooncakes perfect as a guilt-free treat, post-workout snack or even for those in-between meals peckish moments.
The two lightest are Melon Date and Almond Sesame, and are 133 and 138 calories respectively.
The other two flavours are Chocolate Chip and Adzuki Sesame. Both are still under 145 calories each, so you can have you mooncake and eat it too.
In shortlisting ingredients for these flavours, Ng sought out ingredients that are inherently nutrient-rich yet able to deliver distinctive flavour profiles.
Despite its healthy composition, the Moon Bites still retain the look of traditional mooncakes by retaining the shape and floral design.
Lean Bento is currently selling these moon bites in a box of four for $10.
Each box comes with all four flavours and will be on sale until 30 September 2020.
To place an order, visit https://order.leanbento.com/collections/specials/products/s01-protein-moon-bites.
50% off till 12 September
From now till 12 September, Lean Bento has a special promotion for the Protein Moon Bites.
Use promo code LEANMOON at checkout to enjoy 50% off.
Min order $20 for islandwide delivery applies. Free delivery for orders above $85.
Lean Bento is halal-certified.
Images by Lean Bento and charleswanmushi.