Dancing with decadent desserts
Maitha Alowais, Founder of Maitha & Treats, tells KT's Farhana Chowdhury all about infusing a passion for baking with health-conscious alternatives for guilt-free treats
The festive season is a favourite time of the year, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas.
During gatherings, I've always the first run to the dessert table and counted the minutes till we could try all of the tasty treats, from pecan pie to ginger bread cookies. The smell of spices took me to a place of comfort and contentment. My favourite desserts were cinnamon spice cookies, pecan pie and salted caramel chocolates.
My passion for baking started at the age of 12 after watching my grandma dance her way into the kitchen, rolling the cookie dough with such passion and love. I loved baking for my friends and family and would try to emulate my grandma's movement each time. As I got older, I became more health-conscious and aware of how processed and unhealthy many of the ingredients I used to make a simple cake or cookie. I continued to bake but stopped eating my treats.
During my studies abroad in Europe and the US, I saw more options for healthier treats, some tasted good, while others tasted like cardboard. Upon my return to Dubai, I was on a mission to find my favourite treat that ticked all the right health and taste boxes! I soon realised that this task was more challenging than I had expected.
As a health enthusiast with a sweet tooth, I struggled to find a treat that was equally delicious and healthy and often experienced digestive discomfort or a sugar rush right after a "delicious treat." I decided to have more of an in-depth understanding of plant-based ingredients and received my certification in whole foods plant-based nutrition. The background knowledge served as a great guide on the types of elements I would use in my treats, and the challenge was to ensure that taste and health were just as equal. Trial after trial, I managed to make my treats only using natural ingredients and started to give samples to my friends and family. It was a nerve-wracking time for me, as the first bite was the first and potentially the last impression of my treats. I received wonderful feedback and finally built the courage to start my own treats business.
Maitha & Treats is a platform that goes beyond selling treats, our core value is "The Crave of the Healthy Mind" because we believe a healthy mind is a sustainable lifestyle that will enable you to live your best life.
We now offer more than 10 unique treats made with all-natural ingredients and a healthy mind. Our main treats are cookies, brownies and cake bites that each have their unique flavour profile. All of our treats are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and suitable for those who have a sweet tooth.
One of my go-to treats would have to be The Soulness cookie, which is a cookie filled with a brownie. It is the perfect treat when I am unable to decide whether I want a brownie or a cookie. My other go-to treat is The Memory; this is a cinnamon cake bite that reminds me of one of my favourite childhood cereals growing up "Cinnamon Toast Crunch". Once you try it you will know what I am talking about.
My advice to dessert lovers
First, when baking, try to make simple swaps to your cakes and cookies such as flaxseed mill instead of eggs, coconut sugar instead of white sugar, and opt for oat flour/almond flour instead of all-purpose flour.
Second, if you do not enjoy baking, then feel free to order from Maitha & Treats and share them with your loved ones during the festive time, this will ensure you that you are still able to feel good and enjoy some yummy treats.
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