Of all the festive traditions, mooncakes are one of the hardest to work into a healthy lifestyle. Aside from having the unhealthy trifecta of being high in sugar, high in trans-fats and high in cholesterol, they’re also traditionally very calorific: usually around 900 calories for one standard-sized sharing cake. It takes a little creativity, but by replacing sugar with fruits, packing the pastry with protein-dense nuts, and making them fresh to reduce the trans-fats, these traditional Chinese cakes can be made not only lighter but nutritional. So, if your eating or gifting this September, check out this selection of low-calorie, healthy mooncakes in Hong Kong.
With four flavours to choose from, Youni offers a stellar selection of healthier mooncakes to suit every diet. The two lightest, Red Bean Tangerine Peel and gluten-free Matcha Red Bean—109 and 131 calories respectively—are both vegan, low-fat, low sugar, and pumped full of superfoods to boost the metabolism (matcha) and reduce inflammation (red bean). The more traditional custard lava and purple yam are still under 200 calories each, so you can have you mooncake and eat it too.
Calories per 50g mooncake: 109-182 (per 100g: 218-364kcal) | youni.com.hk
They call these little pastries ‘guilt-free’, and if you’re thinking that sounds distinctly un-mooncake like, think again. These gluten and dairy-free, nutrient-packed goodies are super low-cal, and come in three flavours: the vegetarian fibre-filled bean paste and immune-boosting red date variety, and the unique, protein-packed five nuts with Jinhua ham. The six-cake gift set also comes with a tin of Tea 7th Zi Juan Black tea from Yunnan, renowned for its anti-aging properties and loaded with antioxidants.
Calories per 50g mooncake: 160-200 (per 100g: 320-400kcal) | thecakery.com
It should be no surprise that Hong Kong icon Bonnae Gokson’s eponymous cakery, Ms B’s, offers a health-conscious option of the traditional Mid-Autumn mooncake. Switching out sugar for the sweetener Maltitol, which has half the calories of sugar, this traditional lotus seed and egg yolk mooncake offers a light bite. The 60g mini-cakes are recommended to be shared with friends, making this festive treat as low as 119 calories.
Calories per 60g mooncake: 239 (per 100g: 396kcal) | msbscakery.hk
Mira Dining’s Cuisine Cuisine Blue Agave White Lotus Egg Yolk mini mooncakes offer a lighter low-refined-sugar alternative. Using organic blue agave syrup—colloquially known as ‘honey water’—which has a far lower GI value and is needed in much lower quantities than refined white sugar, these mooncakes cut a lot of the unnecessary calories out. Plus, their mini size means they’re perfect as an individual treat, or a shared snack.
Calories per 43g mooncake: 187.5 (per 100g: 436kcal) | miradining.com