Polvorones, in general, are made from wheat flour, lard, sugar and the ingredient that is added to give flavor. There are different types of polvorones. We will see what differences there are between them and how we can choose better.
There are those who wait for this season to taste the nougat, but let’s not forget that they are not the only traditional Christmas sweets. There are also people who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of polvorón , marzipan, wine rolls, etc.
The Christmas festivities are characterized at the food level by great meals, appetizers, dishes, and desserts, many desserts. Later, in addition, the trays of nougat usually arrive , and not only that: waffles, polvorones, marzipan, stuffed almonds and wine donuts fill the Christmas festivities after dinner.
Most of the Christmas sweets are usually caloric products, with significant sugar content, a high fat content and very often based on nuts, especially almonds. But there are differences between them and lately somewhat different varieties have emerged from traditional recipes, in order to obtain healthier products or especially better accepted by consumers. What differences are there between them and how to choose better?
Sporadic and moderate consumption
It must be clear that we are talking about products that in principle are of sporadic and moderate consumption, or at least that is the way it should be, for better and for worse. What I mean by this? Well, despite being products that are generally not recommended at a nutritional level, we could consider moderate and punctual consumption acceptable, so in case of taking them perhaps the most sensible thing is to choose the one we like the most, and not the most “healthy” ”, And with the excuse to eat twice as much. Well, often when we end up choosing a product with slightly less sugars, etc., with the perception that it is better, we end up eating more and it would be better to take the original product, if we like it more, and moderate the amount.
Types of polvorones
In addition to the classic or traditional polvorón, we have the flavored ones or even the dry polvorón, which is not almond. We will see that there are no major differences in its composition. Next, we list the ingredients of each of them, from highest to lowest:
- Polvorón de cacao: wheat flour, lard, antioxidant, sugar, almond, defatted cocoa powder and spice (cloves).
- Coconut butter: wheat flour, sugar, lard, antioxidant, grated coconut, and aroma.
- Lemon mantecado: wheat flour, sugar, lard, antioxidant and lemon aroma.
- Polvorón: wheat flour, sugar, lard, antioxidant, cinnamon powder and aroma.
Polvorones with olive oil
Entering the new varieties and looking for healthier options, we can find polvorones made with olive oil.
- Extra virgin olive oil (20% approx.)
- Cinnamon powder
- Sesame seeds
In this case, there is not a great difference at the caloric level, because at the end of the day what you do is modify one fat for another, changing the lard for olive oil. Now, in this case, if we like the taste, we are achieving a good change at the nutritional level, since, comparing this product with the traditional one, we are reducing saturated fats and sugars are also reduced.
Polvorones without sugar?
Normally we are talking about polvorones, not without sugar, but without added sugar. Most likely, they have substituted sugar, honey or any other sugary ingredient for a sweetener. In this case, polyalcohols are usually used, which are the products that have sufficient sweetening capacity and manage to provide the right texture and properties to achieve a good product from the point of view of the senses (organoleptically). Here it is true that the sugar content it contains decreases , but that does not mean that it is a light or low calorie product. The fat content of polvorón is important, as we have seen, so it must be clear that a few grams less of sugar does not make it a light food.
Traditional polvorón recipe
The composition of the traditional almond polvorón is nothing more than toasted flour, lard in the form of an ointment, sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon and sesame seeds. It is a traditional sweet of these dates that can be made at home without much difficulty, although it is becoming less common and we choose to acquire them. And this leads us to the following nutritional composition per 100 g approximately: 500 Kcal, fats 24 g of which are saturated fats 9 g, carbohydrates 63 g, of which there are 29 g of sugars, 5.7 g of proteins. This, translated into a unit, which is usually about 30 g, means that a polvorón provides us with: 150 Kcal, 7.2 g of fat, 2.7 g of saturated fat, 18.9 g of carbohydrates, 8 , 7g sugars, 1.8g protein.
Difference between mantecado and polvorón
In reality, polvorón is a type of ice cream, but its great acceptance has made it a product on its own. The polvorón always has almonds, while the mantecados may or may not have it. If they do, the difference is that the wheat and almond flours are not toasted, while in polvorón the flours, both wheat and almond, always have to be toasted before processing. This is what gives them the most “dusty” texture, which forces them to be wrapped in paper.
What you should know…
- In general, polvorones are made from wheat flour, lard, sugar and the ingredient that is added to give flavor.
- The positive part of the Christmas sweets is that the nuts, specifically the almond, are part of the majority of them.
- The point to take into account is that the main ingredient is rarely almonds, but fats and sugars and in the case of polvorones, flour, and they cannot be considered nutritionally interesting products.