March 15, 2021

Blini on a Budget


Blini on a Budget
Blini may not be great for the waistline, but they are excellent for the soul.  Elly Fairytale | pexels.com

Maslenitsa, which ended March 14, is generally not a holiday celebrated by those considering their weight. With a name that literally translates to "butter week," it's perhaps a dieter's worst nightmare. 

But for most Russians, it is a wonderful time that is celebrated principally by eating lots and lots of thin pancakes (which in Russian are called blini). However, this year the chief nutritionist at the Moscow Department of Health, Antonina Starodubova, is encouraging Russians to limit themselves for the sake of their own health.

Starodubova recommends that a healthy adult of average weight consume no more than 150-200 grams of pancakes. According to Lenta News, this equates to about three or four paltry blini, depending on the amount and variety of fillings added. 

But even with such a modest portion size in mind, Starodubova still emphasizes the fact that this is a dish with a very high amount of sugar and calories. To reduce this, she explains that you can make the same recipe with a reduced about of butter, sugar, or even use a whole-grain variety of flour. 

Last year, the government also encouraged citizens to show some restraint during the pre-lenten holiday, and so we are doubtful if the recommendation stuck this time around either. We here at Russian Life appreciate the advice, but we'll keep the butter in "butter week," thank you very much. That's the point, isn't it?

After all, it's pretty tame, as Russian food goes.

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