"Kaya" in Malay means "Rich", and is a very suitable name for this fragrant coconut egg jam due to its incredibly rich flavor. But is rich AND healthy kaya possible? Read on to find out!

Healthy Kaya - Jar of kaya jam with a spoon and kaya sandwiches on toasted bread

Image source: foodblogs.com

Many of us here in Southeast Asia enjoy our breakfast by spreading a thick layer of the custard-like jam paired with fragrant butter slices on a piece of toast, or by just simply dipping steamed bread into the rich goodness of kaya. The familiar texture, taste and warmth attached to this simple jam is a comfort food for many of us to start the day.

But like many jams out there in the market, kaya that is bought off-the-shelf is made with a lot of white sugar. Additionally, the numerous eggs and coconut milk added also results in a high fat spread (especially saturated fat). Not the healthiest start to the day.

Healthy Kaya - Toasted bread with thick kaya and butter slices with dish of half boiled eggs in the background

Image source: Serious Eats

But! There’s definitely a way to enjoy kaya without feeling worried.

We can make healthier kaya right at home with this simple recipe that won’t require you to stand at the stove for hours. Healthy and quick! The perfect recipe if you’re wanting to make yourself and your loved ones a better breakfast to start the day without sacrificing comfort and flavour.

Healthy Kaya - Pot of kaya being cooked with pandan leaves and wooden spoon

Image credit: Sabah Eats

This recipe calls for the substitution of regular white sugar with coconut sugar. As mentioned in our Pulut Hitam recipe, we also replace half of the total sugar with a natural sweetener, Stevia. Although coconut sugar is considered a healthier alternative as it has a lower glycemic level and extra minerals, it is still a form of sugar. On the other hand, Stevia maintains the overall sweetness of the dish, while cutting calories and simple sugar.

In addition, we used pumpkin puree to substitute the use of eggs! This means the kaya you’re making is completely vegan, and definitely lower in saturated fat and calories!

Wondering what the kaya tastes like? Here’s the recipe for you to make your own!

Healthy Kaya - Jar of pumpkin kaya with fresh pumpkin, pandan leaves, and white bread

Image source: Bake With Paws

Healthy Kaya Recipe

Yields 2 medium jars

Ingredients

1kg of steamed pumpkin flesh (skinned and pitted)
100g coconut sugar
½ tsp powdered Stevia (or to taste)
250ml coconut milk
3 blades pandan leaves, knotted

Method

Skin and pit the pumpkin and steam the flesh until it’s soft. Mash up into smaller pieces and place inside food blender.

Pour in all the coconut milk and blend until smooth.

Pour puree into a slow cooker, then add the coconut sugar and stevia. Tie the pandan leaves into a knot and place it in too.

Using the slow cooker, cook on high for 1 hour and on low for 2 hours till jam is thick and creamy. Remember to stir from time to time!

*As this recipe calls for less sugar, the kaya will be more sensitive to heat. Make sure to keep an eye on the heat and bring it down to low if you notice the kaya curdling (you may have to cook it for slightly longer).

Once cooked, let the kaya cool. It will continue to thicken a little as it cools. Store the kaya in air-tight jars once it’s cooled.

Healthy Kaya - Short jar of kaya and butter knife on tea towel and wooden platter with white bread slices in the background

Image source: mybizpeople.com

There you go! Healthy and home-made kaya for you and your loved ones to start the day better!