You know it’s Ramadan when your energy is at an all-time low and you feel like an autumn tree almost all the time. If your office hours have turned into unbearable centuries and the rumbling in your stomach has started to sound like someone is throwing heavy furniture off a staircase, maybe it’s time to reassess your post Iftar meals. While we all dart towards the one thing we had been craving the entire day, here are a few super foods that will not only be good to your taste buds but to your body as well.
Dark Chocolate: Did I hear Muslim Ummah saying “awwwyes” because I sure did. Dark chocolate is a natural energy booster. Make sure you pick up the least processed one with teeny tiny bit of sugar (75% or more if you’re not weak at heart!). The more processed and more sugary the chocolate, the more unhealthy it is. Dark chocolate will give you an instant hit of energy, not to mention an instant uplift to your otherwise exhausted and tired senses.
Chia Seeds: Did you know “Chia” is an ancient Mayan word for ‘strength’? Need we say more? This superfood is packed with the goodness of Fiber, Protein, Fat, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2 and so many more nutritional goodies. Trust this bubbly little superfood to give you an instant hit of energy when added to your fruit chaat or Rooh Afza.
Peanut butter: Not the first thing you think of when we say Ramadan but trust us it is one delicious nutrition-packed superfood that can keep you full and healthy during the month of fasting. Loaded with Peanut Butter heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, Magnesium, Vitamin B-6 and iron, this earthy, nutty spread is good for your taste buds and your health. Mix it with milk or spread it on a toast to treat your body that is already working overtime in Ramadan.
Bananas: These bad boys are a powerhouse of nutrition with carbs, potassium, magnesium and a plethora of vitamins – all of which your body is screaming for during Ramadan. Have it with honey at Suhoor or chug a glass of banana milkshake at Iftar, bananas are really nutrition on serious steroids and your body, skin, hair and basically every pore on your body will thank you.
Digest O’ clock: Green-Ginger-Mint Tea recipe
Having trouble digesting all the Ramadan goodies? Can’t help but over eat every time you decide to just have one pakora? We might have something that can help you wash away all that guilt and digest your Iftars better. Presenting the unbelievably delicious tea that is surprisingly good for digestion.
What you need:
1 sliver of ginger (washed and peeled)
Mint leaves (according to taste, washed and separated from stem)
Bring one cup water to boiling point. Tear Lipton Green Tea bag and empty the contents into the pot, add ginger and mint leaves. Boil the mixture on low flame until you can smell ginger and mint mix well together. Turn off the flame and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Enjoy hot with honey or cold with extra lemon!
Weight watchers: Low-calorie Iftar ideas
Feeling like your body with implode with all them fried goodies you’ve been binging on? Or are you someone who takes the month of Ramadan as an opportunity to lose a few pounds? Whichever side of the spectrum you fall on we have a few recipes that won’t add up to the numbers on the scale so that you can indulge all you want without compromising on taste.
Zucchini, Onion and Tomato Bake with Low Fat Mozzarella
What you need:
3 -4 zucchini (Tori)
1 -2 large white onion
2 large ripe tomatoes
Low fat Mozarella cheese
Salt and black pepper
Slice onions and sauté in olive oil until they are soft. Then slice zucchini and tomato into thin slices. Take a dish and start layering the vegetables (you should have a minimum of 3 layers). One layer of zucchini, then sautéed onions in olive oil then tomatoes. Sprinkle with low fat mozarella cheese and salt and pepper according to taste.
Keep layering until you run out of the sliced vegetables then top it with a layer of low fat mozzarella cheese (you can go as thick or thin as you want). Bake in 350 oven for about 45 minutes or until brown around the sides and on the top.
Papaya Salad (Som Yam)
What you need:
Small green raw papaya, shredded
2 small tomatoes cut into quarters
4 garlic cloves (you can make it 6 if you want the taste of garlic to pop)
6 red or green chilly
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp ground roasted peanuts
Fresh lettuce and chilly for garnish
Put garlic and tomatoes in a bowl and pound a few times to release their juices. Add chilies and crush lightly to release the heat. Remember to crush lightly and make sure the tomatoes and garlic don’t turn into a paste. In a separate cup, dissolve the sugar in a mixture of lime juice and soy sauce. Mix the tomato-garlic mixture with the sweet and sour dressing. Add shredded papaya, peanuts, lettuce to the sweet and sour juice and mix all the ingredients together well. Serve in a shallow bowl and top with garnish.