Healthy Ramadan Recipes for Iftar and Suhoor
As a mum who is STILL trying to shed her baby weight ten months later, I have been making more of an effort to cook healthy but delicious recipes for BW and myself at home, especially during Ramadan. Although this month is notoriously known for it’s fried foods, fizzy drinks, and sweet treats, it is easy to swap these out for air-fried goods, plenty of water, and fruits.
I have included three recipes below that are just perfect for Ramadan as they are for your waistline, so I hope you enjoy. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Of course, this post is not here to tell you to completely change your ways (I’m guilty of a pastry or 5), but to provide you with some inspiration as to how to keep it clean at meal times!
For iftar and sehri recipes that take no time at all to prepare, check out my Quick Ramadan Recipes!
TO BREAK FAST
A favourite recipe that I got from my cousin and have been using ever since, these date balls are the perfect way to break fast. Asides from tasting great, they help to use up any extra dates that you may have been given, take 10 minutes maximum to make, and are GOOD for you.
Dates play a pivotal role in Islamic History, having been mentioned in the Quran at least 20 times, and the Prophet SAW has recommended to “break your fast with dates as they are purifying”. Out of the whole long list of benefits of eating dates, here are a few:
- Dates allow you to replenish your low blood sugar level after a long day of fasting.
- Breaking fast with dates first curbs any excessive eating at Iftar time
- Thanks to it’s high levels of potassium, it helps to keep your heart healthy and beating.
Plus making these date balls are a fun activity for the kids to do in Ramadan to keep them busy!
Makes 15 balls
- 18 dates, pitted
- 18 whole almonds
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- One drop of vanilla essence
- Toppings (crushed cornflakes, pistachios, sprinkles, cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, whatever you fancy)
- Place dates, almonds, cocoa powder, and vanilla essence into a blender
- Once blended, remove and form into balls
- Roll each ball into desired toppings and they are ready to eat!
Considering we are only supposed to be consuming red meat once a week, I’m definitely guilty of eating beyond that target. However, I’m slowly changing things in my household and becoming conscious of what we’re eating.
These chicken cutlets are my favourite thing to make right now. They are easy to make, quick to put together, and just taste so good that they simply cannot be remotely healthy but they are! I’ve served them with spinach rice, but you can pair them up with anything to please anyone.
On a low carb diet? Just swap the rice for a salad. Gluten free? Swap the bread inside the cutlet for gluten free bread/breadcrumbs. You can even make pita pockets with these and finish it off with a slick of imli and mint yoghurt.
CHICKEN CUTLETS WITH SPINACH RICE
- 1/2 kg chicken mince
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 heaped dessert spoon green chutney (green chilli and coriander)
- 1 heaped tsp garam masala
- 1 heaped tsp mint chutney
- 2 slices of bread, crusts removed preferably
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1.5 cups of rice, boiled
- Chopped spinach (I used 5 cubes of the frozen version)
- 1 zucchini, chopped finely
- Box of button mushrooms, chopped finely
- 1 can of sweetcorn, drained
- 1 medium onion, diced
- Pinch of saffron, crushed
- 1 tsp garlic
- Soak your bread in water and press through a sieve to remove all the water
- Once all the water has been remove, add the bread to the chicken mince.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, green chutney, garam masala, and mint, and combine
- Leave in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours or overnight, ideally
- Remove from fridge and warm up a pan over medium heat.
- Use an ice cream scoop to place a ball of mince on to the pan
- Once you start to see the bottom of each cutlet getting cooked, flip it over to the other side.
- These can be eaten with rice/salad/pitta, and can be frozen too so you can enjoy them later.
- Add oil to a pan on medium heat and when hot, add in the onions to fry until golden.
- Add in peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms, and stir fry until softened.
- Add in the chopped spinach, pinch of saffron, garlic, salt and pepper
- Once the spinach has wilted/melted down from frozen, add in the sweetcorn.
- Finally, add the rice in and combine.
Chia seed puddings are ideal for sehri: extremely light, keep you delightfully satiated through the day, and each one is jam-packed with goodness.
I could write a book on how great chia seeds are but here are a few key positives:
- Chia seeds are a great source of protein, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan
- They are low in calories but also very nutrient packed.
- They are rich in antioxidants and high in omega-3 fatty acids
The best part about these puddings are that they are so versatile, you can change the flavours to whatever you fancy. I’ve seen apple crumble, peanut butter cup, mocha, and even pumpkin spice latte chia puddings. If you want to cut the calories and fat even more, just replace the coconut milk with either a light version of another type of non-dairy milk.
MANGO, STRAWBERRY AND COCONUT CHIA PUDDINGS
Serves 4 (or 2 very generously)
- 2 cups of coconut milk (you can use any milk like almond and oat, but I used coconut for the flavour)
- 6 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons of honey/maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 2 mangoes
- A handful of strawberries
Making the chia mix: Whisk together the coconut milk, chia seeds, and honey in a bowl, cover, and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight (leaving it overnight allows the chia mix to thicken more).
Pureeing the fruits: Blitz one fruit at a time in a food processor, or together if you’re feeling adventurous. You can add some honey in at this point if the fruit isn’t sweet.
Assembling the jars: Remove the chia mix from the fridge and whisk again to remove any chia clumps. Layer the chia seed mix and fruit purees in each jar.
Eating: Top each jar with more fruits/granola/nuts/seeds and it is ready to eat! If you are not eating straight away, just add the toppings before you tuck in so they do not become soggy.