Creative Ideas for a Tasty Healthy Iftar
Ramadan to a lot of people is a festivity of food! However, it is not quite right to prioritize quantity over quality and neglect our health and nutrition. Meals during Ramadan, especially in family dinners and 3ozomat, are nothing more than a parade of the dishes you can afford cooking. Sometimes you do this out of generosity but ending up with an Iftar table of dolmas, pasta with béchamel sauce, duck, roasted chicken, risotto and meat is not quite balanced. And to be realistic, half of what you prepared would turn into leftovers.
So today Yaoota comes to rescue both your stomach and your pocket with some tips for a healthy wholesome Iftar with less leftovers. Through this article you will learn how to compose a healthy menu for Iftar with dishes that won’t leave you lazy or sick. So let’s start.
The Art of composing an Iftar Menu
- A good Iftar menu saves you a lot of time spent in the kitchen.
- A good Iftar menu doesn’t leave a lot of leftovers.
- A good Iftar menu doesn’t make you feel lazy, on the contrary, it will leave you energetic and ready for your errands and rituals.
Composing your Iftar menu depends on the following:
How much time you can spend cooking:
So before you decide on the dishes, you need to decide precisely how much time you can spend in the kitchen on the day of the 3ozoma/gathering or before. Will you start cooking in the early morning or you will start 2-3 hours before Maghreb/sunset?
Providing the nutrients your body needs:
- Think of all the essential elements your body needs throughout fasting and make sure to have them on your table.
- The body needs vitamins, fats, carbs and proteins. And pay attention to the portions of each of these elements. Aim at energize your body and eliminate laziness.
- Think within your budget limit and make sure to cook only what you can afford.
- Divide the dedicated budget according to the portions of each nutritional element. Meaning that you will probably need to buy more vegetables and fruits than rice or pasta.
- Try to get ingredients that would double count for more than one dish.
- Also keep in mind the number of people eating. Is it only your family members or more?
- Iftar is a very special meal because it is the most important meal in the day during Ramadan from which your body gets all the nutrients and energy it lost throughout the day.
- Drinks and juices are the second main source that compensates the liquid loss in your body. So make sure to have them at your table.
Yaoota’s suggestions for Iftar
It is highly recommended to divide your Iftar meal into two parts; the first right after the call for prayer and the second is after prayer or after 15 minutes.
The first part of Iftar:
- Dates and dried fruits
- Fresh juices
The second part of Iftar (the main dish)
The main dish should have the following nutrients:
- You should do your best to eat complex carbs that take longer time to get digested hence give your body the energy it needs throughout the day.
- You can find complex carbs in basmati rice, bread, whole grains, lentils, couscous, potatoes and others.
- A male needs an average of 3-4 bowls of soup
- A female needs an average of 2 bowls of soup
- Protein is a complex nutrient that takes long to be broken down/digested in your body so it should make your body feel full for a long time.
- Protein is available in chicken, beef, hummus, eggs, beans, fish, seafood and more.
- A male needs an average of 30-40 grams.
- A female needs an average of 20-30 grams.
- Vitamins are crucial for your body because that help protect your body and properly builds it. You can find vitamins in leafy vegetables, onions, olives, cucumber, carrots, cauliflower and others
- You can have vitamins in vegetables and fruits as much as you want because they provide water and liquids to your body and provides natural sugar as well.
- Healthy fats are found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, some fish like salmon and avocado.
- You can add healthy fats to your food through the cooking oil or through healthy snacks like nuts between Iftar and Sohour.
- However, have reasonable amounts of the aforementioned food because it is very high in calories.
Yaoota’s menu suggestions
Yaoota offers you suggestions for dishes that go together perfectly and provide all nutrients as well. Use them as inspiration for more creative dishes.
Soup and salad are essentials on your table.
- Roasted chicken, basmati rice or bread, hummus and one or two pieces of desserts.
- Grilled fish, grilled vegetables, or fish in curry sauce and white rice.
- Pasta with vegetables with fish or chicken.
- Salmon with basmati and green salad.
- Koshary with tomato sauce and green salad.
- Moroccan couscous with meat.
- Roasted chicken with lemon sauce and grilled vegetables.
- Chicken or beef kofta with yogurt salad and pasta.
- Beef or chicken stew with carrots and potatoes with basmati, salad and yogurt sauce.
- Make sure to have some liquid saucy dish in your menu.
- Eat slowly because your body takes around 20 minutes to realize fullness.
- Have snacks between Iftar and sohour such as vegetables, fruits or nuts.
- Remember that Iftar is the most important meal in Ramadan and that it plays the role of the three meals in a non-Ramadan day.
- Start planning for cooking as early as possible to give yourself a lot of time.
- Always ask your family members about the food they love. Ask them after Iftar and not before because before Iftar they would ask for all the food in the world.
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Yaoota wishes you a Happy Healthy Ramadan!