you are what you eat
Just one day away from the blessed month of Ramadan! Today I would like to share with you my shopping basket. Some Essentially that will keep me going during this Blessed Month. A lot of these products are for Suhoor, and I believe in a healthy Suhoor! Even if you tend to eat a little bit more for Suhoor than you would usually eat for breakfast- it will keep you going for most of the day!
Ramadan is also a great month to establish good habits. If you are an individual who would usually skip breakfast, this is the month that will help you get into the habit of eating breakfast- but not just any breakfast- a good, healthy breakfast that is essential for mind, body and spirit!
Fat Free Dairy: dairy is a source of protein and I like my dairy products fat free. Milk for Oats and Meusli and Fat free yoghurt (Plain Bulgarian or a smooth Vanilla) for smoothies or Sehri Parfaits.
Peanut Butter: This healthy and filling versatile spread which is high in vegetable fats, fibre and protein is delicious not only on hot toast (add sliced banana for a change), it is an essential ingredient in my Chick- pea Burger recipe. You can make a nutritious, filling, quick and easy smoothie with fat free vanilla yoghurt, 1 T peanut butter, 1 banana and 2T oat bran and a dash of fat free milk. I will post this recipe again, Inshallah as the month gets going.
Eggs: We do eggs almost every day and this year I am very excited to try out liquid egg whites (available from Woolworths and currently on promotion- buy 3 for 2!!). Egg whites are high in protein with out the extra fat we would usually get from the yolk. I will be mixing 1 whole egg with 1/4 cup (or so) of liquid egg white to make scrambled eggs, omelettes, breakfast cups, breakfast burritos and quiche. ½ cup egg whites = 2 whole eggs, or a ¼ cup egg whites = 1 whole egg. Egg whites are colourless and don’t have any flavour- the ideal addition to a smoothie if you have a young child fasting for the first time and you want to help them get all the nutrition they need quickly!
Sparkling Water: I always have a bottle of sparkling water in my fridge. To make a litre of a sparkling drink, simply dilute 250ml of fruit juice with 500ml of sparkling water. Add lemon and grated apple to make it into a punch! Diluting fruit juice is a excellent way to decrease your consumption of sugary fruit juices. Even though many juices say 100% fruit juice- no sugar added, many fruit juice’s which carry this claim are still sweetened with apple, pear or pear juice- and even though is is fruit juice- the body will metabolise this as it would table sugar! Dilute fruit juices, make them into iced teas or a ‘cooler’ as I have above.
Flora ‘pro active’: Flora Pro active is the only soft tub margarine on the market which does actually lower cholesterol (it contains plant sterols which have been proven to lower cholesterol). I have not checked my cholesterol recently but I do have a family history of heart disease- so I try to take every action I can to prevent it! For more information on Flora Pro active visit:http://www.florastrongheart.co.za/proactiv/tasty-flora-pro-activ-recipes/default.aspx.
Potatoes: Hmmm…. I know. What is it doing in my shopping basket?? Potatoes are a starch, not a vegetable and too many starches will contribute to weight gain. I am lucky because Hubby is not a potato lover- In curries or in a biryani- and I am more than happy to leave it out! If you do include potato in an Akhni, Biryani or curry- try not to overdo it! Choose baby potatoes instead and boil instead of fry them before setting your dish. The only reason I bought a bag is to make Aaloo- Paratha. I am going to try out a recipe with Flora proactive in the roti dough instead of ghee and I will be adding Oat bran (top right hand corner) to lower the GI! I will definitely post the recipe!
Bananas: Bananas are high in Potassium and they are a lifesaver in the nappy bag (Im sure all moms can attest to that!). I buy bananas in the box during ramadan as I include one in my smoothie each day! Buy them green, try to have them green. If they start to get overripe- mash for banana bread or slice and freeze to avoid throwing them out! Keep s look out for my smoothie recipe with Banana, strawberry, oat bran and yoghurt!
Whole Wheat wraps: This is the first year I have not packed my freezer with pies, samosas and other savouries! I am slightly apprehensive as I know that preparing in advance does make life easier! I am taking a risk but I have promised myself to be disciplined and plan well so that I can have good, healthy food each day! I will be wrapping salmon, stir fried veges, chicken & beef strips, prawn and even feta- each together with a variety of vegetables to keep my meals interesting. Scrambled eggs are also divine in a wrap together with avocado, chilli and a salsa sauce.
Pineapple and Passion fruit: I love breaking fast with a date followed by some fresh fruit. I included a lot of fresh fruit in my Iftaar last year and it made a world of difference. Include a variety from strawberries, melons, apples, naartjies, passions, papaya, paw- paw, pineapple, kiwi fruit or a simple orange! Fruits are high in fibre, naturally low in fat and the many vitamins, minerals and phyrochemicals will help to boost your immune system! Filling your Iftaar table with the right foods helps prevent heart burn, indigestion, constipation and fatigue! Some Ideas: I am going to ripen the passions (I have 12 beautiful purple passions in my fruit basket), then mix 1 cup passion with 1/4 cup of low cal passion cordial. Freeze into ice trays and then use for a variety of drinks! Exciting!
Soups: Whoops!! I forgot to include my soup pack! Ramadan in Sunny South Africa is in the middle of winter this year and a soup is a warm and filling dish to include at your Iftaar table!
Frozen Berries: My favourite but pricey! Include frozen berries in low fat desserts, flapjacks (I have a delicious whole wheat flapjack recipe waiting to share with you!) and Smoothies!
So much variety and so many recipes to share! If your family loves their traditional savouries, try to reach a compromise! Do just one pie/ fried savoury (samosas can be baked in the air fryer or in the oven with just a light brush of oil) and one healthy starter! I wish all my readers a blessed month- leave a message and keep me posted on things on your side!