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Ramadan is known as the month of generosity. And usually this is obviously displayed on the table of Iftar and Suhour. To be prepared for this month you could use a guide that helps you shop and store your food properly, giving you a head start on planning your meals. This way, instead of worrying about the ingredients, you will be prepared and have plenty of time to come up with creative and nutritionally complete dishes for your family and friends.
Food can be divided into several categories that can be stored and preserved in different ways, allowing you to shop for food at different times before Ramadan.
Start with food that you wouldn't need to store in a refrigerator; think about food you usually stock in you cupboards for example. These foods usually have a long shelf life and may last up to a year if stored properly.
Basmati and brown rice are the best ingredients you can have for your main dishes in Ramadan. Both are slowly absorbed which controls your blood sugar.
Keep it in a dry sealed container to avoid anything falling into it by accident.
Comes in handy when you are preparing your pastries which you can enjoy as an appetizer during your Iftar. Also use whole-wheat flour to increase your fiber intake for a healthy digestive system.
Keep it in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid, and store in a cool dark place away from sunlight.
Keep them stored in tight fitted containers for a period of 2-3 months so they maintain their ability to swell properly.
Sprinkle in moderate amounts over your home made goodies and sweets of Ramadan.
Keep it in a dry place because moisture would make sugar hard and lumpy.
Specifically dates which are the perfect food to break your fast on.
First make sure to cool dried fruits because warm fruits might allow sweating and develop mold! After cooling them, store them in a dry, tightly closed container.
Jallab, tamarind, qamar aldin, enjoy these delicious drinks during Ramadan in moderate amounts and remember not to let them replace your water intake.
Keep the bottle firmly closed in your cupboard to avoid them getting spoilt.
Ready made soups
Add to your soup some vegetables in order to boost their nutritional value and they are perfect for replenishing your fluids and preparing your stomach before Iftar.
Once you open the sachet use it all or close the rest firmly in order to avoid moisture from spoiling the ingredients.
The second thing to think about is how to organize the foods in your freezer. Foods can last for as long as 6 months if they are properly stored.
They are the second best alternative to fresh vegetables. Plus they can also be made into a variety of dishes when you need. Add them into your soups to add to their nutritional value.
Put them in re-sealable bags so that the vitamins and minerals are properly preserved in them.
Meat/chicken and fish
Have your meats portioned and stored in an orderly manner. This is how you can avoid thawing unnecessarily big quantities of meat.
Date the packages so that you know the exact storage dates, and draw out the air from the bag to avoid meat burning.
To decorate your jallab and other Ramadan sweets.
Seal the container well in order to avoid them becoming rancid. For more freshness and a longer storage time, store in your freezer.
Finally as Ramadan is approaching you might need to think about perishable foods, those that can spoil if bought too early.
Fresh Dairy (laban, cheese labneh)
Don’t omit this group from your food choices during the holy month of Ramadan as it is rich in calcium and helps maintain your bone health.
Don’t drink from the Laban container directly if you want to store it. Every 2 days, check the expiry date, so you know when to bring a new batch.
Fruits and Vegetables
An excellent source of vitamins and minerals which are necessary for overall health and energy.
Allow proper air circulation around them when placed in the fridge in order to increase their freshness.
A rich source of protein which is essential for body functions. It will also keep you satiated between your meals. This might be very useful during Ramadan since it would decrease your sweet cravings.
Directly store your meats in the refrigerator after your shopping and cook within 1 day.
Great source of carbohydrates which provide your body with the energy it needs after a long day of fasting.
If you opt for Arabic bread, you can have it fresh or even store it in the freezer where it can still preserve its freshness.
A great source of high quality proteins, vitamins and minerals that would make a great Suhour dish.
This table will help you organise your shopping during the holy month of Ramadan. It will also tell you how to preserve your energy and have the ingredients on hand for cooking. Remember, healthy eating starts with proper planning of your menu and sensible grocery shopping.
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