Energy boosters are needed for us to go through our day to day activities especially now that Ramadhan is here and Muslims from all over the world are preparing themselves for a battle of wills that they are facing during this holy month. Ramadhan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and a month for Muslims to restrain themselves from eating, drinking and thinking any impure and bad thoughts that starts from dawn until sunset.
The true meaning of Ramadhan is not just about restraining ourselves from eating it is also about controlling our lust and anger. The messenger of Islam, Prophet Muhammad and Rumi, Islam’s most famous poet believe that fasting is held in high regard as an integral method of taming our desires and maintaining virtues.
According to Rumi, in his writings;
“When you fast,good habits gather like friends who want to help. Fasting is Solomon’s ring. Don’t give it to some illusion and lose your power, but even if you have, if you’ve lost all will and control, they come back when you fast, like soldiers appearing out of the ground, pennants flying above them.”
This holy month is also being seen as a month where Muslims gain rewards by doing as much as good deeds they can since Ramadhan is a month where Muslims can double their rewards compared to the other months. One of the good deeds that is encouraged for Muslims to practice is to eat less. The Prophet Muhammad emphasised that the habit of eating less is a way of preventing sickness and disease.
And because of that, we need to eat healthy food in order for us to feel energised without eating too much. Here’s a list of energy boosters to keep you active and hopefully feel full until you break your fast!
1. Sweet Potatoes
These potatoes are called sweet potatoes for their natural sweetness that can help you boost your energy while you are fasting. The amount of sugar in sweet potatoes is slowly transferred into your blood vessels and this will make your body able to balance the energy used without increasing the sugar rate in blood. Sweet potatoes can be cooked in several ways including grill, steam, or boil.
There are few simple recipes you can try to fill your stomach for sahur! (and maybe as dessert for iftaar). One of the recipes you can try is mashed sweet potatoes, if you ever get tired of using the regular potatoes, feel free to try it with sweet potatoes which definitely give you the natural sweetness taste! Next, you can try sweet potatoes soup with sausage. The method used to cook this sweet potatoes soup with sausage is exactly the same when you are cooking chicken soup.
In Malaysia, curry is seen as a traditional recipe originated from the Indians. Curry, which comes from the Tamil word, Kari or spiced sauce is a perfect dish for sahur or iftaar! Curry is rich with antioxidants that will help you to improve your energy level during the day while you are fasting. In addition, curry also decreases the risk of brain degeneration and maintains cognitive function when you are older. Antioxidant fights damaged free radical in our bodies and brains. And surprisingly, it’s also one of the most effective energy boosters in Asian cuisine.
Curry can be eaten with other meals such as rice, bread, crackers or varieties of lauk that contain of different nutritional needs that should make you feel alert and active after you eat it. Curry is usually cook through the boiling method and ordinarily cook with variety of different ingredients to make it taste even better. There are several delicious curry recipes that you can try for your sahur and iftaar meals such as chicken curry and fish curry which can be your regular menu during Ramadhan.
3. Vegetables Soup
If you are planning to lose your weight during Ramadhan and at the same time in need of energy boosters without eating too much carbohydrate during sahur or iftaar, this is a suitable dish for you! Vegetables soup has enough nutritional needs and vitamins since it contains different kinds of vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, mustard leaf and others.
This soup is normally served with rice, any type of noodles or other side dishes. If you are not dieting, it is not an exception for you to try this because you can always add up seafood, slices of chicken or fish cakes in the vegetables soup to make it more tasteful.
This is an ingredient that comes from South Asia and a very good source of protein for our bodies, and as energy boosters go, it’s a great source. Dhal is suitable to eat with any type of dishes and basically can be made into a snack, dessert, main dish or side dish that can be eaten during sahur and iftar for this Ramadhan. Dhal can also be cooked in different methods such as boil, dry-fry and steam but dhal or also known as lentil usually is mix with other ingredients such as spices to make it into gravy.
There are several recipes you can try, for instance, dhal curry which contains of lentils, ginger, dried chilies, curry leaves, tomatoes, turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and some essential ingredients for cooking. This dhal curry can be eaten with bread, rice or you can just eat it without side dishes! It is good if you want to feel energised without feeling weak or sleepy during your work day hours.
5. Barley Drink
Barley drink is good for those who wanted to have a simple and quick energy booster to get through a day of fasting. It is believed to be an ancient remedy or an elixir of good health which is indeed true since barley contains of a very high fibre content, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
You can either serve the barley drink during your sahur or as a drink for iftaar so you will feel energised to perform your taraweeh prayers later. Barley needs to be boiled to make the pearls expand and it needs to be mixed with some other ingredients to make it taste delicious. You can choose how do you want your barley to be served, such as in Asia, it is serve in either hot or cold and if you like it taste a little sour, you can put some lemon in it.
These are the 5 types of energy boosters that will keep you going during Ramadhan. You can also get creative and try to make new and different recipes from these ingredients so that you won’t feel bored with the same old recipes. Ramadhan is a month for us to learn new things such as exploring new ways to control our hunger, anger, lust and of course, learning new methods of cooking!