As part of the holy month of Ramadan, which started last week, millions of Muslims around the world will abstain from food and water between dawn and dusk. Typically waking up before sunrise, Muslims eat a "suhoor" meal which provides them the nourishment they need to last this year's roughly 18 hour long fasts (in the UK.) The challenge most of us are faced with regarding food is the same as our spiritual struggle: temptation. The "iftar" or evening meal often turns into a lavish feast filled with fried foods.
It's easy to forget in the delirium why we fast in the first place- and I include myself in this statement. After cleansing our bodies and hopefully minds too, is it right or fair on ourselves to sabotage all the goodness with greed and gluttony? My aim this year is to live with less and Ramadan has provided me an excellent opportunity to cull my "bad" eating habits too. Food wastage, excessive eating, multiple dishes for no good reason, all of that is starting to come to a halt.
Don't be disheartened though. Controlling what you eat can mean you're eating what you love. Today's recipe satisfies my sweet tooth and curbs my hunger during suhoor and all you really need are dates and almonds! Dates are packed with fibre which keeps your digestive system healthy, while almonds provide protein and other vitamins to keep you going throughout the day.
Servings: 12-14 ping pong sized laddoos
Prep + cooking time: 10 mins
- 500g pitted medjool dates (best because they are the most soft variety)
- 200g ground almonds (the less you add, the more fudge-y it will be)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- crushed pistachios for topping
- edible dried rose petals
- dried berries
- cocoa powder
- Pit all the medjool dates and begin to mash in a bowl with your hands. It should form a sticky fudge that holds its shape.
- To that, pour in your ground almonds and any variation of filling you desire. You could also leave it at that; they are perfectly good without anything added!
- Mix thoroughly to form a dough. Coat hands in a little coconut oil and start rolling the mixture into little ping pong sized balls. The coconut oil will give the laddoos a smooth finish and stop them from sticking to your palms.
- Store in the fridge for at least 10 minutes so the laddoos become firm. Store in an air tight container. The laddoos should last at least 5 days. If you'd like them as a quick snack for any time, just store them in the freezer and defrost thoroughly whenever you need them.