At the start of Ramadan I always have these high aspirations of eating super healthy, having a wholesome suhoor that ticks all the boxes of being low GI, full of protein, etc. How about you?
This year I even tried cutting out overly processed food and refined sugar for the WHOLE month. Well, that part didn't happen—couldn't say no to dessert after iftar—but I did manage to eat healthy suhoor meals (for the first 5 days at least!)
Now that we're almost halfway through Ramadan, it's a good time to revisit our suhoor strategy. Looking for some inspiration, I reached out to friend and registered dietician Nazima Qureshi.
Read on to find out her professional tips and tricks on the best kinds of food to eat for the pre-dawn meal, so you can make the most of your fasting without feeling (too) drained. Here's what she had to share...
Do not skip suhoor!
Along with suhoor being a sunnah, it is an opportunity to energise and nourish your body before starting a long fasting day. There are four components to a healthy suhoor meal:
Protein - This will help you feel fuller throughout the day and included foods such as eggs, lentils, and Greek yogurt.
Whole grain carbohydrates - Incorporating whole grain carbohydrates will help stabilise your blood sugars and provide you with a more sustained source of energy. This includes foods such as whole grain bread, oatmeal, and barley.
Healthy fats - Healthy fats will help you feel satisfied and prevent you from overeating other foods. This includes avocado, nuts, chia seeds, and nut butters.
Fruit/Vegetable - Fruit and vegetables provide a variety of nutrients so you are nourished and energized throughout the day. Opt for a variety of colours and hydrating options such as cucumber, lettuce, watermelon, and strawberries.
Recipes to help you bring it to the table
So now that we know what we need to eat, the next step is bringing it together in a recipe. Namiza's got us covered with some of her favourites here:
1. Strawberry chocolate overnight oats
This is a great suhoor to prepare the night before and is the most filling option - also tastes delicious! Use fresh or frozen strawberries or get creative and change up the fruit, blueberries also go down well. Click here for the full recipe.
2. The "I have no time and woke up with 2 minutes to spare" option: Carrot Cake Energy Bites
Another brilliant backup option to prepare in advance, and it's naturally sweetened with dates, a sunnah food we will all likely have in our homes during Ramadan. Click here for the recipe.
3. Power Pancakes
Who doesn't love a good pancake? This is a gluten-free, wheat free pancake that comes together in minutes (let us know how long its takes you!). Have it on its own or add your own toppings such as nuts and fruit. Click here for the recipe.
4. Wholegrain chocolate chip zucchini muffins
This is a great grab n' go option, especially for those that have a hard time eating suhoor so early in the morning. You'll also get a sneaky dose of veggies without even tasting the zucchini. Click here for the full recipe.
4. savoury oatmeal
If you'd prefer a savoury suhoor option, this oatmeal is for you! Click here for the recipe.
Ramadan meal planner to help keep you on track
Check out Nazima's brilliant 30 Day Ramadan Meal Plan with healthy suhoor and iftar recipes laid out for you so you don't have to worry about what to cook during Ramadan!
The recipes are designed to keep you energised and includes easy to follow recipes, weekly grocery lists, post-iftar snacks, daily Sunnah tasks checklist, and a highlight of Sunnah foods throughout the recipes.
Nazima also has these free suhoor and iftar printable planners to help you plan out your meals for a week.