This year, Ramadan will be celebrated 12th April until the 12th May. Ramadan is an Islamic tradition where Muslims over the age of around 14 don’t eat or drink when it is light. When it is dark, followers of the religion will end their fast and eat and drink. Fasting teaches Muslims self-discipline and to be considerate of the poor who might go without food – they are encouraged to spend more time with their family and friends, pray, and give up bad habits.

Have you ever heard about the religious significance about dates around this holy time? In case you’re not sure, we’re here to tell you some interesting facts about the link between dates and Ramadan as well as offer some tasty recipes.

About dates and Ramadan

Dates are great – and not just the candlelit dinner type. Dates are a flavoursome, plump, juicy fruit that is bursting with goodness. Dates palm trees, which grow the stone fruit, are native to the Middle East

Dates are very nutritious and are packed with antioxidants, fibres, minerals, and vitamins, and help our bodies function. They have a number of benefits from aiding our digestion to reducing the risk of disease.

Traidcraft, supplier of biscuits reports seeing its sales of dates skyrocket in the months leading up to Ramadan every year. In 2020, sales were around 39 per cent higher than the months July to September. In case you weren’t sure, this isn’t a coincidence.

Because Muslims are fasting for a significant part of the day between dawn and sunset during Ramadan, they can experience headaches, low blood sugar levels, and fatigue. By eating dates when breaking their fast and before the sun rises again, they can help prevent these ailments and provide a healthy source of nutrition, fibre, sugar, and carbohydrates. Due to the carbohydrate content, they digest slower leaving you fuller for longer. In the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad broke his fast with dates, and Muslims strive to live by His teachings.

Recipes

Make the most of these flavoursome fruits packed with energy and nutrition and have a go at our favourite date recipes to keep you fuelled during your religious experience.

Fair trade vegan chocolate mousse recipe

Ingredients:

  • 15 dates
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 100g 70% dark chocolate
  • 2 heaped scoops cocoa powder
  • 100ml water
  • Fresh fruit of choice (to accompany, optional)

Method:

  • Chill coconut milk for three hours in the fridge.
  • Blend pitted medjoul dates, coconut milk (remember to drain excess water off first) and water in blender.
  • Melt dark chocolate and add to blended mixture.
  • Add cocoa powder to blended mixture.
  • Divide mixture into jars and put into fridge for two hours.
  • Take out of the fridge, add optional fresh fruit to accompany and enjoy!

Quick fair trade filo pastry feta, couscous, and dates parcels

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter
  • Filo pastry sheets
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Poppy seeds
  • Pomegranate seeds for decoration
  • 150g feta
  • 8-9 dates
  • 1 cup of couscous

Method:

  • Boil a kettle and put a cup of boiling water on top of the couscous. Cover the couscous and let it sit for four minutes.
  • Melt the butter.
  • Cut the filo pastry sheets thinly and crumble some of the feta, roughly chopped dates, and couscous on top.
  • Diagonally fold the top right of the pastry to the bottom left of the filling and wrap it with the bottom section of the filo, folding over the remaining pastry to form a triangle shape, leaving a flap at the bottom.
  • Spread melted butter on the remaining flap to seal, and fold into the parcel.
  • Cook in the oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees until golden brown and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  • Mix the natural yoghurt and honey and eat the parcels with pomegranate seeds.

Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zpdtsbk/articles/zjc2bdm

https://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/blogpost/fair-trade-vegan-chocolate-mousse-recipe.html

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