Guest Post | Hadeel Kadi : Ramadan with a Sprinkle of Raw, Part II
by Hadeel Kadi
Let me start off by saying a big thank you for all those who read my last article and posted comments and questions. I really appreciate your time and support.
So we are past the halfway mark on our fasting journey. And I can tell you that my skin is glowing, I have mental clarity and as an added bonus my body feels leaner. I really can’t complain!
As I promised, I will be sharing with you two recipes today to add to your raw food repertoire. So here we go.
First, I’ll start with this yummy liver cleansing juice.
Beetlicious Cleansing Juice:
Beets, carrots, and apples
That is the basic version of it. In the big jug, I added some parsley and ginger and a squeeze of lemon juice to pack more nutrients in. For the faint hearted in the family, I made a small jug of carrot and apple juice, very sweet and yummy.
Beets are not only tasty, they are also powerful liver cleansers. They support the liver function by thinning the bile, which enables it to flow more easily through the liver and small intestine. Moreover, betacyanin, the pigment which gives the beet its dark red color, is an amazing antioxidant.
Both beets and carrots are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene, helping to stimulate and improve overall liver function.
Read more on liver function and how you can support it naturally here:
For the sweet treat, I wanted to share with you a raw version of a very traditional Ramadan dessert.
Kushaf is basically the equivalent of the fruit compote in western cuisines. It is made with a mix of dried fruits and nuts in a sweet syrup. The syrup is made from apricot leather (Kamareldin) which is soaked overnight and then blended with water and then strained. The apricot leather is one of the traditional ways of preserving apricots. Apricot picking season is very short and in the old days people used to be inundated by the sheer quantities harvested in a short period of time so they used to cook it with sugar and turn it into apricot leather using olive oil. Apricot leather is stored in the pantry to be consumed in Ramadan, as a drink or in kushaf and other sweets.
Traditional Syrian Apricot Leather
In this recipe, I tried to replace the apricot leather with something less “processed.” I also use no white sugar. Kushaf is packed full of nuts and dried fruits, a wonderful source of proteins, heart-healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
For the syrup:
Apricots, peaches, or mangoes (or a mix) pitted and cut into chunks
3-4 dates (pitted and soaked in water)
1 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
A squeeze of lime juice
Put all the syrup ingredients in a high speed blender. You want to have a smoothie consistency. Some people like to have a thin runny syrup, I personally like a thicker consistency. It is really up to you so I encourage you to experiment with both.
Sweetness can be adjusted by adding more or less dates. Do use the dates soaking water. If dates are not available you can use a Grade A maple syrup, honey or any other natural sweetener of your choice.
For the fruits and nuts:
Soak in water (overnight or for a few hours) the following:
And any other nut or seed of your choice (the above is what we traditionally use)
And any other dried fruit of your choice
Drain the soak water. Peel the skin off the almonds and pistachios. Cut up the dried fruits to bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, add the blended fruit syrup, nuts and dried fruits. Mix well. You can let them sit in the fridge overnight for the flavors to steep or you can serve immediately in individual serving bowls. Keep tasting as you go, if you feel it is too sweet you can add a squeeze of lime juice and I think it’s nice because it lifts the flavors. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. I like to cut up some banana slices into my bowl. Enjoy!
A note on soaking nuts
Soaking is essential for nuts and seeds. Soaking removes naturally-occurring enzyme-inhibitors, tannins, and phytic acid in nuts and seeds. Soaking encourages the production of beneficial enzymes and promotes better digestibility and absorption of nutrients from nuts and seeds. So please don’t skip this step and make sure that you only consume nuts in their raw form and soaked. Read more on this subject here:
A final note on Water:
After my last post, I had a few people write to me asking about water and why bottled water wasn’t good. I think that’s a very important subject as our bodies are 90% water. You want to choose the best kind of water for you and your family to consume.
The best source of water is natural springs. In many parts of the world and in cities, spring water is not accessible. So the next best thing is filtered tap water. In the Gulf countries, most of the household water comes from desalination and goes through a process of reverse osmosis on a large scale. So a simple water filter should be sufficient. In other parts of the world where underground water is used to supply households, there could be other contamination issues.
I recommend further reading on this subject at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website. http://www.ewg.org/
For bottled water, there are two main issues one is health related and the other is environmental. On the health side, plastics (esp. BPA) continually leach into the water especially in high temperature. So in our part of the world, this poses a real issue given the fact that bottled water is not transported or stored in temperature-controlled environments. Exposure to BPA is toxic even in low doses. It has been linked to increased levels of reproductive system cancers. These substances mimic estrogen in our bodies and thus disturb our hormonal balance.
Read more on this here: http://www.ewg.org/node/20937
On the environmental level, the world consumes more than 200 billion single serve bottles of water every year. Only a mere fifth of which are recycled. The rest end up in landfills and as plastic soup in our oceans. A very sad reality indeed.
A great alternative is reusable plastic-free water bottles. I like http://www.kleankanteen.com/
Another great option that comes with its own carbon filter is http://www.waterbobble.com/
The subject of water and what constitutes “good” water is vast. I particularly love the work done by Dr. Emoto on water crystals and his books Messages from Water (I &II). http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/index.html
I hope you found this post informative and useful. I also hope you will play with the recipes and send me your feedback.
Hadeel is a certified holistic health coach, raw food coach, raw food chef, and yoga instructor. She has a great passion for food, health, and the environment. She also holds an MSc. in population and development studies from the London School of Economics. Hadeel works with women to help them achieve their health goals through a balanced approach to food, physical activity, and emotional wellbeing. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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