Yup, you know what time it is!! Ramadhan is only a few weeks away, and while we’re all preparing mentally and spiritually for this blessed month, it’s just as important to prepare physically. One of the questions I’m most commonly asked every year is about what to eat come Suhoor-time, so I’d like to share some of my tips to help you take the guesswork out of your meal planning.
First of all, it’s important to recognize that with the fasts now being super long (up to 15-19 hours, depending on where you live), the window of time that we have to eat is pretty narrow making it more important than ever to choose our meals carefully. Picking foods that are both nutritious and filling is the key to nourishing and fuelling our bodies for the coming day. In some ways what we eat at Suhoor time is just as important (maybe more so) than what we eat at Iftaar!
It’s hard enough to get up early before Fajr to eat, let alone spend the extra time cooking/preparing the food in the middle of the night, so my #1 Suhoor tip (other than not skipping Suhoor in the first place!) is to prep meals in large batches ahead of time. This simple tip alone will give you an extra 10-30 minutes that you can use for prayers, other devotional activities, or (let’s face it) sleep! Also, by planning and preparing your Suhoor meals ahead of time, you’re much more likely to make healthier and more satisfying choices than if you try to figure out what to whip up last minute.
Here are a few of my favourite Suhoor meals, many of which can be made ahead of time in batches and portioned out in single-serving containers. What I love about these is that they taste just as good reheated (or served cold) as they do when you first make them. Each batch will keep the whole family going for a few nights at a time, so all you’ll have to do each morning is heat and enjoy!
1. Egg cups
Definitely give these a try! Once you have the basic recipe, you can change it up with whatever you have on hand ;)
Not only is chia pudding super delicious, it's also filling + nutritious. Here are a couple of variations to try, Chia Berry Pudding & Tropical Chia Pudding. These are packed with protein and healthy omega fats to keep you going all day!
3. Protein shake/ smoothies
Give these healthy shakes/smoothies a try! Berry Smoothie, Green Colada and this Date Chocolate Peanut Butter Bomb! These smoothies are all loaded with superfoods that will ensure you get in the nutrients you need for your fast ahead.
4. Avocado and eggs on toast
I don't think you need a recipe for this;) the combination of fats and protein in this meal is great! This is definitely one of my main go-to's in Ramadhan ;) Make sure you're cooking your eggs in some good fats like coconut oil, avocado oil or even grass-fed butter or ghee.
5. Overnight oats
This is a great one to prep the night before and either heat up, or serve cold. Try this recipe, it's a fun way to use up almost empty nut butters and nutella jars! Also, this one with cinnamon and maple syrup is great for all of us with a sweet tooth;) Yum!
6. Muffins (protein and fibre packed)
7. Peanut butter banana wrap/ Almond Butter and Fruit
This is a quick and easy snack for days where you may not have anything prepped. The nut butters are great because they are a delicious way to get lots of healthy fats and calories in if you're running short on time. Just make sure they are "clean", meaning that the ingredients are mostly nuts without added sugar or hydrogenated oils.
8. Veggie hummus wrap
Make sure you're getting in those greens! Spread some hummus on a wrap and pack it with spinach, cucumber, celery and green peppers. This is another quick suhoor you can make if you are in a pinch for time. Try to have some veggies cut up before hand, but if you can't, just grab a handful of pre-washed spinach throw it in your wrap and you're good to go!
9. Greek yogurt parfait with fruit, nuts and Seeds
Get some plain greek yogurt, mix in some nuts, berries and your pick of, chia, hemp or flax seeds and you have yourself a perfect little breakfast parfait! (so fancy right?). You can even prep these in mason jars the night before!
10. eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese
Have some boiled eggs on hand in the fridge to add to any suhoor meal. They are quick, protein packed and filling. Also the smoked salmon and cream cheese will add even more protein and the omegas from the fish will help your brain think more clearly during those long fasts.
11. Scrambled eggs with sweet potato hash
If you're like me and love eggs and toast, this is a great alternative if you're trying to cut out the white bread. Sweet potatoes are a great complex carb that take longer for the body to digest than other simple carbs, so it will leave you filling full longer. Again, try to cook your eggs in some good fats that will help you with that feeling of satiety like coconut oil. ghee or grass fed butter.
Nothing wrong with heating up some leftover curry and rice, or kebob and veggies. As long as you're getting a good balance of protein, fats and some carbs it's important to get up and get that meal in you before you start the day...or go back to bed ;)
MORE SUHOOR TIPS
Give these a try and let me know which are your favourites! The key is to aim for a healthy balance. Most of the meals above contain a great combination of proteins and healthy fats as well as complex carbs and fibre. So not only do they pack a nutritional punch and help give you energy throughout the day, but they’ll help keep you feeling full much longer than foods with empty calories (like cereals or a bagel/buttered toast).
Also, don’t forget to drink lots of water! Nothing will bring down your energy and make you feel hangry more than being dehydrated! Fill up a 1L bottle and make it a point to get through it completely between Maghrib and the time you go to bed. I also like to have another full glass of water at Suhoor time. Another way of staying hydrated is to enjoy foods that are high in water content such as fruits and veggies.
Let me know, what are your “go to” suhoor meals?
And like they say....let the Hunger Games begin....
May this blessed month bring much love, peace and blessings to your family and communities :)