Dates: More Than Just Ramadan Food
By Noor Salem, contributing columnist
With Ramadan closing, I advise that you keep up the habits of consuming dates. If fresh dates have not been a food item on your Ramadan menu, I’d highly recommend you begin adding it now. Dates not only provide your body with many minerals you lose during the long fasting hours, but they give you energy, too. It’s remarkable that it’s the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to break your fast on dates, as they nourish your body with essential minerals you lack due to long fasting hours. For that, this smoothie would make a great breakfast meal, or if you’re fasting non-Ramadan dates, try this and see your energy levels.
Dates prevent or cure more than a dozen ailments and could do your health wonders! Eating dates does not spike your blood sugar levels as processed and bleached white sugar does and nor are they fattening as many have come to believe. In fact, dates are known to aid in blood sugar regulation, and satisfy your sweet tooth saving you from other junk. Dates are also extremely beneficial for women during their menstrual cycles, as they replace essential minerals like magnesium, iron and calcium that are lost during menstruation. Atop that, dates are a great holistic remedy for constipation and indigestion. I’ve had many clients try consuming lots of dates and find quick relief, compared to taking over the counter medications and such remedies. I advise you the same: always reach for natural and holistic remedies instead of hastening for medicine. Even more exciting for those who are lactose intolerant, dates contain a significant amount of minerals that build healthier and stronger bones. This smoothie can be made with any milk of your preference, and if you decide to use a nut milk don’t worry about not building strong bones!
This date smoothie is one of my favorites as a mid-afternoon treat or even as an early morning breakfast starter. It’s extremely high in fiber, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s sweet, tasty, and very healthy. Try this smoothie, and feel free to decrease or increase the cinnamon and ginger based on your taste buds. I’ve made this same recipe but added half a banana for an extra boost of potassium and sweetness. This smoothie will definitely provide your body with energy to keep going during the day.
5 fresh dates, pit removed
½ banana (optional)
1 cup homemade almond milk (or organic milk of your preference)
2 ice cubes (too much ice will ruin the taste)
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon, ground
½ teaspoon ginger, ground
1/8 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
handful of organic dried cranberries
- Place all of the ingredients (except walnuts) in a high speed blender and pulse until smooth
- Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and a dash of cinnamon
- Serve chilled for optimum flavor. Enjoy!
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.