The holy month of Ramadan is almost a week in for those who practice and though food isn’t the only component, it is a large part of it.
The month, which began Wednesday night, June 17 and ends Friday night, July 17, is a time of reflection and fasting for those who practice Islam, according to previous Flavor 574 reporting.
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Muslim families gather before sunrise and after sunset to pray and have a meal together before or after a day of fasting, according to previous Flavor 574 reporting. Since people practice in many corners of the world, the feasts can reflect a spectrum of cultures, but dates, bread and cheese and halal meats remain popular foods.
Fasting — which can be up to 22 hours in some parts of the world, International Business Times reports — can have some physical benefits, NBC News reports, such as diabetes prevention and detoxification, though it is discouraged to fast with the objective of losing weight.
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When breaking a fast, it’s important to tuck into a meal slowly to take it easy on the stomach and eat nutrient-dense foods for long lasting energy, according to previous Flavor 574 reporting.
For vegetarians or vegans who practice, breaking the fast can be just as delicious and give the same nutritional boost. Lentils are easy to cook as a side dish or in soup and are high in fiber and protein, so it will keep you full for some time, according to Whole Foods Market.
Recipe from Kitchen of Palestine.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup red lentils, thoroughly washed
- 2 cubes vegetable stock
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- ½ lemon, squeezed
- Parsley, for garnish
- In a pot over medium heat, saute onions with olive oil until lightly browned. Add lentils and stir for two minutes. Add vegetable stock and six cups of water.
- Cover the pot and leave on low-medium heat for about an hour or until lentils are tender and creamy.
- Add cumin, turmeric, salt and juice from half of a lemon. Blend mixture using an electric blender to make soup creamy. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.