Our daily routines are timed and balanced during Ramadan. We eat, sleep, work and pray in a pattern. The only thing that is not in our control is the stress and workload while fasting; the majority of this stress comes from our kitchen. We have to prepare 2 major meals for our families while fasting ourselves─Suhoor and Iftar and with Eid-ul-Fitr coming ahead, we are going to have a lot more on our plates. To reduce the workload and stress from our kitchen, we need to use kitchen appliances which work faster and more effectively. So, here is how we can make our lives easier with some smart choices─
Planning every meal
In the beginning of each week, plan all your iftars and suhoors for the entire week. Try to pick easy and quick dishes which does not take hours to prepare. This pre-planning helps you to organise yourself and your task better and you won’t need to think about the meals every morning–it saves good time and you can enjoy another hour of sound sleep!
Be sensible while planning the meals and try to choose dishes that will not make you and your family feel tired and sluggish after iftar and while fasting. Add lots of fluids in the meal plan; fresh juices and pure water keep our bodies cool and cleansed from within. Your juicer and water purifier can save a lot of time and keep your stress at bay.
We have a habit of turning Ramadan meals into a feast and go overboard with greasy and unhealthy dishes at every meal for 30 days in a row! Our stomach and overall health suffer the consequences of such unhealthy cravings. We shouldn’t change our normal healthy eating habits during Ramadan. Plan one or two rich food items in the meals and fill the rest of your table with fresh fruits, salads and fluids. Not only this will help you save time, but also you can decrease the risk of food wastage.
Do some prep work beforehand
Once you have planned your meals for the week, do as much prep work as you can. For example, you can chop up fruits and vegetables, place them into ziplock bags and put them in the freezer. During Ramadan and Eid, the freezer will be your best friend! Once you have all the fruits and vegetables frozen, you can save yourself a lot of time you would have otherwise spent on peeling and chopping for a whole week! Frozen fruits are great for smoothies (perfect for Suhoor!) and you don’t need any ice since they are already chilled.
Another great tip is to freeze spices like chopped garlic and ginger in ice cube trays so that you can easily pop one out to use in cooking. You can feel the change when you can easily grab ready ingredients out of the freezer and start cooking in less than a few minutes.
Make use of handy kitchen appliances
Choose a day of the week when you will have enough time for prep work; chop up fruits and vegetables using a good food processor and cook multiple meals and freeze them up in your freezer. You can make puddings or custards, or you can prepare sauces and spice blends for cooking later. You could also prepare dough for parathas or bread and freeze it after forming them into loaves. Anything that can be cooked and stored in the freezer will save your time and energy, giving you more time for prayers and rest.
If you have a problematic stove generating excessive heat, it’s time to get rid of it. If you don’t have a good microwave oven, I really recommend you get your hands on one as soon as possible. A microwave may be a little expensive but it is a life saver. You can cook lots of dishes in a microwave oven and keep them warm inside it. It can also help you to warm up food in a hurry before Suhoor; we all know the rush at that hour!
It is always better to have some helping hand in the kitchen. With a good planning and minimal effort, you can have the entire day in your hand to dedicate to ibadah and proper rest. So start making plans and preps for coming Eid and get the most out of your kitchen appliances from today.