Dates are a staple during Ramadan. Even though we are all fairly familiar with dates and the way they look and taste, not many have a deeper understanding of the different varieties available in the region. Here’s a quick peek at a few good varieties and their attributes.
Ajwa: Considered as the dates from paradise, Ajwa is known to be the most superior of them all. The best way to identify them is by looking for the fine white lines that are unique to them. High in medicinal value as well as price.
Safawi: Similar to Ajwa dates in taste, Safawi is characterized by their dark colour, medium size and long form. A commonly found variety in the region and available through most of the year, they are fairly priced and come with a lot of nutritional value.
Medjool: Popularly known as the ‘Crown jewel of dates’, these dates are brownish, dried and wrinkled on the outside but sweet and sticky inside. Considered the most exquisite among dates, they have a caramel-ish flavour to it. Famous for their nutritional and healing properties.
Anbarah: The most popularly gifted dates in the region, this fruit is dark red in colour and has a rectangular shape. Fairly expensive due to its exotic appearance and characteristics.
Mabrom: The most commercially available and favoured date variety that’s known for its perfect sweetness. With a price slightly on the steeper side, these dates can be stored for a very long time, yet can retain its great flavour.
The answer is a big ‘False’. Sugar, be it brown or white or in any other colour, is a simple carbohydrate that is utilized by the body for energy as glucose. The flip side is, if it’s consumed in quantities more than required, it simply gets stored. So, now you know how it works. In effect, all sugars are the same with their differences being meagre in terms of calories and nutrition. They all load you with lots of calories for energy but absolutely no nutrients. The pleasure ends the moment the sugar makes it past your tongue. So ideally, we would say, keep the sugars at bay. No matter what the colour.
Preparing for Iftar and welcoming friends and family is an art in itself during Ramadan. All you need to do is keep a few important things in mind. Here are a few tips that’ll help you be Iftar-ready minus the hassles.
We’ve all been through this experience. You’re about to bite into that delicious piece of pastry – and OOPS! There goes your divine share, right on the floor. The feeling is devastating! We know. And you might think: it’s my floor and I keep it super clean, there’s no harm. While some won’t even think twice about picking it up and relishing it, there are others who would let it pass. In fact, this debate has been so hot that someone in the first group came up with the ‘5-second theory’ to justify their action – if you grab it before 5 seconds – it’s good enough. Well, guess what my friend, it’s not. Food scientists have proof that even if it’s been on the floor for a millisecond, it gets contaminated. Salmonella attack is instantaneous. So, let it go, there’s always another piece. It’s not the end of the world
We aren’t saying apple cider vinegar is the ‘one’ remedy for all ailments. But of course, for over 2000 years, vinegar has been used to flavour and preserve foods, heal wounds, fight infections and even manage diabetes. Apart from the role it plays in ancient folk remedy, science too now supports it. In fact, many recent scientific studies have shown that vinegar can help stabilize blood sugar levels and control diabetes. Also, not to forget its effectiveness in weight loss as it makes you feel satiated for a while, helping you avoid overeating. A more recent study showed that apple cider vinegar could have protective effects against cancer. Unfortunately, it’s not proven yet. But one thing is for sure, it definitely protects your dishes from being boring. Try it, you’ll love the great flavour it gives.