If you came up with a list of the most essential ingredients to have on hand during Ramadan, what would they be? Year after year, I seem to return to the most basic things that are versatile and healthy, too. You may have more to add or tweak this list, but I think it’s worth a share.
1. Oatmeal- Yes, you can use them to make cookies, but they’re really best in Ramadan for Suhoor, or even in soups like this one for Chicken and Oats Soup.
2. Creme Fraiche– this wonderful and silky condiment is great at shoot time for adding to bread with jam and honey, but it can also be added to soups to give it a silky texture. It’s also pretty easy to make it yourself. See how to do that here.
3. Jam-Since Ramadan falls in the Summer this year, there should be no lack of an amazing array of fruit jams, or just make your own quick version (no canning required) like this delicious fig jam, one of my absolute favorites.
5. Raw Milk– raw milk gives you much-needed energy, which is quite simply an amazing natural food source. Check your local area for legitimate vendors and always be sure the farm in which the milk comes from is impeccably clean. See how and where I get mine.
8, Coconut Water– If you can get your hands on fresh coconuts, that’s the best, but most people don’t (although here in Chicago in the summer, Devon Avenue is a great place to find them); if not, a good quality coconut water is a super hydrator that everyone should have stocked in their pantry during Ramadan, especially if you’re super sensitive to the heat.
10. Non-Caffeinated Herbal Teas– When it’s time to sleep during Ramadan, get your sleep! To stay hydrated, drink herbal teas instead of the caffeinated ones, even letting them cool to drink at warm temperature or even cold during those hot evenings.
11. Dates– last but not least, you’ll absolutely want dates to break your fast, as it’s not mandatory, of course, but definitely a Sunnah, or a tradition of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). If you think you or your guests won’t like dates, you can try this recipe that has already changed a lot of people’s minds-and taste buds- about how they like dates. And remember, they’re not just for eating as an Iftar starter, but you can also add them to salads and make a milkshake out of them.