Courtesy of Veronique Parmentier – Zespri Global Health Marketing – Zespri Kiwifruit
Incorporating nutritionally rich fruits and vegetables into your diet is essential during Ramadan, and finding new recipes that the whole family will enjoy can be quite a task. Kiwifruit is a deliciously sweet and juicy choice, with three times more Vitamin C than oranges and 10 times the nutrition of apples.
As one of the most hydrating and nutritionally rich fruits available, kiwifruit is a perfectly light Iftar or Suhoor snack that not only aids digestion but also helps to overcome dehydration. With an abundance of fun recipes to explore, it is also a great ingredient to include in Ramadan dishes. With this in mind, here are some top tips and recipe ideas that will help you easily include Zespri kiwifruit in your Ramadan diet.
Breaking the Fast
When breaking the fast, it is best to start with a light snack to prevent indigestion and bloating. Kiwifruit is rich in fiber, which regulates your digestive system. It also contains Actinidin, a natural digestive enzyme, unique to kiwifruit. This enzyme helps the body to break down proteins and facilitates gastric digestion. Kiwifruit removes bloatness and leaves you feeling comfortable after meals. It is best eaten 10 minutes before a meal.
It is essential that enough water is consumed throughout the night to make up for the loss of fluid during the day. Chronic dehydration can cause liver, joint and muscle damage as well as cholesterol and constipation problems.
Suggested recipe: To minimize the risk of dehydration, why not add a bit of color and flavor to Iftar and Suhoor drinks? Blend Zespri Kiwifruit and mint leaves with soda water to produce a nutritious, thirst quenching drink. For a bigger burst of fruit, you could also create a Tropical Smoothie for friends and family to enjoy as a hydrating between-meal snack.
* 2 Zespri Green Kiwifruit, peeled and halved
* 3 mint leaves
* ½ ripe banana, peeled
* ½ cup cubed honeydew melon
* ½ cup light coconut cream
* ⅓ cup natural yoghurt
* ½ cup apple juice
* Place all ingredients in a blender or processor. Blend until all ingredients are smooth.
* Adjust consistency with extra apple juice.
* Drink immediately.
Topping-Up on Vitamin C
Vitamin C cannot be made by the human body, so consuming foods that contain it is an essential component of your diet and helps to ensure healthy skin, bones and teeth. Kiwifruit is one of the most densely packed sources of Vitamin C available, with Zespri’s SunGold variety containing as much as three times the Vitamin C of oranges. One Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit provides your daily vitamin C needs in an easy and convenient way.
Suggested recipe: To top up on Vitamin C during Ramadan try this nutritiously dense Lamb and Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit Tagine, perfect as a main Iftar meal.
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
* 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
* 1½ tsp of smoked paprika
* ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
* ½ tsp ground cumin
* ½ tsp ground ginger
* 1kg lamb, diced
* 6 Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit, peeled and pulped
* 3 – 4 cups beef stock
* ¼ tsp saffron
* 3 Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit, washed, halved and diced with skin on
* 1 x 400g can of chickpeas
* Pepper and salt, to taste
* Fresh coriander, chopped
* Slivered almonds
* 1 – 2 tbsp butter
* 2½ cups couscous
* Preheat oven to 180°C
* Using a cast iron bottomed casserole dish or a frying pan with lid, add oil and heat on element
* Add onion and sweat for 3 – 5 minutes until soft. Add the chilli, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and ground ginger for 4 – 5 minutes
* Add diced lamb, evenly brown for about 5 minutes
* Add saffron to the Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit pulp and pour over lamb. Add enough stock so that the liquid just covers the lamb
* Bring to the boil and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. Cover with lid and transfer to oven. Bake for 1 hour
* In a frying pan melt butter on medium to high heat. Add the diced Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit and cook until slightly caramelized. Remove Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit and set aside
* In same frying pan cook the couscous as per packet instructions
* Drain the chickpeas and add to the lamb, along with ¾ of the cooked Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit. Stir and bake for another 10 minutes
* Serve by layering the Tagine over the couscous, and garnish with the remaining ¼ cooked Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit, chopped coriander and slivered almonds
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1.5 hours
Balancing Blood Sugar
Fasting, then overeating, can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. To keep blood sugar in check during Ramadan, it is advisable to consume a variety of foods that have a low glycaemic index such a kiwifruit, which have lasting effects to limit sharp rises and falls through the night and day. Kiwifruit has fiber which has a high water holding capacity. This means it can hold a lot of water, and swell in the stomach to form a gel. As food is digested it is broken down into smaller sugars, which will be absorbed in the jelly fiber. By adding kiwifruit to your meal, you can avoid sugar spikes and dips in your blood.
Suggested recipe: Having a sweet tooth is often seen as dietary difficulty, but being sweet does not necessarily mean that it is bad for you. Using naturally sweet ingredients in a dessert can provide that desired taste without using refined sugar. Kiwifruit stacks with cinnamon mascarpone is a sweet-treat to help keep blood sugars at a steady level after a large meal.
* Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
* ¼ cup (60 g) mascarpone
* ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon honey
* Peel and slice the kiwifruit into rounds. Sprinkle with orange rind and juice
* Combine the mascarpone with the cinnamon and honey
* Stack the kiwifruit on four flat serving plates and top with a little cinnamon mascarpone. Extra ground cinnamon could be sifted over the mascarpone
* Preparation Time
Finally, Ramadan is all about sharing. Cut your kiwifruit in half, and share the goodness with the person next to you! Zespri’s SunGold variety contains 10 times the nutritional value of apples, with kiwifruit consistently ranking as one of the most nutrient-rich fruit available. The high fiber content, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals of kiwifruit drive its superior nutritional value, making it one of the healthiest fruits available!