With Ramadan just around the corner, most people, especially mothers, find themselves preoccupied with food. From things you need to stock up on, to how you will manage the kids eating schedule and all the gatherings you want to host (or forced to host).
We've got you a few tips to help make meal time in Ramadan easier. For some mama's those may be old news, but for the many mama's out there who still need to figure out Ramadan with kids, here you go...
Freeze, freeze, freeze!
The freezer will be your best friend when it comes to all sorts of food prep. This will vary depending on what you and your family enjoy eating and the space that is available. Sit down and write the food items that you find yourself making over and over again and are the most time consuming. If you can’t imagine Ramadan without the obligatory Ma7shi platter or the occasional 7amam, this is the time to prepare for it. Whether you choose to prep the meals yourself or buy frozen is completely up to you. Stock up on those ma7shi plates, kobeiba, or the ever so scrumptious sambousak. You can also take it a step further and prepare some of your favorite soups that are freezer friendly.
Start right away
Instead of forcing yourself to spend an entire day or two cooking right before Ramadan, start now. We are a couple of weeks away from Ramadan, use that as a head start. Whenever you’re making a meal that is freezer friendly, double or maybe triple the quantity and freeze it for later. That way you meal prep a little bit as you go and you’re not left overwhelmed with 10 different dishes that need to be cooked on the same day.
If you have younger kids who won’t be fasting, then prepare their favorite meals and portion them out into boxes so you are able to just defrost it day by day and avoid waste. It can also help you switch it up when your kids suddenly decide to stop eating their favorite meal.
Opt for containers
We all know the ancient problem of freezing food and ending up with mango juice that smells like garlic and kind of tastes like everything you have in your freezer. To avoid that, freeze in containers (boxes) not bags. A lot of people shy away from freezing in glass, but it totally works. Reuse those glass jars to freeze soups and sauces. Just make sure you leave some headspace on top for it to expand without breaking.
Portion out the food
Big batch cooking is great but freezing as is isn't so great. If you make enough food for more than one meal then portion it out. You don’t want to be forced to thaw the entire dish and then either refreeze it or eat the same thing a few days in a row.
When it comes to meal prep, many people get fixated on cooking entire meals but it is also very helpful to prep ingredients. If you enjoy drinking smoothies, prep those fruits and veggies and portion them out so you can add water or milk right before serving. If you find yourself making a lot of vegetable dishes then maybe spend some time washing, peeling, and cutting those veggies for later. If you’re a lover of sauces, most sauces freeze beautifully so make a variety of sauces so all you have to do is boil some pasta and you’re good to go.
A lot of people are afraid of freezing certain foods but we’re here to tell you that most foods are freezer friendly. If you have the space, get creative and test a few unusual foods. Molokheya freezers wonderfully as long as you thaw at room temp and add the tasha before serving. If you enjoy baking, you can mix any bread-like dough and let it rise then either freeze as is or parbake then freeze. Even milk is freezer friendly so don’t be scared of trying out different foods. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Let us know in the comments your favorite freezer friendly food for Ramadan!