Top 6 hydrating fruits for Ramadan

What a blessed time of year when the glorious month of Ramadan connects with this sweet summer season. All this heat though, will tire us out quicker in fasting season.

The recommended amount of drinking water is 8-10 glasses per day. In Ramadan it will be a digestive challenge to drink vast amounts in short periods, particularly after breaking the fast. 

Top up your water shortage by eating these 6 juicy fruits per meal for bursts of energy.

1. Watermelon

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Blend watermelon chunks with ice and coconut palm sugar for a light Iftaar dessert.

Hydration rating 92%. As this fruit is mostly water and sugar it’s packed with essential rehydration salts magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium so it can actually hydrate you more effectively than water.

 

2. Oranges

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Squeeze fresh orange juice into chocolate drinks and cut up segments into fruit salads.

Hydration rating 87% water. Oranges are sweet and packed with more than 100% of the daily recommended value for vitamin C.

 

3. Berries

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Eat berries with cereal for Suhoor (morning meal) or as a parfait with yoghurt and granola.

Strawberries rank as the 4th strongest antioxidant fruit and are made up of 92% water. Raspberries and blueberries are also at their peak during the summer. Full of vitamin C, berries are known to clear the arteries, regulate blood sugar and taste awesome. Go for organic, eat a handful each day.

 

4. Figs

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Slice fruits with coconut milk ice cream/Kulfi, blend into a fig smoothie or make a fig chutney with some medjool dates for breaking the fast each day.

Known as At-Teen in the Qur’an, these summer beauties are indulgent fudgy fruits with a high-output on the health scale. They’re known to lower blood pressure, improve digestion, help with weight loss; even the leaves of the fig tree lower the insulin required by diabetics.

 

5. Grapes

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Slice into fruit salads or just eat whole. One particular mix-up is eating a single grape with a morsel of cheese and sprinkling of coffee granules. Sounds weird but tastes gooood!

These hydration gems are known for their extremely high content of Resveratrol, a substance that acts as an antioxidant and is heart-friendly. Bursting water with each bite, take your pick from purple, red, black or green. One of summer’s most delicious fruits.

 

6. Grapefruit

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Pan fry segments to caramalise grapefruit and eat with waffles. Cut a fruit in half, sprinkle with fairtrade sugar and scoop to eat with a spoon. *Warning, do not get into eyes. Ow.

Hydration rating 90% water. Sweet but zingy, grapefruits contain only 30 calories and the detoxifying limonoids, which according to research, may inhibit cancer tumours.

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RAMADAN With MARRIOTT

Experience the true essence of the Holy Month at COUNTER CULTURE CAFE, set on the ground level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites. Complete with an extensive Iftar buffet ranging from Middle Eastern treats to Indian Sub-Continent specialties, enjoy an interactive open kitchen and an elaborate dessert buffet. A tempting range of a la carte options is available for Suhoor.

AED 99 per person for Iftar (food only), from sunset to 8.30pm
Free for children below 6 years old
Suhoor is served a la carte from 9pm to 3am
Reservations are required, Call +971 4 319 4786

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5 Tips to help your fasting, this Ramadan

Ramadan is the one of the most predictable events of the Islamic year, yet it takes us by surprise every single time. And before we know it, our bodies are struggling with the first day of fasting. Being low on sugar, caffeine or nicotine is never a fun way to start the holy month.

Well before Ramadan starts , you can start planning ahead and coaching your body to cope with the routine fasting. 

Here are 5 tips for before and during Ramadan to ensure you are never drained of energy.

1. Ditch the Addictions

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Everyone has that yearning in the morning when you unconsciously reach out for the coffee jar, then stop half way because it’s the first day of Ramadan.

To avoid the sudden shortage and withdrawal of caffeine, start by reducing the number of cups your drink per day, and increase the hours between each. Also try to avoid drinking coffee once you wake, and increase the time you give yourself before the first cup of coffee.

The same rules apply for nicotine addiction – if you try weaning yourself slowly off shisha or cigarettes now, you’ll be better come Ramadan.

 

2. Move often

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One great way to stay focused and energized without having to eat or drink coffee is by moving. So make sure that every hour, you spend at least five minutes moving. Take a walk around the office or stretch at your desk. It will help you pump blood through your body, and you’ll get a fine boost to help you through the day.

Just make sure you don’t engage in exhausting exercise, or you will get thirsty.

 

3. Stay hydrated

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This may sound silly, because how can you stay hydrated if you can’t drink water all day long, right? Wrong.

You can make sure you’re well hydrated by eating foods, especially fruits, that are rich in juices when you break your fast or before you start your fast.

Also, it’s very important to make it a habit to reach out for water instead of sodas and coffee post iftar, which won’t really quench your thirst.

 

4. Eat foods that take longer to digest

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Since you won’t be eating for a while, you want to make sure you have enough nutrients lingering in your body for as long as possible. That’s why it’s important to include complex carbohydrates into your meals, especially at the Suhoor (predawn meal). This will help to release energy throughout the day.

 

5. Eat consciously

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With regular meals turned into huge feasts, a lot of people tend to eat much more than their body actually needs. Let alone the kind of foods they stuff their bellies with …

Avoid deep fried foods as much as possible, and limit your use of salt.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

 

RAMADAN With MARRIOTT

Experience the true essence of the Holy Month at COUNTER CULTURE CAFE, set on the ground level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites. Complete with an extensive Iftar buffet ranging from Middle Eastern treats to Indian Sub-Continent specialties, enjoy an interactive open kitchen and an elaborate dessert buffet. A tempting range of a la carte options is available for Suhoor.

AED 99 per person for Iftar (food only), from sunset to 8.30pm
Free for children below 6 years old
Suhoor is served a la carte from 9pm to 3am
Reservations are required, Call +971 4 319 4786

6 Food & Drink Hacks to elevate your Health & Fitness

There are countless moments in our everyday lives where we have opportunities to do tiny things — decisions and actions that take minimal effort, but can yield a bunch of truly significant benefits to your overall health and wellness.

And when we combine these little things with the bigger, more ambitious activities and habits we implement to meet our fitness, health and happiness goals, we come ever closer to truly living our best lives.

Head over to COUNTER CULTURE CAFE to experience …

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A key highlight of this lifestyle café is the new menu, created by award-winning culinary experts, will feature an irresistible selection of sweet and savoury treats, with a key focus on healthy eating options without sacrificing taste or flavor.

 

Here are 6 simple ways to kick your health & wellness efforts up a notch or two, to have that GREAT life:

1. Green Tea

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Make Green tea a staple by drinking it before or after your meals. It helps stimulate your metabolism, improve you brain function and lower your risk of cancer. Additionally, drinking hot tea helps you relax too.

At Counter Culture Cafe we offer the Green Tea with  Jasmine Flower –  a mild and delicate tea with a pale yellow infusion and pronounced jasmine aroma, naturally enriched with jasmine flowers.

 

2. Pure Dark chocolate

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When you have a craving for a sweet treat, go for a pure dark chocolate. I t is lower in sugar content than you run-of-the-mill candy bar, and it may help lower blood pressure and improve brain function. It’s the smart way to indulge!

Indulge in our range of Dark Hot Chocolate drinks blended exotic ingredients such as Mango + Cardamom; Beetroot + Maple; Mint + Soy milk; and Rum & Espresso, when you visit Counter Culture Cafe

 

3. Avocado

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Embrace the Avocado! they are high in fiber, which helps regulate digestion, and heart healthy fats. It’s much more nutritious topping for your toast than butter or cream cheese.

You must try the Goat cheese & Avocado Crostini from our All-Day Dining Menu at Counter Culture Cafe

 

4. Spin-off Protein

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Put two carb-heavy foods together to make a complete protein. do, if you’re eating grains, add some dairy or legumes, like Cereal + Milk, Rice + Beans or Whole Grain Bread + Peanut Butter.

Treat yourself to a lush Homemade Cereal with peanut butter cookies, fruit & fiber and chocolate milk, part of All-Day Breakfast at Counter Culture Cafe

 

5. Greek Yoghurt

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Toss mayo in favour of some Greek yoghurt. It  has 10 times the protein of mayonnaise and moreover it contains probiotics, which are good for digestion.

 

6. Cayenne Pepper

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If you can handle the heat, don’t be afraid to spice it up. spices such as cayenne pepper and ginger help give your metabolism a boost thanks to their high levels of capsaicin.

They are also said to help prevent cancer, keep your heart healthy and release endorphins in the brain.

 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Original post by Lean Cuisine/MASHABLE

How ‘The Perennial’ designed itself around preventing Climate Change

Though there is a deluge of innovative dining trends in 2016 — cricket flour, high-tech food delivery and poke (pronounced pok-eh) to name a few — here’s one that goes beyond the palate and extends to our future: saving the planet.

The Perennial is an audacious new “post agrarian,” sustainably designed restaurant in San Francisco that’s rethinking every aspect of traditional food service. It is sparking a larger conversation about food, its role in adding to climate change, and how restaurants can lead the charge toward reversing that devastating decline.

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Here are 7 innovative practices you’ll find at The Perennial and why other restaurants might soon be looking to follow in its tread.

 

1. Progressive Agrarian cuisine

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Forget “farm-to-table.” The Perennial is “table-to-farm,” which asks not what our natural resources can do for us, but what we can do for them. The menu showcases plant-centric starters such as sunflower caesar salad made with aquaponic lettuces , along with entrees such pastured beef with blistered broccoli leaves. Even the smaller portions of meat (four ounces versus the typical eight) is intentional.

 

2. Aquaponic greenhouses

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The restaurant’s 2,000-square-foot aquaponic greenhouse in Oakland not only supplies it with greens, herbs and eventually, sturgeon, catfish and clams; it also puts its waste to good use.

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Aquaponics is a symbiotic system in which plants are grown directly in water that gets its nutrients from fish waste. Kitchen scraps are composted by the greenhouse’s worms and larvae, which are then processed into feed to nourish the aquaculture. The fish waste is converted into fertilizer for the greenhouse plants that get served at the restaurant. And the cycle begins over again.

 

3. Carbon farming

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According to The Marin Carbon Project, as much as a third of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere results from poor farming management practices. The Perennial champions a new kind of climate-beneficial farming, known as carbon farming, in which cattle graze on rangeland planted with perennial grasses whose longer roots can sequester carbon beneath the soil longer.

In addition to sourcing from farmers and dairies who follow this practice, The Perennial partners with the Carbon Cycle Institute to design technologies and national policies that encourage more carbon stewardship.

Carbon stewardship refers to land management decisions that aim to reduce greenhouse gases and its role in climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that gets released in the air, through various means, including carbon offsets and sequestering.

 

4. The Kernza alternative

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You may not have heard of kernza yet, but this new perennial grain developed by The Land Institute in Kansas is a promising alternative to traditional wheat. Because it grows year round, the kernza plant is able to grow deeper roots that are more effective in storing carbon, fighting pests, preventing soil erosion and combating other problems associated with annual monoculture.

The Perennial employs kernza for its house bread and is the first restaurant in the world to use it on a large scale.

 

5. Energy-efficient kitchen appliances

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The kitchen is tricked out with high-tech innovations: a laser-activated smart vent hood that senses the air above the stoves and turns itself on and off as as needed; Turbo Pots lined with ridges to create heat sinks that boil water twice as fast as conventional pots; and eco-grip flooring made from 100% recycled material that doesn’t require being hosed down.

 

6. Cocktails for a smaller planet

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Beverage director Jennifer Colliau also follows the three Rs (reuse, reduce, recycle) behind the bar. Wine and pre-batched cocktails are stored on tap, cobbled ice replaces the more wasteful ice-cube machines, and straws are made from actual straw (as in, scarecrow straw). She also uses a water still to convert leftover garnishes such as citrus zest into hydrosols to give cocktails acidity, in lieu of freshly squeezed juice.

 

7. Sustainable design

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Nearly everything (bar, tables and chairs) was made from reclaimed lumber, and much of it was upcycled: Wood shavings from milling the posts were woven into the ceiling, and scraps from the dining room went to build raised beds at the greenhouse. Sustainability also extends to the tabletop. Recycled glass utensil holders cut down on silverware changes, and old menus (printed on 100% recycled paper) and cloth napkins are fed to the worms.

 

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Will all of these initiatives pan out? Probably not. But Myint and Leibowitz aren’t afraid to try to throw a bunch of sustainably sourced spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. You can be sure that other restaurateurs will be watching their every move. In the meantime, the experiment is proving to be a tasty one for diners.

 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Original post by Meesha Halm/MASHABLE

15 of the best Food Trucks from London are in Dubai for Eat the World DXB

Well the mother of all food truck events Eat the World DXB is landing soon and we’ve got the lowdown on exactly which trucks will be there.

The fleet of trucks have made the 4,000-mile journey from London, have safely arrived in Dubai and are warming up for the Eat the World DXB event, part of the Dubai Food Festival 2016 from 25th February to 3rd March.

BUY TICKETS HERE

Not heard of it? Eat the World DXB is a cool food event being held in Burj Park, Downtown between 25 and 27 February, and is part of Dubai Food Festival. It will be three days of 15 of London’s best food trucks (and some locals ones too) all congregated in one place, selling everything from fish finger sandwiches to ice-cream sandwiches.

Day session 12-5pm: AED30 at the door, AED25 in advance
Evening session 6-11pm: AED40 at the door, AED35 in advance

Think delicious food, live music, cake decorating competitions and happy people.

Here’s a rundown of all the English trucks that will be there…

 

What The Dickens!

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What the Dickens! was founded in 2010 by three friends Michael, Adam and Dominic who, disappointed with the complete absence of British food on the street food scene, decided to right this injustice to British food culture. Calling themselves producers of ‘uncommonly classical culinary craft’, What The Dickens! continues to resurrect and revive time-honoured British recipes at street food markets and events across London.

So put on your bowler hat, jump back in time and come and find these three besuited and uncommon gentlemen!

 

2 The Roadery

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The Roadery are creative chefs finding the magic in the ‘forgotten cuts’ of meat that deserve a place on our plates. Their British ‘Head to tail’ food is served from the hatch of a beautiful 1979 Renault Estafette van and will include low and slow cooked beef cheek Braco’s (British tacos) with a home-made blackberry hot sauce, fresh mint yoghurt, tomato salsa, coriander & pickles; a Halloumi Braco and an Earl grey panna cotta for dessert.

British Street Food Awards 2015 Finalist

 

3 The Other Side

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Fried chicken is just one of those foods. When done justice it can be so good it’s dangerous… like when the boneless thigh is brined for real depth and flavour; double breaded for extra crispy crunch; topped with a four-hour smoked honey butter and served between a potato bread bun…

It’s almost reckless that the converted Ambulance it’s served from is no longer in service.

 

4 The Crema Caravan

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The street food circuit is full of innovative savoury meals on wheels, but the same creative zeal has not been applied enough to desserts. Until The Crema Caravan entered the arena, that is.

Sourcing only the best ingredients, The Crema Caravan make creamy, rich vanilla desserts with blow-torched, burnt sugar tops; Crema Catalana & Crème Brûlée. Served from their sleek, retro Renault van these guys have mastered the art of creating the perfect brulee, and they burn to order.

Winner of the Best Dessert at The British Street Food Awards 2015.

 

5 The Cheese Truck

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Showcasing and celebrating British cheeses in one of the most honourable ways possible, Matt specialises in the humble, but irresistible grilled cheese sandwich.

Normally found trading with Alfie – a bright yellow, converted 1973 Bedford CF ice-cream van – The Cheese Truck has received many accolades for their obscenely oozing, cheesy creations.

“The cheese truck could be the best street food truck ever” London Metro

 

6 Oli Baba’s

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Holding the firm belief that we are all ‘Hummusapiens’, and wishing to spread the love and message of ‘Peas’, Oli Baba’s take meat-free Levantine cuisine and give it a contemporary street food twist. Their Halloumi Fries are legendary and come pimped up with a Za’atar Yogurt, Pomegranate Molasses, Sumac, Mint and Pomegranate Seeds.

And may peas be upon you too.

 

7 Milo & Hector’s

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Milo & Hector’s are the UK’s first ice cream sandwich truck. Their bright blue 1965 Piaggio Ape van has been installed with a freezer and fully customised to serve creamy ice-cream, handmade chewy cookies and soft salted butter caramel. With a range of flavours and combos to choose from, you can build your own ice cream sandwich creation.

 

8 Made of Dough

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Made of Dough is the story of how two food obsessed friends of Italian and Spanish heritage learnt the art of handling dough and authentic Neapolitan pizza making to become ‘London Pizza Festival 2015 Champions’.

Their pizzas mix both their culinary cultural inheritance; Italian pizzas with Andalucían influences, while Raffaella, their very British Land Rover oven truck, is a fitting nod to where it all came together.

 

9 Hix’s Fishdog

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The Fish Dog is Mark Hix and Kevin Gratton’s take on a very English dish; the classic fish finger sandwich. Using only the best fish from sustainable sources, it’s fried to a mouthwatering crispness and married with minted mushy peas and tartare sauce. Now that’s deep sea perfection.

They have been taking what they call the ‘Rolls-Royce of fish finger sandwiches’ to the food market and festival scene in and around London in a beautiful 1971 Citroen H van and now they’re coming to Abu Dhabi too. And if you’re lucky they might also be serving their amazing dog-nuts; hot cinnamon doughnuts with a salted caramel dipping sauce.

 

10 Happy Maki

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Everyone loves sushi, but this is street food sushi with a difference. We’re not talking raw fish here (that’s sashimi). Su-shi actually means ‘seasoned rice’ and Happy Maki take a novel approach to this classic dish, with fusion fillings alongside more traditional flavours of ginger, wasabi and seaweed.

Happy Maki is all about high quality, forward thinking, healthy sushi with zero compromise in flavour. Their menu is also vegan and they take sourcing seriously.Find them rolling in glorious Gloria, their vintage Renault Estafette.

British Street Food Awards 2015 Finalist.

 

11 Dixie Union

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After a stint living in South Carolina, these guys began to understand why they call the local cuisine ‘Soul Food’ and wanted to bring back some of the Deep South magic to London.

From South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama to Louisiana they found food made with such pure passion and soul that you can taste and feel it!

Ten years on and after a lot of experimenting and testing, Dixie Union have a strong pull to creole and cajun style food and will be serving up their special po-boys; the traditional fried submarine sandwich from Louisiana, with shrimp and oysters; and their take on the Philly Cheese Steak.

 

12 Crabbie Shack

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Styling his outfit on the traditional British crab shacks found along the harbour of his home town in Folkestone, South East England, Douglas Robertson-Ritchie has won plenty of affection and accolades for his soft shells crab burgers.

Deep-fried in a light batter, held within a brioche bun and dressed with the likes of harissa, avocado, fennel and almonds or pickled cucumber, coriander and wasabi lime mayonnaise, it’s easy to see why Crabbie Shack won the best of London in the British Street Food Awards.

British Street Food Awards 2015 Finalist

Winner of Best of London at the British Street Food Awards 2014

 

13 Churros Bros.

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Trading from a beautiful and iconic Citroen H Van, Churros Brothers are famous for their traditional Spanish Churros freshly cooked to order and served with Valor hot chocolate. These seriously luxurious sweet treats are 100% organic and Halal.

 

14 Big Apple Hot Dogs

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A champion of London’s street food movement, Abiye is responsible for first bringing serious quality, tasty hot dogs to Old Street in East London.

His secret recipe hot dogs have gained him legions of fans and his hot dog carts quickly spread across London and far beyond. As part of the first wave of Americana to rock London’s food world, Big Apple Hot Dogs have set the standard and led the way for the street food revolution.

 

15 Bangwok

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Bangkok is often touted as the street food capital of the world, where hawker stalls crowd every available space with an explosion of flavours. But for a taste of its vibrant street dining there’s no need to go to Thailand, because Dong is behind the wheel of a tuk tuk, armed with a wok, a big personality and cooking the perfect Pad Thai.

Winner of Best Main at the British Street Food Awards 2015

 

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