11 Healthy Fruit Meals to Spice Up Your Navratri Fasting Experience

Navratri is the time when we notice something special happening. We embrace traditions passed down through generations with open hearts. Who is doing what, an update on everyone’s health and above all the energy to continue vrat or fasting for all nine days shows our resilience and devotion to our culture. Fasting during Navratri is a deep spiritual journey that makes us feel closer to our roots. Our ancestors have been practicing it for decades now. But why do we fast with such strong devotion during these nine auspicious nights?
For us, fasting during Navratri means much more than staying away from food. It is the first step in purifying our mind and body and making them more receptive to Goddess Durga’s blessings. It is a way of deepening our connection with the divine.

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It is believed that when we observe these fasts, we pay homage to the divine energies that govern the universe. This practice also echoes the mythology surrounding Navratri, where the goddess Durga fought the demon Mahishasura for nine days and nights. Fasting during this time symbolizes our solidarity with her struggle and victory.
Our scriptures like Devi Bhagavata Purana and Durga Saptashati highlight the importance of these fasts during Navratri. They emphasize the importance of devotion and penance and guide us to draw strength from within when we fast. These sacred texts resonate with stories of divine blessings bestowed upon those who observe the fasts with unwavering faith.
In the Devi Bhagavata Purana it is mentioned: “One who fasts during Navratri with utmost devotion and a pure heart finds the favor of the Goddess and receives her divine blessings.”
When we talk about fasting, how can we not talk about the little heroes of Navratri – Fruits!
Amidst all the cultural delights and devotion, fruits give us energy and keep our health in check. They play a vital role and still remain unsung heroes in our fasting diets, adding a creative twist to our meals.
In addition to their delicious taste and vibrant colors, fruits, as we all know, have remarkable nutritional value. To hold vrats ie. fasting while still taking care of health can be achieved when we give our body the right nutrients; this can make a significant difference to our well-being.
Fruits, we all know, are nature’s best gift, offering a treasure trove of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are like little, nutrient-packed powerhouses that provide our bodies with the nourishment needed to thrive, even when our diet is somewhat limited. From refreshing fruit salads to innovative smoothies and desserts, incorporating fruit into Navratri meals creatively ensures that devotees receive the necessary nutrients to sustain them through this auspicious festival.
Fruits have a natural sweetness and a variety of flavors, bringing a delightful twist to the traditional Navratri meals. They are not just a dietary requirement; they are a source of culinary inspiration that allows us to add both deliciousness and nutrition to our Lenten dishes.
also read : When is Maha Navami 2023? Know Date, Puja Timings, Rituals and Special Navami Recipes
“Navratri vrat is about eating lightly for nine days, providing rest, rejuvenation and cleansing. Vrat ka Khana is very logically designed to promote mindful eating and a natural detox. This process helps one become aware of their eating habits, which we usually prefer. takes food on the basis of its appearance! This is where the role of fruit comes in. Fruits offer nutrients, fiber and hydration, prevent lethargy and ensure satiety. Seriously embrace this option,” says Kavita Devgan, nutritionist.
Rekha Raghavan, a home cook from Gurugram says, “Navratri marks a change in season. During this particular festival, fasting is recommended to flush out all the toxins from our body and prepare the body for the new season. Fruits can be consumed as snacks or as part of your main meals during Navratri. They can provide a refreshing break from heavier fasting foods.”

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Let’s take a look at the satisfying ways to enjoy fruit during Navratri: The first one has to be fruit chaat. A mix of diced fruit, such as apples, bananas and pomegranates, comes together with a sprinkle of rock salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. The result? A refreshing and acidic snack that provides the necessary nutrients to keep our energy levels up during the fasting period.
Fruits can also be stars in main courses. Take for example fruit pulao, a fragrant mixture of basmati rice, fruits such as pineapple and raisins and aromatic spices. The subtle sweetness of the fruit balances the spices perfectly, creating a dish that is as nutritious as it is flavorful.

Here are 11 vrat-friendly fruit recipes to try for Navratri:

Recipes from Kavita Devgan’s latest book ‘500 Recipes’:

1. Bananas

Cut a ripe banana into small pieces and freeze in a ziplock bag overnight. The next morning, grind, add 1 tablespoon of milk and a flavor of your choice – cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, condensed milk, peanut butter, chopped nuts until the mixture is smooth. Then transfer to a bowl and freeze again. Ready to dig in after an hour or so.

2. Banana raita

Slice or mash a banana roughly with a fork and set aside. Beat 1 bowl of curds, add 1 teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt (helps to enhance the sweetness) and pour over the banana. In a pan, heat 1/2 tsp of coconut oil, add a pinch of mustard seeds and urad dal along with a few curry leaves and add this tempering over the banana pulp mixture. Grate some coconut flakes (fresh or dried) and mix well. Chill and dig in.

3. Grape parfait

Place a few grapes in the bottom of tall glasses with stems. Top with two tablespoons of creme fraiche, then half a teaspoon of brown sugar. Repeat until the glass is filled to the desired level. Garnish with a single grape on top.

4. Stew fruit

Stewed fruit (perfect for pears). Quarter the fruit, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg powder, add fresh ginger, a little jaggery or honey, then put in a pot with just enough water to cover, bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for about fifteen minutes. Turn the fruit occasionally. Eat as is or mix with some yogurt or granola.

5. Lychee dessert

Free 200 g lychee, fill it with lightly sweetened with honey or sugar 100 g chaina (crumbled cottage cheese), cool and taste.

Fruit Meals from Home Chef Rekha Raghavan:

6. Fruit salad

Combine fruits with some chopped mint leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice for a refreshing fruit salad. A touch of honey will enhance the taste.

7. Stuffed fruits

Hollow out fruits such as apples or pears and fill them with a mixture of chopped nuts and dried fruit. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon for extra flavor. (The famous kulle ki chaat of old Delhi.)

8. Fruit Smoothies

Blend fruits like bananas, strawberries and yogurt to make a delicious and creamy fruit smoothie. Garnish with chopped nuts or seeds.

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9. Fruit salsa

Dice fruits like mango, pineapple and papaya and mix them with finely chopped green chillies, coriander and a pinch of rock salt. This fruit salsa can be a delicious accompaniment to fasting-friendly chips or crackers.

10. Grilled fruits

Try grilling fruits like peaches and pineapple for a unique taste. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and serve with a side of yogurt or a drizzle of honey.

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11. Fruit kebab

Thread pieces of fruit onto skewers and grill or fry them for a warm and slightly caramelised treat.

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Fruits add a burst of sweetness, color and freshness to our dishes, making Lent a delightful gastronomic adventure. From fruit-infused drinks and snacks to main courses and desserts, they elevate our Navratri celebrations to new heights.
also read: Navratri 2023: 5 Delicious Vrat-Special Chaat Recipes To Make Fasting Fun
Let’s soak in the echoes of the cultural journey and stay fresh and healthy this Christmas season. Happy Navratri!

About the Author: Karan Puri, a renowned author with several best-selling books to his credit, contributes as a freelance writer on food and lifestyle topics to several publications. He acts as a mentor to a handful of start-ups and runs his own digital marketing consultancy.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. All information is provided as is. The information, facts or opinions displayed in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not accept any responsibility or liability for the same.

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