- Ingredients (see recipe)
- Food processor
Before you begin
- Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
- Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.
- This is a great activity to do to during the Islamic month of Ramadan. The dates of Ramadan change every year because Islam uses a calendar based on the cycles of the Moon.
- You could get in touch with the Muslim Scout Fellowship (MSF), one of our National Scout Active Support Units, and see if there are any nearby predominantly Muslim Scout groups that you could link up with to run this activity together. You can also find your nearest group on the MSF website.
- If anyone in your group is fasting, have a container for them to take their treats home to enjoy during Iftar.
Using a kitchen and preparing to cook
- You could run our kitchen safety and hygiene activities, Kitchen risk bingo and Home kitchen hygiene prior to running this session.
- Remember to have a hand washing station and take extra hygiene precautions when handling raw meat, such as regular hand washing, having separate equipment for raw and cooked meat, and washing up equipment as soon as it's been used. Look at our guidance on food preparation.
- Make sure you’ve all the ingredients ready.
- Remember to check your ingredients against any allergy or dietary requirements to ensure everyone can enjoy the recipe. This may mean using alternative ingredients. This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Introduction: Talk about Ramadan
- Ask everyone why it’s important for people to learn about each other's faiths and beliefs, even if we don’t have a faith ourselves, and what’s important to them?
- Explain that one of the Scouts values is beliefs. Scouts always respect people’s beliefs, faiths and cultures, and everyone should be open to learn.
- Ask if anyone knows anything about Ramadan. Does anyone in the group observe it? What does it involve?
- Share some information about Ramadan.
- Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic year. It lasts for around 30 days and is measured from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
- It's a very spiritual time for Muslims, and an important time for self-reflection and gratitude.
- It's the month where the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
- It's a time for fasting, worship, service, giving to charity, coming together and spiritual development.
- Explain that in Islam, fasting involves going without eating or drinking anything from sunrise to sunset. Several groups of people aren’t required to fast, including children, the elderly, people who are menstruating, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and people who are ill.
- Does anyone know what Iftar is? Iftar is the meal that breaks the fast after sunset.
- Does anyone know why lots of people like to break their fast with dates? The Prophet Muhammad used to break his fast with dates and water. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad is the best example of how they should live their lives. Dates are also high in sugar, which means they’re tasty and a great way to restore low blood sugar levels after a day of fasting.
- Explain that after Ramadan, Muslims have a day of celebration called Eid ul-Fitr.
Getting ready to cook
- Everyone should wash their hands and gather in a circle. Tell everyone you’re going to make chocolate date energy balls. You might want to remind everyone about ways to keep safe in the kitchen you’re using and to regularly wash their hands.
- Now, everyone should get into smalls groups and gather their ingredients and equipment.
Date energy balls recipe
Recipe from Our Happy Mess website.
- ½ cup of oats
- 1 ½ cup of dates
- ½ cup of shredded coconut*
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
- 1⁄4 cup of cocoa powder
*You could also use desiccated coconut, you just might need to add a little water or extra maple syrup to your recipe.
Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 16 balls
Make your date energy balls
- If your dates aren’t pitted, open the dates and remove the stones.
- Place the oats and coconut in your food processor.
- Pulse the ingredients together, until they're finely ground.
- Add the dates, cocoa, sunflower seeds and maple syrup.
- Pulse until it comes together to a dough. You'll want the mixture to be able to stick together when you make it into a ball.
- Add a few more drops of maple syrup if needed.
- Carefully remove the dough from the food processor, and place on a clean surface.
- Roll pieces of the dough into small balls, of about 2 to 3 centimetres.
- If you want to, roll them in some more coconut to finish.
- Enjoy now, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
This activity gave everyone the chance to learn more about practices in Islam. Was there anything that surprised you? Is there anything you’d like to learn more about?
Can you think of any other faiths where people might practise fasting? Fasting’s practiced in several religions, such as for Lent, Yom Kippur, Fast of Easter and Ramadan.
For most people who follow a specific faith, this guides and governs their daily lives and practices. Whether you’ve a faith or not, what are your most important values or beliefs? For example, you may believe in kindness or value honesty and compassion. You could think about the values we share as Scouts; integrity, respect, care, cooperation and belief.
Muslim members of the group might also want to reflect on what Ramadan means to them or their family.
Remember to check for allergies, eating problems, fasting or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you’ve suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods. Take a look at our guidance on food safety and hygiene.
Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.
- Electrical equipment
Inspect cables for any damage before each use. A responsible adult should supervise people using equipment, and people should follow instructions on how to use them correctly and safely. They should be properly maintained and stored. Be extra cautious of trailing cables and water when using electric equipment.
- Remember to check for allergies or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. This may mean using alternative ingredients. This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- The blender may be noisy and some people might find this difficult. People may choose to wear ear defenders, take a break from the activity or prefer to stay a distance away from the activity and that’s OK.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.