Showing posts with label Fruits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fruits. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Mulberry Yogurt Cake and Health Benefits of Mulberry

We love mulberries, especially homegrown ones.  Fresh mulberries are succulent and delicious. Besides having it fresh, you can also make jam or dessert with these very delicious fruits.  The whole plant of mulberry is edible and it has many health benefits.

My delicious and succulent homegrown mulberries

Facts About Mulberries:
Mulberries are a natural food colorants due to their rich dark potential color and can be used as a natural food dye instead of toxic synthetic artificial dyes that can cause many health problems. Mulberries are considered an important food remedy in Chinese medicine and are a traditional folk remedy in many countries where mulberries have been eaten for hundreds of years. Mulberries are also an ancient fruit of Asia and known in medicinal folklore as a remedy for ringworm, insomnia, arthritis, and tapeworm.

Health Benefits of Mulberries:
1) Great source of Nutrients – Mulberries are an excellent source of vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, folic acid, and potassium. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

2) Antioxidant - Mulberries contain antioxidant powers that lessen the damage caused by free radicals. According to the University of Texas Health Science Center – mulberries contain one special antioxidant that has recently been touted for its anti-aging and longevity abilities –“Resveratrol. Resveratrol is an polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant that is also found in red grapes a red wine. The power of the antioxidants in mulberries can also help to prevent cancer and aid in treatment of existing cancer.

3) Anti-Inflammatory - Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have used mulberry as a remedy for inflammation. A recent Romanian study discovered that a curcumin and mulberry leaf combination may be a new lead into natural remedies for inflammation.

4) Lower Your Blood Pressure - According to the March 2008 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” mulberries health benefits include a positive affect on blood circulation and lower your blood pressure, make you less susceptible to blood clots, strokes, help to prevent heart disease, and lower cholesterol.

5) Weight Loss Benefits - Mulberries can help you lose weight because 1 cup of raw mulberries has only 60 calories, is high in fiber, and has a high water content.

6) Immune System Support – Mulberries are beneficial for the immune system. They contain alkaloids that activate macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that stimulate the immune system, putting it on high active alert against health threats.

7) Retina Protection for your Eyes – Mulberries contain Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid selectively concentrates into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant functions and protects the retina from the harmful ultraviolet rays through light-filtering actions.

8) Help Anemia – Because of their high iron content mulberry juice may help those that suffer from anemia.

9) Regulates Blood Sugar –This amazing fruit helps to regulate the blood sugar levels and prevents diabetes. More formal research is needed, but mulberry is thought to contain compounds that support balanced blood sugar levels. Traditional medicine in China, Trinidad and Tobago have all used mulberry leaves to promote balanced blood sugar levels.

10) Good for Digestion – Because mulberries are high in fiber it acts as a mild laxative.Eating mulberries on an empty stomach with a glass of water helps to treat constipation. Adding mulberries to your regular diet can help to prevent indigestion.

For more info on mulberry, please click -->here  
We used to eat mulberries fresh or make it into juice or dessert, however, this time I choose to make cake with it.  I am glad I give this a try as it turned our very delicious and this recipe is a keeper too!
This recipe is adapted from Lovely Butter Cakes page 20 with some minor modifications in red.
Ingredients :
- 150g margarine (I used butter)
- 130g caster sugar (I used 120g)
- 3 eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 50g blackcurrant (I used 60g  mulberries)
- 100g yogurt

Method :

1)  Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
2)  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3)  Fold in self-raising flour in batches and mix well.
4)  Lastly pour in yogurt and mulberries and mix.
5)  Pour batter into 8x3x3 baking mould.
6) Bake at preheated oven at 170c for 40 minutes or till skewer inserted comes out clean.
Great for tea time or breakfast

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Friday, 11 July 2014

Rolled Oat Apple Bread/Cake

Who doesn't like quick and easy as well as hassle-free baking?  As for me, I am always on the look out for such recipes.  Moreover, when comes to baking, I am hopeless. So when I happened to see Ann's Oat and Pear Bread, wow, I told myself, this is indeed absolutely easy peasy and even no kneading or bread machine is needed!  That means, less washing, hehehe... Without wasting anytime, I immediately tried my hands at it that very night with whatever ingredients that's available.  

Luckily I still have rolled oats in the pantry as nowadays I used to have overnight oat for breakfast.
A peek at my usual healthy breakfast which consists of overnight oat

Overall, the bread or should I say cake (as the crust tasted like bread but inside it tasted like cake) is good and healthy too. The bread cake is more yummy the following day. It's soft and moist. Give this a try if you need something fast and quick for breakfast the next morning. Thanks Ann!

So, here is the recipe with some modifications according to my available ingredients, hehehe...
- 1 cup milk
- 65g rolled oats
- 60g butter (softened)
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 60g sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 175g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 chopped red apples

1)  Preheat oven to 180C. Grease  pan with butter.

2) Combine and mix milk and rolled oats in a large bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes to soak.

3) Add butter, egg, sugar and vanilla to oat mixture. Stir to combine. 

4) Sift flour and baking powder over oat mixture. 

5) Add chopped apples and stir to combine.

6) Transfer mixture into greased pan. Sprinkle extra oats on top. 

7) Bake for 45 minutes or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. 
8) Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.   
Do enjoy  :)

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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Refreshing Ampula Juice and Its Health Benefits

Wow, I am so happy when a good friend gave me some home grown hog plums (small type) also known as Tahitian apple. Its scientific name is Spondias dulcis. In Sinhalese it is called Ambarella, and commonly known as Ampula or Ambla in Penang. It is also known as Buah Kedondong among Malays. This home grown Ambla which my friend gave me is 100% organic and is known to have many benefits and medicinal values too. Buah kedondong is a tropical fruit commonly found in South and South East Asia. There are different types of kedondong; big and small. It comes with an oval shape. Kedondong has a single seed and has lots of fiber. The fruit can be eaten raw; the flesh is crunchy and has sweet sourish flavour.
Ambarella is one of the richest known source of vitamin C. It is said to contain 30 times the amount found in oranges. As such, it is extremely common to see the locals use it for treating throat and respiratory tract infections.
Besides, it is regarded as sacred by Indian and Tibetan healers who believe it has special anti-ageing and immune enhancing properties. Traditionally, it’s used to treat indigestion, fever, liver problems and anaemia.
Not only is ambarella revered by Ayurvedic (ancient Indian) practitioners, it is also said that extensive research has revealed that it is beneficial in preventing and treating many conditions including stress, hay fever, arthritis, cataracts, and even cancer! Chinese researchers have discovered that ambla fruit is a rich source of therapeutic chemicals, including quercetin (which is also found in apples), gallic and ellagic acids (found in green tea). It has powerful antioxidants, which help protect you from harmful free radicals that increase the risk of some serious diseases including cancer.

Here are some benefits you can get from this nutritious fruit:

• Ambarella leaves can be dried and ground until powdery and used to treat mouth sores.
• People suffering from diarrhea, dysentery and loose bowel movement can take a decoction of ambarella bark to ease discomfort.
• The root can be used to treat itchy skin.
• The seeds of the amabrella fruit are proven to lower high blood pressure and treat respiratory ailments due to their antibiotic content.
• Boil the leaves of ambarella and apply the liquid substance on the skin as a substitute for lotion and moisturizers
• Ambarella is also an excellent treatment for headaches, constipation and even diabetes.

For someone who's unfamiliar with ambarella, you may be wondering what nutrients it possesses. Indeed, this fruit boasts of healthy goodness all throughout. For a serving of 100g of ambarella, there is 0.6g of protein, 0.2g of fat, and 91.0g moisture. It also has 0.7g fiber, 5.7g of calcium, and iron of 0.4g. It's also loaded with niacin, vitamin A, ascorbic acid, and carotene which boost the immune system and fight against cancer.

Ambarella can be taken as it is or you can make use of its other parts. As mentioned, you can use its bark, leaves, and seeds for medicinal purposes. Having your daily serving of ambarella can surely make you healthy and be protected against harmful ailments.

(source :

Buah Kedondong is also one of the favourite ingredients in rojak (Malaysian fruits salad). Some like to eat it fresh with dipping sauce - a mixture of thick soy sauce, sugar and bird’s eye chillies. Some like to have it pickled but I prefer to make it into juice. The juice is commonly known as ampula in Malaysia.

Ingredients for Refreshing Ampula Juice : (to taste)
- 6 young ambarella fruits (washed and halved)
- 1 or 2 suen buehs/preserved sweet sour plums
- 300ml water
Direction :
1) Put cut ambarella and water into a juicer or blender. I used powerful blender as I do not wish to waste even a single fiber of the fruit! Lols.
2) Blend it into juice.
3) Serve it with ice cubes and sour plum/suen bueh.

You can add honey/sugar to make it sweeter
I prefer it without any sweetener
Isn't this a delightful and refreshing juice especially during the current scorching hot and hazy weather?
Here's a glass of healthy and refreshing Ampula juice just for you.
Have a fabulous day ahead :)

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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Refreshing Chinese Pear and Aloe Vera with Eucheuma Seaweed

Are you looking for a simple yet refreshing, cooling and healthy desserts or drinks?  To some, edible bird's nest is the best choice but not everyone can afford or willing to spend on it.   Why don't you consider Eucheuma Seaweed  aka Sea Bird's Nest.  It's relatively cheap and affordable to all and has the same nutritional values as bird's nest.  You can easily get Eucheuma from any Chinese Medical shop.

I have previously posted a  healthy and refreshing dessert using Eucheuma Seaweed  or 珊 瑚 草/ 海 燕 窝 in Chinese.

Eucheuma is a type of seaweed that grows in different colors either green, purple or brown.
This seaweed is rich in enzyme nutrients, minerals, calcium, iron and jelly form proteins. It is especially good for vegetarian diet and daily fiber diet intake. It grows naturally and contains no artificial fertilizer or chemical.
How to clean/ prepare Eucheuma Seaweed:
1)  Dried Eucheuma has to be rinsed and washed 5 to 6 times. Then soaked for at least 5 hours.

2)  Remember to keep changing the water for at least 4 to 5 times. Take note that gradually, it turns transparent, soft and expands in size.

3) Lastly, rinse again with clean water and drain.  Store in a container and keep it in the refrigerator.  

4) Or, boil the rinsed Eucheuma with water (300gm Eucheuma with 1.5 litre water).  Keep stirring  until completely dissolved.  Allow it to cool before transferring it into a container.  Chill it in the fridge for it to set.  It stays good for 3 to 4 weeks.

5)  You can add this healthy Sea Bird's Nest Jelly to any of your favorite beverages or just mix it with water or fruit juice of your choice.

Kelp is another type of healthy and nutritious seaweed that I like to cook for my family.  For more info on the nutritional and its uses, do click at the following links.
Seaweed Chicken Soup

Refreshing Chinese Pear and Aloe Gel with Eucheuma

Ingredients : (to taste)
- 2 Chinese pears (peeled and cut into cubes)
- 1 cup of aloe vera gel (peeled and cut)
- 1 tbsp goji berries (washed)
- honeycomb sugar
- some pandan leaves (pandanus/screw pine)
- 4 bowls of hot water

Method :
1) Put everything into a double boiler and double boil for 30 minutes over high heat.
2)  Serve warm with a scoop of Eucheuma jelly (pls refer to the above on "How to clean/ prepare Eucheuma Seaweed").
Refreshing, cooling and rejuvenating
Easy and hassle free yet healthy dessert

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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Thai Mango Sticky Rice

The first time I had Mango Sticky Rice was quite sometimes back when we went to Bangkok for holidays. Since then, we hadn't had any of this dessert until few days ago when I happened to see a video about Bangkok. When I saw Sticky Mango Rice in this video, I asked my girls if they still remember this dessert.  They told me they would love to have this dessert again and instantly I told them I would try to do it for them.  
Later, I regretted why I was too spontaneous in fulfilling their wishes. Oh no, I don't even have the slightest idea how it's being prepared. So, in order not to disappoint them, I goggled for the recipe.
There were quite a number of it and I settled for Rasa Malaysia's version. I didn't know that it's so easy to prepare and my youngest girl can also do it!
Ingredients : (my amendments are in red)
- 1 cup (200g/7oz) glutinous rice
- 2-3 Pandan (screwpine) leaves, cut into 2-inch length (knotted)
- 2-3 Asian mangoes, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup (250ml) coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (55g/2oz) sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (I omitted)
Banana leaf for steaming (I omitted this.  I used rice cooker to cook the rice)

1) Soak the glutinous rice for at least 8 hours or overnight.

2) Prepare the steamer with a banana leaf. Drain the glutinous rice and spread it out on the banana leaf. Throw in the Pandan leaves. Steam the glutinous rice for 20-25 minutes or until translucent. (I used rice cooker)

2)  Cook rice with pandan leaves in your usual rice cooker. Add water accordingly.  Do take note that the water required to cook the rice may differ depending on the model of the rice cooker.  That's why I didn't mention the amount of water required. 

3) While the glutinous rice is cooking, cut the mangoes into small cubes and chill in the refrigerator until use.
4)  In a sauce pan, heat up the coconut milk over low heat. Add in the salt and sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar dissolved. Remove from the heat. Pour out 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and reserve for serving.

5)  When the glutinous rice is cooked, transfer it into a bowl. 

6)  Pour the rest of the coconut milk into the bowl and mix it with the glutinous rice. Keep stirring until it becomes a thick porridge consistency. 
7)  Slowly, the rice will absorb all the coconut milk. Leave it to cool at room temperature.

8)  Serve the sticky rice with the chilled mangoes. Drizzle the reserved coconut milk over the rice and top it with some toasted sesame seeds. (I omitted the sesame seeds) 
Cook’s Notes:
You can use a muslin/cheese cloth to steam the glutinous if you do not have a banana leaf.

Make this for your family over the weekends,
and they will thank you for it....
~Have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones over this sweet sweet dessert~

I am submitting this Post to Little Thumbs Up September - Pandan hosted by Joceline @ Butter, Flour & Me, organized by Z OE @ Bake For Happy Kids and Little Mui Mui @ My Favourites DIY .

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