Category Archives: Beverage & Drinks

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

About a couple of years ago my husband and I attended a community block party hosted by our church. There were lots of healthy food provided for visitors, drinks, and some refreshments and one of them was snow cones. For those of you who do not know what it is; it’s made of shaved ice with some sweet, fruit-flavored, liquid flavoring in it — that simple! Though I was thrilled seeing how fast the shaved ice was made (using a machine), I was not thrilled about the flavor — it’s pretty boring and simple! I wish I had known that they were serving shaved ice so I could have brought the Halo-halo ingredients with us! My husband and I both agreed and laughed.

Anyway, the sizzling summer heat here in Tennessee is inevitable. It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids and fresh juice. Eating watery fruits (and vegetables) are also great ways to keep us refreshed and hydrated. Halo-halo is a yummy, summer treat that you and your family would surely love! What is Halo-halo?

“Halo-halo (Tagalog: [haˈlo-haˈlo], “mixed together”) is a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits. It is served in a tall glass or bowl. Ingredients include boiled kidney beans, garbanzos, sugar palm fruit (kaong), coconut sport (macapuno), and plantains sweetened with sugar, jackfruit (langkâ), gulaman, tapioca, nata de coco, sweet potato (kamote), cheese, pounded crushed young rice (pinipig). Most of the ingredients (fruits, beans, and other sweets) are first placed inside the tall glass, followed by the shaved ice. This is then sprinkled with sugar, and topped with either (or a combination of) leche flan, purple yam (ubeng pula), or ice cream. Evaporated milk is poured into the mixture upon serving.” -Excerpt from Wikipedia

My recipe of Halo-halo is simple. I only used a few ingredients and most of them are store-bought ready to eat/mix. If you want to use the same ingredients I have in this recipe, you can find them at any international/Asian stores near you. The main ingredients of Halo-halo are 1. Shaved ice, 2. Evaporated milk (or non-dairy milk substitute like almond milk), 3. Fruits, sweetened beans or anything you want in your Halo-halo, 4. A little bit of sweetener (optional)… and the rest of the ingredients are optional. Try it out and enjoy!


HALO-HALO (Mixed together) : The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

Classification: vegetarian with vegan options


shaved ice
evaporated milk (or almond milk)
nata de coco (coconut gel)
kaong (sugar palm fruit)
ube halaya (purple yam jam)
sweetened jackfruit
sweetened beans (red or mung beans work)
ice cream of your choice
sugar to taste – optional


Preparing the Sweetened ingredients:

A. Prepare sweetened jackfruit by opening a can of jackfruit in syrup. Drain the syrup and slice it up into strips. In a pan add about 1/4 cup of water. Put all the sliced jackfruit. Add about 1-2 tablespoon of sugar. Cook until jackfruit is soft.

B. To prepare the sweetened beans. Soak about half a cup of beans overnight. Rinse and drain. In a pan put the beans. Add some water. Cook until soft but not over-cooked (mushy). Add sugar, and cook a little bit more until beans and sugar are well mixed.

Preparing the Halo-halo:

1. In a clear bowl or glass put fruits, beans (about 2 tablespoon-full of each ingredient) and sugar, about 1 teaspoon.

Fill only half of the container to make sure there is enough room to put the rest of the ingredients.

2. Add shaved ice.
(you can use a blender to crush some ice cubes, crushed ice from the refrigerator dispenser would work, or you can use a dedicated ice shaving machine)

3. Pour in some evaporated milk. Top it with a couple scoops of ice cream.

…And enjoy! 🙂

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert – Ingredients

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert — Layered ingredients

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert – Without milk (yet)

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

HALO-HALO (Mixed together) :The Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

Halo-halo (mixed together) :Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert

Halo-halo (mixed together) :Popular Filipino Refreshment or Dessert


Healthy Anti-Stress Smoothie

I have heard that some people like to eat a lot of sweets (even non-sweet food) when they are stressed… In fact most of them say it’s one of the reasons why they gain a lot of weight! It’s the opposite for me, because I don’t have a big appetite when I am stressed unless I am really hungry. This Anti-Stress Smoothie recipe is a better option instead of having a sickeningly sweet ice cream or cake. I modified this simple recipe that I got from Kitchen Living blender manual. It’s great for light supper 🙂


Health Benefits: Banana is known to be rich in potassium. It helps overcome depression because of “high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter”. It helps regulate blood sugar, aids in digestion, and many other health benefits. Yogurt is great for overall health. It helps with digestion thereby optimizing the nutrients we get from the food we eat. Bluerries are high in anti-oxidants. Soy (milk) is one good source of protein. Blackstrap molasses is high in iron, is great for heart and bone health, helps in boosting body energy, a good source of antioxidants as well, and many other benefits.


soy milk or almond milk – 1 cup
frozen yogurt – 1/2 cup
banana – 1 ripe
frozen blueberries (or raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)- 3/4 cup
molasses or honey – 1 tablespoon


Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.

Serves about 4 cups. Enjoy!

Anti-Stress Smoothie



Fruity Ice Candy (homemade popsicle) :Filipino Style

We’re close to feeling the Summer heat soon! Summertime reminds me of my childhood place, Philippines… Not because of the heat but because it’s the time of the year that I enjoyed homemade refreshments a lot… From simple iced-water, to crushed ice scramble (the famous Pinoy halu-halo which I would be making also sometime later), street ice cream (sorbetes) and of course the iced candy!

A good way to satisfy that craving of mine is to make it (of course!). I hope that you too would find a better and wholesome way of hydrating yourself —by eating lots of fresh, watery fruits or by making healthy refreshments… Homemade is always the best! Why not make one for your family to enjoy?

Fruity Iced Candy (homemade popsicle) :Filipino Style

CLASSIFICATION: Vegetarian with Vegan option


ripe banana – 1
blueberries – 1/2 cup (fresh or frozen)
ripe hass avocados – 2
yellow ripe mangoes – 2
almond milk – 1 cup
organic condensed milk – 1 small can (option: sweetened almond milk and a little more sugar)
sugar to taste


1. Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add a little bit of almond milk; if too watery, add an avocado or a banana. You would want your popsicle/iced-candy to be fruity flavor not watery and bland. Add sweetener if needed.

Note: You can make your own fruit combination using different fruits of your choice. Pineapple, kiwi, orange (juice), strawberry, etc.

2. Pour mixture in a Popsicle mold. I use iced candy wrap that I bought from Philippines (you can buy the “ice candy wrap” online or an Asian/Filipino store). Using a funnel pour the mixture into the plastic wrap and knot-tie the end.

3. Place the wrapped mixture in the freezer. Let it sit in the freezer for about 6 hours and it should be hard and ready to eat!

Tip: If you want your Popsicle to be soft like frozen yogurt or soft ice cream. You can add 1 tablespoon full of cornstarch into 3/4 cup cool water. Heat it up (but do not boil) until thickened. Add to the fruit mixture, then blend one more time. You may need to reduce the amount of almond milk to prevent the mixture from getting too watery.

Fruity Iced-Candy (homemade popsicle ) :Filipino Style

Fruity Iced-Candy (homemade popsicle ) :Filipino Style

Vegetable-infused, Detoxifying, Fat-burning Water

We all probably heard that we need about eight glasses of water a day for adequate hydration. Is eight glasses of water enough? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total water a day. Everyone’s fluid needs vary according to activity level and body mass. Rule of thumb: Checking the color of your urine every time you urinate is one good way to know if you are well hydrated or not. The darker the color, the more you need water. Your urine must be yellow-pale in color.

Drinking fresh, pure and clean water and eating “watery” foods like melon, cucumber, greens, and other fruits and vegetables has a lot of health benefits, including body cleansing and fighting off stress and fatigue. Maybe one of the most important benefits of drinking (clean) water and proper hydration is that it helps maintain our body’s proper fluid balance and guard against water retention. It also helps prevent constipation.

Flat belly water or Sassy water (in honor of its creator Prevention nutrition director Cynthia Sass) has become popular among weight watchers. I don’t need to lose weight but I like the idea of vegetable-infused water… Not only does it taste great and refreshing but it is healthy and also helps detoxify your body. I’ve used lemon and cucumber in my water before but ingredients like ginger and mint leaves that I haven’t tried until I heard about this ‘flat belly water’ that’ suppose to help burn belly fats or body fats in general. Ginger is good for Gastro Intestinal tract. Mint leaves promote digestion, it also helps and prevents stomach inflammation. But of course drinking pure water along with proper diet and body movements/exercise is the way to go.

We have lots of cucumbers in our garden. I also grow peppermint, and ginger in pots — soaking it (with cucumbers and lemons) is just another way to make use of the abundance we have other than eating it. My husband and I like this vegetable-infused, detoxifying, ‘flat belly water’. Even without the organic ingredients my family loves drinking water (our clean well water ;-). Anyway, why not give this not-so-ordinary drinking water a try?!

Classification: Vegan


8-10 cups clean drinking water
1 medium size cucumber
1 lemon
1 two-inched fresh ginger root
10-15 pcs fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves (a head-full leaves attached to the stem is perfect)

You can add a piece of orange or to replace lemon.

Change it up:

spearmint leaves


1. Wash ingredients thoroughly. Cut cucumbers, lemons and ginger thinly (you may grate ginger if you want).
2. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let flavors infuse for at least 5 hours or overnight. Drink the entire pitcher by the end of each day. Refrigerate if not consumed throughout the day.


5 Ingredient Tropical Smoothie

It’s not summer season yet where I’m at, but some days in mid-spring are just hot and humid. In days like that, my mind wishes for some fresh coconut juice, sweet juicy pineapple, a cool splash in the beach or a waterfall. I grew up in the tropics where coconut trees are everywhere, and fresh coconut water is not a scarcity. Who says I can’t have some tropical taste now? I still can, but not on a regular basis 😀 If you want some healthy and refreshing tropical refreshment, follow the simple ingredients and steps I share below to start with. This smoothie is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Also great for those who want to keep a healthy weight. I hope you’ll love it like I do. Let’s drink healthy!

Classification: Vegan
Good source of fiber, vitamins C, B6, B12, B1, manganese, potassium, biotin, copper, pantothenic acid, calcium, folate


1 cup pineapple chunks
1 to 2 medium bananas
1 big ripe yellow mango
1 cup coconut water (fresh or in can)
1 cup orange juice (I prefer freshly squeezed)


1. Wash, peel and slice all fresh fruits. If you use canned pineapple, that’s fine.
2. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until well-blended and smooth.
3. Enjoy it chilled or iced.

Makes about 3-4 cups! It taste good till the last drop! 🙂




Healthy Smoothie

Is it shake or smoothie, what is the difference? A smoothie is typically made with fruit – frozen fruit, fruit juice, fresh fruit, etc. A shake, on the other hand, is a dairy-based treat usually made with milk, ice-cream or both (shake from the word “milkshake”). The thickness or consistency of either does not change the name; as long as you can suck it up through a straw. When you need a spoon, then it becomes an ice cream, a sorbet or frozen yogurt. I prefer smoothie because it’s better for me. I can choose to put different healthy and fresh ingredients including nuts and super food powder (rich in anti-oxidant fruits and vegetable blend). I call a smoothie my ‘soft food’. It’s one of my favorite quick breakfast drinkable foods (about 3 cups), and I love it as my light supper as well.

Smoothies are great for people who want to increase their daily vegetable and fruit intake without having to eat them in the original way. It’s also great for those who are trying to cut down on some extra body weight. Vegetable and fruit smoothies are a great meal replacement, because they are high in nutrients. And because it’s blended and soft, it is easy to digest and our body can better absorb the nutrients; just don’t forget to “chew” it some to add saliva to it for better digestion. It is important to put a good amount of grain, protein (nuts & seeds) smoothie for protein.

The flavor of the smoothie I make varies each time, depending on the amount and varieties of ingredients I put and what I have available. In places where fresh vegetables and fruits are seasonal, it’s always good to have something preserved. I have homemade canned and frozen fruits. It helps a lot as they come very handy whenever I want to make a smoothie and don’t have fresh fruits available. One good thing is that, there is no standard rule as to what kind and how much of an ingredient you should put in your smoothie. As long as it meets your desired consistency, flavor, nutrients, you’ll enjoy a great, healthy smoothie! 😀

Classification: Vegan


1 and 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1 cup almond or soy milk or more as needed
1/2 cup canned apple sauce (I use homemade)
3-4 pcs canned pear halves (including syrup; also homemade)
1/2 cup mixed nuts
3/4 cups blue berries
1 TBspoon super foods
sucanat sugar as needed (or any available sugar)


1. In a blender, put nuts, blueberries and milk. Blend on high until smooth.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and blend for another minute or two.
3. Taste the smoothie if you need to add ingredients to meet your desired taste and consistency.

Enjoy a healthy drink!

**Optional ingredients:
fresh pear



Home Production and Gardening–March 2014

Prepare Every Needful Thing

Making Milk Substitutes


There are many reasons we may use milk substitutes.  We may have milk or lactose sensitivities, concerns over the cost, storage requirements or flavor of dried milk products, or maybe we just found ourselves in the middle of a recipe and discovered that we are out!  Following are five recipes that can help.


1 ½ cups cooked rice                          ¼ teaspoon salt (to taste)

3 cups hot water                                  2 Tbsps mild-flavored oil

3 Tablespoons sugar or honey          3 cups cold water

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Place rice, hot water, sweetener, optional vanilla and salt into blender.  Blend at highest speed for 5 minutes.  While blender is running, pour in oil and blend another 2 minutes, then add cold water and blend a final 5 minutes.  Pour through a sieve into a pitcher and chill before using.


2 cups raw, unsalted almonds          …

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