Category Archives: Refreshments & Treats

4th of July Bread :USA Flag

Having this edible USA flag at our breakfast table this morning was a simple delight; reminding us that today is the US Independence Day. This is a copied idea from someone who posted some 4th of July edible ideas  (I don’t recall where and when I got it). Anyway, our warm greetings to all Americans  outhere, from my family to yours! Godbless the US of A!

4th of July Bread :USA Flag

Classification: Vegetarian

Good source of fiber, carbohydrates

 

INGREDIENTS:

wheat bread (any sliced bread would do)

yogurt fruit dip or any spread that is creamy-white (cream cheese or bread spread)

raspberry cherry rhubarb jam (any red colored jelly would work)

fresh blueberries

 

PREPARATION:

  1. Toast bread. Spread yugort dip or cream cheese on top evenly.
  2. Using an icing/frosting pen make straight red stripes on top of white bread spread carefully. Spare the top left part of the bread for bluberries (resembling stars effects)
  3. Arrange bluberries on the top left. Enjoy a different look of your 4th of July bread!

 

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Green Vegetables :Juice Preservation

This year we have abundant green vegetables in our garden. We planted three types of Kale, lettuce, and Swiss Chard.  We eat a lot of salad, we mix it in stir-fry, we steam-cook, and we did some juicing, too. We got too much that we have to save them for later use. I froze some greens (after blanching it),  and saved some green juice as well. Nothing special, but I am sharing this DIY  food preservation with you.  Frozen Kale greens (juice) come handy whenever you want it in your smoothie or fresh juice.

 

KALE GREEN JUICE :FROZEN

Classification: Vegan

Good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, alkaline

INGREDIENTS:

Kale greens or mixed green vegetables (fresh)

WHAT YOU NEED:

Juicer set

Wraps, small containers, or ice cube tray for freezing.

Note: The ice candy/popsicle plastic wraps I used you can buy online or at an Asian market.

PREPARATION:

1. Wash Kale greens throughly. Check for bugs and bad spots.

2. Process in a juicer; stems and leaves. (Follow juicer instructions carefuly.)

3. Put the processed juice in a wrap or mold. Secure lids or packs.

4. Place packed Kale juice in a freezer.

Frozen Kale juice should be ready after 8 hours in the freezer. Mix it in fresh juice, smoothie. Keeps your drinks cool, too! Enjoy, and stay healthy!

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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!

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

Classification: vegetarian with vegan options

INGREDIENTS:

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

METHOD:

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 🙂

HEALTHY ANTI-STRESS SMOOTHIE : Vegetarian

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.

INGREDIENTS:

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

METHOD:

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

Serves about 4 cups. Enjoy!

Anti-Stress Smoothie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

METHOD:

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