Category Archives: Ant eggs

Fruity Fridays… The Banana

Fruity Fridays Banana

We have many exotic fruits here, so armed with my camera I went to the local fruit market. Well, lots of oranges are in season at the moment as are Watermelons galore and the mangoes are just coming back into the season….but what I was looking for…not in season

Back home I went disappointed and thinking hard as a lot of the fruits are what I call staples available most of the year and now because of progress available all over the world.

What can I feature??? Well, I am sure most of you can get Bananas in your supermarket which will probably be the Cavendish by name as the original Banana favoured by the supermarkets was the  Gros Michel which became extinct by 1960 as it was wiped out by a fungus called the Panama Disease.

This could happen at any time as Bananas are actually clones and if they become infected with a fungus it just runs rampant and kills them all.

Banana it is then..here in Thailand and in my garden Bananas grow in abundance.

Its scientific name is Musa Sapientum which roughly translated  means  Fruit of wise  men

Here it is called Kluay pronounced glue eye.

Seasons vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry. Did you know that?

Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork floss.

Tri Cloured sticky rice with pulled pork

Coloured Thai sticky rice with pork floss

The saying that you eat with your eyes certainly applies here as so much of the food is just so beautifully served and such lovely colours like this rice isn’t it pretty and all wrapped in a banana leaf.

The purple flowers of the banana are steamed and eaten with a spicy dip see the picture in the header image.

To make Thai spicy dip:
Finely chop one small shallot, 1 clove of garlic, finely slice 6/8 fresh chillies, add 3 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice…I stir in a little-chopped coriander. If the dip is too salty add a little warm boiled water.

chili-sauce-908355_1920

Thai Chilli Dip

The inside of the skin is also used to stop itching and inflammation of insect bites and burns. It is also said that if you tape a piece of banana skin side down over a wart every night that the potassium in the skin makes the wart disappear with 1-2 weeks.

Mashed and mixed with a tbsp of heavy cream, and a tbsp of honey and then applied to dry hair covered with a shower cap and a hot towel. Left for an hour and then rinsed off before shampooing the hair it is a wonderful moisturising treatment.

There is no end to the properties of this low calorie, no fat, no sodium, no cholesterol berry which is also rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, fibre and B6.

Here it is used to make bread and muffins.

Banana Bread https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/if-your-dreams-dont-scare-you-they-arent-big-enough/

If cooked the banana skins are edible, you will see fried bananas in abundance on the street food stalls…they are fried in batter, grilled on the BBQ in their skins and turned into golden fritters ( Kluay phao)

fried-banana-285222_1920

Banana spring rolls with a sweet dip or eaten green and raw with a spicy dip.

To make Thai spicy dip:
Finely chop one small shallot, 1 clove of garlic, finely slice 6/8 fresh chillies, add 3 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice…I stir in a little-chopped coriander. If the dip is too salty add a little warm boiled water.

They can be used to make a beautiful Banana Blossom stir fry.

Green unripe bananas are also used to make Tam Maak Kluay which is a version of the famous Som Tam ( Papaya Salad) which I first had from a roadside stall near Bang Tao beach in Phuket and it is beautiful.

My most recent favourite dish with green bananas is a recipe from my blogging friend Reena…I have made it a couple of times now and it is awesome we just keep eating them they do not last very long and a great way to use green bananas when you get so many bananas as we do…

Green Banana Koftas

Ingredients for Kofta’s

Raw Green bananas-2
Cottage cheese—1/2 cup(optional) Did not use the cheese.
Finely Chopped onion- 1/4th cup
Grated ginger- 1 tsp
Chopped green chilli- 1 tsp (or more) I used red chillies as had no green.
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Shahi Garam masala powder– 1 tsp
Red chili powder- ½ tsp(optional)
Amchur(dry mango ) powder- 1 tsp…I used a squeeze of lime juice.
Corn flour- 1 tbsp(as binding agent)
Chopped dry fruits for filling(cashew, walnuts, raisins, pistachio or dry berries)
Butter cut into very small cubes
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

green kofta ingredients
To Make Koftas
Slit the top and bottom of the bananas. Pressure cook the bananas with skin on till soft. Peel and mash the bananas add all ingredients except nuts, raisins, butter and oil.
Mash everything nicely to make a dough. Its better to use your finger to make a dough. Make equal sized balls out of the dough. Take one ball on your palm and make a hole in the middle with your finger. Fill the hole with dry fruits and a butter cube in it. Close the hole and reshape it like a small oval. Repeat and make such ovals out of the dough. Sprinkle, little cornflour over it and keep aside.

green banana koftas frying
In a deep wok add enough oil for deep frying the koftas in batches of 3-4. Deep fry in medium flame till brown. Do not fry in high flame otherwise, the koftas will be browned from outside and inside it will remain undercooked.

As this was the first time I had made these I didn’t make Reena’s curry sauce but I had a small pot of sauce in my freezer which I defrosted and used with the Koftas. Purely because I didn’t know if we would like them. They were amazing…Well, the menfolk queried the lack of meat but they are such carnivores…lol

green banana koftas in curry sauce
They are lovely eaten as a snack and also with the curry sauce…

As you can see from the original list of ingredients I use red chilli instead of green and lime juice instead of the mango powder and no cottage cheese…I was going to use feta cheese instead but thought I would try them without. The mix of filling for the centres I used pistachios, walnuts and raisins chopped finely.
With thanks to Reena for a lovely recipe for Green Bananas. They are amazing my friend…Thank you

 

Just a piece of trivia...did you know? That more songs have been written about the Banana than any other fruit.

Previous Fruity Friday posts you may have missed.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/fruity-fridays-the-pineapple/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/fruity-friday-the-humble-fig/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/fruity-friday-pomegranates/

Thank you for joining me for Fruity Fridays I hope you are enjoying the posts and recipes if you have any fruits which you want me to feature then please just message me with a name and or picture.

Also sharing is caring so if you love my posts please reblog or share on your favourite social media channel..Thank you xxx

 

Advertisements

Raw Green Banana Kofta curry- Its healthy…Its delicious….

A lovely recipe for green Bananas of which I have plenty from my blogging friend Reena…Thank you, Reena ….I love both Thai and Indian food and there is not much to choose between them for me I love them both 🙂

Cook With Reena!

IMG_20171024_170607IMG_20170706_142733.edtjpg

This post is specially for one of my fellow blogger whose garden is overflowing with bananas. Blodieaka( I know your blog name only), it for you. There are so many delicious dishes we prepare with green bananas. It has numerous health benefits. It is good source of fiber, vitamins high on Iron, help control blood sugar too. So make as many dishes as possible and enjoy the fruit.

Green  bananas are also eaten boiled just like mash potatoes. We mash it with salt, oil and green chili. This is popular as village food. To make it exotic, coconut scrape and mustard paste is also added. Banana chips are as popular as potato chips. It is cooked, as curry, dry with variety of spices.

Here, I am sharing the recipe for green banana kofta curry. I have added cottage cheese to make it more flavourfull but the koftas made out of…

View original post 864 more words

Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required

Well, here it guys and gals …Nicely packaged into one all the information that you require about the healthy banana and with recipes…How good is that? I love this collaboration and hope you do to…Please let us know in comments and if you have a favourite banana recipe please share it with us and reblog this post if you loved it….We hope you enjoy! Love and hugs xxxx

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

I am delighted to welcome Carol Taylor as my co-conspirator on this project. Most of you are familiar with my Medicine Woman’s larder and Carol and I have teamed up to provide you with recipes to make the most of these amazing foods.

I am providing the ingredients and sharing their nutritional and medicinal properties and Carol is taking them to a whole new level with her delicious recipes. You can find out more about Carol at the end of the post.

Today we are looking at the health benefits of one of the most versatile fruits, the banana. Carol has then put together some very tasty way to incorporate bananas into your life.

You can find the previous posts in the directory:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

The Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required

The banana is not only a superfood packed with nutrients but it is also a definite winner in…

View original post 2,056 more words

Some of Thailand’s most unusual foods.

I got to thinking…….Ha Ha….Yes, you are right every last one of you, when I do that it’s dangerous!

On a weekend boat trip to the Red Lotus Lake, I was amazed when I learnt what you can make with the Lotus flower. It was so beautiful here just miles and miles of water covered in these lovely lotus flowers. Little did I know until our friendly boatman told us that these wetlands not only had fish but flora which was edible.

077

A long time ago the petals were used basically as fag papers..just like my dad used Rizzlas I used to sit and watch him with a child’s fascination as he rolled his tobacco into cigarettes.

The flowers are also edible and make lettuce cups look positively boring. The seed pods are lovely to eat just pop those little circles out..take off the outside and eat.

and some say they taste like popcorn. I now knew what all those lovely green pods we saw being sold on the roadside were and how to eat them. The local people are allowed to harvest these for free.

Even with the stems, you can make a lovely soup. This beautiful lily is not only a beautiful decoration but also a source of food……I never cease to be amazed at what I learn here…

This got me thinking..shhhhhh that word again! Of the things I have eaten since I have been here in Thailand and the things I haven’t ..yuk!

I have eaten different types of veg and things like the banana pod and the lily flowers which can only be harvested at dawn both of which are steamed and eaten with a dip…..Now we come to the more unusual…

Insects of all sorts ..deep-fried and crispy…

SAM_7518

I quite like, well except for the ones which look like the witchety grubs they eat on I’m a Celebrity get me out of here..Not for me! Yuk!Frogs fried

Frogs..I like crispy fried they taste like chicken which brings me on to the Chicken Feet sold by the kilo in Makro and Tesco Lotus are a staple here.

Chicken feet salad.

chicken feet salad

Lizards…not tried them yet…but I love ants eggs, they make a lovely salad..it tastes lemony and it is actually very nice. So if you are in Thailand and see anyone hopping about and brushing themselves down quite frantically  under a tree…They are collecting Ants Eggs…..A dangerous game and why they are by Thai standards a delicacy and quite expensive to buy.

Ant egg salad.

ant egg salad

Ingredients:

3 tbsp Ant Eggs.

1 tbsp Fish sauce

1 tbsp Roasted rice

1/2 tsp chilli flakes.

2 Spring onion finely sliced.

Handful chopped coriander

7-10 Mint leaves

2 tsp. Grounded pepper

1/2 tbsp. Lime juice

3 shallots finely sliced.

Stir all ingredients together gently. Add the seasoning. Serve with fresh vegetables.

Enjoy!

If you get over any initial reticence to try it most people like it….really….I do.

Well, I will be honest.with you…I shut my eyes…How THAT helps I don’t know…ha ha

The fermented eggs and fish called Phla which is fermented fish which a lot of Thais add to Papaya salad and soups….. Is an acquired taste and one which in the main I give a miss but on some occasions I have eaten and can now tolerate it although I prefer my food without.

So when you think no one should ever go hungry here...There is always something to eat……. You are moreorless correct but I guess if you really think about it and be creative wherever you are there is always something to eat. I often think that when we say we have nothing to eat what we mean is nothing we fancy we probably have a store cupboard full of jars and packets. A fridge with at least the basics in and maybe a few veggies…. Am I right?

You know I am…..

I see it here all the time ..nothing to eat means nothing to eat…Truly…

Most of us don’t know the meaning of nothing to eat…..

Well, I guess you didn’t expect that little sermon at the end of this post…ha ha….Just occasionally I  get carried away with my thoughts…which those who know me are well aware of and I hope you just accept that as one of my little foibles…ha ha…I am a writer after all ….so have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is just the best medicine we can all take 🙂

If you enjoyed reading this then please share or rebog so a few more people will get to know this whimsical English lady and the weird and wonderful things she brings to you….

Until next time stay safe , have fun and laugh a lot ….

Healthy foods which may help reduce your blood pressure.

lady holding veggies

Controlling your blood pressure is one of the most important things if not the most important thing you can do to improve your health and increase your lifespan. Of course, most of us now know there are alternatives to popping pills: Many foods can lower blood pressure naturally. Rather than cutting things out, science shows that you can really benefit from adding these foods to your diet.

These are all healthy foods that can be part of your diet. But whether any one food can lower your blood pressure isn’t entirely clear and will likely depend on a host of variables including your current blood pressure, your genes, how much of the food you consume and how often, and other components in your diet and exercise.

Of course, never ever stop taking any prescribed medication for your Blood pressure without your doctors say so. Always discuss your diet plans with your doctor if you are on medication and also if he is prescribing medication and you have not yet started taking it then discuss it with him..Show him that you have done your research and what you plan to do to help and he should be receptive to this and monitor your Blood pressure for a period of time to see if what you are proposing lowers it…Always ask, more and more medical practitioners are looking at natural methods of treating some conditions.

Work with your doctor.

A healthy diet and adding certain foods to that diet may help further reduce your blood pressure.

You probably already know that a diet rich in foods containing potassium, calcium and magnesium may help prevent or help normalise high blood pressure. But are there specific foods?

Salt has always been thought to be a major player in reducing blood pressure ..however, new schools of thoughts and current research into salt are raising doubts about this.

Myself I live in hot, humid climes and I need to keep my salt intake up..not in excess but not to cut it out as much as I can….my blood pressure has reduced since living here. I will admit it is lifestyle, diet and exercise which has all contributed to that. Nothing in isolation. While I am on the subject of salt in the diet this is a good  article about salt and the diet    

It doesn’t advocate cutting out salt completely or diving into the salt pot…Moderation not abstinence is what it is saying…

Below are some foods which if incorporated into your diet and some or most you may already be eating can help lower your blood pressure.

Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include Romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard and broccoli.

Curly Kale

But PLEASE DON’T discount frozen vegetables as they contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they’re easier to store. You can also blend these veggies with bananas and nut milk for a healthy, sweet green juice.

Red Beets

Beets are high in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Current research also found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.

SAM_6987

 

For a 2013 study in Nutrition Journal, Australian researchers looked at the effects of beet juice on blood pressure among healthy men and women.. Participants drank either beet plus apple juice or plain apple juice, then had their blood pressure monitored over 24 hours. The results: The researchers observed a reduction in systolic blood pressure six hours after participants drank beet juice, especially among the men. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which ease blood pressure

Servo, M., Lara, J., Ogbonmwan, I., & Mathers, J. C. (2013). Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation

You can juice your own beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or added to stir-fries and stews. You can also bake them into chips.

Be careful when handling beets the juice can stain your hands and clothe and also colour your urine…

Oatmeal

Fits the bill for a high-fibre, low-fat way to lower your blood pressure. Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to fuel up for the day.

cereal-805436_1920

Overnight oats are a popular breakfast option. To make them, soak a cup of rolled oats and a cup of nut milk or milk of your choice in a jar. In the morning, stir and add berries, granola, and cinnamon to taste.

Bananas

Eating foods that are rich in potassium is in my book better than taking supplements.

Bananas

Slice a banana into your cereal or oatmeal for a potassium-rich addition. You can also take one to go along with a boiled egg for a quick breakfast or snack.

Love bananas? Then look no further some delicious health tips and recipes all tried and tested by Moi

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-banana-nutrient-boost-no-packaging-required/

Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3

Fish are a great source of lean protein. Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides. In addition to these fish sources, trout contains vitamin D. Foods rarely contain vitamin D, and this hormone-like vitamin has properties that can lower blood pressure.

salmon

This recipe for Salmon trout cooked my way is one of my favourites..easy to do and very tasty https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/i-cook-with-wine-sometimes-i-even-add-it-to-the-food-w-c-fields/

The only warning I would give on this is to make sure that fish is from a sustainable source and not farmed.

 Seeds

Unsalted seeds are high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals which are known to reduce blood pressure. Enjoy a cup of sunflower, pumpkin, or squash seeds as a snack between meals…. a nice healthy snack.

seeds-1827033_1920

Chillies

For those who know me can just imagine the smile on my face …I love chilli and for anyone with high blood pressure, chilli peppers might be just what the doctor ordered, according to a study reported in the August issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. While the active ingredient that gives the peppers their heat – a compound that is known as capsaicin might set your mouth on fire, it also leads blood vessels to relax, the research in hypertensive rats shows.

cooking-2409015_1920

For those who can’t tolerate spicy foods, there might be some hope for there is the existence of a mild Japanese pepper, which contains a compound called capsaicinoid that is closely related to capsaicin limited studies shows that these capsaicinoids produce effects similar to capsaicin.

 Garlic

Garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure.

garlic-618400_1920

 Dark chocolate

2015 study found that eating dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study suggests that up to 100 gms per day of dark chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of CVD.

woman-674977_1920

 

Dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids and has less sugar than regular chocolate.  So you can enjoy your chocolate without feeling guilty it is healthy…

 Olive oil

Olive oil is an example of a healthy fat. It contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that can help reduce blood pressure.

food-2288443_1920 (1)

 

It’s also a great alternative to canola oil, butter, or commercial salad dressing.

Virgin Coconut Oil

new study looking at Virgin Coconut Oil and Hypertension was just published in Malaysia in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study compared a diet of “five times heated palm oil” with Virgin Coconut Oil, and a control group.

coconut-oil-2421885_1920

For that special person…

How to make your own Coconut oil…How it is made traditionally here in Thailand…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/how-to-make-your-own-coconut-oil/

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as a juice. One study concluded that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for four weeks helps lower blood pressure over the short-term.

pomegranates showing fruit

Pomegranate juice is tasty for a healthy breakfast. Be sure to check the sugar content in store-bought juices, as the added sugars can negate the health benefits.

GREEN COFFEE

Coffee beans are naturally green, but roasting turns them brown. So in essence, green coffee is just another name for unroasted coffee.

While roasted coffee beans have a similar chemical composition to green coffee beans, the roasting process destroys much of its chlorogenic acid. This is the active ingredient that gives green coffee beans additional health properties. It’s also the ingredient extracted for use in supplements such as green coffee bean extract.

coffee-625693_1920

While green coffee bean extract may not be the “weight-loss miracle” Dr Oz claimed, it does appear to benefit blood flow, at least in the short-term.

One 12-week study using 480 ml green coffee extract (equal to 140 ml of chlorogenic acid) found it reduced heart rate and blood pressure by about 8 percent. These benefits were maintained for 12 weeks of supplementation, but only in those who began with high blood pressure. What’s more, benefits were lost once supplementation stopped.

Theoretically, drinking more green coffee should have much of the same benefits as supplementing, but it depends on the chlorogenic acid concentration. Doses used in these studies were equivalent to 120-300 ml of chlorogenic acid.

Try swapping your regular coffee for green coffee and then checking for any blood pressure changes after a month.

While this list is not exhaustive of foods which can help lower your blood pressure it gives you a starting point and please speak to your doctor about your plans you may be pleasantly surprised how receptive doctors are when you want to help yourself rather than just popping some pills.

You will also feel much better…I can vouch for that because I most certainly do and I still have the odd cake and biscuit it is about moderation…


Photos used in this post are taken by me(Carol) or from Pixabay and no attribution is required.

Connect to Carol( Moi)

New additional Bloghttp://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Laters xxx