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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.

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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)

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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

 

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Retired no one told me and Orienthailiving weekly roundup…Recipes, ranting and back door trots…

What a week this has been... Have I got the mother of all roundups for you just in case you missed any of my posts…

I started with my recipe for Asian style ribs... And guess what the first time we made them they were awesome but I was the sous chef on that occasion and not paying too much attention…..I was chopping and julienning the ginger and writing down the recipe while taking photos…One’s son was cooking the said ribs… They were AWESOME THE BEST!

Take 2!

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Mum pulled up the recipe and we started preparing the ribs…

There then ensued a conversation as to which soy sauce was used… I had written the recipe down WRONG ….who would think one word would make a difference…Oh, it did! Trust me…. Black Soy…Black Soy Black Soy…I will not be forgetting that!

I have also amended the recipe and apologise to anyone who used just regular soy…

Then it was over to my blog Orienthailiving for a post on the upcoming Songkran Festival…Thai New Year where there are lots of very welcome water throwing which cools you down in this heat…It is a fun-filled few days and this is one of my all-time favourite photos of my grandson enjoying Songkran…complete with a wig, flowery shirt and water pistol.

Aston Songkran

https://myhealthyretirement.com/songkran-thai-new-year-celebrations/

I think this was my rant of the week/century I was/ am appalled at the duplicity of manufacturers regarding the consumer’s health.

Plastics the truth…

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https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/plastic-are-you-confused/

Next another of my favourites Gumbo…

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https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/gumbo-a-favourite-soup/

It is also my monthly post over on TRH time and I have started a Culinary crawl through the alphabet..not sure if Esme realises that she has me every month for the next 2 plus years …hahaha

trh-dream-mug

https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/the-culinary-alphabet-beginning-with-a/

I love waterfalls and we have them in abundance here and this one although a small waterfall is a charming place to visit and I was lucky it was just up the road from my house…a lovely stroll in the sun away…

Ton tai waterfall

https://myhealthyretirement.com/travel-thailand-thai-waterfalls-ton-tai-waterfall-phuket/

Fruity Fridays!

The turn of the Fig…not particularly the prettiest of fruits but very good for you and lovely with bacon but so is everything…Too many and you get the back door trots…but just enough and they keep you regular…

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

Continuing with my Travel Thailand theme for this week is the lovely Koh Panyee, sea gipsy village… complete with a floating football pitch it is a complete village in the middle of the sea

houses on stilts Koh Panyee

https://myhealthyretirement.com/travel-thailand-koh-panyee/

We then saw the lovely Sally reblog a post very dear to my own heart written some time ago and I am saddened that the problem seems to have worsened rather than got better…

cropped-for-web Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/smorgasbord-blog-sitting-special-life-in-a-cardboard-box-the-chocolate-run-by-carol-taylor/

I then thought this post needed another airing …Turmeric

turmeric-root

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/turmeric-golden-milk/

Phew…I didn’t realise I wrote so much in a week…

Healthy Eating… A cause dear to my heart… no diets, no counting calories, no feeling guilty…Just a good balanced diet and moderation coupled with your chosen exercises…AND

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https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/healthy-eatinghow-to-lose-weight-and-eat-the-foods-you-love-2/

My final post for this week over on Orienthailiving was the happiest animal on earth The Quokka and they love the sweet potato…

quokka-Rottnest Island

https://myhealthyretirement.com/travel-australia-rottnest-island-home-quokkas/

My Wednesday cookery column over at Sally’s was HOT!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-by-carol-taylor-for-all-you-hot-curry-lovers/

Over here on Retired No One Told Me and after typing this lot out…They definitely didn’t! …lol

Is the very tasty, healthy alternative to rice… Tada…Cauliflower rice…Now just in case you were wondering and thought I was teasing you by showing the Pork and Thai basil dish I ate mine with…so I have added the link for you…

SAM_6054

 

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/healthy-eating-cauliflower-rice/

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup and to ensure you don’t miss any more of my posts please subscribe to my blogs…

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eating…Cauliflower Rice

My recipe tried and tested and it’s  awesome………. Cauliflower Rice.

SAM_6054…….Now does that not look like the real deal?

And all you need is a Cauliflower and an Onion.

A little Coconut oil to cook or other oil of your choice.

Sea Salt and a squeeze Lemon Juice.

Either grate or blitz in a food processor ( but not too fine) you want some texture.

Heat pan and keep pan HOT as you don’t want Cauliflower to steam and go soggy.

Use Tablespoon Coconut Oil and put in the desired amount of Cauliflower and onion mix.

Cook quickly and then season and add lemon juice.

All in all, it only takes a few minutes to cook….. a bit longer if more than one portion but keep pan hot.

If you wish to vary the taste you can add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds to oil before adding Cauliflower if you are eating Indian Food.

If you require colour if eating Mexican……. then add 1/2 tsp turmeric to oil and tsp tomato puree.

This is very versatile and just use your imagination and add any herbs and spices that you like.

To store...I make a batch and keep in the fridge for during the week but keep in a glass jar or zip lock bag…I think plastic containers may make it sweat too much…..Enjoy…. and if you are cutting the carbs it is an ideal and yummy substitute for rice and I love rice…… eat it all the time but happily substitute this as I am also a cauliflower lover.

THE VERSATILE CAULIFLOWER… I love it! x

Some like it hot! We like it hotter!

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Courtesy of my friend Mamik this is one hot curry… A post from a while ago but for those of you who missed it..prepare for the morning after eating this…

For this week only a reblog of a favourite an Indonesian Curry and a beautiful Thai Salad..your taste buds will sing and dance…

Next week I will be back at Sally’s with my cookery column and the lovely Sally who will I am sure have plenty of tales to tell us about her birthday celebrations…We missed you Sally xx

 

via Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food Column by Carol Taylor – For all you Hot Curry Lovers.

Healthy Eating…How to lose weight and eat the foods you love…

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Welcome to my Tuesday ( Boot camp) where we have sensible conversations on what we eat and enjoy… Yes, enjoy! Let’s do this!

Just to recap on last week what have you been snacking on tell me???

Oh, and did you enjoy your pancakes ??? I did I had two with lime and a bit of sugar and they were delicious…

What did you think of last weeks post??? Which is just below in case you missed it…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/healthy-eatinghow-to-lose-weight-and-eat-the-foods-you-love/

Did you try any of the snacks or have you got your own go-to snacks??

This week as I know so many of my readers live in colder climes I will give you the recipes for some delicious soups..all healthy, made from scratch and good for you…

This is one of my favourite Thai soups and the first time I have made it. It also brings back memories of a certain lady…Keeleigh who when she visited us could not get enough of this fabulous soup.

You may also notice that it isn’t the bright orange colour of many Tom Yum soups you see or may have had it is because a mix is used and it has colouring in it …If it is this colour it is made from scratch from fresh ingredients no preservatives and colourings.

Tom Yum soup with Prawns

Tom Yum Goon

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1-inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500 gm Prawns
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 2 white onions (medium-sized) cut into large chunks.
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tablespoons of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • A handful of cilantro.

N.B Next time I will use shallots instead of white onions and I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.

Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.

Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.

Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.

Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.

Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.

I used about 10 Thai bird chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you’d still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.

Throw the lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.

Tom Yum Goon 3

You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.

Now prepare your prawns I remove everything except for the tail…..others put in whole prawns…personal preference.

Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.

Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre-rinse beforehand.

Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and onions.

 

Cook for further  6-8 minutes.

Now add prepared prawns and cook for 2-3 mins( if overcooked the prawns will sink to the bottom of the pan. If you get any scum on the surface of soup it’s from the prawns then just skim it off the surface.

.SAM_7864

Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary.

This delicious soup is now ready to serve.

 

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do and remember to add the smallest amount of fish sauce and lime juice and taste and build on it, taste and build until you get the right level of salty and sour for you 🙂

Thai Rice Soup.

Thai Rice soup

 

This soup is eaten for breakfast, it is given to babies, anyone who is maybe a little unwell or just because they want a comfort food. If you use cooked rice then it will be more like a porridge and how it would be given to babies and also with less seasoning for babies.

If you want a bit more of a substantial soup then add a few prawns and if you are vegetarian just omit the meat and maybe add some pak choi or white cabbage shredded., some tomato…Play with the flavours.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup minced chicken or pork

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 and a half tbsp oil

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp soy sauce

1 and 1/2 cup of fresh chicken broth

1 cup of steamed rice

1 egg

1 tbsp finely Julienned fresh ginger

1 spring onion finely sliced

1 tbsp coriander chopped

Pinch of white pepper.

Let’s cook!

Heat the oil and add the minced ginger and cook until ginger is golden remove half and set to one side for garnish.

Add the chicken or pork and season with salt and the soy sauce then pour in your chicken broth and the rice. Cook for 3-5 minutes depending on whether you want a soup or more of a porridge.

Turn up the heat and crack the egg in the middle of the rice either sir to combine through the rice or let the egg poach.

Pour into your bowl and top with the garlic, spring onions and ginger sprinkle with a dash of white pepper.

Enjoy!

Two lovely soups ..No calorie counting…I don’t do that… we all have a good idea of what our food contains and whether or not we could eat bowls of it or not…Don’t we???

I eat fairly small portions but if I am still hungry I would have a little more obviously with these soups you don’t eat bread…

I generally never ever feel bloated I eat enough..enough to satisfy my appetite…I don’t count calories..I am old enough to know what is calorie laden and I am not on a diet… It is a lifestyle for me and easy to maintain because …I had my pancakes ..did I not on Shrove Tuesday… I enjoyed them…

That was my treat and no guilt…BUT… I was extra careful the next day and also walked a few extra km.

What I am really saying is MODERATION AND COMMON SENSE…Cheat every day…Who is the loser…It isn’t me…

I do hope this is helping you along with your feeling healthier and eating healthier path… If you have any questions or foods you love and need recipes for ..Ask me…I don’t bite and enjoy my food and my sundowners… But also lose weight or maintain it as now I seem to lose in little bursts…If I feel it needs a kick-start then I up my walking or cut my snacks not that I eat many anyway or will have a soup day.

Until next time eat well but eat sensibly xxx

 

 

Turmeric… Golden Milk

Turmeric

For a variety of reasons, it seemed timely to air this post again… The healthy turmeric.

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via Healthy Eating……Turmeric Drinks

Thank you for reading please let me know in comments if you drink golden tea or have any tips about using turmeric  xxx

Life in a Cardboard box…

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This post was written by me a while ago …Has much changed…I think not… So next time you pass by a street person please really look at them … They don’t all want to be there…It is not a choice but a circumstance… That old saying ” There but for the grace of God go I ” springs to mind… Spare a Thought!

 

via Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Life in a cardboard box! The Chocolate Run! by Carol Taylor