food health: PANDAN and LEMONGRASS DETOX DRINK

Pandan & Lemongrass Drink

A decoction of “Pandan” and “Lemongrass” leaves can make a good detoxifying drink. By the way, “detoxification” or “detox” for short is the medicinal way of removing toxic substances in our body.

How To Make Your  Own Pandan and Lemongrass Detox Drink

boiling pandan and lemongrass drink

Simply pick 5-6 leaves of “pandan” and “lemongrass”. Wash it with clean water. Then, tie the two kinds of  leaves in a separate knot. Fill 3/4 of the medium-sized pot with potable water and let it boil for 45 minutes with the tied “pandan” and “lemongrass” in it. Remove the leaves afterwards. Chill it slightly and add a small amount of honey to add some sweetness in taste… then stir. Now, it’s ready for drinking! You can have it cold if you wanted it to be a refreshing juice or you can drink it hot enough… if you prefer it as your tea. It’s easy to do and healthy at the same time.

Health Benefits of Pandan

pandan

Aside from its aromatic smell and slight flavor when added while cooking rice or making gelatin, “pandan” or “screwpine” leaves can be considered more as an herbal plant. It can reduce fever and relieve headaches. It can also treat chest and ear pains, wounds, smallpox, arthritis and even leprosy as well. It has beneficial aids for stomach spasms and has healing effects on some skin problems with a bonus of strengthening our gums.

Health Benefits of Lemongrass

lemongrass

Lemongrass or popularly known as “tanglad” in the Philippines is not only limited as an aromatic flavoring in any cuisine or was stuffed inside “lechon”. It is best known for its detoxifying properties and as a body cleanser agent for the pancreas, kidney, bladder, digestive tract, and the liver while lowering the blood pressure as well. It also reduces stomach pain, fever, nausea, and prevents us from colon cancer as it boost our immune system.

Health Benefits of Honey

honey

If you wanted your honey to be nutritious with vitamins and minerals, have it raw and pure. The darker the color of the honey, the higher its antioxidant contents. Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and probiotic. It can prevent us from cancer and heart disease, and good for blood sugar regulation. In addition to that, it has the ability to reduce ulcer, cough, and throat irritation. Also good for healing wounds and burns and can help us to have a blooming skin. Still, it wouldn’t be good if you overdose yourself with honey.

Photos by: Sukito San

food news: BIGGEST MOONCAKE in the PHILIPPINES

Mooncake

The biggest Mooncake in the Philippines is now ready to satisfy your cameras and cravings for real! Prepared by “Eng Bee Tin”, a Chinese Deli Store located at # 628 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila. The giant mooncake measures 75 inches in circumferencce, 24 inches in diameter, and 3 inches in thickness which can feed and be divided to more than fifty persons. This yummy delicacy is not only for display but 100% edible and made from natural ingredients. The presentation of the eye-catching mooncake was done by “Eng Bee Tin” in preparation for the Mid-Autumn Festival or popularly known as Mooncake Festival for the Filipino-Chinese Community held every September aside from giving-away mooncakes as part of the celebration.  It will be on display until September 22, 2013 at SM Mall of Asia… and will also be on display until September 30, 2013 at Eng Bee Tin’s Binondo branch. Foodtrippers and folks in all walks of life can have their photo taken with the largest mooncake for free and you can take home with you a free mooncake from the mentioned deli store if you had taken your picture with it at their main branch in Binondo.

Mooncakes are made out of mixed flour and sugar, then turned into dough and added with fillings and salted eggs afterwards. Its traditional flavors are ube, pandan, mixed nuts, lotus and mongo. But now, it comes with different taste like choco peanut butter, salted caramel truffle snowskin, and rum raisin truffle snowskin. Moreover, a mooncake is more than just a food but also a part of history as it was used to carry a message of revolution of the Chinese which is the salted egg as its filling during the Civil War.

Happy Mooncake Festival 🙂

Photo Credit: SM Mall of Asia Official Facebook Page

News Source: Bandila ( ABS CBN TV News Program)

food recipe: BLESSED COCONUT OIL on GOOD FRIDAY

coconut oil

Once a year, whenever “Holy Week” comes… I always see my mother extract oil from coconut on Good Friday and have it blessed on Black Saturday in a mass called “Blessing of the Fire”. It was believed that the blessed oil and water from this mass can heal sickness and can cure “spiritual illnesses”. This tradition were followed by devout Catholics during the Season of Lent and should be cooked with the use of wood through an “ulingan” and be extracted from coconut oil. This custom in cooking became vital not only in Philippine cuisine but also among the conservative Catholics especially those living in rural ares or in the provinces. Anyway, you can also use it as an alternative cooking oil for your specialty dishes or just by simple frying. It’s also healthwise because it’s natural and free from any preservatives. You can also use it by oiling your hair with it… 20 minutes before you take a bath to achieve thicker volume and to avoid a dry crowning glory.

You will need:

gata

coconut milk or gata ng niyog (4 coconuts will do)

pandan

4-5 clean and washed pandan leaves (for aromatic scent)

oregano

4-5 oregano leaves (optional)

calamansi leaves

6-7 calamansi leaves (optional)

ulingan

ulingan or any improvised stove wherein you can use wood or charcoal to fuel fire

Here’s how:

1. Have your coconut milk ready.

2. Fire up your ulingan using scrap wood or charcoal.

3. With the use of a wide mouthed pan or “kawan” heated in your “ulingan”, Pour in your coconut milk.

4. Cook it with cover for around 20 minutes while stirring it once in a while to prevent it from getting burned and to maintain the good consistency of the coconut milk.

5. Add pandan leaves. Stir it a little.

6. After a while, you can add up the oregano and calamansi leaves followed by slight stirring.

langis

7. After an hour or more, keep on stirring it once in a while. As the liquid dries up, you will just see the natural oil from the coconut on the pan with the “latik” or the coconut curds. By the way, the “latik” or coconut curds were commonly used as a main topping or as a garnish on local Filipino desserts like “biko“.

8. Keep on stirring until only the pure coconut oil remains on the pan and the “latik” as well.

latik

9. Cool it down for a while and use a strainer in filtering to separate the “latik” from the oil.

10. Put the oil in a dry, clean and empty bottle or medium-sized container for lasting storage.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1. You must cook it on Good Friday and it should be done before 3:00 pm (which is the time of the death of Christ).

2. If you wanted it blessed. Take it with you and have it blessed on a Black Saturday mass which is the “Blessing of the Fire”. Then, you can place it in your altar at home.

Photos by: Sukito San

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