Friday, 22 March 2019

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20+ Delicious Ways to Consume Oats


 

Do you know that eating 2 cups raw of oats (156g) a day fully covers your daily need* for:
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
* based on an adult's need.

Here is a video on oats:


Although we don't usually manage to eat 2 cups of oats a day, here are some delicious ways to include oats into our diets:



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Oatmeal with Nut Butter


Serves 4

Ingredients:
1. 1/2 cup rolled oats
2. 1 1/2 cup fresh skimmed milk
3. 1 tsp walnut butter
4. 1 tsp cashew nut butter
5. 1/2 banana
6. 1 tsp wheat germ

Directions:
1. In a pot, add rolled oats and milk, cover with lid and cook on medium heat (no. 4 on my stove) for 20 mins or until cooked.
2. To prepare each serving, scoop into a bowl.
3. Add walnut butter and cashewnut butter and mix well.
4. Mash in 1/2 banana with a fork and mix well.
5. Top with some berries and sunflower seeds and serve :-)

Additional Information:
This is a flavorful way to consume oats that my family likes. I made the walnut butter myself by grinding it with dried dates to sweeten it. I have also made the cashew nut butter myself, but you can use store-bought ones for convenience.

In a pot, add rolled oats and milk, cover with lid and cook on medium heat (no. 4 on my stove) for 20 mins or until cooked.

 To prepare each serving, scoop into a bowl. Add 1 tsp of walnut butter.

 Add 1 tsp of cashew nut butter and...

 mix well...

Mash in 1 banana and...

 mix well

Add wheat germ and mix well (optional)

Sprinkle some berries and sunflower seeds and ready to serve :-)

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

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Homemade Orange Soda


Makes 2 small (Rosendahl) glasses or 1 large (Rosendahl) glass

Ingredients:
1. 1 orange juiced
2. 1 cup (250 ml) soda water
3. 4 TBS honey or 2 TBS sugar

Directions:
1. Squeeze one orange by hand and pour the juice into a glass.
2. Add soda water and honey or sugar, stir and mix well, and ready to serve :-)

Personal Journal:
I was upset with our Little FECS over some work that he didn't do consistently this morning, or for which I found to be sloppy, and that made him very sad and upset. We went into the crazy virtual cycle, and we ended up both very sad and upset.

When he came back from school, I apologized and asked him to forgive mommy, which he so graciously did. I made it up by doing a fun activity together. I know he is very interested in making soda recently (although he doesn't drink soda on a regular basis, and doesn't actually like the bubbles, until lately because all his classmates love soda). Thus, today we made an orange soda together.

He drank his soda, while doing his Chinese homework, and we are both happy again. Thank God.

We learned a lot along way about soda. We learned that it takes a lot of sugar to make it sweet. So even it is homemade and healthier, it is still not that healthy and should only be for an occasional treat. We can't imagine how much worse commercial soda will be. It is an eye-opener for our Little FECS and it helps him to understand in a concrete way, just how unhealthy soda is. He is convinced he would not be one to drink soda, after this activity, which made me very glad of course :-)










Tuesday, 19 March 2019

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Mango Banana Smoothie


Makes 3 small (Rosendahl) glasses

Ingredients:
1. 2 cups (500 ml) fresh skimmed milk
2. 2 TBS natural yogurt (optional)
3. 1 tsp ground flax seeds
4. 1 pinch vanilla powder (optional)
5. 1 banana
6. 2 cups frozen mango
7. 1 dried date pitted

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in the order listed above until smooth. Depending on your blender, you may need to start off with the frozen dessert function, before finishing off with the smoothie function, which was what I did with our Magimix blender.

Personal Journal:
Our Little FECS got tired of green smoothie (sob sob), and requested for a non-green smoothie for a after-school-before-piano-recital-and-dinner snack today. We had some frozen mangoes in the freezer. Thus, I decided to whip up a mango smoothie. We tried a few recipes found from the internet, but they didn't quite turn out right - either too thick or not sweet enough or tasted a little boring. This is our own recipe that Little FECS likes, which we find creamy, yet refreshing and the vanilla powder seems to add a layer of favor. We tried without banana, but agreed that mango smoothie really goes much better and tastier with banana. Our Little FECS said, "Mmmm... this is good, this is good, mom, you have to put it in your blog." So I am documenting it for archive, so that we can remember and repeat it next time :-) I save a portion for our Baby FECS in the fridge. You can experiment making it to find your own recipe that suit the taste bud of your family.


Sunday, 17 March 2019

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Easy Healthy Chinese Braised Pork (红烧肉 Hong Shao Rou)


Ingredients:
1. 1 kg pork neck chops (nakkekoteletter)
2. 8 clove garlic minced
3. 1 inch ginger sliced into thin strips
4. 1 stalk spring onions diced (optional)
5. 1/2 cup Shaoxing rice wine
6. 6 TBS light soy sauce
7. 4 TBS dark soy sauce
8. 1-2 cinnamon sticks
9. 1-2 cloves
10. 1-2 star anise
11. 1-2 dried bay leaves (optional)
12. 1 tsp five spice powder (optional)
13. 2 TBS cooking oil
14. 1 cup boiling water

Directions:
1. Heat wok with cooking oil and fry garlic, ginger and spring onions until fragrant.
2. Add the spices (except powder) and fry until fragrant.
3. Add pork and fry until golden brown on the outside.
4. Add shaoxing rice wine, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
5. Add five spice powder stir and mix well.
6. Transfer to a pot and add 1 cup boiling water.
7. Simmer until low heat (no. 2.5 on my stove) for 45-60 minutes.
8. Skim off the layer of fat floating on the surface.
9. If it is still very watery, turn up to high heat to evaporate the liquid, until it reaches the consistency of a sauce. This will take a few minutes.
10. Serve with rice, hard-boiled egg and vegetables.

Additional Information:

If you wish to braise some hard-boiled eggs, you can add it to the simmering, after you have boiled the eggs separately and remove the shell. This is a healthier recipe version that replaces pork belly with pork neck chops, which is the leaner type of meat, but still contains a marble of fat, which gives a similar result of a tender meat. This recipe also eliminates the use of sugar. It is actually not necessary, as it is tasty on its own. However, if you prefer to add sugar, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar while frying the meat. This is also a simpler and quicker recipe, that in my opinion, does not compromise the taste. I couldn't really taste the different.

References:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTCyaP_7cjQ
https://thewoksoflife.com/2014/04/shanghai-style-braised-pork-belly/
https://thewoksoflife.com/2018/04/red-braised-pork-belly-mao/
https://redhousespice.com/red-cooked-pork-belly/

 Pork belly are extremely fat and unhealthy, but Chinese like it for its fat and belly-like texture that melt in your mouth. I prefer to use pork neck chops instead, as it is a leaner meat, but still retains some fat, so that the end result will still be very tender, without the same amount of fat in every bite.

Cut the pork neck chops into square pieces

 Here are the ingredients clockwise from left: Shaoxing rice wine, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, pork neck chops cut into squares, bay leave, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, ginger, spring onions and garlic

 Heat wok and add 2 TBS cooking oil.

 Fry garlic until golden and fragrant.

 Add ginger and spring onions and fry until fragrant.


 Add in the spices - 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves, 2 star anise and 2 cinnamon sticks and fry until fragrant.

 Add 1 kg pork meat...

 and fry until golden brown.

 Add 1/2 cup of Shaoxing rice wine.

 Add 6 TBS of light soy sauce.

  Add 4 TBS of dark soy sauce.

 Stir and mix well.

 Add 1 tsp of 5 spice powder, stir and mix well.

 Transfer to a pot or cray pot.

 Simmer under low fire (no. 2.5 on my stove) for 30-45 minutes.

 In the meantime, make some hard-boiled eggs to braise in the sauce.

 This is how it looks after 30 mins.

Add in the boiled eggs after peeling the shell and let it braised in the liquid.

 After 45 mins to an hour, when the meat is tender to your taste, skim off the layer of fat floating on the surface.


 This is the amount of fat collected.

 Remove excess liquid into a separate bowl along with the eggs and set aside.

 Turn up the heat and let the liquid boil off and evaporate into a sauce.

  


  

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