Friday, 8 February 2019

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Hemp Seeds


10 Ways to Eat Hemp

Recently discovered Hemp seeds, which is rich in omega 3, similar to flax seeds. Just some ways for myself to incorporate it into our diet:
  1. Blend seeds into a smoothie with berries, milk and a splash of maple syrup. Save a few seeds to sprinkle over the top.
  2. Try creamy and mild hemp milk as a wonderful addition to smoothies.
  3. Coat fish or chicken for roasting.
  4. Sprinkle over avocado or slices of avocado toast.
  5. Pulse hemp seeds and nuts in a food processor and press into a pie pan for a pie crust.
  6. Add hemp seeds to pesto for a nut-free version of the classic pasta sauce.
  7. Make hemp milk latte by whisking espresso or strongly brewed coffee with steamed hemp milk, sweetener of choice and a dash of ground cinnamon.
  8. Whisk hemp oil with fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and a touch of minced garlic for a salad dressing.
  9. Add a few handfuls of hemp seeds to any recipe for granola.

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Coffee Smoothie


Serves 1

Ingredients:
1. 1 cup (250 ml) fresh skimmed milk
2. 1 tsp Nescafe coffee powder
3. 1 tsp flax seeds ground
4. 1 tsp hazelnut butter
5. 1/2 avocado (optional)
6. ¼ cup (25 g) rolled oats (optional)
7. 3 dried dates pitted
8. 3 walnuts chopped (optional)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Additional Information:
I sometimes also add 1/4 cup of skinless chopped almonds.

References:


https://www.liveeatlearn.com/wake-me-up-coffee-smoothie/

https://www.asweetpeachef.com/coffee-smoothie/

https://detoxinista.com/coffee-smoothie/

https://feelgoodfoodie.net/recipe/breakfast-coffee-protein-smoothie/

https://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/healthy-coffee-smoothie-breakfast-recipe/

https://blog.bulletproof.com/coffee-smoothie-recipes-1c2b3c/

https://www.natalieshealth.com/coffee-breakfast-smoothie/

Sunday, 3 February 2019

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The Family FECS Star Award Night


A few days ago, I wrote a post about encouraging and building the self-confidence of your children. Below is one way we build the confidence one another at home.

Once a year, we have our family year-end retreat, when we take stock of the year, review our goals for the year past, reflect on what we did well and what we can improve. We tell each other what we notice that person has achieved and what can be improved. After all, everyone needs encouragement once in a while. Even Daddy FECS will ask me, "Honey, tell me a list of things you like about me :-)... (this is especially so after episodes when I have listed a list of complaints about him, such as about him falling asleep, when reading to the kids... oops, I am still learning :-P)"

Then we tally up the number of achievements, and the one with the highest number of achievements will be awarded the Trophy, which we called the "Family FECS Star Award".

For the year past 2018, Mommy FECS has made 8 achievements, Daddy FECS has made 9 achievements and our Little FECS has made 15 achievements. So the "Family FECS Star Award" trophy went to our Little FECS. The Man of Honor , aka. Daddy FECS, was invited to give the award to our Little FECS.

We listed down the achievements of our Little FECS for 2018 and shared it with him:

1. A very loving and caring brother to Baby FECS. For example, play with her, cooking with her, bathing with her, he is a treasure to Baby FECS.

2. He has been very responsible with the house key, that he is now allowed to carry with him. For example, he haven't lose the keys.

3. He has been wise with his pocket-money. For example, he doesn't spend all the pocket money in school, and told us that he doesn't have to buy the tidbits every single day, as it is not very healthy and he would spend all his money, if he done so. Thus, although we didn't expect it, when I ask him if he needs more pocket money, he said to me that he still has sufficient money.

4. Completed the highest number of rounds (7 rounds) during the school Sport's Day among the lower primary classes.

5. He has been responsible for crossing the road. For example, he is walking to school every day and crossing the road. We commended him for being careful at crossing the road and taking our advice on road safety seriously.

6. His enthusiasm at Scouts. For example, we told him that we are truly amazed how he can be so enthusiastic at all his scouting activities, week-after-week and keeping up such a good mood. That's something Daddy FECS and Mommy FECS are not so good at... and can learn from him. We are well known party poopers...

7. His self-discipline after school. For example, we commended him for his impressive self-discipline. Because I work full-time, I am not there to monitor him at home, when he comes home from school. He will come home from school alone. He would eat the leftover in his lunch box, bath, rest, watch the Danish' news for kids DR-Ultralyd, play the piano and do his Chinese homework (he usually would have finished his Danish homework in school already.) Quite often, when I come home, he would be sitting doing his homework. Most kids his age would probably be playing computer games.

8. Good cook. For example, he is good at making breakfast i.e. pancakes, oatmeal, etc. and he is good at helping mommy to cook, i.e. peeling and cutting carrots and potatoes, etc.

9. He is good at playing with his cousins.

10. Practiced well for piano and played for his classmates in school.

11. He has improved a lot in his swimming and actually said he looks forward to the weekly swimming lessons, which is a complete change from a few years ago.

12. Attained a very high standard of Danish short essay-writing in 2018. I don't expect him to be able to repeat this in 2019, but this was a bonus in 2018.

13. Selected to be the first person to make a presentation for everyone in his class.

14. Positive feedback from yearly parents' teacher meeting.

15. Excellent grade in his school yearly report card both academically and in the area of character development.

We listed his achievements down in writing, so that one day, when the going gets tough, if our kids feel down against the hard knocks of life, he can go back to this list and be encouraged. But we are also careful to stress that we will love him regardless, even if he hasn't achieved all the 15 things we observed. 

We didn't set out this Star Award Night with our Little FECS in mind. He won it out of his own merits. 2018 is an exceptional year of achievements for him. We hope he can maintain it, but we don't expect him to be able to repeat the same sterling performance in 2019.

We close with a word of prayer to thank God for his blessings in our lives in 2018.

 Dadddy FECS' giving out the award to our Little FECS

 Our Little FECS making the signature scout sign, when receiving his trophy

Our Little FECS, the recipient of Family FECS Star Award 2018 :-)

P.S. He is wearing the scout scarf for a year, as he is working on getting a stamp for it.

Friday, 1 February 2019

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Chinese Cooking with Flax Seeds


Chinese food, especially from the hawker centres and food courts in Singapore, is super delicious (ok, I may be bias here, but then again it is not for nothing that we won Michelin star for hawker Chinese food in Singapore, so I can't be that bias :-)).

However, my only complaint, is that Chinese food falls short in terms of nutritional value. This doesn't have to be so. We just have to move ahead with time and do more R&D in this area.

I am embarking on a project of making modern Chinese food more nutritious. The recipes here are all tried and tested in our kitchen, and I am a Singaporean Chinese, used to tasting all the good food in Singapore, so you can trust me for the taste :-)

I am looking forward to the day, where we can go to a Chinese restaurant, hawker or food court in Signapore, where they incorporate higher nutrition in the food, without compromising the taste of the Chinese dishes.

Flax seeds are well-known for their omega-3 fats. According to Healthline.com, they are also:

1. High in high-quality protein
2. May Improve Cholesterol
3. May reduce cancer risk (as it is a rich source of lignans)
4. May lower blood pressure
5. May Help Control Blood Sugar

According to Healthline.com, "a typical serving size for ground flax seeds is 1 tablespoon (7 grams). Just one tablespoon provides a good amount of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being a rich source of some vitamins and minerals."

Here is a summary of the nutritional value of flax seeds:


However eating flax seeds on its own is not only boring and tasteless, it also go straight through your system, without the nutrients being absorbed by your body. The secret is to grind it using a blender. In this way, when added to food, the flavor comes through and it is also more readily absorbed by the body.

Ground flax seeds can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks, but we usually use up ourselves within a week already.

In this first series, I am showing how Chinese cooking can be done incorporating ground flax seeds, without compromising the taste, but actually enhances it. Notice that I use ground flax seeds and not flax seed oil. This is because flax seed oil cannot take high temperature, and it is still a processed product. Eat the real thing for its taste and nutrient, don't use flax seed oil.

1. Classic Chinese Dipping Sauce

Add one teaspoon of ground flax seeds into your classic Chinese dipping sauce. Because of its fat contents, it actually will even enhance the flavor of this sauce. Try it :-)


2. Chinese Classic Meat Marinade

The Chinese classic marinade for the meat is the base for many of the Chinese dishes such as sweet and sour pork. Add one tablespoon of ground flax seeds into the basic marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper and mix well with the chicken or pork. Then fry it on the wok until cooked, as shown below :-)


3. Chinese Stir-fried Cabbage

Add one teaspoon of ground flax seeds into your stir-fried cabbage. It gives it a nice texture and adds natural oil from the flax seeds. Just make sure that you add this in towards the end, and give it a quick stir, until you see the oil extracted out. Then off the fire at once. It is done :-) The reason is because, flax seeds oil should not be over-heated, otherwise, it loses its health benefit.


4. Chinese Pan-fried Cod Fish

Chinese pan-fried fish is a very common household dish. It is done by sprinkling of some salt and pepper on the fish, and fry it in the wok over garlic oil. You can coat the fish with flax seeds. The end result is superb. It not only made it more tasty, but crispy too. Again, thanks to flax seeds' high fat content for this result.


Serving it at home isn't that complicated. Below is some simple Chinese food incorporated with flax seeds into the cooking that I made for our Little FECS' lunch, namely stir-fried cabbage with flax seeds, chicken marinaded with flax seeds and the classic Chinese marinade and a bowl of mixed brown and white rice:


If you have incorporated flax seeds into such dishes, you should be able to meet the recommended one tablespoon serving size.

P.S. Detailed recipes will follow later.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-flaxseeds#section2
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