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Archive for the ‘fruits’ Category


Locally we call it kaimito.

It’s best eaten cold from the ref. In the province, neighbors give this for free. Star Apple is a fruit that grows in the tropics including Southeast Asia. We harvest them around March and April. A kilo (around five pieces) costs P70.00.

Aside from being a tasty dessert, it has several health benefits too. It contains vitamins A, B, C, lysine, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, dietary fiber, amino acids, methionine, and protein. It has minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium.

Kaimito, anyone?

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It was a busy weekend but days before that I was so lazy even to go out because of the summer heat. I finished three books in one week.

Fancy an early morning breathing  in the heavenly fragrance of Gardenia and Amazon Lily flowers mixed with the lemony scent of Calamansi (Philippine lime) flower buds.  It’s a perfect excuse to stay in the garden for a while. My Gardenia shrub is flowering again, a bit early for the month of May when it shows its blooms almost in every tip of the branches. I didn’t know that Gardenia symbolizes love, harmony and grace and it was named after Dr. Alexander Garden, an American botanist, until now. I just love Gardenia and when it is in bloom , I always take shots of the lovely white flowers.  Our two Calamansi trees are on their flowering stage too but the fruits are there all year-long.

Finally, one of our jackfruits was ready for harvest. I was as excited as Josef when we finally harvested it the other day and this morning, I sliced  it with a sharp knife and  separated the pulp from the rind. Josef just wants  it  fresh and cold from the ref.  One can cook it as “langka preserve” or marmalade, the way you cook other fruits in season.

Jackfruit, anyone?

Jackfruit, anyone?

The young green one is cooked as a yummy vegetable dish, either sautéed in pork or cooked in coconut cream with lots of chilis. Try it, it is best served a little hot and spicy.

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Mango

Last Sunday, a friend who came over for lunch brought a bagful of green and golden ripe carabao mangoes. We could not consume it in three days so I decided to make some smoothie drinks by simply adding a small can of evaporated milk, a few spoons of sugar and crushed iced. There you go, a sweet and refreshing glass of pure mango.

Most people say that the Philippines has the best sweet and delicious mangoes in the world and I agree. Summer is the best time that you’ll enjoy this fruit. I am planning to make a mango jam out of the remaining ripe ones. You might not believe this but I love green mangoes more. I enjoy eating them fresh, sliced with the skin on and just sprinkled with a pinch of salt. Heaven!

I also baked chewy oatmeal raisin cookies using yellow raisin instead of the dark ones. Yellow raisins have more natural taste, not too sweet and not too dry.  Preparing  something in the kitchen need not be that elaborate. It’s Holy Week  and I suggested to my son that we do away with meat for the whole week and eat sea food and veggies instead.

Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Tuesday!

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Yeay, I had a grand time picking these fresh calamansi (it’s Philippine lime for you guys) from our two fruit trees which I planted when we moved here eighteen years ago (that’s how long we’ve been staying here in this place). They never stop flowering and giving us these fruits all year round but this is the first time  (I guess) that I harvested this much. They weigh almost two kilos. Calamansi has many uses in the Philippine kitchen – it is a perfect morning drink, an immune system booster, a perfect marinade for meats or even fish and poultry.

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I miss my little Nate. They’re supposed to visit me today but my daughter got sick so I have to wait for another week before I get to see my “apo”. I am looking forward to having him around again and see what he has learned and accomplished in a month.  He is almost six months old now, time flies!

Last Wednesday, Josef and I went to Pasig City market just to buy fruits. It was his day-off so what better way to spend the  early morning  but to visit   a place that I haven’t seen for so many years?  I’ve been told by some friends that the price of fruits there are really cheap. The place is where fresh produce coming from the provinces are sold wholesale and by the kilo. I was simply awed by the variety of fruits they have, all housed in a large complex that used to  be just a  few stalls ten, fifteen years ago. Where can you find a kilo of sineguelas  at only P20? They had sacks and sacks of it lining up several stores.The other day, I asked some vendors here in our place how much a kilo of it costs and I was surprised that they were selling it at  P60/kilo. One  large  pineapple that sells around P75 to P80 a piece in our place costs only P50 in Pasig. Green and ripe mangoes are sold by the sacks and crates too.  Would you believe Indian mangoes are at P10/kilo? As we just took a commute to the place, I didn’t  buy much except these, all for the price of P400, a half kilo of fresh peanuts, a kilo of  sweet potato, sweet corn   and a large watermelon included.

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I will definitely come back here if only to buy more sineguelas and fresh pineapples.  I haven’t explored the place yet. There are other fruits on display like bananas (all kinds, I think), durian (which I don’t eat). Think summer, think fruits!

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When you see mangoes in season, you’d think  summer is finally here. And some of the sweetest mangoes are grown in our native province in Pangasinan.  My brother brought a whole crate (kaing) of it when they came over last Saturday to celebrate Mom’s birthday with us.

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I told you, I am now enjoying myself  taking  a trip to  the wet market to buy fruits and veggies. The other day, I bought saging na saba (plantain). It cost P2.00 each and I bought 20 pieces. I thought of cooking it for merienda.

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My son love the crunchy maruya  which I made from  four pieces of  banana.  I put half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and half a teaspoon of baking powder on the batter before frying.  Son said it is better than a burger 🙂 The cinnamon gave it that extra twist. It was so yummy.

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I boiled  some and used  a  few pieces for our nilaga, the P40 is really worth it. I also made ginatang saging, kamote and gabi.  You can also boil it and add sugar and tapioca pearls. Where could you find something this cheap and enjoy several ways of preparing it? It’s a comfort food and it is nutritious too. According to studies made, eating raw plantain reduces weight.

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It’s been a while and I really missed WordPress. There is something wrong with our server. For more than three  days now, the connection has been quite erratic.  When you’re blogging every day your thoughts come in burst of inspirations and it is easier to share. A week’s lapse seems a long time. I feel as if I have forgotten how to blog 😦

Would you believe if I say that one of the highlights of the week is discovering new and old things in the wet market? I like going to the wet market twice or thrice a month with my son in tow, of course. Fruits and root crops are in season nowadays. I’m beginning to think it’s summer now because you can see summer fruits like mangoes aplenty.

IMG_4355 IMG_4373 Yeay, we bought fresh green mangoes to go with the bagoong alamang which I plan to cook with lots of chili. Sweet potato comes in different varieties, I bought the yellow ones. There are so many ways of preparing this, you can have it baked, simply boiled, make it into fritters or just mix it with other vegetables.  Turnips or what we locally know as singkamas are also in season now. I mix diced turnips with ground pork to make a simple siomai which is a favorite in our household.

I remember the times when I was in grade school and every summer break, we go to our relative’s farm in our place in Pangasinan and help them harvest peanuts. By the time we are ready to go home, we are loaded with a sack of freshly dug  sweet potato and peanuts. We boil them together in a large pot and enjoy eating them at night while we just relax and exchange ghost stories with my cousins.  Mom used to buy them in bulk and save them for rainy days for everyday snacks.  Those were the days when life was simple. I was fascinated seeing this sticky black rice and asked the vendor how it is cooked. He said that it is prepared same way you cook the white one. I bought half a kilo of this and two pieces of panocha, a type of mascuvado sugar made into rounded blocks and used for making sweets. This is the first time that I made use of  black rice, it needs more cooking than the regular sticky rice sold in the market.  Using two pieces of coconut and one piece of panocha, I made a rice cake which in our native dialect is called binanlay or biko in Tagalog. I love its purple color and the taste is a little different compared to the regular sticky rice sold in the market. It’s  another successful kitchen experiment, I guess 🙂

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It tasted so yummy that I intend to cook more of  it and top it with latik.  My son is also interested to learn how to cook  so I taught him how to make a simple vegetable lumpia using the fresh ingredients we bought at the wet market – carrots, Baguio beans, sweet potato and turnips. I love any kind of lumpia and this is good with spicy vinegar used as dip.

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It’s what I like about observing the season of Lent because we get to eat lots of fruits, fish and vegetables and a little of meat on the side. Abstaining from eating meat  most days of Lent and all Fridays of the year, we get to invent recipes that  need simple ingredients.  Eating healthy is eating well, don’t you think?

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Sometimes, it’s kind of fun to invent or tweak some recipes to your liking. Early this morning I wondered what I’ll do with the left-over Granny Smith apples  from our media noche preparations. There are more than a hundred apple recipes on the web but I like something not too elaborate to prepare using only a few ingredients in our pantry. Here it is, a yummy merienda, another perfect partner to a hot cup of green tea.

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fruitsAnd this is my favorite quote for the new year: “One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this — To rise above the little things.”– John Burroughs

A blessed, happy and prosperous 2013 everyone!

 

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