Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Magic of Guava

Guava is known as a ‘superfood’. It is high in pectin, antioxidants, fiber, nutrients and has 4 times the vitamin C in oranges.


Oranges, Grape Fruit, Lemon

The guava is a tropical fruit, green in color that changes to light yellow as the fruit ripens. Some varieties have pink flesh with small seeds, while others are white with either seed or seedless.

How to eat Guava?

The whole of the guava fruit can be eaten including the rind. Removing the seeds is optional.

Slice it and dip in soya sauce or a little salt and sugar. Drinking guava juice is also excellent. The only problem is that juicing guava at home can be troublesome because the fruit tends to be hard. It is perhaps best to buy, preferably juice without sugar added.

Another wonderful way is to include guava in salads. Chop up in small bits and include it as ingredients to your salads.

Some also include guava in their dishes such as in making curries.

With all fruits, guava is best eaten raw.

Health Benefits of Guava

1. The guava fruit is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C.

When compared to citrus fruits such as the orange, the guava has over four to five times the Vitamin C of the orange.

2. The guava fruit is also rich in calcium, Vitamin A and B, as well as iron, foliate, and has very high fiber content.

3. Guava help to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure

4. Eating guavas also improves blood circulation and therefore plays a role in strengthening the heart.

5. Guava is excellent in preventing as well as treating scurvy, asthma, acidosis, congestion of the lungs, as well as aiding in the treatment of prolonged menstruation.

The guava is a small fruit which makes it the ideal snack to have in between your meals.

Guava is wonderful for weight watchers as it is low in calories (about 70) and high in fiber and water content which is great for low fat diets.

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Make Kids (and Adults!) Eat Broccoli - Important Enough to be Creative with Broccoli Recipes

Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable. From the cabbage family, it decreases the risk of cancer and has high amounts of vitamin C. Originally from Italy, its a vegetable that has been around for 2000 years. Here are some simple recipes for kids and adults alike.

Beautiful Broccoli

1.   Steam some broccoli with salt . Add pepper for extra flavour.

2.   Add it to your soups

3.   Stir fry with garlic - here's the recipe. I like this the best because its easy and fast.

400 grams broccoli (stalks and florets separated)
3 cloves garlic thinly sliced or crushed
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red chilly (this is of course optional but it does give the extra zing)

How to prepare
Boil some salted water and add stalks for 2 minutes and florets for another 2 minutes (
Heat the oil and fry the garlic till it sizzles and browns
Add chilly
Remove from the heat
Add onto the broccoli and serve.

For parents and for children to know why it is important to give broccoli the attention it deserves!

Information on broccoli - summarised from Wikipedia. And there is loads of information on the net.

  • Broccoli is high in vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber;
  • Broccoli also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties
  • The 3,3'-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer  
  • Broccoli is  an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells
 A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C.

However, the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled.

Steaming broccoli for 3–4 minutes is recommended to maximize potential anti-cancer compounds.

Boiling reduces the levels of suspected anti-carcinogenic compounds in broccoli, with losses of 20 – 30% after five minutes, 40 – 50% after ten minutes, and 77% after thirty minutes.

However, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying has no significant effect on the compounds.

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Home Made Burgers in 15 Minutes

Hamburgers can be very good - depends on how it is prepared, the toppings and what we eat it with. It is still great food - protein, carbohydrates and vitamins all tucked in together. Therefore home made burgers are best - keeps the family happy and healthy! Here is the how and only 15 minutes to prepare.

Hamburgers can be unhealthy depending on the toppings, but there are ways to make it tasty and healthy...

The calory and fat content plus the quality of meat in the burger meats we buy from the supermarkets can be fantastically high and detrimental to health.

Recipe for homemade burgers

1/2  kilogram of Minced chicken (or pork or beef)
1 egg
1 to 2 tablespoons of corn flour (this is to hold everything together)
salt to taste
black pepper
onion leaves sliced
carrot minced
onion,ginger and garlic minced fine

mix everything. Do you notice that I have added carrots - great way to get kids to eat some vegetables. My kids find it so hard to eat vegetables. Both my mum and I are learning ingenious ways to camouflage the veges!

Use a non stick pan. Place a little oil (yes - that's it. very little)

Get the bread, salads, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, olives. Avoid mayonnaise and such dressings.

And there you have it. A great home made burger.

Happy Teaching and cooking!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Benefits of Chlorophyll – Yes, those things that make plants green!

I was reading a science magazine with my son and it described how beneficial chlorophyll is to the body. Did you know that we could consume a chlorophyll drink. Can be very useful especially for children who don’t like to eat vegetables.
Green Vegetation


Chlorophyll has many healing properties because of the amount of oxygen.
• Enhances the body’s immune system
• Stimulates the red blood cells and increase supply of oxygen
• Heals wounds quickly
• Supports the production of hemoglobin.
• Has a deodorant effect to reduce body odour and bad breath (that is why it is used in making of toothpaste and mint candies)
• Get rids of toxins
• Heals sores quicker
• Iron to organs
• Improves varicose veins
• Soothes painful hemorrhoids and piles
• Eliminates body odor
• Cleans tooth and gum structure in pyorrhea
• Eliminates bad breath
• Improves vision

Water and carbon dioxide absorbed from the air, chlorophyll uses sunlight to make sugar. By utilizing minerals from the soil, chlorophyll allows the plant to use the sun’s energy to make vitamins, fats, proteins and starches.

Chlorophyll, the green “blood” of plant life is made by plants through a chemical process called photosynthesis.
Click on this to find out about how to get liquid chlorophyll

It has same effects in the body as iron, so it builds our own blood naturally. It has powerful detoxifier and tonic and cleanses the blood and builds red blood cells while doing it. In 1913, Dr. Richard Willstatter, a German chemist, discovered the functions of chlorophyll and found that the chlorophyll molecule is similar to hemoglobin, the red pigment in human blood.

Chlorophyll heals chronic conditions both internally and externally, and stops the growth and development of toxic bacteria. Chlorophyll removes toxins from the bones, blood tissues, and intestines. And because chlorophyll helps to thicken and strengthen the walls of the cells, it is also a nutritional aid for the immune system. It is also a great help for any digestive problems, constipation, or diarrhea.

Chlorophyll is non-toxic, safe and soothing to body tissues, so it’s considered very safe for people of all ages.

However, i have not found anything in the web that says directly that it is good for children and side effects. Back to the article I was reading, it concluded by saying that it is best to eat vegetables in their raw form as chlorophyll is typically lost in cooking.

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pip and Clove of Garlic - what is the difference?

Nothing! This is a great note for teaching kids while cooking. What is a pip? What is a clove of garlic?

'Garlic' Wall Decal - 18"W x 24"H Removable Graphic
pips of garlic
This is a picture of a bulb of garlic. Usually, pip and clove are used to mean the same thing.

Elephant Garlic 3 Cloves - Be Healthy & Heart Smart!
bulb of garlic

Garlic is a magnificient plant. Beautiful herb and at them same time it has lots of medicinal properties.
Spice World Minced Garlic - 48 oz.

Fresh garlic is
-  an antioxidant protection
-  antibacterial,
-  anti-carcinogenic,
-  anti-coagulant,
-  antifungal and
-  antiviral properties

Many home chefs mistakenly cook garlic immediately after crushing or chopping it. To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.

On the bad side - Garlic can cause indigestion, but for many, the bigger concern is that it can make your breath and sweat smell like…garlic. While individual reactions to garlic vary, eating fennel seeds like those served at Indian restaurants helps to neutralize the smell.
The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks
My aunt, who is a doctor, a bad asthmatic, has tended to eat fresh garlic (a pip) with her dinner for several years now. She says its better to have fresh garlic. To reduce the pungent smell, place it in a hot pan for a few minutes.
Formula 100 Garlic Extract Cardiovascular 200 Capsules
Read more here

Today's Lessons for children:

1. what is garlic
2. clove and pip of garlic
3. why is garlic beneficial

What is Stir Frying and What are the Benefits?

Stir frying is a fantastic cooking method. It is quick, healthy and anyone with a wok and spatula can do it. I stir fry all the time. Stir fried vegetables or meat and vegetables accompanied by rice or salad makes a good meal. Here is the story and a short recipe.

Stir Fried Vegetables

What is stir frying?

Stir-frying involves frying and stirring food quickly and continuously over very high heat in an oiled pan.

It is generally a Chinese cooking technique but it has become a popular method of cooking over the decades. Stir frying is perhaps akin to sauteing.

Why is stir frying healthy?

Stir frying is a healthy way to cook. Stir frying is a technique that cooks foods quickly, using only a small amount of fat.

Typically, stir frying takes about 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir fry also emphasizes fresh flavors and textures, so nothing is overcooked.

Stir fry is also an easy technique for the beginning cook.

What can we stir fry?

Vegetables are definite. Chicken and fish are also great for stir frying because they are softer.

For stir frying, the ingredients should be small. Thumb size . Meats and vegetables should be cut into small pieces before cooking.

Thumb-size for chicken is a good way to remember the ideal size.

What do you need?

1. Wok

Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 14-Inch Stir-Fry Pan with Helper Handle and Glass Cover

2. Oil

A wok compared to a skillet is the ideal shape for preventing loss of heat at the edges and for distributing the heat among the ingredients. Its shape also helps reduce the risk of oil splattering, and it prevents the contents from spilling over the sides as you stir or toss them.

Lodge Logic L10SK3 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned SkilletBecause cooking happens at high heat, a good choice of oil would be peanut oil, olive oil or Canola, sunflower or corn oil. Remember not to stir-fry in butter or margarine - they simply can't survive the high temperatures.
Pure Wesson Canola Oil - 1.25gal
canola oil
Mazola Corn Oil 24oz - 4 Unit Pack
corn oil

Quick Recipe for Stir fried vegetable

Half an onion cut in chunks
A little ginger and
2 or 3 pips of garlic either chopped or smashed
Some sliced red chillies for a little zing
Vegetables of choice – I personally love khailan, bean sprouts, asparagus and cabbage for stir frying.

1. Heat oil
2. Fry the onions, ginger and garlic till fragrant or brown
3. Throw in the vegetables
4. Continue to stir over high heat
5. Add salt to taste and you can sprinkle some sesame oil for aroma

Here are some recipe books for stir frying. Value for money.

100 Quick Stir-Fry Recipes: My Kitchen Table

300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Claypot Chicken Rice & Teaching Science

Clay pot Chicken Rice
<>We made clay pot chicken rice for lunch. It was out first time and it turn out excellent! There was also a science lesson thrown in. Here is the recipe for the chicken rice as well as the science lesson.
Clay pot

1 kilogram chicken breast cut in big chunks

For Marination
2 table spoon light soya sauce
1/2 tsp of dark soya sauce
1 table spoon oyster sauce
Few drops of Chinese cooking wine
Few drops of sesame oil
Corn flour
A little salt
A little sugar
1 tablespoon of ground ginger

Marinate the chicken for about 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook rice in the clay pot until it is half cook. For the rice to be tastier, cook rice with chicken stock. Tip: don't put to too much stock of the rice gets too soggy.

Clay Pot Cooking: Over 50 sensational recipes from slow-cooked casseroles to tagines and stews all shown step by step in 250 photographsAfter about 10 to 15 minutes, place the chicken on the rice and continue cooking. Close the lid. The steam will slowly cook the chicken.

After about 15 minutes, it is ready to eat with onion leaves to garnish and for the added taste.

Science Lessons:

1.    Heat conductors  - Place a wooden ladle and a metal ladle near the pots or even in the pot. Show your children how one gets hot and the other does not. That's because metal conducts electricity faster and more efficiently than wood.

2.   Clay pot cooking is used in many cultures. Indian, Chinese, European and Africa. In India, it is used to keep water cool.
Clay is a porous material. When the pot is saturated with water  and heated in the oven, steam will evaporate slowly from the pores of the clay. During cooking, the food inside your clay pot will release and cook in its own juices. These juices are sealed inside the pot until it is completely dry, and at this point the food is cooked! That is why clay pot cooking is usually longer. Did you notice there is no need for oil. Clay pot cooking uses no oil or very little. And so it is healthier.

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Where to get a claypot - here you can get them at reasonable prices:

Large Chinese Clay Pot (2.5 qt) with Two HandlesPomaireware Clay Bean Pot with Lid, 6 QuartsMedium Chinese Clay Pot (2 qt)

USD23                                     USD40                                USD19.50

Reco International Complete Guide to Clay Pot Cooking Cookbook