Category: Food Facts

Malunggay, Leafy Superfood

Malunggay, photo by JMorton

Malunggay, Leafy Superfood

There have been a lot of studies and testimonials regarding the health benefit of Malunggay or its scientific name of Moringa Oleifera.

Studies have found that malunggay (Filipino/Tagalog name) has a very high nutritional value.  This may be true as a young child in Marag, our diet often included marunggay (Ilocano name for the malunngay).  The tree grow almost everywhere in Marag, thus providing us a microbiotic diet which complements most soupy viands in an almost vegetarian existence.  I supposed as children, we did not get sick, except for malaria, brought about by mosquitoes, which is another story. 🙂

Malunggay is a superfood as well as super-herbal-medicine.

Lactating women are advised to make malunggay soup as part of their diet to produce more milk.

Apparently 1 cup of mallunggay, in terms of nutrients, is equivalent to 10 cups of broccoli.

 

Our Home Harvest 2016

one-of-our-potted-tomato-plants

Our Home Harvest 2016

 

When we were both still gainfully employed,  😉 it was hard to maintain our fairly long back garden, where the lawn must be mowed, the bushes regularly trimmed, the pond life fed, the garden furniture repaired, etc., the list went on.  We, therefore,  paved over parts of it, but still kept some smaller flower& plant beds and a good size lawn.

A good idea in any size garden is to use plant pots or troughs to grow plants, flowers and vegetables.

Some of the larger pots are fitted with small wheels (like castors) on the base.

some-of-our-newly-picked-tomatoes
This means that we can easily move large plants, such as the tomato plants, to follow the sun as it moves, to maximise exposure to the light and heat.

This spring, and as in previous years, Jean & I decided to try and grow some tomato plants in three of our large pots.  Tomatoes are quite inexpensive and plentifully sold in shops and supermarket during the summer, but growing your own has its own reward.  You can be sure of the freshness and they seem to taste better 🙂

 

one-of-our-small-apple-trees

 

This year’s weather has been mixed in London & SE England.

A rarely frozen and wet winter was followed by rain alternating with hot sunny days in summer, extending well into September. This combination has resulted in a nice crop of tomatoes. some have ripened and hopefully the others will soon as well.

Our two potted small apple trees have produced their ripe fruit nearly a month early this year.

They are ‘Jonagold’ apples, which are sweet and a little bitter to taste but simply delicious.

We found that If you have two potted apple trees, keep them near each other in order to get at least one good crop, this helps cross fertilisation from the bees etc.

We find each year that one tree produces more apples than the other.

However, this year both tree have a lot of apples, thanks to the weather.

our-pear-treeWe have one potted Conference variety pear tree, near the end of the garden, and as with the apple trees we also need to get another one as this lonely tree only produces a pair of pears each year.

Our wild blackberry bush has also produce a bounty of berries this year too!

We wonder if this year’s winter will be cold and wet again. Snow has not fallen to settle on the ground here in nearly the last two years, much to our grandson’s disappointment who is wishing of building a snowman in the garden!

Dalanghita Vs Dalandan

Dalanghita, photo by PH Morton

Dalanghita, photo by PH Morton

Dalanghita Vs Dalandan

Dalanghita is a Filipino word adapted from the Spanish naranjita, which mean small orange.  The scientific name for this dalanghita is Citrus Nobilis.

Dalanghita is really juicy, perfect for the often hot weather in the Philippines.

There is another variety of this citrus fruit which is called dalandan, scientific name is Citrus Aurantium.  

Most Filipinos would probably find it hard to tell a dalanghita from a dalandan.  These fruits are so similar, they can be often interchanged.  I supposed you can tell one of the other by their size and sometimes, the texture of their peels.

Dalanghita is small with smooth outer skin while dalandan are definitely bigger and has a thicker and pimply or pronounced pores.

Whiles growing up in Marag, we had a dalandan tree which grew so big in our side yard (garden).  During fruiting season, the citrus tree was laden with fruits that the lower branches touched the ground.

It was a joy to eat the fruits straight from the tree.  When it is still young, it can be sour and that is when we have to eat it with a bit of salt.  But when it is ripe, it is so refreshingly sweet.

Our tree was much admired by the whole neighbourhood of Marag.

Dalandan tree, courtesy of http://seventeeneightyfour.blogspot.co.uk/

Dalandan tree, courtesy of http://seventeeneightyfour.blogspot.co.uk/

Spice: Saffron

"Safran-Weinviertel Niederreiter 2 Gramm 8285" by Hubertl - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Safran-Weinviertel_Niederreiter_2_Gramm_8285.jpg#/media/File:Safran-Weinviertel_Niederreiter_2_Gramm_8285.jpg

“Safran-Weinviertel Niederreiter 2 Gramm 8285” by Hubertl – Own work.

Spice: Saffron

Did you know?

Saffron is the most expensive spice of all.  It comes from the dried stigmas of the Crocus sativus or saffron crocus.

To yield a kilo of saffron, you would need between 85,000 to 140,000 crocuses.

It used to be an offense during Henry VIII’s reign to add other ingredients in the making of saffron.  It was a capital punishment to adulterate the manufacture of saffron. 🙁

Alexander the Great apparently used saffron to keep his locks lovely and orange.

The word saffron comes from an Arabic word asfar which means yellow.

 

***********************************************************

TiP:  To draw out the colour, aroma and taste from the dried saffron, the best way apparently was to soak it in slightly warmed orange juice.

Saffron is added to many recipes such as paella, biryani, rice pilau and many more.  The Philippines uses a great deal of saffron in their recipe.  I love congee (lugaw) with a garnish of saffron.

Philippine Chilis: Labuyo & Mahaba

Pangsigang sili, photo by PH Morton

Pangsigang sili, photo by PH Morton

 

From the above photo, the red chilis are the labuyo and the longer, bigger ones are the siling mahaba or finger chili.

Did you know?

The bird’s eye chili, or siling labuyo are hotter than the bigger longer chilies.

To counteract the spiciness of the chili, which causes a burning sensation to the mouth if you happen to bite into one of of these delicious babies 🙂 is to drink milk rather than water.