Category: fruit

Our Home Harvest 2016


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.

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 🙂




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 is 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 had 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

Dalandan tree, courtesy of


Blueberries, photo by Jmorton

Blueberries, photo by Jmorton


These berries are naturally sweet.  It can be easily eaten raw without adding any sugar and therefore carries all its natural goodness of vitamin C.

Blueberries, photo by JMorton

Blueberries, photo by JMorton

Blueberries are superfood.  They promote healthy collagen, which minimises the appearance of wrinkles.

Blueberries are also good for declogging the veins, thus, creates less restrictions to the flow of blood.

They can also aid in combatting cystitis as they carry anti-bacterial property.

Guyabano, Superfood

Ripe Guyabano, Photo by JMorton

Ripe Guyabano, Photo by JMorton

Guyabano, Superfood

My sister, Marilou, is obsessed with this fruit. Every time she sees one, she got to buy it. 🙂

But then again Marilou is very clever.  She knows things that I need to know.  Apparently it is widely known in the Philippines the wonder of this prickly pear looking fruit.  It is so full of goodness that it is called a superfruit.

Guyabano is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B and vitamin B1.  It also contains high level of carbohydrate and also fructose.

Guyabano apparently has anti-cancer and anti-diabetic elements because of its high content of anti-oxidant..

The goodness of the guyabano does not start and end with the fruit alone.  Apparently the bark, the seeds and the leaves are used to cure some other ailments as well as used in the beauty industry.  It is indeed interesting to research more on these properties.

Anyway, ripe guyabano taste very sweet but there is some sourness to it.  It has rather soft spongy texture and you have to eat the flesh off from black seeds, it is like eating sugar apple (atis).

Guyabano is popular for juicing and making smoothies.

While growing up in Marag, Philippines, we used to have a ready supply of guyabano as they grew in our farm; one was even growing at the back of our house.  We ate a lot of it as it was one of my father’s favourite fruits.  He would cut the fruit in many portions and he would then expect us to eat our lot.  We were willing as we did not have many shops around in our barrio selling sweets, cookies and candies.

Looking back, it was probably the many fruits like guyabano that kept us healthy when younger.  Now it is a different story, perhaps it is time to start on guyabano again…..

Fruit: Mango

I have to say that I have eaten the best mangoes in the world. They are so delicious, they are almost out of this world in perfect sweetness. 🙂  If you happen to go to the Philippines, try just even 1 or a dozen of ripe mangoes for the ultimate gustatory perception!

If you happen to go to the Philippines, try just even 1 or a dozen of ripe mangoes for the ultimate gustatory perception! 😉  The Philippines have the best mangoes in the world.

Apparently it has been proven how delicious and appealing mangoes are. 😉 According to a study conducted in the west, using a ‘Thrill-o-metre’, which measures the facial expressions and skin’s electric current of respondent trying different foods, babies reacted most excitedly to the taste of mango.

The unripe mangoes are also much sought after in the Philippines. In fact, they are slightly more popular than the ripe ones. The firm, green mangoes are eaten with ginisang bagoong (sautéed shrimp paste) and favour by everybody because of its sharp taste. You will make any Filipino mouth-watering at the mention of manga at bagoong.

Eating mangoes is a win-win experience. It is not only one of the most delicious fruits in the world, it is also rich in vitamin C & E, beta-carotene and fibre.

Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, which produces collagen. The main function of collagen, of course, is to promote healthy skin and connectivity of tissues.

Mango is one of only few fruits that is rich in vitamin E.

Working in tandem with vitamin C, vitamin E stimulates the brain and prevent memory loss.IMG_0522 Mango Photo by JMorton[/caption]


Mangoes, photo by JMorton

Mangoes, photo by JMorton


Singkamas (Jicama)

Singkamas, photo by JMorton taken in Pritil Market

Singkamas, photo by JMorton
taken at Pritil Market

Singkamas (Jicama)

Jicama, or Singkamas in Tagalog, is a native of Mexico and South America. It is a white tuber which is also sometimes called as Mexican Potato and in some case Mexican turnip.

I love singkamas. I like it served peeled and sliced thinly and then left in vinegar for a few minutes for it to soaked in the acidity of the marinade, then sprinkled with plenty of rock salt. It is so crunchy and absolutely deliciously fresh tasting.

Singkamas is also a good ingredients in salad, it is like carrot in texture but a good source of water.

Jícama is high in carbohydrates in the form of dietary fiber. It is composed of 86–90% water; it contains only trace amounts of protein and lipids. Its sweet flavor comes from theoligofructose inulin (also called fructo-oligosaccharide) which is a prebiotic. Jícama is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of potassium and Vitamin C (Wikipedia)

Rose Hips – Edible

Rose hips

Rose hips

Rose Hips – Edible

Rose hips are the fruits from roses.

Apparently, October is the perfect time to collect/harvest rose hips. You can boil them in water and sugar to make a syrup. This syrup is full of vitamin C and delicious added to fizzy water to make a refreshing cordial.

They can be eaten raw as well, as long as you do not consume the hairy bits in the middle.

All rose hips are edible; it is just that some are rather sweet and aromatic and some have a metalic taste to it which is not really nice.  It is also important the roses do not get too much pesticide or insectice treatment.

Citrus Fruit: Lime

Lime, Photo by PH Morton

Lime, Photo by PH Morton

Citrus Fruit: Lime

Lime is called dayap in Pilipino (Filipino).

This green citrus fruit is sweeter than the more popular lemon. Another positive side to a lime is that it is seedless. It is therefore more practical to use than lemon.

Like many citrus fruits, lime is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and bioflavonoids. It is a natural cleanser and protects you from many infections.  It deeply cleanses the digestive system and protects you from infection while you are in a diet.

Half a lime a day squeezed into a bottle of water could be sipped throughout the day and would be a potent cleanser as well as a hydrator.

Sweet Avocado Salad

Cross section of Avocado - JMorton

Cross section of Avocado – JMorton

Sweet Avocado Salad

This could be served as a starter or a light dessert.  It is certainly worth a try especially when the fruits are in season and widely and cheaply available in the market.  It can go a long way to your daily 5 portions serving of fruits and vegetables.


3 large ripe avocados, halved and de-stoned

1 cup ripe bananas, sliced

1 cup ripe papayas or pawpaws, cubed

1/2 cup milk or single cream

sugar or honey to sweeten (optional)

How to prepare:

Using a large bowl, placed the bananas and papayas with the milk or single cream.  Give it a gentle but thorough mix to cover the fruits with with milk or cream.

Divide and spoon in the fruits into the halved avocados.

Chill for at least half and hour.

To serve, it can be drizzled with a little bit of honey or a sprinkling of Demerara sugar.


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