Milk-free avocado chocolate ice-cream

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Fancy a healthy home-made ice-cream? Healthy and ice-cream do not have to be mutually exclusive. I’ve made this recipe twice now and I like how I can use overripe avocados to make a dessert. This recipe also uses coconut milk so it’s good for the lactose intolerant. I don’t have an ice-cream maker so I use my blender.

The ingredients are as below to get slightly less than 2 litres of ice-cream. Use half the ingredients if you prefer less ice-cream.

Avocado ice cream

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 800 ml coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons of maple syrup (more if you prefer a sweeter taste)
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

1. Place the avocados, coconut milk, maple syrup and water in the blender. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

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2. Add the cocoa powder into the mix. Blend for another 20 seconds.

Avocado ice cream

3. Pour the mixture into any container you like

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4. Let the ice-cream freeze for a few hours. Don’t do what I did and take the ice-cream out after one hour. The ice-cream turned out less firm that I would have liked. The subsequent batches were better because they were fully frozen. Leave them to thaw for about five minutes before tucking into the rich goodness.

Chocolate avocado

And voila, a simple and nutritious dessert to feed your tummy and soul.

Why I am eating less meat than before

Paleo diets tend to be synonymous with meat eating. Mark’s Daily Apple, for example, recommends that meat, fish, fowl and eggs make up the bulk of one’s caloric intake. Eating meat every day, or even at every meal, would not be out of place in a paleo diet.

When I first started my paleo journey, I feasted on all sorts of meat, from Korean BBQ pork to juicy slabs of steak. I even started eating meat for breakfast, which was very unusual for me. Then my body got really sick of all the meat and I practically went vegetarian for two weeks after that because I couldn’t stand the thought of another chicken wing.

Today, I eat far less meat than before. And after watching several documentaries recently, I am even more convinced that I should minimise my meat intake. There are several reasons:

  • The livestock industry does more harm to the environment than transport

Livestock is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is a higher share than transport, according to a 2006 UN report. Raising animals for consumption also contributes greatly to deforestation, with 70% of previous forested land in the Amazon occupied by pastures. I almost cannot believe it but apparently livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land area. The documentary Cowspiracy, which was an eye opener for me, talks about these environmental effects.

Source: Foodwatch
Source: Foodwatch

This problem is only going to get worse as countries become wealthier and demand for more meat. In particular, I foresee China contributing massively to the demand for meat. Already, they are the world’s largest pork consumer. Continue reading Why I am eating less meat than before

Nut butters made in Singapore

Nuts are great for your health. I love my nut butters and I usually buy them from Melrose or Meridian. They sell everything from almond to macadamia butter. Now, instead of buying them from foreign brands, we can reduce our carbon footprint and at the same time, support local butter churners.

One such company is Nuts About Butter, which creates their butters using baked nuts, raw honey and sea salt. They have three different flavours: almond, almond macadamia and almond sesame. You can buy them in full sized jars or small little cute ones like these below.

Nuts About Butter

I have never had nut butters with sweeteners before. The honey was a nice addition because it balanced out the creaminess of the nuts.

Blender in action
Nuts are blended into a creamy paste

Nuts about Butter can be purchased at:

On my recent trip to the Kranji Countryside Farmers’ market, I also came across nut butters made by The Hunters’ Kitchenette. Continue reading Nut butters made in Singapore

How to pan fry pumpkin seeds

Guest post by Paleozilla

Pumpkins are great for roasting, making soup and carving for Halloween. But the often overlooked seeds tend to get thrown away in the process. Here is how you can pan fry pumpkin seeds and eat them for a tasty and healthy snack.

1. First, remove the seeds from other pumpkin. Try to remove all the pumpkin flesh. Although I fry the seeds together with the pumpkin flesh on occasion, the moisture means that the seeds can go soggy rather than crispy.

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2. Place the seeds in a separate dish or kitchen paper. These little kernels are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a great source of fibre.

pumpkin seeds

3. Scoop about a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Wait until the oil becomes hot and starts to evaporate. Add the pumpkin seeds and shallow fry until they are brown and crispy on the outside. Continue reading How to pan fry pumpkin seeds

How to cook chicken soup from scratch

Hi everyone, this is a guest post from Paleozilla, who will teach us how to cook a simple chicken soup. Be sure to get the best chicken you can get to make this a truly nutritious dish. Try to get free-range chicken or as a compromise, Sakura chicken, which is hormone free, live in a temperature-controlled, clean environment with enough space for them to roam about while listening to Mozart. Yes, Mozart…!

Simple Chicken Soup From Scratch for 3-4 People.
Preparation time 5-10 mins.
Cooking time 1.5 – 2.0 hours on a low heat.
Difficulty – very easy! Little preparation, just top up the water as you go along.

“As it says in the title, this is a simple way to make chicken soup from scratch and feeds 3-4 people. The recipe is a simple version of an English chicken soup that I grew up with. Chicken soup is a great recipe as it is easy to prepare and most of all because you get the very most out of your chicken with no waste at all. Furthermore, all the chicken innards, which have a lot of goodness but not everyone likes to eat separately, help to make the soup. Additionally this recipe is great because if you need to feed more people it is easy, follow the same steps with a bigger chicken and add more veggies. In fact, the recipe below is very simple and you can easily add more vegetables as you like; potato, leek, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, parsnip (for those in Europe), daikon radish (for those in Asia), beans, peas and so on. Stick to the harder type veggies such as root vegies as they will be cooked for a long time. To make sure it is chicken soup it is better not to use veggies that will disintegrate into the soup and flavor it too much such as squash or pumpkin.” – Tom

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2-3 large carrots
  • 1-2 onions
  • 2-3 sticks of celery
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves, handful of thyme
  • 4 pinches each of salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Start with an entire chicken. Just be certain it is clean inside; rinse any excess blood out. I did not use the head but the neck, innards and claws all went in – all tasty goodness!

Chicken soup 1

Preparation is dead simple – the chicken needs little prep, only to be washed and the head to be cut off. The veggies want each end cut off. The onion and garlic need peeling, of course, but the carrot does not. Cut the veggies roughly into large pieces. Do not cut them too small as they will be cooked for 1.5 hours.

2. Pour the olive oil into the bottom of a large pan. Put the whole chicken into the pan and brown it on both sides. This should take a matter of a few minutes each side.

3. Remove the chicken and set it aside for now.

4. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the same oil and sweat the vegetables for 5-6 minutes.

5. Now put the chicken back into the pot on top of the vegetables and add enough cold water to cover the chicken entirely. Now season the soup with the bay leaves, a handful of thyme and 4 pinches each of salt and black pepper.

Chicken soup 2
The chicken is browned to give it more flavour

6. Close the lid and cook slowly on a medium-low heat for as long as it takes for the chicken meat to start to fall off the bone, approximately 1.5 – 2.0 hours on a low heat. The pot must be closed to retain the water. Continue reading How to cook chicken soup from scratch

Review: Spinacas – salads delivered right to your doorstep

Some days I’m so busy at work that I don’t even have time to step out from my office to buy food. When I’m ready to buy lunch at 1230pm, I can’t go to my favourite salad places because of the long queues. Queuing up for 20 minutes to get a bowl of spinach is not what I want to do at lunch!

You can beat the queue and have a nutritious meal delivered right to your doorstep with Spinacas. Not only do they have a physical stall at Chinatown, they also deliver your food for free for orders above $30.

Phyllis, who is the owner of Spinacas, kindly dropped by my office with two bowls of fresh salad on her cute red Vespa. I love her ride. I was expecting her to show up in a van but the bike was way cooler.

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Yes, I can get used to a daily lunch delivery service

I ordered two different salads. One was the vegetarian ratatouille salad and the other was the BBQ pulled pork salad. The salad came in a plastic container, with the salad base separate from the “wet” ingredients i.e. the roasted vegetables and the pulled pork. The dressing was also placed in a separate round container.

I started with the lighter vegetarian salad. The wet ingredients, consisting of aubergine, zucchini and mushrooms cooked ratatouille-style and layered with a savory tomato sauce, came wrapped in a aluminum foil. I unwrapped the packet, which was quite a messy process, and placed the vegetables in the salad base.

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Vegetarian Ratatouille

I followed up with some good tossing. Here, you can see the base ingredients of spinach, pickled red babbage, broccoli, hard boiled egg, cheddar cheese and nuts. The dressing was a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Continue reading Review: Spinacas – salads delivered right to your doorstep

Review: Project Paleo – finally! Paleo lunches in the CBD

Back in the 2013 when I first started this blog, there was no such thing as a paleo restaurant or takeaway or cafe in Singapore. You either had to cook at home to get a good paleo meal or just close an eye and brave it outside. First, Cavemen Food opened up at Novena Square Two. And now for people at Raffles Place, we have Project Paleo.

Here is the owner Joyce with her stall at 15 Phillip Street. Her food contain no refined sugar, no harmful additives, no diary and no gluten. Olive oil is used for cooking.

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All sets go for $8, which include one main and two sides. The mains range from chicken to fish to beef to pork. The sides include sweet potatoes, mushrooms and vegetables. And fear not if you are vegetarian because you can choose three sides as well.

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I chose the salmon with cauliflower rice and mushrooms. Here’s my verdict:

  • Salmon: tender but quite plain and less tasty than I expected.
  • Mushrooms: yummy! The best part of my dish.
  • Cauliflower rice: this tastes very interesting indeed – like coleslaw but a super healthy version. Some people in the paleo world eat this to simulate the mouth feel of real rice.
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Salmon, mushrooms and cauliflower rice

My overall thought was that the dish was very small. I wasn’t full after eating even though I enjoyed every delicious morsel of food. The salmon was 150 grams and for another $4 you can add on another 100 grams. Or maybe I just have a huge appetite! Continue reading Review: Project Paleo – finally! Paleo lunches in the CBD

What people eat around the world

In 2007, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio visited 30 families in 24 countries to document what they ate. The results were incredible photographs showing Indian, Japanese, Mexican families with their weekly meals.

what-the-world-eats-peter-menzel-India
The Patkar family spends around $45 per week
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The Ukita family spends around $361 per week

I have always been curious about what other people eat. When I’m at supermarkets, I would peer into the baskets of other shoppers. Did that man just buy 10 bags of Coke and 8 bags of potato chips? And, oh wow, that salmon looks amazing – where did she get that?

In their 2010 book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, Peter and Faith focused on the diets of individuals instead.

On one extreme, we have this lady in the UK showing us what she eats on a bingeing day. Her bags of chips, chocolate bars, bread and sausages amounted to more than 12,000 calories.

Continue reading What people eat around the world

Now online at The Naturalyst: paleo condiments and cooking essentials

I’ve lamented before that it’s never easy to eat paleo in Singapore. Every time I go to the supermarket, I have to read the ingredients label of everything I buy. Recently I was looking for miso soup paste and I had to study the back of every packet to find one that didn’t use MSG.

There is now a new online shop in town called The Naturalyst catering to us fussy paleo eaters. Run by a lady named Regina Soh who shares the same frustrations as me about the difficulties of healthy eating, she has stocked her online shop with essential paleo ingredients such as Red Boat fish sauce, which contains just two ingredients: fresh caught wild black anchovies and sea salt. Popular paleo blogger Nom Nom Paleo loves it in her dishes. It’s really freaking difficult to find sugar-free sauce so Red Boat fish sauce is a must.

I’m also excited by her supply of coconut aminos, which is used in the paleo world as a replacement for soy products. Coconut aminos are great when you need salty flavouring. I’ve used it to fry Shirataki no-calorie noodles. Before knowing of the existence of the Naturalyst, I bought my bottle of coconut aminos from iHerb.

So without further ado, let’s meet Regina and see what the paleo diet has done for her health.

Interview with Regina from The Naturalyst

Regina

Continue reading Now online at The Naturalyst: paleo condiments and cooking essentials

Want to win some paleo goodies?

I’m giving away a loaf of paleo bread or a bag of paleo cookies to two people! Now is a great time for you to take part if you’ve always wanted to try the bread or cookies but are not sure if you’ll like it. Or if you’re a regular customer, you can get your next loaf for free! This is the first contest I’m sponsoring so I’m very excited. The winner also gets a one clothing item from local online yoga retailer www.omgoing.com, which stocks amazing brands like Teeki and Liquidoactive.

contest free bread

It’s very easy to take part in this contest.

1. First, you need to have Instagram. Go download the app on your phone if you haven’t! It’s fun and you can ‘follow’ people to see what they are up to!

2. Next take a photo of yourself wearing your gym wear outside of the studio. The idea is that we need not confine exercise clothes to the gym and that there are creative ways to make them look good for outside wear as well.

3. Post this photo with the hashtag #coloursplashsg and tag the four sponsors @paleorina @omgoing @yogaseeds and @trinityark. The other sponsors are also giving away goodies, including free yoga lessons.

3. This contest will run for two weeks from now until 23 July 2014. Winners will be announced on my Instagram wall.

Here are some sample photographs. Let’s create some colour splashes around Singapore!

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Omgoing sisters wearing their yoga tops to the playground
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Aunty Pearly taking her yoga leggings sightseeing overseas