BERRY SAUCE OATMEAL PORRIDGE

I've been at my laziest state for the past two weeks by taking some time off gym and cardio. I was feeling low, restless, lethargic and unmotivated. Nothing seems to spark my interest. Very strange. Ryan dropped some hints that I have not been in my usual cheeky state during this break and urged me a few times to get back to exercise routine. After sorting out my thoughts and recognising why I have been feeling this way, I brought myself to exercise whilst watching Breakfast at Tiffany's on Netflix. 

After one session, I discovered my weakness: I can't focus on counting the number of lunges and watch TV concurrently. So much for trying to maximise my time with two tasks which then I gave up on one half way. Haha I gave up watching the part where Holly invited guests over to her house party, not two more sets of backward lunges😂 Looking back, this week was rough. Getting back to routine is like I'm at the bottom of this performance curve, slow and struggling. But the choice to take a step forward gives power to the voice of the angel is my head, the voice that advises what I should do to clear my mind, regain positive vibes and make the week awesome again. Baby steps make a difference, not now, but in a month or longer. Doing trumps worrying. 

Speaking of positive vibes, I headed straight to the supermarket to hunt down all the perishables I needed at the supermarket before the workout.

*Tip: Do something that makes you feel good before exercising. Start with a euphoric state.

I still prefer to stroll down the aisles, handpick fruits and vegetables then ogle at pricey marmalade or sashimi, in hopes that they will be on hot promotion one day🤓  Of course, discover new food and contemplate whether to be bold and try cooking it or just passed. With the great establishment of online grocers, they practically helped to lift off some load from the heavy household items I used to carry home under unbearable heat. Now milk cartons, honey jars, toiletries and the bulky items were all ordered online and delivered punctually to my place, no sweat, no hassle. Easy breezy. Thank you honest bee!

Apart from getting back to exercise routine, diet and health supplements ought to complement the overall health I'm striving for. For breakfast, nothing beats a hearty oatmeal porridge with a greedy portion of triple berries and crunch to kickstart the day. This recipe that I'm sharing was an unplanned one. Unlike the 15 minute breakfast porridge recipe which I sliced up fresh fruits, berries are heated with coconut oil and a secret ingredient to spice up this breakfast. Dried preserved ginger slices!

Actually, that packet of dried preserved ginger slices was left in one corner at the top shelve for a few weeks when I bought it back from Malaysia. They smell woody and taste sassy, they left me in tears when I munch on the whole slice.  Ahh...too pungent and stinging to eat it raw. Not pleasant at all...That's why I put it in an isolated corner, totally out of sight and out of reach. Until today, I gave it another chance threw some ginger slices into the berry sauce, it gives a silent, mellow spiciness in the sauce. Hmm..kinda tastes like a warm mulled wine. Other than adding them to sweet sauces, I took a spoonful of these ginger slices and add them in a glass of warm water with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and drink before bed every day. Here are the few benefits I've experience so far...

  • Relieves nausea from carsick
  • Digestive discomfort from spicy food, deep fried food or constipation
  • Cold and Flu prevention. For myself it reliefs my sinus every morning.
  • Reduce pain, especially during period.

At this point, if you're still with me, I'm relieved that I did not bore you with my thoughts and my poor writing in expressing myself comprehensively. 

To end this post, here are a penny of my thoughts:  We all have days that do not align to our plans. We feel lousy and doubtful, but that make us human, we dwell on negative mental events as we they activate our defensive or vulnerable self to magnify. As humans, we learn how to protect ourselves when negative encounters arise and that is also a reason why we remember negative events more than the positive ones. Every negative event will be history, they become thoughts and we need to let them go as soon as possible, give the power to the angel not the devil. Sort these thoughts into different compartments in your mind, keep the rewarding, and enlightening ones in a large storage to keep you going. Dispose those trivial ones caused by insignificant individuals in your life. In this situation, short term memory is bliss. However, there's also another storage for the unpleasant ones that taught us important lessons, and shaped us to who we are today, and I suppose they do not trigger any of our emotions when we look back anymore. What you remember determines how you want to perceive the world differently. 

To end this post, here are a penny of my thoughts:

We all have days that do not align to our plans. We feel lousy and doubtful, but that make us human, we dwell on negative mental events as we they activate our defensive or vulnerable self to magnify. As humans, we learn how to protect ourselves when negative encounters arise and that is also a reason why we remember negative events more than the positive ones. Every negative event will be history, they become thoughts and we need to let them go as soon as possible, give the power to the angel not the devil. Sort these thoughts into different compartments in your mind, keep the rewarding, and enlightening ones in a large storage to keep you going. Dispose those trivial ones caused by insignificant individuals in your life. In this situation, short term memory is bliss. However, there's also another storage for the unpleasant ones that taught us important lessons, and shaped us to who we are today, and I suppose they do not trigger any of our emotions when we look back anymore. What you remember determines how you want to perceive the world differently. 

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1 tsp preserved ginger slices 
  • 6 black berries, cut in 3 parts
  • 8 raspberries 
  • 4 strawberries, sliced in circles 
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup baby oats bran
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp white Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cups almond milk

Toppings

  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp goji berries 
  • 1 tsp turmeric, grated
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

Directions

  1. Add coconut oil on a skillet over medium heat. Pour berries and ginger slices into skillet and gently mix them for 2-3 minutes. 
  2. Once berries soften, turn off heat immediately. Do not overcook berries till they are mushy and out of shape. Set aside and let it cool.
  3. Mix rolled oats, baby bran, pumpkin seeds, white chia seeds, almond milk into a bowl. Put in the microwave oven for 3 minutes or until the oats have soften.
  4. Distribute oats porridge to two serving bowls. Top porridge with half portion of berry sauce, greek yogurt, goji berries and turmeric respectively. 
  5. Drizzle 1 tbsp raw honey to each serving bowl. 

Enjoy! Xx

- Ally

15 MINS | SUPERFOODS BREAKFAST PORRIDGE

Hey guys! At the start of October, I found my new motto, "I live to eat and eat to live!" Currently, both elements are equally important to lead a balanced, and sane lifestyle. Some days I live to eat, satisfy my sudden cravings for sour cream Pringles (once I start, I finish them all😁), lemon meringue, and rice noodles. However, to enjoy these pleasurable cravings, it comes with an effort to listen and consume foods that my body really needs every day. This is where "eat to live" comes in place. Conscious eating is now a vital route to body and mental wellness. We need a certain amount of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, fibre and good fat every day to maintain a healthy weight and metabolism. So I started preparing quick hearty breakfast to act upon what my body needs in order to live better, to satiate my indulgence in diverse gastronomy experiences. 

One troubling issue I face for many years is my ability to stay sharp and focus. Lack of sleep and poor eating habits are the main contributing factors. In the past, my breakfast comprised of a cup of coffee with milk and no sugar, and a plate of fried bee hoon (Asian rice noodles) or a bread. Yes, I ate like a king, but that combination sent me straight to sleepy town within 2 hours. I was unproductive and often led to procrastination 😓.  

When I started reading widely across different nutritional websites and found out that superfoods might be the solution to boost my productivity indirectly. 

Now I eat like a wise king, everything is carefully selected to hit my quota of nutrients required per day! Likewise, coffee is still a must, but I replace rice noodles/bread with superfood porridge oats with fresh fruits and nuts! Oats will never look like a pile of plain and unappealing mush to me anymore...

This combination is prepared within 15 minutes every morning. Choosing a breakfast with complex carbohydrates takes the body longer to break down, hence this porridge lasts me for 3-4 hours, and curbs my appetite. Also, this is the portion I stick to every day, after calculating what is the recommended daily intake of each ingredient from these sources:

The first step to change was the hardest but I'm glad that I look at the positive side of consuming oats to make my mornings productive now. Actually I'm at the stage that I got tired with this combination, so I tend to brainstorm every Sunday and explore other combinations to spice it up. Therefore, oats can never be boring and breakfast remains to be the highly anticipated meal of the day.😊

Lastly, avoid flavoured oats or instant oats mix as they are high in sugar and sodium content! 

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 4 strawberries 
  • 1 passion fruit
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

Directions

  • Add chia seeds and almond milk to rolled oats. Microwave porridge for 3 minutes or until it softens. 
  • Meanwhile cut strawberries and passion fruit in halves. Assemble the fruits on the porridge and sprinkle dry ingredients over. 
  • Grate turmeric over nicely assembled porridge and drizzle with virgin coconut oil. 

Enjoy the energiser! Xx

-Ally

CELEBRATION | AVOCADO LIME CHEESECAKE

Aloha people! After spending couple weeks of polishing my portfolio here and there, hunting for new opportunities every day, I've landed myself in a new work environment. Now that June is finally here, I'm relishing the fact that my next career milestone will bring me closer to food, photography and videography, yay! 🙌🏻  This calls for a celebration🎉

So how can we call it a celebration without any cake? Hmm...actually baking is a real challenge to me. According to my brief baking history, it's either I make it or burn it like a tough cardboard paper. To avoid any mishaps, I've decided to play safe and went ahead with a no-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake. This is a recipe Teresa has shared with me last year in Scotland. I vividly remembered the first bite of this cake she made, and with all zest and zeal, the first thing I said was, "Can you give me the recipe?" 

This simple avocado lime cheesecake is purely prepared with fresh fruits and nuts. It will not stay in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours once you serve it to avocado/coconut lovers!

Note: There's no cheese in the cake. It's the texture that resembles a typical cheesecake!

Also, here are the 3 reasons why I absolutely love the cake:

1. I'm a huge fan of avocado and coconut! These two tropical fruits are no strangers to anyone, and having two distinctive flavours blend together, I'm surprised they harmonise well. It's a tangy dessert for a summer pool party or an indoor potluck if you want to stay away from the scorching heat with your friends and family.

2. Guilt-free cake? Yes! High-fat cake? Double yes! Healthy nuts and fruits that contain fat has been labelled as "Superfoods" today. Our bodies need a sufficient amount of fat each day, and we should reduce our intake in sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. High-fat ingredients such as avocados, almonds, dark chocolate and coconut oil are all present in this cake. They are high in fibre, fatty-acids and associate to many health benefits. A slice of this cake can suppress our appetite and potentially reduce our calorie intake, resulting a boost in our metabolism per day. 

3. I call this a smoothie cake. All you need is a blender to mix the ingredients for the filling. Easy peasy!

Ingredients (serves 12 slices)

(For the base)

  • 100g almonds (or walnuts)
  • 35g desiccated coconut
  • 185g pitted dates (around 13 dates)
  • 70g 85% dark chocolate bar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted and at room temperature

(For the filling)

  • 4 avocados
  • 90ml lime juice (around 11/2 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (avoid the bitter white part)
  • 175g set honey
  • 150ml coconut oil, melted and at room temperature

For the toppings (optional)

  • Berries
  • Crushed nuts of your choice
  • Desiccated coconut

Kitchen Equipment

  • Measuring cup
  • 12 inch round deep cake tin
  • Toaster/Oven
  • Food Processor
  • Juice blender
  • Spoon
  • Ceramic plate (to cover the top of the cake tin)
  • Kitchen scale
  • Aluminium foil

Cooking

  • Preheat the oven to fan 150°C. Lay aluminium foil sheet on the baking tray. Toast almonds and desiccated coconut on aluminium foil sheet in the oven for 7-8 minutes. Check and toss them until evenly golden.
  • Remove seeds from dates, and break the chocolate bar in small chunks. Transfer the almonds and coconut to a food processor and add the rest of the base ingredients. Blend until the mixture is crumbly and sticky, where it holds together when pinched.
  •  Transfer the base to the cake tin. Press it down firmly using the back of a spoon. Ensure the base has covered the inner edges of the cake tin evenly. Refrigerate it while you prepare the filling. 
  • Slice avocado into small chunks. Place all of the ingredients for the filling into the juice blender. Blend until the mixture is completely silky like a smoothie. Check for taste and add more lime juice for a more citrus-y taste or sweeten it with more honey.
  • Remove cake tin from the refrigerator and pour the filling over the base. Cover the tin, using the back of a plate, and return it to the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or if possible overnight. Make sure it is set and firm.
  • To serve, run a knife around the inner edges of the cake tin gingerly, and push the base up from the bottom. Transfer to a plate and add your favorite toppings. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!Xx