Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

Hello Everyone! It’s Week 4 of Smoothie month and tonight I’ve got a very simple recipe yet packed with lots of flavour and nutrients. I don’t actually have much to share with you guys besides the fact that it has been a long week of work. I actually genuinely thought that today was Thursday, and then to my dismay, it’s only Wednesday – I was so looking forward to being one step closer to my 1-day weekend!

Besides my life being non-exciting for the past week, on Monday I started my Meat Free Week in preparation for Easter. So far, it’s going well and I can definitely say that I am in a much better place than where I was two years ago with this. Two years ago I was always hungry and depressed for being always hungry. I lasted the whole week but despised the rollercoaster of emotions that I experienced. Last year, I did not last 3 days I think – I needed my meat. This time around, I’ve completed 3 days without meat, but I have to say, yesterday I had such intense cravings for deep fried crispy chicken – and to my dear friend Pam, saying round 2 to Korean Fried Chicken did not help me get over my cravings that day! Haha.

Anyway, tomorrow will be a bit more exciting I guess. After work I’ll be having dinner with my Marketing colleagues and then heading off to do some ice-skating! Oh gosh, what have I gotten myself into. Firstly, I may have mentioned this in a previous blog post before, and I can’t skate to save my life! The last time I went ice-skating, I fell hard on my bum 7 times in a span of a 2-hour skating session. Secondly, I managed to slice my pinky finger on someone else’s skates as I was going down for my last fall of the day. It was a small cut, but the scar is still visible *sad face*

Moving on, if you’re not already a fan of strawberries, you should be. Not only are they juicy, summery and delicious, they’re a bona fide superfood, too. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C), strawberries offer a wide range of health benefits. Strawberries boost your immunity, promote eye health, help fight cancer and bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation, regulate blood pressure, boost fibre, aid in weight management, and result in healthier, younger-looking skin. To read each health benefit in more detail, head on over to Reader’s Digest Best Health. Likewise, bananas too contain many important nutrients and powerful antioxidants that help support heart health, improve digestive health, moderate blood sugar levels, and many more. You can read more on the health benefits of bananas here.

Strawberry & Banana Smoothie Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 fresh banana, peeled
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup Ice
  • 1 tablespoon honey, if needed to sweeten

METHOD

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender, and pulse until combined. If the smoothie is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more fruit and/or ice.
  2. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Blackberry, Pineapple, & Spinach Smoothie

Hello Everyone! First of all, I apologise that it has taken me this long to be able to edit this part of the post. If you do not already know, I had a flight to catch on Wednesday evening to Singapore. Upon arriving in Singapore at about 7:20pm that evening, I headed straight for the hotel to drop my things off, and then quickly headed back out again with my sister for a very late dinner. After dinner, we shopped for a bit, mainly to buy some water and a comb since I forgot to pack mine. We then said our goodbyes at the train station and headed in opposite directions. I didn’t get back to my hotel until about 10:30pm, maybe 10:45pm that night, and I hadn’t prepared my usual Wednesday post. Nevertheless, I quickly got it up because I am very particular about getting my posts up on its scheduled day – I just haven’t shared it on my other social media pages because I wanted to write this part out properly.

So yes! I am in Singapore until this coming Wednesday 9th March. I’m here to do some important errands, and of course to have some rest and relaxation from work, and of course to do some shopping! Aside from that, it’s my sisters birthday as well (March 04). We’ll be celebrating by going on a River Safari all day Saturday, and then spending the Sunday café hopping with my friend Pamela. I also have plans to meet up, cook, eat, and catch up with some friends from high school so that should be fun!

Anyway, so before we race on to the recipe, please check out the original over on Way Fair. I replaced the milk with coconut water for a diary-free option, and coconut water is filled with electrolytes and potassium, which are two nutrients your body craves when expending lots of energy. It’s low in calories, fat, and sugar meaning that this is the liquid-base you want when working out. In addition, blackberries contain a handful amount of vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, and K. Blackberries also include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc. They are a good source of amino acids and essential dietary fibre without offering any harmful cholesterol. If you’d like to read up more on the health benefits of blackberries, click here.

 

Blackberry, Pineapple, & Spinach Smoothie Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME — MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/4 cup pineapple
  • Handful of walnuts

METHOD

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately.

Blackberry, Pineapple, & Spinach Smoothie Ingredients

Blackberry, Pineapple, & Spinach Smoothie

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cucumber, Ginger, & Orange Juice

Hello Everyone! I do apologise if last weeks post felt rushed and not planned, well it was actually – at that time, I had just returned home from a gym workout and I hadn’t even written that post yet nor did I prepare the photographs to upload that night as well. Such a great start to the New Year am I right? Anyway, I’m starting this post off right now (which is a Sunday night) and then I’ll probably be wrapping it up on Wednesday night after my gym workout once again.

So as you may or may not know already, depending if you’re a regular follower on my blog and social media pages, the theme for this month is healthy juices a.k.a. Juicy January! I thought that it’d be a nice way to kick off the New Year since a majority of the population would have made a resolution sounding like this: Workout, Get Fit, Lose Weight, Eat Clean/Healthy, etc. etc. And yes, this is me EVERY single New Years, and then three months in… What workout? Eat Clean? No way… FRIES! Let me make this clear though – no, I am not on a juice diet (detox?) whatever it’s called, I’m just exploring new ways I can enjoy fruit and vegetables combined as a post-workout refresher when I get home. I still (sometimes) eat like there’s tomorrow *cheeky grin*. Anyway, yes, it’s already 10pm on a Wednesday night, and here I am still writing this part of the post after coming home from the gym, having a banana, showered ready for bed, and then I remember that I still have this to do!

Cucumber, Ginger, & Orange Juice

This combination of Orange + Ginger + Cucumber helps improve skin texture and moisture, and reduces body heat.

Many just assume that oranges contain high levels of vitamin C which strengthens our immune responses of the body, protecting us against recurring cold and cough or any other common infections. That is basically just one of the may heath benefits of a single medium-sized orange. For example, oranges also help prevent the ageing of our skin which is from the vitamin A present in oranges that help keep the skin membranes healthy. It also contains a powerful antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which protects the cells from being damaged. Other vitamins and minerals that can be found is oranges include: vitamin B1, calcium, copper, fibre, potassium, and much more.

“…there’s reason to eat cucumbers all year long. With vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese, cucumbers can help you to avoid nutrient deficiencies that are widespread among those eating a typical American diet.” — Dr. Mercola

There are many proven health benefits of ginger, but in a nutshell, ginger has a long history of use for relieving digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain. What I do find quite relevant though (since I am getting back into a regular exercise regime), is that ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large orange, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into thirds
  • Small thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled

METHOD

  1. Finely rate the ginger and extract it’s juices by squeezing it, about a quarter teaspoon should do. Add to a tall glass.
  2. Juice the other two ingredients using an electric juicer. Pour into the tall glass and add ice if you want your juice cold.Serve and enjoy, especially on a hot tropical afternoon for a nice refresher or for a post-workout drink.

Cucumber, Ginger, & Orange Juice

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Apple, Carrot, & Celery Juice

Hello Everyone and a very Happy New Year to all my family, friends, and followers! I’ll keep this part short, and probably write more in my next post as it’s currently way past bedtime for me here in Brunei. I just want to let you guys know that Amcarmen’s Kitchen is back for 2016, kicking it off with some health juices for the month of January! I am also back with an all new upload schedule, which I will probably explain in next week’s post – but basically, from today onwards, tune in to Amcarmen’s Kitchen every Wednesday night for a new post!

So, I think the combination was meant to go like Apple + Carrot + Tomato, in which, this combination helps to improve skin complexion and eliminate bad breath, but we never got around to juicing up this combination – maybe because we didn’t have tomatoes in our vegetable compartment that time? Anyway, we had celery and used that instead. I’m not sure now what health benefits this combination with celery provide, but celery contains an excellent source of vitamin K which is beneficial to the human body as it is required for complete production of certain proteins that are prerequisites for blood coagulation. Our bodies need this for controlling the binding of calcium in bones and other tissues. Other health benefits of celery include: vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and despite being mainly water, celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fibre. So mix that in with some sweet apples and a carrot for more rich vitamins and minerals such as iron, copper, and manganese, and you’ve got yourself a tasty and super healthy juice!

Apple, Carrot, & Celery Juice

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large green or red apple, quartered and cored
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into thirds

METHOD

  1. Juice all the ingredients using an electric juicer. Pour into a tall glass and add ice if you want your juice cold. Serve and enjoy, especially on a hot tropical afternoon for a nice refresher!

You may also replace the celery with about a half teaspoon of ginger juice. This combination helps to boost and cleanse our system. Happy juicing everyone!

Apple, Carrot, & Ginger Juice

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Sadhana Kitchen

Sadhana Kitchen

Hello Everyone! Not only is it another Review Sunday but it is also my 100th post on the blog! 10 months ago I started this blog out of pure procrastination. Basically I was bored over the Easter break and was in no mood to tackle the many assignments that I had at the time for uni. Thus this blog was born. I have long been interested in food even way before 10 months ago, and was encouraged by many to start up a blog. I can say now that what was once just hobby, I have now grown to put much more effort into each dish that I prepare and into each blog post that goes up 3 times a week. I don’t want to say that blogging is now my ‘job’ as it sounds a little bit like ‘I have to do it’ kind of thing. It’s not about me having to do a blog post for everyone out there, but it is more like I do it because I want to do it – if that makes any sense? Anyway, I am just super happy about how well I have been doing with my blog and I have some exciting new changes coming up in the next few months. I am also looking to building up my followers both on wordpress and other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, so if any of you guys out there have any tips on how to do this, your help/knowledge will be much appreciated!

Sadhana Kitchen

Now on to today’s post – Sadhana Kitchen! I first came to know about this little gem through posts on Instagram from various food bloggers. What attracted me to their menu was that the food they served was always so colourful through the uploads I came across while browsing through my newsfeed. The great thing about Sadhana Kitchen, even though it does not really matter in my case, is that they are gluten-free, organic, raw, and vegan – Sydney’s first organic wholefoods and raw foods café. Now, when I made mention that it does not really matter to me, I meant that I am not gluten intolerant, nor am I a vegan, but I was quite intrigued as to what kind of foods do those with dietary requirements eat since I am a person who can eat almost anything and everything. I often find myself saying how I’d never go vegetarian or vegan because I love meat too much to give it up but after paying a visit to Sadhana Kitchen, I have a whole new appreciation for healthy, organic, and raw superfoods. Though I don’t think that I will ever find myself converting, maybe not right now that is. I can’t say what will happen in the future, maybe tomorrow I will wake up and suddenly transform into a ‘crazy vegan lady’ as one of the waitresses mentioned about her obsession over veganism.

I’ve been here a total of two times, both with friends whom I know to have an appreciation for healthy foods but not necessarily vegans themselves. I thought that they’d be the perfect company for a nice weekend lunch. What was funny though was that one of my friends that I went with (she who shall not be named, but you know who you are), actually asked the lady at the counter if they put any ice cream in their smoothies – I mean, even after my other friend and I explained to her that they would definitely not put ice cream in their smoothies since its all about the vegan. The lady gave her a sort of weirded out look and said that they only use frozen fruits in their smoothies. Though I felt bad, I could not stop laughing on the inside.

This place I feel could do with a lot more seating space. Both times that I’ve been, and not even on the hour when normal people have their breakfast and/or lunch, like I’m talking 2 o’clock in the afternoon, it’s always packed. The first time we visited we were lucky enough to snag the only table left, but the second time around we weren’t so lucky. We waited about 20 minutes before we could run and grab a table, and after we did the place started empty out slowly.

Sadhana Kitchen - FRAPPES: PITAYA PUNCHFRAPPES: PITAYA PUNCH
Pitaya (dragon fruit), strawberries, banana, and orange ($9.50)

I love dragon fruit, but even though this is called a ‘pitaya’ smoothie, the banana taste came across more predominantly. A refreshing smoothie nonetheless and had a very vibrant colour to it which made it even more appealing to the eye.

Sadhana Kitchen - GREEN SMOOTHIES: COOL MINT
GREEN SMOOTHIES: COOL MINT
Seasonal greens, orange, mango, and flax seeds. Vitamin, mineral, and fibre booster with omega-3 fatty acids ($9.50)

Though I wasn’t quite sure about what greens were added to the smoothie (but I’m guessing either kale, spinach, or even both), the mint flavour really came through. Again, refreshing for a warm summer day.

Sadhana Kitchen - SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES: WARRIOR SMOOTHIESUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES: WARRIOR SMOOTHIE
Blueberries, raspberries, banana, sprouted brown rice protein powder, chia seeds, coconut oil, mesquite, and almonds. Packed with muscle building cholesterol free protein, omega-3 for brain function, and calcium & manganese for healthy bones ($9.50)

The epic of smoothies! Very thick though so it was a bit difficult to drink from the straw.

Sadhana Kitchen - RAW SANDWICHES: BLAT
RAW SANDWICHES: BLAT
Sadhana coconut bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato, coriander and house-made mayo, in between two sliced of onion bread ($14.50)

What intrigued me about this dish was the ‘coconut bacon’ which basically was just coconut that was made to look like bacon and even had the texture of bacon. I’m not sure about whether it’s an innovative way of thinking from Sadhana Kitchen, as in if it’s actually already a thing that someone else came up with, but definitely creative idea!

Sadhana Kitchen - SADHANA LASAGNE
SADHANA LASAGNE
Layers of zucchini pasta, cultured cashew cheeze, basil pesto, walnut mince, wilted spinach, and chunky tomato sauce ($15.50)

This was the dish that I had the first time I came around to visiting Sadhana Kitchen. Don’t be fooled by the size of it on the dish, it actually filled me up good! Loved the flavours of the dish and that walnut mince really looked like meat mince that you’d find in your traditional lasagne.

Sadhana Kitchen - CARROT AND WALNUT FALAFEL PLATE
CARROT AND WALNUT FALAFEL PLATE
Carrot and walnut falafels served with seasonal greens, pickles, olives, zucchini hummus, and beet dip ($16.50)

This was the other dish that I had the second time around. I initially wanted to order their Prana Pad Thai which had kelp and zucchini noodles, but they unfortunately ran out. I had no regrets though because this dish did not only look pretty on the plate and appealing to the eye, it had great flavour and was also surprisingly filling (just not a filling as the lasagne of course). The ‘falafels’ had a nice crunch to them as well as a roasted flavour. The dips complimented them nicely and the salad on the side really enhanced the flavours that it needed to bring it to the next level of flavour satisfaction.

Sadhana Kitchen - SADHANA SUPER BOWL
SADHANA SUPER BOWL
Shredded kale, house-made sauerkraut, cherry tomato, cucumber, and pesto zoodles served with Brazil nut cheddar, sundried tomato, and smoked paprika hummus ($17.50)

I’m not quite sure as to how this dish tasted, only because this wasn’t my dish to consume. I had a taste of the zoodles (zucchini noodle) but that was basically it. To me, this dish looked like a bowl of vegetables – that’s it really, though my friend did find it quite satisfying.

Sadhana Kitchen


SNICKERS CHEEZECAKE
Cashews, almonds, walnuts, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla, dates, sesame, and salt ($12.50)

This cheezecake was made with layers of nougat creme, milk chocolate, and chocolate ganache topped with caramelised nut clusters. Probably my favourite from the two of the cakes we had. The flavour really came through as it almost tasted like a traditional snickers bar – when I say traditional, I mean it in a way that it doesn’t taste like the vegan alternative.

Sadhana Kitchen - WHITE CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL BANOFFEE PIE
WHITE CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL BANOFFEE PIE
Cashews, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, stevia, cacao butter, sesame, vanilla, dates, maca, mesquite, and lucuma salt ($12.50)

This banoffee pie was made of layers of banana creme, salted caramel creme, and white chocolate creme on a walnut & coconut biscuit base. The name itself was already enough for me to be sold on ordering it, but I must say that that was probably the only good thing about it, the name. I don’t know what it was, but the cake didn’t quite tickle my fancy. I think it was the taste of it? Like the banana tasted a bit off, not that they used a bad banana, but it was more like you know it’s supposed to be banana, but it doesn’t taste like banana kind of thing. It was also the cake that was ignored for a while on the table when we dug into our desserts.

Sadhana Kitchen - SALTED CARAMEL SUNDAE COCOWHIP
SALTED CARAMEL SUNDAE COCOWHIP
Twisted SK coconut cocowhip, topped with half a caramel slice, cacao nibs, himalayan pink salt, and house made superfood caramel sauce ($13.00)

The second time we came around to visiting Sadhana Kitchen, it was all about the cocowhip hype. To be honest, it was alright. Loved the added toppings, but I felt like the cocowhip was a little bit too soft. By the time we dug in and had about 2-3 spoons each, it was almost like soup, and it wasn’t even a particularly hot day as well for it to melt so fast!

Before I end, here are a few things that you might want to know about organic/raw foods, and veganism:

  • Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products and by-products, particularly in diet.
  • Foods that are prepared and processed without exceeding 40°C are known to be raw. This way of preparation allows the food’s natural enzymes to stay intact, which in return gives your body the most benefit and easy digestion.
  • The best place to start improving your health is by improving what you eat. This is the main reason why Sadhana Kitchen insist on using only pure, organic seasonal produce that is free from harmful toxins to create delicious dishes.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this place for those who are fans of organic and raw foods, and of course those who are all about the vegan. I would also recommend this for those who are experimenting with food and are open to broadening their palettes. Like I said, I would probably never go vegan myself, but having experienced the foods has really made me appreciate how else it can be prepared and still be as filling and delicious as what I am used to eating. The food is a definite 8.5 out of 10 for me. Their main menu was the stand out, but their dessert disappointed a bit, even though I was even more excited for their dessert menu. Service was good, and the ambience could be a bit better. Value for money is variable, I don’t know about spending $12.50 for a slice of cake. I definitely hope to visit again soon as I am curious to know what the vegan substitute for their ‘eggs benny’ is and their prana pad thai with kelp and zucchini noodles looks too good to pass up! *drooling*

Sadhana Kitchen

Sadhana Kitchen
147 Enmore Road
Enmore, New South Wales
Australia, 2042

– Ally xx