Sunday, 21 August 2016

ORGME: Mangosteen, the booster range

Mangosteen is one of our great local fruits, also known as the Queen of Fruits.  Its scientific name is Garcinia mangostanaWith the exception of the stem and seed, the whole fruit provides us with many wondrous health benefits naturally.  Personally, it is a fruit that tops my list.  Unfortunately, it is seasonal.  So when it is the season, I tend to stock up on the fruit and process it so I can have a longer supply.  Living in the land where this fruit can be grown naturally and organically, it is an opportunity that I like to maximise.

It is important to select good quality fruits that is at its prime when all the beneficial nutrients are at the maximum.  Mangosteen is low in calories and is a good source of vitamin C  and dietary fiber as well as providing a good amount of Vitamin B and minerals such as Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous and Zinc.  It also contains Carotene-a, Carotene-ß and Cryptoxanthin-ß (Source: USDA National Nutrient Database).

It also contains Xanthone, a class of naturally occurring polyphenol compound.  The fruit contains two types of zanthones - alpha mangosteen and gamma mangosteen - which have been shown to have several benefits including anti-inflammatory.  These antioxidants have healing properties which heals cells damaged by free radicals, slow down raging and prevent degenerative diseases and physical and mental deterioration - what we Malays say as "awet muda".  The xanthones also helps to burn fat to prevent weight gain.

The high content in Vitamin C makes it a good natural source of this vitamin which provides for improved immune system and defence against free radicals.  An important nutrient in cell development is Folate, which is found in mangosteen.

Amongst the properties of the fruit are:

  1. anti-inflammatory
  2. anti-fungal
  3. antioxidants
  4. antibacterial

Mangosteen are being used in various cancer studies with the key element of Xanthones (source: National Centre of Biotechnological Information- NCBI).  Among the studies being conducted is the use of mangosteen as a "chemopreventive" in the treatment of cancer, arresting tumor growth as well as a preventive and curative treatment for cancer.

In summary, the mangosteen provides healthy benefits:

  1. Strengthens the immune system
  2. Fights free radicals
  3. Good for the brain helping to fight against mental deterioration and degenerative diseases
  4. Helps to fight against cancer
  5. Helps the fight against cardio-vascular diseases
  6. Reduces cholesterol
  7. Helps in weight control
With all these benefits, that is why I have chosen it to be one of range of our healthy but delicious drinks, without preservative, additives or colouring, with the following selection:

  1. Mangosteen Tea (unsweetened)
  2. Mangosteen Tea (sweetened with pure cane sugar)
  3. Mangosteen Nectar (which has a higher dietary fiber content with the inclusion of the fruit flesh)
  4. Mangosteen Concentrate which can be diluted to make other drinks either hot or cold.
These drinks are designed for normal consumption, as part of the daily food intake, an alternative to the normal drinks like juices and carbonated drinks.  Personally, I drink it almost everyday and make it a part of my normal diet.  Like anybody else, I will be more inclined to drink it if it tastes good so taste is also an important criteria.  No-one wants to feel like they are drinking medicine or else it will not be easy to incorporate into our daily beverage intake.  For my son, I like to add 1 teaspoon of the concentrate in his drinks to make it "drinkable" for him.

For more information, you can whatsApp or message to 0172821219.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

ORGME: SHL Enzyme Fertilisers with Pest Control

Having an organic farm, it is important for me that the fertilisers and pest control I use are organic and free from toxic chemicals.    Moreover, I have a 3-year old who loves to help out especially when it comes to spraying.  So over the years, I have been experimenting and came up with two liquid fertilisers that is non-toxic but yet fertilises the plants whilst controlling pests.  All the ingredients used to create the concentrates are organic and natural based, available at the farm.  This helps me ensure that no toxic chemicals are introduced.  There is no need to use gloves and masks when handling the solution.

The Enzyme Fertiliser with Pest Control Concentrate is formulated for flowering and fruiting plants.  It contains the various minerals like magnesium, calcium as well as the other essential nutrients for encouraging flowering and fruiting.  It also helps to control pests like leaf miners and white flies.  It is easily applied by diluting 1-2 capfuls with 1 liter of water, preferably unchlorinated water.  Just spray it over the plant including the undersides of the leaves to fertilise whilst controlling pest.  It can also be watered over the plant.

If a plant is infested, spray daily for about 3 days and thereafter, it can be applied 1-2 times a week.  At the farm, I use it on all my fruiting plants including tomatoes, chillies and soursop.

This concentrate can also be used for cleaning such as counter tops, tiles and ceramic floors.  It leaves a pleasant citrus with herbal aroma on the areas cleaned.  To use, just dilute 1-2 capfuls in 1 later of water and use it to spray to counter tops or place in a pail to use for mopping the floor.  No need to rinse with water and is non-toxic.  It is sold in 500ml bottles and priced at RM 10.

The Green Enzyme Fertiliser with Pest Control Concentrate is formulated to encourage and care for foliage.  It contains various nutrients to encourage foliage growth.  It also helps control pests including leaf miners.  It is easily applied by diluting 1-2 capfuls with 1 liter of water, preferably unchlorinated water.  Just spray it over the plant to fertilise whilst controlling pest.  It can also be watered over the plant.

If a plant is infested, spray daily for about 3 days and thereafter, it can be applied 1-2 times a week.  At the farm, I use it on all vegetables and herbs such as pak choy, kailan, kale, spinach and various basil plant.  It is sold in 500ml bottles and priced at RM 10.

Currently, these products are available directly from us.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

SHL: Tasty healthy drinks

I prefer to have drinks that provide me health benefits but it must taste good and not make me feel that I am drinking medicine.  It needs to be enjoyable and I like to have a selection of hot or cold drinks, all as natural as possible.  I prefer to avoid refined or white sugar.

After working on my recipes and combinations, I have now come up with the SHL line of drinks and concentrates, with some being served hot, some cold and some either way.  Some of the drinks and concentrates can be combined to produce a different drink.  All the drinks and concentrate contains no preservatives, colouring, artificial flavouring, food additives or stabilisers hence it needs to be stored refrigerated and the recommended shelf-life of 3 months.

The purpose of this article is to share briefly the information on the drinks.

The Bentong Ginger and Turmeric Range
The Bentong Ginger and Turmeric Concentrate (RM 20.00) is made from organically grown Bentong ginger and turmeric to produce a concentrate that can be diluted with water or added to other beverages and served either hot or cold.  A serving size is around 40-50ml a day although some have consumed larger servings.  It depends on
the person.  In some people, when they consume higher servings, they find that they get a stomachache or diarrhoea so it is best to start slow and observe how you body reacts to it.   It makes a drink that is rich with antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.  It can also be used to flavour dishes such as soups, as a marinate for chicken, beef or seafood and for flavouring when cooking rice.

The Bentong Ginger and Turmeric Drink (RM 3.00) produced by SHL is sweetened with either pure cane sugar or pure palm sugar.  It too can be consumed either hot or cold.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, some of my customers take it for their joint pains as well as for gout.  This is my go-to drink when I have had a workout or lots of physical activity.  It also has the properties for helping in digestion and bloating.  Often, the fastest effect is to "pass gas" as well as better bowel movement.

The Soursop Leaves Range
The source leaves are organically grown and processed to produce a tea concentrate.  The Soursop Leaves Concentrate (RM 20.00) can be diluted with water or added as a flavouring to other drinks like tea or fruit juices.   It is best to avoid white sugar and when sweetened, it is often done with honey or pure cane sugar or organic sugars.   Based on various research, no known adverse reactions have been found.

The SHL Soursop Tea drink (RM 3.00) is sweetened with pure cane sugar.
Soursop leave tea is often used as a complementary or alternative therapy for cancer.  The soursop leave is rich in iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, B and C.  Thus it has been taken for overall health, improving skin conditions, anaemia amongst others.

The leaves also contain nutrients that help to strengthen the immune system hence the tea is often drank as a preventive measure.  With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used for skin treatments as well as for cough and colds.

In some traditional therapies, it is used to treat diseases related to the gall bladder and liver.

The Cat's Whiskers (Misai Kuching) Range
The Misai Kuching Concentrate (RM 18.00) is made from organically grown leaves and flowers.  No woody parts of the plant are used.  The concentrate is diluted with water and generally drank unsweetened, similar to Chinese tea and with floral undertones.  It can be consumed hot or cold.

This tea is often taken as an alternative treatment or complementary therapy for diabetes and high blood pressure.  In traditional Chinese Medicine, it is used to cleanse the kidney and the gall bladder as well as treating kidney stones.  It has antibacterial , antioxidant as well as anti0fungal properties.  In traditional medicine and alternative therapies, it is used to flush out metabolic wastes as well as a diuretic flush in helping cleanse the urinary tract and kidneys.  Amongst its other uses in traditional or alternative therapy is for reducing high blood pressure, for reducing cholesterol, improving blood circulation and cleansing of toxins from the body.

This is my favourite drink when I eat durians or rich, sweet desserts.  It helps to re-balance my blood sugars and seem to reduce the "heaty-ness" or the durians.

The Mangosteen Range
This Mangosteen Tea Concentrate (RM 20.00) is made from the various part of the fruit, excluding the seeds.  It can be diluted with water or added to other drinks like tea and fruit juices.  It is best to avoid white sugar and when sweetened, it is often done with honey or pure cane sugar or organic sugars.   It can be served hot or cold.

The SHL Mangosteen Tea (RM 3.00) drink is lightly sweetened with pure cane sugar.  It is also available unsweetened.

It is rich in vitamin C as well as has a good amount of vitamin B-complex along with various other minerals.   It is also rich with Xanthines, which has antioxidant properties which heals damage by free radicals, slow down raging and ward off degenerative diseases and physical and mental deterioration.

Apart from being an antioxidant, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and in alternative therapies is used to treat people with sciatic pain.

The Mangosteen Nectar  (RM 5.00) is a seasonally produced drink that comprises of the fruit without the seeds.  It is lightly sweetened with pure cane sugar and contains fruit pulp.  It is most often consumed cold.
The mangosteen nectar has similar benefits to the mangosteen tea with the added benefits of fiber from the fruit pulp thus making it a delicious fiber source that will help in the digestive process and bowel movements.

I like to enjoy it as a breakfast drink, providing me with vitamins and minerals as well as fiber.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

SHL Recipe: Bentong ginger & turmeric marinated salmon trout fillet with left-over mash potatoes balls

This is a simple and quick to do dish, especially when my toddler says he is hungry and wants to eat.
I tend to keep marinated items in my fridge ready-to-cook for such "emergencies".    The potato balls are quick and easy to make and a good way to use left-over mash potatoes.  I use our farm-produced Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrates in many ways and this is an easy way to add nutritional value to a meal allowing you to focus on taste and not be burdened with thinking about how healthy it is.

Fillet of salmon trout approximately 300g
2 tablespoon of Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrate
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil.
Salt to season.

Marinate the salmon fillet in the ginger&turmeric concentrate with a pinch of salt for at least 30 minutes.  This can be prepared ahead of time, ready-to-cook at a moment's notice.
Heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon coconut oil on medium-high heat.
Place the salmon fillet skin-side down.  To get a crispy skin, do not touch the side on the skillet until you see it "loosen" from the skillet.  It is then ready to be turned over to cook on the other side.    When it has "loosened" from the skillet, it is done.

Potato balls.
Left-over mash potatoes or freshly made mash potatoes.
1 organic free-range organic egg ( or whatever egg you have on hand)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Mix the egg into the mashed potatoes.
Heat skillet with the coconut oil.
Drop small scoops of potato mixture and allow it to brown before turning it over.

Thought behind the meal
Something that is quick and easy to do yet nutritious.
The salmon trout provides for lots of good fatty acids as well as minerals.
Cooking in organic coconut oil lends a nice, rich taste to the salmon while at the same time providing those great health benefits.
A binding agent was needed in order to create the mash potato balls and this was achieved with the addition of the egg, further adding nutrition.  Apart from the nutrition, the golden yellow egg yolk provides a nice color to the potato balls.

The beauty of temulawak

 I got so many queries on this plant after I posted the picture of its beautiful flower so I hope this short article may help answer most of the questions.

The temulawak (curcuma zanthorrhiza) or known as Javanese ginger is a "cousin" of the turmeric (curcuma long) hence the similar shaped flowers.  Whilst the turmeric flower is of the same shape and is light green in color with yellow inner "buds", the temulawak has a striking purple/pink flower with yellow inner buds.   The flower is long lasting, from the initial flower to final bloom taking lasting over 1 month.  The initial flower is pink with purple tips which turns into a lighter pink as it progresses through the blooming stage.

Being similar to turmeric, it has rhizomes from which it can be propagated.  Although it is in the ginger family, the rhizomes are closer in appearance to the turmeric than ginger.

As with many rhizome-based plants, soil drainage is important to prevent the rhizomes from rotting due to water-logged soil.  The soil composition should contain some sand as well as lots of organic matter.  It doesn't do well in heavy clay soil.

To differentiate the rhizomes from others of the same family, the inner rhizome is off-white in color and has a texture similar to the ginger but less fibrous.  IT has a brown rim around the edges.  The rhizomes form a similar cluster to the turmeric rhizomes.

The rhizomes is used mainly in traditional therapy for treatment of certain illness as well as in skin care.  It can also be used as a spice.  It has a smell that is like a cross between ginger and turmeric.  In traditional therapy, it has been used for overcoming kidney diseases, heartburn, lowering cholesterol and other types of illness.  Being of the curcuma family, it has the similar benefits as turmeric.

This plant is easy to care for and can be grown either in a polybag or container, or in the ground.  If it is grown in a polybag, water when the soil has dried.  It doesn't need much fertiliser but a soil with phosphorous and calcium will encourage it to flower.  It grows in full sun or semi-shade.

The leaves are more similar to turmeric with a single leave per stalk from the main "stem" with the difference being a reddish-brown strip in the middle.  It can grown to about 1m tall.  As the plant grows, the rhizomes will multiply creating a cluster.  The rhizome can be harvested when needed without affecting the overall health of the plant.  You do not need to pull out the whole plant for harvesting.

This plant makes a lovely addition to your home garden providing beauty and benefits.  Since it is easy to grow and maintain, you might want to consider planting this even if you are a beginner gardener.  Happy planting.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

SHL Recipe: Bentong ginger and Turmeric Marinated Chicken Pops

Our Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrate is not only consumed as a drink but makes a great marinate for chicken.  The chicken can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated ready-for-use.  It is also child-friendly which is important for me as I like to prepare good food for my 3-year old and one that he will enjoy eating without me having to coax him.

2 slices of chicken breast
50 ml of Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrate
Pinch of sea salt (regular salt is also ok)
1 tablespoon of corn starch
2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil ( can use any oil. you like)

Mix ginger-turmeric, salt and chicken and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
Cut chicken breast into pieces toss it in the corn starch.
Fry until brown.

Thought behind the ingredients:
Chicken breast for the lean meat and quick to cook.  It is cut into smaller pieces so children can eat by themselves.
The ginger-turmeric for its digestion, antioxidant, acid neutralising properties.  By incorporating this, I hope to provide some benefits as well as preventive measures in the dish.
Sea salt as opposed to regular salt for all the additional minerals.
Organic coconut oil for the benefits from this oil which is also trans-fat free.  It also adds a degree of richness to the chicken pops.  With its medium chain fatty acids (MFCAs), the fats are easily converted into energy and not stored as fats - something important for my high-energy toddler.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

SHL Banana Cake Recipe

This is the recipe I use to make my banana cake or cupcakes with pisang embun wangi.  This variety of banana lends an added touch of fragrance apart from tasting great in a banana cake.  The recipe is simple and it takes about 1 hour to prepare the cake and another 15-30 minutes for the icing.

2 cups of brown sugar
2 cups of all purpose flower
1/2 block of butter (1 block 227gm)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I prefer freshly grated)
2 eggs
8 pisang eibun wangi (you can use other bananas if you want like rastali, tapas, emas or lemak manis)

Method for making the cake:
Peel and mash the bananas.
Cream the brown sugar and butter with an electric mixer (you can use your own muscle power though it takes longer and you get more tired ).
Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and mix at medium speed till the mixture is fluffy or meringue-like.
Mix the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, cinnamon and bicarbonate soda into the mixture.
Add the flour about half a cup at a time and fold it in.
Bake at 190 Celsius for about 30-35 minutes.  The cake is done when you insert a skewer or toothpick and it comes out clean.  For cupcakes, it takes about 20 minutes to bake.

Cool the cake.

Ingredients for cream cheese icing:
1 cup of icing sugar
60g (1/4 block) of cream cheese (I like Philadelphia cream cheese)
60g (1/4 block) of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Method for cream cheese icing:
Soften the cream cheese and butter.  Using an electric mixer at medium speed, mix the butter , vanilla extract and cream cheese and add in the icing sugar a bit at a time (or you will have it flying all over you).
It is done when it has a light texture.
Spread over your cake and lightly dust with freshly grated cinnamon.  You can further decorate your cake with fruit slices like strawberries.