Monday, 20 February 2012

Facts About Bananas

Read this, after reading this, you’ll never look at a banana in the same way again and it’s time to change that well-known phrase so that we say,
‘A banana a day keeps the doctor away!’

Nutritional facts about Bananas
Bananas are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. One banana has 15% of the vitamin C, 11% of the potassium, and 16% of the dietary fiber needed each day for good health.
Bananas also contain a rich supply of vitamin B6, providing 20% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of B6. Vitamin B6 is significant in the synthesis of antibodies in the immune system.
It also helps in protein metabolism, red blood cell formation and functioning of the central nervous system.
The vitamin C in bananas helps your body to heal and defend against infections. Vitamin C also is valuable in the absorption of iron, synthesis of connective tissue, and blood formation.
The good source of potassium from bananas is helpful for your body to maintain the fluid balance in blood and tissue cells. Potassium is also an essential mineral for protein synthesis and the building of muscle because it stimulates nerve impulses for muscle contraction.
Research suggests that a diet high in potassium may reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.
Because bananas are sodium-free and very rich in potassium, they can be eaten as part of a diet to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Bananas have no fat, cholesterol or sodium.
Bananas contain more digestible carbohydrates than any other fruit. The advantage is that the body burns off calories from carbohydrates more quickly and easily than calories from protein or fat.

Containing three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana lives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.
But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
DEPRESSION: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana.
This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. Oh yeah bye bye menstrual pills.

ANEMIA: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

BLOOD PRESSURE: Banana is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure and stroke.

BRAIN POWER: 200 school students at were helped through by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

CONSTIPATION: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

HANGOVERS: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

HEARTBURN: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

MORNING SICKNESS: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

MOSQUITO BITE: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

NERVOUS: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

ULCERS: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL: Many other cultures see bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers.  In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure theirbaby is born with a cool temperature.

SMOKING: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

STRESS: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

STROKES: Eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!’

WARTS: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

CANCER: Bananas prevent breast cancer in women. Bananas reduce the risk of renal cell carcinoma (cancer of the kidneys).

So after long reading, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. Gonna have to buy bananas frequently.

Source : Newsletter, April 2006

Friday, 17 February 2012

Recipe : Banana Fritters (Pisang Goreng)

1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melt
Pinch of salt
5-6 bananas, halved. I use 4, since the size quite big.
Oil for deep-frying

This is Pisang Nangka (I think)

1.Combine the flours, salt, melted butter, egg and turmeric powder in a mixing bowl. Pour in water and combine into a batter.

2.Coat banana halves in batter and deep-fry in hot oil for three to four minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
3.Remove and drain on paper towels, and you done. Super easy.
Some people add baking powder to the mixture just to get a bigger size and fluffy of banana fritters.
Coconut milk can be added to the batter to get an extra creamy taste, I just skipped that since I don’t have coconut milk in my fridge.
Just add a scoop or two of your favourite ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce and crushed peanut on top as dessert, I absolutely love this.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Recipe : Kuih Lopes

Special thanks to Mak Andak (Parit Buntar), who prepared this lovely Kuih Lopes during my last visit to her place, few weeks ago. Well, Kuih Lopes are my favourite especially when it comes to Ramadhan. I absolutely love the tender glutinous rice with strong smell of pandan, and dip into palm sugar syrup. Heaven. 

2 Pandan(screw pine) leaves, pounded, then add 1 - 2 tablespoon water to extract the juice. You can use green coloring and pandan essence for substitute the pandan juice.
2 cups water
2 cups glutinous rice, washed and drained
1 teaspoon salt
Banana leaves
2 cups grated, peeled coconut mixed with 1 teaspoon salt and sugar
1. Combine pandan leaf juice, water and glutinous rice in a pot and bring to boil over moderate heat. Add salt, stir well and continue cooking until dry. Stir and reduce heat, cook until rice is done.
Wrapping the cooked glutinous rice into banana leaves give an extra nice aroma to the rice.
2. Wrap the cooked rice in banana leaf into your desire shape and wrap neatly. Repeat the process with the remaining rice.
3. Arrange in a steamer tray and steam for about 20 minutes over rapidly boiling water.
To get a nice clean cut, Mak Andak use a thread to cut the cylindrical shape into few pieces as photo below.

4. Allow to cool before cutting and unwrap the steamed rice. The rice should be soft and smell nice, now roll the over grated coconut. Top with palm sugar syrup.
Palm Sugar Syrup
1/2 cup crushed palm sugar
1/2 Cup sugar
2 cups water
2 pandan leaves
Combine palm sugar, sugar, pandan leaves and water in a pot and boil over low heat until sugar dissolves.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Food Review : Mee Udang Mak Jah

The famous Mee Udang Mak Jah (prawn noodle), situated at Kuala Sepetang offers tasty and hard-to-forget prawn noodles at affordable price.
I have read raving reviews from TV and blogs, I absent from work just to reach Kuala Sepetang early.  The entire area was packed with people, literally, from end to end, luckily parking is not a headache as they provide enough space to accommodate hungry customers (like us).

The menu
So tempting

I ordered a bowl of regular prawn mee cost RM7.00 which is steep for ex-KL price, but trust me this is decent value for the quality of food, and when it was served, smell good. Tasty and mildly spicy, which I love. They cook prawn with the shell and head still on, to give stronger and tastier flavour to the gravy. Sprinkled with fried shallots and chili swimming on top, this hearty bowl of prawn mee was more than enough to keep me satisfied for the remaining day.
Mee Udang Biasa, RM 7.00
7 medium size prawns served fresh. Its gravy is heaven not oily, thin and tasty, which makes it excellent for drinking to the last drop. 
Mee Udang Special with 11 big and fat prawns, RM11.00. 
Come, come to mummy let me kiss and eat you. Nyum nyum :)
Kuey Tiow Goreng Udang Biasa, RM 7.00. It taste good also but mee udang got the top billing, still.
I love the prawns, it tasted like prawn, smell fresh and clean, not fishy, and look moist.

Mak Jah I love You

Food Type: Northern Local Cuisine 
Price: Reasonable. 
Cleanliness Vote : 3.5/5
Food Vote : 5/5 
Revisit : Oh yes, definitely!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Looks : Soft Sultry Makeup For Hooded Eyes

This is me, with flash
To get started, I only use three shades of eyeshadow. The lightest color to highlight brow bone, medium color is the midtone (I use Embark from MAC). And the darkest color is the accent. (I use dark grey)

I start off at the base of the lash line and sweep the dark grey up and over the hooded area. You can also sweep the color in towards your nose a little to make the look recede and bit drama. Be sure to sweep the accent color underneath the entire lower lash line to completely accent your eyes. Although I’m using dark colors to push back the fleshy part, too dark of a color over the entire eyelid area will make eyelids look too heavy and actually make eyes look more closed. You can substitute dark grey with dark purple or dark brown but please avoid black.

With blending brush, blend the top edge of accent color with medium brown eye shadow.  
Next, you will only need to highlight the brow bone a little, not too much.

Follow up with plenty coats of mascara and false eyelashes is optional, I just skipped that.

Lastly, be sure to have great with shapely eyebrows. Fill in the eyebrows by using the eyebrow brush dipped in the powder that corresponds to your brow color. Rule of thumb, it should match your natural hair color. Glide the color along the brow line until it's fully filled in. By fixing your eyebrows, you will draw attention upwards from the hooded eye.