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We would like to eventually open a cafe dedicated to healthy eating and living. You could help us towards this goal! If you think you like what you see on our website, and would like to one day sit in a jazzy cafe eating our culinary creations, please feel free to donate to us, and remember, no donation is too small! :o) And if you make a significant contribution, we'll be more than happy to name a dish after you. Goodness knows we always have trouble naming our cooking :o). Thank you!

Banana cream chocolate brownie cake

We recently celebrated a birthday with an old friend of mine, and I decided we should bring a healthy birthday cake to the dinner celebration.

I thought of combining our healthy cheesecake recipe with our wholegrain brownies...and Mr. Green and I put our heads together and came up with this...

We played around with our usual brownie recipe to use margarine instead of oil, and much less of it too! We also added plain natural yogurt (low in fat, calories and a good source of protein and calcium) to add moisture to the brownie cake. A typical brownie recipe would use about a cup of butter and we used 1/3 cup of margarine instead :o).

Texture was brilliant. Rich and chewy just the way we like it :o).

As for the middle layer, we used cream cheese, silken tofu and banana with a little lemon for taste :P. I know it might sound icky but seriously, it makes it creamy, and it's much healthier than using all cheese!

Without telling people there was tofu in it...the dinner party seemed very receptive to it. A few even really, really liked it, especially the brownie part.

The minute we admitted to the tofu...people started smacking their lips together and swearing they could taste it :o).

It's psychological, I tell ya. Next time...we're not telling!


Malaysian fruits and sugar consumption

Mr. Green and I apologise for the month or so hiatus. Our lifestyles are pretty much nomadic right now which makes regular programming on this blog a bit of a challenge :o).

Mr. Green and I love fruits. Apples and bananas are two fruits we eat on almost a daily basis if we have access to them. Blueberries is another heavy favourite, and seedless green grapes if they look fresh and green :o). When we travel, we also try to sample as many local fruits as we possibly can.

Here's the jackfruit, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia:

The jackfruit is undoubtedly the largest fruit that I've ever come across. The fact that it can get to up to 40kg (~88lbs) is just mind-boggling. The edible bits looks like it's slimy but isn't. It has an almost meaty texture but don't be's sweet. According to this, it is low in saturated fat (as most fruits are), cholesterol, sodium and is a good source of Vitamin C and manganese.

Here's another Southeast Asian fruit for you, the snakefruit or salak:

The snakefruit tastes sour and a little sweet and is a little crunchy to bite into. Definitely one of my favourites.

Someone once warned me that Southeast Asian fruits are high in sugar and carbohydrates. I never took the warning very seriously as natural sugar from fruits (fructose), is different than refined sugar (sucrose). You shouldn't really avoid high sugar fruits, which are still low in calories and very high in nutrition.

According to this, consuming refined sugar or sucrose drives the sugar levels in your blood to high levels extremely fast while fructose is broken down more slowly which gives your body more time to react to the sugar consumed.

So how much sugar can you consume?

Some experts or nutritionists say about 40g per day or 10 teaspoons (4g in one teaspoon). Some prescribe to the 10 percent rule, which means 10% of your daily calories can come from added sugars. If you know what your daily calorie intake is, 10% of that can come from added sugars and there are about 4 calories in 1g of sugar.

So if your daily calorie intake is 1800, your added sugar intake can be 180 calories which corresponds to 45g of sugar or 11 teaspoons.

11 teaspoons sound like a lot, huh? Especially when you picture shoving 11 teaspoons of table sugar into your mouth. But think again, added sugars here means all the refined sugar you consume daily, which means everything from sugar in your coffee or tea, that slice of cheesecake post-lunch, to sugar content in your morning cereal. Morning cereal. I used to love Post's Cranberry Almond Crunch cereal...and a serving of it delivers 15g of sugar already. Three servings of Post a day and you're over your suggested daily intake.

So 40g of sugar is actually pretty easy to exceed unfortunately. And let's not even begin to discuss weight gain from having too much sugar :o). That just leads to a lot more health problems and issues (heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure to name a few) :o).

Reduce your sugar intake, today!