Tag Archives: Dragon fruit

Saturday Morning Market…Mandarin Oranges and Rosella Fruit…

I love Saturdays as the small traders come with their produce from their little bit of land this is where I find the unusual the fruits or vegetables which are not raised commercially but just local grown like they have been for centuries…I am also pleased to see how many of the stalls now are ditching the plastic and using banana leaves to wrap foods…

Lively and bustling the markets here sell everything from meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, curry pastes, rice, clothing, garden pots and knives you name it it is sold here…On a Saturday I will share with you what I have found…

This week there were lots of mandarins in all shapes and sizes but the kids love the small juicy ones, dragon fruit is plentiful as were the mushrooms today some of which have already found their way into a carbonara for the kiddies…I have noticed that certain veggies were a lot smaller I think the lack of rain is hindering their normally prolific growth. Tomatoes are all lovely red just right for a base for chilli, curry or spag bol…There are also still lots of Dragon fruit a very pretty fruit which is not a favourite of mine but lovely in a smoothie…I think I have so much choice that I am getting picky…

The markets are still bustling here although many more people are wearing face masks than normal…Bars etc are on lockdown but the open-air markets are still operating fully…

I have heard in many western countries that the shelves are bare and many people are unable to get even the basics which is awful I really abhor the practice of stripping and stockpiling food without any thought for others…

Often though the fresh fruit and vegetable sections are offering a choice…Buy them as many veggies and fruits can be pickled, frozen, made into pesto…You could double quantities and freeze a portion or two…vegetable stirfries are lovely…

The fruit is plentiful here I would say all-year-round…Fruit and vegetables can be used in smoothies it will all help to boost your vitamin intake especially now with this Covid-19…

Here are some ideas from what you can add to a smoothie…

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https://carolcooks2.com/2017/03/20/tropical-sunshine-in-a-glass-take-5/

Rosella Fruit.

When I first saw this beautiful fruit I had only ever seen them dried before not fresh…it was something new to try… I just love it when I come across something I have not used or seen before…I get so excited.

Rosella grows easily here as it loves a tropical climate it is also a very pretty plant the species grown here in Thailand has broader leaves and pink rather than cream flowers and the leaves are used more than the fruits.

In Australia, it is still thought by many to be an exotic plant but has been mentioned in early Australian history and known by many as “Bush Tucker”

Also known by the more recognisable name of Hibiscus it is rich in Vitamin C and when made into a tea is promoted as a cure for colds if taken regularly.

A very nice sugar syrup can also be made for using in cocktails…Just saying!

The first time I made this jam …I only made a small amount as I was not familiar with the fresh fruit or the taste…but what a revelation it was beautiful…
Ingredients:

rosella flowers

  • 500 gm Rosella fruit, seedpod separated from the Calyx and Bracts ( cut into small pieces)
  • Approx 2 cups Sugar depending on the exact weight of fruit.
  • Approx 2-3 cups Water

Firstly I soaked the fruits in cold water for about 20 minutes so as to not only clean them but remove any insects they can be susceptible to little bugs.

It was then a case of removing the seed pod from the inside of the fruit…Covering the seed pods with water and cooking them for about 20 minutes.
The seed pods contain naturally produced pectin…I simmered these for about 20 minutes and then removed the pods and disposed of them aka binned them. Remember to keep the cooking water.

I weighed the flowers before cooking them and then I measured exactly half their weight of sugar.

rosella fruit in pan
The Rosella flowers were then added to the cooking water in which the seed pods were cooked and the fruits cooked until they were softened and the liquid starts to turn syrupy which took about 10 minutes I then added the sugar and cooked the fruit until it softened and turned jam-like…

Remove from the heat and put in sterilised jars…

The key to this recipe is to weigh the fruit and do the exact amount of sugar and water.
This makes a very nice fruit preserve and one which I make again and again every year.

N.B. I  now cut the fruit into smaller pieces rather than leave them whole.

Now you all know me well and know I can’t resist thinking would it be like if I added some ginger and chilli…very nice as it happens…

Rosella Relish

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Ingredients.

  • 250 gm Rosella fruit
  • 60 ml of sugar
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger grated finely
  • 2 red shallots chopped finely
  • 5 ml red chilli powder/flakes
  • 10 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 375 ml of water
  • A pinch of salt

Let’s Cook!

Remove the red portions/calyces & discard the seed pods
Wash & place in a pan along with water, shallots, ginger, sugar, salt and chilli flakes
Bring to a soft rolling boil and cook until the liquid is greatly reduced. This takes approx 25-30 mins.
When the chutney is almost done, add the vinegar and stir well.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly and put in a sterilised glass container.

Lovely as a relish with cold/ hot meats or in a burger… with brie and freshly made bread, it is very nice.

That’s all for this weeks Saturday Market…

Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed it and the recipes xxx

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you again for reading enjoy your weekend and stay safe and healthy xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘D’ for Dates, Dragon Fruit, Drupes, Durian and Dirty Rice.

Thanks to Sally for rerunning this series while I am concentrating on my writing…I have been so pleased with the comments for which I thank you…I love this series and love that many of you love it as well…Enjoy the letter D…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

Welcome today it’s the letter D …I have some exotic fruits for you and some lovely recipes I hope you enjoy!

Dates

I do have as pictured above a date palm in my garden but dates don’t fare well here they like hot, dry temperatures not hot and humid.

The dates that are on my tree are picked while young and unripe and we take them to Lily’s other grandmother who loves them…so they don’t go to waste as the village ladies like them unripe but unripe the texture in your mouth is like when you eat banana peel but a lot drier and sour and not something that I like to eat but…

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Fruity Fridays…Pretty Dragon Fruit.

Carol cooks! Dragon Fruit

It would be lovely AND INTERESTING  to hear about what fruit you get where you live. I know a lot of goods are exported around the world and some you can get everywhere….like The Banana but there are some that you don’t see often or know much about so maybe don’t buy them…. my aim? Maybe you will next time …

But before that…..I will tell you a funny story …… Matum fruit which I will be featuring one week……..I tried to eat the pulpy middle..well I broke a tiny bit away and I could see what looked like clear glue and decided to maybe just taste a little on the tip of my tongue..it was definitely gluey so I didn’t eat any more of it and as I had some more of the fruit thought maybe it was overripe…then my daughter-in-law told me you don’t eat that bit… this is what you eat……Ahhhhhh…the lights were now on…lol

My point? Fruity Fridays are to tell you about different fruits so we know how to use it and enjoy IT and what bits we don’t eat…..

Ok…..Today I give you the very pretty exotic looking Dragon Fruit!

Dragon Fruit

Such a pretty coloured fruit and it just looks so exotic, doesn’t it? Also, known as Pitaya fruit or in Thailand(Kaeo Mangkon). Rich in Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3 and the minerals iron, calcium & phosphorus and one fruit is only 60 calories so a good for you fruit.

It is also said to help lower bad cholesterol levels and its high fibre content can also assist with poor digestion and constipation.

Of course, it also makes excellent smoothies, you can sip your smoothie while it works on your hair follicles..yes if you put the juice on your scalp it will keep the hair follicles open so it’s great for tinted hair.

I am really getting into this smoothie making and today I think is one of my favourite smoothies. I am learning to get the right amount and what I do is take the glass I am going to drink it from and fill the glass with my fruit that way I make just enough and if I am making more than one glass then I double up but it eliminates the guesswork.

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Today’s smoothie was a mixture of fruit and vegetables.

I used a large chunk of  Pineapple, Watermelon, yellow melon and dragon fruit. A slice of tomato, a slice of beetroot, a piece of carrot and a little ice.

Then into the liquidiser and a blitz for a minute and voila a lovely smoothie.

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Troubled with acne and spots then make a paste from a slice of the dragon fruit apply to the affected areas of your face or skin then rinse off with water. Use twice daily for the best results.

The sap of the dragon fruit is also used by making aqueous extracts of its leaves, bark and fruit pulp and is said to aid wound healing and burns.

I then got to thinking about a recipe I came across all these beautiful desserts..brilliant pink Pannacotta’s..but I am not a dessert person as you know unless it’s a high day or holiday…ha ha….. Often served on a mixed fruit platter here or in little tarts…

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Then I come across a recipe for Dragon Chicken..…not a dragon fruit in sight but hey ho….it’s in the name…lol

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Let’s Cook!

1lb chicken breasts cut into small chunks or pieces of chicken on the bone.

Marinade for chicken:

1 egg white

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tbsp cornstarch/arrowroot

1 tbsp soy sauce

Salt to taste.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and coat the chicken thoroughly leave to dry for 30 minutes.

Heat some oil 375 degrees and cook chicken in batches until it is crispy.

For the sauce, you need 2 tsp of finely chopped garlic, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger, 3 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1/2 tsp of sugar mix all these together. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan and add the mixture when the sauce comes to the boil add the chicken and heat for a further 1-2 minutes.

To serve garnish with chopped spring onions, niblets of sweetcorn/peas and or sliced green chillies.

I, of course, would add more chilli flakes and probably a tsp more ginger…just saying..lol…But as you know my mantra is TASTE and TASTE again… until it is perfect for you…

Enjoy!

Carol cooks! Dragon Fruit

I hope you are enjoying these Fruity Fridays if you are please share on your favourite social media it may help someone to eat the right bit of the fruit..unlike me with my Matum Fruit…lol

 

 Don’t forget on Wednesdays over at Sally’s it’s Hot Cross Buns xxx See you there xx

 

Fresh Fruit Salad anyone?

 

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The beauty of a fresh fruit salad is that you can make it as large or as small as you like one portion or ten. You can use any fruit that you have and it can different every time.

 

The one I always make is very simple I use Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Pear, and section and slice them and add lemon/ lime juice to stop the fruit going brown.

Sometimes I  also add some freshly squeezed orange juice or other fruit juice.

This is now when it gets interesting as you can add a little freshly grated ginger, some crushed lemon grass even treat yourself to one of those exotic fruits you have seen in your local shop or farmers market just to liven it up, change it.

Maybe even a touch of chilli???

Some sesame seeds? Some poppy seeds??

And of course and how could I forget? Well, I did and it was only when my dear blogging friend Marian told me of her gift of a mint plant and that she was going to pair it with some strawberries that I remembered I had forgotten one of my favourite herbs. So thank you, Marian Beaman, from Plain and Fancygirl   

If I use a soft fruit like banana, melon,  mango, strawberries, peaches, apricots, watermelon or kiwi then I put those in about 15 mins before I serve the fruit salad. Otherwise, they can go too mushy and we like our fruit salad fresh and vibrant, nice and crisp.

And of course here I have access to plenty of fresh pineapples, Lychees and Dragon fruit are plentiful and in season here at the moment so into the mix they go…What is your favourite fruit salad mix???

You can use any combination of fruit that you like just make sure you use lemon/ lime

juice to stop the fruit from discolouring and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

It can be served quite simply with fresh cream or clotted cream if you can get it… Ice cream or even custard which hubby prefers.

Serve it with your porridge oats or other cereal with natural yoghurt… the possibilities are endless… Have fun when you make one and try different fruits.

Enjoy!

Tropical sunshine in a glass…Take 5

 

I am really getting into this smoothie making and today I think is one of my favourite smoothies. I am learning to get the right amount and what I do is take the glass I am going to drink it from and fill the glass with my fruit that way I make just enough and if I am making more than one glass then I double up but it eliminates the guesswork.

Today’s smoothie was a mixture of fruit and vegetables.

I used a large chunk of  Pineapple, Watermelon, yellow melon and dragon fruit. A slice of tomato, a slice of beetroot, a piece of carrot and a little ice.

Then into the liquidiser and a blitz for a minute and voila a lovely smoothie.

Enjoy!

If you missed my previous smoothie recipes then I have put them all in this one post just for you alongside a little chatter and trivia about some of the fruits.

Banana and Pineapple smoothie.  

I have never made so many smoothies ever as I have done recently but so much fruit…

This mornings smoothie was Banana, Pineapple, Tomato and Raspberries with a touch of fresh Lime juice.

Yes, tomato...I have had tomato in a smoothie from a fruit stall but never used it at home but again I have lots of tomatoes.

So we get lots of nutritional goodies all in the one glass and it’s yummy. Not like one of those yucky coloured juices which claim to be good and you have to literally hold the nose and down it in one and at the same time hope it doesn’t come straight back up…What is the point of that??? We like nice tasting drinks don’t we girls and boys???

Put 2 small bananas, 2 rings of pineapple chopped, half a tomato skinned and I added a handful of frozen raspberries and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. All together in a blender ….blitz and pour into a chilled glass.

Enjoy!

Now for some facts about the very versatile pineapple…Well, first things first…who doesn’t like Pina Colada???? Best served cold on the beach…Delicious!

Thailand is the biggest producer of pineapple and in the wild pineapples can live and fruit for up to 50 years.

The pineapple is not an Apple or a pine but a berry…

Eaten fresh, juiced, cooked …it is lovely in a curry or fried rice or preserved. It is also great for tenderising meat.

Strawberry and Raspberry smoothie.

Phew, it is now topping 104F here and rising by the day…Lots of strawberries and bananas…The thing is the bananas we pick by the hand and it is big so I have to think of all ways to use them apart from just freezing them. Strawberries well you can only eat so many and we can’t give them away…

So it’s smoothie time again, strawberries, a banana, a few frozen raspberries and 3 cheeks of lime juice and about half small glass of coconut milk. I like my drinks a bit tart and I don’t do sweet drinks so you may want to cut the lime a little and add some honey to sweeten but the beauty of the smoothies is anything goes you can make to order.

If I want it colder and more frozen then I use frozen bananas.

Now for a little bit more about the Strawberry which is cultivated worldwide, most people love a strawberry…Don’t they????

The garden strawberry was first bred in the 1750s in Brittany, France and believe or not they are not technically berries but accessory fruits!

A member of the rose family they are the only fruit to wear their seeds on the outside. Although the seeds can be propagated they are more commonly reproduced by the runners which are then pegged into the soil.

A piece of trivia: There is a museum in Belgium dedicated to the Strawberry.

Papaya, Banana and Lime smoothie.

This one has just 4 ingredients.

  • Half a papaya….  seeds removed.
  • 1 banana
  • 4fl oz of coconut milk
  • 1-1 1/2 limes. I like to taste the lime so I would add one and a half hubby prefers just 1 lime.

But like with anything….and you know what I am going to say…Don’t you??? TASTE.

Blitz the papaya and banana with the coconut milk then add your lime juice, Taste and add more if required.

Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy!

If you want a more frozen smoothie then just freeze the papaya and banana. I always keep bags of frozen fruit for smoothies…I just didn’t want brain freeze today…haha.

 

Mango and Tamarind smoothie.

For 2 servings.

  • 8 oz of ripe mango (frozen). You could use frozen mango pulp as I do when mango is out of season.
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp Tamarind paste
  • 7oz coconut milk …chilled.

Put all the ingredients into your blender and whizz until it is nice and smooth. Spoon into 2 glasses and enjoy!

If it is too sour for you then add more honey or sweetener of your choice but I love the sourness of the Tamarind.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do…. until next time thank you for reading this post and please leave a comment if you try a smoothie and if you wish to share this post then please do.

Take 5 Tropical Sunshine in a Glass

Mix and Match have fun and experiment 🙂

Enjoy xx