Healthy Orange Jam with Low Sugar and High Fiber

Happy New Year 2015!!!!!
A new year has come with happiness and many new things waiting. Let’s cook something healthy and taste good for celebrate a new year. Today I make orange jam with a Greek recipe with low sugar and high fiber to celebrate 2015. This recipe is quite the same with marmalade by using oranges and oranges peel in the jam. However, this recipe is faster, tasty, and easy to make with low sugar and high fiber. I learnt this recipe from the television in Greek cooking program. I changed the original recipe by reducing sugar and removing chili. The original recipe have little chili, you can add it if you want a different taste. I like this Greek orange jam recipe as it is easy to make, tasty and healthy.
The ingredients you need to make orange jam are: 
  • 1,2 kg of oranges
  • 300 gr of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
And here we go
Step 1: Clean the orange carefully and keep it dry. Zest all oranges and keep it separate while you are making the jam.

Step 2: Remove the pith oranges (the white part of peel) and cut it like this. By cutting not straight you can remove core of orange easy. 

This is how your jam look like before you cook it.

Step 3: Put the orange pieces, salt, sugar into a pan and start to cook orange jam. Turn the heat up and boil rapidly until the jam reaches setting point about 104 oC. 
  • If you want your jam more jelly like, you can add some orange pith (the white part of the orange peels). As orange pith contain high amount of the natural pectin (30% of the citrus peel).
  • Reduce the heat and cook it for 1 hour or whenever you see your jam is little dry. You can check it by putting a teaspoonful of the jam on to a cold saucer and put in the fridge for a minute or so. If it crinkles when you run a finger through it, and your finger leaves a clear line in the preserve, it’s ready. If not, check it every five minutes or so.
Step 4: When you feel your jam is ready you can pour the orange zest into the pan.  Cook the jam with low heat about 10-15 minutes. The zest will bring the bitter taste to the jam. If you don’t like that, you can cook it little bit longer until the oranges zest is clear. Don’t cook the oranges’ zest for too long to keep the vitamin and nutrient in the zest. Orange peels consist of over 60 flavonoids and 170 different phytonutrients. Flavonoids can protect us from certain types of cancer and lower cholesterol levels.

Step 5: Cool down the jam and put it into clean jars. You can keep the jam in fridge for 2 or 3 weeks. If you want to keep it longer you can check the more detailed in my other post  How to make low sugar and no pectinRaspberry jam.   

Here is how I make my orange jam for a new year 2015. This jam is a good idea to start a day with a slice of bread. Do you love orange jam? What is your favorite recipe and flavor? Can you share with me or add anything to make this recipe better? 
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Learn to make Finnish Glögi for Christmas

Christmas is coming very soon !!! Have you have any new idea about hot drink for winter time? You can try to make Glögi, the traditional Finnish warm drink in winter and Christmas. This traditional drink is tasty and healthy and little bit same style with mulled wine. I usually buy a ready-made Glögi but this winter I made it for myself. I thought it is difficult to make Glögi but it is very easy to make. Here is how I make Glögi for this Christmas.

Glögi recipe

The traditional recipe for Finnish Glögi includes 5 main ingredients:
–        Dried orange peels
–        Cloves
–        Cinnamon
–        Dried ginger

–        Black currant juices

You can make Glögi with these main ingredients. But I will make Glögi with little more complicated recipe for this year. The ingredients I use are popular and you can find them in everywhere. My ingredients include:

–        1 orange, 1 lemon
–        4 or 5 slice of fresh ginger
–        8 cloves
–        2 sticks of cinnamon
–        4 cardamom seeds (optional)
–        1,5 l of black currant juice ( you can use red grape juice too)
–        2 anise (optional)
–        2 or 3 spoon of brown sugar (optional)

Before making Glögi you can spend some minute to do something:
–        Washed the orange and lemon then peel thin slices of the zest.
–        Squeeze the orange and lemon to use later
–        Press ginger if you want stronger ginger taste
–        Crush or press cardamom seeds

Cook slowly with low heat until the drink is steaming hot about 90oC. Do not let the drink get even close to boiling. Normally people can put all ingredients at the one time to make drink but I put ingredients steps by steps to have little bit complicated taste Glögi.

Step 1: Put cloves, cinnamon, cardamom seed with black currant juice to cook first. At this stage you can put 1 tsp. of dried raisins to make sweet taste to Glögi.

Step 2: After 9 minutes I put fresh ginger into the saucepan.

Step 3: Then put anise and fresh oranges and lemon zest into the bowl at 12 minutes. Depend on your taste, if you like stronger taste of anise you can put it before 12 minutes.

Step 4: At the 14 minutes I put oranges and lemon juices into the bowl. I put orange and lemon juice almost in the end to keep the vitamin and mineral in the juice. As after long time cooking the juice will loss vitamin and mineral so I have to put it in almost in the end.

Step 5: Stop cooking When the bowl little boiling at the 15 minutes. Pour the drink through a sieve and serve with raisins and blanched almonds. You can add brown sugar if you want sweet taste, but normally in black currant juice include sugar already so I don’t put it into my drink. My Glögi now smell good with thick and complicated taste.

Glögi with alcohol recipe

If you want to make Glögi with alcohol you can use the same ingredient but with alcohol:
–        1 orange, 1 lemon
–        4 or 5 slice of fresh ginger
–        8 cloves
–        2 sticks of cinnamon
–        4 cardamom seeds
–        1 l of black currant juice (you can use red grape juice too)
–        2 anise
–        0,5 l of red wine

At the beginning you can do alcohol Glögi in the same way as the recipes above. But in the step 5 before stop cooking you can pour red wine into Glögi. After 1 or 2 minutes you can stop cooking. The wine flavor maybe affected by boiling as Alcohol start to evaporate for less than 80oC.

Alcohol Glögi is meant to be enjoyed hot but not boiling hot. If you want to enjoy more alcohol you can reduce the amount of black currant juice and adding more wine. But make sure that the red wine be warm for a short time. Some people can add some vodka before serving, but maybe it is too strong for me.

  • One thing you should notice when making Glögi is do not use kettle, aluminum or copper saucepans. I only use stainless steel saucepan to make Glögi as aluminum and copper is not good to the health
  • You also should not cook Glögi with aluminum pan as the acidity of the drink can be removed in heating aluminum.
  • If you cook Glögi by kettle it might be dangerous as acidic drink can corrode copper kettle. The kettle copper resistors may be covered by a steel plate. The acidity resistance can dissolve copper into Glögi. So the kettle must not be used for purposes other than boiling water. This is also a reason for not using copper saucepans for Glögi. Copper dissolution of the drink can cause copper poisoning. You might have symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and malaise. The symptoms can be extremely harmful to the elderly.

This is how I make Glögi for this Christmas and winter. This recipe is easy to make within 15 minutes. Pay little more effort you will have very tasty and healthy drink for this Christmas and winter holidays. I wish your Christmas be filled with special moment, warmth, peace and happiness.

Happy holidays and seasons greeting! Hyvää Joulua!!! Chúc Mng Giáng Sinh

5 Health Benefits of Figs

Figs are a sweet fruit and good to your health. In the ancient time, the Greek has been well aware of the medicinal qualities of figs. Today we know that figs are good  to your bones, healthy heart, beneficial to mental ability booster, and be used as diuretic. This fruit is rich in fiber, vitamin and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, calcium and manganese.  You can use both fresh and dried figs in cooking, making desert or making hot figs drink withherbs

Tips for buying fresh figs

First you should always buy figs ripe because they do not ripe fast enough after harvest. Figs can be softened at room temperature, but they will not sweeten. The good ripe figs are plump, tender, and heavy for their size, and smell like honey at the stem. If the figs are stickiness it means they are over ripeness.

Ripe figs are perishable and easily bruised. You can keep figs in the lower compartment of the fridge for up to 10-12 days. If the figs are too ripe and leave them outside the fridge, they will go sour fast.

Nutrient of fresh and dried figs

Figs are not like other fruits, the amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in fresh and dried figs are big different. Here are the main nutrients you can have when eating fresh and dried figs.

100 g dried figs provide
      248 Calories
      1 g of Total fat 1% DV
      10 g Dietary fiber (39%)
      48 g Sugar
100g Dried figs
100g Fresh fig
Vitamin A
10.0 IU (0%)
142 IU (3%)
Vitamin K
15.6 mcg (19%)
4.7 mcg (6%)
Vitamin E
0.4 mg (2%)
0.1 mg (0%)
680 mg (19%)
232 mg (7%)
100 g of fresh figs
      74 Calories
      0 g of Total fat
      2.9 g of Dietary fiber (12%)
      16.3 g Sugar
68 mg (17%)
17 mg (4%)
162 mg (16%)
35.0 mg (4%)
0.5 mg (26%)
0.1 mg (6%)
0.3 mg (14%)
0.1 mg (4%)
2 mg (11%)
0.4 mg (2%)

5 main health benefits of figs fruit

1. Figs fruit for healthy heart 

Figs fruit is good to your heart as it contain a high amount of potassium. Potassium is crucial mineral to heart function as our heart use potassium in every heartbeat. This mineral also helps to squeeze blood through your body and normalizes heartbeat. A high potassium diet might reduce the incidence of heart arrhythmia and heart attack.

Some studies have linked low levels of potassium in the diet with high blood pressure. Other studies show that the diet with rich potassium can reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. 

2. Reduce Hypkalemia symptoms (low potassium)

Figs helps us to reduce a Hypkalemia symptoms as figs contain high amount of potassium and magnesium. A long with sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium, potassium is electrolyte. These substances conduct electricity in the body. The balance of potassium in the body depends on the amount of sodium and magnesium in the blood. Too much sodium in diets may increase the need for potassium. When the body loses too much potassium in urine can cause hypkalemia (low potassium). This symptom includes weakness, lack of energy, muscle cramps, stomach disturbances, an irregular heartbeat. We can use figs to reduce the hypkalemia symptoms with sources of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

3.  Mental ability booster

Figs have the rich sources of minerals needed for proper function of all cells, organs and boost mental ability. Especially, potassium in figs plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction. It helps your muscles to move, your nerves to work, and your kidneys to filter blood. The high amount of potassium in figs fruit also can boost the immune system. Potassium keeps the skin healthy and sends oxygen to the brain. Therefore, figs can help to reduce depression, confusion, hallucination, psychosis, and anxiety.

4. Natural laxative and diuretic

Figs can nourish and tone our intestines and act as natural laxative with their high fiber content. Prebiotics in figs support good bacteria in the gut and improve digestive wellness. The high amount of potassium in figs also decreases the risks of kidney stones and stroke. This mineral helps kidneys to remove waste, maintain and balance water levels in the body. Besides, potassium also restores alkaline salts to the bloodstream by neutralizing acids.

5. Bone healthy fruit

The rich sources of vitamin K, calcium and Choline in figs can help to strengthen and enhance your bone. Both fresh and dried figs are rich in vitamin K. Our body uses vitamin K to manipulate binding of calcium in bone and other tissues. The vitamin K supports the proteins and allows them to bind calcium ions. When we have low levels of vitamin K, our bones can be weaken, we might have the calcification of arteries and other soft tissues. 

The high potassium in figs can strengthen the bones, the muscles and faster healing of injuries. Studies show a positive link between a diet rich in potassium and bone health, especially in elderly women. Researchers suggested that consumption of foods rich in potassium may help to prevent osteoporosis. Potassium can keep the calcium in bones and lessens the risk of osteoporosis. For that reason you can use dried or fresh figs as a osteoporosis natural treatment. But remember the high amount of sugar in dried figs might have some effects. And ask your doctor for advice before adding figs in your regular diet. 

Calcium is especially high in the dried figs. In one hundred gram of dried figs you can have 162 mg of calcium that can gain the bone density. Not like other fruits, the amount of vitamins and minerals in dried figs are higher than fresh on. By stewing dried figs we can get more vitamin and mineral in figs. When you stew 100 gram of dried figs you can get.

Vitamin C 11.4mg (19%)
Vitamin K
17.4 mcg (22%)
761 mg (22%)
Calcium 181mg (18%)
75.1 mg (19%)

Those mindful of dried figs is that they are high in sugar content. One hundred grams of fresh figs contain 16.3g of sugar, while dried figs contain more than 48 g of sugar and 248 calories. 

Here are some general information about 5 health benefits of figs. Figs are good to your health with lots of vitamin and minerals such as calcium, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. By adding fresh or dried figs into your diet you can strengthen your heart, bones and boost your mental physical. But if you use dried figs, remember that dried figs contain high amount of sugar too. I do hope you find some interesting and helpful information about figs. Don’t hesitate to let me know your idea and experiences when using figs.   

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Hot Figs Drink Recipes with Herbs for Winter

Figs are sweet, tasty, with 5 health benefits with long history. The Mediterranean has used figs in their daily life since ancient times. This fruit is beneficial to your liver functions; relieve cough, asthma and pharyngitis. We can eat fresh figs, mixing it with salad or served it with dessert. We can also make smoothies and cocktails with fresh figs. But have you ever tried to make hot and non-alcohol drink with figs in winter time? For long time ago, people in Mediterranean and Middle East use figs to make a sweet drink in their holiday season. During the period of Ramadan in the Middle East people make fig drinks rimmed with walnut, cinnamon and almond. In Mediterranean, people stew figs with cinnamon, thyme, honey and gloves to make sweet and tasty hot drink. This healthy Mediterranean drink recipe is a good idea for winter and holiday season.

All ingredients you need are:

–        200 gr fresh figs (4 fresh figs) or 100g of dried figs
–        2 small sticks of cinnamon
–        3 tsp. of honey
–        3 or 4 tsp. of dried thyme
–        Some cloves
–        1 l of water

How to do it?

Chop figs into small pieces and put all ingredients into a bowl. First cook all ingredients till boiling then reduce the heat. Then you simmered the drink with low heat for 30 minutes. After that you can serve this hot drink right after finishing.

This herb drink has a warm taste from cinnamon, thyme, cloves and sweet taste of honey and figs. You can use both fresh and dried figs to make this drink. Depend on your taste you can reduce or put more honey to sweeten the drink. But notice that dried figs are sweeter than fresh figs. 100 gram of fresh figs contain 16.3 gram of sugar meanwhile 46 gram of sugar in 100 gram of dried figs. And this is how my drink looks like.

This healthy Mediterranean drink is rich in Calcium, Folate, sugar and minerals. In this post I used fresh figs to make this drink but dried figs are better than the fresh one. Dried figs are not losing their vitamin and mineral when stewing. Besides the amount of Calcium and Potassium in stewed dried figs are higher than in fresh and dried figs. These are minerals you can receive when you stew 100g of dried figs.

Vitamin C 11.4mg (19%DV)
Vitamin K 17.4 mcg (22% DV)
761 mg (22%DV)
Calcium 181mg (18%DV)
75.1 mg  (19%DV)
You can try to make fig hot drinks with a Kuwait recipe too. The Kuwait figs hot drink’s ingredients are almonds, walnuts, figs and ground cinnamon. All you have to do is chopping the dried figs into little pieces. Simmered figs with almonds, walnuts and ground cinnamon for 30 minutes. Then you can serve it when it cold. I will try this recipe soon and let you know the exact amount of ingredients you need.

I will make Mediterranean fig hot drink in cold winter days and of course Christmas time too. Do you think about making hot fig drinks in this holiday season? You will be surprised how tasty and healthy it is. Don’t hesitate to let me know your idea about these recipes.  

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3 basic and simple Blueberry smoothie recipes

Blueberry is one of the richest food sources of natural antioxidants. This fruit has high amount of oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC). Orac is a measure of food’s ability to neutralize free radicals and protect the body from ageing. The ORAC level in 100 gram of blueberries is 4669 Mol Te. Our body need about 5000 Mol Te ORAC per day. A glass of fresh blueberries smoothie can provide you ORAC level that your body needs in a day. Besides, the protective antioxidants in blueberry do not change when we frozen the fruits. So we can use fresh or frozen blueberry to make smoothie in all year round. In this post I list my 3 simple and fast blueberry smoothy recipes. These recipes are easy to make and good to your health.

Blueberry and yogurt

Serves for 2

  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberry (150 g)
  • 1 cup of vanilla or plain yogurt or 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • ½ cup of ice

How to do it?

Blend at high speed. Serve immediately with mint leaves. Yogurt contain high amount of calcium and live bacteria that are beneficial to the digestion. Live bacteria in yogurt can protect against harmful gut bacterial which cause food poisoning. 

Blueberry and Strawberry smoothie

Serves 1-2

  • 1 cup of blueberry fresh or frozen (150 gr)
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries (75 g)
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ½ cup vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 1 whole strawberry for decoration
  • Fresh mint leaves

How to do it

  • Place strawberry and milk in blender
  • Cover and process for 10-15 seconds
  • Add frozen yogurt and vanilla to blender process 10-15 seconds
  • Garnish with whole strawberry and mint leaves

Blueberry and raspberry crush

Blueberry and raspberry smoothie is tasty and can protect you from the ravages of free radicals.

Serves 1-2

  • 1 cup of blueberries (150 gr)
  • 1 cup of raspberries (120gr)
  • 1 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup of ice
  • 1 tsp. of honey

How to do it

  • Wash and hull the fruits
  • Put them both into a blender and blend until smooth.

As blueberry and raspberry contain lots small and hard seeds, the smoothie can be quite dry and hard. You can add or reduce amount of yogurt and honey as your taste too. Garnish with fresh raspberry and mint leaves.

Here are three simple and healthy blueberry smoothie recipes that you can make it everyday within 5 minutes. I hope you find something interesting in this post. And let me know what do you think about these simple recipes? What is your favorite blueberry smoothie recipes? I would love to know your favorite blueberry smoothie recipes too. 

3 Amazing Honeydew Melon Smoothie Recipes to Try Right Now

Honeydew melon is good and healthy fruit for summer time. This fruit is low in Sodium, and low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also contain good sources of Vitamin C, fibers and other essential nutrients to our body. Besides natural fibers in honeydew melon can support our digestion and keep blood sugar balanced. We can eat honeydew as a raw fruit and make honeydew melon smoothies too. In this post I one to share with you three easy honeydew melon smoothie recipes

1. Honeydew melon and honey smoothie

Ingredients (1-2 serves)

  • 6 cups honeydew melon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Juice of 2 limes or ½ lemon
  • 1 cup of ice

How to do it?

  • Peel and cut the honeydew melon.
  • Put into a blender with honey and lime juice
  • Blend until smooth
  • Serve with fresh mint on a top

This smoothie has a light taste from honeydew melon and honey. Besides, this smoothie has high amount of vitamin C from honeydew melon and lime or lemon. 

2. Honeydew melon and light coconut milk smoothie

Ingredients (1-2 serves)      

  • 1/2 honeydew melon (cut into chunks, about 4 cups, or 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 leaves fresh mint 
  • 1 cup of ice

How to do it?

  • Peel and cut the honeydew melon.
  • Put into a blender with the coconut milk
  • Blend until smooth
  • Serve with fresh mint on a top

This smoothie has quite rich and sweet taste of coconut and light honeydew melon taste. I think this smoothie taste is nicer than watermelon and coconut smoothie. If you like lemon or lime, you can add 1 tsp. of lime juice into blender for different taste. 

3. Honeydew melon, light yogurt, light coconut milk and watermelon smoothie

Ingredients (1-2 serves)

  • 1/2 honeydew melon (cut into chunks, about 4 cups, or 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 leaves fresh mint (plus more for garnish)2 cups of watermelon
  • 1 cup of thin yogurt
  • 1 cup of ice

How to do it?

  • Peel and cut the honeydew melon, watermelon
  • Put into a blender with the coconut milk, yogurt and ice
  • Blend until smooth
  • Serve with fresh mint on a top

This smoothie has little bit taste of coconut, yogurt and nice color from watermelon. I think this smoothie is absolute different than what I have ever tried. If you have all ingredients already, try to make this funny smoothie.

Here are 3 simple honeydew melon smoothie recipes I made this summer. All recipes are easy to make and quite convenience within only 5 minutes. I hope you like my short and simple post about honeydew melon smoothies. What is your favorite honeydew melon smoothie recipe? Let me know what you think about my work with honeydew melon smoothie recipes

Easy Ice Mint Strawberry Juice Recipe

Last week I came to strawberry farm and collected strawberry. I got around 4 kg of fresh strawberry and I think it is too much. The fact is I have done all recipes to consume my strawberries. I did strawberry jam, strawberry smoothies and eat fresh strawberry too. But somehow I could not drink smoothies for 3 days continuously meanwhile my strawberries can get bad very fast. 

But what else I can do? I have no space in fridge for frozen strawberry and don’t want more strawberry smoothies. Suddenly I remembered that my mom used to make fruit juice with sugar but she does it with apricots not strawberries. However, I tried my luck with strawberry in the same way my mom does fruit juices. And here is product my tasty strawberry juice with ice mint leaves.


  • One big jar with tight cover I used my 1,5l glass jar to make juice. Strawberry contains water inside and sugar will melt and it’s hard to know how much juice you can have.
  • 300 gram of sugar
  • 500 gram of fresh strawberry
  • Fresh ice mint leaves
  • Fresh strawberries

First of all, I put strawberry into a jar then slowly pour sugar into it. I tried to keep sugar cover all strawberries if not strawberries might turn into bad. I keep a whole strawberry and cut it into small pieces. If you like soft and not so much sugar in strawberry you can keep a whole strawberry. Small strawberry pieces will have more sugar inside and easy broken when you make a juice.

I keep my jar for more than 15 hours. After 4 hours you can check if the sugar does not cover the strawberry, you can put a little sugar to cover it. If you see all sugar has melt as my picture, you can use it to make juice. 

In my juice I used old and ripe strawberries with lot of seeds. Old strawberries have sweeter and stronger taste than the normal strawberry in supermarket. If you go to the strawberry farm, try to taste the old strawberry you will see the difference. With me the old strawberry is the best choice to eat and make jam. One time per year I try to go to the strawberry farm to collect old strawberry for making strawberry jam. I will share with you my low sugar, no pectin strawberry jam in another post. But now let me finish my strawberry juice first.

The second stage of making strawberry juice is mixing it with water. You can add cold water, mineral water, sparkling until it meets your taste. In here I used half of my juice mixed with 400 ml of cold water. I kept it a little bit sweet then I can put the ice later. To make strawberry juice perfect I put some ice cube, ice mint and some fresh strawberries into it. The juice will have sweet taste and lovely smell of strawberry and little bit sour taste of fresh strawberries too.

Having this drink with ice in hot summer day is an interesting choice. You can mix it with some vodka if you want something news. I like this drink as it is tasty and so convenience. Sugar helps me to keep this juice for 3 or 4 days later. But remember to keep strawberry jar in the fridge to keep it cool. If you like to try something different, try to make this juice. I bet you will love it. Let me know what you think about this simple strawberry juice. 

3 Watermelon Smoothies for Hot Summer

Now is summer and great time in Finland. After half year of waiting in cold weather, it’s so nice to enjoy hot summer day with fresh and cold watermelon smoothies. Watermelon is one of the cheapest and most common fruit we buy in the summer time. Even in Finland, I can find it easy with a suitable price. As you might know, watermelon contains 92% of water and rich sources of Lycopene, minerals and vitamins. This summer fruit has excellent levels of vitamin A, C and B6. Vitamin A found in water melon can boost our immune systems. Meanwhile, vitamin B6 helps the immune system to produce antibodies to fight diseases. Vitamin C works to enhance immune systems to against infection and free radical. Besides, watermelon also contains rich sources of minerals. We can take a daily required potassium levels by having a two-cup serving (280g) of water melon.

That is some main information about watermelon. And now it’s time to make 3 most basic watermelon smoothies. All smoothies are easy to make and tasty.

Watermelon and Yogurt Smoothies


– 1 medium watermelon
– 125 ml or 4fl of plain live yoghurt

Yogurt contain high amount of calcium and live bacteria that are beneficial to the digestion. Live bacteria in yogurt can protect against harmful gut bacterial which cause food poisoning. By making this smoothie, you can have the double benefit of watermelon and yogurt.

How I do it:

– Keep watermelon in fridge for at least half an hour before blending to be colder.
– Peel the watermelon and remove the seeds. If you have a very high powered blender you don’t have to worry about removing the seeds
– Cut into chunks
– Blend in a blender or food processor with yogurt

If you like cold smoothie you can add some ice. Put some mint or sprig of mint and cherry to decorate it. I think my smoothie look quite nice.

Watermelon and light coconut milk smoothie

Ingredients for 2-4 cups

– 900g or 2lb watermelon
– 125 ml or 4 fl oz light coconut milk
– 2 sprig of fresh mint

Coconut milk has unique flavors and reminders the tropical lands and summer. Besides, it provides calcium, magnesium and potassium.

How I do it:

– Peel and cut the watermelon.
– Put into a blender with the coconut milk
– Blend until smooth
– Serve with fresh mint on a top

If you think the coconut milk can make the smoothie so rich taste, you can add a little yogurt and a sprig of fresh mint for garnish.

Watermelon and Lemon Smoothie

The third watermelon smoothie I make today is watermelon and lemon smoothie.


– 900g or 2lb watermelon
– ½ fresh lemons
– 2 sprig of fresh mint
– Honey or some salt and pepper

Lemon has rich sources of Vitamin C and other minerals which good to your health. If you like, you can read more about lemon’s health benefits in my previous.

How I make it

– Peel, and cut the watermelon.
– Squeeze lemon and remove seeds
– Put into a blender with the lemon water
– Blend until smooth
– Pour the smoothies into strainer and strain the smoothies.
– It is much easier to make this drink with juicer. Just put lemon juice and watermelon and juice it.
– Serve with fresh mint and slice of lemon on top

If you like sweet taste you can put 1 or 2 spoons into watermelon and lemon smoothies. And here is my watermelon and lemon smoothie.
Do you want to try something a little bit different? You can add some salt and pepper into that mixture too.  I think this drink is quite fun. And add some Vodka if you like a little alcohol in your drink. But I use only salt and pepper to make drink. Or you can make it in small amount, if you like it you can make it more. Believe me; it tastes good and absolutely unique. 

What do you think about my list of three most popular watermelon smoothies? Do you like it? Or you want to share with me your favorite watermelon smoothies. Let me know about it. Enjoy summer time.  

5 Key Oolong tea Benefits and Side Effects You should Know

Oolong tea is well-known for its unique taste and enormous health benefits to our body. As green tea, oolong has high amount of polyphenols, alkaloids, saponins, polysaccharides and L-theanines. These polyphenols contribute to oolong’s antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging abilities. Besides, caffeine and polyphenols are bioactive component to anti-obesity properties of oolong tea. It is also used to prevent tooth decay, osteoporosis, relax your mind. In this post I would like to sketch 5 main health benefits, side effects and some tips for choosing and brewing oolong tea.

5 Oolong Tea Health Benefits

  1. Natural anti-oxidant properties

Free radicals are the natural byproduct of the process of oxidation. If free radicals are not neutralized it can cause damage to human proteins, lipid, DNA and lead to fatal diseases. To protect our self, our body uses an inherent antioxidant defense to scavenge and treat free radicals. However this system cannot prevent all the damage caused by free radical. We can strengthen our antioxidant defense by using food with rich sources of organic polyphenols. Polyphenols like vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids, catechins have antioxidant activity.   

Oolong tea has rich sources of polyphenols as epigallocatechin (EGC), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin -3-gallate (ECG). EGC and EGCG have been proved to play an important role in the scavenging ability of oolong tea. EGC and EGCG might against the diphenyl-2- picrylhydrazyl hydrate (DPPH) and superoxide radicals. Moreover other low molecular weight polyphenols in oolong tea also support DPPH scavenging activity

2. Natural weight loss  supplement

In the early of 1990’s scientist found that oolong tea can support and reduce body weight. Scientists have proved that polyphenols and caffeine in oolong tea can block lipid absorption and promoted fat oxidation.  As that oolong tea is used widely as natural supplement to treat obesity hardening and high cholesterol. In my other post I will spend more time to discuss about anti-obesity benefit of oolong tea. 

3. Natural Remedy to Clear Acne

Oolong tea is proved to enhance and give you a dramatic skin effect. This benefit might come from the anti-allergic properties of the oolong tea polyphenols. In 2001, Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan found that oolong tea can enhance the skin treatment in patients with recalcitrant atopic (AD). In a study, 118 patients with AD drank oolong tea for 6 months. The patients were asked to maintain their dermatological treatment during the study.  Patients were instructed to drink 10 gram of dried oolong tea steeped in 5 minutes with 1000 ml of boiling water. The tea amount is divided in 3 equal serving and was drunk daily after 3 regular meals. In first weeks, the beneficial effect was first notice after 1 or 2 weeks of treatment. A good respond to treatment was still observed in 64 patients of 6 months. Base on this research daily drinking oolong tea might help us to prevent acne. Oolong tea might clear acne and gives us brighter skin too.

4. Oolong Tea support Healthy Teeth

You can easy find some toothpaste or oral care products which contain green tea or tea inside. Experimental evidence suggests that EGCG, ECG and other catechins can be anti-plaque agents. Catechins in tea can prevent our teeth from the attachment of oral streptococcal pathogens. ECG and EGCG bind bacterial cellular proteins and decrease its hydrophobicity. And then prevent their further development. According to a study of the Dept. of Dentistry at Japan’s Osaka University regular consumption of oolong tea can help to reduce plaque deposit and tooth decay. 

5. Natural anxiety remedies

Fragrant compounds in plant, forest have been proved to be able enhance the GABAA response receptors in our brain. People using fragrant for treating anxiety disorders, sleep disturbances, muscle spasms and seizure disorders. Oolong tea contains the fragrant compounds such as geraniol, linalool and benzyl alcohol. In the research of Yamaguchi University, Japanese scientists used oolong fragrant to regulate the GABAA levels in the brain. Oolong tea is proved to sharpen thinking skills by improve mental alertness by increasing GABAAlevel in brain. Besides, oolong tea fragrant might be able to handle the stress and reduce the headache. As that having a fresh cup of oolong tea can help us relax and keep our mind balance.

Tips for brewing oolong tea

The leaves of oolong tea should not be damaged and look reasonably whole once they are infused and unfold. After making the tea, the leaves should be tender, pliable and look fresh. The leaves should not be chewy, old and thick. If it looks like that it might be picked lately.

You can brew oolong tea for three to five times with the same leaves. The best tea should be able to keep its rich flavor through multiple infusions. Besides, good oolong tea will not become bitter for a long aftertaste. With lots of people the third or fourth steeping oolong tea usually the best. With me my favorite is the second time brewing as the second brewing taste is not so strong or not so soft.

How to brew oolong tea?

In a traditional way, people will brew 3 grams of tea (2 teaspoons) per cup with 200 ml of water. The water temperature about 205°F (93 to 96°C) water (not boiling) and steeped 3–10 minutes. 

You can maximize the scavenging ability of oolong tea by changing brewing time and water temperature. A study of Guangzhou and Clemson University found that the best time to brew oolong tea is 3 minutes with boiling water (100°C). Oolong tea will have the highest activities of scavenging DPPH and superoxide radicals. 

Side effects of Oolong tea

The side effects of oolong tea mainly come from caffeine. Caffeine account only 5-7% of oolong tea. If you drink more than five cups per day, you might have some side effects because of the caffeine. These side effects range from mild to serious. Side effects include headache, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, convulsions, and confusion. And in these conditions you should take more notices or ask your health provider advice before using oolong tea:
  • Oolong tea in small amounts is probably not harmful to pregnant or breast-feeding. But, do not drink more than 2 cups a day of oolong tea. Too much caffeine during pregnancy might harm to the baby. And over-dose caffeine might cause irritability and increase bowel movements in nursing infants.
  • The scientists found that caffeine might slow blood clotting and make bleeding disorders worse.
  • Caffeine in oolong tea can cause irregular heartbeat in some people.
  • If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor before using oolong tea.
  • Drinking oolong tea can flush out calcium in the urine. Consider if you need calcium supplements to make up for the calcium that is flushed out. If you have osteoporosis, don’t drink more than 3 cups of oolong tea per day.
  • Caffeine in oolong tea might increase blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. But, this side effect does not happen in people who often drink oolong tea or other caffeinated products.

Oolong tea has a unique taste and amazing effect on the body and also on mind. This tea supplies us the rich source of polyphenols is required for anti-oxidant process and the total good health. Besides oolong tea can enhance your skin, oral health and balance your mind. But you should notice the side effect you might have when having more than 5 cups of oolong tea in one day. Ask for doctor advice when you have concerns or special health condition. I do hope you can find the information you concern about oolong tea in my post. Let me knows what do you think and what I can add to make this post better.

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Summer Savory: Benefits, Side effects and How to Make Savory Tea

    Savory is a plant which closes relative to thyme, lavender and sage (Lamiaceae plant family). Savory has a quite hot taste, like thyme, and a bit acrid, and have abundant of mineral and vitamins. This herb is a good source of iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Savory also contains lots of volatile-oil phenols like Carvacrol, Thymol, Cymene and Pinene.  These oils give savory exceptional antiseptic properties. For that reason, savory can protect you from intestinal and lung infections, as well as renal infections. 

    There are two main types of savory: summer savory and winter savory. But the summer savory has a sweeter flavor than winter savory and often used for cooking. Savory can be used as a seasoning for chicken, fish and meat. Fresh savory makes a great garnish for salads. It can be added to many different types of soups and sauces. Savory can maintain their flavor and aroma when dried. You can dry savory by cutting and keeping it in the cool, dry and drafty place for winter using. But remember that savory leaves harvested before the plants flower will have the best flavor. 


    Savory was used widely to aid digestion and diarrhea in the past. Nowadays, it is used to treat mouth sores, cold stomach, parasites of the intestines and other common illness. In this post I would like to sketch 7 main health benefits of savory and how to use it as herbal tea.

1. Natural Antiseptic Herb

    The savory leaves contain volatile-oil phenols that make it an exceptional natural antiseptic. Savory oil contains 30 – 45 per cent carvacrol, 20 – 30 percent Thymol, and Cineol, Cymene and Pinene. Studies have shown that Carvacrol may have the potential to inhibit and fight certain bacterial such e.g. E. coli and Bacillus. Carvacrol oil is used as antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Additionally, Thymol oil in savory holds antiseptic, anti fungal and antibacterial qualities.  This makes savory tea excellent for general health and assist in preventing infections in the body.
    Moreover, savory’s volatile oils are useful in aiding respiratory health. In recent studies scientists have suggested using this oil to reduce sinus infections.

2. Rich sources of Vitamin, Mineral and Fiber

    The leaves of the savory plant are rich in mineral e.g. potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. This plant also contains many vital vitamins such as vitamin C, B-complex, and vitamin A. Savory also has a high source of fiber too. The fiber in savory leaf and shoot can help to lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol levels in the body. The rich sources of mineral, vitamins and fiber in savory can help and strengthen your total health.

3. Immune System Support

    The rich sources of vitamin in savory are able to ensuring good health and improving our immune system. Savory might help and protect your body against common illnesses and infections. Furthermore, the antiseptic qualities of savory offer protection against intestinal infections and parasites. Savory’s  powerful antiseptic action can improve liver and kidney functions too. Savory can reduce a headache and helps to regulate the GABA levels in the brain to handle the stress.

4. Home remedies for cold and flu

    Savory can be used as a tea during the cold and flu season. This herbal tea can reduce the chance of catching a cold or flu. The soothing oils in savory can reduce the cold and flu, sooth sore scratchy throat and cough. You can also mix savory with chamomile, mint leaf and black currant to strengthen the fighting cold and flu power. Mixture between black currant and savory can help you to sooth convulsive cough.

5. Support Digestion

    Savory tea used to relieve digestive upset, flatulence, diarrhea, and support digestive tract. You can use savory as a tonic to help prevent and cure diarrhea. Since savory has a mild diuretic, it can treat conditions that affect the urinary track and even tuberculosis. Besides, drinking savory as a tea can help maintain a healthy liver, bladder and good internal health.

6. Natural anti inflammatory

        Savory can be used to treat abdominal pains, menstrual pains or abdominal cramps. You can infuse 200-250g of savory in3 hours for making herbal bath. Put the boiled savory in the bath water and take a regular bath for 15-20 minutes though.
Rheumatoid patients who suffer from high fevers can dab savory on the affected areas to cure the painful symptoms.

7. Nature remedies for stronger skin

    Savory alcohol can act a good disinfectant and can be used to treat skin infections and wounds. People with oily skin can use savory in facial steams and baths for stronger skin. You can infuse 20 gram of savory in 500ml of water for treating greasy complexions. Used the water in small amounts and applied to the skin for 15-20 minutes.


  • Normally Savory is safe to everybody when eating or drinking it as tea or using it oil. Remember that summer savory can cause skin problems. Do not use concentrated and undiluted savory oil direct to your skin, it can cause irritating. Always use savory oil by diluting it with water.
  • The Chinese traditional medicine advises not to exaggerate the consumption of savory. When using too much savory you can have fever or aggravate some cardiovascular afflictions.
  • Do not use summer savory while pregnant or nursing. As there are not so many researches about the use it summer savory during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Ask your doctor before using savory tea if you are in therapy or prescribed to any medications.


    Tea brewed with savory can be used to treat internal health problems. It can treat urine retention, gastric disorders, cough, headache, colic and uterine contraction. Savory is quite hot and not good for using too much. I usually have only one cup of savory tea in morning for a day to boost up the body. If you drink it in day times, remember to drink savory tea before primary meal.

  •  2 fresh savory sprigs or half teaspoon of dried savory.

  •  Put savory in a cup and pour boiling water.

  •  Wait for 8-10 minutes before using it.

  •  Add honey or sugar to sweeten the drink. I prefer no sugar savory tea as sugar is not good to your health and skin.


    I also mix savory with mint leaf and Chamomile. All I have to do is putting all ingredients into a cup. Pour boiling water and wait for 8 minutes before serving. Brewing time of savory, mint leaves and chamomile all are 6-8 minutes.
  • Savory and mint leaf tea: mix 2 fresh savory sprigs (half teaspoon of dried savory) with half teaspoon of dried mint leaves. You can use savory and mint leaves drink to reduce the cough and cold. I have to say this drink does not look yummy but it is very tasty with strong flavor of savory and mint leaves. Besides, it might give you stronger skin with rich sources of menthol from mint leaves. Mint leaf can clear acne and healing your skin too.
  • Savory and chamomile tea: You can brew savory leaf with chamomile tea as natural sleep remedies. This drink can give you a deep sleeping. But you should drink this herbal tea in the evening or before going to bed. As chamomile can make you feel sleepy. It’s not wise to use this drink when driving or using any kind of machine. Besides, chamomile can interact with some medicine and have some side effect. You can check details about chamomile in Chamomile: Health benefits and Side Effect.  
    If you are looking for a small boost of vitamins and minerals in your diet, just have a cup of savory tea. The savory herb can promote your healthy living and supply you a lot of health benefits. And remember it’s safe only when you take it in reasonable proportions. Let me know your idea about this herbal plant. What’s your favorite ways of making savory tea?