Kaffir Lime & Blueberry Cupcakes

What to do when you have a never ending supply of lemons, lime and kaffir limes?

Experiment with food… and more different types of food!

I was talking to Daph about what to do with lemons and baking, she directed me to the cupcakes she recently made here, which was a variation of PaleOMG’s recipe

I’ve made my own variation as I am using kaffir limes, which are much stronger in flavour. took me a couple of tries but we got there eventually x) Recipe below!

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Makes: 10 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Coconut (70g)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 6 small Eggs (230g)
  • 1/3 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1/3 cup Kaffir Lime Juice
  • 1 cup Frozen Blueberries

Method:

  1. Sift dry ingredients together
  2. Blend up wet ingredients
  3. Add wet to dry and mix together
  4. Fold berries in last
  5. Scoop into moulds and bake for 20-25 mins. I let them brown up some before I take them out

Optional:

As they rest, take a skewer and poke a few holes in the top, use a teaspoon to pour some leftover juice into the muffins – this will let it soak up some fresh flavour 🙂 only an option, I like a good zesty flavour in it.

Substitutions:

  • Blueberries – for any kind of berries you like
  • Kaffir Lime – if you tried using normal lemons, I am guessing you will need more lemon juice – Daph’s recipe suggests 2 lemons, you can try that 🙂

 

Nutrition:

Calories: 703 total (~71 per cupcake)

  • 31g fat
  • 61g carbs
  • 36g protein

 

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Can an Asian eat clean? Part 2

When I first started eating clean, I was actually doing okay. The people around me (including family) just thought I was on a diet that was going to end at some point so they left me alone. They didn’t realise it was an entire lifestyle change. I started doing my own groceries and making my own foods – bear in mind this is usually a no no for Asian homes, but for my mum it was more a nuisance because I started taking up space in her kitchen.

Here’s some of the things I hear quite often:

“You don’t need a diet!”
“You’re making me feel bad for eating this”
“You’re so healthy its disgusting” (that half sarcastic/not really comment)
“If you keep this up, you’re gonna live to 100!” (not a bad comment, but its indirectly suggesting I shouldn’t be “so healthy”)

“I can count the number of grains on your plate. ZERO!”

“You’re Asian, you MUST eat rice!”

“You have a disorder.”
Just like Daphne says here in Part 1, the list goes on. I suggest you take a read of this if you have found this post first. I’m building on what Daphne has already written, hence Pt 2.I was born in Australia and have lived here my whole life. My whole extended family is in Australia and love a reason to have a family get together. They will do this as often as time allows us (public holidays, someone’s birthday, just because we haven’t done one in a while…), and every dinner is a feast. This is just how it’s been since forever. Who am I kidding? I love food, I love to eat!

Can you eat clean through all of this? How?

Yes you most definitely can! Life is made up of the decisions that you make, specifically in relation to food – what you eat, how much of it you eat and when you eat.

Daphne’s self questionnaire in making decisions:

  • Do I really want this? Does this fuel my body?
  • Have I been training hard recently? My body might need some rice/other complex carbs to recover and fuel.
  • Ok, I have not been working hard but that fried rice is made by my beloved grandmother and I really want it.
  • Are there other kinds of sugar (such as a dessert) I prefer to have instead?

For myself, I currently exercise 5-6 times a week. I’m very active, so I struggle more with portion sizing than being clean. In saying that, I do allow myself treats a few times in a week – I love “bad” food. One lolly/cookie (we have a bottomless candy jar at work) every few days is not going to harm me. One scoop of ice cream after a long week’s work is a well deserved treat. Going out for dinner with friends? Your meal is in your hands, there many options on a menu.

With clean eating, comes portion sizing – how much is too much? It’s really easy to overeat with eating clean.We’ve heard all the “recommended” intakes of food, ratios of carbs:protein:fats, energy per day, 5 veg 2  fruit, that list goes on forever. In the end, all of these are just averages that came from studies. Take these as guidelines and you won’t be too far out. You need to consider:

1) How much are you currently eating?
2) What types of foods are you eating?
3) How active are you?

I won’t make specific suggestions, because this is all just about learning what your body is trying to tell you. If you are eating a significant amount of unhealthy, try substituting for healthier options. When your body has adapted to the changes, then start looking at decreasing over intake and adjusting different foods for balanced nutrition. I will mention these things:

  • Eat when you are hungry, not bored or used to eating at that time (I’m a huge offender of this, I’m working on it though!)
  • If you work a 9-5 job, I suggest you eat breakfast (fuel your body and brain with nutrition, not coffee)
  • Don’t try to make a huge change to your diet suddenly. Have you noticed that people who try fad diets often gain back what they had lost, usually more, once they stop the diet?

When you are eating foods that are unprocessed or not very processed, they are denser in nutrition. This means that lesser should keep you full. Sometimes this takes a while to kick in – I eat really fast, so I ALWAYS have to remind myself to just sit still for about 10-15 minutes, and I will feel full from the meal I just ate.

You will learn to have a lot of patience – taking it one step at a time is not easy, but it will increase the chances of all your hard work in making changes stay that way.

I am aware I have not mentioned anything about weight loss here, I am encouraging a healthy lifestyle, which will naturally come with fat loss and aid muscle gain. Think healthy, not skinny 🙂

xx Melissa

Can an Asian eat clean?

As we started the transition of eating clean, we have heaps of people giving comments such as:

“Oh, you are on a diet? Why?”
“When will you start eating real food again?”
“You are not Asian unless you eat chicken rice, char kway teow, laksa, pho, broken rice, sushi, katsu-don, udon (Insert carb food choice)”
“You don’t need to lose any more weight!”
“How can you resist kuehs, pancakes, waffles, ice-cream, lemon meringue pie, macarons, (insert sweets, dessert and cake of choice)?”
“Are you sure you don’t have an eating disorder?”
The list goes on.
Both of us grew up in Asian families. Myself (Daphne) is from Singapore and delicious hawker food is in every corner. Being Asian, food is everything. It’s what bring families together. Just like the Italians with their pasta, rice and noodles is just part of our culture. It’s every day life.
We define eating clean as eating less processed food as possible. That means limiting if not eliminating gluten, wheat based products, sugar added products and packaged food.
Rice is an interesting one. Some people will class that as processed whereas others wont. It is also a resistant starch, which some later studies have shown that it is beneficial in protecting our gut. Noodles on the other hand, is probably more processed than rice. Anything that has to go through a machine with added ingredients to it is probably harder for our body to process it. Another factor to consider, is that while having some starch is beneficial, having too much starch means it is converted to sugar and later on fat in our bodies. This limits the body’s capabilities to function the best it could. Not exactly what we want.
Does that sound like every single food item in the supermarket or in a restaurant? After all, if we do meet friends at a Chinese/Asian restaurant, chances are there will be noodles and rice feature in every page. At any family gathering, there will be stir fry noodles and rice as part of the deal. Not eating rice can be seen as disrespectful. In the olden days, rice provides energy to our ancestors who worked hard in paddy rice fields and as labourers and farmers. Rice is precious. And now Melissa and I are saying no to a big bowl of rice?
Insert horror faces of all our relatives and friends.
It all comes down to portion sizes and personal goals. When choosing when to have rice and other Asian carb laden dishes, we ask the following questions:
1) Do I really want this? Does this fuel my body?”
2) Have I been training hard recently? My body might need some rice/other complex carbs to recover and fuel.
3) Ok, I have not been working hard but that fried rice is made by my beloved grandmother and I really want it.”
4) Are there other kinds of sugar (such as a dessert) I prefer to have instead?
And when family and friends asked and I’m choosing not to have any, I say:
“Thanks! But I’m saving my tummy for mum’s famous red bean pancakes”
“Thanks! I’m going to pass with the rice as I’m don’t feel like having any today.”
Sometimes people will make comments and to that I say:
“I do eat rice, just not everyday. Rice is not very nutritious and I much rather have food that nourishes me”
or if it is an elder in the family dishing it out….
“thank you.” Accept it, walk away but don’t eat it. However in cases like this, I would usually have some anyway- rice isn’t evil!
The truth is, there are always choices when eating with families and even dinning outside. While I do not take a lot of starch, I do love my curries, steam fish, steam eggs and vegetable stir fries and a good nourishing bowl of soup or broth.
When I eat in Singapore or dinning with in Asian eateries in Perth, I usually choose the following options:
–  Roast pork served with vegetables
– Steam chicken (think chicken rice without the rice or little rice) with vegetables
– Ordering dishes and sharing it with friends rather than noodles.
– Yong Tou Fu. However, choosing vegetables stuffed with fish paste and vegetables itself rather than deep fried items. I would have mine dry or with soup without noodles.
– Korean dishes like Saba fish and beef bulgogi. I love the side dishes of bean sprouts and kimchi as well.
– Steamboat. Stick with the thin slices of meat, seafood, small amounts of tofu and heaps of vegetables like cabbage, water spinach and mushrooms.
– Popiahs
– Japanese is usually good. I love a good beef tataki, sashimi salad, chawamushi, or even the squid salad. I do stay away from teriyaki or deep fried items. Sushi Tei is one of my favourite places to dine in Singapore.
– I do like having small portions of steamed Yam or Radish cakes.
– At dimsum, I stick to ordering steamed items filled with seafood and meat. I avoid deep fried items. I might even share a bowl of congee with my hubby.
However, there will be times when I would prefer to have prawn hokkien mee or rojak. In that case, I just indulge and enjoy.
There could be someone with a goal to increase their diet of resistant starch due to the nature of the workout they do. Personally, I do not digest too much starch well- I start feeling bloated and uncomfortable but there are people who can take heaps of starch and operate well. I’m  working out 4x a week and not daily hence I would naturally need less starch than Melissa who works out nearly every day. When I do want my sugars, I choose carefully.
It’s tricky but it can be done. Do I feel like I’m depriving myself? No. I don’t even miss it now. After a few years of eating this year, it has come naturally to me. Not only that, I know that my body is moving faster and operating better. Is it hard socially? At times. However, I find that there is usually something that I want to eat on the menu. Otherwise, I choose my favourite item and just eat. It’s also about portion sizes. It’s not about finishing everything on the plate. It’s about being mindful about the food, enjoying the flavours and remembering how well it will nourish your body.
Life is not perfect and I do not strive to be 100% in my meals. There is a lot to life than to be paranoid and worried if I have eaten some sushi or noodles. That is why I aim to cook and eat cleanly at home 90% of the time.
Happy Eating!