Gin Sukapaap Dee

About a Healthy Diet in Thailand

Posts Tagged ‘food’

Cinnamon and Honey jam

Posted by billzant on April 25, 2013

Picked this up online, thank you Sandy:-


and decided to try it – plenty of cinnamon and honey here in Thailand.

Here is the basic recipe:-

1. Dissolve a teaspoon of cinnamon powder (or ground cinnamon) in a cup of boiling water.
2. Stir and cover for half an hour.

3. Filter away any big particles and add a teaspoon of honey.

You can buy packets of cinnamon sticks here so I ground the cinnamon in the coffee mill (dry blender). Once filtered this makes a delicious healthy liquid, and many people take this. I wanted a jam/spread so I boiled the mixture again, added two spoons of agar agar
and have come up with a delicious spread for bread or toast. Well pleased.

Cinnamon and honey is apparently an Ayurvedic medicine. Benefits are written here.

Posted in Food | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Ma Ra Kii Nok

Posted by billzant on February 2, 2013

I have seen these “dreaded” things around, and my cook-friend at the “local banner” restaurant sometimes forces me to eat them. But they are not a choice veg to me as they are so bitter-tasting. I have changed my mind.

The other day a Bangkok friend, Gee at Orgathai, put up a picture and asked what they were; my contributions was some sort of ma ra. It was established that it was ma ra kii nok. My Thai teacher then found this article and translated it as her assignment – I teach her English:-

Momordica Chanrantia L is a kind of vegetable which has been used for thousands years in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Some other names in English are Balsam apple and Balsam pear. It’s called “Ma Ra Kii Nok” in Thai.

Medicine uses Momordica Chanrantia L for treatment of diabetes, liver disease and rheumatism. Traditional Thai medicine uses its leaves to cure fever, and its roots are also used to get rid of bad blood and to treat liver disease.

Research studies about this plant has been performed since 1962. Lotika and Rao discovered the Charantine reduced the blood sugar in certain experimented animals. There was a report that the bitter substance in “Ma Ra Kii Nok” has a quality that reduces the level of blood sugar. The bitter substance is anti-diabetic. It has a function that works against diabetes; for instance, activating insulin coming from the pancreas, decrease sugar coming from the liver, helping the metabolism and increasing glucose tolerance by inhibiting the growth of glucose in the small intestines.

“Ma Ra Kii Nok” juice can fight against diabetes in rabbits and white rats. It was also found that it can slow down kidney-disorder and cataracts.

There was a case study on 8 patients who had diabetes and were treated without being given insulin. Taking “Ma Ra Kii Nok” as food and drinking its juice, the case study showed that those patients could tolerate glucose better. The level of sugar in their blood decreased when they were full. The frequency of their urination reduced. As a result, the doctors suggested that people with diabetes take “Ma Ra Kii Nok” as food and drink to keep normal blood pressure and to slow down bad results caused from their diabetes.

Green “Ma Ra Kii Nok” is healthy food. It consists of Vitamin A (2,924 IU), Niacine (190 mg/g) and antioxidant.

How to make “Ma Ra Kii Nok” juice.

1. Ma Ra Kii Nok 100 g.
2. Cut each piece into 2 half
3. Scrape out the pitch and seeds
4. Put the pieces in a blender and liguefy them
5. Pour the juice from the blender through a sieve to get the juice

This recipe can make 40 ml of juice.

Thanks Aod for this, please put up the URL in “Comments”.

Well I couldn’t take 40 ml of pure ma ra kii nok, but I have added it to my green juice. I use pak bung because you can leave roots standing in water so it lasts longer, and 5 ma ra kii nok – ginger, lemon and honey. First taste was ghastly – too bitter, but now I am used to it and look forward to the drink. Good stuff – back on song.

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Animal Protein

Posted by billzant on May 25, 2012

It is amazing with all the time I spend reading about healthy food how I still miss some things. Watching “Delicate Balance” brought this one home to me. I started my healthy eating with a macrobiotic diet – grains, legumes veg and fruit with fish once a week. Over time this became easy for me because mostly I cooked at home and occasionally I ate at restaurants when I was tired – and the fish allowed me to do that. I also read that mussels were good for ageing bones so I introduced them into my diet. Delicate Balance started me thinking and I realised that I had a small amount of fish, squid, prawns or mussels most days of the week. Of the animal proteins I think they are the safest, and I felt comfortable with this. But I am 4-5kg over weight.

The movie made me realise that animal protein is not natural for humans, and I had deluded myself. “Humans are carnivores” is the message of the meat industry but quick inspection of our teeth quickly belies that. There is the myth that historically we are hunter-gatherers but in truth it is natural to eat plant-based foods with occasional meat if we were lucky enough to snare something. Now that “capturing our food” is not a challenge, this historical diet can be seen as a natural diet of grains, legumes veg and fruit with a small amount of animal protein sufficient to provide us with B12. Watching Fresh the chemical cocktail fed to keep the animals alive has always kept me off meat. Sea fish has always seemed much safer but I have allowed myself too much fish protein. I have a dish I make – I would call it mussels ga ti – mussels with fried veg in coconut oil and fresh coconut millk from the market plus Thai spices. The places I eat out regularly I am going to find vegetarian options, thus significantly reducing my animal protein, maybe I will hit the 80kg that I should be at.

Human beings are not meant to eat the animal protein in the same way as we are not meant to eat dairy (only mother’s milk). For all the coronaries this could well be an important understanding.

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Posted by billzant on March 7, 2012

B12 is something we need, within the URL’s I have quoted there is sufficient information taht makes that clear. I read of Christine Pirello (her B12 story) who was vegan macrobiotic and made herself seriously ill after her natural supplies of B12 ran out. She had cured herself of leukemia through vegan macrobiotics, and then experienced this aneurism through B12 deficiency. “With simple supplementation, an increase in good quality fat…and a new understanding of how to balance work and rest, I have, once again, discovered the great life promised me by this lifestyle” is how she dealt with the problem.

Now personally I am against the use of supplements especially vitamin supplements. I am willing to take spirulina supplements as that is the only way I can get those algae (when I can get them), but industry marketing vitamin supplements I don’t trust.

In Thailand I found ga bpi and a good source of shell food at the market. Ga bpi is shrimp paste ground with the shells and I add this to a vegetable coconut milk dish I make. I often add mussels (hoi) to this as well – shellfish are good for old bones, and sometimes add the ga bpi for salt in my food. In general I feel that we are given foods by Nature and therefore don’t believe it is necessary to avoid natural foods such as meat,. However, and this is important, I consider the conditions that we keep our animals in and the dangers we cause ourselves with all the antibiotics sufficient for me not to eat meat. Disagree? Watch the movies “Earthlings” and Food Inc, and form your own conclusion. There are vegetarian zealots who might disagree about my minimal fish consumption but we must all reach our own conclusions.

In this article concerning B12 Dr Mercola discusses the possibility of different human types needing different types of food consumption. I don’t know about how far I go with this. I certainly do not accept that it justifies excessive meat consumption (daily basis). But when we are under fire from animal lib zealots I think it is important for us to recognise that we require different food intakes. I know a vegan mb friend in good health who says that the body provides what it needs through a form of transmutation. He has been a healthy vegan mb for a long time so it works for him, but it did not work for Christine Pirello.

For all vegans and vegetarians the need to consider B12 intake is very serious in the long term, make it part of your diet. Here is a vegan site with B12 details.

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Snacking on cake

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

One of the biggest problems I have had since starting my diet is what to have for a nibble!! I buy seaweed but that doesn’t do it for me. I also nibble on fruit but then I made up this cake – and I am fine. I had never really thought of making cakes because they require eggs until I discovered that vegans could bind foods without eggs. And the solution I liked best was bananas with wholewheat flour, both of which I can get locally, and then I went from there. I am so pleased with this cake that I have bought gadgets to cook it with, one gadget for pureeing and a cake mixer – typical of me a bit over the top.

Now there are standard ingredients to making the cake with a few variations.

Standard Ingredients:-

Bananas and coconut milk
Add muesli
2 tbsp brown flour

Variable Ingredients


Dried Fruit

lanyai heeng


3 spoons of bpooi kaak


Step 1 In the mixing bowl make the coconut milk puree. I get the coconut milk from the market (hua ga ti), and then add ripe yellow bananas – two or three large or a bunch of small. For variation I can add other fruits such as mango or pineapple to the puree.

Step 2 Once pureed, add muesli, and mix throughly. The mixture thickens but it is not completely bound.

Step 3 Add dried fruit. I like the lanyai heeng, it always reminds me of Xmas cake. I add some raisins as
well – luuk geet. And 1 or 2 teaspoonfuls of bpooi kaak (Chinese anis) gives a lovely tang.

Step 4 Final thickening by adding 2 tablespoonfuls of wholewheat flour. Mix thoroughly and you should get good cake mixture ready for the oven.

I can’t help you with oven settings as I have a small tabletop oven. I have a small tray and I put the mixture in the tray sprinkling it with some black sesame seeds (to avoid osteoporosis). Then I stick it in the oven for 20 minutes. These cakes go off quickly so I keep three pieces in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer. Because of the ingredients these are a substantial nibble between meals and yet no health consequences – except take care with excessive amounts of coconut milk.

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Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

Clean all pots and food processor very well, but without soap, as soap also kills the good bacteria.

I find the food processor makes the chopping so much easier, and I like the veg being finer (than chopped) – looking like a fermented coleslaw (for westerners) .

Making kimchee is a three-stage process:-

1) Soak the veg:- Take two cabbages, 2 carrots and diakon. Using largest grater process these veg, and put them in a mixing bowl. Add 3 large tbsp of sea salt, and mix through with hands for 5 minutes so that the salt is mixed in with all the veg. Fill the bowl with water – maybe 1/2-1 inch above the veg. Cover the bowl with cloth, I use elastic to keep it in place. Leave the bowl to one side for 12-24 hours, much longer than that and mould forms (not wanted).

2) Preparing the kimchee:- After leaving the veg to soak for up to a day, make sauce. Ingredients are to your taste. I use 1 red pepper, 2 long thin green peppers (not strong), a bit of ginger and garlic, 2 or 3 tomatoes, ga bpii (paste of ground small fish), 2 or 3 onions. Put them in the food processor until it is a sauce. Drain the water (keep the drained salt water) from the soaked vegetables, and put veg and sauce in a bowl add a tbsp of sea salt and mix by hand again for about 5 minutes.

3) Making the kimchee:- get the ceramic or glass pots you are going to make the kimchee in – plastic not advisable; I use ceramic pot and glass jar. Empty the kimchee (mixed soaked veg and sauce) into your kimchee containers, and using the drained salt water just cover the kimchee mixture – no more. Cover your containers with tea-cloth (I use cloth and elastic), and leave containers. How long you leave the containers depends on where you live. As this is Thailand I leave it for three days – might be longer in cold season or in the North. After three days I inspect the kimchee, and I am looking for it about to have mould on top. Clean away this top layer of mould or slightly off covering, and put in fridge. I make a lot so I actually put the kimchee in the freezer except for what I need for the next few days – I eat a bit every day.

Messy on the hands, a bit timely, but once you’ve done it a few times it’s no big thing. Good – chuai yooi, bad – Thai women like it because it is spicy.

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Broad healing

Posted by billzant on January 2, 2012

I just read this article by Verne Verona on macrobiotics. The problem with macrobiotics is that it just focusses on food, or at least most of the people who claim they follow macrobiotics do. In theory the macrobiotic approach is much wider including meditation and chi, but far too often this is not advocated. In the end healing, at whatever level, becomes an analysis of minutiae with regards to food preparation, and ignore the breadth necessary for whole healing. As a non-processed diet helps the body, many are convinced they are doing enough with the diet, and miss the essentials of developing good human energy and a stable mind.

The article begins with an amusing irony concerning the state of medicine at the moment – not too amusing for Verne at the time.

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Santi Asoke

Posted by billzant on June 12, 2011

Well here is  my first stop in the Mindful Consuming. Now I might have some facts wrong so I hope I will be corrected.

Santi Asoke is a Buddhist sect here in Thailand who have broken away from the mainstream. They have several centres in Thailand and I visited the centre in Kamphaeng Phet near Chatuchak market. All I read about the Santi Asoke  Movement reads great. They are organic, anti-capitalist and so on, they support Tan Ajaan (Ajaan Buddhadhasa) but I am unsure about their politics. Whilst I agree with Engaged Buddhism, in fact a Mindful Consumer Network is all about Engaged Buddhism, I do not know enough about Thai politics to comment. When I read this, I feel very positive; but … the politics.

So I will stick to what I found. I found a large cheap food court with a great variety. And I found a store selling far more than my Aden’s – although there were no organic veg in the store; according to Happy Cow they sell veg (I can’t have seen it). Round the side there was even a stall selling wheatgrass. What more can you ask?

Well a couple of things. First of all there were many Thai-style dishes (ie meat-looking) but they confirmed for me it was all “protein”. By this they meant TVP, and I think of that as processed soy and avoid it quite simply because it is processed. From what I could see in the shop the “protein” sold was no different from anywhere else – apologies if I am wrong my Thai is poor.

But my big disappointment was delivery. I wanted to have a regular order of organic veg and perhaps food from the shop. The lady in the shop was too busy to help, but I was able to get my Thai teacher to phone and she was told that everyone was volunteers and were too busy to organise delivery. Maybe one of the other centres could help.

My apologies but another disappointment is their English website.

Despite the concerns about politics and the delivery issue I still feel they are worth supporting. Here is a community growing organic food by service  (volunteers) trying to withdraw from the all-pervasive capitalism. Apart from this article I cannot support them much but would like to promote them. Apparently (see article above) much of the stuff they sell is in-house as opposed to the other people I buy from who are intermediaries (ie within capitalism).

Finding them in Chatuchak is not straightforward but it is Thailand. There is a map here. Get off the MRT at Kamphaeng Phet and go up Kamphaeng Phet 2, after 3/400 metres take a left, keep walking 50/100m and  you reach the restaurant. If you go along Kamphaeng Phet 2 and reach JJ Mall you have gone past the turning. I get a taxi!


Although I usually visit their restaurant when I am in Bangkok, I haven’t got very far into them. I asked once if they would order – too busy. I will remember they have no plastic bags!!

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Thailand’s Prawns

Posted by billzant on February 16, 2010

I have heard a number of scare stories concerning prawns, and I was fortunate enough to meet someone who advises on how prawns should be farmed. Please click here for more:-

Posted in Food | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Raitong Organics

Posted by billzant on October 9, 2009

I have just tasted Raitong’s Gaba rice, it is excellent. Bryan was very helpful in getting the rice delivered. Checkout the sourcing ( page for more details and further links.


Sadly I no longer get my rice from them as they are concentrating on Bangkok.

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