Whey Pancakes

Whey, the by-product of cheese, is the liquid that remains after the cheese curds are removed. This slightly acidic liquid is actually very suitable for making pancakes. It’s acidic nature reacts with the baking soda to release lots of carbon dioxide bubbles, making the pancakes airy and fluffy. 

I made some paneer cheese recently and was left with some whey. So I decided to make some plain pancakes and…some durian pancakes. Yes, I also had extra durians in the fridge, so why not?

I used the whey pancake recipe from King Arthur Baking Company, with a little bit of modification. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g butter (melted)
  • Optional: durian flesh (100-200g)

I could see bubbles forming in the batter as I let it sit for a few minutes after mixing. And indeed, the plain pancakes came out perfectly light. After making 2-3 plain pancakes, I added some durian flesh into the remaining batter. The durian made the batter thicker and creamier. The resulting pancakes were even thicker and fluffier than the plain ones. The image featured above this post is my stack of durian pancakes. They look so pretty!

Tip:

Flip the plain pancake after bubbles emerge all over the surface, but for the durian pancakes, you should start flipping when it begins to bubble because the sugar in durian causes the pancake to burn faster


DIY Organic Marigold Tea

My mother’s friend gave us some marigold seeds earlier this year. She studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and told us about the benefits of marigold flowers – it helps to maintain healthy eyes and soothe skin irritations and can replace the benefits of chrysanthemum as tea. We have been drinking chrysanthemum tea regularly and chemical free chrysanthemum flowers are difficult to come by nowadays as prices increase during the COVID-19 lockdown. So we decided to plant our own marigold flowers.

How to prepare your own marigold tea

  1. Pluck the marigold flowers and rinse them clean.
  2. Spread it out on a tray to dry. Before it completely dries, pluck out the petals. The bottom part of the flower are the seeds. You can sow the seeds to plant more marigolds.
  3. Let the petals air out and dry some more. The drier the flowers, the longer you can store them.
  4. Take a bunch of petals and put in a mug or teapot. Pour boiling water and steep for a few minutes and your marigold tea is ready.

Marigold is also known as the poor man’s saffron. You will notice that the tea turns yellow once you pour hot water onto the petals. It gives out a nice golden colour and a slight citrusy fragrance. I have some mint in the garden too and I dried them and mixed them with the marigold for a marigold mint tea. Ah, smells wonderful.

So try making your own marigold tea today instead of buying chemically processed teas. Healthy and organic teas can be easily made just at home.


Turmeric Latte and all its benefits

My mother is always championing the benefits of turmeric, from relieving joint pains to aiding digestion. She sometimes adds a few pieces of turmeric to her stir fried vegetables and she also blends it with pumpkin for her spiced pumpkin soup. It gives her cooking an extra bit of a kick.

I first came across turmeric latte in a vegan cafe in Beijing. One of those organic, low fat, meat free cafes that promotes a healthy lifestyle for stressed out city folks. I never knew you can have turmeric in your drink because we usually use it for cooking curry in Malaysia. So, feeling adventurous, I went for a cup.

I could feel my body warming up as I sipped my turmeric latte, heat radiating from the centre to my extremities. It gets your blood circulating and that feels good even on a non-winter day. Hmm, not too bad.

I’ve been thinking about that drink recently and decided to do some research on it. Just like the Indian chai tea that has turned hip after reinventing itself as chai latte, the turmeric latte also had its roots as turmeric milk in India. The basic ingredients for the turmeric paste are turmeric, black pepper (aids the absorption of circumin, the active ingredient in turmeric) and cinnamon. Cook into paste with organic cold-pressed coconut oil (or olive oil if you don’t have coconut oil). You can also add on cardamom, cloves or fennel seed powder for an upgraded version.

Watch how to make your own fresh turmeric latte

Ingredients:

  • 500g turmeric root
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2-3 tbsp organic cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • optional spices: cardamom powder, fennel seed powder, clove powder
Fresh turmeric roots in a basket

Benefits of herbs and spices in this golden concoction:

Turmeric: aids digestion, relieves pain from inflammation, and fights against influenza

Black pepper: improves the absorption of Curcumin (active ingredient in turmeric) into our bodies

Cinnamon: encourages blood circulation and fights bacteria

Organic cold pressed coconut oil: raises the good cholesterol levels in your body and contains fats that boost brain function and reduce heart disease

And you know what is the best thing about this paste? You can use it to cook curries, add it to your stir fried vegetables or even put a dollop into your pumpkin soup! It’s so versatile once you have it all prepared.