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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Steamed butter cheese cupcakes

Adding another successfully done recipe to my steamed cupcakes and muffins collection. This time, it's called steamed butter cheese cupcakes. Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients (A): 80g Cheddar cheese, 60g cream cheese, 80g butter, 120ml milk

Ingredients (B): 3 eggs, 100g molasses sugar

Ingredients (C): 210g self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder

How to:

1. Cook ingredients (A) over low heat until dissolved (not boiling), set aside.

2. Beat ingredients (B) until thick (I use a hand whisk).

3. Combine (1) and (2), sift ingredients C gradually into batter. Fold in gently with a rubber spatula. Do not over-mix.

4. Scoop 2 tablespoons batter into a cupcake holder. You will need 9-10 cupcake holders.

5. Steam for 15 minutes. They are ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Soft, moist, and fluffy! Perfect for brekkie and tea. :)


Mixed beans stew with vegetables

You can buy this pack of Organic Soup Mix Beans from Country Farm Organics outlet. The beans are green lentils, yellow lentils, red lentils, pinto beans, adzuki beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, mung beans, oat groats, and white kidney beans.

I soak about 2/3 cup (I use a kitchen measuring cup) of beans overnight before tossing them into 900ml of water in a slow cooker.

Vegetables in the stew are butternut squash, carrot, purple carrot, orange sweet potatoes, snow peas, and onions. I add 2 tablespoons curry powder and some salt to taste.

Serve with warm bread after four hours. :)


Bacon, egg and cheese cups

Bacon, egg and cheese cups


6 slices streaky bacon
6 small eggs
6 tablespoons grated Cheddar or Parmesan cheese
Some butter or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mixed herbs (optional)

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Fry the bacon slices for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

3. Grease a metal muffin pan (6 holes) with butter / vegetable oil.

4. Take a slice of bacon and wrap the inside of a muffin cup to create a ring. Repeat with the remaining slices of bacon.

5. Put some grated cheese in the middle of the ring.

6. Crack one egg into each bacon lined cup and top with more grated cheese.

7. Sprinkle each cup with salt, pepper, and mixed herbs.

8. Bake the egg cups for 15-20 minutes.



Attended "Starting Solid Made Easy" workshop (12 April 2014)

Nutrition workshop: Starting Solid Made Easy (12 April 2014)

Speaker: Jennifer Lee (Certified nutritionist, mother)

Starting solid food can be a daunting time. How do you start, what do you start with, how much, what time of day are all questions at the top of every new mom's list. You will receive handy tips and info to guide you on what you need to know.


* Problem of poor nutritional start for babies
* Baby-led weaning (BLW)
* How to prepare healthy baby food when traveling
* Demo on making nutritious baby food for 6 months old onwards


Non-bake Steamed Cupcakes with Chia Seeds

* 1/2 cup (75g) all purpose / plain flour
* 1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked in 4 tablespoons water, for at least 15 minutes (to replace 1 egg)
* 1 teaspoon baking powder (I used 1.5 teaspoon natural baking powder)
* 1.5 tablespoons molasses sugar / brown sugar / muscovado sugar
* 3 tablespoons milk / orange juice
* 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil / rice bran oil / virgin coconut oil
* 1 medium banana

1. Sift flour and baking powder.
2. In a blender, blender together chia seeds gel, milk and oil till creamy.
3. Combined the blended liquid mix with the sifted flour and baking powder.
4. Place about 2 tablespoons batter into cupcake liner.
5. Place water in a wok and set up a steaming rack. Bring water to boil, steam the cupcakes for 10 minutes.

Avocado Milk Chia Pudding

* 1/2 cup fresh milk
* 2 tablespoons chia seeds
* 1/2 avocado

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients till evenly mixed.
2. Pour into a bowl or container, cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

Creamy Oatmeal with Red Beans

* 3 tablespoons organic rolled oats
* 1-2 tablespoons red bean, pre-cooked
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 cup milk

1. Place all ingredients in a stainless steel bowl.
2. Steam for about 20 minutes or until oatmeal is soft and creamy.

Health tips:

- Chia seeds are best plant-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids on the planet. Omega-3 are not made in our body, we need to get them from our diet. They help to build new cells, reduce inflammation, regulate immunity, prevent heart disease and diabetes, improve brain function and promote healthy skin, hair and nails. They are also potent sources of complete protein, and more easily digestible compared to soy beans or peas' protein. It is also rich in both calcium and iron, it has 2.7x more iron than spinach.

- Oats is one of the best food for baby as it is high in fiber, calcium, and protein and is less constipating than white rice. It is also quick to prepare and is a convenient traveling food for young babies.
- Grains and legumes that are high in protein and good for babies: lentil (e.g. red lentil), millet, quinoa, amaranth.

- Soak grains and legumes for 7 hours or overnight for babies younger than 10 months. After 10 months, soaking for 4-5 hours should be sufficient.

- Grains (i.e. whole wheat, millet, rye, quinoa, brown rice, oats) and legumes (i.e. peas, beans, lentils, soybeans) contain phytic acid, which is hard for young babies to digest and may cause gassiness / tummy upset. Soaking before cooking will reduce phytic acid and make grains easier to digest.

- Introduce new food to baby in the morning. If allergic reaction does occur, you will have time to seek for medical help.

- Black, red, and dark green food: high in iron and anti-oxidants. E.g. beetroot and red beans are high in iron.


Baby's millet porridge with purple sweet potato and purple carrot

Before cooking, I soak the millet grains overnight. Soaking grains for 7 hours or overnight is recommended for babies younger than 10 months. After 10 months, soaking for 4-5 hours should be sufficient.

Grains such as whole wheat, millet, rye, quinoa, brown rice, and oats contain phytic acid, which is hard for young babies to digest and may cause tummy upset. Soaking grains before cooking will reduce phytic acid and make grains easier to digest.

I cook my millet porridge in the Seed Lunch Box. For 1 tablespoon of millet, I add about 100ml of filtered water and set the timer to 35 minutes.

Chop, steam, and blend purple carrot and purple sweet potato together. The darker purple cubes are purple carrot.

Then, mix the purple-colored puree with millet together.


Chia seeds pancakes with creamy sweet corns

Chia seeds pancakes with creamy sweet corns

I love pancakes! They are the best option for breakfast or even dinner. I have made egg and banana pancakes before. This time, I make chia seeds pancakes.

Ingredients (for pancakes):

2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 8 tablespoons* of water
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons melted butter

* Chia seeds are used to replace eggs. 1 tablespoon of chia seeds plus 4 tablespoons to replace 1 egg.

Ingredients (for sweet corns):

1/2 can creamy corn
2 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon melted cream cheese

How to:

Combine all ingredients (for pancakes) in a bowl and whisk till combined. Place the batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Heat a non-stick pan and add some butter to coat. Grease the inner ring of an "egg banjo" with butter and place it at the center of the pan.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into the "egg banjo" ring. Cook for 30 seconds, remove ring, and flip.

Cook for another 10 seconds and remove from the pan. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Repeat until all batter is gone.

In a bowl, combine creamy corn with milk, butter, and cream cheese. Refrigerate for 30 minutes if you like it cold.

Serve pancakes layered with creamy sweet corn. I love the combined crunchiness of chia seeds and sweet corn. Perfect!


Homemade baby "Cerelac" with rice cereal and vegetable medley purees :)

I have introduced fruits and vegetables to my baby since he's six months old.

Fruits: Avocado, apple, pear, nectarine, prunes, banana

Vegetables: Butternut squash, pumpkin, carrot, zucchini (green, yellow), sweet potato (yellow, orange, purple), snow pea (fresh, frozen)

I also make my own homemade baby "Cerelac" by mixing Why Not? Organic First Flavor Cereal (rice) with vegetable medley purees for him. It's fun!

I prepare the rice cereal and the vegetables puree separately.

Note: I don't freeze purees because I think he suffers from wind after eating defrosted and re-steamed purees.

For the rice cereal, I stir two tablespoons of rice cereal with warm water and set aside. Once the vegetables have been steamed and pureed, I pour the rice cereal into the puree and mix well. Then, I add a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil.

Vegetable medley #1: Green zucchini, orange sweet potato

Vegetable medley #2: Green zucchini, carrot, purple sweet potato

Vegetable medley #3: Green zucchini, yellow zucchini, carrot, butternut squash

Vegetable medley #4: Green zucchini, carrot, snow pea (fresh and frozen)

Great bonding-feeding time between father and son! :)

Note: Baby is eight months old. I will include more grains into his diet, including brown rice, oats, red lentil, and millet.


Steamed cream cheese filled apple puree cupcakes

Steamed cream cheese filled apple puree cupcakes

Recipe is adapted from here.

Ingredients (for cupcakes):

1/2 cup (75g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 medium egg
2 tablespoons fresh milk
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons apple puree (I used Organix baby apple puree)
2 tablespoons of chopped almonds

Ingredients (for cream cheese filling):

200g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup fresh milk

How to:

1. Prepare your steamer by warming it up with medium heat.

2. To make cupcakes: Sieve flour and baking powder. Add molasses into it. Beat in egg, milk and oil. Add in apple puree and chopped almonds. Mix gently. Do not over-mix.

4. To make cream cheese filling: In a separate large bowl, combine cream cheese and milk. Beat until well blended.

5. Prepare 4 cupcake holders. Drop about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into each cup.

6. Place about 1 tablespoon of batter into each cup, covering the cheese.

7. Steam for 10 minutes. 

8. They are ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.


My journal of steamed cupcakes recipes.


Oatmeal cinnamon steamed muffins

Oatmeal cinnamon steamed muffins

Recipe from here.


100g oatmeal*
100ml fresh milk
150ml water
30g molasses (you can substitute with brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar)
1/3 teaspoon salt
100g cake flour**
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon

*I prepare this by grinding rolled oats into powder in a blender. 

**I make my own cake flour by removing 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and replace the removed all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

How to:

1. Prepare your steamer by warming it up with medium heat.

2. Mix fresh milk, water, molasses, and salt in a bowl. Add oatmeal and mix well.

2. In another bowl, sift cake flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix well.

3. Sift the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.

4. Then, use a rubber spatula to fold the batter until the flour is well constituted and the batter is evenly incorporated.

5. Fill muffin cups up to 80% full. When steam rises from the steamer, place the cups inside, and steam for about 15 minutes on high heat.

6. They are ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.


My journal of steamed cupcakes recipes.


The next level of softness: New Kleenex® Bath Tissues with Aloe Vera

Photo source

I really like the tagline: Say ALOE to the next level of softness.

Curious about bath tissues? Well, they are more commonly (crudely) known as toilet paper / toilet roll in Malaysia. :)

Kleenex brings us to a whole new level of softness and utmost comfort and care by introducing its latest product - the new Kleenex® Bath Tissues enriched with natural, skin-friendly Aloe Vera extract for superior softness, protecting even the most delicate skin.

Why Aloe Vera? Traditionally used as a skin remedy, Aloe Vera is used to relieve dryness and itching, and many swear by its skin-soothing properties.

The new Kleenex Bath Tissues with Aloe Vera is embossed with a printed design of delicate aloe motifs. They are so soft that my baby loves to hug a roll with his cute little hands!

New Kleenex Bath Tissues enriched with Aloe Vera features the next level of softness and gives me whole new way to hug and show my loved ones how much I care because nothing beats watching their happy, delighted smiles as they are being pampered with the best!

Now you can share your soft moments and be rewarded with amazing prizes! Join the "Hug the Softness 2014 Campaign" starting 28 March 2014!

Just share a photo of a special and unique hug with your loved ones on Kleenex Facebook page to receive a FREE roll of the brand new Kleenex Bath Tissues with Aloe Vera plus. Also, the entry with the most unique hug stands the chance to win an all-expense holiday package worth RM5,000!

You can purchase the new Kleenex Bath Tissues with Aloe Vera at all major supermarkets and hypermarkets.


Baby's prune puree

My baby has started on solid food for about 1.5 months. One crucial thing to monitor is his pooing "schedule". It's a known fact that when babies start on solids, they might not be able to pass motion every day as their guts adjust to newly introduced food in place of their liquid diet for the past six months.

Actually, as long as your baby doesn't cry or strain when pooing, poo is not hard or look like pellets, no blood in poo, and his tummy is not hard, he's not constipated. However, to be on the safe side, the moment my baby hits the third day without pooing, I will make prune puree for him on the fourth day. His longest no-poo streak is six days.

Prunes, or "dried" plums, are known to help maintain bowel regularity and alleviate constipation. My baby poos in the evening after he eats two servings of prune puree.

Ingredients (for two servings):

4-6 dried organic pitted prunes, 1/2 cup (125ml) of filtered water


1. Soak the prunes in filtered water, in the fridge, overnight.

2. The next morning, steam the prunes (with the water they are soaked in) until very tender for about 10-15 minutes.

3. Pour the steamed prunes (with the water from steaming) into a blender and blend until smooth. Sieve if necessary.

4. Serve to baby warm.

Note: You can add a bit more water during blending if necessary until you get the consistency that your baby likes.


Steamed banana cream cheese cupcakes

Steamed banana cream cheese cupcakes

 Note: This is my second time making steamed cupcakes. First attempt: Non-baked Japanese steamed cupcakes

Recipe is adapted from here.


90g cake flour*
1 & 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
100g cream cheese
60g molasses
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 & 1/2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
Banana puree (1 medium ripe banana)

* I make my own cake flour by measuring 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and replace the removed all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

Note: Measurement conversion guide

How to:

1. Put cream cheese in a bowl and heat it up in the microwave for about 50 seconds to a minute until it's soft. Next, beat it with a whisk.

2. Add in molasses and mix well till smooth.

3. Take one egg and mix it in. Then, take the other egg and mix it in. Add in yogurt, virgin olive oil, and banana puree. Mix well.

4. Sift in cake flour and baking powder. Mix the batter by doing a cutting motion with a rubber spatula. Don't over-mix.

5. Spoon the batter into 9 cupcakes holders.

6. Steam for about 12-15 minutes.

7. Take a bamboo skewer and pierce one of the cupcakes. If the skewer comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.


Served during tea time with a can of cold cafe latte. :)


Liquid gold - every drop counts

Liquid gold, i.e. breast milk. I don't use electric or manual breast pump nowadays. I use the hand expression method to express every single drop, three times a day (20 minutes each session) during working hours, Mondays to Fridays. :)

Yes, it's the milk of love. As with any manual skill, practice is important. I have ditched my breast pumps since baby turned 6 months. Now, I just stick to hand expression. It's faster and less stressful.

For your knowledge, baby is the best "pump" in regards to draining your breasts. Second best is hand expression (provided you've practiced well). Breast pumps, even the much-praised "M" brand, will not be able to drain your breasts as effectively.

Why is breast drainage so important? Drained breasts make milk faster and full breasts make milk slower. Whenever your breasts contain enough milk to feel full, your milk production slows. The fuller your breasts become, the stronger the signal your body receives to slow milk production. Learn more here.


I love the diagrams below. They explain what is so good about breastfeeding. And the reason why I will continue to express my liquid gold for my baby.

#1 - Breastfeeding satisfies a baby's demands: warmth in the arms of his mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence.

#2 - Breastfeeding is not just about the milk. The diagram above provides more than enough reasons to show how important breastfeeding is to a baby and the mother.

Babies ask to breastfeed:
  • when they are thirsty
  • when they are hungry
  • if they feel the need for comfort, affection, and eye contact
  • to help them relax, wind down, or sleep
  • if they need the milk's components to grow, thrive, protect their intestinal and immune systems, or recover from illness

For mothers:
  • Promotes postpartum recovery and delays ovulation
  • Lowers incidence of reproductive cancers and cardiovascular diseases
  • Promotes better sleep and improves emotional health

#3 - Formula milk contains nutrients BUT they don't have all the immunity factors that a baby really NEEDS.

#4 - A very strong statement: "I won't apologize for 'losing' myself to motherhood. On the contrary, it is with motherhood that I have found myself." 

 Photo source

#5 - Breastfeeding. Because washing bottle SUCKS. I make milk. What's your superpower?