Purple Drink with Apple Bits

My hubby often drinks softdrinks after meal. It is not a good habbit. Adding the fact that it is one of the major causes of his gout nightmares. I should do something about it.  This morning, I prepared a healthy drink using two bundles of camote tops, apples and other natural juices.


2 cups camote tops, violet variety
4 cups water
1 can pineaplle juice
2 tbs calamansi juice
3 scoop sugar
1 small apple, small cubes


In a casserole, pour water and add camote tops. Simmer for three minutes. Separate water from leaves. Use the tops for salad or ensalada. Let cool. Mix pineapple juice, calamansi juice and sugar. Add apple bits. Serve cold.

purple apple camote tops drink

Choosing Pineapple Fruits May Not Be The Wisest Move!

The natural might not be as natural as we see! The healthy might not be as healthy as we might think!

What are the differences between pineapple fruit, canned pineapple slices, 100 % natural pineapple extract in can, pineapple jam, pineapple juice and pineapple juice drink. What are their similarities? Besides the fact that their are all pineapple.

Different food products derived from pineapple fruit had undergone series of manufacturing process which result to loss of nutrients, addition of human neutral additives, safe levels of preservatives and other chemicals which take us decades to discover as harmful.

From the health point of view, pineapple juice is better than juice drink, 100% natural extract is better than juice and the pineapple fruit with peels, crown and stalk intact is the best. It is recommended to buy the fruit, eat after removing the unwanted part or pass it through the juicer and enjoy the real 100% natural juice.

Then here comes what I said on the beginning. The pineapple might not be as natural and as healthy as we think.

There is something in pineapple that is preventing me from eating as much as my senses wants. A slice or two often send my tongue in pain. The term we called “panit na dila“. The same is true to rest of family member.

Father was saying, pineapples which cause tongue pain came from plants that were induced with flowering chemical, the ethephon. I am not sure but the chemical residue might be causing the tongue uneasiness, or it might be other compounds which are applied from sucker development, flowering to fruit development and ripening.

Producing pineapple fruits is no different from making canned pineapple chunks. Suckers are planted on well tilled soil. Watered. Applied with organic and inorganic fertilizers, often the latter. Sprayed with pesticides driving away pests. Induced flowering and fruit development with ethephon. Sprayed with hormones for bigger fruits. And sometimes, another chemical to delay or speed up ripening. Chemicals applied may leave residues with unknown and unproven effects.

Based on our experience, pineapples from father’s farms which received no inorganic fertilizers, hormones and other chemicals never cause tongue pain. According to research data, bromelain causes tongue irritation. However, I cannot help wonder why pineapples with minimal management never cause as much.

pineapples for sale

update as of January 2018

Pineapple was one of the prepared foods during New Years’s Celebration. As consequence, I ate a lot for several days. I was only eating a small piece at a time but I was getting frequently.  My tongue got irritated again. Then all batches of bean-to-bar chocolates I was refining all felt rough. I extended the refining times and they all still felt rough. Later I realized that it was my tongue having problem. The irritation cause by eating too much pineapple made it extra sensitive.

My wife also experienced the same thing. The second taste tester was also at fault. The grindometer the is supposed to accurately measure the fineness of grind has not yet been acquired.

Lesson learned. Do not eat pineapple while refining chocolate!

Natural Pineapple Juice With Very Few Ingredients

Not all juices are created equal. There are affordable juices. Affordable that buying one is cheaper than getting a bottled water. There are expensive juices, you’re gonna think that buying a fresh fruit is better, cheaper and healthier.

Okay! In its strictest sense, most processed juice cannot beat its natural counterpart. Tomato which the phytochemical lycopene is released during heating is an exception. Heating process usually strips fruits of its nutrients.

In case you really need or cannot avoid buying a processed juice, there are two main points to consider.

1) Number of Ingredients. If there are too many ingredients. Then, it is likely that you are getting too little of real juice. The lack of natural sap is being masked by too many flavorings and preservatives. According to… any food from grocery shelf with more than five ingredients is not healthy.

2) The Type of Ingredients. If the ingredients you see are few but with terms such as “artificial and nature identical”, then turn and look for better options.

I think this Del Monte 100% Pineapple Juice is a good example. It only has four ingredients namely, natural pineapple juice, ascorbic acid, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. It is not really 100% percent cause of four ingredients declared.

del monte natural pineapple juicedel monte natural pineapple juice ingredient listingAs its name suggest, it’s a natural juice from pineapple. Vitamin A and Vitamin E as nutrient fortification while ascorbic acid serves two purposes, as nutrient fortification and preservative. The latter farther increased the pineapple juice acidity making it not conducive for bacterial growth.

This canned pineapple juice is more sour and less sweet.

Requirements for Making Nata de Coco

What is nata de coco? It is like a combined jelly ace and bubble gum – a chewy jelly made of coconut water/milk. It has the semi transparent and wiggly characteristics of jelly ace and the chewy property of bubble gum – but not as elastic.

What is nata de coco in English? I guess the proper term would be the name itself “nata de coco”. To describe, it is a cellulose formed by bacterial action in a suitable substrate, a bacterial cellulose. It is able to hold about 90% water.

What are the materials needed in making nata?

1) Nata starter. Perhaps it is the limiting factor why anyone could not jumped easily into nata making. Where to find nata starter?

I mentioned before that nata is a bacterial cellulose. It is synthesized by Acetobacter xylinum. A common bacteria responsible for spoiling good wines. An essential microorganisms in vinegar industry. Acetobacter bacteria can also be found from rotting fruits and spoiled juices.

Nata could be produced from scratch using mother vinegar/rotten fruit plus the favorable conditions. Starting with the pure cultures would be easier though. Get it from government agencies, training institutions or universities.

2) Juice. Coconut is well known in nata industry. However, nata can also be made of other juices such as mango, pineapple and vegetables like kalabasa.

3) Sugar. The ideal amount in juice is ten percent. Juice natural sugar content if insufficient should be reinforced with commercial sugar. The acetobacter use this to make cellulose.

4) Acetic acid. The optimum pH for maximum activity is 4. The organic acid is added to meet this pH value.

5) Ammonium sulfate. It serves as source of nitrogen. Necessary for growth, development and formation of enzymes. Juice usually provides enough nitrogen, commercial ammonium sulfate is added as assurance. The ideal amount is 0.5 percent.

6) Temperature. Room temperature of 28 to 30ºC should be maintained. Mentaining this value is a bit tricky and costly. It is like turning the air conditioner when too hot and having heater bulb when too cold.

7) Fifteen to twenty days of undisturbed fermentation is needed to produced 1.5 cm thick nata out of 5m deep solution.

Saying No to A Go Large and Up Size Option

The fast food service crew often ask me, “Go large po yung drink sir or up size po sir?” The crew is referring to  beverage that is included in the meal package. My answer is always “No”. I just want a small regular size drink.

A regular size drink is often enough to quench my thirst. I am getting a drinking water in case not. Besides, the real thirst quencher is pure water and not any other flavored drink. Sweetened water is not good for removing thirst cause molecules are bound to sugars and other flavor components.

Getting a large drink during long travel is not a good idea. It makes me pee often, about every 15 to 30 minutes interval for two hours. Controlling a pee for that period feels like hell.

The large beverage option is not part of the budget meal package. Few coins should be added to get the option. It is a part of restaurant’s strategy to boost sales. It is like a fried rice with a dumpling option. The extra dumpling have an added cost of about 30 pesos.

More of it will not do any benefit. Larger means more calories and more unhealthy food components. On the other hand, natural fruit juices are beneficial. A go large choice is healthy.

Often, the go large or up size option is only for  soda beverages, not for healthier drink like orange and pineapple.

In the end, my choice is always pineapple or tea.

Eating Pineapple as Dewormer

Mom woke me up early in the morning, about 4 am. I stood up and asked why. My two brothers were awake too. They were sitting beside the table. Their eyes were barely opened while eating ripe pineapples. Mom told me to eat too.

ripe sliced pineapples

Why pineapple in the morning? Elders were telling us that fruits and other acidic foods should not be eaten first in the morning. One should eat rice before eating such. Acid foods can make someone stomach bad, an achy stomach or diarrhea.

Mom said, eating pineapple very early in the morning can get rid of intestinal parasites. As much as possible, the stomach should be free of anything before taking it. Other foods should not be consumed immediately after. Eating it early in the morning then sleeping again avoids consumption of other meal.

I never know if it is true or effective. We tried it only once.I have never heard about it from others. Have you tried it? Is pineapple has purgative effect? I tried searching about it on web and the results were negative. No studies or testimonies to prove it.