Recipe #41: GINATAANG HALO-HALO (ALFAJOR)

Ginataang Halo-Halo is another favorite Filipino merienda or minandal which is usually served as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. In my hometown, this delectable dish is popularly known as Alfajor. A warm bowl of this sweet delicacy can be enjoyed at a nearby carenderia, usually being served along side lugaw and other kakanin.

Root crops are the key ingredients of Ginataang Halo-Halo which easily fill your stomach and give you enough energy for a day’s work. Saba bananas and ripe jackfruit add an extra sweetness, and the sago and glutinous rice balls (bilo-bilo) provide a chewy texture.

Just an additional note, I personally find it challenging to prepare Ginataang Halo-Halo because I get allergic reaction while peeling taro roots (gabi). It gives me an itch that lasts for several days. Gabi is naturally toxic when raw, but its toxicity diminishes when cooked. What I do is I wear a plastic bag or hand gloves whenever I prepare the root crop. So, take extra precautionary measures as you might also experience the same discomfort.

Meanwhile, the glutinous rice (malagkit) dough is the same ingredient that we use in making Palitaw. Check out my Palitaw recipe to learn how to make the dough at home. When you shape it into small balls, it is locally known as bilo-bilo, which perhaps came from the Tagalog word bilog which means round in shape.

Just like many of Filipino dishes, Ginataang Halo-Halo can be prepared without one or two of the ingredients especially when they are not available in the place where you live. Check out Filipino stores in your area for canned varieties if you can’t find fresh produce.

Ginataang Halo-Halo

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Recipe #40: MINATAMIS NA SAGING (Kusilbang Saging)

 

On today’s recipe, we have Minatamis na Saging or Kusilbang Saging. If the word kusilba is alien to you, it’s the Tagalog word for preserves, as in fruit preserves, such as jams and marmalades.

Minatamis na Saging is mouth-watering and very easy to prepare. You will need this recipe to make Saging con Yelo. This is also one of the ingredients of our favorite Halo-halo. Personally, I like Minatamis na Saging served as it is.

Pro Tip: Make sure the saba bananas are super ripe, which means that most of the skin has already blackened. This is the best way to use saba bananas because they easily absorb the sweetness of sugar and the final product has a soft, yummy texture.

So, to make this sweet, simple, and short, check out the recipe below for Minatamis na Saging.

Minatamis na Saging / Kusilbang Saging

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Recipe #39: ICE CANDY

The scorching summer heat in the Philippines is something that you either love or hate. You love it because a fine weather complements our picture-perfect beaches. You hate it because you don’t like the feeling of heat as you drip with sweat while commuting or walking along the streets of Metro Manila. The oppressively hot and humid weather in the past weeks has been getting worse — no thanks to climate change — and there are no signs of it alleviating anytime soon.

But, hey! We’re Pinoys! We can always find solutions in every problem. We are very adaptable to changes. Ika nga, if you can’t beat them, join them! And the summer heat, despite the temperature rising every year, is no exemption.

So, in order to cool us down, we have concocted different ice-cold sweets that are perfect in our tropical climate. One of which is the Ice Candy. Doesn’t it instantly remind you of your childhood? Don’t we all remember knocking on Aling Nena’s gate every afternoon to buy a stick of this amazing cold and refreshing treat? I’m sure you do!

Ice Candy comes in a variety of flavors, and I know everyone has his or her own personal choice. There’s red mung beans, mango, pinipig, chocolate,  and my favorite — avocado. In fact, even your preferred juice flavors can be turned into Ice Candy.

On this blog post, I am sharing my mother’s Avocado Ice Candy recipe which she made yesterday. Everyone in the family loves this flavor, and I’m pretty sure many of you would love it too. If you don’t like avocado, you can replace it with mango or any fruit that you like. Just make sure that your fruit of choice is in season. If you want to use red mung beans, click here to learn how to make the paste. Ice Candy is very easy and fun to make; you can actually involve the kids in making them. Not to mention, it’s easy on the budget.

Ready? Click below to grab the recipe:

Ice Candy

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