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Khok: Nutrition remembered

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Who remembers National Iced Tea Day or Shrimp Day or Nutrition Month? Not I, to my shame, ever since The Great Pandemic of the 21st Century struck the world.

I forgot the celebrations that baste color on some days each month. Even within the strict boundaries of the extreme lockdown, nutrition must not be restricted.

Even with limited resources caused by layoffs or scheduled work days, homemakers can find ways to maximize the little they earn.

Green. Keep on stock fresh goods with long shelf life to ensure a healthy diet. Buy green cooking bananas (cardaba or sab-a), and ripen them slowly. These bananas are versatile. They double as table bananas when ripe or as nutritious extenders for humba, afritada, estofado, caldereta and pochero. When fried whole, frittered, stuffed, candied, boiled or made into turon, cooking bananas make supreme snacks.

Buy ripe, semi-ripe and green tomatoes to ripen for long storage. Many garden foods do well without refrigeration. Pick blemish-free items. Soak them in water after washing, then pat dry before packing loosely in cheesecloth, cotton or hand-woven cloth mats.

Check them daily. Give them 10-minute soaking, and pat them dry before re-wrapping.

Eggplants can stay fresh for three days this way. Apples and pears, packed in their jackets, stay fine up to five days when stored in a rice server. Mangoes stuffed in fruit jackets can stand long storage. Kamunggay (wash the whole bunch first) can be kept a day more if you cut the stems a little, place them in a drinking glass with a little water and cover them with cloth.

Potatoes and the like, uncut squash and cucumber can stay fine with this method.

What about cut veggies? Ah, next time around, my lovelies. My breakfast awaits me.


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