All natural sweetness from Pure Via Stevia

Sugar permeates practically all of our food stuff. Aside from being a sweetener, it also acts as a preservative, texture modifier, coloring or flavoring agent and as an aid in fermentation.

However, sugar does have its downsides, especially if its consumed excessively. Being so calorie-rich, it can lead to weight gain and accumulation of visceral fat, and can increase risk of heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, certain forms of cancer and even depression. Its ill effects may even manifest in our outward appearance in the form of increased acne and accelerated skin aging.

Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia

Clearly, as we transition to our more mature years, we should wean ourselves away from sugar. Well that is easier said than done, considering how ubiquities it is, and, of course, how appealing sweet foods are to us.

Fortunately, we now have sugar substitutes that are all-natural, such as Pure Via Stevia.

Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia

Made from the leaves of the stevia plant, Pure Via Stevia contains no sugars, calories, cholesterol nor carbs and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. In fact, 1 small stick of Pure Via at zero calories is equivalent to two teaspoons or sugar which contains 32 calories.

You can use it to sweeten your coffee or your smoothies, so you can start your day on a sweet but healthier note.

You can also modify your favorite dessert recipes using Pure Via Stevia as a substitute for sugar, making your cakes, pastries and creams a lot better for you.

Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia

So stock up on this wonder ingredient by adding it to cart in time for Shopee’s 5.5 Brands Festival and take advantage of discounts up to 50% off at the Equal Official Store.

During this online sale from April 26 to May 7, you can score a wide assortment of brands at unbelievable deals with 50% off Brand Bundles, 10% off daily, and Free Shipping with ₱0 min. spend.

So get started on a healthier way of life that is just as sweet as you like it to be with Pure Via Stevia.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

Wake up to great mornings with Upgrounds Coffee

I have no problem admitting it: I don’t consider myself fully awake unless I’ve had my morning cup of coffee.

I love coffee in almost anything – from gourmet dishes to decadent desserts – but my favorite coffee experience remains starting my day with it.

When the aroma of coffee brewing begins tickle my nostrils, the smell beckons me to get up and face the day. As I sip from my coffee cup, I enjoy the flavors and full-bodied feel of it in my mouth .

Upgrounds Coffee
Upgrounds Coffee

Throughout the day, I would try to find little snippets of time in which to enjoy my favorite drink and the extra energy boost it gives me.

I know I’m not alone in my love for this drink.

Filipinos have a deep love for coffee, consuming 170,000 metric tons of the stuff in 2018, in fact. Sadly, a huge bulk of this consumption come from dried coffee beans imported Indonesia and Vietnam.

More’s the pity because 200 years ago, the Philippines was a powerhouse in coffee production, being the fourth largest coffee producer worldwide.

Upgrounds Coffee
Upgrounds Coffee

Coffee-loving startups like Upgrounds MNL seek to help in revitalizing the local coffee industry urge it back to a thriving level by bringing the best local coffee beans to Filipino homes for an upgraded coffee experience.

It started out by selling its coffee beans during weekend bazaars, showcasing coffee beans sourced from the Cordillera region.

Not only does this help in broadening the coffee-drinking public’s horizons regarding this beverage, it also supports local coffee farmers and gives a welcome boost to their rural economy.

Upgrounds Coffee
Upgrounds Coffee
Upgrounds Coffee
Upgrounds Coffee

Upgrounds’ coffee bean variants included:

  • Arabica (with bittersweet, nutty taste and a smooth finish; available in Dark or Medium roast)
  • Robusta (with strong, full-bodied taste and a smokey finish; available in Dark and Medium roast.
  • House Blend (blend of Arabica, Robusta, and Excelsa coffee beans; available in Dark or Medium roast)
  • Mountain Blend (blend of Robusta, and Excelsa coffee beans; available in Dark roast)
  • Hazelnut (mix of Dark Roast Arabica and Robusta beans infused with flavored Hazelnut oil)
  • Caramel (mix of Medium Roast Arabica and Robusta beans infused with flavored Caramel oil)

These coffee variants are conveniently packaged according to the coffee lovers’ various preferences: in 250g and 500g pouches, in 8g single drip packs with mug-attachable filter, in 125g packs as part of a coffee sampler set.

Upgrounds Coffee
Upgrounds Coffee

When the pandemic hit the country, Upgrounds saw the demand for coffee and coffee-making at home. It moved its business online, taking advantage of social media and e-commerce platforms to increase its reach and distribution while also expanding its product portfolio to include home coffee essentials such as premium and collectible coffee tumblers and mugs, coffee scooper and French press.

Coffee beans and accessories are also mixed and matched into gift sets which any coffee lover would be so happy to receive this holiday season.

Upgrounds Coffee
Upgrounds Coffee

I just love the coffee possibilities that Upgrounds brings.

If you’re a coffee lover like me, check out Upgrounds beans and coffee essentials at its website or Shopee page or follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature story.

Go on a virtual food trip with Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Flavors of Asia

While I do enjoy traveling to new places here in the country and abroad, what I really look forward to are the new and exciting dishes I get to try.

I do travel through food and whenever possible, I include my family, especially my kids, in the experience. For me, delving into local cuisines is one of the best way to get to know a foreign culture. It paints a picture of the area’s agricultural scene as well as tells the story of its history, food traditions, values and influences.

However, traveling can be quite costly, time-consuming, and during a time a worldwide pandemic, well nigh impossible.

The solution? Going on a virtual food trip at home.

We might not have the means to always be ordering food from various restaurants to be able to go on our virtual food trip, but we can try to whip up exotic dishes ourselves for the fam to enjoy.

If you find cooking foreign cuisines quite intimidating, brush your fears aside. We now have a set of handy kitchen aids that will help us in achieving our lofty culinary goals.

Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Flavors of Asia

Del Monte Flavors of Asia
Del Monte Flavors of Asia

These new additions to Del Monte’s line of mixes and sauces are set to make cooking exotic dishes so much easier not just for kitchen newbies, but also for more experienced cooks who may not have the time to study unfamiliar recipes.

Perfectly seasoned and blended to approximate the authentic taste of Asian dishes but still appeal to the Pinoy palate, Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Flavors of Asia packs are made with real ingredients, bringing out real deliciousness in each dish with every bite.

By following the recipes in the packaging like I did, anybody can whip up real sarap Asian dishes at home, while saving on time and effort in securing and preparing various ingredients.

Get ready for your culinary adventure with these!

Teriyaki Marinade 80ml

Del Monte Flavors of Asia
Del Monte Flavors of Asia

Teriyaki is a cooking style used in Japanese cuisine wherein food are grilled or boiled with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin and sugar.

Made with real ginger and soy sauce, Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Teriyaki Marinade brings out the signature sweet and savory flavors of a Japanese-style Teriyaki dish!

Chicken Teriyaki

Del Monte Flavors of Asia
Del Monte Flavors of Asia

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kilo chicken breast, filleted and cut into thin slices
  • 1 80ml sachet of Del Monte Quick n Easy Teriyaki Marinade
  • 1/4 cup spring onions sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

Procedure:

  1. Marinate the chicken in Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Teriyaki Marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place the marinated chicken into skewers
  3. Pan-grill the chicken while basting with the marinade.
  4. Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds before serving.

This recipe makes 6 servings.

Green Curry Mix 30g

Del Monte Flavors of Asia
Del Monte Flavors of Asia

Sweet green curry – also known as kaeng khiao wan – derives its name from the creamy mild green color of the dish brought about by the combination of green chillies and coconut milk.

Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Green Curry Mix contains turmeric, ginger and other spices which brings that fresh taste of Thai-style sweet green curry dish.

Green Curry with Chicken

Del Monte Flavors of Asia
Del Monte Flavors of Asia

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kilo chicken breast, filleted and cut into thin slices
  • 1 30g pack of Del Monte Quick n Easy Green Curry Mix
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 bunch Thai basil leaves

Procedure:

  1. Heat oil and Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Green Curry Mix in a saucepan until fragrant.
  2. Stir in coconut milk and simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in chicken and simmer in a covered saucepan for 12 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add eggplant and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add red bell pepper and basil. Simmer for another minute.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe makes six servings.

Red Curry Mix 40g

Del Monte Flavors of Asia
Del Monte Flavors of Asia

Curry originated in the Indian subcontinent with its name coming from the Tamil word kari which refers to a sauce or soup eaten with rice. While Indian cuisine is highly diverse, it is also highly influential: India’s spice trade with Europe sparked the Age of Discovery. Indian cuisine’s influence is present in the food cultures of Britain, the Middle East, Southern and East Africa, Southeast Asia, North America and the Pacific Islands.

Made with real paprika, cayenne and other spices, Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Red Curry brings out the spice and richness of Indian-style curry dishes!

Red Chicken Curry

Del Monte Flavors of Asia
Del Monte Flavors of Asia

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kilo chicken breast, filleted and cut into thin slices
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 35g pack of Del Monte Quick n Easy Red Curry Mix
  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch French beans
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

Procedure:

  1. Heat oil and Del Monte Quick ‘n Easy Red Curry Mix in a saucepan until fragrant.
  2. Stir in coconut milk and simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in chicken and simmer in a covered saucepan for 12 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add French beans and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add red bell pepper and cilantro. Simmer for another minute.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

So if you feel like broadening your culinary horizons, stock up on Del Monte Flavors Asia on Lazada.

Grazing box of goodies from Home Table Deli

With the holidays nearly upon us, it’s time to think about what we can give to our loved ones as a token of our affection and to spread the joy of the season.

Despite most of us still spending most of our time at home, we do experience the struggle of dividing our time among our many responsibilities. A thoughtful gifter, therefore, would consider the following:

  • Will the gift help the recipient save time and energy?
  • Will the gift itself be something the recipient will enjoy?
  • Will the gift enhance the recipient’s enjoyment of being at home?

And the gift that ticks all of these boxes is a lovingly curated grazing box from Home Table Deli.

Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli

This online delicatessen offers an array of deli products which include choice and seasoned meats as well as box selections, pasta trays, coffee and cheeseballs.

Its grazing box tastefully curates its various products into one exciting package, which includes:

A massive 250-gram Bacon Jalapeno Cheeseball…

Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli

… together with crunchy veggie sticks, succulent fruits, nuts, olives and tasty cold cuts…

Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli

… ready for a round of snacking while binge-watching heartwarming TV series or for intimate celebrations at home.

Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli

It brings a whole table of goodies – great for sharing for up to seven people – all in one box!

Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli

You can order this grazing box from Home Table Deli for your special someones for just Php650 by visiting its online store or by sending a message via Instagram with at least a 24-hour lead time. If ordering online, indicate “give as gift” in the special instructions upon checkout.

Payments via GCash, bank transfer (Metrobank), credit card (via Paypal) and Paymaya are accepted. Home Table Deli can ship orders to customers in Metro Manila and nearby provinces for fixed rates or you can opt to book your own third-party rider to pick them up and deliver them to your giftees.

Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli
Home Table Deli

With a tasteful Home Table Deli grazing box, you can express your love and spread the holiday cheer to your loved ones with a thoughtful present that will make staying home for the holidays so much more enjoyable!

Home Table Deli

Want to have your boxes customized? Reach out to Home Table Deli via email (hometabledeli@gmail.com) or call +63 917 7016886 or +63 2 82879850.

Disclosure: Product sample was provided to facilitate this feature article.

Derma Science Hand Gel may be your new hygiene essential

With threat of COVID-19 still looming over us, it is still important to do all we possibly can to keep the virus at bay.

Foremost among these measures is to always keep our hands clean.

Hand-washing with soap and water is still the best way to achieve this (with thorough rubbing and rinsing for at least twenty seconds), but what do we do when these are not immediately available?

According to dermatologist Dr. Doris Velasco, using hand sanitizer gels is next best thing to hand-washing.

Derma Science Hand Gel

Citing the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, Dr. Velasco shares that hand sanitizers should have at least 60% alcohol content to be able to break down the SARS COV-2 lipid protective barrier. However, rubbing high concentrations of alcohol on your skin may cause skin dryness and irritation because it disrupts the protective layer of oil on your skin.

This is the reason hand sanitizer gels were created: they contain moisturizers to counter-act skin dryness caused by alcohol.

They are also quite handy and easier to carry. You can pop a small bottle in your bag to bring with you wherever you go.

Derma Science Hand Gel

When applied, they also slow the evaporation of alcohol on your hands, ensuring that it has time to work against the microbes on your skin.

Dr. Velasco further advises that one to two drops of hand sanitizer gel are enough to use to sanitize your hands. Just make sure that the whole hand area from palm to fingers are covered and rubbed well. Once properly applied, let the hand sanitizer gel dry completely on its own, then you’re good to go.

Derma Science Hand Gel

Luckily for us, there’s a new hand sanitizer gel that’s just been introduced to the market to level up the entire category: Derma Science Hand Gel.

Derma Science Hand Gel

According to Pacific Healthcare Philippines Product Manager, Romer Estrada, Derma Science Hand Gel addresses our need for effective hand cleasing without sacrificing the moisturizing of our skin.

It has two variants:

  • A 100ml bottle (priced at Php110) which is infused with sakura extract, has a mildly fragrant smell and is perfect for personal use.
  • A 490ml bottle (priced at Php320) which is infused with German chamomile extract, is scent-free and is perfect for general use.

Both infusions are proven effective in helping to retain skin moisture and repair natural skin barriers. They also have anti-aging properties due to their wide array of anti-oxidants.

Derma Science Hand Gel

Derma Hand Science Hand Gel is also paraben-free. Parabens are preservative substances that not only produces dry skin, they can disrupt hormone function in women leading to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.

Derma Science Hand Gel

Derma Science Hand Gel also has 70% alcohol content but no colorants and is quick drying, letting you effectively cleanse your hands without that sticky feeling.

Want your own bottle (or bottles!) of Derma Science Hand Gel? You can get them at Shopee, Lazada or at goodnessandgrains.com!

Three reasons to make superfood part of your life

Goodness MNL makes healthy eating more accessible with its carefully curated goodness boxes.

With a new year just around the corner, we usually take this time time to reflect on the year just past. And, boy, is there quite a lot to reflect about this year!

If, like me, you have allowed your inner foodie free rein this year with no exercise to counterbalance the intake of food, then you might be thinking of living a healthier lifestyle from the new year onwards.

Goodness MNL

Food will undoubtedly comprise a large part of your new lifestyle, and not just what you restrict yourself from gorging on, but, more importantly, what you choose to nourish yourself. It is important to keep in mind that while you shy away from food that do not significantly benefit your well-being, you should ensure that you consume more of those that do such as superfood.

Goodness MNL

If you haven’t been consciously incorporating superfood in your diet, now is the best time to do so. Here are three reasons why:

1) Superfood are highly nutritious.

Being whole or unprocessed ingredients, superfood are known for having high nutrient density which help in keeping you healthy and in warding off diseases.

Chia seeds, for example, are rich in fiber and energy, have anti-oxidant properties and help in maintaining heart health.

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

Himalayan salt, on the other hand, is also rich in energy, helps promote brain health and manage the effects of aging.

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

If you’re looking for food with lots of protein, fiber and omega 3 nutrients, golden flax seeds are among your best bets.

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

Meanwhile, if you want something to help with your digestion and heart health, you might want to check out sunflower seeds, which are also great sources for Vitamin E and magnesium.

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

Cacao nibs, on the other hand, can help in improving your mood, have antioxidant properties and are good sources of fiber, iron and magnesium.

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

2) Superfood can easily be integrated in your favorite dishes.

I used to think that healthy food is bland or tasteless but -surprise! surprise! – superfood happen to be among those things that are not just good for you but tastes good, too!

Himalayan salt can help in flavoring your grilled steaks and other savory dishes.

Goodness MNL

Chia seeds, golden flax seeds and sunflower seeds, on the other hand, can be blended into your favorite juices, smoothies and mocktails.

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

Lastly, cacao nibs can be enjoyed on their own – I munch on them as I watch my favorite stand up comedy shows on Netflix – or be added to dessert recipes.

Goodness MNL

3) Superfood are now more readily available.

Ready to test the waters of going into superfood? Not to worry!

You can try five different types of superfood by getting a box set from Goodness MNL. Choose five from the nine superfood types available – organic chia seeds, organic golden flax seeds, organic sweet basil seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Himalayan fine salt, Himalayan rock salt, organic cocosugar, organic adlai grits and cocosugar cacao nibs – and have them delivered to you in a beautifully curated box.

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL

Already into healthy eating and want to encourage your friends to do the same? Goodness MNL box sets are also great as Christmas gifts or giveaways so your friends can join you on your healthy eating journey.

Goodness MNL

You can get a box set for Php400, the box contains five 40ml test tube bottles or for Php330 containing five 30ml test tube bottles.

Goodness MNL

Both variants include your choice of five superfood, a wooden teaspoon, recipe and info sheet, ribbons and Christmas tag

To order, just message Goodness MNL on Facebook or Instagram with instructions on how you want your box set customized. Payments via BDO or GCash are accepted.

Goodness MNL

Goodness MNL delivers within Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Shipping fee will be shouldered by the buyer.

You can also course your order through Shopee.

So be on your way towards a healthier lifestyle by eating healthy and by getting goodness in a box from Goodness MNL!

Goodness MNL

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature article.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business: