Filipinos love to garnish their cooking with sugar and artificial flavors. A foreigner who’s aware of the negative effects of white sugar said, “I’m amazed that you put processed sugar even in spaghetti! And you use all sorts of mixed powders.”
So, we tried a healthier and more natural dieting regimen—and discovered a wealth of options:
To make a flavorful sinigang, the caramay and catmon fruits are wonderful alternatives to tamarind, kamias and guava. My friends make paksiw na tofu with kamias or caramay, with a veggie mix of eggplant, okra and bitter gourd.
They use bananas to sweeten their spaghetti, estofado and adobo dishes: They boil ripe saba, and either blend or mash it in with the tomato or adobo sauce. They don’t just add sweetness to the recipe, their vitamins and minerals enrich the dishes!
They also add mashed saba to garnish their sinigang. As a result, the soup becomes thicker, resulting in a scrumptious sweet and sour taste.
Natural sweetness is also achieved by blending in mangoes and bananas with some water. —So, whatever taste you prefer, Mother Nature has the answer!