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Friday, April 4, 2014

A Cool Vegetarian Dessert

We are well into the summer months already when I realized that it has been quite some time since I last wrote A-NY-Thing here.  I have to admit that it has been quite a hectic 3 months for me since 2014 started.  We at Heaven's Country Kitchen had to go through a cleansing, if you will.  It was time for a fresh start, and it was all worth it.  (And so, my thanks to you, dear reader, for continuing to drop by this site and taking time out to read my older posts.) 

Most Filipinos are also almost halfway through the Lenten season, and there are some out there who still follow tradition by abstaining from eating meat every Friday until Easter.  But Filipinos are not likely to give up their iced desserts, especially during the hot and humid weather we've been getting.  Of course, there's the Halo-Halo (mixed sweetened fruits and beans with evaporated milk, sugar and shaved ice), but a cheaper alternative is the Guinomis and it only takes a few ingredients to assemble.

                                                     (photo courtesy of www.pinoywarrior.com)

Guinomis is a Hiligaynon or Ilonggo word (from the Western Visayas region) for what we in the Luzon area refer to as Sago at Gulaman or sago't gulaman (for short).  Sago refers to large tapioca pearls and gulaman is a plant-derived gelatinous ingredient which is really seaweed that is pounded and set in bars, then cooked in hot water and set into containers at room temperature.  These are then cut into cubes.  It is considered a carbohydrate, unlike the gelatin which is a protein and animal-derived.  (gulaman photo courtesy of  www.blog.junbelen.com)


While the Sago't Gulaman is usually mixed into brown sugar water flavored with pandan (or screwpine) leaves, the Guinomis is suspended in coconut milk (I use the Buco brand of coconut milk, available in SM supermarkets).  Stir in some sugar, shaved ice and topped with pinipig or glutinous rice crispies, it is a refreshing dessert.  Great for vegeterians too.  Grab a glass now!

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