Moringa-enhanced ‘dalandan’ juice, coffee, tea and other healthy optionsBy Reggie Aspiras
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There’s a new way to stay healthy, thanks to Fannie Guanzon. When she sent me a basket of Herb Best products, I was, in truth, less than thrilled. A food basket filled with all things healthy? Ahem, ahem!
While it is true that I wish to attain a totally healthy lifestyle, the dream to do so comes with struggles and, like many, I still remain more enthused by the sight of sugar, salt and fat-laden treats.
But, after a while, the nagging sight of the basket bothered me, prompting me to finally open it. One by one, I started to try the items. Mind you, it took me two weeks to sample the contents, among them:
Dalandan Lite is a refreshing citrus drink sweetened with stevia. I had it with loads of ice and it quenched my thirst on that hot, sunny day. It’s a light and easy drink, devoid of the overpowering taste that comes with artificial flavors. Au naturel is the best description for it, and is the next best thing if you cannot get the fresh fruit.
An added advantage to taking Dalandan Lite is the mixture comes packed with moringa and turmeric, so aside from vitamin C, you get the health benefits from both as well.
Next was the coffee, Bold Brew. Again, I was less than thrilled, for in my head, how could this sachet taste better than my standard morning brew?
Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. The coffee was not bad at all—a light barako sweetened with low-glycemic coco sap and stevia, and enhanced with moringa, agaricus mushroom, mangosteen and gotu kola—ingredients that, in the world of alternative and natural medicine, are known to bring many healthy benefits.
The Chocacao I picked up a couple of days after I had the coffee. It is an all-natural chocolate drink made from dark chocolate and tablea with moringa, dahon ng sili, talbos ng kamote and gotu kola. According to the literature on the box, it even contains phytofood from “21 fruits and 15 vegetable extractives.”
It’s not tsokolate-eh as you know and wish it to be, nor is it the sweet chocolate drink you grew up with. But, really, the difference in taste and consistency is minimal, if you were to factor in all the benefits.
The moringa tea taste, meanwhile, is pristine compared to many I’ve tried. According to Fannie, theirs comes from choice organic farms and makes use of low-impact concentration technology to retain all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Which is perhaps why theirs tastes fresh and light, with none of that dried leafy, bitter aftertaste. Of course, I take mine with a bit of sugar (malunggay na nga, artificial sweetener pa? That’s too much. Give me time!), a squeeze and a wedge of lemon or kalamansi. Sometimes, I even add tanglad to the warm water and steep it together with the bag. I then, oftentimes, enjoy it cold.
Aside from beverages, Herb Best has formulated a preservative-, MSG- and artificial flavor-free sinigang and ginisa mix. It also has malunggay, spinach and carrot-squash pasta, and even malunggay seed oil and soap.
I really like the sinigang mix—literally health in a spoon! The taste and flavors flow freely, not at all overpowering, and does not coat your tongue. Great with any fish or fish head! Sarap!
And did I mention that the pastas are very nice, too?
These proudly Pinoy-made specialty products are made extraordinary by the company’s desire to help better the lives of their farmers. Last year, Herb Best International tied up with the Diocese of Butuan to “gain access to 500 hectares of tribal land to grow and purchase the produce for its use as raw materials, and provide ongoing technical training so its partner farmers could improve their yield and income.”
Each Herb Best product is geared toward wellness, though they have no approved therapeutic claims. As I see it, they give us healthy alternatives, but with utmost priority given to gustatory satisfaction. They try not to sacrifice flavor while at the same time giving you better nutrition.
If you are thinking of making adjustments toward a healthier lifestyle, try Herb Pantry and Herb Best and be a step closer to eating better and living well.
My book “Kitchen Rescue 3, The Directory – My Lifeline to Eating, Cooking and Living,” is now available at all leading bookstores, or call 6474744.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org