Meadow Fresh Pure Milk (UHT)

Oh god, not yet another milk review! Well, what to do? Everyday I go buy milk, so got to do milk reviews loh. It is not like everyday I am using...

Oh god, not yet another milk review! Well, what to do? Everyday I go buy milk, so got to do milk reviews loh. It is not like everyday I am using some fancy high tech gadget right? If I buy those gadgets, I would be doing reviews on them. Too bad if you are looking for reviews on high tech stuff. But if you are looking for reviews on milk, you are in luck. Because I am doing milk reviews. Err….does that make sense?

Anyway, this time I bought a pretty expensive UHT milk. This brand is Meadow Fresh and it has pure New Zealand milk! Hopefully, those other brands don’t come with fake New Zealand milk. That would be very scary indeed, especially after the Melamine scare we have in China. One thing I really hate about businessmen is that they are extremely greedy. How can a human substitute Melamine for milk proteins and sell it as children’s milk formula? Hope that those people get what they deserve. Coming back to the topic, this milk as usual, will be used for making Kefir. I have been making Kefir for so long that it has became a habit for me to just come back home and start straining the Kefir grains from the actually Kefir. And after that, enjoying a nice bowl of delicious Kefir while doing my stuff. Life can be great if one knows how to just enjoy the simple pleasures.

Meadow Fresh. Looks nice right? I really love the packaging. More manufacturers should hire some designers and remake their ugly ass packaging. Oh, this is New Zealand Full Cream Pure Milk!

Pure and straight from the source, it is naturally New Zealand.  Hmmm….I didn’t know that even for milk, you can get Halal certification.

Some important information for you guys who don’t like milk. It states that Meadow Fresh full cream milk is made from fresh milk sourced from  farms in New Zealand, and is naturally nutritious for the whole family. It contains protein for young and growing bodies and calcium for building strong bones and teeth. Meadow Fresh UHT is made from fresh nutritious milk which goes through a process called Ultra Heat Treatment to give it a much longer shelf life. Once it is opened, treat it the same as fresh milk. And oh, this is not suitable as a complete milk food for infants. But…but…isn’t this full cream milk? Should contain enough fats for infants right? Well, that is just me wondering. It is better to listen to experts.

Yup, made from Fresh cow’s milk! In french it is Lait entier! Cool, I learned a little french (hopefully it is french). Yes, you have to consume the milk once you opened it within 7 days and you have to keep it refrigerated. Another thing, this is a product from New Zealand. Again, I hope that it doesn’t mean that the milk is from New Zealand cows imported to other countries and marketed “as from New Zealand”.

Okay guys, see you later! I got to go and make myself yet another batch of Kefir.

Case Of The Disappearing Blogger

Nice title? No? Nevermind lah. I am just here to tell you guys that I have been rather busy these few days because my nephew is sick and I have to...

Nice title? No? Nevermind lah. I am just here to tell you guys that I have been rather busy these few days because my nephew is sick and I have to take care of him. He got the cough and the flu. It seems that nowadays the young gets sick much easier than before. I remembered when I was young, I was sickly but even I am not that sickly to fall sick once every month. Even my friends’ children fall sick very frequently I have noticed. That shouldn’t be the case in Singapore.

First of all, the milk powder they are using for their milk is supposed to be fortified with tons of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Just look at the attractive packaging on those fortified milk! It is suppose to come with hundreds of different types of vitamins and what not. These should make our young very healthy. And since now we know what types of healthier food to give our children, they should be at least better off than what we (as in the older generation) have. Vegetables, fish, children, less salt and so on.  Knowledge is power. Again I am surprised that they are not much healthier. How about the types of soap, shampoo and cleansers the kids use nowadays? They are much better at cleaning and killing bacteria than what we used to use. Yet, it seems that germs and bacteria seem to get past those defenses and infect our young. How about the better medicines we have now compared to previously? Have they not work to help our kids fight against these germs and bacteria?

I am guessing the main reason is that we are so afraid of bacteria that we”over-sanitize” ourselves. You know, those anti-bacteria soap which is selling at Watsons and other shops? And this prevents our own body’s natural immune system to deal with germs that we come in contact from other sources. We have become so dependent on those anti-bacteria products that our immune system becomes weak. So once we don’t have that protection, germs and bacteria can easily attack us. So, let’s not get too clean okay? Especially for our children’s sake. Just use normal soap when bathing your children would be fine. Don’t need those anti-bacteria kind.

Meiji Fresh Milk Part Deux

Finally I got a chance to review fresh milk, that is non-UHT milk. And this time it is the Meiji Fresh Milk. If you remember, I had previously reviewed this brand...

Finally I got a chance to review fresh milk, that is non-UHT milk. And this time it is the Meiji Fresh Milk. If you remember, I had previously reviewed this brand before but it is for the 700ml bottle. I am now reviewing the 2 liter bottle. And the packaging on the bottle looks completely different that I am wondering whether they are the same brand or not. Anyways, I think they should be from the same company. With the same name, I really doubt that they are completely different brands.

I am not very sure where this milk comes from. It doesn’t state the country where the milk is produced, so that’s not a good sign. Most brands will clearly label where the milk is from. And just because it is a Japanese company does not mean that the milk is from Japan. If it was, it is going to cost a bundle to us Singaporeans. Japan is not a milk producing country. Meiji produces yogurt, butter, milk, ice cream and other dairy products and they seem to be doing quite well in Singapore. Singaporeans love everything with Japanese sounding names what. However I am pretty sure that their milk is still sourced from other countries.

Hoooray! 2 Litres of fresh milk. And the expiry date is 17th of February. At least it can last me about 1 week. Hey, 2 litres of milk is quite a lot of milk for one person to finish. However, I think I should be able to consume all of it in 4 days time. Yes, of course for my Kefir. I don’t like drinking fresh milk.

Pasteurized & homogenized milk! Ya! This means that the milk has been heat treated and pressurized to pasteurize it (destroy the bacteria). Homogenization simply means that the milk fat has been distributed evenly in the fat. People tend not to like to see a thick layer of milk fat in their milk. Maybe because it looks a bit gross? Well anyway, what they do is to pressurized the milk into narrow tubes which breaks up any fat globlues into smaller ones and makes it difficult for the globlues to clump together. If you like to know more about this process, please refer to this Wiki.

The biggest advantage of this type of milk compared to the UHT milk is that usually pasteurized milk would taste better than UHT Milk. UHT is done under high temperatures and high pressure and with that the aromas (among other things) in the milk is destroyed. We are left with a blander milk in the end. The pasteurized milk is the best we can get in Singapore. I doubt you can find raw milk in Singapore.

Another view of the milk bottle. In fits perfectly into the side of the fridge so when you open the door of the fridge, the milk bottle will not tumble. Smart design. lol.

Meiji. CP-Meiji. The handle is good. After finishing the milk, you can use the bottle to as a water bottle.

Well, I am hoping that by using fresh milk instead of UHT milk, the milk Kefir would turn out better tasting. Good tasting milk will definitely produce a good tasting Kefir, or so I heard. Now I will try it and give you guys an update soon. Ciao.

Harvey Fresh Skim Milk

Another day, another review on some UHT milk ya? I mean we are all creatures of habit right? But seriously, what is life without any changes or something new. I am...

Another day, another review on some UHT milk ya? I mean we are all creatures of habit right? But seriously, what is life without any changes or something new. I am sure that we all have our favourite milk which we always buy. But that is so boring if everyday, we drink the same type or brand of milk. You might even save some money when you do your shopping. I was in Tampines NTUC the other day and Harvey Fresh UHT milk was on sale. It was priced at S$1.70 per pack and I grabbed 2 of them. I actually wanted to get more but Tampines is a bit far from my house and carrying 3 to 4 liters of milk can be very very tiring, especially since I need a walk quite a while as well. So I stuck to 2 packs of the Harvey Fresh Skim milk.

Skim milk is actually low fat (or non-fat) milk. Why is it called Skim milk? Well if you leave fresh milk (as in unprocessed milk), the fat in the milk will tend to float on the surface. This is because when resting still the fat globlues will tend to stick to each other and this produces enough lift for the globlues to float to the surface. At any rate, the fat is then skimmed off to make other stuff while the remaining milk is made into skim milk. Interesting right?

And this is the first time I bought skim milk to make my Kefir. Most of the drinkers of milk Kefir will base their Kefir on low fat milk. The best part about this is that the straining of the milk Kefir will be much easier as there is no fat to deal with. With no much fat, the milk Kefir can easily strain through my very fine plastic strainer and not get stuck in between the grains as well. But since I am not watching my weight, I tend to buy full cream milk myself. If you areon a diet, you should always use low-fat or skim milk for your Kefir as the fermentation process does not affect the fat in the milk (that means you still get the same amount of fat).

Yes, it is pink in colour? Why? I have no idea. Perhaps it looks pretty in pink?

The ang mo boy is happy, so should you. Oh, Harvey Fresh is 100% Australian owned and produced.  At least we are sure that no part of this is made in China or anywhere else.  And look, the cows are happily grazing in the lust green fields. Of course, I doubt that Harvey Fresh’s cows are so lucky. Very likely the cows are kept in a processing-like factory/plant where they are fed horrible looking feed and milked like 12 hours every day. Of course I have no idea whether this is true or not, but in most cases, that is exactly what is happening. If not, they would call it organic milk already.

Made in Australia! Hmm….Singapore has no distributor?

Yes, we know that it can be kept for months because of the Ultra  Heat Treatment thingy.  Oh, this skim milk is not suitable for infants except on medical advice. Ya, due to the reduced fat content, you should not use this skim milk as substitute to the infant’s food intake. I am guessing that nowadays we are so worried about getting fat that we are taking only skim or low fat milk for our own consumption. This has naturally led to some parents thinking that skim milk can also be healthy to young infants. But that is wrong! Infants need the fat in full cream milk!

Ya, super long lasting milk! This milk expires on 11-08-2009!  Cool right. It can last about 10 months without refrigeration! However, when serving, you should serve the milk chilled. And please care for your environment and recycle.

First Choice Whole Milk Full Cream

What tastes better than fresh whole cream milk in the morning? Well, I can think of syrup pan-cakes, blueberry waffles, sweet honey and walnut yogurt and many more. But that is...

What tastes better than fresh whole cream milk in the morning? Well, I can think of syrup pan-cakes, blueberry waffles, sweet honey and walnut yogurt and many more. But that is besides the point as milk is still delicious and extremely nutritious and you just need to drink it. The best is of course fresh milk but you can’t get that in Singapore. The best is those pasteurized and homogenized milk. As you guys know, I have been experimenting with a number of different milk (mostly UHT milk) and trying to find one that it suitable for making Kefir. In Singapore, we do have a good variety of UHT milk. In fact, the number of milk can be mind boggling huge that most of us don’t care about the brands anymore. We simply choose one that we are familiar with like Marigold or Magnolia. However, I think that we all need to know that different milk from different countries and even difference sources in the same country can produce a very different tasting product. It is important to look at the ingredients and where the milk is from. Beware of creative marketing like where they state that the milk is from Australian cows but in fact, the cows are situated in Indonesia. The cows are imported from Australia. So you get it, “Australian cows”! These marketing people have no ethics at all.

Anyway, I bought the First Choice Whole Milk (UHT) to have a sample of the milk. Yes, First Choice is the housebrand of Cold Storage / Shop N Save. And no matter what the government say, housebrands are always cheaper. This is very true in this case. The First Choice UHT Milk is in the middle price range of UHT milk. Yup, everyone needs to make money what. I am sure you don’t expect Cold Storage to be feeding us free food right?

I love drinking milk outdoors while enjoying the scenery of rolling hills and bright orange sun. Who doesn’t? If only all of us were so lucky eh?

Yes, 1 liter of UHT full cream milk. I am sure that a lot of readers are scared of full cream milk. But if you are not watching your weight and you are not fat, why worry about this? Full cream milk definitely taste better than skim or low fat milk as many of the aromas of milk is in the fat. The packaging of this milk certainly looks very attractive. It caught my eye when I was browsing through the huge selection of UHT milk at Shop N Save.

On the other side, it is in Mandarin.

Yes! Ingredients are just fresh milk! And product of New Zealand! We just love New Zealand stuff don’t we? Hmm…some good information here as well. Children aged 1-10 years need need about 800mg of calcium per day while those aged 11-24 need 1200mg of calcium per day. For adults aged 25 and above need about 800mg of calcium per day. This is interesting.

More interesting information here. According to the nutritional report of Dairt Management Inc. in the USA, milk fat supplies 9 calories per gram of enegry, more than twice that of protein and carbonhydrate, which are both 4 calories per gram. Milk fat also carries the essential fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E & K. Naturally First Choice Whole Milk is not only an excellent energy source for children and active young people but also an ideal beverage for health-conscious consumers. Ok, I am sold. That is why I usually purchase full cream milk.

Oh, they also provide opening instructions for those who don’t know how to open the pack. Looks a bit tricky if you ask me.

Hmmm….perhaps I just got an old pack? It is due in 2 months time! Usually the UHT milk I bought has an expiry date more than 6 months later. Well, at least it is still drinkable right?

3 Months After Kefir

I started taking Milk Kefir daily in somewhere November 2008 and it has been over 3 months. The main reason why I am consuming Kefir daily is due to my poor...

I started taking Milk Kefir daily in somewhere November 2008 and it has been over 3 months. The main reason why I am consuming Kefir daily is due to my poor health. My health have been deteriorating for the past few years. It all started when I begin working. And since I am working, I had no other choice but to consume whatever food that was available at our nearby hawker center or canteen. We all know that the types of food available there right? Oily and fried foods, poor quality vegetables and so on. I can also feel myself getting tired easily. And I do office work! Not some strenuous manual labour which reqires lifting or anything like that. And I get tired by the afternoon. Yes, I am a bit choosy when it comes to food but I am sure that this is not the cause of my poor health.

Anyway, I recently recovered from a very high fever (39.4 °C!). I guess that it woke me up. I knew that I had to regain my health back or it might be too late. Hey, I am not getting any younger you know. When I was younger, recovering from any illness is just a snap. And nowadays, I don’t recover from my illness as fast as before. It has affected my work and my social life. The week that I was down with fever, the rest of the staff had to carry the load. Yes, that means people not happy. Well, can we blame them? The company is already short of manpower and I have to go on medical leave? It is a double whammy for the staff.

Okay, now back to the Kefir. As I said, I have been taking the Kefir daily for 3 months. And the truth is, in the beginning, I did feel some discomfort. Probably because the Kefir is doing it’s job in helping me remove all the”posions” and unwanted stuff from my colon. Or that my body was not conditioned for Kefir. Immediately after drinking the Kefir, I had to go to the bathroom. In fact, my stomach was feeling very weird for the first few days. Luckily I presisted in taking the Kefir. My health really improved tremedously. Just about a month ago, my entire family was down with diarrhea but not me. I was pleasantly surprised. Diarrhea spreads very fast, especially among family members who are often in close contact with each other.  It seems that consuming Kefir really helps improve my immunity against germs and bacteria. And of course, the probiotic Kefir is very nutritious.

So yes, I will keep on drinking Kefir. Some might say that the Kefir does not taste nice, but I think that it is acceptable as a morning drink. And you don’t need to drink like 10 cups per day. I normally just drink about 1 or 1 and a half cups of Milk Kefir. I am getting healthier, so should you!

For Your Kids – Tuition

Nowadays it is the norm for parents to send their children to tuition centres. I am not sure whether it is because parents expectation are higher or that the schools are...

Nowadays it is the norm for parents to send their children to tuition centres. I am not sure whether it is because parents expectation are higher or that the schools are not teaching our children well, but everywhere you go, you can find tuition centres. For me, I think that unless your kid is not doing very well in school, there is not real need to send your children to tuition centres. It merely adds to the pressure that the kid is feeling. We all know very well that Singapore is a very stressful place. The schools are part of the problem. I won’t want my children to grow up without a childhood or a childhood spent in classrooms and with teachers. I want them to enjoy their childhood as much as possible. I am guessing that Singapore parents are also to be blamed for this. We all want what is best for our children, but there is always a limit to everything. Cramming so many information to children is not the way. I have seen parents sending their kids to art classes, ballet classes, mathematics classes, English language classes and so on. So much so that the entire weekend is spent in classrooms. It is no wonder that we get so many rebellious kids in Singapore. And the advantage these kids get is insignificant compared to the damage that might be inflicted on them. Stress is a dangerous thing.

However if your kids need some help in their school lessons or they might not be doing well in some of the subjects, I think that tuition centres can help. Firstly, it gives them a place where they can study with other kids. This is especially important for students who live in perhaps noisy households which are not conductive to study. It also helps students to concentrate, since it is a tuition centre and everyone is studying. Secondly, in a classroom away from school, students might find it easier to ask questions and to learn. Sometimes school teachers can be intimidating. Furthermore, tuition centres are smaller in size than what they have in the schools. Better attention can be provided for the students. And most importantly, it is not school. You will be surprised to learn that a lot of students learn faster and better away from schools with it’s examinations and discipline masters.

At any rate, if you are looking for tuition centres for your kids, please do not hesitate to take a look at the list of tuition centres I have created. Hope that you can find a suitable place for your kids. And please let them have a break now and then.

Magnolia UHT Fresh Milk

What can I say? I am yet again reviewing another UHT milk which can be found in our local supermarkets and stores. Nowadays it seems that the provision shops are losing...

What can I say? I am yet again reviewing another UHT milk which can be found in our local supermarkets and stores. Nowadays it seems that the provision shops are losing a lot of their businesses to bigger supermarkets and hypermarts. And worst of all, these supermarkets are now located conveniently nearby. In the past, we usually had to travel a distance to get to these supermarkets but now, they are every where. Well, hooray to big businesses. They are in our everyday lives and there is no escaping from them. Yes, it has it’s advantages and disadvantages. The most important advantage is that we get a bigger variety of products to choose from. Compared to the olden days of provision shops which have limited variety, supermarkets do carry more variety. They are bigger what! The disadvantage is that we are now under the mercy of big corporations, which might not have our interest in their hearts.

As usual, the milk I purchased is for making milk Kefir. And the milk I am currently reviewing is the F&N Magnolia UHT Fresh Milk. Yes, it is yet another milk by our favourite little dairy (and beverage) king F&N. Looks like they are flooding the market with the same products under different name. Perhaps it is some sort of marketing strategy? I have no idea and as long as the prices are reasonable (who decides what is reasonable anyway), I am all for having as many brands as F&N endeavours. And surprisingly, I found that using this Magnolia UHT Milk, I do produce a better tasting milk! The final produce is not too sour and is quite creamy.

Yup, that’s the F&N Magnolia UHT Fresh Milk with the single cow on the label. Look at the cow. So cute with it’s bell around it’s neck. One wonders whether the cows which produced the milk for Magnolia do have bells nowadays? Remember, nowadays the milk are produced from production-line cows which are usually kept in small areas.

Yes, it is full cream. I am not looking to maintain my very slim figure, so I go for full cream. It is the best tasting milk out there. If you are on diet, sure, you can of course make use of skimmed milk or non-fat milk to make your Kefir. Oh, it is also high in calcium.

This is packed in New Zealand! However, one wonders whether the milk is from cows in New Zealand or not? Usually the labels will say “Produced In New Zealand” for milk made from cows in New Zealand. The wordings on the label sounds a bit weird if you ask me. Why would they want to pack in New Zealand when it is more expensive to do so there?

The ingredient is 100% fresh milk. No kidding!

The expiry date for the long life milk is 14th November 2009. That’s 10 months from now. By the way, do you know that the Ultra High Heat treatment for these milk is responsible for the long shelf life of these milk. What they do is to heat the milk to 135 °C for 1-2 seconds under high pressure. The short time is the reason why it is so much cheaper than just pasteurized fresh milk. For pasteurized milk, they heat the milk to 75 °C for about 15 seconds. You pay about twice as much than for UHT milk. Yes, that is the commercialization for you. Of course, too high heat and some of the flavourful aromas and nutrients might be destroyed during the process.

I am off the make some more Kefir for myself. It is too bad that non of my family members like the taste of Kefir. If they did, they would at least be feeling much healthier than before.

Marigold Non Fat Blueberry Yogurt

Yup, once again we have yet another yogurt review. This time it is for the Marigold Non Fat Blueberry Yogurt. I bought this just yesterday as I did not visit any...

Yup, once again we have yet another yogurt review. This time it is for the Marigold Non Fat Blueberry Yogurt. I bought this just yesterday as I did not visit any Phoon Huat stores to get the Easiyo Yogurt Sachets to make my own yogurt. In fact, I have not been to any Phoon Huat stores for 2 weeks already! So, no homemade yogurt for me. I am reduced to eating store bought yogurt. Yes, the kind which has tons of fillers and what-not in them. So you know, I am not a fan of such commerically made yogurts. Even those natural yogurts come with cream to help make up the bulk of the yogurt. I don’t like it. When I buy yogurt, I want to eat yogurt, not cream, starch or those stuff.

That’s the Marigold Non Fat Yogurt (Yoghurt) -  Blueberry flavour. Well, it comes with real blueberries which I love. Blueberries are just are strawberries, they go great with everything, even yogurt. Come on, admit that you like blueberries too.

What? It comes with Calcium and Fibre! That’s very cool! And look at those tasty blueberries!

Ahh…the ingredients. It contains Milk Solids, blueberry(one??), Inulin (prebiotic fibre), sucrose, tricalcium phosphate, permitted stabilizers, permitted flavouring and live cultures. I am guessing that the live cultures this Marigold yogurt has is just the 2 common ones – s.thermophilus and l.bulgaricus. And hey, they have the Live & Active Cultures seal! Interesting. You can hardly find any yogurt brands in Singapore that carries this seal.

1kg of yogurt goodness! Hey, look! It is a  product of Singapore. I am always keen to support our own brands – they provide jobs for Singaporeans. This yogurt expires on 13th Feburary.

Agreed. Live probiotic cultures do help to maintain a healthy digestive system, if you eat enough of them. That is exactly why I recommend everyone to eat at least about 250g of yogurt per day. Try it and you might find yourself much healthier.

Ahh….the yogurt itself. This purple yogurt really looks very tempting.

The overall taste is quite alright. But the blueberry flavour seemed a bit weak. Feels a bit like plain yogurt with just blueberries added to it but perhaps that’s the idea! Who knows? The most important is that it taste delicious and I will keep on buying it. Of course, making my own yogurt takes precedence. Home made yogurt is the best, the healthiest and the most delicious! However, not everyone has the time and the energy to make their own though. So, this is where store bought yogurt comes in.

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