GIVEAWAY: Win a Happy Hydration Kit from Vita Coco!

vitacocogiveaway001***CONTEST CLOSED***
Thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to: RUTH and PIERRE!

As I mentioned on my previous post, September is Anniversary Month here on Vanevalentine Food!
I kick-started the festive mood by sharing with you the story on how my whole blogging adventure began (Part 2 coming real soon!).
In about a week I’ll be celebrating 3 years of non-stop, delicious food blogging and I wouldn’t want to miss this chance to thank every single one of you for accompanying me on this journey and supporting this creative initiative of mine.

To commemorate this occasion, I’m going to be hosting a couple giveaways from two of my favorite food brands out there. I wish I could send prizes to all of you, but my foodie funds are not so vast (yet!). However, I still think it’s fun being able to reward some of you for coming back and showing interest in my foodie endeavors.

This first giveaway was made possible by a brand that I recently collaborated with: Vita Coco. You may remember two refreshing recipes I posted using their products: Coconut Watermelon Lemonade and Cardamom Coconut Mocktail. Huge props to Vita Coco for all their help and for giving me the opportunity of organizing this contest.

What you can Winvitacocokit
I’ll be giving away TWO Hydration Kits (check out the photo), which include several Vita Coco drinks in different flavors for you to enjoy. This is one of the brands out there that doesn’t add any artificial sweeteners (or refined sugar) to their coconut water and keep it as natural as possible. Definitely recommended!

How to Participate
Reply to the following question:
Vita Coco offers several coconut water variations:
1. Natural
2. Pineapple
3. Orange
4. Acai and Pomegranate
5. Peach and Mango
6. Passion Fruit
Out of these, which is your favorite one (if you have already tried them out) OR which one would you love to taste?

You can submit your replies in several ways
1. Via Twitter: Make sure to follow me (@vanevalentine) and Vita Coco (@VitaCocoBENELUX) and tweet your reply at me using the hashtag #HappyHydration.
2. If you’re not familiar with Twitter or don’t have an account, you can always leave a comment below or post a message on my Facebook Page (Vanevalentine FOOD) with your response.

This giveaway is open to all my readers in the BENELUX area (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg). *For those of you not living in this area, I’ve made sure my next giveaway is open worldwide, so stay tuned!
Replies can be submitted until Sunday, September 22, 12:00 CET (midday). Winners will be chosen randomly ( out of everyone who entered the contest and announced here (also via Twitter and Facebook) on the same date.

Good luck to everyone who participates, looking forward to all your responses!

Mucha suerte y buen provecho!

Coconut Watermelon Lemonade

watermelonlemonade001Hello, 31°C!
After a couple cooler days, the warm weather is back with all its might and power.
Today’s recipe is another one of the results from my collaboration with VitaCoco Coconut water. On a previous post I explained the benefits of drinking coconut water and also shared a Mocktail idea.
Coconut water has amazing hydrating properties which makes it one of the best thirst quenchers for this hot temperature.

Today I bring you a Coconut Watermelon Lemonade tip, which has quickly become one of my most recent addictions. The natural sweet taste of the watermelon matches perfectly the soft feeling of the coconut water. Watermelon consists 91% of water, making it also an ideal hydrating fruit.

Sweetened with some drops of stevia extract to keep it Sugar-Free.
Hope you will find it deliciously refreshing too!

Coconut Watermelon Lemonade
Ingredients (makes 600ml):
300ml coconut water (Using VitaCoco‘s Natural Coconut water, free of any refined sugars)
230g frozen watermelon (just cut some watermelon in cubes and put them in the freezer)
Juice of 1 lemon
10 drops stevia extract (Using NuNatural’s Pure Liquid Clear Stevia)
Some mint leaves

1. In a blender, mix the frozen watermelon, coconut water, lemon juice and stevia. If the frozen watermelon is too hard, microwave it for 30 seconds to soften it. Feel free to taste a bit and add more stevia drops if you’d like it sweeter, 10 drops were more than enough for me.
2. Pour into some glasses and decorate with mint leaves, this will add a fresh touch to the drink too!
Serve right away so that you can still feel the little chunks of frozen watermelon in between, buen provecho!

Sugar-Free Coconut Milk Rice Pudding (sweetened with Stevia)

ricepudding001I had been planning on preparing this recipe for quite some time now and last weekend I finally had the chance of making it. Giving this traditional dessert a twist: Coconut milk Rice pudding!
In my country (Panama), rice pudding is known as “Arroz con Leche”, literally translated into ‘rice with milk’. Coconuts are very abundant in Panama, so let’s just mix all that for this sweet recipe, completely sugar-free, sweetened with stevia, so you can all enjoy it with no regrets or guilty feelings.

Ingredients (makes 4 portions):
1 1/2 cup (soy) milk
400ml  coconut milk
3/4 cup white rice
2 teaspoons stevia extract (using the Vanilla Flavored Pure Liquid Stevia from NuNaturals)
1 egg
Optional: Drained cherries.

1. Combine the milk and coconut milk in a pot and bring it to a boil at low fire. This will take you around 5 minutes. I’m using soy milk instead of regular milk since soy milk has a natural sweet taste that will benefit this recipe.

2. After the 5 minutes have passed, add the rice. Keep cooking at a low temperature until the rice becomes soft, this will take around 10 minutes. Keep stirring once in a while to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pot.

3. Beat the egg and add it to the mixture. Also add the stevia extract. Stevia is sweeter than sugar, so you won’t need too much of it. Two teaspoons give the pudding a soft sweet taste, but if you want it sweeter, feel free to gradually add some more.

4. Keep stirring and cook for 3 more minutes at low temperature.

5. Serve in 4 separate cups and refrigerate. Serve with some drained cherries on top for a contrast taste, really nice combination!

Hope you like this recipe, buen provecho!

Squash & Zucchini Curry!

Time for one more recipe before you start your weekend…this one with a Thai touch!
This has been my meal already twice this week: Squash and Zucchini curry. The squash I’m using for this recipe is also known a winter or butternut squash. It has an orange color and a bit of a long, pear-ish shape. It’s sweet, very similar to sweet potatoes and the perfect main ingredient for this curry. I’ve included some zucchini as well to add a bit of color and variation to the recipe, even though squash alone would work perfectly. This is a very simple recipe, so feel free to add any other vegetables you’d like, the procedure will remain the same 😉
What you’ll need (makes around 4 portions):
1/2 squash
1 zucchini
400 ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon red curry paste
5 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by chopping all the veggies. We need the zucchini and squash to be cut into small cubes, not too tiny, about 1 1/2 inch.
Also cut the onion and garlic into small pieces.
In a deep pan, heat up some oil (using coconut oil in this case, but feel free to use regular oil as well). Start by frying the garlic and onion a bit, until their smell comes out.
Add the zucchini and squash cubes to that and sautée for a bit. Season with some salt and pepper to taste (I also add a combination of chicken spices). Mix well until you see that the squash gets a golden color and the zucchini gets tiny brown corners.
Add the coconut milk and the red curry paste. Mix until you see that the curry paste has been completely dissolved. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. I’m only adding 1 teaspoon of red curry paste, this is enough for the sauce to have that curry touch, but it won’t make it too spicy or hot, if you prefer spicier, feel free to add extra curry paste.
Lower the temperature and let simmer for 15 minutes. Do not let it dry too much, there must be some sauce left.
This curry goes perfectly with Thai jasmin rice, one of the best fragrant white rices you’ll find.
Hope you like this recipe, buen provecho!!!