I remember eating a lot of unprocessed food back in my childhood years in the Philippines. We make coconut milk from scratch, got our crops from my mom’s hundreds of hectares of land or from our backyard. What a great memory of us growing up and not seeing any boxed or canned  food.  And I was a disturbingly skinny kid but definitely healthy… LOL.

“Guinataan Halo-halo”  (meaning mixed whatever stewed in coconut milk with palm sugar) is the ultimate food of my childhood — back when I had no cable television/broadband internet access and entertained myself by playing outdoors and looking forward to whatever “merienda” (afternoon snack) was prepared for that afternoon. When we were young, my family together with our maids (yes, we have maids and we treat them like family and send them to school) help make this snack. It was a great bonding time as we tell jokes and stories …Ahhhh, I love those memories, so I take pride in introducing this dish to friends.

Today, I made this snack but with canned coconut milk, luckily I have a unprocessed palm sugar and some cassava and purple yam. Although I’m missing a lot of ingredients, it tastes like home.

Ginataang Halo-Halo
(Mixed Root Vegetables In Sweet Coconut Milk)

3 x 400 ml cans of coconut milk
3 x 400 ml cans of water (use the can of the coconut milk)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup tiny sago (tapioca) pearls
500 gm kamote (sweet potato) – peeled and cut into serving size pieces
350 gm gabi (taro/eddo) – peeled and cut into serving size pieces
2 pcs ripe plantain (saba) bananas – peeled and cut into serving size pieces
250 gm fresh or canned langka (jackfruit) – drained and cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces

  1. In a casserole, simmer the coconut milk together with sugar uncovered until taste to see if the sweetness is to your liking. If not, add more sugar.
  2. Add the gabi, simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the kamote and banana and simmer for another 4 minutes or until the gabiand kamote are almost cooked.
  4. Add the langka and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve hot in a bowl with 1-2 Tbsp of coconut cream on top. (optional)