The Jiashan Saturday Market

With Daniel & Michael of Sparrow Organic

It’s springtime in Shanghai and that means warm weather and around 100 events to choose from every weekend!  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and end up going event crazy so choose carefully.  There are many healthy weekend activities and events such as cooking classes at Sprout Lifestyle, exercise related events and my personal favorite – the food markets.

This weekend I went to the Jiashan Saturday Market and loved it.  There is a great variety of stands at the market, offering all sorts of locally prepared artisan foods and drinks.  Many of the stands feature healthy foods that can meet a variety of dietary needs. Personally, I am a snacker and need healthy but cravable snacks lying around the house.  Markets like the Jiashan Market are the perfect place to get new and tasty items.  I purchased some fabulous pesto sauce, pickled vegetables, hummus, eggplant dip and olives. Why buy some of these tasty snacks?

  • Olives have monounsaturated fat which has long been part of the Mediterranean diet, linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Olives also have polyphenols. These are phytochemicals known to help reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Green olives, which are picked before they ripen, tend to be higher in polyphenols. Olives are also a good source of iron, copper, and vitamin E.
  • The chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in the hummus are a great source of many nutrients, especially if you are vegan. Chickpeas have iron, calcium and protein. One cup of chickpeas meets 22 % of our daily need for iron. Adding vitamin C containing foods such as red peppers or lemon juice can increase iron absorption in plant based foods. It is also a very versatile food that can be used in a number of tasty recipes.
Modern Food & Co. at the Jiashan Market

The Jiashan Saturday Market is held every 2 weeks. The next market will be on April 22nd, then May 06th; hope to see you there!


Until the next time – Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well – Jessica W. 😉

Healthy Holiday Spice!

Nothing like leaving this post to the last minute. With any luck the pilot is revving up the engines for my holiday flight right now.

But I couldn’t leave without some holiday hints for you all.

Spices have been in the nutrition news this year and the Christmas holidays are the perfect time to highlight these power houses of good health.

The fact that most people  love the aroma of  ginger cookies and cinnamon topped buns should be the first clue that your body enjoys these spices as well.

All spices are chockfull of anti-oxidants in the form of flavonoids and polyphenols. At this time of year ginger, cinnamon ,nutmeg and cloves abound in holiday bake goods and drinks. Making us feel a bit less guilty over our indulgences.

In many studies ginger and cinnamon have been seen to help steady your blood sugar and build up your immunity. Both of these actions are helpful during a season when we tend to eat more sweets than usual and expose ourselves to holiday kisses and hugs ( read germs).

Cloves are the super hero of the spice world. Cloves appear to have all the “anti’s” in those buds. Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and analgesic, just to name the few that would be helpful to have in your body this holiday season.  Cloves have been used to sooth a toothache, relieve an upset stomach and clear the phlegm from an upper respiratory infection. All three we hope you avoid this season.

Nutmeg also can help relieve indigestion and  treat bad breath. Best of all it can help you sleep. Sprinkle some on your warm beverage before bed and start counting sheep.

If you are looking for goodies full of these spices and many other delicious treats, stop by the Jiashan Market this Saturday. The folks at Jiashan Market  are having a special Christmas market this weekend with extended hours and holiday music!

Jiashan Christmas Market this weekend!!
Saturday 19th December 11:00 – 18:00

What a great way to start this joyful season!

Eat Well , Live Well, Have Fun!





The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

Dr. Weil’s Holiday Ginger CookiesIngredients
2/3 cup molasses or sorghum
1/3 cup softened butter or Spectrum Spread
1/4 cup frozen concentrate apple juice, thawed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 egg whites
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon grated orange zest

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix the molasses, butter, apple juice concentrate, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl for 3 minutes, and then whisk them into the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients together, including the orange zest, in a separate, large bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon to mix everything together until the dough becomes stiff. Knead the dough with clean hands for a couple of minutes, and then divide it in half.
  4. Flatten each half into 2 round disks, wrap them in plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer until they are completely chilled, at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  5. After the dough has thoroughly chilled, roll it out on a floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour. Roll it out into 1/8-inch-thick slabs, and then cut it into shapes with a cookie cutter. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the cut cookie shapes with the apple juice concentrate.
  6. Smear the baking sheet with 1/4 teaspoon of butter and arrange the cookies on top. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until they turn a light golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


Shanghai Eating Well

I have been writing this blog for near on 5 years now and sometimes I do struggle to find an inspiring subject. Today started out as one of those times until I took a walk.  Studies show that some day dreaming ( especially while walking the dog for the ‘enth time) can actually be productive. I started thinking about Shanghai and how we eat well here and that was all I needed.

September starts next week and with it a load of activities to delight the foodies, also known as people who like to eat well and hopefully that is most of us! To start, next week is the beginning of Restaurant week in Shanghai, September 3-13. This is an annual event where local restaurants will offer unique menus for lunch and dinner and many at a special pricing. Keep an eye out in the English mags for listings and specials. This is a great way to try new restaurants and a reason to enjoy the  upmarket ones you have been eyeing.

Looking for fresh food shopping? Don’t forget the Jiashan Market,  happening every other Saturday. Jiashan is the granddaddy of the specialty farmer markets in Shanghai but certainly not the only one. Kate and Kimi has random pop up markets on both sides of the river featuring local vendors and entertainment. Check their website for the Pop-up market schedule, If you are near the Shanghai Center don’t miss their weekend markets, usually on Saturday, often including crafts, music and activities for children. These are Puxi markets but lest I forget there are also markets appearing in Pudong. BioFarm has a market on Saturdays at Yanlord Town on 1559 Dingxian Lu , check their website for address details.

Coming up in November is one of Shanghai’s best food, fund and fun evenings ! It won’t be long before we start hearing about the annual Chi Fan for Charity Dinner, November 14th, 2015.  Circle the date now and assemble 5 couples or 10 friends for a great evening, with dinner at one of the top 40-50 restaurants in Shanghai and dancing at a super after party.

Plenty of inspiration if you think about it!


Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!



Snake Fruit

People always ask me if I ever left Shanghai, what would I miss.  That one is easy , I love the variety of fresh fruit available here. Bananas and apples are fine but there isn’t anything in the northeast United States that can compare with the seasonal fruits in Shanghai, especially at this time of the year.The lychees, rambutan, Dragon eye, mangos and mangosteens  turning up in the market these days are delightful to eat and chock full of nutrition.

One of the guiding principles here at EWS is that eating a variety of food is more nutritious and more fun, so in the interest of trying something new and fun, I ordered some Indonesian snake fruit or salak. I have to admit I was most intrigued by the look of the fruit. The peel really does look like brown snake skin.

I think this fruit would be really fun to show to children, especially those interested in reptiles and dinosaurs.  It has a prehistoric feel to it.

The fruit , or pod, is about the size and shape of a fresh fig. It is a very firm, I would even say hard fruit. It can be peeled by pinching the pointy end and removing the skin. You can also just make a small cut and start peeling. I found that once you had a piece of the skin removed the rest came off pretty easily.

The fruit inside is the texture and color of peeled garlic. The mild citrus flavor  and firm flesh make it a nice addition to a fruit salad. The flavor is a bit bland to eat by itself so I suggest serving it with other fruit and cheese.

Snake fruit is from the palm family and has traditionally been used in Indonesia to treat diarrhea. The fruit  has a good amount of vitamin C, some iron and a variety of flavonoids which are quite helpful in promoting a healthy immune system.

I am not sure snake fruit will be a regular on the table but it made a very interesting snack and reminded me that there is whole lot more food out there taste!

Snake fruit is available from Kate and Kimi (

Looking for something exotic?  Check out the Jiashan weekend market this Saturday from a 11am-4 pm. Down the alley at #37 Lane 550 Shaanxi Lu near Shaoxing Lu.

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!