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Oh Hawai`i, how i love thee!

March 8, 2010

Oh Hawai`i`!

Oh Hawai`i,  you are the owner of my heart and taste buds. The warm fragrant filled breezes that linger in my consciousness long after I have returned to reality. Crystal blue waters that are teaming with brightly colored sea life that lure you to new horizons. And the food! Oh the food. Papayas, passion fruit, mangos, pineapple, football sized avocados, ahi and mahi mahi that I never tire of.

Recently, my hungry hubby and I went on a pilgrimage to the big island, to find Mecca for us. We are passionate snorkelers and dedicated foodies and we heard that this was the place where both of these pursuits thrive side by side. We were told right.

Rambutan at the Hilo Farmers Market

Our first day in Hawai`i we went to one of the best farmer’s market I have ever been to before, in Hilo. (http://www.hilofarmersmarket.com/) Then to celebrate that, we went snorkeling at the positively best place that we have ever been to, the Wai Opae Tide pools, in Kapoho. That night we drank mai tais and grilled fresh ahi with a guava barbeque sauce, setting on the lanai of a beautiful rental house.  Ahhhh, we were home. (Shout out to Doug and Johnene. Kindred spirits that own and rent out the best place to stay in Kapoho! wai-opae@hotmail.com)



The Wai Opae Tidepools at sunset

The trip continued in that same vein all week long. We ate chocolate covered macadamia nuts, hand harvested and dipped by a local farmer at the Captain Cook Farmers. (http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/fm/SouthKonaGreenMarket.html) BTW, he sells his amazing mac nuts online at (http://www.macadamia-nut.com/)  We visited with a whale shark, Hawaiian monk seal, eel snake, white mouthed moray eel and scads of tropical fish and green sea turtles. Mai tais were in abundance along with fresh grilled fish and succulent fruits.

We finished our trip in Kona, staying at a bed and breakfast that had the best beds of the trip. Oh, I love being enveloped by a big soft bed. The B & B is called Hale Maluhia, house of peace. (http://www.hawaii-bnb.com/) The breakfasts at the place were hands down the best we have ever had at a B & B. (and we have stayed at a lot!) Platters filled with fresh tropical fruits and baked goods. Sour dough waffles, fresh fruit smoothies and an omelet bar that you could make your own. The lanai where breakfast was served was gorgeous! The birds are the entertainers, eating their breakfast and taking baths in the lovely waterfall.

Fresh Fruit platter at Hale Maluhia

The highlight of Hale Maluhia were Jenny, Pamela, and Adam, and their sparkling 5 year old daughter, Jade. These young folks go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and happy. Thank you guys! Loved the Banana coconut milk smoothie! Amazing!

Raw chocolate, straight out of the pod

Jenny was serving up raw chocolate that she bought at a local farmers market. I had never seen or tasted raw chocolate before so this was a highlight for me. I can honestly say it looks a lot like brains. The cocoa beans are all covered in this whitish slime that looks just like I imagine grey matter looks. It reminded me that once I had heard that if a food looks like a part of the body, it is supposedly nutritional desirable for that body part. Well, this proves it fair and square, that chocolate is good for my brain! I need more! The taste of raw cocoa beans, on the other hand, was bitter and bland at the same time. Whoever figured out how to process chocolate beans from that messy matter to the wonderful drug I love, needs to be bronzed.

Aloha for now

We finally had to say Aloha to the Islands so that we could come back and make more money to go back again. We are doing that just as fast as we can. Meanwhile to soothe our souls we are brewing lots of Mai Tais and baking banana bread. (The macadamia nuts didn’t last that long.)

This recipe is a low fat – high fiber banana muffin that I have been experimenting with. They are especially delicious and actually stay fresh for quite a few days after they are baked. Probably the high moisture content in them. Enjoy these little Hawaiian inspired jewels with fruit salad and low fat vanilla yogurt for a fulfilling breakfast.

Banana Muffins that are good for your heart

Banana Bran Muffins

½ cup of fat free sour cream

1 cup of mashed very ripe bananas

½ cup of fat free milk

1 ½ cups of your favorite bran cereal

1/3 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of nut oil

(I used coconut oil)

1 farm fresh egg

1 generous teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of whole wheat flour

½ cup of oat bran

1 teaspoon of baking powder

¾ teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat your best baking buddy, the oven, to 375 degrees. Combine the sour cream, banana and milk in your favorite blender bowl. Mix them up well then add the cereal, sugar, oil, egg and the vanilla. Whip this mixture up really good till the cereal is fairly emulsified. Let that mixture stand for 10 minutes or so while you do the following.

Add flour, bran, baking powder and soda in another bowl and whisk them together well. After you have whittled away 10 minutes oiling your muffin pan, add the flour mix to the wet till they are just moist.  Drop batter into muffin cups till they are fat but not too full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes till they are just beginning to brown and spring back when you touch them in the middle. Try not to burn your tongue eating them hot. Ono! (delicious) as they say in Hawai`i.

Nutritional content if you divide the batter into 12 muffins; 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    March 8, 2010 10:27 pm

    Well done. Do I get the idea right, that you love Hawaii?

    I’ll have to try your muffin receipe. I need something sweet.

    Oh yes, I made a loaf of Cottage Cheese/Dill Bread yesterday.
    It is always a winner what with the cottage cheese, it stays moist longer than other breads.

  2. Christina Wilson permalink
    March 9, 2010 3:50 am

    What a great accounting of your adventure. I am leaving Kauai on Saturday but only for 4 days this time. Hope to have some great tropical food! Miss you. Aloha. xoxoxox

  3. March 12, 2010 9:52 am

    Oooh Hawaii, looks beautiful, your muffins look delicious too mmm!

  4. Barbara Temple Ayres permalink
    March 13, 2010 4:46 am

    Thanks for the wonderful commentary. I, too, have been making banana breads of late and will try yours. Aloha.

  5. Colleen Newvine Tebeau permalink
    March 29, 2010 1:34 pm

    I love trying local food as part of visiting a place — I feel like I “get” the culture so much more if I dive in to what is grown there and traditionally cooked there.

    We visited Burgundy during harvest season, for example, and somehow tasting the wine with the food the vintners had grown up on, in the communities where it’s made and where it’s responsible for putting that food on the table, made it make more sense.

    Whether cherries in Traverse City or shrimp remoulade in New Orleans, it helps define a trip.

    And one day I hope to get to Hawaii and eat pretty much everything you describe. And drink mai tais!

  6. April 1, 2010 11:31 pm

    Wonderful photos! I love seeing the one with the cocoa bean and the banana coconut smoothie sounds really good too!

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