A Fruity, Fiber-rich Quick Bread

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - January 21, 2009
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Ballet Hawaii continues to receive kudos for presenting Nutcracker just before Christmas at Blaisdell Concert Hall. Now the organization reverts to its presenting hat by bringing in the prestigious LINES Ballet from San Francisco for one performance only Saturday, Feb. 21, at Hawaii Theatre.

LINES’ founder/choreographer/artistic director Alonzo King has a special Hawaii connection - he was a member of the Honolulu City Ballet in 1975 before expanding his talents to companies such as the Swedish Royal Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and a host of others. He’s subsequently worked in opera, television and film, collaborating with artists such as actors Danny Glover and Patrick Swayze, and prima ballerina Natalia Makarova.

With his own company since 1982 and his San Francisco Dance Center since 1989, Alonzo celebrates his homecoming with the Feb. 21 program. It will be an ideal time for Honolulu audiences to see for themselves why San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom called him a “San Francisco treasure” as he was presented the second annual Mayor’s Art Award.


 

This recipe is dedicated to Alonzo King and all dancers who bring such joy to our local arts scene.

The addition of whole wheat flour and dried fruit makes this bread a good source of fiber. Most health agencies recommend about 25-35 grams of fiber daily for the average person, but the average American gets only about 14 grams of fiber daily. It is not that easy for the typical person to get enough fiber. Most people think that a salad is high in fiber, but you would need about six pounds of iceberg lettuce to get 28 grams of fiber; or three pounds of spinach. Six apples would give you about 30 grams of fiber. Typical salad vegetables like lettuce and cucumber are generally poor sources of fiber, but adding different types of beans like kidney and garbanzo increases this nutrient.

If your daily diet includes a variety of fiber sources such as wheat bran or whole grain cereal, whole grain breads and several servings of fruits and vegetables as well as starches, you should get enough fiber to meet the recommended amounts. Including snacks like popcorn (hold the butter), nuts and dried fruit instead of doughnuts and sodas also will provide generous helpings of fiber.

When reading labels, don’t confuse “wheat flour” used to make white bread and cake with “whole wheat flour,” which includes the fiber-rich bran. By reading labels carefully, you can increase the amount of fiber in your diet, and these starches are not the cause of overweight people. Most healthy diets include large amounts of complex carbohydrates with fiber included.


ALMOND CHERRY

CURRANT BREAD

* 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
* 2 cups unbleached flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup chopped almonds (unsalted)
* 1/2 cup dried currants plus
*1/2 cup dried cherries soaked in 1 cup boiled water and cooled (find these in bins at health food stores)
* 1 tablespoon canola oil
* 1/2 cup applesauce
* 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Sift the flours with baking soda. Add sugars and stir until combined; stir in nuts to coat. Stir in currants and cherries mixture. Add oil, egg whites, apple-sauce and almonds. Mix just until combined, but do not overbeat.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan on wire rack.

Makes 12 slices.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Slice:

Calories: 290
Fat: 4 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 395 milligrams
Fiber: 4 grams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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