A Bread With A Little Of Everything

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 18, 2005
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A Bread With A Little Of Everything

Pearl City resident Rick Schaefer is manager of the inside lawn and garden department at Lowe’s in Waikele, and he’s worked for Lowe’s for three years. The company is donating 550 gallons of coqui frog control formula to the state Department of Agriculture to help control the population on Oahu.

His wife Sue is a teacher at Wahiawa Preschool. Rick says that they are each other’s best friends and enjoy taking relaxing drives around the island to explore the scenery and sample local restaurants. Waikiki is one of their favorite places for “people watching” and beach-going. Sue likes to unwind by watching reality shows on television, and Rick enjoys flight simulation on the computer.

This ono bread is dedicated to them.

I always have bananas that are too ripe, and I don’t like to waste them, so banana bread is one of the favorites at my house. You may also freeze bananas and add them to the blender for smoothies or bread recipes.

Bananas contain three natural sugars — sucrose, fructose and glucose — which, combined with fiber, can give an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous hourand- a-half workout.

Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, which is said to promote relaxation, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. The banana contains B vitamins, which help to control blood glucose levels and calm the nervous system, and potassium, a vital mineral that helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. They also contain fiber which assists in the regular elimination of waste from the body.

The banana is used as a dietary food for intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smooth consistency. In many cases, it is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress to chronic ulcers. It also neutralizes overacidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Fully ripe yellow bananas will have some brown spots, and should have no green. The peel of the reddish banana darkens as the fruit ripens. Choose bananas that are undamaged and avoid hard green bananas if you want to consume them that day. Bananas will ripen at room temperature, so buy some ripe and others with a bit of green on them.

Because bananas darken when exposed to air, it is best to cut them just before eating, or sprinkle with lemon or orange juice to prevent discoloring.

As the banana ripens, the sugars convert from hard-todigest starch to easily digested sugars.

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B-6 and potassium. They are also a source of vitamin C, riboflavin, folic acid and magnesium.


• 2 cups unbleached flour
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 2/3 cup orange flavored (or plain) dried cranberries
• 2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
• 2/3 cup skim milk
• 2 medium ripe yellow bananas, pureed
• 4 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 teaspoon orange extract
• 1 tablespoon chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. In large bowl combine flour, sugar and baking powder.

Stir cranberries into flour mixture and set aside. In medium bowl or food processor blend egg whites, skim milk, bananas (if using food processor, you can cut the bananas in pieces and puree them with the egg whites and milk), canola oil, and orange extract. Add wet ingredients to flour-cranberry mixture and mix until all flour is moistened. Pour into pan and sprinkle top with pecans.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes one large loaf (about 10 slices)

Approximate nutrition information per slice:

Calories: 245
Fat: 7 grams
Cholesterol 2 milligrams
Sodium 140 milligram

(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.)

(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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