An Almond-rich Hot Toddy For The Holidays

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - December 15, 2010
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What seemed impossible for the last 30 years has finally happened. The governor, state Legislature, UH president and board of regents, state and city zoning officials and others have approved a new state university campus for the tens of thousands of residents of West and Central Oahu and the North Shore.

Groundbreaking began in Kapolei in August, and the expected time of completion of the campus is sometime during the spring of 2012.

While many individuals contributed to the success of this important project, the one who spearheaded the overall effort and dedicated the last several years of his life to make this happen is Gene Awakuni, chancellor of UH-West Oahu’s shared campus with Leeward Community College in Pearl City.

Awakuni is the last in a long line of people who tried and the only one to achieve this goal. Because of his efforts, generations of future Oahu residents will benefit, as will Hawaii’s economy.

The new campus will place a heavy emphasis on work-force development in areas such as education, public administration, criminal justice, disaster preparedness, health administration and health sciences, international business, accounting, substance abuse counseling, disaster preparedness, forensics and many other fields where future demand is forecast.

It is a pleasure to dedicate this column to Awakuni and all of the others who are making UH-West Oahu a reality.

A growing number of people are lactose intolerant. Almond Breeze by Blue Diamond Growers is a rich, creamy, lactose-free non-dairy beverage. It’s a delicious alternative to soy and dairy milk, and is bursting with the health benefits of almonds.

Each serving is packed with vitamin E, protein, calcium, fiber, iron, folic acid, riboflavin, magnesium and more! It has a smooth texture and hint-of-almond taste, and can be used in cereal, smoothies, hot beverages and recipes.

Almond Breeze is available in chocolate, vanilla, original and unsweetened. For more information, go to

With the holidays upon us, here is a delicious alternative to a traditional hot toddy festive drink courtesy of Almond Breeze.


* 2 cups Almondd Breeze Vanillaa
* 2 ounces spicedd rum m
* 1 ounce brandy
* 1/3 teaspoon almond extractt
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg, plus more for garnish
* lightt whippedd cream, for garnish
* slivered almonds, for garnish

Over low heat, combine Almond Breeze Vanilla, rum, brandy, almond extract, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly with a whisk until very warm.

Pour into large mugs, leaving an inch of room to the top. Top with whipped cream, almonds and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

(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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