Going Nutty For Banana Bread

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - August 30, 2006
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Pearl City resident Clyde Okuda, a marketplace consultant for Diversified Exterminators, has several years’ experience working in the termite and pest control business. Clyde really understands the insides of homes, since he was a construction engineer in the U.S. Army for more than 18 years. Clyde is currently vice president of the Fellowship of Christian Businessmen Pacific, a para-church organization whose members all belong to other churches around the Island. Through the Pearl City church, he participates in outreach programs for homeless people throughout the Waianae Coast, with special emphasis on the distribution of food in conjunction with City of Joy Church. This column is dedicated with much aloha to someone who not only protects Island homes from those tiny voracious invaders, but spends the rest of his time doing good works for Hawaii’s less fortunate.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose. Combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute work-out.

Bananas contain B vitamins, which help to control blood glucose levels and calm the nervous system. They are also high in potassium, a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance, and contain fiber which helps in the regular elimination of waste from the body. Nutritionally they are an excellent source of vitamin B6, and potassium, as well as a source of vitamin C, riboflavin, folic acid and magnesium.

I also heard that rubbing the inside of a banana skin on mosquito bites reduces inflammation and irritation, but haven’t tried that yet!

Buying hint: Ask the produce manager at the supermarket for ripe bananas that are marked down in price. These are excellent for baking, and can be frozen in plastic bags for smoothies.


* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 1/4 cup applesauce
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup sugar * 4 egg whites
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 3 medium-size ripe bananas, mash well or process in food processor
* 2 cups unbleached flour combined with 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts (reserve 1 tablespoon to sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat loaf pan with cooking spray.

Cream together oil, applesauce and sugars. Beat in egg whites, vanilla and banana. Add flour and soda. Stir in nuts minus 1 tablespoon. Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining nuts, pressing them in slightly. Bake for about 45- 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Makes one loaf (about 12 slices).

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Slice:

Calories: 130 Fat: 4 grams Cholesterol: 5 milligrams Sodium: 62 milligrams

(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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