Mixing Up A Sweet, Fruity, Fiber-filled Treat

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - October 07, 2009
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Hawaii’s reputation for pristine beaches, perfect vacations and idyllic settings wasn’t built in a day. It’s the kind of reputation that takes years to build.

Keeping Hawaii clean is a science unto itself. Apart from thousands of hotel rooms, there are hundreds of places that visitors see. A key part of their impression of Hawaii is the cleanliness of hallways, bathrooms, malls and public places.

Kamehameha Schools graduate Brian Keala Benz has been working to keep Hawaii clean for more than 15 years.

Brian started off his journey at the Outrigger Reef Hotel and rose through the ranks to become a leader in the field. Today, he is a partner in one of Hawaii’s fastest growing companies, Team Clean. Brian’s mission is to raise the status and standards of the cleaning profession through education. True to that mission, he has made a commitment to education, and recently founded the Professional Cleaning Institute of Hawaii to help students learn the technologies for the cleaning profession; their management courses give local workers the skills they need to get promoted.


Cleaning can be a thankless job. That’s why this column is dedicated to Brian Keala Benz for helping to keep Hawaii clean and beautiful.

A handful of nuts a day has been shown to be good for you. Take along this great mix for snacking on the job. The fat in the nuts satisfy hunger, and keep you from going off your diet with snacks such as doughnuts or candy.

Fruit adds fiber to the diet. Fiber is mostly complex carbohydrates that our digestive enzymes don’t break down; it increases bulk in the diet, and gives a feeling of fullness.

Insoluble fiber such as whole grains and bran, speed up intestinal function and prevent constipation. There are also studies linking an increase in insoluble fiber with the prevention of colon cancer.

This recipe is good to serve to guests with a glass of wine, or juice for the keiki. The combination of sweet and salty is a palate pleaser!


* 1 1/4 cups dry-roasted macadamia nuts

* 1 1/4 cups dry-roasted almonds

* 1 cup shelled, roasted pistachio nuts

* 1 cup dried cranberries

* 1/2 cup golden raisins

* 1/2 cup diced dried apricots

* 1/2 cup diced dried pitted dates

In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients until well-mixed.

Serve in a festive dish.

(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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