Oh, Honey, What A Smoothie

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - June 30, 2010
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A few years ago, a young singer-songwriter named Kainani Kahaunaele swept us off our feet with her debut CD Na’u ‘Oe. This record was particularly memorable because it featured new traditional Hawaiian songs (haku mele - melodic Hawaiian song) in the style of traditional Hawaiian songs, and swept the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards along the way. In recent years, Kahaunaele has focused on raising a family as well as teaching at UH-Hilo.

June 1 marked the date for Kahaunaele’s CD release, the breathtaking ‘Ohai ‘Ula. It is a collection of new original mele that depict ancestral practices, honor genealogies and storied locales, and offers up some traditional and contemporary musical styles.

As Hawaiian music spreads across the Web, artists such as Kahaunaele play an important role in sharing Hawaiian culture and values with listeners who are unfamiliar with this history.

Kahaunaele will launch an extended tour in the coming months.

This column is dedicated to her with best wishes for a successful tour!

Honey has been used as both a food and medicine since ancient times; the practice of beekeeping to produce honey dates back to at least 700 B.C. It was used in religious ceremonies and for embalming.

Keep honey stored in an airtight container so that it doesn’t absorb moisture from the air; if stored this way, in a cool dry place, it will keep almost indefinitely, as its high sugar content and acidic pH help to inhibit microorganism growth.

If honey is kept in the refrigerator it will thicken, and if stored at high temperatures it will turn dark and the flavor will be altered.

Some other uses for honey are to sweeten tea, or drizzle on oranges or fruit slices and sprinkle with cinnamon for a sweet, but healthier dessert choice.

As a caution, do not feed honey to infants under 1 year of age, as it may cause infant botulism. It is considered generally safe for children over 1 year old and for adults.

Some of the nutrients in honey are vitamin B2, vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin C, folate, copper, calcium, iron, manganese and potassium.


* 4-6 frozen medium ripe bananas (mai’a)
* 2 heaping tablespoons almond butter (‘ale-mona)
* 2-2 1/2 cups Original Enriched Rice Dream (wailaiki)
* 2 teaspoons ground flax seed (‘ano’ano ‘olona haole)
* 1/2 cup almond-vanilla granola (‘oka momona)
* honey (waimeli)

Blend mai’a, ‘alemona, wailaiki and ‘ano’ano haole together until smooth. Pour into a pretty cup, top off with ‘oka momona and drizzle with waimeli.

Makes two servings.

(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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