Singing The Praises Of Bananas

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 30, 2011
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Mailani has certainly been busy these days. The singer, who you may remember from her days with Keahiwai and more recently the trio Mighty J, has just released her second solo Cd, and will be the face of a campaign to promote Malama hawaii - a hui of more than 70 organizations and hundreds of individuals committed to the vision that hawaii, our special island home, be a place where the people, land and sea are cared for, and communities are healthy and safe.

In her role with Malama hawaii, Mailani will continue her commitment to caring for the land of hawaii, especially at this time of year celebrating earth day, and it’s reflected in her new Cd Aina.

To learn more about caring for our land and sea, visit or for more on Mailani, visit m/mailani. Music lovers will find Mailani’s Aina in stores March 29.

This column is dedicated to Mailani and Malama hawaii.

If you ask the produce manager at the supermarket, he or she will almost always reduce the price of overripe bananas. Bananas are a good source of potassium, fiber and iron. They contain pectin, a soluble fiber which promotes movement through the digestive tract, and tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood.


* 3 ripe or overripe medium-size bananas
* 1/4 cup butter or margarine (for a healthier alternative, substitute 1/2 cup applesauce)
* 2 eggs (may use egg substitute)
* 1/2 cup sugar (try using cane sugar)
* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas well. Cream butter (or applesauce) and sugar. add eggs, bananas, baking soda and flour. Mix well.

Lightly oil a loaf tin (use Pam or another healthy spray instead of butter or margarine). Using a spatula, scoop mixture into tin.

Bake 40 minutes, but it may take longer, depending on the size of your bananas and whether you used applesauce. Check at the 40 minute point by inserting a knife into the loaf. if it comes out clean, your loaf is done. if the mixture is stuck on your knife, bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

(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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