Friday, July 30, 2010

Best Health Food Store: 2010 Maui Time Weekly

Every time I go into Mana Foods—celebrating 25 years serving Maui's health food community—it's a hub of activity. From their quaint light-green storefront, you enter into an emporium of organic, natural, gourmet and prepared foods. They also have vitamins, home and garden goods, books, body care and organic clothes. There's a bakery and a hot food section that features vegan, vegetarian and lots of gluten free options. Their customer service is great, and they put a lot of thought into the providing the best products at the best prices. I love the produce section, where they feature a bounty of Maui grown veggies. Whether you're shopping for groceries or just looking for a good-for-your-body snack, Mana Foods is the spot.
49 Baldwin Avenue, Paia, 579-8078, @jenrusso
In the July 22, 2010 Best of Maui edition of Maui Time Weekly

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fresh & Local: Okra Recipes

If you think Okra is too slimy or you just don't know what to do with it, here are some tips & favorite recipes. Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family, which includes hibiscus, cocoa & cotton. You can avoid the dreaded "slime" if you keep the pods intact and cook quickly. Okra pods can be briefly stir-fried, or cooked with acidic ingredients such as citrus, tomatoes, or vinegar. A few drops of lemon juice will usually do the trick.

Groundnut Stew
1 large onion, chipped
2 Tbs peanut or other vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cayenne
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 cabbage, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, about 3 C, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 C tomato juice
1 broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ginger root
1 Tbs cilantro (and more to garnish)
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 C fresh okra, chopped
1 Tbs honey (optional)
1/2 C peanut butter

Saute onions for about 10 minute, until translucent
Add cayenne and garlic, saute for a couple more minutes.
Add the cabbage and sweet potatoes, cover & saute for a few minutes.
Mix in the broth, tomato juice, salt, ginger, cilantro, and tomatoes.
Cover and simmer for about 15 min, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Add the okra, simmer for 5 more minutes.
Stir in the peanut butter and optional honey, turn off heat and simmer gently until ready to serve. Add more juice or broth if the stew is too thick.
Serve over Couscous

Wiki Wiki Bindi Masala
Arora Creations Organic Bhindi Masala spice blend
I lb fresh Okra, halved lengthwise
1/2 C coconut or vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
optional diced tomatoes and fresh cilantro to garnish

Wash and dry okra. Trim edges and slice in half lengthwise.
Heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute.
Add Orka and cook for 5 minutes, while stirring.
Add Arora Creations Bhindi Masala Blend, lower heat & cook for 6 more minutes.
Remover Okra from the pan, leaving spiced oil.
Add onions & saute over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Return the okra to the pan and stir in with onion mixture, cooking for 1 more minute.
Remove from heat, garnish with optional tomato & cilantro.

Marie's Spicy Okra Poppers
3 big handfuls of fresh Okra
6-8 jalapeno peppers
2 Tbs coconut oil, enough to coat the pan

Wash & thoroughly dry okra
Thinly slice okra & peppers into rings.
You can de-seed peppers if you want less heat.
Heat coconut oil in cast iron skillet on medium high heat.
Place rings in single layer, cut side down.
When browned, carefully turn over each ring.
Chopsticks or small tongs are great for this.
Cook until brown & crispy.
Cool & drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with chunky sea salt.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fresh & Local: Okra

by Ryan Earehart, Mana Foods Produce Manager

Okra Time is approaching fast. Although I am very busy mangaging the bustling Produce Department at Mana Foods, searching high and low to find the very beast quality and prices for your shopping pleasure, I have still been making time to grow another crop of okra this season and it's looking real nice. We did a test plot last season and now this year we increased the plantings ten fold, with three varieties mostly Mammoth Spineless, Red Velvet, and a Chinese smooth skin type. The birds ate 50% of the first planting and then the aphids severly damaged another 25% but we have replanted a couple more times.

Okra loves the heat and long days and right now in Kula long hot days are the norm, so the flowers popping out each day in droves. The wild bee hive inside the Inia tree in the adjacent gulch is up for the task that waits them to pollenate countless thousdands of okra flowers this summer. Young and Tender fresh from the plant is my favorite way to eat this fantastic fruity vegetable. Lots of Silica in okra is good for the elasticity of the skin.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Athlete's Corner: Beyond Trail Mix

I’m back from my South American adventure and now it’s time for a night of summer camping at Paliku in Haleakala. I do all my camp food shopping at Mana.
For the hike in I bring Tanka Bars, a moist buffalo and cranberry bar that provides protein and a sweet/tart flavor. Wasabi peas from the bulk room are a great crunchy snack.
I also always bring some roasted fingerling potatoes. I roast them in olive oil and sea salt the day before then pop them in a zip lock. On a hard hike or run I always crave the salt and the potato provides needed carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin C.
When I get to the camp site I boil up some water on my camp stove for pasta. Barilla Plus Farfalle is my favorite. Made with a blend of semolina, chickpea and lentil flour it packs more of a protein punch. I toss the pasta with Pierre and Annebelle’s fresh pesto from Kula, pull out my flask of red wine and I’m ready for star gazing…or listening to rain on the tent as is often the case at Paliku.
For breakfast in the morning, Nature’s Path Maple Nut instant oatmeal, a hard boiled egg and Mt. Hagen organic instant coffee in single serve packets fuel me up for the hike out. When camping in Haleakala remember to bring iodine or a water filter for treating the water at the campsites and don’t forget plenty of sunscreen because the sun is much more intense at altitude. Happy trails!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Go for Mango!

Mango season is till going strong and we have several delicious varieties.

Golden Glow: famous, low acid, low string, yellow skinned mangoes from Yee's Orchard in Kiehi.

Rapoza: skinny pit, good seed to flesh ratio, minimal string, grown on Molokai's Ululani Farm.

Hayden: they say that people first eat with their eyes and these beauties sure are a feast! The eye popping multi colored mangoes are deep red, sunshine yellow with streaks of green and purple. If the showy skin doesn't get your attention, the sweet tropical aroma surely will.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fresh & Organic: Figs

Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig fruit is actually the flower of the tree. Figs are not only delicious, but they are one of the highest plant sources of calcium. Figs are also rich in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium and vitamin K.

The initial fig harvest, called the breba crop, only accounts for 10-15% of the season's harvest, but Ryan says they are the best figs of the year. The Black Mission Figs are currently at the peak of this first crop. The first figs of the season stayed on the tree when it went dormant, and continued to grow in Spring. The breba figs tend to have less of the micro hairs or fuzz that can give you "Fig burn" from eating too many fuzzy figs.

At this time, we also have the White Kadota variety that is being grown on Maui in Launiupoko. The beautiful squishy figs have a light yellow green skin and an intense rich syrupy quality.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Natural Beauty: Sun protection

Physical sunblocks are products containing ingredients such a titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which physically block ultraviolet radiation. Sometimes these can leave your skin with a whitish appearance, with I will review in the descriptions below.

Recently Badger came out with an Unscented SPF 30 Sunscreen. It's their popular SPF 30 sunscreen formula with out the essential oil fragrance! This will make you a wee bit pasty.

Vive Sana, which means live healthy in Italian, is a staff favorite and the brand that Tara uses for herself (SPF40 Ultra) and on her own little ones (Baby SPF 42) . These sunblocks will give you a moderate ghostly appearance. I love their motto "Solar to Polar" and it's made with 70% organic ingredients

Burn Out ocean tested physical sunscreen SPF 30 is very water resistant and is ocean safe and eco-sensitive. Burn Out was developed by Environmental Scientist / Surfer Kevin Dunn, who, after 14 years of surfing and countless tubes of sunscreen, found that truly functional sunscreens did not exist.

John Masters Organics SPF30 natural mineral sunscreen is another staff favorite. It's made with certified organic ingredients and goes on clear.

MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28 is reef safe, unscented, full spectrum UVA/UVB sunblock that not only goes on clear, but leaves a nice matte finish.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fresh & Organic: Stone Fruit

Summer stone fruits are peaking right now and we have an incredible selection of peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, pluots & cherries. I have highlighted a few of the notable varieties below:

Blenheim Apricot: the underdog in the apricot world. They are so ugly and small, most growers have stopped producing this heirloom variety. They majority of the Blenheim orchards have been cut down. But, looks can be deceiving, this green shouldered runt of an apricot delivers a flavor explosion.

Honey Blaze Nectarine: the premier yellow nectarine that lives up to it's name. The flavor is like a honey syrup that explodes in your mouth.

Artic Sweet Nectarines: low acid, sweet white flesh variety that is the best cultivar.

Donut Peaches: Flat peaches originated in China and were first grown in the U.S. in the 1800’s. They are called Chinese flat peaches, saucer peaches, peento peaches, UFO's, and Saturn. They are a tender white flesh variety that are low in acid and free stone (flesh doesn't cling to the pit)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gluten Freedom: July 2010

Are you Getting Enough Fiber?
Adequate fiber intake is an essential part of a healthy diet. It is recommended to consume 25-30 grams per day. Did you know most Americans consume only 6-8 grams on average? For many, most of their fiber comes in the form of whole wheat. The absence of wheat and other gluten containing grains in the diet could warrant extra attention to fiber sources. Gluten free alternatives to whole grain products tend to be lower in fiber. However, whole grains are not the only source.

Some of our best sources of fiber include beans and legumes as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. All of which are innately gluten free. Gluten free grains such as quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are excellent fiber sources as well. If you’re looking to supplement fiber, try sprinkling flax or chia seeds on your favorite gluten free cereal, stirred into yogurt or added to your next salad.

There are two forms of fiber; soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is helpful in reducing cholesterol levels, balancing blood sugar and feeding beneficial bacteria in the gut. Foods high in soluble fiber include: beans, apples, oats (make sure to pick up certified gluten free) and Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes). Insoluble fiber provides more roughage and bulk and aids in keeping the colon clean. Brown rice, flax seeds, celery, coconut and peas are great sources of insoluble fiber.

Increasing Fiber Consumption…….
When choosing products, look for items with 3 or more grams of fiber per serving. If a food has 5 grams of fiber or more per serving, it is considered an excellent source.
Here are few other tips:
o Eat whole fruit for dessert
o Choose gluten free whole grain hot cereals over cold cereals that have been processed
o Make a goal to eat a salad a day
o Check out Mary’s Gone Crackers products….. these whole grain and seed snacks are loaded with fiber!
o Try serving quinoa with your favorite pasta sauce instead of pasta
o Aim to eat your 10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables (1/2 cup = 1 serving)
o Keep a can of Amy’s split pea soup on hand
o Eat beans 3 times a week

It is best to gradually increase fiber in your diet to avoid digestive upset such as bloating and gas. Increased fiber should also be accompanied with an increase in water consumption.