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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Blending Up A Cool Kiwi Beverage

Kiwi flesh is sweet and juicy Photo from Diana Helfand

Pearl City resident Mildred DelaCruz is a registered medical assistant for Dr. Jane Service and enjoys her job very much.

Mildred was born in the Philippines and came to Hawaii when she was 3 years old. She loves to cook and credits her mother Luzviminda Umipig with teaching her how to cook many of her favorites, such as pork adobo.

Mildred is happily engaged to Vernon Tatsuno, also from Pearl City, and they plan a December wedding.

In her spare time, Mildred likes going to the gym to keep in shape, loves hiking and enjoys watching movies. This column is dedicated to her with good luck for the future!

Try this delicious and satisfying drink for an afternoon pick-me-up or a healthy breakfast drink.

The kiwi was introduced into New Zealand in the early 1900s and was called the Chinese gooseberry. In 1953, the fruit was renamed after the kiwi, a native New Zealand flightless bird.

The kiwi is egg-shaped, and the flesh is sweet and juicy. Small, edible black seeds form a circle around the yellowish core of the fruit. The thin, brownish skin also is edible, but most people prefer to peel it.

Kiwis are picked when ripe but still firm, and will ripen at room temperature.

Choose kiwis that are unblemished and not very soft or damaged; the flesh should yield to light pressure of the fingers when ripe.

Kiwis should be left at room temperature until ripe, and placing them in a brown paper bag will speed up the ripening process. Ripe kiwis should keep for about four days in the refrigerator; unripe fruit for about two weeks refrigerated.

The kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium. It also contains magnesium as well as traces of phosphorus, iron and vitamin A, and is said to be diuretic and laxative.

REFRESHING FRUITY PICK-ME-UP

* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 1 papaya, peeled, seeded and diced
* 1 ripe kiwi, sliced
* 1 banana, peeled and chopped
* 1 cup strawberries
* 1 cup ice cubes
* 1 (8-ounce) container low-fat kiwi or papaya yogurt

In a blender, add orange juice and blend the papaya, kiwi, banana and strawberries until smooth. Add ice (a few cubes at a time) and yogurt, and blend until well-combined and smooth.

Makes four servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 140
Total Fat: 2 grams
Cholesterol: 5 milligrams
Sodium: 40 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. heartychef@hotmail.com

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