photo credit, Hawaii Magazine

We have a lilikoi vine at Hale O Kauka. It’s delightful. I’m sharing here some health benefits for the lilikoi or passion fruit as it’s also known and some ways we incorporate it into our daily diet here on Maui.

High in fiber and low glicemic it is good for diabetics. Its high in vitamin C, beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene – all are anti- oxidants that also boost immunity. It has iron which increases haemoglobin in our red blood cells and it’s rich in riboflavin (Vitamin B6) and niacin (Vitamin B3) which are both thyroid regulating.

It also prevents hardening of the arterial walls of the heart (atherosclerosis), keeping our heart flowing.

It is also rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron phosphorous, potassium and sodium. These minerals maintain bone density prevent osteoporosis and relieve anxiety and mild insomnia.

Good for skin, immunity, blood oxygenation, bone and cardiovascular health – this delicious fruit is a welcome addition to our fresh brewed iced tea. We squeeze the fresh juice into our morning cup and trust that the plant medicine is at work within us throughout the day. It can also be used as a jam, to flavor butter and as a welcome tropical flavor on a myriad of other dishes.

Ackee Fruit

We have a rare ackee fruit tree at Hale O Kauka Healing Garden. It is an evergreen tree with an exotic and beautiful fruit. Native to West Africa it is now common in Jamaica and we have one here on Maui. I’m not sure how prevelent it is in the Hawaiian Islands but most of the locals here I find are unfamiliar with it but not all.

The ackee is golden and shaped like a pear when it first forms. It is poisonous at this stage. Once it ripens further it turns a beautiful rose red and splits open revealing three sections each with a dark round seed attached. The seeds are poisonous. But the meat of the fruit inside and attached to the seed is very much edible.

In Jamaica it is frequently prepared as a side dish to accompany fish.

The Ackee fruit is high in fiber, it is a polysaccharide complex carbohydrate which helps regulate blood sugar in the body. We believe the early doctors of Hale O Kauka Healing Garden planted it for use as a medicine to aid those with type 2 diabetes. This fruit also is a protein, similar to nut meat. It contains high levels of C and Zinc as well as folic acid, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphates and other minerals.

Eating this fruit could help improve, digestions, blood sugar levels, improve immunity, increase iron levels in the intestines preventing anemia and help build healthy bones and muscles.

Here is a video of Ackee being prepared by a Jamaican mamma.

Hawaiian Ulu or Breadfruit

We are learning so much about breadfruit here at Hale O Kauka Healing Garden. I’m always interested first to learn why each tree may have been planted in the garden here at the Doctor’s House. Some have medicinal properties and others are just really good for you. Breadfruit is an iconic Hawaiin food.

Like many of the foods in our garden breadfruit is an excellent source of potassium and antioxidants which are good for heart health. The breadfruit has phytochemicals that protect agains heart atherosclerosis and it’s linked to lowering cholesterol levels.

Breadfruit can be cooked whehttps://youtu.be/cgr3eF_-TKcn its picked green and not ripe, when its just fallen off the tree ripe or even when its so ripe it’s squishy.

Unripe preparation, peel and boil – prepare like a potato. My favorite preparation is boiled, then stir fried with grilled onion, salt and coconut milk. Cooked breadfruit can be frozen and used later. I’ve also quartered it, boiled it and poured room temperature coconum milk over, then served and with a bit of sea salt.

Ripe breadfruit can be eaten raw, with siracha or just salt to taste. Or baked like a squash with brown sugar or maple syrup.

Squishy breadfruit smashed up with bananas and cooked in a muffin pan with agave syrup on top makes a delicious and healthy dessert.