Some days we don’t have a lot of time to plan lunch, but we always #keepitlocal 🌈🌴🌺

Some days we don’t have a lot of time to plan lunch, but we always #keepitlocal 🌈🌴🌺


Koa Honu

Koa - or Acacia Koa - are the largest native tree in the Hawaiian Islands reaching heights of over 100 feet. Commercially, koa is one of the most expensive woods in the world, and a culturally treasured wood for the early Hawaiians, who used it to make canoes (waʻa).  Hawaii‘s upland forests used to be home to abundant stands of Koa trees that provided habitat for many native species birds. The now extinct Koa-finch fed almost exclusively on green koa seed pods.  

Sadly, the devastation of vulnerable plant and animal species in Hawaii is not limited to terrestrial creatures.  Many marine creatures have also been affected by changing climates, pollution, and over hunting by humans.  The green sea turtle - known in Hawaiian as Honu, are one such creature.  Protection of these graceful, doe-eyed swimmers through the Endangered Species Act and the Hawaii state law, as well as recent efforts by humans to better understand and care for Honu and their habitats, have resulted in a soft rebound of their numbers.  

An early morning encounter with Honu while paddling out for a surf is one of the best gifts we enjoy while living in Hawaii.  In a small way, we share that with our Makana subscribers through these lovely Honu magnates, made from Koa wood scraps and designed by Nicole Ishida.  Her line - Nai‘a designs - celebrates the beauty of Koa wood and of our island home, through unique, locally sourced and hand-produced Koa jewelry and gift pieces. 


Pineapple Pancakes!

If the saying is that breakfast is the most important meal, then we believe it should also be the most ‘ono, or delicious, meal. Pineapple pancakes are one easy way to make that happen.  We love this pancake mix, by O‘ahu’s own Hawaiian Brew, because the flavor is subtle and simple.  It’s also a very no-fuss recipe that can be made by just adding a bit of water.  Add some of your own fresh, sliced bananas or strawberries to the mix, top with guava syrup or lilikoi butter and you’ll be sure to bring Aloha to everyone as you start your day!

Shop Hello Makana for great Hawai‘i Made items to pair with Pineapple Pancakes…. Guava Jam // Lilikoi-Guava Syrup // Bananas Foster Jam


Sprinkle it!
A trip to Kauai is not complete without a stop by a roadside fruit stand, or farmer’s market to pick up some fresh lilikoi – known in other parts of the world as passion fruit.  Though lilikoi grows on all Hawaiian Islands, it seems to be in particular abundance on Kauai.  Perhaps because the vines that produce the stunning flowers and delicious lilikoi fruits love the Garden Isle’s predominantly wet environment.  
Hanapepe-based Laura Cristobal Andersland, creator of Salty Wahine, knows lilikoi well.  She also knows how to harness and pair this fruit’s flavors in unique ways.  Here, we share her Passion Fruit Chili Pepper seasoning, with tangy, medium heat that pairs well with a surprising number of things, including, but not limited to…
sliced avocado on toast
dark chocolate gelato
eggs over-easy
grilled pineapple slices
Mmmmmm! ‘Ono!

Sprinkle it!

A trip to Kauai is not complete without a stop by a roadside fruit stand, or farmer’s market to pick up some fresh lilikoi – known in other parts of the world as passion fruit.  Though lilikoi grows on all Hawaiian Islands, it seems to be in particular abundance on Kauai.  Perhaps because the vines that produce the stunning flowers and delicious lilikoi fruits love the Garden Isle’s predominantly wet environment.  

Hanapepe-based Laura Cristobal Andersland, creator of Salty Wahine, knows lilikoi well.  She also knows how to harness and pair this fruit’s flavors in unique ways.  Here, we share her Passion Fruit Chili Pepper seasoning, with tangy, medium heat that pairs well with a surprising number of things, including, but not limited to…

  • sliced avocado on toast
  • dark chocolate gelato
  • eggs over-easy
  • grilled pineapple slices

Mmmmmm! ‘Ono!


Handful of PAKALANA blossoms - one of our favorite flowers for making lei

Handful of PAKALANA blossoms - one of our favorite flowers for making lei


A Cow’s Eye View
In the 1800s tracts of land throughout the Islands were given over to cattle ranches, which thrived in Hawaii’s mild climate.  However, unchecked grazing practices destroyed tens of thousands of acres of forest and watershed.  Then, changes in the economics of the industry favoring grain-fed beef, along with the dominance of other agricultural crops in Hawaii severely crippled ranching in Hawaii, and along with it, Island-raised beef.  
In the last decade, changes in our understanding of healthy food and ecosytems helped revive a few Hawaiian ranching operations that adopted best practices such as allow cattle to graze and forage on natural grasses in open, stress-free environments.  Maui Cattle Company is one such leader in ranching in Hawaii.  Working with a co-op of ranches surrounding Haleakala – some dating back to the 1880s - the beef produced by Maui Cattle Company is all-natural, grass fed beef that is “Born & Grazed” on beautiful Maui. With a view of the ocean and the island of Lanai, and cool mountain air from Haleakala, Maui Cattle Company cows have the ultimate “stress-free” environment.  
We’re happy to share Beef Jerky from Maui Cattle Company with our Makana subscribers this month.  Read more about this month’s Makana box here.

A Cow’s Eye View

In the 1800s tracts of land throughout the Islands were given over to cattle ranches, which thrived in Hawaii’s mild climate.  However, unchecked grazing practices destroyed tens of thousands of acres of forest and watershed.  Then, changes in the economics of the industry favoring grain-fed beef, along with the dominance of other agricultural crops in Hawaii severely crippled ranching in Hawaii, and along with it, Island-raised beef.  

In the last decade, changes in our understanding of healthy food and ecosytems helped revive a few Hawaiian ranching operations that adopted best practices such as allow cattle to graze and forage on natural grasses in open, stress-free environments.  Maui Cattle Company is one such leader in ranching in Hawaii.  Working with a co-op of ranches surrounding Haleakala – some dating back to the 1880s - the beef produced by Maui Cattle Company is all-natural, grass fed beef that is “Born & Grazed” on beautiful Maui. With a view of the ocean and the island of Lanai, and cool mountain air from Haleakala, Maui Cattle Company cows have the ultimate “stress-free” environment.  

We’re happy to share Beef Jerky from Maui Cattle Company with our Makana subscribers this month.  Read more about this month’s Makana box here.


Eating Purple

In Hawaii, there are two main families of sweet potatoes being grown and enjoyed: the Hawaiian varieties and the Okinawan varieties.  The Hawaiian varieties are considered “canoe plants,” brought to the islands by the first Polynesian voyagers over long distances.  In old Hawaiian culture, sweet potatoes were often referred to as a “famine food” because of the tuber’s amazing ability to survive in drought conditions.  

The Okinawan varieties were predominantly brought to Hawaii by the early waves of plantation laborers from Okinawa.  These varieties did particularly well because Hawaii’s climate is relatively similar to Okinawa’s climate.  

Though both Hawaiian and Okinawan varieties of sweet potato produce a wide color spectrum of leaves and tubers, the Okinawan variety is especially well-known for deep purple colored tubers.  The antioxidant known as anthocyanin is the pigment which is responsible for the brilliant purple color of the flesh. It is the same pigment that gives blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage their color. The Okinawan sweet potato actually has 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries!

This month’s Makana subscribers are enjoying some delicious, and beautifully purple sweet potato chips by Hilo’s own Atebara Chips that we sent in their Makana boxes.  Let every crunchy bite be a reminder that this is actually a healthy snack ;-) ! 


 Add a little drama with black pa‘akai

It is said that Hula originated on Molokai, and that many powerful Hawaiian sorcerers and healers came from Molokai.  One of the smaller Hawaiian islands, with dramatic sea cliffs on the north east side and very very long white beaches on the west side, Molokai is a truly special place. Itʻs no wonder that Molokai producers some of the worldʻs best salt.

The story goes that Madame Pele herself taught the Hawaiians to use pa’akai – the Hawaiian word for salt with the literal meaning “to solidify the sea” – to preserve foods and as a healing ingredient.  

This monthʻs Makana subscribers get a special treat in their boxes - some beautiful black pa‘akai from Molokai. We love this black sea salt from its dramatic color.  Chefs and gourmands love it for its rich and unique flavor.  Itʻs beautiful and delicious sprinkled on grilled pineapple slices – a simple and unique addition to any summer cookout!


The Throwback Chip…
This monthʻs Makana subscribers received a bit of small kid time nostalgia in their boxes.
Imagine growing up in HIlo-town in 1950.  Just a few years before, an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands near Alaska triggered a massive tsunami that leveled much of the oceanfront buildings of Hilo, and killing several students at the Laupahoehoe School, a ways outside of Hilo.  Declining production and modernization of sugar mills was met with labor organizing and strikes that affected the plantation-era communities of Hawaii Island. 
In the middle of all this, Koto Maebo, a housewife with eight children, started making and selling noodles and won ton pi (won ton wrappers) out of her garage.  Many came to buy her products, and he had all eight children helping her out.  As a treat for the children, she added a little sugar to the won ton pi and fried them up to make tasty little “chips” that themselves became a popular product in Kotoʻs production line.  Her husband, a salesman, gave the chips a fun, play-on-words name along with a logo of a strongman.  
To this day, Hilo-town retains its small-town charm.  The Mrs. Maeboʻs  One Ton Chips still carry the same name and same logo, using the same original recipe.  And also, the same family still runs the business - now headed up by Kotoʻs grandson, Blane, who oversees daily production of fresh noodles, won ton pi, and One Ton Chips from their factory off Kilauea Ave. in Hilo. 

The Throwback Chip…

This monthʻs Makana subscribers received a bit of small kid time nostalgia in their boxes.

Imagine growing up in HIlo-town in 1950.  Just a few years before, an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands near Alaska triggered a massive tsunami that leveled much of the oceanfront buildings of Hilo, and killing several students at the Laupahoehoe School, a ways outside of Hilo.  Declining production and modernization of sugar mills was met with labor organizing and strikes that affected the plantation-era communities of Hawaii Island. 

In the middle of all this, Koto Maebo, a housewife with eight children, started making and selling noodles and won ton pi (won ton wrappers) out of her garage.  Many came to buy her products, and he had all eight children helping her out.  As a treat for the children, she added a little sugar to the won ton pi and fried them up to make tasty little “chips” that themselves became a popular product in Kotoʻs production line.  Her husband, a salesman, gave the chips a fun, play-on-words name along with a logo of a strongman.  

To this day, Hilo-town retains its small-town charm.  The Mrs. Maeboʻs  One Ton Chips still carry the same name and same logo, using the same original recipe.  And also, the same family still runs the business - now headed up by Kotoʻs grandson, Blane, who oversees daily production of fresh noodles, won ton pi, and One Ton Chips from their factory off Kilauea Ave. in Hilo. 


Quick and easy breakfast w/ @bigislandbees

Quick and easy breakfast w/ @bigislandbees