Talking Diet, A Gluten-Free Alternative at Hamanasi

Belize Gluten-free sweet cassava snack

Cassava is as versatile as it is tasty and is equally good as a sweet gluten-free snack as it is as a starch at meal time.

At Hamanasi we are aware many of our guests have special dietary requirements, from low sugar and nut allergies, vegetarian to gluten free diets.  We want all of our guests to be able to sample to delights of our kitchen and bakery so we use native local produce to substitute certain items that may be incompatible with the dietary requirements.  One of these substitutes is cassava, which we use as a substitute when cooking and preparing food for guests with a gluten free diet.

Where gluten-free food starts, in the ground.

Cassava plant before harvest.

Native to Brazil and the tropical areas of the Americas, Cassava (also know as manioc, tapioca or yuca) is widely grown all over Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa and the South Pacific.  A root vegetable with a brown fibrous skin and a fleshy white interior, it has been around since long before the arrival of Columbus.  Cassava provided a stable source of food to the Taino, Carib and Arawak populations, especially in the form of cassava bread.  While there is evidence of manioc pollen in the Gulf of Mexico lowlands dating to 4600B.C., the earliest evidence of cassava cultivation comes from a 1,400 year old Maya site in El Salvador.

Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in tropical and sub-tropical regions helping to provide a basic diet to over half a billion people, mainly thanks to its ability to grow under strenuous conditions such as in areas of low rainfall and nutrient low soils.
Cassava is a great gluten-free substitute.

Cassava root after harvest before it’s been prepared to cook.

Once harvested cassava needs to be washed and peeled before it is used, but it can be used in so many ways.  When cooked properly to detoxify it, the soft boiled root has a delicate flavor and can be used to replace potatoes in many ways, including as an accompaniment to meat, as a flour in dumplings and gravies, or even fried as chips.  Cassava can also be made into a sweeter choice as a crepe or a cake.  This typically involves grating the cassava and mixing it with coconut milk or even fresh grated coconut and steaming it.

Cassava is a food with a long list of health benefits.  Cassava is very rich in many minerals that are beneficial such as calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and manganese.  As well as being rich in fibre, it is also rich in carbohydrates, making it a perfect dietary addition for a highly active lifestyle.  Along with being gluten free, cassava is high in its levels of saponins, which are a phytochemical responsible for helping to lower the levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood stream.

So all the arrows point to cassava being a healthy choice of vegetable for any diet.

“Hopkin’s Day 2012″

This weekend in Hopkins is a festive and fun place to be. The intense beating of drums followed by singing and dancing will welcome you as you enter the sleepy fishing village of Hopkins. It makes the 71st year of the arrival of the Garifuna to Hopkins, and Hopkins Day has been celebrated since 1990. It is a festival that grows every year. and aside from the villages more and more Belizean people from other parts of the country are coming to be a part of this cultural festival.

There will be lots of fun games and drumming entertainment with a variety of cultural and Belizean food for everyone during the day. Saturday night will come alive with the Punta fest where many bands from around the country will be participating.

Join us and let’s all celebrate in one of Belize growing tourist destination.

 

 

 

Belize International Film Festival 2010

Belize Film Festival 2010

THE SILENT ARMY will open Belize’s 5th International Film Festival…

A Carnival like excitement is growing across the country as the BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL’S Red Carpet Opening Night Gala set for Friday, July 16th at the Bliss Centre draws near. International celebrities like Daryl “Chill” Mitchell and Anthony Anderson are confirming their attendance and so are the BelAms, with comedienne Lauren Burgess leading the bunch returning home to be a part of this glamorous JULY SUMMER EVENT being promoted by NICH and its many partners in the tourism sector. The Festival will open with red carpet events in Belize City at the Bliss on the 16th, San Pedro at the Reef Village Resort Paradise Theatre on the 17th and San Ignacio’s Ka’ana Boutique Resort on the 21st of this month.

The real heart of this festival, however, is its wide diversity of films, industry workshops and seminars. And the long awaited list of selected films was revealed. A sneak peak, however, reveals that The Silent Army, a Dutch film, has been selected to open Belize’s Festival this year.

4th Belize International Film Festival Underway

Belize Tourism Industry Association

The fourth Belize International Film Festival is taking place from July 17-24, 2010 and tickets are now on sale!

This is not the regular Hollywood screening…in the past, shorts, documentaries, and other film types have been shown highlighting powerful issues, e.g. from Brazil, Mexico, India, Canada, Belize, and other countries.  It is fun and enlightening for adults and kids alike.  Some of the actors and producers also come to Belize for the screenings during the Festival.

For the first time, the Film Festival will be hosted in three locations….Ka’ana Resort near San Ignacio, in San Pedro Town, and in Belize City.  Check out www.belizefilmfestival.com for more information.  Also, HOTEL DEALS can be found on the website.

Prices for the passes are as follows:

MOVIE PASS – $50

(Access to all movies in Belize City, San Pedro and San Ignacio except Opening Night Films)

Belize City: Princess Cinemas, July17 – 24

San Pedro: Paradise Theatre, July 18-19                        San Ignacio: Ka’ana Boutique Resort, July22-23


OFFICIAL RED CARPET OPENING GALA – $50

6 p.m. Fri., July 16 (Bliss Centre, Belize City)

(Red Carpet Entrance, Cocktail Gala, Opening Ceremony, Screening of Opening Film)

SAN PEDRO ALL WHITE AFFAIR – $50

8 p.m. Sat. July 17 (Paradise Theatre, Reef Village Resort)

(Red Carpet Entrance / Opening Ceremony, Screening of film, Pool Side After Party)


RAINFOREST EXCLUSIVE – $50

Wed. July 21 (Ka’ana Boutique Resort, Benque Rd.)

(Red Carpet Entrance, Cocktail Reception, Opening Ceremony, Screening of film)


AWARDS CEREMONY & TRIBUTE TO HAITI BENEFIT- $50

Sat. July 24 (Bliss Centre, Belize City)

(Red Carpet Entrance, Closing Ceremony and Awards, Screening of Haitian films)

Hopkins Football Team Wins Mayor’s Cup Championship!

Hamanasi's Selvin Arevalo wins MVP

Friday night was the Stann Creek District Mayor’s Cup football championship.  Hopkins Village took the win 3-2 and brought home the trophy!  There was a great turnout from the area, and many of the players on the Hopkins team are Hamanasi staff members!  Hamanasi’s Selvin Arevalo was named mid-fielder MVP!  Well-done Hopkins.  We’re very proud of  you!

Congratulations!

Belize National Agriculture & Trade Show 2010

NATIONAL AGRICULTURE AND TRADE SHOW 2010

04/30/2010 – 05/02/2010
National Agriculture Showground’s, Belmopan

The National Agriculture & Trade Show (NATS) is Belize’s leading agricultural show which is organized by the National Agriculture & Trade Show Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries.  Held in the Nation’s Capital this show welcomes more than 80,000 visitors over three days. The main objective of the show is to educating the public on the importance of agriculture and its contribution to the Belizean economy and food security.

The weekend was filled with exhibitors of all kinds, great food and fun rides for the children!

Friday Happy Hour Drink Special: Tropical Tsunami!

Tropical Tsunami!

Cranberry Juice, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Vodka and Champagne & a wedge of fresh pineapple come crashing together in King’s Tropical Tsunami. After a day of exploring the Mayan Ruins, a Tsunami is a welcomed event!

Cheers from Hamanasi

Hamanasi’s New Custom 45′ Dive Boat Arrives

IT’S HERE!  “Hopkins Divers”, Hamanasi’s in-house PADI Dive Center, just received a new custom-built 45′ dive boat!  This boat is equipped with three 200 hp 4-stroke Suzuki engines and will be an exciting addition to the Hamanasi fleet!  The arrival is  a great kick-off for the 2010 Whale Shark season, as well as our daily Barrier Reef dives and the beautiful Belizean Atolls! 

Hopkins Divers 45'

Easter Clean-up in Hopkins Village

Welcome to Hopkins

         There will be an Easter Clean-up for Hopkins Village today!  All volunteers are welcome.  Hamanasi will be providing hauling of trash gathered by the groups of volunteers.  Let’s beautify Hopkins together!

The Hamanasi Green Team

Hamanasi Gets a New Look…On Our Blog!

Hamanasi is very excited to announce the launch of our new blog “Hamanasi Happenings”!  The new and improved look is beautiful, user-friendly, and you can send interesting posts straight to Facebook and Twitter and see a spectacular photo gallery in Flickr.  So check it out and spread the word!

                                   The Hamanasi Team

Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort, Hopkins Village, Belize