Cassava – Healthy Living

Cassava is a great gluten-free substitute.

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

At Hamanasi we are aware that many of our guests have special dietary requirements, from low sugar and nut allergies, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Introducing Singanga’s Redesigned Menu, One Delicious Organic Item at a Time.

new organic menu at Hamanasi's Singanga restaurant

Hamanasi’s Singanga restaurant proudly introduces their new organic sustainable vegetarian quiche of the day.

After our resort closure to put the final touches on the new great house and the newly redesigned Singanga Restaurant we introduced many new organic menu items. Many of these new items are organic or vegetarian using sustainable products. Hamanasi’s goal has always been to be a sustainable resort and we take pride in all of our department’s practice of the 3 R’s “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.” In the grounds department we reuse/recycle by composting. In the bar we recycle wine bottles as aggregate for our cement pathways and our kitchen also practices reusing with a few sustainable menu items. One of the items in our new redesign menu is our “Quiche of the day”.
Like many of our menu items, our quiche are produced with local Belizean products like fresh eggs, cheese and many of the vegetables are grown in our organic sustainable garden. The raw fresh prep vegetable from the night before that went unused are used as the key ingredients for this savory pie.

organic sustainable garden at Hamanasi

Many of the items from Singanga’s menu come from our organic garden.

Some of our new quiche options include tomato, zucchini, yellow and red bell peppers, onions, broccoli and spinach as well as other seasonal vegetables.
Today our feature is spinach from the organic garden along with roasted bell peppers and onions prepared by our baker to entice your taste buds… inquire with your server on our daily variety during your stay at Hamanasi.

“Belizean Storm Salad”

Another of our tasty special salad recipe!

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 Belizean Storm Salad

Pineapple   1 cup (medium dice)

 Spinach     2 cups (julienned)

Beets         1 cup (med dice)

Cucumber   2 cups (thinly sliced)

 Tomato       1 cup (julienned)

Cilantro       ¼ leaves

Green onion   1 bunch sprigs (for garnish)

 

Toss ingredients together then drizzle dressing over salad

 

Citrus vinaigrette

Lime juice

Orange juice

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

 

Happy Cooking From

Hamanasi Kitchen staff

 

 

“Friday Happy Hour Drink Special: Vitamin C Bomb”

c bomb

It’s Friday, and  tonight’s Hamanasi Happy Hour Special: the “Vitamin C Bomb”!  Using fresh oranges coming from the Stann Creek Valley hills straight into your glass with a splash of Belizean’s #1 rum ~ One Barrel Light rum!  Serve on ice, sit back, relax and enjoy.

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ December 2013″

“Simply just keep doing what you are doing, we felt at home.  Great to see the trees and animals so close.  Love the unity with Nature Hamanasi has.”

David Surgent, Ontario, Canada

“Appreciated the protection of environment efforts.  Natural atmosphere enhanced stay.  Everything we asked for we got!”

Dave and Jackie Jackson, Washington, DC

“Our honeymoon was everything we hoped for and more.  We are already talking about returning and will miss all the kind service and attention we received at Hamanasi!”

Joseph and Megan McCarty, Dallas, TX

“Our trip was perfect!  Thank you so much.  Entire staff was incredible.”

Tom and Debbie Roberts, Bristow, VA

“Food was awesome! Attention to detail was impressive.  Nothing we did not like.”

Mike and Kathleen Phelps, Washington, IL

“Everything we read and heard was true!  We had an enjoyable anniversary trip!”

Mike and Carolyn Roberts,  Heath, TX

“Made us feel so welcome attention to detail and individual service is very welcomed and appreciated.”

Shelley Wombles, Cincinnati, OH

“Everything was great!  We really appreciated that everyone learned our names and were super friendly.”

Valerie Muckley and Michael Hooper,

“Very happy – just came here for quiet, sun food and relaxation.”

Francis and Nadia Butler, Ridge Spring, SC

“Everyone we met went above and beyond to be kind and helpful.  This truly is a piece of heaven!”

Barry and Maureen Scott, Alberta, Canada

“Thank you for a great honeymoon stay in the beautiful country of Belize!”

Louis and Meghan Poskey, Tallahasee, FL

 

“Honey Butter Grilled Pork Chops Recipe”

 Hamanasi Belize Food

Another guest favorite dinner dish!

8 oz.  Pork chops

2 tsp Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

1/2 tsp. Cayenne

1 tsp. Chili powder

1 tsp. Onion powder

1 tbsp. Garlic powder

Olive oil 1 tbsp.

Season pork with seasonings and set aside.

Grill pork until cooked and then top with honey butter.

 

Honey 1 cup

Butter ½ cup (melted)

Mix honey and butter

 

Happy cookings from the Hamanasi kitchen!

 

 

“Mark is 2013 Traveller’s Rum Mixologist Champion”

Drinks2Our mixologist Mark Jacobs is officially the WINNER of the annual Belize Traveller’s Rum Bartending competition.  The competition featured over 20 participants country wide which consisted Traveller’s rum exclusively infused with tropical fruits and a secret basket of ingredients where creativity, taste and showmanship winners were chosen from each district.  Mark Jacobs was one of the finalist for Southern Belize.   On October 25th Traveller’s Rum had the semi final competition in Belize City and Mark stellar performance and creativity stole the crowd’s  and judges taste buds.  Mark winning rewards was BZ$2000 courtesy of Traveller’s Rum and a touch screen telephone courtesy of Smart Belize.

Way to go Mark….Hamanasi is very proud to have you on our team!

“Hamanasi’s Chocolate Brownie”

 

One of our guests’ favorite desserts is our Home Made Brownie!  Now you can enjoy it at home.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz unsweetened chocolate squares
  • 1 cup butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup  Bebe Agua or All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. salt

 

Method

  1. Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler and set aside
  2. In mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes
  3. Blend in chocolate mixture, flour and salt until just combined
  4. Pour into a baking pan
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
  6. Brownie should be done on the outside and gooey on the inside.

 

Happy Baking & Eating

From

Hamanasi’s Kitchen Staff

“Hamanasi Braised Jerk Lamb Chops Recipe”

Spicy-Braised-Jerked-Lamb-Chops-Served-with-Fresh-Herbed-Couscous-and-Sauteed-Chayote-Hamanasi-Resort-Hopkins-Village-Belize-Jo

Another one of our guest favorite meat dish is our Braised Jerk Lamb Chops. 

Hamanasi’s Jerk Braised Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops 5 lbs. trim fat Salt

2 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper

¼ tsp. Garlic Powder

2 Tbsp. Jerk Seasoning

3 Tbsp. Tomato Sauce

½ cup Canola Oil to coat pot

Water three times amount to cover lamb

• Season lamb with salt, cayenne pepper, jerk seasoning and garlic powder right before putting them in the very hot deep pot coated with on the inside with canola oil.

• Once lamb caramelizes on both sides cover with water, add in tomato sauce and cover. Cook for at least a minimum of 2 hours or until liquid reduces exposing half of the lamb and make sure lamb is tender. Add more water if needed.

• Check flavor and add in more salt if needed.

• In a small frying pan add in 5 tbsp of butter and equal parts flour to make a roux which you will use to thicken the lamb gravy.

• Remove the lamb from the gravy then add in the roux piece by piece to thicken the gravy to the consistency you prefer.

• Place the lamb back in the gravy once the consistency is to your choice.

• Serve with your choice of sides,   Happy cookings from the Hamanasi kitchen!