How you can grow and use breadfruit in your meals

By Paula Akana
Published On: Jan 09 2014 08:26:27 PM HST
Updated On: Jan 09 2014 08:26:34 PM HST

Breadfruit is grown throughout the pacific, and now there's a movement to get more farmers to grow it.A series of workshops are being held island wide by the Ho'oulu ka Ulu Reviatlizing Breadfruit project to teach you everything from growing to picking ulu, and how to make it a business..

HONOLULU -

A series of workshops are being held by the Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu - Revitalizing Breadfruit project to teach you everything from growing to picking ulu, or breadfruit, and how to make it a business.

Click here to watch Paula Akana's story.

Friday's Oahu workshop at the Bishop Museum is already sold out, so we spoke with one of the presenters about what makes breadfruit so special and ono, or delicious.

Bulu the ulu tree is thriving in Palolo Valley and bearing its first fruit.  It's the pride of the Peros family.

Horticulturist and neighbor Heidi Bornhorst walked the family through planting Bulu making sure it was planted as deep as the original pot and then surrounded by mulch and a circle of pohaku, or stones.

"That makes it easy to mow and it's better for the tree if you don't have grass right up to it," said Bornhorst.

Two-and-a-half years to three years later, it begins to bear fruit.  It's a healthy food and a main part of the diet for many Pacific people.

"Ulu is such an awesome Hawaiian starch," said Bornhorst.  "It's so healthy for us.  It's what we call a non-resistant starch so it doesn't spike your blood sugar the way white rice does or white bread."

But what do you do with the ulu?  We turned to Highway Inn Kaka'ako for ideas.

"It's really simple.  There are many ways of using it," said Chef Mike Kealoha.  "I can do a savory dish.  Desserts.  I like to use it as a starch or even as a poke."

"In place of rice we do a saute ulu with a little bit of butter," said Kealoha.

A quick saute bring the outside golden and crunchy.  The inside is kind of like a baked potato.

"I use ulu two ways -- either ripe or overripe -- which they call pala," said Pastry Chef Ed Morita.  "I really like the ulu pala cause it's soft, very pudding-like.  Very sweet.  I've made malasadas, cheesecakes and various fillings."

Today, Morita makes a coconut ulu cream puff starting with steamed ulu.

"Then I puree it with coconut and sugar.  Basic kind of a haupia filling," said Morita.

He folds in whipping cream and pipes it into pastry shells.  Perhaps Bulu will soon produce enough breadfruit for the Peros family to make these yummy dishes.

Bornhorst says if you prune your tree properly, you can keep it at a pickable level and make it fit for any yard.

Click here for information on the workshops.

Check out great food photos, then share your own on u local.

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