This is not your average everyday french toast. This is what I call.. a REAL plate of fruit! You’ll see what I mean. Teehee.
Guava, mango, and taro bread topped with bananas and strawberries and drizzled with guava butter. That’s what you call the most unhealthy, but best tasting fruit salad in the world! Guava… mango… bananas… and strawberries! What more can you ask for?
I recently came back from Hawaii and already miss it. One of the things I miss the most is the food. My friends and I visit Hilo, Hawaii every year but this time around, I’m so much more of a foodie that I paid attention to everything I ate. Kalua pork, loco moco’s, a huge assortment of the freshest poke, and the most delicious fruit! I swear, there was never a point where I was actually seriously hungry. I wished these foods were easily accessable here on the mainland. I mean, where can you drive just ten minutes away for a guava donut or lilikoi mochi when you crave for it, besides in Hawaii?! And that is exactly why I brought a backpack of Hawaiian goodies back home.
There’s a bakery called Punalu’u bakery where they are known for their assorted sweet breads and malasadas. Malasadas are fried balls of sweet bread and can be frosted with icing, filled with some type of custard, or just left as is. I decided on buying bread that had guava, mango, and taro flavors intertwined into one loaf. When I tasted it, I immediately knew it would be delicious as french toast. I was introduced to guava butter and immediately fell in love with it. It adds another depth of flavor with the bread and I promise that once you get your hands on some and spread it across some warm sweet bread, you can’t go back.
Poke Bowls-There’s fresh poke all around the island. There’s a place where you can make your own poke, Poke to Your Taste, by creating your own sauce and choosing what kind of fish you want. We went the simpler route by going to Big Island’s local grocery store, KTA, where they had a wide variety of already made poke.
We repeatedly went back to Verna’s, a local fast food spot, where your order is made and received from a window and eaten on bench tables in the back. I ordered the kalua pork with cabbage, which was served with a scoop of rice and a scoop of mac salad. My friend’s ordered shoyu chicken, chicken cooked in a thin sweet brown sauce, teriburgers, and bento boxes, which included spam, portuguese sausage, and grilled beef. Oh yeah, can’t forget the loco mocos – a burger patty served on top of rice with a fried egg and smothered with brown gravy. Nothing healthy in this Hawaiian diet!
We made a stop at Two ladies kitchen, a hole in the wall, that serves an amazingly large variety of mochi. Their most popular is the strawberry mochi. The strawberries were huge and the filling wasn’t too sweet. You can also find these in San Francisco, but in my opinion, they are too sweet and are tiny. These had the perfect amount of sugar in them and you have the option of white bean or red bean filling.
Nori’s serves an exellent dessert consisting of vanilla ice cream, really thin chocolate chip cookie pieces, and chocolate mochi brownies. The ice cream is cold and firm and goes perfectly well with the crisp cookies and chewy mochi brownies. It was a party in everybody’s mouth, even after the carb-tastic dinner.
Besides enjoying the food, how could a person turn down the beautiful beaches of Hawaii? Being on the beach and letting the sand run between my fingers and toes was like letting all of my stress seep through the cracks and into the grouned. The beauty of watching the sunset or the sunrise wasn’t something to complain about either 😉
One of the beaches we make sure to visit is Makalawena. A few years back, a friend passed away and his wish was to be spread in the oceans of Hawaii. Makas is where he is and we make sure we camp out on the beach for at least a night to spend time with him. Derek Butch, you used try to convince me to go on these weird food diets with you.. Instead, I’ll make and eat some french toast from Hawaii in honor of you. I know you would’ve enjoyed it.
Since strawberries aren’t in season, I used frozen strawberries and heated them up in a small pot. I’m not a huge fan of maple syrup so I made a syrup from the juice of the strawberries. Make sure you don’t leave the bread in the egg mixture for too long as the bread will get too soft. Also, DON’T FORGET THE GUAVA BUTTER.
Fruity French Toast
1 c. milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 slices of sweet bread
1 c. frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. castor sugar
1 Tbsp. strawberry liqueor
1 banana, sliced
Slice bread into 6-1 inch slices and set aside.
In a shallow bowl, beat the egg, milk, cinnamon,salt and vanilla until combined. When the mixture is combined, individually dip the bread into the egg mixture. At the same time, heat a heavy pan with about a tablespoon of butter. When the butter is melted and hot, place 2 slices of bread into the pan at a time. When the bottom of the bread is brown, flip it, about 2 minutes.
At the same time, put frozen strawberries, sugar, and water into a small saucepan. When the strawberries begin to soften and release its juices, add the strawberry liquor. When the juice starts to boil, take the pot off of the heat.
Set your plates up how you like and top the french toast with slices of banana, strawberries and juice, and a couple smears of guava butter here and there. You can also top with some powdered sugar, but I figure it’s already sweet enough from the sweet bread, strawberries, and guava butter. EAT UP! 🙂