Food La La: Going bananas for Banán

Jan. 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

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BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Like many people, I’ve made a new year’s resolution to wake up earlier and work out, eat healthier (sometimes!) and spend more time in nature.

Thursday morning, for example, I went to Sandy’s to watch the sunrise before hiking the Makapu’u Lighthouse trail. It was a bit overcast, but that only added to the beauty along with the sun shining down from the sky.

This is the view of the lighthouse and Rabbit Island from the top of Makapu’u Trail.

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rabbit

After hiking, in an effort to keep my resolution of semi-healthy eating I checked out Banán, a new food truck specializing in banana-based soft serve in various flavors. Co-owner Matt Hong and three of his friends wanted to open a business based on farm-to-table and local sustainability practices.

Hong said the idea for Banán came about while on the mainland for college, where he first heard about a vegan version of ice cream made with frozen bananas. He wondered why no one sold it and decided there was no better excuse to come back home and start a business with his friends.

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Located at 3212 Monsarrat Avenue near Diamond Head, Banán is a food truck with an outdoor living room-style area that includes a cute sofa and colorful wooden chairs.

banan

livingroom

There are currently five flavors available: basil, pineapple coconut, acai, ginger mint or Just Bananas. They use locally grown Sugar Land bananas; all flavors are vegan and natural without any added sugar or dairy. They are also gluten-free.

You pick your choice of a cup, papaya boat or bowl. You can also add a topping for 50 cents or three toppings for $1. Banán also has a selection of cold-pressed juices and a homemade blend of awa tea made with kava root, coconut milk and chai spices.

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I sampled all the flavors but my favorite was the basil. I got it in a papaya boat topped with shaved coconut, puffed quinoa and sliced bananas (yes more banana!). Frozen bananas blended together create a very creamy texture that is thicker than ice cream and of course a lot healthier. The basil gave it a really refreshing and sophisticated flavor as well as a pretty green color! I recommend getting the puffed quinoa as a topping because it adds a subtle crunchy texture.

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This is the ginger mint flavor topped with lime, pineapple and puffed quinoa. The ginger mint is also very refreshing with a smooth mint flavor and a slight kick of ginger.

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Banán uses biodegradable utensils and bowls. Trash is separated for recycling bottles and for composting food waste.

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More seasonal fruit flavors as well as more juices will be added in the future. I will definitely be going back again after another hike or yoga workout!

Banán is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit bananbowls.com for more info.
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Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at foodlalablog@gmail.com.

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