Isles reach solar heat milestone


POSTED: Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 21 marked the Summer Solstice, Father's Day and the start of Solar Water Heating Week in Hawaii.

This special week honors a milestone: 50,000 solar water heating accounts statewide.

Since water heating accounts for nearly 40 percent of the average home's electricity use, a solar system conserves both energy and money, especially as summer heats up and air conditioning use and electric bills rise.

These simple, refreshing recipes will leave plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors this season.

Fresh Summer Fruit and Cream Cheese Delight

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed
1 package (6 ounces) lemon-flavored gelatin (such as Jell-O)
3 cups boiling water
4 cups diced fresh fruits such as mangoes, peaches, strawberries, or any combination of fresh fruits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine flour and powdered sugar; cut in butter. Mix in nuts.

Lightly press into a 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown; cool.

Beat cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla. Gently fold in whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust; chill until firm.

Dissolve gelatin in the boiling water; cool. Arrange fresh fruits over cream cheese layer. Pour gelatin over fruit; chill until firm.

Cut into squares. Serves 24.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on mixed fruits): 220 calories, 12 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 3 g protein.

Almond Float with Fresh Fruits

2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1-1/4 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or soy milk
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 can (15 ounces) lychees
Fresh-cut assorted fruits such as mango, melons, kiwi, berries or grapes

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup of water.

In a saucepan, bring remaining 1 cup water to a boil. Add to softened gelatin and stir until gelatin is dissolved.

Stir in sugar, milk and almond extract. Pour into an 8-inch square pan and chill until firm.

Cut almond gelatin into square or diamond shapes.

To serve, place lychee with liquid in a serving bowl; add fresh fruits and almond gelatin. Serves 8.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (not including fresh fruit): 140 calories, 0.5 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 25 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 2 g protein.

Pineapple Sorbet

1 medium pineapple, cut into chunks
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.

Freeze in an electric ice cream freezer or pour into a shallow pan and freeze.

Return to blender; blend until smooth. Pour back into pan; freeze again. Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on 6 servings): 170 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 41 g sugar, 0 g protein.

Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO's database of local-style recipes, accessible online at www.heco.com.