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All About Leis

Home9Blog9All About Leis
Fresh Flower Lei

Aside from volcanoes and beautiful beaches, Hawaii is probably most famous for its fresh flower leis. For hundreds of years, Hawaiians have used leis to share their aloha with family, friends and visitors to the islands. Today, leis are used to honor important guests, celebrate achievements, express love and welcome people to Hawai‘i.

Flower leis range from simple single orchid designs to premium arrangements with very intricate designs. Dendrobium orchids are commonly used to string leis because are brightly colored, beautifully shaped and very durable. Thanks to dry ice packing and speedy delivery methods, fresh flower leis can be shipped almost anywhere and arrive perfectly fresh. When properly cared for, a lei can last several days in the refrigerator. Single orchid dendrobium leis are the most common variety given to visitors arriving in Hawaii or distributed at large events. They are inexpensive and add a touch of tropical beauty to all occasions. Fancier leis are made up of hundreds of intricately sewn flowers and given at graduations, birthdays and other special occasions. Some of our favorite fancy leis are spirals, feather and Pikky leis.

Green Pikky Lei

Stringing leis is a fun, easy and popular activity for all ages, and can be done  A long lei needle is threaded with 90 inches of string and about 50 loose orchid heads for a traditional single orchid lei. Stringing your own leis is a great option for large events, fundraisers for hula halaus or just to have the freedom to make leis of different lengths.

Because flower leis last only one day once they are worn, most people end up throwing them in the trash. Some Hawaiians believe it is bad luck to throw away a lei. Instead they prefer to return the flowers to nature by hanging the lei up to dry around the house or snipping the string and casting the flowers into the ocean.

Black Kukui Nut Lei

There are almost as many non-perishable leis as there are fresh flower options. Non-perishable leis are a smart choice when you don’t want to worry about refrigeration and fragility of fresh flower leis. Non-perishable leis are also a wonderful keepsake since they always remain as bright and shiny as the day they were first worn. Polished Kukui Nut Leis are probably the most popular non-perishable lei today. Kukui Nuts grow on trees all around Hawaii and leis made of Kukui Nut can be pure black, rich brown and exotic tiger striped. Shell leis are another festive and tropical way to wear a lei. The white shell leis are great for weddings while yellow shell leis offer a sunnier option.

Handmade Yarn Leis are a unique lei style for people and also comfortable and cute on pets.  Yarn leis have a ribbon closure, so they are adjustable in length. The “flowers” on the yarn leis are actually expertly crafted ribbons and they come in every color of the rainbow. Different colors represent some of the Hawaiian islands’ most gorgeous flowers such as pikake, kuanoa and plumeria.

Nonperishable Lei Set for People & Pets

Fun Ideas for Dried Fruit

Home9Blog9Fun Ideas for Dried Fruit

Whether you’re hitting the trails, catching a wave, gearing up for a road trip or just packing a lunch, dried fruit is a key snack to have on hand. It gives you a great energy boost, is light and easy to carry, and very versatile. Here’s our quick guide to Hawaii’s favorite dried fruits.

Banana Chips are loved by snackers for their slightly sweet flavor and delightful crunch. They can be enjoyed on their own and are also a superb topping. Jazz up boring oatmeal with a sprinkling of banana chips, cranberries, cinnamon and brown sugar. Or try swirling into yogurt with granola for a tasty pick-me-up snack.

Banana Chips
Pineapple Chunks

Dried Pineapple Chunks are very sweet and bursting with pineapple flavor. Their bright yellow color is akin to the Hawaiian sunshine. Pineapple chunks make a great addition to trail mix where salty peanuts and other ingredients can balance out the sweetness. Dice up dried pineapples to make your own tropical shortbread cookies or add an extra zing to carrot cake.

Dried Mango is a standard snack in Hawaii. These chewy orange treats can come in full slices or in smaller piece, and are commonly coated in li hing powder to make for a sweet and salty taste sensation of li hing mango. To quickly and easily slice mango pieces, try lightly wiping the blade of your knife with vegetable oil. This will prevent the fruit from sticking.

Dried Mango
Dried Coconut

Dried Coconut is a much more convenient way to get your coconut fix than cracking open a huge raw coconut! This pretty white treat is chewy, satisfying and fun to eat on its own. It can also be used in just about every dessert or more savory foods, as it compliments both sweet and salty flavors.

Talk Story with Junior League of Honolulu

Home9Blog9Talk Story with Junior League of Honolulu

In Hawaii “talk story” means catching up or chatting. LeiHut loves talking story with our vendors. Here’s a talk story session with the fabulous cookbook creators from the Junior League of Honolulu, an all-women organization that’s been active in Honolulu since 1923!
LeiHut (LH): What’s the story behind JLH Cookbooks? Why are they special?
Junior League of Honolulu (JLH): The cookbook is a national Junior League tradition dating back to 1940. Like the women who make up the League, Junior League cookbooks are prized for their beauty, quality, and reliability. They contain recipes created and tested by real women with busy lives who know the value of a perfectly crafted, delicious recipe. Each cookbook has an extensive index is organized by ingredient, not just by title, which makes the cookbook easy to use with ingredients on hand in your kitchen. The recipes themselves include helpful notes with healthy alternatives, ingredient explanations, and serving suggestions, along with cultural notes.

Junior League of Honolulu Cookbooks

LH: How does a recipe get into the books?
JLH:
Recipes submitted by JLH members and local chefs, restaurants and hotels competed for a spot in the cookbook through a triple-testing process for delicious taste, ease of preparation, and Hawaiian aloha spirit.

Junior League of Honolulu Cookbooks

LH:What are the most popular recipes and what’s your favorite?
JLH:
 The recipes with Hawaiian flavors are usually the most popular because they embody what people think of as “Hawaiian”. One of my favorite things about the books is that they are a collection of recipes from people who live in Hawaii, not just Hawaiian recipes. There are recipes from many culinary cultures, many styles of cooking and ingredients from all over. Some of my absolute favorites are Pork Roast with Plum Sauce: Page 161, A Taste of Aloha and Shrimp Quiche with Avocado: Page 23, Aloha Days Hula Nights.
LH: The artwork on the book covers is beautiful. What’s the story?
JLH: JLH partnered with local island artist Pegge Hopper to design the covers of the books for all three volumes. Her cover of Aloha Days Hula Nights (“Under a Magnolia Moon”) was turned into a poster because it was in such demand.

LH: JLH gives back to the community with proceeds from the sales of cookbooks. Can you tell us a little more about JLH and some of its initiatives?
JLH: The Junior League of Honolulu is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Proceeds from the sale of cookbooks will be returned to the community through projects sponsored by the JLH, which include My Story, a nine-week personal development course for adolescent girls to develop their self-esteem and discover the power of their individual voices; Kids in the Kitchen, a healthy-eating awareness program aimed at educating young children and their families on the importance of good nutrition and the risks of childhood obesity; Wahine Forum, a leadership conference for women in business and the non-profit sector in Honolulu; and Impact Honolulu, an annual series of short-term, “done-in-a-day” projects designed to respond to immediate community needs.

Under A Magnolia Moon Poster

Hawaiian Beauty Secrets

Home9Blog9Hawaiian Beauty Secrets

It’s no secret that both vacationers and residents of Hawaii seem to radiate a special glow. Their skin is clear and bright, and their hair shines in the sun. What’s the trick to achieving island beauty? Getting back to basics with all-natural tropical ingredients. Here’s a guide to key Hawaiian ingredients that have been used on the islands for centuries.

Hawaiian Handmade Soap
Noni Juice

Noni: Noni is a fruit that grows on trees all around Hawaii. It is common to see Noni in the yards of local residents, and it also can be found in the forests. Healers in hawaii have historically relied on Noni juice for its healing and disease-preventing qualities. Today Noni capsules offer an alternative way to reap the benefits of Noni without the strong taste of the fruit. Known for helping everything from digestive and immune systems inside the body, Noni can do just as much good on the outside. As the key ingredient in soaps and lotions, this fruit is a true super star. Noni heals dry hair, skin and chapped lips and promotes cell rejuvenation.

Kukui Nut Oil: Most vacationers learn that polished Kukui nut leis are a great Hawaiian souvenir and a historic memento (these lei were once worn by Hawaiian chiefs.) The Kukui tree is indigenous to Hawaii and the oil from Kukui nuts has been treasured for its gentle and healing properties from the nourishing Vitamin E. Washing with a Kukui nut oil soap or taking time to relax with Kukui nut oil bubble bath can work wonders for your skin.

Aina Fine Soap with Kukui Nut Oil
Coconut Candles

Coconut Oil: The hip new trend is to incorporate coconut oil into your cooking to boost levels of healthy fatty acids and vitamins. Coconut oil has been valued for providing a naturally moisturizing and soothing treatment for skin and hair. Soaps with coconut oil and can be neutral in smell or bursting with coconut fragrance. Reducing stress levels has also been proven to improve health and beauty. Your mind can be completely at ease with these soy based candles. They burn cleaner than traditional beeswax or paraffin wax and are contained in coconut shells, Totally sustainable and eco-friendly!