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Beets are at their best

Many cooks avoid beets because their red-purple pigment can be hard to work with and that “earthy” flavor can be a bit much. Since they are available now in pre-peeled, pre-cooked packages, they are super-easy to use, especially in salads. What other vegetable can you think of that has only 52 to 55 calories in a whole cup? One cup of cooked beets also offers more than 3 grams of fiber and a good helping of folate, magnesium and potassium. The small ones are generally more tender than large ones. If you are cooking them from raw and fresh, buy them with their greens attached, but remove all except one inch of the stems when you get them home, and store in the refrigerator. When ready to use, wash gently so as not to damage the thin skin and make them “bleed” color or nutrients.

Papaya: Is it a new beast?

Papaya plants are a natural for almost any garden. They are prolific and nutritious as well. Probably no other plant supplies the home gardener so much for so little effort. This tropical American, herbaceous, treelike plant will grow and produce fruit year-round with minimal care.

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Satin Dolls Cabaret coming to the Aloha Theatre Saturday

The Satin Dolls Cabaret show will return to the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu for a 7:30 p.m. show Saturday. The performance pairs dance and jazz as it was originally featured in cabaret shows. The show features Binti Bailey and the Satin Dolls dancing to the live music of the Casablanca Jazz Quartet. Reserved seats are on sale at

A Night on ‘Mars’

The PISCES STARS program concluded with an out-of-this-world experience for three Hawaii Island high school students — they spent Labor Day weekend on “Mars” via the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation habitat on Mauna Loa, making them the first students ever to stay at the two-story geodesic dome.