Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative Elevates Health and Sustainability with Breadfruit

Robin Lotu Wilcox Medical Center

Hawaiʻi (March 28, 2024) — The Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative is revʻULUtionizing menus across the state by spotlighting the health benefits of breadfruit (ʻulu). In collaboration with community partners, including Wilcox Medical Center on Kauaʻi, the cooperative is championing ʻulu as a versatile, nutritious ingredient in a variety of dishes.

In a recently updated blog titled "Breadfruit Nutritional Benefits - How to Feel Your Best!", the cooperative emphasizes key takeaways that highlight the health advantages of ʻulu, encouraging individuals to make informed, health-conscious choices.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gluten-Free Goodness: ʻUlu is a naturally gluten-free alternative, suitable for those with celiac disease, gluten allergies, or those seeking dietary diversification.
  • Fiber Powerhouse: With three times the fiber of brown rice and twelve times that of white rice, breadfruit helps combat fiber deficiencies, promoting gut health and reducing the risk of constipation.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: ʻUlu's low-to-moderate glycemic index aids in blood sugar regulation, preventing coronary heart disease and improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Amino Acid Boost: Providing energy-sustaining starches and protein-building amino acids, ʻulu surpasses potatoes in protein content and rivals soybeans in essential amino acids.
Ulu Chicken Curry


Wilcox Medical Center is committed to helping strengthen Hawai’i’s food systems by purchasing produce grown by local farmers. This ultimately contributes to stimulating Hawaii’s economy and reducing our dependency on exported goods. The medical center is incorporating ʻulu as an option in its inpatient and cafeteria menus, which further demonstrates its commitment to innovative and health-conscious culinary practices. 

Wilcox’s food service and dietary team utilize the co-op’s 'ulu flour to create roux for gravies and chicken and fish breading.

"Healthy local food systems are essential for building strong communities, which is a key initiative in Hawai‘i Pacific Health’s mission to create a healthier Hawai‘i,” Jen Chahanovich, president and CEO of Wilcox Medical Center and CEO of Kaua‘i Medical Clinic, said. “Wilcox Medical Center is proud to partner with the Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Cooperative in strengthening our local food systems.”

Ulu mash with veggies, ulu curry & ulu clam chowder

Mature, recipe-ready breadfruit is mashed with other ingredients to create a ʻulu mash that is offered daily. ʻUlu chunks also replaces potatoes in hearty dishes like beef stew and chicken curry as well as soups like corn and clam chowder, offering patients a nutritious and flavorful alternative.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Wilcox Medical Center in bringing the health benefits of breadfruit to the forefront, particularly in enhancing patient meals," said Dana Shapiro, General Manager of Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative.

As the Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative continues to lead in advocating for the health benefits of breadfruit, the community can anticipate a healthier and more sustainable culinary landscape. 



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