Aloha, I’m Katie Amato and Katie’s Tropical Kitchen is my personal arsenal of favorite dishes and tropical recipes. It also contains a collection of information on tropical fruits and recommendations for healthy lifestyle products. Aside from being the author of this website, I have an exotic and tropical fruit farm and plant nursery. Oh! I also manage a cafe/bar in my rural town of Pāpaʻaloa, where we boast local foods and host live music. Read more below : )
I left academic slavery for farming on the Big Island
My academic background is in Cognitive Psychology (B.S.) and Social and Behavioral Health Change Science (MPH). My public health work focused on creating programs that would help with health outcomes by encouraging gardening and fruit and vegetable consumption, especially on Hawaiʻi island (Big Island).
However, after several years of work I found myself a slaved my to computer and my boss. I had no time for my garden or cooking, or friends or love. I lost muscle mass, gained weight, and screwed up my knees. Six months into my doctorate I left this career for the benefit of my own physical and mental health. I joke to people that I went “native” – a sociological term for joining the group of people you study. In short, I moved to the Big Island to start a farm with my fiancé and business partner.
Katie’s Tropical Kitchen was born on our Big Island exotic fruit farm
Since my early 20’s I had dreamed of having a productive large garden and a mango tree. Adam helped make this dream come true for me, inviting me to be a part of the vision for Pāpaʻaloa Ranch, our 11 acre fruit farm (500 feet elevation). From 2014-2017 we planted over 400 fruit trees, created a huge vegetable garden, and a large shade house for our nursery plants. We have rare plants, seeds and tropical fruit and produce for sale. It was here in our slice of tropical paradise I began to take the time to document my recipes.
I’m compiling information on exotic and tropical fruits
On my tropical food facts page you’ll find links to information sheets about various tropical fruits. This list is building as I learn more about each fruit and have the time to write. For now some of my most favorite fruit’s are documented like Rollinia deliciousa, Soursop, Mamey Sapote and more. Check it out : )
Katie’s Tropical Kitchen website focuses on healthy recipes and healthy ingredients
You’ll notice that not all my recipes are stereotypical tropical food recipes. This is because there is a lot more to tropical food than pineapples and guavas. I have many traditional or world-wide recipes. However, I also have many recipes that highlight locally grown or produced items.
My kitchen is a healthy kitchen. In my every day cooking I always incorporate a few items from the farm in every dish, even if it is just a few herbs. Additionally, I try as hard as possible to buy all organic foods, or at least non0GMO foods. Typically, my recipes include almost entirely wholefoods or unprocessed foods. We also do our best to use local items. For example, you don’t see many recipes with almonds, instead I will use macadamia nuts.
Cooking isn’t all about the food, it is also about the methods
I believe it is just as important to use healthy and quality products and cooking methods. For example, it is important to use food that has been stored properly, cooking utensils that are non-toxic. Equally important are your cleaning products like dish soap and hand soap. Please see my natural lifestyle recommendations page for a list of some of my favorite products.
2013 Master of Public Health, Social and behavioral health change science, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
2009-2010 North American Cultural and Language Assistant, Andalucia Spain
2008 Bachelor of Science in Psychology, minor in Women’s Studies, Northeastern University
Check out our family’s other sites:
Our farm business: www.ainaexotics.com and on Facebook “Aina Exotics”
Peter Amato’s web design: www.amatowebdesign.com
Ellie Crowe’s organic dog blog: www.organicfordogs.blogspot.com
Caroline Bennet’s family fun maps of Florida, Hawaii and California: www.lotsafunmaps.com