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Vegetable Bean Loaf

This vegetarian bean load is pretty good for being so incredibly easy. And it is a great way to use all those beans you stocked up on! This recipe is adapted from the Spicy Bean and Lentil Loaf recipe from the book… “Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook”. This is my quick and dirty recipe. Enjoy your own variations! 


Recipe for Vegetarian Bean Loaf

Ingredients and steps:

Sauté these first:

  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 carrot copped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • large handful fresh herbs like parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, thyme etc.

Then in a food processor blend…

  • sautéed veggies and herbs
  • 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans drain and rinsed

After blended until smoother move to a bowl and add these remaining ingredients
½ cup breadcrumbs ( I use ½ frozen ends of loafs and ½ oatmeal)

  • ½ cup cheese (I use shredded Parm)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon or more to taste cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Bake at 350 degree in an oiled loaf pan for 45-60 minutes and serve warm or cold. 
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Roasted Red Pepper Soup

This roasted red pepper soup recipe is so easy and so flexible. It comes out creamy but is gluten-free and dairy free, and can be made vegetarian as well. Instead of potatoes, use cassava! Instead of chicken broth, use vegetable broth. Don’t have celery or a carrot? No matter!

I’m on a new kick to discover how many different soups I can make featuring ingredients from the garden.  We’ve been growing these beautiful red peppers for years now. I used to just use them little by little in all of my dishes, but we are harvesting so many peppers day after day I needed to find a way to cook them in batches.

This soup is delicious and a great way to use our bountiful harvest. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe!

Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Yield: 4 -6 servings

Equipment: Oven or toaster oven, blender or immersion blender


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12-16 oz red pepper, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly sliced
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly sliced
  • enough veggie or chicken broth to cover vegetables (~4 cups)
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into chunks
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

roasted red pepper soupSteps

  1. Coat the prepared peppers in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast them in the oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes just until they start to blacken.
  2. If you are using regular sized red peppers – then you can peel the skin off. The peppers that grow well here are so small and have thin walls so it is useless to peel them, but of course even when blended with my immersion blender it is still a little stringy
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium to large pot and then sauté the roasted peppers, celery, onion, carrot, potatoes and garlic while stirring for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add broth just enough to cover vegetables and bring to a boil
  5. Then simmer until potatoes and carrots are cooked through
  6. Allow it to cool for at least 10-15 minutes
  7. Take out about 2 cups of the broth to start (and then add back in as you blend to reach your desired consistency)
  8. Then either use your immersion blender or transfer to your regular blender in batches and blend until smooth adding more broth as necessary.
  9. Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste.



If you like this type of soup try my other recipes


Carrot ginger soup with coconut


Coconut red pepper and squash soup


Cauliflower Cheddar Soup (no milk or cream)

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pre-conception cleansing with superfoods – balance your hormones and decrease PMS symptoms

I’m not really a very up close and personal person when it comes to broadcasting the details of my personal life all over the internet. I’m also not really a self-motivated hustler. However, I really feel like this story needs to be told and that other people out there should know the healing effects of consuming superfoods and certain supplements.

Upon writing this I’m 34, almost 35. I left my doctorate, moved to Big Island to farm with my cookie, and really my only other goal in life other than be a happy, good person, is to be a mother. Last August, my husband left for a few months and I decided it was time to finally do a deep internal cleanse to get my body ready for babies. You see, I eat really clean and life a very active lifestlye, but I really like beer and wine, and pizza and chocolate, etc. So, in desire to be a responsible pre-mama, I bit the bullet, spent a chunk of change on superfood supplements with the intention of doing a pre-conception cleanse. The results were pretty amazing.

The bottom line…

After the Purium Ultimate Lifestyle Transformation program, I lost 10 pounds, 1 ½ inches off my waist, my BMI went down 2 points my muscle mass increased by 5 pounds. And, my PRE-MENSTRUAL CRAMPs COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED! My cravings for unhealthy foods are long gone and my desire to eat healthy and exercise are ever present.

Of course, if you don’t continue with healthy choices you will put that weight back on. Which, of course is what happened to me when my life took an unexpected twist. I started eating pizza again, drinking brews, staying up late, etc.. I a lot of that weight back on… BUT months and months have gone by and I still hardly even notice my period starting. What used to be 1-2 days of very uncomfortable bloating and cramps is now some minor bloating AT MOST.

This amazes me! I have tried other herbal supplements like Dong Qui, and Cramp Bark. I’ve tried balancing my hormones with seed cycling. Years ago, I learned that a healthy hormonally balanced woman should feel no discomfort during pre-menstrual and menstrual days. But of course, main stream this is not what is occurring.

Experts say that the best way to decrease PMS symptoms is detox (caffeine, alcohol, sugar), increase health gut bacteria, and make sure to get a wide variety of your micro and macro nutrients and vitamins.

Specifics on the pre-conception supplement products I fully support:

A few of the Purium line of products, especially the ones included in the ultimate life-style transformations do all of this for you. I don’t know if I can put my finger on just 1 or 2 of the supplements that really helped. Because combined, along with my dedication to abstain from alcohol, sugar and excessive caffeine, these products continue to work to balance my body. I recommend the Nutrition bundle. If you click on any of these links you will be taken to the website and if you register you will get a $50 coupon or 25% of your first order of $200 or more. if you have a problem redeeming your $50 coupon feel free to contact me

  • Super Amino 23 (absorbs easily digestible vegan protein into your muscle – in 23 minutes)
  • Power Shake – improves energy, reduce craving, fuels your cells with superfoods like spirulina, millet, chia, carrot juice, wheatgrass, and many more.
  • Super CleansR (enhance the body’s peristaltic action which loosens embedded and impacted matter, helping your body to cleanse deeply and effectively)
  • BioMedic – a probiotic supplement that detoxifies glyphosate, Improve digestion, Boost mood & immunity
  • Tart Cherry juice (Apothe Cherry) – Improves sleep, reduces free radical damage, Beautifies skin, create a healthy response to inflammation

You can order all of these in the Ultimate Lifestyle Pack

Other important pre-conception supplements

There are a few more pre-conception supplements that I choose to take. Of course, most importantly, pre-natal vitamins. Below are links to these supplements on Amazon.

I chose Garden of Life Organic Prenatal Multivitamin Supplement with Folate – mykind Whole Food Prenatal Vitamin, Vegan, 90 Tablets because it has 200% of the daily value of Folate and 100% daily value of iodine.

Additionally, both for myself and my husband I purchases CoQ10, from Amazon. CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) is a antioxidant boosting supplement. It reduces oxidative stress and has many health benefits for all types of people. But there is significant research to establish that both in men and women it improves fertility. Recommended for pre-conception in doses 300-600mg. However, once you are  pregnant it is important to stop taking high doses and ask your health professional about CoQ10.

Qunol Ultra CoQ10 100mg, 3x Better Absorption, Patented Water and Fat Soluble Natural Supplement Form of Coenzyme Q10, Antioxidant for Heart Health, 120 Count Softgels


Looking towards the future..

6 months later, I am taking another round of the Purium Nutrition cleanse products. Getting ready again anticipated conception, I am not doing the super strict part of the cleanse. But instead, I am just gracefully adding in the products into my regular diet. Without completely eliminating, I am cutting back on sugar, caffeine and avoiding alcohol. And again, my weight is starting to drop of slowly and evenly. My energy levels are up, my moods are elevated and I feel like a happy and healthy pre-mama.

There’s lots of supplements out there and for the longest time I resisted. Instead, choosing a diet rich in vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and unrefined sugars. I still think this is the way to go. But, there is something to be said for having NO CRAMPS! For this reason alone I think every few months I’ll take a few rounds of Purium’s supplements.


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Fresh Corn Chowder (gluten-free, no milk, cream or cheese)

Looking for a corn chowder but don’t necessarily jive with dairy or flour? This corn chowder may be perfect for you! Of course it doesn’t have that heavy creamy taste to it, but it does have the chowder mouthfeel and the crunch of the corn and other veggies. That is what we are looking for right?

Tapioca starch is one of my favorite alternatives to flour when used in breading fish, veggies and chicken as well as thickening soups, stews, and my Big Island Beef Shepards Pie and my dairy free chicken pot pie

Anthony’s Organic Tapioca Flour Starch, 2.5lbs, Gluten Free & Non GMO

Recipe for fresh corn chowder:

  • 3 tablespoons butter (or substitute olive or coconut oil)
  • 2-3 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 4 medium carrots sliced and chopped fine (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 medium-large onion diced
  • 5 small-medium russet potatoes washed, peeled and chopped fine
  • 3-4 stalks of celery washed and diced ( you want the ratio of onion to carrot to celery to be similar, 1:1:1). And the potatoes and the corn will be the star of the show and will also aim to have 1:1 ratio between them.
  • 1 heaping spoon mined garlic
  • enough filtered water to cover veggies plus a little more (you are going to add in corn)
  • 2 tablespoons concentrated chicken stock (can use vegetable stock (bouillon) or chicken or vegetable stock).
  • 2 tablespoons or so fresh chopped thyme (I use a thyme like plant that grows in the tropics we call Stick Thyme).
  • 4 small fresh ears of sweet corn, corn cut off gently by rotating the corn as you cut with a small serrated knife.


  1. Melt butter and sauté onions until translucent.
  2. Then add garlic, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes and stir frequently for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Next, add tapioca starch and stir several times to coat the veggies in butter/oil and tapioca starch.
  4. Then add water and bouillon and bring to a boil.
  5. Continue to boil 10-15 minutes until all veggies are tender.
  6. Add in thyme.
  7. The soup should be thickening at this point as the tapioca and the potato starch form a “creamy” broth.
  8. If it still seems to watery at this point, you can remove some of the broth and add another tablespoon of tapioca starch to it, wish and add back into soup.
  9. Once the broth is almost at its desired consistency (it will continue to thicken as the potatoes break down), add the corn.
  10. Let the corn cook for 5-8 minutes as you season the soup with salt and pepper and serve warm

This soup is lovely wish fresh chopped parsley added at serving time.

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Carrot ginger soup with coconut

Carrot ginger soup is perfect for rainy season here in Hawaiʻi. It isn’t hard to grow carrots here, but it is hard to get them to taste that perfect amount of sweetness. If you let them get too big they get a little bit woody. Nevertheless, every time we grow a round of carrots we have way too much. One of my favorite ways to store them is to wash them, grate them and vacuum seal them for future use. Another good way to use them is carrot soup!

This carrot coconut soup recipe is totally flexible but should yield about 4 large servings of soup. If you use the coconut flesh instead of milk, expect the soup to be a little bit chewy. Lol. I love this texture but others aren’t prepared for a pureed soup to have the same texture.


Immersion blender is best but you could use a regular blender and blend in batches.

Kitchenaid has a nice middle of the road immersion blender that will last you almost a lifetime of  seamlessly pureeing soups and other foods.

KitchenAid KHB1231CU Hand Blender, 2-Speed, Contour Silver


Recipe for Carrot ginger soup coconut soup


  •  8-10 large organic carrots, washed, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 large onion chopped roughly
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 small – medium russet potatoes, washed peeled and chopped roughly
  • 2-3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 can coconut milk or the flesh of 1-2 fresh young(ish) coconuts.
  • chicken broth concentrate, chicken broth, vegetable broth, or bouillon.


  1. Sauté onion in coconut oil (refined or not) until soft.
  2. Then add garlic, ginger, carrot and sauté another 5 – 8 minutes.
  3. Next add 4 cups of broth or enough to cover the vegetables and 1 ½ to 2 cups coconut milk or coconut flesh.
  4. Boil until carrots and potatoes are tender.
  5. Then, let the soup cool for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Using an immersion blender (stick blender) or in batches using your stand-up blender, blend the soup while adding salt and pepper to taste, going a little light, as the flavors (especially) the black pepper will intensify when you heat the soup again.

Serve with a salad or warm bread!

If you like soups like this try my recipe for…

Winter Squash Bisque (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup (no milk or cream)



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Taro muffins with carrots, bananas and mac nuts


This  taro muffin recipe started out as an experiment when we returned from a long trip and had very little growing in our garden. In our freezer was vacuumed sealed taro, frozen bananas and in our garden 10 pounds of carrots. This is a surprisingly healthy muffin made with coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh carrots, cooked kalo and organic white flour.

This muffin recipe is also heavy on the carrot and the taro and the banana, because this is how we use up our homegrown food! The maple syrup and banana are just enough to sweeten it without it feeling like it should be a dessert. These are “hearty” or “hardy” muffins, perfect for the health food addict that still loves baked goods any time of the day. I encourage you to make them with as many organic or local ingredients as possible.

yield: 12 large muffins

you need: muffin tin(s), a blender, and a food processor or cheese grater and of course and oven.

Dry ingredients for taro muffins: taro muffin dry ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups white flour (or 2 ½ cups white flour, 1 cup oats)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger


Wet ingredients for taro muffins

  • 6 small bananas
  • ⅔ cups coconut oil (unrefined if you like the coconut flavor)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup almond milk (or any other milk, you could try yogurt)



Ingredients to fold in at the end:

  • 3 cups shredded cooked taro (pressure cook taro using this recipe, cool and shred using a food processor).
  • 3 cups shredded raw carrots (peeled and put through shredder in food processor
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • ½ macadamia nuts chopped roughly (pulse in blender on low works fine)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease large muffin pans with coconut oil.  Combine the dry ingredients listed above in a bowl. Next, in a blender, combine the wet ingredients listed above. Then, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then fold in the taro and carrots, chopped mac nuts and raisins. Fill muffin tins to the top, even out the batter and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top and muffin springs back at you when you poke it. Cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan and then continue to cool on wire racks. Enjoy warm, refrigerated or you can even freeze them (vacuum seal for best results).

If you like this recipe try my :

Chocolate Banana Muffins with Fresh Coconut

Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins


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Surinam cherry is easy to grow in the tropics

Latin Name and family:

Surinam Cherry’s latin name is Eugenia Uniflora. It is  in the family Myrtaceae and is native to Surinam, Guyana, French Guiana, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

The red variety of surinam cherry

There are several other names for it. In Hawaii, I’ve found it is usually called Surinam Cherry or Pitanga. Other english nicknames for Eugenia Uniflora are Cayenne cherry, Florida cherry, and pumpkin cherry. Sometimes people also call it Brazil cherry. This causes some confusion between Eugenia Uniflora (surinam cherry) and Eugenia brasiliensis (which is nicknamed Brazilian Cherry or grumichama see picture below).

brazilian cherry
Eugenia brasiliensis (Brazilian Cherry, not Surinam Cherry)


These small fruits are “ribbed” and have the shape of miniature pumpkins. They are around 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches (2-4 cm) wide. As it develops, the fruit turns from green to orange. And, when it is mature they will either be bright red or a dark purple/black.

Here in Hawaiʻi, many of us know of them as having two main varieties, the red kind (possibly the “Chamba”  variety) and the purple/black kind (most likely the“Lolita” or “Zill dark” variety).

Surinam cherry (Eugenia Uniflora)

Surinam cherry skin is thin and the flesh is similar to a grape. There are anywhere from 1-3 inedible seeds inside. These seeds stay viable for a about month and produce similar plants and fruits as their parents. See more below on Eugenia Uniflora propagation.

Surinam Cherry Taste and Culinary Uses:

The flesh inside Surinam cherry is slightly translucent. But it is also tinted orange/red and is extremely juicy. These fruits can be anywhere from acid and sour to semi-sweet. The skins have a notable tannin taste, especially if slightly under ripe. The darker purple/crimson (Lolita) variety is known to be sweeter and less astringent or resinous. The taste is tropical, similar to gooseberry, grape, and cherries.

Although they are an extremely resilient plant, surinam cherries are not widely available in stores. On rare occasions you may be able to find them at a farmers market. This is mostly because they have a very short shelf life; their quality degrades rapidly after picking. The fruits bruise easily and begin to ferment within a day or more. For this reason, most people eat them directly off of the shrub, as is. However, they are commercially farmed in Brazil. See harvest and storage below on how to prolong shelf life for personal or commercial use.

Still, if you have a decent harvest you can do many things with this particular fruit. The obvious include making a Surinam cherry jam or jelly. Similarly you could make chutney for serving with meat or fish. Some people have made syrups with it for dessert or cocktails and other have pickled the ripe cherries. In Brazil, they make vinegar, wine and liquor with it.

Harvest and Storage:

The fruiting season of Surinam cherry varies greatly by region. In Florida it may ripen February-March, and then again months later around September-November. In Mediterranean areas it may fruit in the springtime around May. Here in Hawaiʻi, Surinam cherry fruits several times throughout the year depending on exact climate and rainfall. It only takes 3 weeks from flower to ripe fruit.

The fruits are edible once they become orange-orange red.  But they will be less juicy, more firm and still somewhat resinous. Surinam fruit picked at this stage is best for processing (wine, jelly, chutney). It will have a longer shelf life during the harvest to end-product chain. Additionally, it is easier to remove the pits at this stage and still have intact flesh to process.

If you are going to eat them fresh, you should harvest them when they are bright red, or purple/black. They should have shiny undamaged skin. They should also easily separate from the stem during harvest. In both cases many resources suggest picking them 1x/day or even 2x/day to get a decent Surinam cherry harvest. Please note, to extend shelf life, refrigerate immediately after picking and the store them in the fridge in vented containers.

Surinam cherry health benefits:

Surinam cherry has a relatively high Vitamin A and Vitamin C content. They are also high in iron, calcium, niacin, and some B complex vitamins. Its dark red color is indicative of its antioxidant content: some of which are lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, gamma-carotene, and rubixanthin. The purple varieties contain anthocyanin – another potent antioxidant found in blackberries, blueberries etc.

Its traditional use as a medicine comes mostly from its astringent and antiseptic qualities. In addition to the health benefits of the fruit he leaves contain various properties and an essential oil which includes turpentine, citronella & cineole.

Concoctions from the fruit and or the leaves may help clearing symptoms of stomach upsets (diarrhea), fevers, respiratory problems and colds.

The leaves’s essential oils can repel flies and other insects. (Traditionally, the leaves were stripped and laid on the floor of shelters, as you walk on them and bruise them their essence repels flies.)

There are clinical studies showing that Cineole helps patients with pulmonary issues. Specifically, it helps to relieve inflammation of the mucus membrane enabling better breathing.

Contraindications & Toxicity

Do not eat the seeds, they are very resinous and may cause gastro-intestinal upset. People with sensitive respiratory passages have reported irriation during pruning of the Surinam plant.

 Growth patterns:

Surinam is a tropical tree/shrub that can also thrive in Subtropical locations. It can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit and altitudes as high as 5,000 feet (in Hawaii). Surprisingly, many people grow them as a hedge plant or ornamental. They can range from 8-20 feet tall (2.44-6.1 meters) and spread out 5 to 15 feet (1.52-4.57 meters).

They are somewhat slow-growing. However, most seedling plants will still start to fruit after 2-3 years. Occasionally they may take as long as 5-6 years to fruit. For hedge plants, you want to space them 2-5 feet apart. Otherwise spacing them 10 feet apart is sufficient.

These resilient plants are also very tolerant heat and many types of soil (except salty soils). They also like full sun and adequate amounts of water. This is one reason why they are considered invasive. For example, in South Florida they started taking over other indigenous species. They also naturalized in Bermuda and formed dense thickets of a monoculture forest.

How to plant surinam cherry seeds

The seeds are recalcitrant – you cannot store them for longer than a month. To plant, simply separate the seeds from the flesh and place in a pot with well draining soil and consistent moisture. The seeds will germinate in 3-4 weeks.

Grafting and air-layering are less common propagation methods, but are used in countries like Brazil where surinam cherries are commercially grown. Cleft grafts are common and they may also be planted as seedlings in the ground and later “top worked” with a superior variety.

A small young tree will bear around 6 pounds of fruit in a year while a mature large tree may bear up to 25 pounds a year.

At our fruit farm and nursery we often have Surinam cherry plants for sale.


Click to access surinam-charry.pdf

Surinam Cherry (general overview and growing info)

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Rollinia deliciosa – the lemon meringue pie fruit

Rollinia growing on tree

Rollinia could just be your new favorite fruit. For newbies with the  annona fruit family,  this fruit may genuinely surprise you. It’s got soft but spiky nubs and custardy, bright and sweet jelly like flesh. Sometimes it take a few tries to turn fruit skeptics into fans. For others like me, it was love at first sight/taste. Rollinia is SOOOOOO easy to grow in wet Hawaiʻi (and other tropical locations). It fruits from seed in as little as 2-3 years and may fruit multiple times a year for a staggered harvest.

Taxonomy of rollinia deliciosa

Rollinia Deliciosa or extremely similar Rollinia Mucosa. This fruit is known most commonly in Hawaii as Rollinia and in Brazil as Biriba.  There is a lot of debate among taxonomists about differences in these possible species (deliciosa v mucosa). More recently, taxonomist have chosen to forget their differences (mostly seen in the size and shape of the soft nubs on the outside and slight variations in flavor). They’ve given a new scientific name to them: annona mucosa – but this name has not be universally accepted. So, it seems like for the time being you can research R. deliciosa, R. Mucosa or A. Mucosa and find information on pretty much the same fruit.

Other common names for rollinia include: biriba, amazon custard apple, wild sugar apple, Fructa da Condessa.

Related fruits

Also under debate is whether this delicious fruit is truly in the custard-apple or annona family (annonaceae).  Still, taxonomists consider it a relative to other annonas like the Sugar apple (A. squamosa), cherimoya (A. cherimola), soursop (A. muricata), custard apple (A. reticulata), pond apple (A. glabra), ilama (A. diversifolia).

Rollinia fruit characteristics

Rollinia looks like an alien fruit. The flesh is a soft, gooey or jelly-like white pulp.  It has a white core and several dark brown, elliptic or seeds. The inside is creamy and soft, with very few fibers. The fruits vary greatly in size and shape and can weigh up to 8 or so pound.

The taste is a lemony custard- flavor, like lemon meringue. It is eaten fresh but is also made into raw desserts, ice cream, smoothies, etc. In Brazil it is fermented to make wine. Once rollinia is cut the flesh oxidizes quickly, it will also temporarily stain white dishes.


Importantly, research shows that the seeds have insecticidal properties and are poisonous to humans. Do not eat the seeds from rollinia or any other fruit in the Anonaceous (Annona) family. Be extremely careful when separating the flesh from the seeds for pureeing or putting in smoothies.

Rollinia Deliciosa or Rollinia Mucosa Harvest and Storage

Generally, rollinia is considered to have a short shelf life. The fruit ripens from green to yellow and can be picked early when they start to turn yellow. Clip the fruit leaving some stem. They still they may take approximately 4-7 days to ripen. You should try to eat it before the soft nubs completely blacken. Once the nubs turn black, the flesh inside turns more translucent and mucosy. Many find it is less desirable at this stage and should be eaten in the next day or two before it starts to ferment.

For picking for market, you can try picking the fruit at the very first sign of yellowing. Also, be careful with storage. The fruits are vulnerable to bruising even under their own weight. Store at room temperature on top of cushioning such as bundled newspaper or bubble wrap. Additionally, you may store rollinia in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life a few more days. But, be aware,  cooling the fruit after harvest can extend the shelf life but the skin is more likely to turn black.

Health Benefits of Rollinia

The rollinia fruit is a refrigerant and analeptic (stimulates the central nervous system). Also, due to its vitamin C content (73% RDI per 100g of Vitamin C) it is considered an antiscorbutic (effective against scurvy). The powdered seeds may be remedy for enterocolitis (inflammation of both the small intestine and the colon), but as mentioned above the seeds are also toxic to humans. Still, research is being done on Rollicosin, a new Annonaceous acetogenin, to develop a potential anti-tumor agent. Additionally, in traditional medicine it is used as an anti-pyretic (to reduce fevers), a restorative and general tonic.

100 grams of rollinia has 80 calories, 2.8 grams of protein, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2.1 grams of fat, 1.3 grams of fiber. It also contains Vitamin B1 and B2, Vitamin C, phosphorous, iron, niacin, and thiamine.

Growth Patterns of the Rollinia Tree

The first record of rollinia in Hawaii is from the 1930s. It is thought to have originated along the Amazon in Brazil, although it was also discovered in early Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. It thrives in humid, tropical lowlands.  In Hawaiʻi it thrives in wet, humid locations at 300 feet to 3,000 feet elevations. Also, rollinia prefers heavy soil, full sun and an acid pH.

These trees grow fast, as much as 10 feet a year (up to about 40 feet). They can tolerate of heavy rains, but not drought. In fact, they prefer locations with consistent rainfall throughout the year. They appreciate large mulch rings or organic matter for good fruit set.

Rollinia fruit set

In lower elevations in Hawaii, less than 1,000 feet, they may fruit several times a year or throughout the year. At higher elevations they are more likely to fruit in the fall only. Mature trees may put out anywhere from 25-100 fruits a year. But the average range is more like 30-50 fruits per year per mature tree.

In Brazil, scientists found 4 species of beetles that pollinate the fruit flowers. But only about a third of the flowers set fruit. This happens about 55 days after seeing the blooms.

Rollinia is most commonly propagated by seeds because they grow true to type. Seeds may take anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months to germinate, with about 80% success rate. To speed up the germination process you can try soaking them in water for 12-24 hours, or scarification. Like most fruit tree seeds it is good to sow them in partially shaded and wind protected nursery location.

Grafting and air layering can ensure consistently high yielding varieties. Scale and mealy bugs may be problems, as well as fruit fly.

If you are interested in purchasing rollinia trees, seeds or fruit, please visit my farm website:

I’m also available to set up a tropical fruit display or table at your next party or conference. Contact me for more information.

If you have fallen in love with Rollinia, you may want to check out durian:


Love, Ken & and Paull, Robert E. Rollinia. Fruits and Nuts, June 2011. F_N-21.

Morton, J. 1987. Biriba. p. 88–90. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

Chih-Chuang Liaw , Fang-Rong Chang , Ming-Jung Wu , and Yang-Chang Wu * Graduate Institute of Natural Products, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan, Republic of ChinaJ. Nat. Prod., 2003, 66 (2), pp 279–281

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Taro burger with rice, fresh herbs and vegetables

This holiday season, I am always reminded to be more grateful, and more industrious with the food we grow on our farm. We just harvested a large amount of taro – and of course my first thought was to make another large batch of taro burgers. This time I didn’t have the ingredients I had on hand for my last taro burger recipe, Taro Millet Burgers so I had to experiment again! The taro burger recipe below features taro, rice and fresh herbs and vegetables. You could probably make it vegan if you left out the eggs but I think the little bit of extra protein from eggs is a bonus in this recipe.

More about Taro

Taro is Native to South India and Southeast Asia and in Hawaii is considered a “canoe plant” (it was brought here by the first Polynesian settlers. Kalo (the Hawaiian word for Taro) has extreme significance in Hawaiian diet and culture. In the Native Hawaiian creation story , taro is the the older brother of mankind. Throughout Hawaii’s history, taro remained a staple crop and a significant part of the diet. Today, on the Hawaiian Islands kalo is still consumed regularly, but does not make up as large of a percentage of the diet as it had previously.

The scientific name for taro is Colocasia esculenta. It belongs to the Araceae (aroid) family, in the large genus, Colocasia. There are many varieties within 2 main types, dryland taro and wetland taro. We grow dryland taro in our garden, in raised rows. We get plenty of rain here on the Hāmākua coast of Big Island so this method is suitable and there is no need for us to grow wetland taro in Lo’i (taro ponds).

All of the taro plant is edible. However most people who are referring to taro, are referring to the root or corm when they say taro. In addition to the root, both the leaves and the stems of taro are also edible. But, all parts of the plant need to be thoroughly cooked; otherwise they contain too much calcium oxalate, which is considered toxic and will result in a very itchy and uncomfortable throat when consumed undercooked.

You can even put all of the taro plant in the pressure cooker at once. First the steam basket, then taro root, then stems and then leaves. The stems have a delicious nutty taste when they are freshly cooked and warm. The corms are often compared to potatoes, but they are stickier, starchier, and tastier. The also have a slightly nutty taste.

Health benefits of taro

Taro has so many health benefits. Many people believe that eating taro is an essential part of a healthy diet. It is not easy to harvest and cook it, you have to dig it up, wash it, cook it, then process it. It sticks to everything and leaves quite a mess! But it is worth it. The whole process, (including digestion) slows you down and makes your  truly appreciate the food. Taro root is high in fiber and potassium and also contains some folate, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and a small amount of calcium. See the nutrition facts in the chart below.


Taro nutrition Facts

(Colocasia esculenta (L.) schott), raw, Value per 100 g, (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy112 Kcal6%
Carbohydrates26.46 g20%
Protein1.50 g3%
Total Fat0.20 g<1%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary Fiber4.1 g11%
Folates22 µg5.5%
Niacin0.600 mg4%
Pantothenic acid0.303 mg6%
Pyridoxine0.283 mg23%
Riboflavin0.025 mg2%
Thiamin0.095 mg8%
Vitamin A76 IU2.5%
Vitamin C4.5 mg7%
Vitamin E2.38 mg20%
Vitamin K1 µg1%
Sodium11 mg<1%
Potassium591 mg12.5%
Calcium43 mg4%
Copper0.172 mg19%
Iron0.55 mg7%
Magnesium33 mg8%
Manganese0.383 mg1.5%
Selenium0.7 µg1%
Zinc0.23 mg2%
Carotene-ß35 µg
Carotene-α0 µg
Cryptoxanthin-ß20 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin0 µg


Taro Burger Recipe

yield: 30 burgers

equipment: food processor, pressure cooker (optional)



  • 10 pounds taro or approx 15 cups roughly pureed and cooked taro root (enough to fill up a whole pressure cooker)
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 carrots (grated, I used a my food processor since it was gonna get dirty any way)
  • 2 cups chopped greens (kale, spinach, etc)
  • 2 onions (sliced, again I sliced them quick in the processor)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (I used the jar of minced organic garlic from costco – economical and quick)
  • a few handful lots of herbs (this time we used fresh rosemary, vietnamese coriander, parsely and stick thyme)
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • lots of ground pepper
  • ¼ cup or so olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 cups breadcrumbs (can do gluten-free crumbs!)

steps for taro burger recipe:

  1. first cook taro until it is soft and easily sliced with a knife (see post on cooking taro in a pressure cooker)
  2. Cook white rice (2.5 cups water, 2 cups rice, bring to boil and cover for 20 minutes)
  3. Sautee onions and carrots in olive oil, add garlic and cook until soft, add chopped greens and cook until wilted.
  4. While you got the veggies going, chop taro into chucks and place food processor
  5. Pulse taro in processor until mostly uniform and not very chunky. This may take several batches.
  6. Remove and place in large mixing bowl
  7. Now in food processor blend ½ the amount of cooked rice, eggs, herbs, soy sauce, salt, pepper.
  8. Mix into the large mixing bowl with taro and add the other ½ of the rice
  9. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
  10. In another bowl empty about a cup of breadcrumbs. Make balls out of the taro mixture, cover them in breadcrumbs and then press to make a patty. Add more breadcrumbs as needed to complete covering the taro burgers in breadcrumbs.

You can panfry the taro burgers or baked them. In this bulk recipe I did both. The panfried ones had a nice crispy outside. The baked ones didn’t crisp up so well but will be great frozen and then crisped up in a pan.

  1. To fry them place 2 tablespoons oil in a heated pan, fry for about 5 minutes on each side being carfeful not to burn. Add more oil as needed to get em crispy.
  2. To bake, oil a baking pan or sheet and place patties in preheated oven 375-400 degree F, flip burgers after about 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy! Make an exotic aioli and enjoy these on fresh buns or sourdough – snack on the them cold straight outta the fridge.


If you liked this recipe try my…


Taro Millet Veggie Burger

Black Bean Quinoa and Millet Veggie Burger



Taro can be prepared in an enormous variety of ways


Taro: Good For More Than Poi


Can Taro Farming Heal Hawaii?


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How to cook jackfruit (green) straight from the tree

I am not a vegetarian (currently), but today I woke up, completely “meated out”.  Sick of my same old chicken, turkey, beef dinners. Then I decided today, I am going to cook and eat jackfruit. We have a jackfruit tree that is already fruiting on our young exotic and tropical fruit farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. Unfortunately, the variety, Ziman Pink is extremely prone to “rust” or browning and rotting out before they are completely ripe. We are contemplating cutting the tree down, but then we realized if we just get into the flow of cooking green jackfruit (before they get the rust), maybe we can keep the tree for a few more years while our superior varieties of jackfruit trees we have planted mature to fruiting age. Follow this link for a broad article I wrote about jackfruit.

I made jackfruit curry once before with my brother, almost 7 years back. We picked a jackfruit out of the Napali Coast trail on Kauai and checked it in our luggage (actually a cooler) back to Honolulu. Impatient for it to ripen, and hearing about jackfruit curry we decided to give it a try. I don’t remember much, but I do remember it was a messy pain in the butt to cut open and it was DELICIOUS, textureful experience. Since then Jackfruit has popped up all over the web, trendy cafes, health food stores. You can find it canned in asian grocery stores or in “international aisles” in major supermarkets. The canned versions come either syrup (ripened sweet jackfruit) or in water or brine (green jackfruit). After my experiment today, I understand why even adventurous home cooks prefer to buy it canned.

You will need a pressure cooker to follow these directions. I highly recommend this simple pressure cooker; Presto -01370 8 Quart Stainless Steel


Or alternatively you could use your smaller Insta Pot.

I searched the internet this morning trying to remind myself how to cook and eat jackfruit when it is green to use in recipes. I found some information (which I follow and describe in my next section), but I found it…lets say lacking in essential in tips and pointers.

tips before you cook jackfruit:

  1. From harvest to cooking wear a shirt and shorts you absolutely don’t care about – many parts of you will get sticky with virtually non-removable sap during the process.
  2. Don’t harvest jackfruit with your favorite knife, blade, machete, it will just be another tool to thoroughly clean of latex/sap that comes from the stem and core of the jackfruit. You can snap off the stem near the top of the fruit. It will sap! Put it down on the ground and let it drip the latex for a few moments. Don’t hold it close to your body, arms, etc. Don’t put it in your car, or wheelbarrow.
  3. Before you cook jackfruit, definitely lay down newspaper, flat cardboard, thickly layered scrap paper etc on a large cutting surface (skip cutting board and go straight to thoroughly (news)paper lined countertop.
  4. Thoroughly oil your sharp knife, your hands and have (rubbing) alcohol, dish soap and a steel dish scrubber on hand.
  5. Be very careful with your slippy hands and knife while you cut (and wrestle) the jackfruit, getting through the center core is the hardest. I had to hug my jackfruit while I firmly cut into it, getting latex all over my shirt.
  6. Cleaning tips! Use a combination of alcohol, oil, dish soap and water and keep trying until it is not sticky any more.

How to cook jackfruit for use in recipes:

  1. Harvest or buy a green jackfruit (not ripe – no sweet smell, not hollow when tapped, doesn’t give to pressure of your thumb.
  2. Set up your station
    1. Lay out newspaper, flat cardboard, thickly layered scrap paper on countertop.fresh green jackfruit
    2. Get out a cooking oil (cheapest you have since you won’t be eating it) for oiling knife, hands and cleaning.
    3. Oil your sharpest biggest knife (cutting through center) and a smaller knife with serrated edges (for cutting out inner core)
    4. Get your cooking station set up….either:
      1. a pot or two of water boiling. Add a splash of oil to the water to discourage the latex from sticking.  (approx 45 minute cook time)
      2. use a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is supposed to take less time over all (10 minutes) of actual cooking – but this time doesn’t include time getting it to pressure (5 minutes) and letting it naturally cool down and release pressure (10 minutes).

Today I tried both methods. I think in the future I would probably just keep it simple and boil the jackfruit. The pressure cooker took a long time to heat up, and release steam. My end result was actually pink (remember the variety of Jackfruit I used was Ziman Pink), not sure if it is due to the variety or to other compounds being released under pressure cooking.

5. Start making the cut. Go slow, make firm cuts, hold the jackfruit to keep it steady as you break through the toughest part, the core. Cut either lengthwise (or the other way) which ever is safest for your oily hands and knife.

cook jackfruit

6. Cut out the “pithy” core. This is the part I did with a small serrated knife. It is kind of like carving Jack-o-lantern, but harder, slipperier, and stickier. Leave the skin on and the seeds in.

7. Drop in pot either pressure cook or boil about 45 minutes for boiling in a regular pot, about 10 minutes from when pressure is reached in your pressure cooker.

jackfruit in a pressure cooker

8. Once it has cooled, strain, peel skin, discard or save seeds and their outer coating (for other recipes), and set aside edible jackfruit portions for use in meals.

cook jackfruit

9. Once cool you can freeze for a few months for future use.


For more info on Jackfruit…

Jackfruit – the trendy vegetarian meat replacement


If you live in a tropical location and are looking for more information on cooking those “difficult” but highly abundant foods, you may like my article on how to cook Kalo/Taro. 

Here are several site with ideas on how to use and eat jackfruit:

Have You Tried Cooking With Jackfruit Yet? Get Started With These Recipes!