My fall farm harvest inspired this recipe for healthy carrot & pumpkin breakfast bars. Shredded carrots and shredded coconut, along with homemade cassava flour, homegrown squash, and home grown raw macadamia nuts.
Because it’s October and I made these tandem with healthy winter squash cheesecake, I went for the pumpkin spice theme. And, to be honest, I started out trying to make muffins. But after I made the batter, I noticed my muffin pan was rusted. All the better because my muffins are usually more like dense hearty bars anyways.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and/or gather inspiration for your own creations. OF course, you can use fresh ingredients, or canned squash, skip the cassava flour and use another favorite flour.
Carrot and Pumpkin Breakfast Bars
This recipe is inspired by my "fall" harvest on our Big Island farm. Tropical winter squash (curcubita moshata), garden carrots, fresh shredded coconuts, and freshly harvested raw macadamia nuts. I even used our homemade cassava flour.
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:
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
½ cup almond milk (or any other milk, you could try yogurt)
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).
This recipe for chocolate banana muffins with fresh coconut results in chewy hearty muffins that feel like a treat but still somehow healthy. They are full of organic grains, and healthy coconut oil and meat, and sweetened with unrefined sugar. They are just sweet enough to erase the bitterness of the chocolate but not so sweet that it will induce a sugar high. All my recipes are made with ½ the sugar or more that modern and secular taste bud are is used to.
Fresh coconut is that star of this recipe. This recipe uses fresh mature coconut meat from our farm. It is relatively hard to open coconuts and extract their meat if you don’t have the right tools. I don’t exactly have the right tools but I was motivated. My machete was too dull and it was too hard to husk the coconut completely so that it could be easily handled. But I persevered and cracked one open extracted enough and shredded it. Only took me ½ hour total. Which I guess is ok considering I salvaged at least 800 calories from it. That just half the day’s worth of calories.
Coconuts are high in healthy saturated fats (medium-chain fatty acids) including, capris, caprylic, and lauric acid. Lauric acid, out of these three, has the most antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Coconut meat. is an excellent source of fiber contains more than 7 grams per cup. It is high in minerals, especially manganese, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and selenium. It also has calcium, zinc, and phosphorus. Additionally, it contains vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B5 and folate and choline.
Owing to these nutritional characteristics coconut meat has been known to: a) help eliminate parasites from the body b) regulate bowel activity c) balance blood sugar levels d) destroy candida and other harmful organisms e) support the immune system f) aid in bone health and g) reduce the risk of heart disease.
Recipe for Chocolate Banana Muffins with Fresh Coconut
2 mixing bowls
measuring cups and spoons
Yield: 6 large muffins, 12 small-medium muffins
1 1/2cups organic white flour
1/2 cup instant rolled oats
½ cup unsweetened cacao powder
2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2tsp fine ground good salt (like Celtic Sea salt)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs beaten
1/2cupcoconut oil (unrefined or refined)liquid form (but not hot)
~1/3cup maple sugar (you can add a 10 drops of alcohol free stevia too)
2-3 ripe bananas mushed well
2 cups shredded fresh mature coconut meat
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Line muffin tin with coconut oil
Mix wet ingredients well in medium bowl
Mix dry ingredients well in separate smaller bowl
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well
Fold in coconut at the end
Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F for 6 large muffins. Reduce baking time to 20-30 minutes for smaller muffins. Baking time varies on environment, keep a close watch on your muffins looking for a firm golden-brown edge and top.
Tooth pick should come out clean when inserted. Cool 5 minutes and remove from muffin tin.
Enjoy these chocolate banana muffins with coconut while still warm
These passionfruit banana fruit roll-ups are a hit with our family this holiday season. This simple recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, can even be prepared RAW.
This Christmas 2017 we finally busted out our Teflex sheets. Last year we sent dehydrated bananas to our mainland families for Christmas. This year we needed a new trick. But since we had spent almost half of the year away from our farm, we had very little fruit and other foods to choose from…luckily the passionfruit vines Adam had planted years ago are now providing us with an abundance this winter. And, even though our banana forests were not maintained we still managed to find 3 racks of bananas. So – the lilikoi banana marriage finally happened with the help of our Teflex sheets we ordered for our mediocre dehydrater.
This super simple recipe was actually inspired by our friend in California who loves lilikoi. This kind family hosted us on and off for months. And – told us a story of how their friend tried to send them a box of fresh lilikoi, but it was opened inspected and not allowed through customs. In an effort to send our friends and family a little bit of the tropical vibe – we created these fruit leathers.
Recipe for Passionfruit Banana Fruit Roll-ups
lots of ripe bananas
lots of ripe lilikoi (passionfruit)
coconut oil (for teflex sheets)
unbleached parchment paper
You need omething to tie your fruit leather roll (better if it is food grade – or safe to put in our near your mouth)
Steps for making your own fruit leather
Prepare your dehydrator. If it has been a while since you have used your dehyradtor – take it out and give it a good wash. Here in the tropics, everything gets moldy real quick and easy. If you didn’t wash your dehydrator pristinely before your stored it from your last experiment, now is the time. Use warm soapy water. I even use a clean tooth brush to get in all the ridges and cracks.
After cleaning it, let it dry thoroughly and consider drying it with paper towels or a really clean towel. Our dehydrator is a mid-budget model. It is good because it has temperature control. Still it is on the smaller side and in my opinion a pain to clean. But all dehydrators are probably a pain to clean. I just looked it up and you can get it for $99 on Amazon:L’EQUIP 528 6 Tray Food Dehydrator, 500-watt. For making these fruit leathers I took out the plastic “grates” that usually accompany my dehydrator and replaced them with the fitted teflex sheets. See step 2.
Prepare your teflex sheets. The Teflex sheets Adam ordered were square. Not meant for the inside of our dehydrator. So I used a clean “exacto knife” – to be more exact I used the same kind of blade Adam uses for grafting – a hobby knife with a clean sharp blade. I roughly cut a circle in the middle and cut the edges to fit. After cutting the teflex sheets to the right size – I lathered them in refined organic coconut oil.
3. Blend up your ingredients. We have a Blendtec blender. I highly recommend it, or one of a similar quality. Especially when dealing with hard small seeds, like passionfruit seeds. This blender chops rights through them effortlessly. Furthermore we use the “wild side” jar for it. It is large enough to blend more than 4 cups (more like 6) without overflowing and making a mess. Here I put about 8 or so ripe bananas. 3-4 fresh lilikoi and 1 heaping tablespoon honey. I blend on high for 50 seconds until creamy.
4. Evenly pour your mixture onto your teflex sheets. I use about 2 blenders worth of the mixture per batch in my dehydrator – which has 6 levels. When pouring the mixture or batter in the idea is to make a even coat, where you cannot see through it. Try to pour evenly so that the “batter” doesn’t rub up against the middle or the sides too much making it a pain to clean. You can try using an oiled rubber spatula.
I used an angled icing spatula and found this was much easier than a rubber spatula. Although , it is still hard to get it completely even. Try but don’t drive yourself nuts. Shoot for ⅛” thick. Do not go more than ¼”. Wilton Angled Icing Spatula is one example you can find on amazon.
5. Start the dehydrator. For raw fruit leathers the raw foodies will tell you that you should not heat items above 105 degrees F. This is fine, but it will take a long time to dehydrate your passionfruit leathers. Especially because passionfruit pulp adds a lot of water to the equation. Consider your audience for the fruit roll-ups. For me, this Christmas 2017 the audience was our family – definitely not raw foodies. So I set the dehydrator around 115 F t 125F. I did several batches. If I was starting it later in the evening, I would set the temperature a little lower overnight. Then when I woke up would check them and flip them and adjust the temp for the day.
At 115 – 125 degree F, with about ⅛” thickness, most fruit leathers should be done at around 18 hours in the TROPICS. It is important to flip them over about halfway through. You should be able to peel the leather off the Teflex without compromising or ripping it and turn it over. If it starts to rip it is not ready to be turned over yet. The fruit roll-ups are done when they are no longer soft, or tacky.
6. Roll-em up. Use a large cutting board to cut the leathers in your desired length shape. At first I made small ones, like the horrible ones we all ate as children. But I found this to be labor intensive – so I began to make them as big as possible. Use the razor/exacto knife here again to help cut the leathers and the parchment paper.
Roll up as tight as possible, secure with your preferred method. At first I used scotch tape. But Adam gave me grief because it was hard to take off and he felt like he could taste/smell the sticky stuff on the tape. For lack of better options in our rural, humble town we used clean floss, like tooth floss for the remainder of our gifts. I am sure there is a better option out there. Please comment if you have any suggestions on that or anything else.
These banana brownies are a marriage between my oat flour banana bread recipe and chewy chocolate brownies. Bananas are so abundant here on Hawaii Island. They are also extremely versatile and especially great with chocolate. This recipe features coconut oil, maple syrup, and oat flour instead of wheat, butter, and refined sugar. It uses organic cocoa powder instead of processed chocolate chips. These are a guilt free dessert. Eat em up! Use a little less oat flour if you’ like them to come out more gooey than cake like, try substituting a different flour if you’d like a smoother brownie mouth feel.
Banana Brownie Recipe
1 cup liquid coconut oil
3 cups mashed banana
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs beaten
1 2/3 cups oat flour (ground oatmeal)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/3 cup cocoa powder
macadamia nuts for topping
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Oil 9 x 11 baking pan
mash and measure bananas. I use a immersion (stick) blender and its done in 30 seconds. You can leave some chunks if you want the banana chunk vibe
in a bowl combine all the ingredients starting with the liquid (oil, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, banana).
Then add the dry ingredients (salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and oat flour)
This salmon and avocado salad is extremely convenient, simple and inexpensive. It is so good for you it’s hard to believe it takes 2 minutes to make. We use canned Wild Alaskan Salmon we got from Costco and local avocados. You could also try this with high quality canned tuna (but obviously only eat it occasionally because of mercury and other toxins). For this recipe you can serve the salmon salad over a bed a lettuce, top with Manchego cheese or make a sandwich. If you want you can also add diced celery, and use products like Veganiase to make it taste more like your traditional tuna salad.
Both wild salmon and avocados are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are vital to our health. Most of the common knowledge about omega 3’s stops there, and that’s ok. We don’t all need to be nutritionists to eat better. In our increasingly “Westernized” diets, we have an imbalance of omega 3s (the good kine) and omega 6 (the kine we need to limit). Omega 6 acids are in many things that are good for us (in moderation) but also in many things we should avoid, especially the conventional and GMO versions (soybean oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, meat and dairy products, imitation cheeses, imitation eggs and egg mixes).
Recipe for Salmon and Avocado Salad
1 can wild salmon
1 small-medium avocado
1-2 dashes organic, or non-GMO, soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
A few turns of fresh ground black pepper
mash salmon and whole avocado in bowl
add pepper and soy sauce to taste (careful not to add to much soy)
I’ll have to brag for a moment here about the wonder of a variety of bananas called ICE CREAM BANANAS. It is a cross between Musa acuminata and balbisiana known as Blue Java. I know they don’t carry these in any supermarkets, they are even hard to find at the farmer’s market here in Hawaii. But you can usually find some trees at home depot for $7, plant it and wait about 1 to 2 years.
If you get the chance, you MUST try them. They are soft and creamy, with notes of vanilla and resemble ice cream when frozen! The have a blueish tint when they are un-ripe, and once they are yellow and very soft they are at their peak ripeness. These banana trees like to lean instead of standing tall, so beware before you plant them on the side of your path. Read more about ice cream bananas at this article from the Huffington Post.
Banana Ice Cream Instructions:
To make ice cream banana “ice cream”, all you need to do is peel several ripe ripe bananas and add to your blender or food processor and whip into a creamy creamy puree and chill in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
Obviously, any bananas will work. Just don’t use ones that are browning or very bruised. An easier way to enjoy the taste, is to simply peel and freeze the bananas and enjoy as a super simple, sweet and satisfying dessert. If left in the freezer longer, it will still be good but the consistency will crystalize. If you have an ice cream maker, you may want to take it a step further and prepare the bananas by churning it to decrease the crystals. I have used my Kitchenaid Ice cream attachment with excellent results. You can try adding coconut milk for a coconut ice cream banana ice cream.
People put a lot of things on popcorn all over the world. In Hawaii, “Hurricane Popcorn” often is sprinkled with furikake, sugar, food colorings and other seasonings. In this furikake popcorn recipe, we strip out the unessential sugar and colorings and simple toss the furikake with melted coconut oil. If you are not familiar with furikake a basic definition is a traditional Japanese seasoning that includes sea salt, toasted sesame seeds, and nori (a dried seaweed).
Furikake is a packed with nutrition. The sea salt includes magnesium. The toasted sesame seeds are high in protein, minerals, and nori contains protein fiber and many more minerals and vitamins. Seaweed also has naturally occurring iodine which is vital for developing fetuses, and in proper thyroid function. Additionally, seaweeds have more than 56 minerals and trace minerals necessary for your body in the most absorbable form.
Make sure you look for all natural varieties as often mainstream furikake contains MSG, gmo-sugars, etc. Check the ingredients and make sure you are infact making the healthy choice. Also, avoid labels with words like “stabilizers, additives etc.”
For example, this furikake pictured is made with sea salt and contains no MSG. Furikake is most often used on top of rice. Additionally it is sometimes as an additive with another Hawaiian dish called Poke, on baked or broiled fish, on top of fries etc. Try adding this savory topping to your Popcorn to up your nutrient content.
Recipe for homemade Furikake Popcorn
Use an air popper or pop your corn in a pot just like the ol’ days using coconut oil.
Toss with salt, more coconut oil if needed and then the furikake.
As an optional extra seasoning you could add a few dashes of some hot sauce
I grew up on Jiffy cornbread. In fact, I learned to bake with these packaged mixes. I know they have their time and place but once you learn more and more about processed foods it is hard to buy pre-made mixes. In fact, there are many reasons to stay away from baking mixes. For one, the fewer ingredients a recipe contains, the more wholesome it is. Eating WHOLE foods is the key to a healthy existence.
This recipe for healthy cornbread is made with coconut oil and a low amount of sugar (instead I like to use honey) instead of up to ½ cup of sugar and lots of butter. For those kids who used to the super dense moist cornbreads of school lunches it may be hard to transition to but just serve it warm with a little bit of honey and the kids will enjoy as much as the husband and friends.
Healthy Cornbread Recipe
Yield: 10-12 inch pie dish or cake pan. 1 loaf pan about 1 ½” thick.
Equipment: oven, baking pans, oven mits!
1 and ⅓ cup milk (I have used whole, organic, raw milk from the mountains of Pa‘auilo), you could also do ⅔ buttermilk (2 teaspoons lemon juice and milk and let sit for 10 minutes) and then ⅔ cup regular milk.
2 eggs (organic)
1-2 tablespoons honey (Big Island honey all the way)
This raisin cinnamon swirl bread recipe will take you back to you childhood. Nostalgic sugar sweetened plump raisins in chewy bread. This recipe is not complicated. Just follow the steps and allow time to let it rise until it doubles in size 2x. This recipe is perfect for a Sunday morning when you are just hanging around the house. Don’t rush the rising process!
Recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
wire cooling rack (optional)
heavy duty mixer or food processor
dry ingredients (step 1):
½ teaspoon salt
2 -3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 and ½ cup flour
wet ingredients (step 2-3):
⅔ cup milk
½ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
⅔ cup buttermilk (⅔ cup milk + 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice-let sit for 5 minutes)
2 teaspoons yeast (for step 3)
1 cup + raisins, for best results they should be brought to room temperature (for step 8)
1) mix dry ingredients
2) add ⅔ cup milk regular milk (not buttermilk) into a bowl and add ½ cup of brown sugar, stir to dissolve
3) add yeast to milk and brown sugar mixture. let sit for 5 minutes. stir to dissolve (make sure you STIR and allow it to dissolve before adding anything else).
3) mix until combined and makes a soft dough
4) knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic and then place in oiled bowl covered with towel. (although metal bowls are said to conduct too much heat, and rise the dough too quickly. even though I live in the tropics, where it is always warm and humid, my place is windy. I find that my dough rises good in my kitchen aid bowl.)
5) let rise until double in size (no matter how long it takes).
6) after doubled in size, punch down and turn over onto lightly floured surface, let rest for 10 minutes
7) roll out dough into large rectangle, a good 5 inches or more long than your loaf pan
8. Add raisins and rolls into a loaf, tuck the sides in and place in the loaf pan and let rise again (until doubled in size (can be ½ hour to 2 hours).
9. bake in an oven at 425 degree F until the top starts to brown
10. reduce to 350 degrees F for about 20 more minutes. Cool on wire rack and love it.