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Quinoa Yucca Veggie Burgers

I made this recipe for quinoa yucca veggie burgers when we had an abundance of cassava root and an abundance of quinoa from our original covid-19 stock up on protein rush. This recipe is great for making veggie burgers in bulk and then freezing a few for future snacking.

Ingredients for Quinoa Yucca Vegetable Burgers

  • 5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh herbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 4 cups cooked and roughly chopped casssava
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup or more gluten-free flour or not to coat

Steps for Quinoa Cassava Burgers:

1. Cook  the quinoa according to instructions 
2. Prepare and cook cassava
3. Meanwhile, chop onion, garlic, carrot, fresh herbs and sauté in pan until soft
4. In a food processor, blend cooked cassava, onion and herb sauté and egg and process until mostly smooth
5. Put cooked quinoa in large bowl and add cassava herb mixture from food processor mix well, season as desired
6. In a separate bowl add gluten-free flour or flour of choice. Place ⅓ cup mixture or so into bowl and form a ball, then squish into a patty
7. Then you can either pan fry, air fry, or bake your patties.
8. If your are using an air fryer I recommend 14 minutes brushed with coconut oil or sprayed with olive oil before and in the middle of cooking time before flipping 7 minutes into the cooking time
9. If you prefer to bake… bake at 425 and coat the pan in oil and brush the burgers in oil. You may then choose to flip halfway through baking at around 15 minutes.
10. If you are pan frying, they need about 3-5 minutes on each side to make sure the egg is cooked through. 

If you like this recipe you may like my….

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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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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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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!




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Jackfruit – the trendy vegetarian meat replacement

Jackfruit is one of the first tropical fruits I feel in love with. It looks like a monster baby egg, but jackfruit taste is so pleasant they modeled a gum flavor after it. It is also large, spiky, and a chore to open up. But the jackfruit is a powerhouse of nutrition, flavor and calories. You can eat it raw when it is ripe (sweet) or  cooked green (aka under-ripe) as a vegetable often used as a meat replacement in many recipes. Below you’ll find more information on jackfruit, the world’s largest tree fruit. You will also learn how to harvest and eat jackfruit, both raw jackfruit and how to cook jackfruit when it is green.

Jackfruit taste, harvest, storage and growing information

Latin Name and family: Artocarpus heterophyllus, family: Moraceae (mulberry, fig and breadfruit family).

Other names: jak-fruit, jak, jaca, nangka (Malaysia and the Philippines); khanun (Thailand), khnor (Cambodia), mak mi or may mi (Laos), mit (Vietnam).


Jackfruit is the largest fruit that comes from a tree. The fruit itself can range from 8 inches to 3 feet (or 20-90 centimeters) long and 6 – 20 inches (15-50 cm) wide. The weight ranges from 10 lbs to an average of 50-60 lbs. Howeer, some people have recorded them weighing up to 110 lbs. The outside of the skin has hard little points connected to a thick wall.

(this is a picture of a bumpy “Ziman Pink” jackfruit – a crunchy variety of jackfruit. It is compared to the size of a iPhone 5 : )

Inside jackfruit the main edible portions are like large “bulbs” surrounding the seeds. These bulbs have a somewhat stringy flesh. The seeds inside are light brown and are usually 3/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches long and about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick. The seeds have a thin white membrane outside. One jackfruit can contain up to 100-500 seeds inside each fruit. When a jackfruit is fully ripe it has a strong odor. Inside, the pulp of the fruit smells fragrant and tropical, like pineapple and banana.

Jackfruit in the Kitchen:

It is rumored that the flavor for Juicyfruit gum was modeled after the jackfruit. Now, jackfruit is gaining popularity worldwide especially for its use when it is unripe, it is being marketed as a vegan or vegetarian meat substitute. The unripe flesh can be cubed and boiled or cooked similar to breadfruit or plantains. Some people say that it tastes like chicken or pork; it truly soaks up the flavors of the sauces in which it is cooked. In the United States you can now find green (unripe) jackfruit in several health food cafes served in dishes like Vegetarian pulled pork sandwiches or tacos and in stores as prepared and frozen meat replacements. It is also sold in cans in water or brine. The seeds are also edible and a great source of protein when they are boiled and the hard shells removed.

Ripe jackfruit is a also a wonderful edible experience. The ripe pulp is great eaten raw in its natural state. It is also available canned in many markets. It is sweet, fruity, tropical, but unlike any one other fruit. Many people say that jackfruit has hints of pineapple, mango, banana, but again, these are just common tropical flavors that may relate to it.  You must get a chance to try ripe jackfruit for yourself. The canned jackfruit in syrup does not do this super fruit justice. Many people distinguish between two jackfruit types: crunchy and soft. Both are great and yield slightly different properties in their culinary applications.


Jackfruit culinary applications

My first experience with unripe Jackfruit was a when I cooked a green jackfruit curry. Many recipes use canned young jackfruit. But I highly recommend tracking your own unripe jackfruit down and experimenting. Another common recipe these days is green jackfruit “pulled pork” or barbecue jackfruit.

Jackfruit has a sticky latex when you pierce the skin.  It can be quite messy so it is highly recommended that you oil your knife and maybe even your hands a tiny bit before cutting into it. You may want to even open it in a shallow cardboard box or on top of newspapers to help with the mess.

To prepare green jackfruit, cut it into manageable sections, leaving the skin on and boil it for 45 minutes or pressure cook it for about 10. Once it has cooled, you can remove skin and seeds and use the edible pods cubed or separate it into stringy bits for recipes like vegan steak or pulled pork.

As mentioned previously, the seeds are also edible once cooked. However, it is a pain to remove the plastic-like outer layer of the seed. I have made a really yummy jackfruit seed vegetable burger but it did take a fair amount of work. You can also roast and dry seeds and turn them into a flour.

The ripe pulp may be used in fruit salad, fruit smoothies, etc. Moreover, both the green or ripe pulp can be frozen or canned.

Below are a few recipes that highlight jackfruit…

Jackfruit Curry – Vegetarian Curry Recipe

EASY Vegan Jackfruit BBQ (with fresh jackfruit!) (you tube video)



Jackfruit Harvest and Storage:

The fruits can mature anywhere from 3 to 8 months from flowering. You can usually tell it is ripe because they change from light green to yellow-brown, but be sure to harvest before it is quite brown and spots appear. The “spines” on the fruit may yield to pressure of your thumb and the fruit should sound hollow when tapped. Jackfruit turn very brown and deteriorate quickly after ripening (2-4 days). Ripe fruits can be kept a few weeks with adequate refrigeration and you can keep the edible flesh frozen for a few months once it is separated from the rind and the seeds.

Toxicity: Ripe jackfruit may act as a laxative if too much is eaten. The raw seeds are indigestible and need to be baked or boiled.

Health benefits:

A study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition indicated that the pulp of jackfruit is a natural source of antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. This means the fruit can help slow down skin aging and can even assist in repairing damaged molecules, like DNA.

Another study published in The Ceylon Medical Journal categorized jackfruit as a low-glycemic index fruit, which is attributed to its dietary fiber content. Consumption of unripe jackfruit can even be used to fight high blood sugar level, according to a Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service study.

Growth patterns:

Jackfruit needs humid tropical or near tropical climates for abundant fruit production. These trees have been known to grow at up to 5,000 feet elevation (1,500 m) and they may reach 30-70 feet (9-21 meters) tall. Its leaves are evergreen and glossy but somewhat leathery. They measure up to 9 inches long (22.5 cm). All parts of the tree contain a sticky, white latex.

The jackfruit tree is monoecious (meaning it has both male and female flowers and can pollinate itself). Because they are so tropical and need humid environments, these trees are not tolerant of drought and they are sensitive to frost. In addition, they need very good drainage. Jackfruit trees may live up to 100 years, but their productivity peaks and then declines with age.


Jackfruit is most commonly propagated by seeds which may last up to 1 month before planting. Germination of the seeds takes 3-8 weeks. To speed up germination soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. According to Morton (1987) if you soak the seeds in a 10% solution of gibberellic acid they result in 100% germination. Additionally, jackfruit has a sensitive tap root, so be sure to take care to transplant it while is  young and to give enough space for the tap root. You can try planting jackfruit seedlings, but will have more consistent or predictable results with varieties that are grafted or air layered.

If you like jackfruit check out this article on Durian – the most controversial fruit of all time.


1.Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.

2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc.

3., Julia F. Fruits of Warm Climates. Creative Resources Systems, Inc. 1987. pp. 58-63.

4. Popenoe, Wilson. Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. Hafner Press. 1974. Facsimile of the 1920 edition. pp. 414-419

5. Tankard, Glenn. Tropical Fruit: an Australian Guide to Growing and Using Exotic Fruits. Viking O’Neil. 1987. pp. 52-53.

6. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010 Jun;65(2):99-104. doi: 10.1007/s11130-010-0155-7

7. The Hindu, “Unripe Jackfruit helps fight diabetes: study,” April 4, 2016


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Durian – a rare fruit lovers’ most controversial affinity

 Durian – The King of Fruits is quickly gaining popularity around the world. It is considered at the top of the list for most rare fruit enthusiasts where the tree isn’t native ( in Thailand and Malaysia they are abundant).  These fruits are considered controversial mostly because of their distinct odor when ripe, repelling many people from trying it. It has actually been banned on public transportation in Singapore, and many other places it is banned from hotels, airports, etc.

durian banned

durian fleshThis controversy over the odor leads the way to its fame. Its texture and taste is separate from its smell, and extremely unique to durian. In Hawaii, these fruits are still considered rare and valuable. On Big Island the going rate is $3 a pound for wholesale and $5 a pound for retail. One fruit may sell for as much as $20.  This is a lot considering only about 20% is edible.

Our Big Island plant nursery has several seedling durians for sale from excellent rootstock. These plants are great for planting out now and top working later. See our website for more info on our plant sales. 

Below you’ll find basic information on Durian including the characteristics of the fruit, the plants, taste, health benefits and more. 

Latin Name and family:

Durio zibethinus (species), Durio Adanso, (genus), Bombacaceae (Kapok-tree family)

Other names: King of Fruit,

Characteristics of Durian:

The durian fruits size and shape varies. In general they can be described as ovoid-oblong and sometimes they are round. They are 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) long, and 5 to 6 inches (12.5-15 cm) wide. On average they may be 7-10 pounds but some may weigh up to 20 pounds (8 kg) in weight. They are often described as the size of a US Football. A yellowish-green sometimes brown rind is very thick and is semi-woody. It has sharp spines and for this reason the falling fruits may cause serious injury.


Only up to 25% of the durian is pulp or flesh and 20% is seeds. Inside there are sections with the pulp surrounding the seeds. The flesh color varies from white, yellowish, pale orange or pink. Its texture is creamy, custardy and smooth.

Taste and Culinary Uses:

Durian is probably the world’s most controversial fruit. There is a famous Southeast Asian saying, they are hell on the outside and heaven on the inside.” When they ripe it has an aroma that is often described as rotten onions, low-tide seaweed, sewer pipe, turpentine, decayed onion. But the flavor is much different than the odor. Descriptions of the durian flavor vary and include: a general tropical fruit, garlic, vanilla, almonds, bananas, ice cream. It is not very sweet, or acid or juicy.

The ripe fruit is most often eaten raw, straight from the fruit, and eaten out of your hands. It is best chilled in the refrigerator. Commercial production in some countries includes canned flesh in syrup, durian paste, preserved in salt. It can also be used unripe as a vegetable when cooked, or preserved and salted and used as a relish with rice. In Java, the flesh is prepared as sauce to eat with rice, or turned into a relish. Others may ferment it and even smoke it and prepare as a side dish. The seeds are also edible once they have been boiled, dried and then fried or roasted. Even the rind may be used as an added ingredient in baking.

Buying, Harvesting and Storing Durian:

Durians mature in 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 months from the time of fruit-set. When the fruit is ripe it will fall to the ground. Durian is best harvested this way because it ensures maximum ripeness and flavor. In Thailand they pick durian early and use sprays to help it ripen. However in Malaysia they let it fall to the ground. Many people say that if it has fallen in the last day it is perfect, others relate that a durian left on the ground for about 12 hours improves the flavor.

How to pick out a durian

When you are buying durian, it is important to get one at the ideal stage of ripeness. If it is under-ripe, there will be little flavor, or bad flavor. If it is overripe, it is more likely that it tastes how it smells. Avoid buying durian with these characteristics: 1) a wrinkled stem, 2) discoloration on spikes, splits in the shell, 3) holes in the shell from bugs 4) flesh that is too hard to too soft and runny.

When picking a durian it is important to concentrate on the smell. An under-ripe durian has no smell where an over-ripe durian has a really strong smell. A perfectly ripe fruit will have a lower level earthy but sulfurous smell.

There are also other tricks to picking a good durian that work but vary on the particular variety. A few are: 1) stratch the stem, should be a grass-green color under the brown layer, 2) shake the durian, a ripe durian will rattle a little bit as the flesh recedes, 3) thump or tap with the side of a knife, if it sounds a little hollow it should be edible, 4) scrape fingers or a stick along the spikes, if you hear a sort of hollow reverberation instead of dull sound it is more likely to be ripe.

Durians persish quickly. They ripen 2 to 4 days after falling and are only fit to eat within 5 or 6 days.

Health benefits:

Great source of B Vitamins, such as niacin, riboflavin, B5, B6, and thiamin. A 3.5 oz portion or 100 grams of the raw flesh contains 147 calories and it has 33% daily value of Vitamin C and 31% daily value of Calcium, and 5 grams of fat. Additionally, it is rich in potassium, iron and copper. They also contain thiamin, folic acid and even tryptophan. Moreover, the flesh is reported to an aphrodisiac. There are several reported medicinal benefits of durian: the flesh as a vermifuge (dewormer), the roots and leaves decocted as a fever reducer, medicinal baths with the leaves for people with jaundice, and decoctions of the leaves and fruits are applied to swelling and skin diseases.

Growth patterns:

The tree is tropical and in some countries will not grow above 2,000-2,600 feet). They also need a lot of rainfall. Durian trees may grow 90 to 130 ft (27-40 m) in height in tropical forests. From seed there is usually fruit production in about 12 -15 years. However, grafted trees will grow to be smaller trees and bare fruit in as short as 6-8 years. In the first several years of fruit you can expect anywhere from 10 to 40 fruits.

As they mature (6th or so year of fruiting) this number may possibly jump up to over 100. Because they take so long to fruit from seeds, most people plant grafted trees from good rootstock. The fresh durian seeds are usually only viable for 7-10 days. There are over 300 named varieties in Thailand, in Malaysia there are 100. However only a few are in commercial production. Cross-pollination is recommended for good fruit set.

Check out my other articles on rare fruit:



1.Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.

2.Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc.





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Perfectly Homemade Apple Pie

I recently visited my parents in upstate NY during apple season. They have more than 20 unknown varieties of cute apple trees with little tart apples of varying sizes, shapes and tastes. Adam was visiting with me and begggggged me to make apple pie. Then I made 4 more. This pie recipe is classic, really good and does
n’t involve a lot of processed ingredients. In my crust recipe I cut the butter with 50% coconut oil. Obviously you could leave out the coconut oil and use all very cold butter and this recipe should work great. I encourage people to try using just coconut oil for the crust. I haven’t been that adventurous yet.


My mom had this cute apple peeler and corer, it was definitely a time saver with the super small apples on their farm.

Recipe for the Apple Pie

Yield: 1 apple pie in 9” inch diameter pie pan, with a top and bottom crust

Equipment: Pie pan, food processor

Ingredients for the pie crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups white flour (plus another cup or so for rolling out the dough)
  • 1/2 cups salted butter ice cold, chopped (plus another tablespoon or two for dabbing under the top pie crust.
  • 1/2 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp or less salt
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water or less
  • 1 egg beaten (for the egg wash)

Steps for the pie crust:

  1. Mix cold butter and coconut oil in food processor with flour. I roughly chop frozen butter and flash freeze the coconut oil first. Pulse the mixture for 2 -3 seconds at a time until it becomes crumbly. Maybe about 30-40 pulses. You want there to be small chunks of butter and coconut oil.
  2. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl and add the icy water teaspoon or so at a time, mixing gently with fork until the dough becomes uniformly moist but not sticky.
  3. Stick your hands into ice cold water and dry them, gently mold dough into a ball (mixture will be crumbly, be patient and gentle). Then wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Ingredients for the apple pie filling:

  • 3-4 cups sliced thin apples that are cored and peeled.
  • 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2-3 tablespoons flour
  • Juice of 1 or 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Steps for rolling out the pie dough:

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it warm for a few minutes  (2-5).
  2. Set up a well floured surface to roll the dough and flour the rolling pin. To make it easier for yourself, is this is your first time in a while with pie dough, you can lay a piece of wax paper down and flour that.
  3. Separate the dough into two, one part should have a little more dough for the bottom of the pan.
  4.  Roll the dough out gently for a first time, it will crack a lot and be very crumbly. After a couple of rolls, turn it into a ball again and then roll it out again on the wax paper. Adding more flour on the wax paper and the rolling pin as necessary. Be careful not to warm the dough with your hands too much. Handle as little as necessary. Remember you want chunks of butter and coconut oil to make the pie crust flaky. Try to roll it out until it at least a ½ in more than the diameter of your pie plate when it is upside down. Add more flour as necessary during the rolling making sure the bottom of the dough isn’t sticking too much. You can turn it over a few times during this process. Then fold in half and gently place into pie pan. Set aside in the fridge
  5. Repeat steps for the top of the pie crust. When finished place on a plate in the fridge and For the bottom of the pie pan, roll out half of the dough . Roll it out until it looks at least a 1/2 inch – 1 inch more than the diameter of the bottom of your pie pan. Place carefully in pie pan. Roll out the second half for the top of the pie.
  6. Add the juice of 1 or 2 lemons to a large mixing bowl (discard seeds).
  7. Wash, core and slice the apples, tossing them in lemon juice as you add them to a bowl.
  8. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup and gently toss until the apples are evenly coated.
  9.  After your bottom crust is in place, put the apples carefully in the pie pan, adding a little flour     as you go. Right before you put the pie top on, add small dabs or little pinches of butter under the top of the crust.
  10. Make a few slits in the dough, and gently wash with beaten egg.

11. Bake in preheated oven at 350° F for 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden brown.


if you like this recipe try my….

Cinnamon buns with coconut oil and macadamia nut frosting


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Easy Fried Rice recipe (gluten-free)

This easy fried rice recipe is a perfect way to use left over rice, meat and vegetables. It can be made vegetarian and gluten-free making it a flexible meal to serve for guests with allergies and vegetarian principals. I make this recipe at least once a week, sometimes more. It’s great for using up whatever garden veggies I have and any other left overs (like ground beef, turkey, chicken etc). You can even add canned salmon or tuna to this. You can make this a veggie stacked as you desire or just put a little in there for color if you are low on produce. I would not try skipping the ginger, garlic, or onion, and especially not the soy sauce and the eggs. Hope you enjoy and make lots of easy fried rice recipes!

If you like other meals that can be made with flexible ingredients, try my frittata recipe.


Recipe for Easy Fried Rice


  • some sort of cooked meat (chopped chicken, ground beef, even canned fish, turkey, or just vegetarian)
  • 1.5 – 2 cups cooked rice
  • ginger – 1 inch piece peel and chopped into large pieces
  • garlic, 1-2 cloves chopped
  • chopped veggies (onion, carrot, celery, peppers, cabbage, etc.)
  • soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • a little maple syrup


  1. In a large pan heat olive oil and then add the chopped veggies
  2. Sautee in olive oil until tender (5-10 minutes depending on vegetables)
  3. Add ginger, garlic and meat if using stirring consistently to avoid burning the garlic for another 3 minutes.
  4. Next, add 1-2 eggs to the pan and stir constantly until cooked, scrambling them in the vegetables.
  5. If you need more oil add it and then add the rice and stir until heated and combined
  6. Add a few splashes of soy sauce and a SMALL drizzle of maple syrup
  7. Stir until combined, taste and then add more salt (and/or more soy sauce) and some fresh ground pepper to taste .