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Healthy Winter Squash Cheesecake

Why is this winter squash cheesecake recipe healthy?

Ok – let’s cut right to the chase. This healthy winter squash cheesecake recipe, is labeled as such on my page because I use a combination of coconut oil and butter in the crust. (I know butter is good for you but it’s hard for me to use 6 tablespoons of it at once in a recipe, plus I have way more coconut oil than butter in my house).

I also use maple syrup instead of refined sugar. Maple syrup is much more rich in essential minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese) than sugar. And! coincidentally, I have much more maple syrup in my house than sugar (which is pretty much reserved for kombucha making at this point).

Lastly, this winter squash cheesecake recipe uses about 3/4 as much squash as cream cheese, compared to cheesecakes that are close to 100% cheese. Winter squash is an original super food, complete with carotenoids (like your favorite Beta-carotene), protein, Vitamin C & B6, fiber, magnesium and potassium. If I had had access to hippie graham crackers while making it I would have used those instead of Honey Maid – but hey! at least they boast no high fructose corn syrup. Maybe next time I’ll make my own cookies for a crust… (haha we will see).

ingredients for winter squash cheesecake

What if I don’t have a spring form pan?

Perfect! Then this recipe is for you. You can make cheesecake in any pan that has walls that you can safely put in the oven. I have A LOT of kitchen gadgets, but being sorta dairy and gluten sensitive, I still haven’t added in spring form pans (or even cake pans!) to my arsenal here in Hawai’i. But, Black Friday is just around the corner so maybe I’ll re-up my kitchen supplies.

Anyways, this recipe is pretty much cut in half from your traditional cheesecake recipe (you know, the thick slices with 2 inches above the crust that make you wonder why you ate dinner before dessert?) Well, in this recipe the slices are just as wide but they’re not as tall because I use a pie baking dish. I’ll admit I had a little extra filling (about 1/2 cup or so) so I made a little more crust and made an extra mini cheesecake so we could try it before I gave it to my friend for her birthday to share with her family. (Covid-era! and we cannot have her over for dinner, blow candles out!, etc.)

What is tropical winter squash?

Curcubita moschata grown on our farm.

The term tropical winter squash is not scientific. Really I mean Curcubita moschata, a species of winter squash that is more tolerant of heat and humidity, and pests than C. maxima or C. pepo Which of course explains why we can pretty much grow it here year round in Hawai’i as long as we give it the ideal circumstances for producing fruit.

The curcubita moschata varieties we like most have orange skin on the outside, are about small – medium and more oblong than round. This one pictured was the only one we’ve harvested from the farm this summer. I got the seeds to plant it from a winter squash we found at the farmers market that had my favorite characteristics mentions about. It is obvious but worth nothing – that this winter squash cheesecake shares a lot of similarities with its cousin pumpkin cheesecake.

Let’s jump to the cheese

Really I made this recipe because no other recipes combined everything I WANTED to use in a cheesecake recipe. So I mulled through many recipes, tried to get an idea of the ratios, portions, and just general vibe – until I sat down to write this one up. So if you enjoy a little bit of the healthy cooking but still want to keep things a bit “traditional” – I hope you find this recipes gives you a baseline for the possibilities out there.

This was actually the first cheesecake I’ve ever made by myself. Recently, I supervised an 11 year old who had a dream of making strawberry cheesecake. We used this recipe from Delish. It came out excellent to her standards – but I did learn a few things about how to be more specific in writing the recipe, how to crush the graham crackers (in a food processor not by hand!), and how much batter would fill the pan appropriately. For this winter squash cheesecale recipe I also based my proportions around the Delish recipe a bit.

If you have a lot of winter squash to use, you may also like my ginger & squash beef stew recipe, my winter squash bisque recipe, coconut, red pepper and squash soup, OR my farm fresh breakfast bars recipe (coming soon!).

Tropical Winter Squash Cheesecake

This "healthy" recipe is for a small cheesecake (that has about 3/4 of a inch of filling) – I made in a pie pan but cake pans would work too if you're not worries about presentation. I use more coconut oil than butter in the crust, maple syrup instead of sugar, and of course, part of the filling is homegrown tropical winter squash.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Resting time 4 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 395 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

For the crust

  • 9 whole graham crackers about 1 package of the Honey Crisp (or most standard packages).
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the filling

  • 12 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup winter squash puree
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup+ maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp flour (optional – I did this just incase the squash and maple syrup loosened the batter too much)

Instructions
 

For the crust

  • Melt butter and coconut oil
  • Break up the crackers roughly and add them to your food processor and pulse until mostly chopped
  • Add coconut oil, butter, maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon and pulse until combined.
  • Press into the bottom of the dish your are using.

For the squash cheesecake filling

  • Beat the cream cheese, sour cream and maple syrup until combined
  • Add the squash and beat until thoroughly mixed
  • Add the eggs and spices and mix until mixture looks fluffy
  • Finally add tablespoon of flour and mix just a little more.
  • Pour over crust until just barely to the top of your pie pan (or use up all of it if you are using spring form or cake pan.
  • Baking in an oven preheated to 325°F for 30-40 minutes until all but the very center is cooked (the center should be a little jiggly).
  • Turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Finish cooling in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or over night.
  • Top with pretty garnishes! (chopped nuts, caramelized chopped nuts, toasted coconut, cinnamon, whipped cream etc.)

Nutrition

Serving: 8slicesCalories: 395kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 6gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 317mgPotassium: 99mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 350IUVitamin C: 0mgCalcium: 310mgIron: 1.62mg
Keyword Squash
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Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage

This is gonna be a quickie post – because the hardest part about this Sweet and Sour Red cabbage recipe is growing the cabbage. It takes MONTHS! But when they finally are ready they are a glorious dark purple. So why do they call it red cabbage??!

But seriously, I fell in love with German red cabbage side dish while in germany in my early 20s. And have never forgotten how satisfying it is. This summer we were lucky enough to successfully grow many many red cabbages. They have an excellent shelf life. I always mean to steam or cook them some other way (as my husband prefers) but really they don’t ever make it to another culinary treat because I am obsessed with this dish. I can eat an entire bowl of it.

Enjoy this simple recipe. You can tweak by adding a different kind of sweetener, or by adding more. I keep it really light to encourage my husband to eat it because he dislikes sugary things.

Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage

This recipe is similar to German Cabbage, except it is stripped down to make it a bit healthier, less sweet, and with less spices. But it is elegantly delicious!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 8 cups
Calories 139 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • This recipe is very simple. Prepare all ingredients. Add to medium/large pot.
  • Bring to boil (this happens quickly because it has little liquid)
  • Then bring to simmer for about 2 hours stirring a few times during the cooking.
  • Enjoy warm or cool as a side dish or addition to other recipes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0gMonounsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 80mgPotassium: 732mgFiber: 6gSugar: 13gVitamin C: 243mgCalcium: 160mgIron: 1.82mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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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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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

Ingredients

  • 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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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.

Steps:

  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.

Equipment:

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

Ingredients:

  •  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.

Steps:

  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 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%
Vitamins
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%
Electrolytes
Sodium11 mg<1%
Potassium591 mg12.5%
Minerals
Calcium43 mg4%
Copper0.172 mg19%
Iron0.55 mg7%
Magnesium33 mg8%
Manganese0.383 mg1.5%
Selenium0.7 µg1%
Zinc0.23 mg2%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß35 µg
Carotene-α0 µg
Cryptoxanthin-ß20 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin0 µg

 

Taro Burger Recipe

yield: 30 burgers

equipment: food processor, pressure cooker (optional)

 

ingredients

  • 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

 

resources:

http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/December-2017/The-Essential-Guide-to-Taro-How-Kalo-is-Eaten-Around-the-World/

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 taro root using a pressure cooker

This simple recipe explains how to cook taro with a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can boil it, but it takes much longer 1-2 hours maybe more. You must be careful to fully cook all parts of the taro plant because it contains calcium oxalate. This will make your mouth feel numb, itchy, scratchy and very uncomfortable, with possibly worse side effects if you eat too much or are very sensitive.

If you don’t have a pressure cooked, I highly recommend the Presto Model number 01370. It holds 8-Quarts and is stainless steel and only about $52 on Amazon.

I actually process taro in both my “analog” pressure cooker and in my Instant Pot (which is a bit smaller 6 quarts) at the same time.

Taro, or known in Hawaii as Kalo, is an amazing plant. The roots, stems and leaves are all edible and have unique distinct character.  It is also extremely nutritionally dense. Compared to a potato, the taro root has more fiber and is a good source of calcium, potassium, and Vitamins C, E and Bs as well as trace minerals.

Taro is most known in Hawaii for Poi, a slightly fermented paste of cooked and mashed taro. However, taro is used to make many more things. You can dehydrate it and make flour, you can eat the steam stems as a vegetable, and the cooked greens are versatile in curries, wrapped around meat, in soups etc. This staple crop for tropical climates cannot be over estimated.

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How to cook taro using a pressure cooker

This simple recipe explains how to cook taro with a pressure cooker. If you don't have a pressure cooker you can boil it, but it takes much longer 1-2 hours maybe more. You must be careful to fully cook all parts of the taro plant because it contains calcium oxalate. This will make your mouth feel numb, itchy, scratchy and very uncomfortable, with possibly worse side effects if you eat too much or are very sensitive.
Prep Time15 mins
Active Time45 mins
Pressure release time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Hawaiian/Polynesian
Keyword: Kalo, Pressure Cooker, Taro

Materials

  • 8 cups large chunks of Taro

Instructions

  • Wash and scrub taro. I like to peel mine before I cook it because I feel like the scruffy skin would clog my pressure cooker. However, many others like to scrub it real good and clean the skin off after it is cooked.
  • Cut into fist size pieces and place them steam basket in pressure cooker.
  • Fill water up to right below the steam basket. Place taro into basket and secure the lid and Bring to pressure (you will notice the steam start coming out)
  • Reduce to medium heat and cook 30-45 minutes depending on how much you have in there and how big the pieces are.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool for 10 or more minutes. Release the pressure and wait until all steam has been released.
  • Open the pressure cooker, the taro should be soft, showing a few cracks, and also be easy to slice with a knife.

Recipe Ideas for Taro:

There are so many ways to prepare taro. We just started harvesting them on our farm and have done little experimenting. One easy way to prepare cooked taro is just to slice it and fry it in a shallow pan with 2 tablespoons or so of oil. Just add a little salt and pepper to each side and fry each side until crispy (about 3 minutes on each side). Another recipe that we’ve made several times is our taro millet vegetable burger recipe or my taro rice veggie burgers. My newest favorite way to use taro: Taro Carrot Banana Muffins

I also found these recipes while doing a few searches.

http://www.quericavida.com/recipes/taro-root-fritters/d9c2d0c4-9bb5-4d14-959c-1f1a1a8203e4

http://raygrogan2-ivil.tripod.com/tarogrowcookeat/id9.html

http://www.kumuainafarm.com/taro-kalo-burgers/

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Cauliflower Cheddar Soup (no milk or cream)

I developed this healthy cauliflower cheddar soup recipe while visiting the mainland. Like so many of my recipes, Adam bugged me for months to make him cauliflower cheese soup. I finally came through for him. This recipe comes out savory and super creamy. I don’t drink milk or use cream so unlike many recipes for this type of soup I didn’t add any extra dairy beyond the cheese. This soup is great for cheesy soup lovers who cannot tolerate the lactose in many types of cheese but can tolerate cheddar. It is also gluten-free and can be prepared vegetarian.

And yes, I know first hand that cauliflower isn’t easy to grow in the tropics. However, some talented farmers and gardeners are able pull off small crops and small heads in parts of the islands. But in the store they are largely unaffordable costing up to $10 for a head of organic cauliflower.  Hopefully our talented farmers will get better at growing and we’ll be able to enjoy more of them in Hawaii.

This soup goes great with toasty or fresh bread. Try my easy recipe for rosemary garlic focaccia bread or grandpa’s sourdough bread recipe

If you like this type of recipe you may also like:

winter squash bisque (gluten-free, dairy free, vegan and delicious)

coconut red pepper and squash soup (dairy-free, gluten free and vegan)

 

Recipe for cauliflower cheddar soup

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Equipment: Regular blender or immersion blender

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 2-3 potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 quart chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Sauté cauliflower, onion, potatoes, garlic in olive oil, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, add a little more oil as necessary to prevent sticking
  2. Once the onions are soft, add broth (should just cover the veggies) and bring to a boil until potatoes are tender (15-30 minutes depending on how small they are chopped).
  3. Let the soup cool until it safe to put in blender and then blend on high until creamy and uniform.
  4. Return to pot (rinse it out first) and heat on low
  5. Add cheddar and stir until combined
  6. Test it and add more salt and pepper.

This recipe was inspired by a few posted recipe’s including

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3327/cauliflower-cheese-soup

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cauliflower-cheese-soup