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 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!
I was recently inspired to make this corn chowder recipe because we actually had milk in the house. Both my husband and I aren’t really milk consumers. We used to buy raw milk from a farmer here but even then we had a hard time getting through it all. Partially, because I’m sort of lactose intolerant. But I recently bought some to make ice cream from scratch with my friend’s children – and now am struggling to use up the rest of this ½ gallon of organic whole milk. Yesterday, I made cornbread using my healthy cornbread recipe. Today… chowder. I wish we had fresh corn but luckily our nearby country store had organic canned corn. And luckily we could still make it our own by added fresh red pepper, garden fresh celery and our thyme.
I imagine this recipe is somewhat flexible. Do you feel like adding carrots? Go ahead! Don’t have red pepper? Use green pepper. Want to add some peas or green beans? LOL. Have fun and enjoy in good company!
Recipe for Corn Chowder with Red Pepper & Thyme
Yield: 4 servings Equipment: Blender, Immersion Blender or Food Processor
1 tablespoon butter 1 small onion chopped 2 potatoes chopped 1 stalk celery chopped 1 large red bell pepper chopped or equivalent (we use smaller ones that grow in our area about 3-4 of them) fresh stick thyme – this is a thyme substitute that also grows well in the tropics but regular thyme can be used) 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 1 ¼ cup whole milk 2 cups fresh corn or one 15 oz can of corn (non-GMO/Organic of course!) 2-3 tablespoons flour (optional – I also like to use tapioca starch as a gluten-free option)
Heat butter in pot over medium heat
Sauté the red pepper, onion, potatoes and celery until onions are translucent
Add broth and corn and simmer vegetables until tender
Remove half of the brother and puree briefly with immersion blender, regular blender or food processor
Replace broth in pan and add milk and thyme and heat (but not boiling)
If you want a thick chowder – remove about a cup broth ones the milk has warmed up and slowly dissolve 2-3 tablespoons flour. Return this paste to the soup and stir.
Season with salt and pepper to taste
At this point if you’d like to bulk this recipe up at little feel free to add some cubed and browned sausages (we use chicken sausage) and even small noodles like elbows, orzo, etc.
If you are looking for a good blender to use I HIGHLY recommend BlendTech.
But, a really great tool for pureeing soups, making things like my beet brownies or even hummus or guacamole is an immersion blender – called by some people stick blenders. The one we have has lasted us over 10 years. But if I had to get a new one I’d probably spring for this cool looking set:
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
2 large handfuls of fresh herbs
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 cups cooked and roughly chopped casssava
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.
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 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.
This roasted red pepper soup recipe is so easy and so flexible. It comes out creamy but is gluten-free and dairy free, and can be made vegetarian as well. Instead of potatoes, use cassava! Instead of chicken broth, use vegetable broth. Don’t have celery or a carrot? No matter!
I’m on a new kick to discover how many different soups I can make featuring ingredients from the garden. We’ve been growing these beautiful red peppers for years now. I used to just use them little by little in all of my dishes, but we are harvesting so many peppers day after day I needed to find a way to cook them in batches.
This soup is delicious and a great way to use our bountiful harvest. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe!
Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Yield: 4 -6 servings
Equipment: Oven or toaster oven, blender or immersion blender
1 tablespoons olive oil
12-16 oz red pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 stalk celery, roughly sliced
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly sliced
enough veggie or chicken broth to cover vegetables (~4 cups)
2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into chunks
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
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.
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
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.
Add broth just enough to cover vegetables and bring to a boil
Then simmer until potatoes and carrots are cooked through
Allow it to cool for at least 10-15 minutes
Take out about 2 cups of the broth to start (and then add back in as you blend to reach your desired consistency)
Then either use your immersion blender or transfer to your regular blender in batches and blend until smooth adding more broth as necessary.
Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you like this type of soup try my other recipes
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
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.
Melt butter and sauté onions until translucent.
Then add garlic, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes and stir frequently for 5-10 minutes.
Next, add tapioca starch and stir several times to coat the veggies in butter/oil and tapioca starch.
Then add water and bouillon and bring to a boil.
Continue to boil 10-15 minutes until all veggies are tender.
Add in thyme.
The soup should be thickening at this point as the tapioca and the potato starch form a “creamy” broth.
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.
Once the broth is almost at its desired consistency (it will continue to thicken as the potatoes break down), add the corn.
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.
Carrot ginger soup is perfect for rainy season here in Hawaiʻi. It isn’t hard to grow carrots here, but it is hard to get them to taste that perfect amount of sweetness. If you let them get too big they get a little bit woody. Nevertheless, every time we grow a round of carrots we have way too much. One of my favorite ways to store them is to wash them, grate them and vacuum seal them for future use. Another good way to use them is carrot soup!
This carrot coconut soup recipe is totally flexible but should yield about 4 large servings of soup. If you use the coconut flesh instead of milk, expect the soup to be a little bit chewy. Lol. I love this texture but others aren’t prepared for a pureed soup to have the same texture.
Immersion blender is best but you could use a regular blender and blend in batches.
Kitchenaid has a nice middle of the road immersion blender that will last you almost a lifetime of seamlessly pureeing soups and other foods.
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.
Sauté onion in coconut oil (refined or not) until soft.
Then add garlic, ginger, carrot and sauté another 5 – 8 minutes.
Next add 4 cups of broth or enough to cover the vegetables and 1 ½ to 2 cups coconut milk or coconut flesh.
Boil until carrots and potatoes are tender.
Then, let the soup cool for about 20-30 minutes.
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.
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 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)
Cook white rice (2.5 cups water, 2 cups rice, bring to boil and cover for 20 minutes)
Sautee onions and carrots in olive oil, add garlic and cook until soft, add chopped greens and cook until wilted.
While you got the veggies going, chop taro into chucks and place food processor
Pulse taro in processor until mostly uniform and not very chunky. This may take several batches.
Remove and place in large mixing bowl
Now in food processor blend ½ the amount of cooked rice, eggs, herbs, soy sauce, salt, pepper.
Mix into the large mixing bowl with taro and add the other ½ of the rice
Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
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.
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.
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.