Saturday, October 20, 2018

pumpkin breakfast cookies

Cookies for breakfast! Yay! These are hearty and filling, gluten free, vegan, and irresistible. I am a breakfast person but sometimes it can be a drag. Whether it's changing up a boring breakfast routine, or finding something for those days on the go, these cookies are where it's at. And 'tis the pumpkin season so let's get festive!

pumpkin breakfast cookies
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or earth balance vegan butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of each ground cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg (or 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the almond milk and chia seeds and let it sit to thicken.  In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin puree, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, spices, and salt. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients; almond flour, oats, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the chia mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold until completely incorporated. Fold in the dark chocolate chips.

Using a large spoon portion cookies onto a cookie sheet. I make these cookies extra large so they satisfy my hungry husband. The bigger size makes just one enough for a sufficient snack or breaky on the go!

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F. Remove from tray and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. I store these cookies in the fridge because they are very moist and don't want them to spoil in the warm Hawaii heat, not that they would last that long anyway. 😉

Check out my other breakfast cookies and also how to make your own pumpkin puree!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

tofu pokē

Here is another recipe that I make all the time but somehow I have never posted! Hawaiian pokē is traditionally made with raw fish, onion, and limu (seaweed). Check out my beetroot pokē for another vegan version of this island style dish.

tofu pokē
  • 1 block tofu, extra firm
  • 1 small sweet onion (Maui onion if you are in Hawaii!)
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg's amino acids
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp furikake (or combination of seaweed flakes and sesame seeds) 

Before cutting the tofu into bite sized cubes, drain and press it between two tea towels or paper towels for a few minutes to get out some of the excess moisture. Adding some weight on top, such as a bowl or pan, will help.

While the tofu is draining, thinly slice the onion. Whisk together the Bragg's, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes and combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss to combine and refrigerate. Allow pokē to marinate for 30 minutes to a few hours, or even overnight.

Enjoy as an appetizer (pupu) or add to a salad or buddha bowl. This is great with greens and brown rice, or chilled soba noodles, as pictured here.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Fermenting foods not only extends the storage life of fruits and veggies, but it also enhances their nutritional profile by adding, you guessed it, bacteria! These bacteria are not bad, in fact they play a critical role in maintaining the ecosystem of our bodies. We are host to trillions of bugs, both on and in our bodies, that maintain our immunity and prevent diseases. Fermented foods contain both probiotics, the bacteria themselves, and prebiotics, food for the bacteria. Incorporating these types of foods into your diet helps grow a healthy gut garden.

I was skeptical of home fermenting at first but now I have been doing it for years and am constantly cultivating something in my kitchen. I have a whole fermentation shelf! This kimchi is super simple, quick to prepare, and the perfect amount of spice.

Homemade kimchi
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 Hawaiian chili pepper (or 1 Tbsp chili flakes)
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 daikon
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 head wombok (aka Chinese cabbage, napa cabbage)

Place the garlic, ginger, salt, and chili pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth. In this batch I used Alaea sea salt so the mixture is a bit pinker and chunkier, but with regular salt it becomes sort of a paste.

Grate or shred the carrots and daikon. I have a julienne peeler that I use to make longer strips. Chop the green onions into 1 cm pieces and the wombok into 1 inch pieces.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using clean hands, massage the wombok until the liquid begins to pool in the bottom of the bowl. The salt and pressure from massage will help draw the moisture from the vegetables, making the brine for your kimchi. If your hands get tired just take a break! Cover the bowl and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes, letting time do some of the work. You are ready to jar your kimchi when it has almost halved in volume.

Sanitize a large mouth mason jar with boiling water by either submerging it or pouring it over top. When the glass has cooled slightly start to pack your kimchi into the jar. This size batch usually fits into one quart sized jar. Press kimchi down with each handful, removing any air pockets and allowing the brine to cover the kimchi. If there is any remaining brine in the bowl pour it on top, all veggies should be fully submerged in brine. Top with an airlock lid or a breathable material such as fabric, cheese cloth, or a coffee filter.

Store in a cool dark place in your kitchen. Check kimchi daily, you will need to pack it down as the fermentation creates bubbles throughout the jar. Try to keep the top layer fully submerged in brine throughout the fermentation process. In the heat and humidity of Hawaii, fermentation happens quick. My kimchi is ready within 4-7 days. Taste test along the way to get it how you like it, in colder climates it may take up to 10-14 days. Once it's ready put a proper lid on the jar and place it in the fridge. Refrigeration will slow the fermentation considerably, making it last for weeks in the fridge.

My fermenting adventures were inspired by My New Roots, click the link to check out their Fabulous Fermentation Week post. 

For more info on the microbiome I highly recommend Robynne Chutkan's The Microbiome Solution, or check out her website and blog, Gutbliss.