Month: April 2014

Pele’s Fire Cayenne Hot Sauce

DSC_1032Cayenne chili sauce

Some like it hot. And if you’re one of those people, then you will appreciate this spicy sauce. If you can handle it, that is… Trust me when I say this is not your typical tobasco or sriracha, but is basically like the goddess Pele is pouring pure molten lava in your mouth. In other words, I tread lightly when using it. Only a drop or two is more than enough to kindle the fire.

I love when our cayennes are in season, because we end up harvesting hundreds of them and preserving them in vinegar. Then we experimented with making this blended sauce, and now we are hooked. It’s simple and lasts a very long time, especially when refrigerated. You can also make a dilution of this sauce for a milder effect, which I will provide the details for at the end of the recipe.

Enjoy, but your tongue has been forewarned.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cayenne peppers
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Kitchen Tools:

  • Food processor or Vitamix
  • Spatula
  • Small jar

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients together in a food processor or Vitamix and pulse until well blended. Spoon into a small jar and refrigerate.

For making a dilution, take a little bit of your chili sauce concentrate and blend in a food processor with one carrot. Keep this sauce in a separate jar, refrigerate, and try to use within 2 weeks.

Raw Vegan Creamy Macnut Tomato Sauce

Raw Vegan Creamy Macnut Tomato SauceRaw Tomato Sauce IngredientsRaw Tomato Sauce step 1Raw Tomato Sauce

Admittedly, when I’m feeling lazy and too busy to spend an hour on food prep, one of my go-to meals is pasta. Since I try to be gluten-free, this means some form of brown rice or mung bean pasta. If I’m feeling even lazier and don’t feel like going through all the motions of chopping up lots of vegetables and cooking a warm sauce to go with my pasta, I make this super simple and uber-quick to make raw tomato sauce. The best part about it, though, is that all I have to do is throw all of the ingredients into a Vitamix and blend. And it’s super delicious, so that’s a win-win for everyone. One batch of this sauce, which makes a lot and will take you all of 5 minutes to make, can last me several days. Another major plus is that it’s not only good with pasta, but I can eat it with tons of other things– as a sauce for a raw pizza, raw zucchini noodles, a spread on top of baked or raw crackers, or as a dressing with some rice or quinoa and raw vegetables. Now that I’m letting you in on one of my lazy secrets, feel free to blame me for being lazy too. But your tastebuds won’t know the difference.

This recipe will make approximately 2.5 to 3 cups of sauce, and a little goes a long way.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole raw tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of whole sundried tomatoes (pre-soaked in water)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts (or substitute 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds)
  • Small handful of fresh parsley and basil leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Water (a few tablespoons)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • A few dehydrated botija olives (optional)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Vitamix
  • Small knife
  • Spatula
  • Mason jar

Directions:

First blend the macnuts and olive oil together in the Vitamix until it makes a creamy paste. If macnuts are not available to you, you can substitute sunflower seeds in this step. Then, chop up the raw tomato into large slices. Put the raw tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, olive oil, coconut aminos, garlic, parsley and basil all together in the Vitamix and blend until it’s a creamy sauce. If the sauce seems very thick, you can add a little water (two or 3 tablespoons) to lighten it up. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then blend once more. Once you’ve gotten your desired taste and texture, you can opt to add a little nutritional yeast for a bit of a “cheesy” flavor or a few dehydrated olives if you like. Spoon it out with a spatula and mix in with your favorite cooked or raw pasta.

Vegan Macadamia Nut Milk

Vegan Macnut Milk

Cup of Macnuts

Macnut Milk Paste

On our farm, we have hundreds of macadamia nut trees (or macnuts, as we call them, for short). It’s a full-time job in itself to harvest (all by hand, mind you) and keep the trees maintained, but it’s well worth it to have a steady supply of these super nutritious nuts– rich in protein, antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin A, iron, omega 7/palmitoleic acids, and monosaturated fats (the healthy kind that actually helps you build up your metabolism and burn off bad fat). Not to mention, macnuts help lower cholesterol and boost your skin, bone, brain, and heart health. Adding just a small handful of macnuts to your daily diet will do wonders for your body. And they’re so creamy and tasty, I’ve found that even kids in Hawaii will gobble them up like candy and reach their hands out for one more before you’ve even had time to crack another.

So of course it makes sense that one of the first, and most valuable things I learned when I arrived at the farm was how to make a delicious milk out of macnuts. It’s quick and easy, compared to other nut milks, because there is no straining necessary. Macnut milk is great all on its own, but it’s also delicious in coffee, tea, cereal, and anything else that you might normally add a vegan milk to. And depending on what is available to you, you have the option to use raw macnuts right out of the shell, dehydrated, or even roasted macnuts– which all offer a different flavor sensation, from milder to richer. My personal favorite is to use the most freshly harvested nuts, when the nut meat is rich and oily almost like a coconut. I can even say that I’ve nearly converted dairy-drinking visitors to the farm, who admitted that they could give up cow milk were they to have fresh, delicious macnut milk to drink everyday. Now, if only I could keep the whole world supplied… So, if you want to see what all the fuss is about, here you go!

The recipe will make approximately 4 cups of milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of macnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup sweetener (honey, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, etc)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of water (1 cup for initial blend step, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups for secondary blend step)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Vitamix (or a strong blender)
  • Large mason jar (4-6 cups)

Directions:

Place all the macnuts into the Vitamix with just enough water to slightly cover the nuts (approximately 3/4 cup to 1 cup water). Blend the nuts for about one minute, adding a little more water as needed in order to allow the nuts to blend into a fine paste. Another option to help blend the macnuts is to add a tablespoon of coconut oil, which will also give the milk a richer flavor. Once the macnuts are completely blended, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, as well as your favorite sweetener to taste and re-blend. Once the paste is complete, add in the remaining water (start with 1 1/2 cup) and blend until the paste is evenly distributed into a milk. Add extra water (anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 cups) depending on your chosen thickness. Then taste and add any extra sweetener to your liking, or you may choose to use no sweetener at all. The milk may be slightly gritty depending on how finely the nuts were blended when initially making the paste, which is why it is important to focus on blending the nuts well first before adding the extra water– but it does not need to be strained. If the grittiness bothers you at all, you can let the milk sit for a minute before pouring it out of the blender, as some of the grit will settle to the bottom. You will also notice that the milk will be very foamy at the top.

Green Papaya Salad

DSC_0733Green papayas Slicing green papaya Slice papaya until you reach the center before exposing the seeds Sliced green papaya Sliced carrot DSC_0727 DSC_0729

I love a good ripe, sweet and juicy papaya, but I actually eat most of my papaya in its unripened state. In fact, a lot of countries where papaya is prevolent, particularly in the Southeast Asia and Pacific regions, consume it largely in its green state as well, more as a vegetable, whether cooked or raw. Orange papayas have a lot of nutritious properties like Vitamins A, B, and C, carotenes, potassium, magnesium, and fiber– but green papaya actually contains other health benefits that are lessened once the fruit ripens. One of these includes a milky enzyme called papain, which you will notice dripping from the stem when you harvest papayas or see it oozing out when you begin to peel the skin off. This enzyme aids in healthy digestion, particularly to help break down proteins and make nutrients more readily available and absorbable to the body– and it is found in particularly high concentrations in green papayas.

Aside from the health aspect, I just love papaya salads for their light, crisp, and fresh flavor, which make it a perfect summer dish. Since it’s practically summer year-round in Hawaii, it makes it a perfect everyday dish. As we have a wide variety of papayas on our farm available, I like to make this salad at least once a week. So, if you also have access to good, organic, GMO-free papayas, I highly recommend incorporating this healthy salad into your weekly diet too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large green papayas
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped finely)
  • 1 green onion (chopped finely)
  • Nub of ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small cayenne
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup coconut aminos (or shoyu)
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or sub sucanat or regular sugar)
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste
  • Small handful of chopped macadamia nuts or peanuts (optional)
  • Bundle of kale or mizuna (optional)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Blender
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Papaya slicer
  • Ginger grater/zester
  • Garlic press
  • Knife
  • Citrus juicer
  • Glass bowl

Directions:

Begin by peeling off the green skins of the papayas with a vegetable peeler. You may need a small knife to get around certain curves or dents in the papaya, depending on the shape. Next, slice the papayas into thin, long strips with the papaya slicer. You can slice it directly into a bowl, but if the papaya is somewhat slippery, an easy way I’ve discovered to do this step is to place the papaya flat on a cutting board and to slice it on the top (always in the direction away from whichever hand that is gripping the papaya), rotating it around. Slice around the whole papaya until you have reached the center, trying not to break it open down to the seeds. Then, you will want to peel the carrots with the vegetable peeler and then repeat the same process of slicing the carrots into thin strips with the papaya slicer. Again, the method of placing the carrot on the cutting board makes the process a lot easier. Next, cut a red onion in half, placing the flat side of the onion down on the cutting board and cut it vertically so that you create thin, long strips of the onion as well. Afterwards, juice half a lemon and place the sliced onion in a glass bowl with the juice and a little bit of salt. Stir it up, and allow the onion to marinate in the lemon juice for 5 minutes or more– or until you have everything else for the salad prepared.

Now you can start to prepare the dressing. Measure out one cup of olive oil, 1/8 cup of coconut aminos, 2 tablespoons of coconut palm sugar and place into the blender. Juice the other half of the lemon, remove seeds, and place into the blender as well. Then take your nub of ginger, remove the skins, and with a ginger grater or citrus zester, grate the ginger into the blender. Next, with a garlic press, squeeze one clove into the blender. Finally, add one cayenne pepper and a little salt to taste and then pulse everything in the blender until it is mixed well.

Once your dressing is prepared, chop a bundle of fresh cilantro until you have approximately 1/4 cup. Similarly chop one green onion finely. Add on top of your sliced papaya and carrot. Then add in the onion that has been marinating. Finally, add your dressing and mix everything up well. Add any extra salt to taste. Finally, plate and serve. If you want to add a little green to this salad, an optional way to also enjoy the salad is on top of a bed of kale or mizuna or top it with some chopped macnuts or peanuts for a little crunch.