Tangerine Turmeric Bliss Smoothie

tangerine bliss smoothie rose cupMikans are a seedless variety of tangerine. After zesting six mikans for another recipe, I knew that I had to act fast before they dried out. I wasn’t going to eat them over the course of a day, so I did what anyone with a high-powered blender would do. . . I drank them.

To be clear, this is a dessert, and probably the best fruit smoothie that I’ve ever had. It’s bright, warming, and comforting. The tiny specs of vanilla bean warm my heart and I’m pretty sure that I’m in love.   Continue reading

Purple Carrot Salad

purple carrot salad bowlI can’t get enough of purple vegetables. At the farmer’s market last week, I found gorgeous purple carrots. I thought to snatch them all up, but opted for a small healthy bundle. I’ll cross my fingers for more this week. In the meantime, I’ll share with you a simple salad that will showcase the carrots. I could hardly stop myself from eating the whole bowl. It’s super delish! After we gobbled down this salad, I regretted my display of self restraint. Continue reading

Kabocha Spice Latte (Dairy-free)

kabocha latte kabocha and mugAutumn is approaching. I know this because my Facebook news feed is full of comments about a certain company’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. Not because there’s been a weather change or anything silly like that. It’s Okinawa. It’s still hot here. Thank goodness my news feed keeps me informed.

Seriously though, let’s make a healthier version of this fall treat for you pumpkin lovers. You can say no thanks to the artificial pumpkin-flavored syrup, and hello to real food. Since I’ve yet to see a real-deal pumpkin in the local Japanese markets, guess what we’ll be using? Kabocha, of course! Continue reading

Kabocha Ice Cream with Miso Caramel Sauce (Dairy-free)

kabocha miso caramel pourYes! I did it again. Ice cream. Well, since my last ice cream post, l’ve discovered that people are much more excited to read about ice cream recipes than various gourd curry recipes…  Dessert bloggers get all the love. So, today I bring you a Japanese squash dessert!

I found kabocha at my local farmers market, but I think you can easily find it in the states too. Kabocha is a type of winter squash. It’s sometimes called a Japanese Pumpkin. It’s fairly sweet, which means less added sugar and more winning. Continue reading

Tougan Soup- Winter Melon, Ash Gourd, Wax Gourd, or White Gourd

tougan insta soup arialSo many names for this guy! So, is it really a gourd or a melon? When ripe, it’s used as a vegetable, but the unripe “fruit” is very sweet, and is used as a fruit. Interesting? I think so too! At least the Japanese could decide on one name. It’s called a Tougan (冬瓜). The kanji in this word is for winter 冬and melon瓜. Yay for fun with kanji! Why did this winter melon show up at the farmers market last month and not in December? It actually ripens during the summer, but because of the waxy exterior, it lasts long through the winter.

This vegetable is useful in ayurveda for both pitta and kapha. It’s very cooling for pitta during the summertime. It helps balance acidity for those with pitta issues like ulcers. It is also useful for diabetics and those desiring to lose weight. It’s also a diuretic so it will support in detoxification. Continue reading

Green Tea Ice Cream (Dairy-free)

matcha insta ice cream makerMy friend came to visit last month. We had an amazing time traveling around Okinawa, Osaka and Kyoto. That probably goes without saying though. We found ourselves on an ice cream kick in Okinawa, before heading to Osaka and Kyoto. It all started with ube ice cream then we moved on to green tea ice cream. There was some Okinawan sugar cookie, pistachio, vanilla and beni imo ice cream mixed in there as well. I’m addicted to the ube ice cream which is a type of purple potato. It tastes like carnivals and magic. I know you want some now, but it’s not what this post is about! Gomennasai. Seriously, we probably ate 14 ice cream scoops each in the 2 weeks she was here. We may, or may not have had double ice cream on some days. What can I say? It was really hot!! Continue reading

My beloved Beni Imo- Mashed

beni imo vanillaBeni imo may be my most favorite thing about living on Okinawa. Seriously, I love this ‘tater! It’s like a sweet potato, but has lovely vanilla notes. AND IT’S PURPLE! It’s really exciting to cut into one of these beauties. The color is just so intense and somehow unexpected every time.

Last thanksgiving, I turned these into a sweet potato soufflé, which is tradition in my family. I also got a little daring and made a side dish with beni imo, Okinawan brown sugar and pineapple bits. I’ve made a Thai-inspired beni imo soup. You can use it anyway that you would use a sweet potato. They occasionally find their way into a curry, but I really like to let the color shine alone, like in this recipe. Continue reading