7 island Inspired Ingredients for Holistic Health 

What’s better than that post surf, fun in the sun snack that rejuvenates and nourishes your soul? Probably one that’s quick and easy to make, but also something that’ll make you shine from the inside out. Let’s explore some ingredients that can be used in your daily life to bring that vacation mode mentality and that warm island breeze into your home, no matter where you actually kick off your slippahs. 

Girl with Pineapple

Finding your groove in the kitchen can be challenging, but learning a bit more about a few of these simple ingredients, you’ll have the confidence to spice up your own creations.

First, an intro to where you’ll find your goods.  


  • Start with a trip to your local farmers market. With summer approaching, farmers markets are a great way to support local farmers and cut down on carbon costs associated with transporting food. 
  • Check out what options are near you for a CSA box. Community Supported Agriculture Boxes are an organized way to get those farmers market finds packed conveniently for you! 
  • Grow your own! If you can, give growing your own foods a go! So much satisfaction in eating something that you were able to plant by seed.
  • If the above options don’t work for you at the moment, you can stop by the supermarket to find what you need. (Don’t forget to bring your reusable bags!!) 
Bananas

The nine ingredients listed below were chosen to help bring you to an island state of mind, but also have skin and hair benefits in mind.  When you fuel your body with a mixture of foods that are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and healthy fats, your holistic health from mental to physical will respond. Just remember, it’s a journey! 


Breaking down the goods! 

  1. Acai: Acai is a beautiful deep purple berry grown in South American rainforests. This small but mighty berry packs loads of antioxidants to keep your cells protected from free radicals which is also linked to anti-aging. 
  • Find it near you: Find frozen acai superfruit packets at most Supermarkets, or perhaps acai powder at your local food and health store.
  1. Bananas: Not only do bananas have the potassium and electrolytes needed to rebuild muscles after a workout, they also contain vitamins A, C, and E that are eye and skin-healthy nutrients. Tip: The riper you let your banana become, the more nutrient rich it is! 
  2. Dates: Vitamins C and D aid in skin elasticity. Dates are also high in fiber which provides a whole other round of health benefits. 
  3. Fish: The link between omega 3 fatty acids in fish and skin and hair growth could be a post on it’s own. In short, a balance of omega 3’s in your diet contributes to inflammation reduction like dry, red and itchy skin, and may boost your hair growth! 
  4. Pepitas: Pumpkin Seeds or pepitas are an easy addition to your dry goods pantry and into your meals every day! These crunchy seeds don’t skimp on vitamins and minerals. Pepitas contain fiber, vitamin K, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper. 
  5. Pineapple: This  sweet and juicy fruit have properties for collagen production and may aid wound healing. Your skin is your largest organ, so it’s incredibly important to focus on preventing skin damage. Give your skin some extra love with skin healing and regeneration support. 
  6. Spinach / Leafy Greens: Your leafy greens shouldn’t be the most boring meal of the day. Spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, (and more) have so much potential for filling you up without wearing you down. 
Acai bowl

Acai Bowl

If you check out Earthy Andy on Instagram, you’ll be instantly swept into North Shore vibes with sun, salt, surf and smoothie bowls for days! Her “OG Acai Bowl” in her book, Plant Over Processed is the perfect summer treat to transport you to your beachy dreams. Like the title of her book, her focus is on plant-based over processed foods to get you feeling your best. Start with the OG bowl, give her smoothies a go, and don’t forget to play around with the toppings! Soon you’ll be reigning supreme of the acai game. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 3 frozen ripe bananas 
  • 2 (3.5-oz) acai superfruit packs or 1 scoop acai powder 
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • ½ cup plant milk
  • Toppings: sliced banana, granola, shredded coconut, goji berries, mango, blueberries, kiwi, drizzle of honey, chia seeds, strawberries, sliced almonds - your options are limitless! 

Directions 

  1. Use a high-powered blender to blend all ingredients (except the toppings) on medium speed, slowly working your way towards high
  2. Pour your masterpiece into your favorite bowl, pick your toppings and enjoy! 

Source: Adapted from Earthy Andy’s Plant Over Processed p. 85

 

Green Morning Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen ripe bananas
  • 1 cup spinach or kale leaves
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple or mango chunks
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup plant milk 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina or hemp hearts (optional)

Directions

  • Use a high-powered blender to blend all ingredients gradually moving from medium speed to high for 1 to 2 minutes
  • Pour, sip and enjoy your green goodness! Don’t forget to use your reusable straws

Source: Earthy Andy’s Plant Over Processed p. 71

Fish buddha bowl

Fish Tacos 

Can’t go wrong with some tacos! Kimi Werner is goals on so. many. levels. Check out her Instagram and Youtube page for videos of her freediving and spearfishing to catch meals for her family. What is particularly great about fish tacos, even if you can’t spear fish the catch yourself, is that “you can stretch a little bit of fish into a much bigger meal…” 

Kimi’s  Fish Taco Recipe also includes a spicy sauce that sounds *chefs kiss*


Banana Bread Bars

Always on the move? These bars will give you that energy boost you need without weighing you down. Plus making them will make your whole house smell like a warm and cozy banana bungalow. 

Ingredients:

  • ½  cup banana chips 
  • ½  cup pitted and chopped dates 
  • ⅓  cup almonds 
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (optional but ok yum). 

Directions: 

Homemade Banana Chips

  1. Preheat Oven to 250 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper
  2.  Slice 2-3 ripened bananas into ‘chips’ and space evenly on baking sheet
  3. Bake for 1 ½ - 2 hours or until chips are shrunken and crispy. Allow to cool

Banana Bread Bars

  1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor on a low - medium setting for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly mixed and bound together
  2. Transfer mixture onto a large piece of parchment paper. Flatten the mixture into a rough rectangle shape - or feel free to get creative! For those perfectionists out there, try over lining a bread pan so the lining hangs over (easier removal), press mixture down into the pan to fit the mold for the perfect parallelogram  
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes 
  4. Remove from the refrigerator and cut into desired bars. Make sure to wrap the bars tightly, and keep refrigerated to preserve them a little longer! 

Source: This recipe was inspired by Leite's Culinaria 

Salad

Salad Toppers

We’ve all been there right? We’ve got that bag or box of leafy greens that stares us down everytime we open the fridge. Fear those soggy greens no more and jazz up your salad game with this quick and crunchy salad topper. Introducing a variety of textures and colors to your house salad is a simple and easy way to liven up those leafy greens. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pepita seeds 
  • ½  cup hemp hearts
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

  1. Toss your ingredients in a blender or roughly chop with a knife on a cutting board. 
  2. Sprinkle your topping concoction onto your leafy greens and enjoy 
  3. Store in an airtight container 

Source: Adapted from Earthy Andy’s, Plant Over Processed (p. 106).


Salad Tips: 

  • Toss some fruit in! Blueberries, strawberries, even mandarine slices make great additions
  • Fruity salads not your thing? Slater in some hummus with carrots, tomatoes, cukes and some pepper for a hearty garden salad. 

The journey into finding the right foods for your health is challenging to say the least. By adding in a few ingredients at a time, you’ll gain the confidence and creativity you need to become the master chef in your own kitchen. Soon you’ll be eating good and feeling good with the addition of a few of these antioxidant, vitamin and nutrient rich foods into your weekly regime. 

Wahine

Mahalo nui to the mana wāhine leading the charge in island inspired, plant - based recipes some adapted or featured above include: 

  • Earthy Andy’s Plant Over Processed
  • Ellen Fisher’s Plant Powered recipe e-books
  • Kimi Werner - @ Kimi Swimmy Youtube, Instagram

 

written by: Maria W. - Staff Writer, Surf Soap Co Hawaii