What is a jicama?

JIcama Horizon Guest House Hawaii

What is a jicama? A relatively unknown root vegetable, the jicama is common here on the Big Island of Hawaii. With its flaky brown skin and crispy, white texture, the jicama has a unique flavor that tastes like a cross between a potato and a pear!

Jicama Horizon Guest House Kona Big Island

Pronounced (hee-kah-ma) the versatile vegetable has its origins in Mexico and Central America. It’s now found throughout Asia as well as here in Hawaii.

The jicama plant itself is mostly toxic. The vines of the plant can grow up to 20 feet in length. The root of the plant is the only part of the vegetable that is edible. The rest of the plant including the skin remains toxic, so make sure you peel it well! But don’t let that scare you, the crunchy flesh is a great addition to everything from salads to stir fries.

Jicama Horizon BnB Hawaii

Are jicamas a superfood?

The jicama is seen by many as a superfood since it’s so nutrient dense. The nutrient profile of the jicama is packed with vitamin E, calcium and zinc. Its high in fiber, a great source of vitamin C, and contains that all-important beta carotene! It also contains inulin, a prebiotic that helps with maintaining gut health.

Fun fact: The jicama is also known as water chestnut, Mexican potato and yam bean.

Where to find them

Make trying a jicama part of your Big Island experience! We bought ours from the Hilo farmers market, but you’ll be able to find them at most farmers markets around the island.

Look for firm, dry jicamas. Make sure the skin isn’t bruised and that the vegetable isn’t old and shriveled. Jicamas keep well – after they’ve been peeled they’ll last in the fridge for approximately two weeks. Make sure to keep them wrapped in a container or a plastic bag.

Jicama Burrito HGH
Grated jicama on a burrito

How to eat jicamas

Jicamas can be eaten raw or they can be cooked. First, remove the brownish skin – either cut or peel from the vegetable. Then chop into cubes, slices, or even grate. You’ll find the consistency much like that of a potato, with a kind of watery starchy texture as you cut into it.

We used ours as a topping on a burrito and also chopped up in a salad but there lots of creative ways to cook with jicamas. Don’t worry about oxidation – once you cut into a jicama, the vegetable won’t brown.

Fun fact: In Central America they are often eaten raw – cut into slices, chilled, then drizzled with lemon/lime juice, sprinkled with chilli powder and a dash of salt!

Jicama salad HGH B&B Kona
Cubed jicama in a corn, pepper, cilantro salad

Be creative with jicamas!

Add jicamas to your diet in these creative ways

  • As an ingredient in your favourite fruit salad – works well with pineapple, mango and papaya

  • As a snack – cut into slices and then served with guacamole

  • Use in your favourite vegetable stir-fry

  • Cut into thick French fry-sized pieces (half an inch by half an inch), toss with olive oil and your favourite spices, and then bake on a cookie sheet in a hot oven! Jicama fries!

Some great jicama recipe ideas

  • Kale, jicama and orange salad

  • Spicy black bean burritos with grated jicama

  • Toasted chicken sandwiches with jicama and red cabbage slaw

Take the time to try a jicama on your Big Island adventure. Farmers markets around the island are your best bet for finding the freshest quality produce. How did you use jicamas in your cooking? Let us know in the comments.

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The no-knead bread recipe

No knead bread Horizon Guest House Big Island

This favorite no-knead bread recipe is easy to make and packed full of flavor – wholegrains, nuts and dried fruit. Make sure to use a covered baking dish to help give it that chewy, crusty consistency!

No knead bread HGH

The no-knead bread recipe

  • 3 1/4 cups (390g) Unbleached Bread Flour

  • 1 cup (113g) Whole Wheat Flour

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

  • 1 3/4 cups (397g) cool water

  • 3/4 cup (85g) dried cranberries

  • 1/2 cup (85g) golden raisins

  • 1 cup (113g) coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Mix the flours, salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir, then use your hands to bring the sticky dough together, making sure to incorporate all of the flour.  

2. Work in the fruits and nuts.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it’ll become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so use a large bowl.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and form it into a log or round loaf to fit your 14″ to 15″ long lidded stoneware baker; 9″ x 12″ oval deep casserole dish with cover; or 9″ to 10″ round lidded baking crock.

No knead bread HGH Hawaii1

5. Place the dough in the lightly greased pan, smooth side up.

6. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, until it’s become puffy. It should rise noticeably, but it’s not a real high-riser.

7. Using a sharp knife or lame, slash the bread in a crosshatch pattern. Place the lid on the pan, and put the bread in the cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 450°F, and put the bread into the oven.

8. Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes (start the timer when you place the bread into the cold oven). Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until it’s deep brown in color, and a digital thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.  

9. Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out onto a rack, and cool completely before slicing.

10. Store the bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

The key to this recipe is a covered baking dish. We used a cast iron Dutch oven – this helps give the bread its unique crust.

The recipe is very forgiving. Leave it to rise for 8 hours or overnight. It’s the length of the rise that gives the bread its great taste, allowing it the time it needs to develop the richness of flavor.

We ate this bread with butter and lehua and cinnamon honey from Big Island Bees.

This no-knead bread recipe is by far the easiest bread we have ever baked. It gives you the best results for the least amount of effort – and no prior baking experience is necessary.

Let us know in the comments below how your bread turned out! Happy baking!

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All-in-one chocolate cake recipe

all in one chocolate cake hawaii horizon

What could be better than a chocolate cake that only takes minutes to prepare? This all-in-one chocolate cake recipe is super easy to assemble – simply fling all the ingredients into the food processor – and it tastes great thanks to the secret ingredient, canola oil! Check out our video and the full recipe below.

The recipe

1 Tbsp instant coffee granules
¾ cup water
2 cups white sugar
1¾ cups flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1¼ cups milk 
½ cup canola oil (or you could use sunflower oil)

 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line a 9″ (23-25cm) springform cake pan with baking paper.
2.  Dissolve the coffee granules in water, then place all ingredients into a food processor and process until well combined and smooth.
3.  Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
4.  Cool on a wire rack and when completely cold add your favorite chocolate frosting.

NOTE: the mixture is meant to be runny, so don’t worry! There is quite a lot of batter so make sure you’re using a decent sized food processor (we used an 11 cup).

all in one chocolate cake recipe kona hawaii

The key ingredient to this amazingly easy-to-make cake is the canola oil. Replacing the butter used in traditional chocolate cake recipes, the canola oil helps give the cake its moist consistency. 

TIP: After the cake has been baking for an hour monitor the cake every 10 minutes or so to check on its progress.

Don’t forget the whipped cream. We served our cake with cream but Greek yoghurt would work just as well.

We hope you enjoyed our chocolate cake recipe. We would love to hear how your cake turned out! Let us know in the comments below. 

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Portuguese sweet bread French toast + homemade wholegrain cereal bread!

French Toast Horizon Guest House Header
French toast under lights

There are two recipes which are considered the ‘most asked for’ from guests who have stayed at Horizon Guest House. The first is usually the whole grain hot cereal which we featured in an earlier blog post, and the second, is our delicious Portuguese sweet bread French toast.

The Portuguese sweet bread I use in this recipe is made locally at the Punalu’u Bake Shop in Naahlehu, near South Point, less than an hour’s drive south of Horizon Guest House. This type of bread was originally brought to Hawaii by Portuguese sugar workers in the 19th century and is still a favorite in Hawaii today.

Don’t worry if you aren’t able to find any Portuguese sweet bread, any egg-rich bread, such as challah, will work just as well.

Challah bread Horizon Guest House Hawaii
Braided egg bread

My partner Angus made this delicious braided egg bread, above, and it worked well for French toast too. For the egg bread recipe click here.

The French toast recipe

First, cut the Portuguese sweet bread into thick (1″ or so) slices.

French toast 1 Horizon Guest House Big Island Hawaii
So good you’ll want to eat it straight away! But don’t – it’s even better as French toast

Soak overnight in the refrigerator in the following custard: (for 6 slices)

Mix the following ingredients well:

6 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1-2 tbs. rum

A pinch of salt

1.5 cup half & half

Pour over the slices and make sure to move them around so the custard soaks in all over the bread.

French toast 2 Horizon Guest House Big Island Hawaii

About an hour before cooking, remove from the refrigerator, turn over and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Fry over a medium heat in a buttered pan until golden. Watch carefully, the sugar can burn. Transfer to the oven and bake at 300 for 15 minutes to finish. If you lower the heat and flip over frequently, you can finish on the stove top.

French toast small Horizon Guest House Big Island Hawaii

And serve! We have heat lamps here at Horizon to keep it nice and warm for when you arrive for breakfast. And don’t forget to top with all of your favorite toppings.

Our favorite toppings here at Horizon are:

Homemade lilikoi syrup, homemade jaboticaba syrup, homemade mango & ginger jam, and of course maple syrup.

Download the recipe here.

Wholegrain bread using Clem's cereal

Fresh bread Horizon Guest House Hawaii Big Island

This is perfect if you have some left over hot cereal and decide to make bread. Just use your favorite, plain bread recipe. I use about 2 cups of the cereal (at room temp) mixed in with the liquid and yeast before adding the flour. Omit the sugar in your bread recipe as the cereal already has some in it.

Also, this bread mixture works well made into homemade hamburger buns or dinner rolls, as well as a bread loaf.

We would love to hear your feedback. Let us know in the comments below, or in our Facebook post! Happy baking everyone! 

Come enjoy all the breakfast goodness at Horizon Guest House! Book now – click the button below.

Author: Angus Meek

Clem’s Hot Cereal Recipe: A B&B classic!

Cereal recipe Horizon Guest House Big Island Captain Cook

Over the years guests have frequently asked for recipes of items on the Horizon BnB menu. Among the most requested recipes – our wild rice hot breakfast cereal! It’s sometimes called muesli, granola or oatmeal – the name varies from region to region.

So why is it so good?

First off, it happens to be really healthy for you. The combination of whole grains is extensive. Grains take time for your body to digest. This gives you a constant energy boost without the ‘quick hit’ of processed carbs and sugar found in many other traditional breakfast cereals. The recipe is also variable. If you have a favorite grain you can add it, or substitute it for one already in the recipe.

Second, it’s very easy to prepare. Prep time is around 15 minutes. It’s oven baked and needs only one hour of attention, after that the cool-down in the oven finishes the baking.

Third, it keeps really well. You can store the cereal in containers in the refrigerator for days – heating only what you want to use that day. Longer storage in the freezer for weeks or months at a time means you can prepare a larger batch and have a supply on hand.

Fourth, it tastes good. Just the basic recipe is delicious. Add nuts, milk/cream, maple syrup, etc. to notch it up. Combine with fresh fruit of almost any kind and you have the perfect healthy breakfast.

Fifth, it’s adaptable, you can make this gluten free if needed – just substitute buckwheat for the bulgar/whole wheat in the basic recipe.

How to put it all together:

The basic recipe calls for mixing all of the ingredients in a shallow baking dish (such as a 9 x 13 cake pan).

Cereal Horizon Guest House Captain Cook Hawaii
Start with a shallow baking dish

Add all the ingredients to the pan.

Cereal recipe Horizon BnB Big Island Hawaii
Arranging ingredients in a nice pattern is optional

Add the boiling water and then stir.

Cereal recipe Horizon B&B Big Island Hawaii
Just add water!

Then cover with foil and bake at 350F oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover – careful, that’s a hot dish you’re working with. Add sufficient water so that when stirred it has a loose consistency. Make sure to scrape any baked-on bits into the slurry.

Cover and return to oven, then turn off oven, and leave overnight, or at least 4-5 hours, to finish hydrating the grains.

Cereal recipe Horizon Guest House Big Island Captain Cook

Decant into storage containers and when cool enough, refrigerate or freeze in smaller containers for long term storage. Enjoy!

Don't forget the extras

Some extra grains I like to add:

Kalmut: an ancient grain rich in zinc, magnesium and selenium. It’s known as a ‘high-energy grain’ because of its high percentage of lipids.

Quinoa: a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids

Spelt: high in fiber and protein it’s easier to digest than wheat

Rye: a good source of soluble fiber, vitamin E, calcium, iron and potassium.

Flax: high in omega-3 fatty acids and lignans (which have plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities).

The basic recipe is included below or click here to download the PDF.

How did your cereal turn out? Did you add any extra grains? We would love to hear your feedback! Let us know in the comments section below, or leave a comment on our Facebook post.

Wild Rice Cereal

8 c water
1/2 c wild rice
1/2 c pearl barley
1/2 c steel-cut oats
1/2 c bulgar wheat
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped pitted dates 1/4 c dark brown sugar
3 tbs butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter 2 1/2 qt ovenproof dish. In prepared dish, mix wild rice with remaining ingredients. Add water [I use boiling water to shorten the bake time]. Cover with foil and bake until grains are tender, water is absorbed and cereal is creamy [about 1 1/2 hours]. *About mid-way through, I usually take it out and add more water if needed & also stir. Store in refrigerator when cool and reheat servings as needed. May be frozen.

To make a booking click the Book Now button below and a make a reservation request.

Author: Angus Meek