Photo: Pumpkin Soup and Imu chicken
Photo: Mashed Garlic Uala
Celebrate Makahiki with kabocha pumpkin soup, imu chicken, and garlic mashed ʻuala. Photo Courtesy: Roots Cafe

Infusing the spirit of the Makahiki season into today’s festivities starts and ends with the concept of gratitude. Kānaka have a saying that perfectly embodies the power of healthy food and their abiding focus on appreciation: “Hala no ia lā o ka pōloli,” which means, “A hungry day passes” and expresses thankfulness for the gift of eating another day, and ultimately, the gift of life.

As we begin to plan this year’s celebrations, we can carry the values lived during Makahiki into our own holiday rituals by honoring those who’ve had a hand in harvesting and preparing the sustenance that feeds us (farmers, fishermen and cooks alike), the Native Hawaiians who worked the land generations ago and the higher powers connecting us all.

This Makahiki, create seasonal dishes for your loved ones with the intention of using fresh, healthy, traditional inspired ingredients that nourish body and spirit. Enjoy these ʻai pono recipes from Roots Cafe.

The Roots Cafe at Kōkua Kalihi Valley is a gathering place for the community to talk story and celebrate fresh, healthy, traditionally inspired dishes sourced from local businesses and Food Hub farm partners in support of sustainable food systems. The Roots Cafe also operates the Farmacy, a mini-market stocked with produce and cultural food products.

Open Tuesday and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Photo: Chocolate Chip Cookies