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hawaii Archives - Savage Kitchen
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August 10, 2019

Is Kahili Ginger Edible?

dehydrated kahili ginger flowers hedychium gardnerianum

Dehydrated kāhili ginger flowers.

Although the Ginger (Zingiberaceae) Family is generally safe, info is sparse on kāhili  (Hedychium gardnerianum) as an edible. Although not expressed directly in any literature, I determined through inference and experimental practice, that yes kāhili ginger flowers, flower buds, rhizomes, and new shoots are edible in small amounts. 

We know that H. gardnerianum is considered to be a folk medicine of the people of Sikkim state in the Indian Himalayas [1]. There is evidence that H. gardnerianum was used as a ginger substitute in New Zealand during World War II food rationing [2]. We also know that H. gardnerianum does not seem to have any strong toxicities in humans, dogs, cats, or horses [3] and that it is highly palatable to livestock [2] and used in ruminant feeding in some areas [4]. All of the evidence seems to indicate that uses of H. gardnerianum for both aroma and as a flavor/spice for ingestion are safe. It is always wise to start with a small amount when trying a food for the first time.

white and yellow butterfly ginger flowers

Yellow butterfly ginger (Hedychium flavescens) on the lower left, and white butterfly ginger (Hedychium coronarium) on top. We know that the chemistry of the three closely related species – H. coronariumH. flavescens, and H. gardnerianum – does not significantly vary and that they share most of the same dominant aromatic compounds.


White butterfly ginger (H. coronarium) is edible: its rhizomes are known to be eaten in India [5,6], and although it is described as a famine food, this assessment need not apply if new or creative edible uses of the plant can be found. Its flowers and flower buds are edible and can be used like a vegetable as well. 

processing kahlii butterfly ginger flowers in hawaii

Pulling kāhili ginger flowers off of the flower head is usually done while watching a movie and talking story with friends and family. 

butterfly ginger flower wild fermentations

Butterfly ginger flower wild yeast starters. Kāhili (H. gardnerianum), white (H. coronarium), and yellow (H. flavescens) are often described interchangeably in literature on the essential oils, so we can assume that many of the same medicinal qualities also are present in kāhili (H. gardnerianum).

 

savage kitchen butterfly ginger icon

Look for the orange butterfly ginger pin in the Savage Kitchen app & online foraging courses, coming in 2020. A "butterfly ginger" pin can be dropped anywhere you find kāhili (H. gardnerianum), white butterfly ginger (H. coronarium), or yellow butterfly ginger (H. flavescens).

savage kitchen app demo

sneak peek at the Savage Kitchen app map!

REFERENCES

[1] ENVIS (Environmental Information System Center: Sikkim).[nd]. Medicinal and Aromatic plants in Sikkim. Gangtok (India): Forest, Environment & Wildlife Management Department, Government of Sikkim. http://sikenvis.nic.in/WriteReadData/UserFiles/file/Medicinal%20&%20Aromatic%20plants%20of%20Sikkim%20from%20FRLHT.pdf

[2] NRC (Northland Regional Council). [nd]. Wild ginger, Pest Facts No. 4, Whangārei (New Zealand): Northland Regional Council. http://www.rnzih.org.nz/pages/pest%20facts%204%20-%20wild%20ginger.pdf

[3] ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). 2017. Toxic and Nontoxic Plants: Kahali Ginger. New York (NY): ASPCA. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/kahali-ginger

[4] Carvalho MJ, Carvalho LM, Ferreira AM, Silva AMS. 2010. A new xanthone from Hedychium gardnerianum. Natural Product Research 17(6):445-449. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1478641031000118906?journalCode=gnpl20

[5] Lim TK. 2017. Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants: Volume 12: Modified Stems, Roots, Bulbs. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-26065-5

[6] Kunkel G. 1984. Plants for Human Consumption: An Annotated Checklist of the Edible Phanerogams and Ferns. Oberreifenberg (Germany): Koeltz Scientific Books. https://books.google.com/books/about/Plants_for_Human_Consumption.html?id=7L0H0WBBMOkC

Hāwī is gonna get down! Am so jazzed to be a presenter at this years 10th Annual ʻĀina Fest on September 7th. My workshop will focus on the butterfly gingers, it's a theme right now, so come prepared to have their heavenly scent fill you up.  

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW  ----->>>    https://hipagriculture.org/aina-fest

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May 8, 2018

UpCountry in Bloom Theme @ Makawao Third Friday

Join Savage Kitchen for a feast of wild edible flowers!

Eat your medicine. We’ll have taro and venison and salad combined with all kinds of wild and invasive goodies.

May 8, 2018

Kahili Ginger Cooking Classes

I’ll be doing 2 wild food cooking classes this week!

Join me in Wailuku, either on Thursday from 6-8pm or Saturday from 3-5 for a glimpse into preparing kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) gari pickle. If you love sushi ginger, you’re going to love this! Creative and delicious ways to use our invasive species. Please RSVP :: savagekitchenmaui@gmail.com

Kahili Ginger Pickle Cooking Class with Sunny Savage

May 8, 2018

This Is What Local Food Looks Like

 

We ran some fabulous dishes during the Hawaii Local Food Challenge! Everything 100% local ingredients from the Hawaiian Islands.

Be sure to check out our location, by scrolling to the top of our website.

 

Look at that vibrant purple cabbage from @okoafarms with a bed of #wildboar Thai basil, garlic, yellow bell pepper, onion, chilies, coconut oil, s&p. On the right #ulu noodles (Maui breadfruit flour from @nohoanafarm) with olives, tomatoes, zucchini, pesto, #wildgreens garlic, onion, olive oil, s&p.

Beautiful loaded salads topped with haole koa (Leucaena leucocephala) miso dressing and cultured mac nut cheese.

Fruit salad fixings with foraged natal plums, pineapple, ice cream bean, kumquat and some elderflower with strawberry guava and tulsi tea.

Maui venison stew with burdock roots, fermented vegetables including aweoweo and spices from the Big Island.

Pan fried ulu with wild greens and a wild-inspired ferment.

Strawberry guava and local organic rose chocolates. 100% local ingredients.

March 22, 2018

Maui is Full of Locavores!

Thanks Luxury Retreats Magazine for the mention in this months issue

Click here to see the article, in which locavores rejoice in Maui’s food scene. Come foraging with me!

January 22, 2018

Wild Weekend Workshop :: February 10 & 11

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but recycling isn’t going to cut it. Paradigm shifting new ways of existing in our day to day reality are needed to adapt to the coming changes. Creating culture around invasives is a way to rise up and meet our challenges of climate change and authoritarianism with proactive response. Join Sunny Savage in a Wild Weekend of culture creation, a gathering of the tribes to practice earth-based skills utilizing resources found in abundance in our bioregion.

Register by sending an email to sunnysavage[@]gmail.com

February 10th and 11th from 10-4pm, with special Lauren Shearer of Hawaii Flora & Fauna…check out her work, it’s absolutely outstanding and we are going to create much beauty!        https://www.hawaiiflorafauna.com/about/

January 6, 2018

Free Zipline Tour for Foraging

Some people just go zipping by, but we’ll be on the ground at Skyline EcoAdventures foraging for haole koa (Leucaena leucocephala). Because we will be traveling via 4×4 to a remote part of the property, we only have spots for 13 people! Please sign-up by emailing me at sunnysavage[@]gmail.com to confirm your spot. This is such an exciting project, as we will be clearing the haole koa with assistance from Joseph Imhoff, native plant extraordinaire, to release its stranglehold on native plants. Join us for this unique adventure, and Joe has even included a free zipline voucher (to be used at a later date) for all those participating!!!

JANUARY 28th

9:30 – 3:30    (you’ll receive meeting location once you RSVP)

Please bring your own water bottle, wear long pants and sturdy shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen and/or hat, and work gloves if you have them. Anyone under 18 should have a guardian with them, and we will all sign a liability release form.

Come enjoy the sun, good people, and learn about and participate in our dynamic ecosystems.

 

January 1, 2018

Menu for December 14 & 15

This fruit leather is 100% local and organic and wildcrafted, made with kahili ginger flowers (Hedychium gardnerianum) and bananas and strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum). Along with our usual suspects of wild boar musubi, venison musubi, and haole koa tempeh, we had a delicious Oko’a Farms salad mix with haole koa miso (Leucaena leucocephala) dressing.

December 4, 2017

Upcoming Wild Food Hikes on Maui

I’ll be doing 3 wild food hikes this month. Join me in an exploration of the wild things on Maui.

December 7 from 11-noon. Meet at the Savage Kitchen Maui food truck, in Paia Bay!

December 14 from 11-noon. Meet at the Savage Kitchen Maui food truck, in Paia Bay!

December 23 from noon-2pm. We’ll be hiking a trail up in PoliPoli, so will meet at the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm (outer parking lot before going through the gate) between 11:45 and noon and caravaning up from there.

December 4, 2017

Savage Izakaya PopUp

Over the top dinner coming up! Join us for multiple courses of amazing wild-inspired izakaya food. Held at a historic Japanese home in Upper Wailuku this will be like no izakaya you’ve had before. Hand-made ramen noodles with wild greens sound interesting? How about java plum kampachi?

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