Nothing tells a story, or brings people and cultures together, quite like food. So why not celebrate Maori Language Week (September 10-16) through sharing a love of healthy kai (food)?

Helping us to share part of Aotearoa’s kaupapa (story) through a modern take on old-school Maori kai, we’ve worked alongside our friends Belinda and Jarrad McKay at Puha & Pakeha, an Auckland-based food truck, to put together a recipe that is a deliciously modern spin on Kiwi ingredients. Of course, it also promotes the importance of health and oranga (well-being) by making sure we’re eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables.

Included in your parcel of goodies is a recipe for Pumpkin and Carrot Pikelets, with Watercress/Cress Sauce and Vegetable Salsa. This will be a sure-fire favourite with the whole whanau, jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

Belinda says the recipe ties New Zealand’s different cultures and traditions together in a way that aims to inspire and delight.

“This recipe takes key vegetables used in Maori kai and we’ve added modern flavours and cooking styles, in a way that we hope will encourage people to give it a go and enjoy the kai of Aotearoa.”

This year, Maori Language Week’s theme focuses on the importance of making the Maori language stronger – Kia Kaha te Reo Maori – and what better way to do that, while also promoting the importance of keeping our bodies strong by fuelling them with the right kind of food, than through sharing delicious recipes and encouraging the use of Te Reo Maori at kai time?

5+ A Day Charitable Trust General Manager Paula Dudley says fresh fruit and vegetables are important not only for the body, but for our minds as well.

“Lifting our intake of fresh fruit and vegetables can make a huge difference to the way we feel. People who consume extra fresh fruit and vegetables see significant improvements to their well-being and stress levels, with boosts in vitality and motivation as well.

“Eating your vegetables while learning key words in Te Reo Maori is the perfect way of feeding our minds in two ways at once.”

If you’d like more fresh and delicious spring recipe ideas, check out our social media accounts – @5adaynz, website, and encourage your followers to check them out too.

Kia Kaha (be strong) – eat your fruit and vegetables!


PANIKEKE PAUKENA KAROTI (he karoti, he watakirihi, he kangareka, he rapikama horopito)
Pumpkin & Carrot Pikelets with watercress sauce & sweet corn & capsicum salsa

Pumpkin & Carrot Pikelets
Makes 9-10 pikelets.


1 Egg
350g Pumpkin (skin removed), chopped into cubes
100g Carrot, chopped
1 tsp Smoked paprika
½ tsp White pepper
½ tsp Salt
½ cup Milk
2 tsp Baking Powder
¾ cup Flour
25g Butter


  1. Place the pumpkin and carrot in a saucepan, cover with water and boil until soft. Drain water and puree with a stick blender, allow to cool.
  2. Beat the egg and add pumpkin & carrot puree. Whisk in smoked paprika, white pepper, salt, baking powder and milk. Slowly add the flour a small amount at a time and whisk until smooth. Lastly add melted butter. Mix until smooth. To cook, place spoonfuls onto a hot greased pan. Flip the pikelets when they start to bubble. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

Watercress Sauce

90g Watercress (can be substituted for cress – available from the herb section of most supermarkets)
1 Spring Onion – chopped
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Horseradish
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper
250g Sour Cream


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or bowl with stick blender.
  2. Process/blend until all ingredients are finely chopped, then blend through the sour cream.
  3. Refrigerate.

Sweet Corn and Capsicum Salsa

¼ cup Sweet corn (use fresh corn when in season – canned when it is not)
¼ cup Red capsicum, finely diced
1 tsp Lemon juice
Salt and pepper


  1. Mix together and season to taste. Set aside until ready to serve.
    To serve, top the pikelets with salsa and drizzle with the sauce. Enjoy!


About 5+ A Day

The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust was established in 2007 for the benefit of all Kiwis, especially children. The Trust is committed to increasing the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables for better health in all New Zealanders. We encourage all Kiwis to eat five or more servings of colourful, fresh fruit and vegetables every day for good health. Our key messages are in line with our Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation’s recommendations. The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust is funded by voluntary contributions from New Zealand’s pan produce industry.

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