Girls’ Day + Carrot Cake Cookies

Happy Hina Matsuri!

Happy Girls’ Day!  March 3rd [3/3] is traditionally the Japanese Doll Festival, or Girls’ Day.

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

– Maya Angelou.

My Grandma Pat – who helped raise me – was 100% Japanese (as well as a trailblazing pioneer!), which makes me 25% (but still a trailblazing pioneer), but truly–because local culture is so diverse–even people who aren’t of Japanese decent take part in the holiday.  I’ve celebrated the holiday since I was born and think that the concept is beautiful: to celebrate the unique contribution girls offer.

My husband, Ben, on the other hand, was born and raised in Seattle.  He hasn’t celebrated these seemingly random holidays his entire life.  So you can imagine my surprise when the first words out of his mouth this morning were, “Happy Girls’ Day!”.  Sure, we’ve been living on Maui for a few years and he’s had some time to get accustomed to the culture, but really? I had completely forgotten about it, and here he was all set with gifts for the girls in his classroom (he’s a Special Education teacher for elementary school)!  My husband’s rad.

Here in Hawai`i, we take the day to recognize the girls and women in our lives.  When I was a little girl, my family would gift me origami paper, Japanese candy, erasers, and all kinds of small gifts to celebrate the holiday.  Our teachers and classmates’ parents would bring in homemade mochi, we’d do special Girls’ Day arts and crafts, and everyone would celebrate together (even the boys).  As I got older, my Mom would make sure to send me care packages for Girls’ Day [which always confused my roommates in Oregon – “Is it your birthday?” “Did you win something?”].  To this day, Mom gives me gifts for Girls’ Day (after all, I’ll always be her girl!).

So today, even if you’re not in Hawai`i, and/or not of Japanese ancestry, take a moment to recognize the girls and women in your life. We are all so beautiful, unique and incredible!

And after you’ve done that, make these carrot cake cookies for your most fave [and yourself, of course!] :


[C3] : Carrot Cake Cookies

[gluten and refined-sugar free]

adapted from Oh She Glows



  • 1/2 c gluten-free baking flour [I used Bob’s Red Mill, but whole wheat/unbleached pastry flour would also work if you’re not gluten sensitive]
  • 1/4 c oats [regular or rolled]
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger [or ground]
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  • 1/3 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c shredded carrots, packed
  • 1/4 c raisins *see preparation note
  • 1/4 c unsweetened coconut [I used reduced fat flakes]


  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c coconut oil, warmed for about 25 seconds in microwave
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*To prepare the raisins you can either soak them overnight in water or cover with water and microwave for about 4 minutes, or until they plump with the water.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line or spray one baking sheet.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Add in the mix-ins.


Stir together the wet ingredients, then add them to the flour mixture just until everything is incorporated.

Drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet, then press down with the palm of your hand.


Bake for 12-15 minutes, then allow to cool on a baking rack [if you can resist].

Enjoy! Makes 15 super yummy cookies.


Nutrition Facts [one cookie]

Calories 75 • Fat 3g Sodium 50mg • Carbs 10g • Fiber 1g • Sugars Protein 1g

Who are your favorite women? Do you take the time to recognize them often?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


7 thoughts on “Girls’ Day + Carrot Cake Cookies

  1. Katie says:

    My younger sister minors in japanese and will actually be going to japan this summer. I walked into her room and said happy girls day! after reading this post. After her look of confusion, I had to explain to her what the holiday was and how i knew about it! 😉

  2. Danielle says:

    So, nobody knows what girls day is here on the mainland 😦 The first year my (now) husband and I were dating I told him about the holiday and how all the girls get pink Mochi in Hawai’i. He must have really wanted to impress me, because he found a recipe of how to make sweet mochi, went to an Asian grocery store, and made me mochi for girls day! I think I knew I had found a winner that day 🙂

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