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MacroTreat Fridays: Vegan {Macro-ish} Nutella.

There are moments in life you'll remember forever, such as buying your first house or having your first child. You know, those big things you can check off. Well, for the time being, those things aren't on my list - as I'm not certain I want them to be! So instead, for now, I'll choose to happily remember the day when everything worked in my favour.

It all started with a random craving at the grocery store, that I successfully dodged.
Then I came home and realized that not only did I have access to a Vitamix for a few more days, but that I needed to use up food in the pantry & fridge because we were moving. I took one look and saw that I had exactly 1 3/4 cups of hazelnuts, 1/3 cup of cocoa, a few splashes of maple syrup, and a half carton of almond milk in the fridge.

And there it was: vegan nutella.

Oh yes. I did.

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I used alchemy and fate to create this insanity. I seriously just started throwing in random ingredients into the vitamix until it became a miracle. I believe the words "I have now achieved god like status" may have been said. Um yeah. I take chocolate seriously. <3

MacroTreat Friday: Vegan Nutella (Macro-ish)

Okay, so this is definitely playing in the very outer fields of Macrobiotics, seeing as how cocoa/chocolate isn't really a regular macrobiotic food (it's pretty stimulating). But hey, I love chocolate. So I did what I could to macro-ify it up.

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I prefer my chocolate to be more cocoa-ey, and not quite as sweet, so that's how this turned out. You'll see that I used one of my favourite macrobiotic-friendly sweeteners here, maple syrup, in place of the sugar. And almond milk + a bit of sunflower or grapeseed oil takes the place of  processed oils and milk powders. If you want it sweeter, sub some of the almond milk with more maple syrup. The rest is simply magic. Silky, smooth, chocolate & hazelnut magic.

Makes 1.5 - 2 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups whole hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used organic fair trade dutch process cocoa, as it's what I had on hand)
  • few pinches of natural sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp veggie oil of choice - I'd recommend sunflower, grapeseed, or avocado oil
  • 2/3 - 1 cup almond milk or soy milk (I recommend Eden brand).
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Directions

  1. Set oven on to 400F.
  2. Place hazelnuts on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake for 6-10 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Keep an eye on these guys, and carefully shake the pan after about 4 minutes or so, to rotate them. Once roasted - mine took 8 minutes - remove pan from oven. Let the hazelnuts cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Grab a towel and carefully (they may still be hot!) place some of the hazelnuts inside it, making kind of a pouch, and then rub the nuts together. Yep, that's what I said. I have about 100 jokes lined up for you, but you'll have to use your imagination here. Anyways, we're rubbing the nuts to remove the skins. (oh dear. must type. can't laugh). Just do your best, as it won't all come off. Place them into a bowl to cool, while you work on the rest of the hazelnuts. If you don't want to use a dishtowel, you can use a papertowel...but it didn't work as well for me.
  4. Throw the hazelnuts into a food processor, or high-speed blender. Blend slowly, starting on a low setting then moving higher, until you have hazelnut butter. You'd better try that ***t. It's good. {If you're using a vitamix, you'll probably need to the use the tamper a few times, and don't be afraid to let the blender rest - blend for a few seconds, rest, blend & continue}. At first it'll just look like crumbly hazelnuts. Then all of a sudden you will find amazingly creamy hazelnut butter. High-five yourself.
  5. Stir in the cocoa powder and salt. Blend again for a few minutes. You may need to use the tamper or a spoon to get it going.
  6. Add the oil and vanilla. Blend.
  7. Add the almond milk slowly, staring with 1/3 cup. Blend. Add more if you so desire. I ending up using 2/3 cup + 1 TBSP almond milk for my desired texture (it was smooth and perfect, btw).
  8. Now do everything you can to actually get the nutella into jars, and away from your mouth - you probably want to check a mirror before answering the door, because if you're anything like me, well...you'll have chocolate alllllll over your face. You're glorious though. Always remember that.

And while the recipe possibilities are endless now that I have vegan nutella in my pantry...for now, I've kept it simple :)

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Ask yourself if there is anyone in your life worth giving some of this away to. Either way, it's a win win ;)

<3 <3 <3 Happy MacroTreat Friday friends.

MacroTreat Fridays: Macrobiotic Apple Cinnamon Millet Muffins

Who doesn't love a good muffin?

I mean, there's just something wonderful about sitting down to a delicious muffin and a warm cup of tea for breakfast. Especially on a chilly day.

Warning: these breakfast muffins ain't for sissys. Just like all my treats, these guys are vegan and made with real whole food. They are definitely less decadent than last weeks' treat as they are super dense & hearty and sweetened only with apples. So, if you're wanting a cake disguised as a muffin for breakfast, these aren't the ones for you. If you're wanting something super filling and nutritious, then good for you, you just found 'em.

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MacroTreat Fridays: Macrobiotic Apple Cinnamon Millet Muffins

These are super-duper healthy, and taste like it too - in a good way. Completely whole grain, no leaveners, and no sweeteners - just the wonderful taste of apples and cinnamon, surrounded by hearty-whole grain goodness, with a surprising nutty crunch of millet. They are almost like dense apple energy bar biscuits (yah, I don't know, it makes sense to me). For suggestions, substitutions (including a no-millet option), and notes, please check down below after the directions.

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Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups whole grain sprouted spelt flour (regular whole spelt or wheat flour works well too)*
  • 3/4 cup millet (uncooked, but toasted, see directions below) *
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 pinches of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup oil of choice - I used grapeseed and olive oil
  • 1 cup water *
  • 2 medium apples, diced (pear would be lovely too!).
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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine flour, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Rinse millet, then drain completely in a sieve. Once drained, toast millet in a pan on the stove-top, over low-heat, stirring frequently, until it's golden brown and smells wonderful (around 5 mins). Remove from heat.
  4. After millet has cooled slightly, add to the rest of the dry ingredients.
  5. Dice the apples into small chunks. You can leave the skin on :)
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the apple sauce, oil, and water.
  7. Add wet to dry, and mix until just combined. I used a fork to mix it together.
  8. Fold in the apples.
  9. Pour into muffin liners, or into a greased muffin pan.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. I let mine bake for 30 mins, as I preferred them to be a bit extra cooked :) Let cool until ready to serve.
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*NOTES:

  • Like I said earlier, these muffins are not very sweet at all...so feel free to add in some maple syrup in place of part of the water- even just a few tablespoons are really nice. I'd recommend 1/4 cup maple syrup 3/4 cup water  if you are new to whole-grain baking or this way of eating, or if you are serving it to regular eaters.
  • The millet definitely has a very noticeable taste & texture in these muffins. It is pretty crunchy, when added in this way, kind of like a seed. So, feel free to replace the millet entirely if you are unsure about it. I would recommend just adding in more flour in place of it (I've successfully done this), or you could try oat flakes as well. Another possibility is replacing the crunchiness of the millet, with sunflower seeds :)
  • If you think these are going to be too dense for you, then you can easily lighten these bad boys up a bit, by using half whole wheat pastry flour, or light spelt flour. You can also add in a teaspoon of baking powder too, if that suits your fancy.
  • Feel free to spice these up a bit too - ginger and nutmeg are amazing with apples or pears, and if you are using pears, cardamon is amazing <3
  • I think these taste better the next day! They are super quick and easy to make, so throw them in the oven the night before, and let them cool on a wire rack overnight on the counter. They'll be ready & waiting for you in the morning!
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I enjoyed mine for breakfast, cut in half, and spread with some almond butter.

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Delicious. Delightful. And a dreamy way to kick off the weekend.
xoxo J


MacroTreat Fridays: Vegan Chocolate Chip & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Yes.

MacroTreat Fridays.

It's now a thing. Expect to see more treats, on more Fridays, so you can end your week & start your weekend with something a little extra sweet.

I decided to go for a classic on this first MacroTreat Friday: the cookie. Really, I mean it didn't take too much thinking, as Fridays + cookies = a fast-track to happiness. Macrobiotic cookies = an even faster track.

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These cookies are more like regular cookies than some of my other recipes, as they use maple sugar in place of maple syrup, and also use flour, not just rolled oats, which gives them a more familiar texture. These cookies are full of chocolate chips, which makes them a pretty decadent treat when paired with the pecans. That being said, they also aren't just like regular cookies, as they don't have eggs, dairy, white sugar (depending on the chocolate chips you use), or white flour in them. So, this means that they are definitely Macrobiotic friendly, just a tad more on the more treaty-side. Give them a try; you won't regret it.

Macrobiotic Friendly Chocolate Chip & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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Vegan, whole-grain, chocolate chip & pecan oatmeal cookies.
The secret ingredient in these guys is pumpkin, used to replace most of the oil, but without giving any pumpkin taste. Pretty tricky.

This recipe makes a lot, about 45 cookies (1.5" diameter).

Feel free to play with halving it, or simply enjoy giving some away to friends or stocking up your freezer for those "I.need.a.cookie.now" moments. I made the whole batch because I wanted to use a whole can of pumpkin.

Ingredients

  • 398 ml. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (other veggie oil should work as well)
  • 2/3 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener of choice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 4 cups rolled oat flakes
  • 2 cups flour of choice (I've tried these with whole oat flour, and sprouted spelt flour - both successful, but I prefer the texture when using the sprouted spelt)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 TBSP ground flaxseed
  • 1 & 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or carob chips, or dark chocolate chunks, or grain-sweetened choc. chips or raisins or something else fun)
  • 2/3 cup pecans (break them up into tiny pieces)
  • ~1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a bowl, with a mixer, until nicely combined.
  3. In another bowl, mix oats, flour, salt, flax, baking powder & soda. Make sure it's combined well so as not get pockets of baking soda/powder :)
  4. Add dry to wet slowly, mixing with a spoon at first, and then the mixer.
  5. IF it looks way too dry to you, begin slowly mixing in some almond milk. I ended up adding in 1 cup total, when using the sprouted whole spelt flour.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips & pecan pieces.
  7. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper. Optional step here is letting the dough chill for 30 mins in the fridge first. This can make your cookies rise a bit more. I skipped this step and they still turned out great.
  8. Using hands, roll dough into balls, and place on the cookie sheet. Then flatten slightly with your hand or a fork.
  9. Bake for 12-17 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies and your oven. I prefer these baked a bit longer, as the pumpkin makes them quite moist, so I baked them all for at least 15 mins. Look to see that they are nice and brown on the bottoms.
  10. Let cool, and devour. They will firm up as they will cool.
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NOTES:

  • The texture will vary depending on what kind of flour you use (duh). I really enjoyed the whole sprouted spelt flour.
  • These become more cookie-texture and less cakey, as they cool and set up.
  • These cookies are very very modifiable - I have played around with no leaveners at all (still worked!), and I've also tried using a bit more than the above amounts, all with success. You can try swapping the flour to oats ratio, and play around there too, and with swapping the pecans for other nuts/seeds.
  • Feel free to spice these guys up. I usually throw ceylon cinnamon in, but simply forgot this time.
  • I would imagine you could substitute the coconut oil with a nut butter, and of course you can substitute it with another vegetable oil like sesame or olive oil.
  • I tried freezing these, and they froze pretty well - because they are a bit lower-oil, they won't freeze as well as full-on regular cookies.
  • To make sure these cookies do not get soft when stored, keep them in a glass container, or a tin. I actually just left mine out on the counter uncovered, and they seemed to do just fine. Storing them in a plastic bag is fine, but be warned, they may lose a bit of their cookie texture.
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Ok friends. Enjoy a cookie, with a cup of tea, and high-five for yourself for making it to the weekend.

Have a good one.

xo Jess

Macro Monday: Matcha Latte

Happy 2014 everyone!

This year is going to be wonderful; I just know it!

I'm easing into it gently. 2013 was quite a big year, involving lots of packing & unpacking, and moving, and visiting and traveling. We just returned from our Christmas trip to visit T's family in the Okanagan. It was lovely, and restful, and peaceful. But it was still travel, and there were LOTS of late nights...so we're just getting back into the swing of things over here, trying to get to bed earlier and finding our routine.

Sometimes in these situations, a warm drink helps.

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Yah okay, you're right, they always help!

This warm drink will pep you up, make you feel good because you're drinking something green (even though there's no kale in it), and it's warm and comforting. I'm not saying it'll take the place of a real latte, because good espresso is a whole thing of it's own that nothing could ever replace (if it ain't broke, don't fix it).

But if you want to try something new, I'm totally diggin' these Matcha Lattes (which may or may not be because I have a new stash of good matcha from Japan - thanks pops!).

And before we begin, I have a confession: I'm a green tea snob. Secret's out. Call me whatever you like, but after living in Japan and tasting how green tea SHOULD taste...I realized just how bad it is over here. And yes, I am going to be that general. I have yet to taste a cup of any kind of green tea that even comes close to being as good as the stuff in Japan. And trust me, I've ordered it at plenty of places, ranging from tea focused shops to cafes. Since returning home from Japan, I've been telling everyone that... IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! (picture me saying that in a really loud and slow-mo kind of voice, because that's how serious I am about it).

Here are the tips I've been telling everyone about:

How to make Green Tea taste good!

  1. The temperature of the water you use to make the tea is VERY VERY important. As in, it has the power to make your matcha have a really nasty bitter flavour, or turn it into the most delicious sweet tasting drink. There are different temperatures for different kinds of green teas...but generally, you never ever want to use boiling water.
    *Sencha (most common green tea leaves): high grade sencha will taste the best around 70C, and regular sencha should be fine around 80C (and even 90 will be much better than straight boiling)
    *Matcha: 70-80 C
     
  2. If you're making sencha...the tea you drink should be very very light in colour. Not dark yellow. Not brownish-yellow. What I'm saying is this: they most often do NOT STEEP their sencha. In Japan, they actually run hot water over & through the tea leaves (never letting it just sit there), straight into their tea cup. So the tea they drink is very very mild and sweet and light in colour & taste. You can then re-use those leaves and run water through them again, multiple times, getting great tasting tea.

Now let's get down to business, for the first Macro Monday of the year!

I enjoy Matcha in all it's forms, but sometimes a latte is just the nicest.

Macro Monday: Matcha Latte

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Matcha Latte:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 - 1 tsp high quality matcha powder (I like it strong, so I use 1 tsp, but work your way up if this is new for you, starting with 1/4 tsp...it's pretty potent!)
  • 3 TBSP - 1/4 cup hot water -- not boiling (around 80C if possible)
  • liquid sweetener of choice, if desired
     
  • A small-medium bowl you love
  • *A matcha whisk will greatly improve the process
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Directions

  1. Find a pretty bowl that is large enough for you to freely whisk up the matcha.
  2. Bring a small amount of water to boil. Pour about 1/4 cup into a separate mug, and let it sit until cooled down. Alternatively, if you're rushed for time, you could add cool water to the boiled water until the temperature reaches about 70-80C.
  3. Heat up 1 cup of milk, either in a saucepan on low-medium, stirring frequently, or in the microwave. Don't boil it. If you like foam, use a whisk or milk frother and froth up.
  4. Pour a bit of remaining boiling water into your bowl, and roll it around, so it covers the sides, dip the matcha whisk in it. Then dump the water out. This step warms up the bowl, and gets the whisk ready.
  5. Measure out your 1 tsp matcha powder, and put it into the bowl.
  6. Gently, with love, pour in your 1/4 cup 70-80C water, and using a matcha whisk, move the whisk in a circle around the edges to get all the powder, and then back and forth from left to right, moving from one end of the bowl to the other, in short movements, to froth up the matcha.
  7. Using a spoon to hold back the foam, pour the almond milk into the bowl. Stir in sweetener if using any. Scoop out the foam after, and put on top.
  8. Using both your hands cradle the bowl, smell the wonderful tea, and close your eyes while sipping it's deliciousness.
Matcha Latte: matcha powder, hot water, and heated almond milk

Matcha Latte: matcha powder, hot water, and heated almond milk

Matcha Latte all ready to go!

Matcha Latte all ready to go!

A few more tips:

  • Here's a great link about matcha, including the temperature, different ways to whisk it, etc.
  • To clean your match whisk, add some hot water to a cup or bowl, and whisk away, then rinse it off.
  • There is a vast vast VAST difference in quality of matcha...I hate to say it, but generally the more expensive, the better it is.
  • Keep matcha in an airtight container...and in the fridge. Fresh matcha actually smells sweet.

Okay, that about does it.

Happy Monday. Enjoy whatever warm beverage it is you're currently cradling, and have a wonderful week!

xoxo Jess

Macro Monday Secret Ingredient

Happy Macro Monday everyone!
Today's post is about another secret macrobiotic ingredient. It's clear. It comes from the sea. You can buy it  in the form of bars, flakes, or powder.

AND, most importantly, you can make macrobiotic jello with it.

Classy, I know.

MM: Agar Agar

A bar of agar agar soaking.

A bar of agar agar soaking.

What is it?

It is a gelatenous substance that comes from a seaweed/red algae. It has been used for centuries in China & Japan. In Japan, is in known as kanten. It is commonly used as a vegan thickener and is completely odourless, colourless, and flavourless, making it a great substitute for gelatin.

Health Benefits

Agar is very high in fibre (80% fibre!), and is good source of iron & magnesium, and also is a source of calcium. Agar has been found to relieve certain digestive orders, as well as some liver conditions (it can absorb bile, which can lower cholesterol levels).

How do you use it?

Agar should be combined / soaked with liquid and then brought to a boil in order for it to completely dissolve. It will set as it cools down.

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There are a few different forms of agar agar. Agar powder is much more concentrated than the flakes, so you can use 1 tsp of powder in place of 1 Tbsp flakes. If you are using it in bar form, the instructions usually say to soak the bar in a bowl of water for about 30-60 minutes. Then drain and wring out the bars, rip into small pieces, and then bring to boil with whatever ingredients you are using in your recipe.

To thicken one cup of liquid, in general, you'll need 1 tsp agar powder / 1 TBSP agar flakes or about 1/3 of a typical bar. I find though that each brand can be different, so definitely read the instructions on the back of the package.

For quick reference and an estimate based on the brands I've used:
To thicken 1 cup of liquid: 1 tsp agar powder = 1 tbsp agar flakes = 1/3 agar bar

Kinds of Foods you can make with it

Creamy Desserts

Agar agar is often used to create a creamy thick filling for pies, or in puddings (usually combined with kuzu).

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  • I use it in my favourite pumpkin pie recipe.
  • I have also used it to make a delicious tahini custard.
  • Easy Simple Pudding: You can make a very simple pudding that can be flavoured after, in whatever way you like by simply combining agar with your milk of choice, and cooking it, then letting it set up. The next day blend until soft like a pudding, adding in whatever you like: cocoa, vanilla, banana, peanut butter, cinnamon etc.

Lighter Fruit Jellies & Puddings.

You can make lighter dishes that are great for spring or summer, such as jelly or jello-like dishes combined with fruit. These are often referred to as kantens in Macrobiotic cooking.

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  • A Delicious Strawberry Kanten
  • I have also made a kanten like the strawberry one above using various fruits such as mixed berries, thin apple slices, and grapes. It's SO EASY! Just bring the soaked agar and liquid of choice (water, tea, juice, milk) to boil, let it dissolve, then pour overtop of fruit in a pyrex dish. Let it set, and enjoy!
  • I have also made a very simple kanten with no fruit, and just flavoured the agar itself by cooking it in apple juice and mint tea. Another delicious one is to cook it with your milk of choice and chai tea, along with your preferred liquid sweetener.  After it sets you can eat as is, or you can blend into a pudding texture. YUM! (In these cases I made some very strong tea first, using multiple teabags, and used this as the water to boil the agar in).

 

I'll leave you with a fun fact: agar is often used in science as a stable growth environment for bacteria in petri dishes. Cool :)

Have you ever cooked with agar agar? What's your favourite recipe using it?

 

Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pie Revisit

The Dainty Pig's Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pie

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Vegan, Gluten Free | Oat Flour Crust, Maple Sweetened

Recipe makes one regular 9" pie.

This recipe tied for 1st place in my pumpkin pie showdown of 2012, and is based off of and adapted from Eden Foods' recipe here. I tweaked it to make the filling process a bit simpler, and the appropriate size to fill one regular crust. I adjusted the spices to my liking, and as per my taste testers' requests. And I swapped oat flour for the wheat flour. The result is a delicious & healthy, spicy, vegan & gluten free macrobiotic pumpkin pie...YUM!

Oat Flour Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oat flour (sift it if you can)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or sub in some grapeseed &/or avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup COLD milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Pulse / whisk / blend together oil & milk
  4. Add wet to dry and mix until combined (hands work best, crumble it with your fingers...just go for it!).
  5. Roll into a ball (adding any additional flour or cold water if necessary) and place in fridge for about 20 minutes.
  6. Roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper, and carefully transfer into a lightly oiled 9" pie pan. Crimp edges if desired or if used a crimped pan.
  7. Poke holes with fork in bottom and sides of crust.
  8. Pre-bake crust for 5 mins before adding in the pumpkin filling and baking (see assembly & baking instructions below).

Pumpkin Filling

Ingredients

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree (I simply used one entire 15 oz. can)
  • 1.25 cups milk of choice (again, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 TBSP Agar flakes
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 heaping tsp. ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 TBSP Kuzu powder, dissolved in 2 TBSP cold water (*do this part right before you add it in).
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup or so of pecan halves

Directions

  1. In a small - medium saucepan, combine the agar agar flakes and milk, and let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Stir in maple syrup, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until agar flakes melt, about 10 minutes. Whisk/stir fairly often to ensure the flakes melt and are combined in.
  4. In a small bowl combine/mash up the pumpkin puree, salt, spices, and vanilla. Mix with a fork, or a hand blender, and then stir it into the agar/milk/maple mix, combining well.
  5. Dilute the kuzu and stir it into the mixture.
  6. Stirring (fairly continuously to avoid lumps), bring everything to an almost boil, then remove from heat. Continue on below with baking directions.

Assembly & Baking Directions

  1. Carefully pour filling into pre-baked crust.
  2. If desired, sprinkle pecan halves on top of the filling, around the edges of the crust, before baking (pretty delicious, btw).
  3. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden, at 350F.
  4. Please be careful when removing pie, as the filling will still be a bit liquidy.
  5. Pie will continue to set as it cools, so let cool completely (at least 3 hours) before slicing & serving.
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Suggestions & Notes:

  • CRUST: I have also made this using a pre-made frozen whole spelt crust. If using a frozen crust, thaw for 20 minutes. Then poke holes with a fork along the bottom and sides. Pre-bake for 5 mins at 350F.
  • This pie tastes even better the next day, after letting it sit in the fridge overnight. So if you have the time, make it the day before you want to serve it.
  • You can also place pecans along the bottom of the crust, before you add the filling, to make it even more decadent.
  • Serve with coconut milk whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
  • This pie was my favourite winner of the 2012 pumpkin pie showdown! My second favourite filling uses tofu and is in that pie showdown post as well. I'll do a revisit of it as well, soon enough :)

♥♥♥Enjoy!

 

Macro Monday: Easiest Pumpkin Cookies Ever <3

That's a bold title...but it's true.  All you need is one pot, and one bowl, and the desire to make friends with anybody you give these to...because that will definitely happen.

I made cookies these last Fall, quite often. They were actually the result of a combination between a failed pumpkin custard recipe attempt, and a whole bunch of recipes combined. I just kinda free-styled it, and I cannot remember or find which recipes were my inspiration (oops). Regardless, I'm so glad that custard never turned out, because these are YUM :)

It's time to make them again. Here we go!

MM: Spicy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Macrobiotic Inspired, Vegan, no oil, sugar, flour, or gluten <3

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4-6 Tbsp pure maple syrup (more or less, depending on how sweet you want it) 
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)  
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 cups regular rolled oats (gluten free rolled oats if you need to)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups mix-ins of your choice: chocolate chips, nuts/seeds like sunflower seeds, chia, pecans or walnuts, dried fruit or simply use more rolled oats, or even some steel cut oats for texture (my favourite versions are down below!).
  • pinch of sea salt. 
  • Optional: candied ginger chunks, or some chunks of dark chocolate, for pressing into the tops. 

Directions

  1. Set the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a cookie sheet, or place parchment paper on top of one.
  2. Mix the next 4 ingredients together in a smallish saucepan. I whisked everything together with a fork. 
  3. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly. 
  4. Mix the remaining 4 ingredients together in a bowl. 
  5. Once everything is boiling in the saucepan, remove from heat. 
  6. Wait a few minutes, then lightly stir in the dry ingredients. If you're concerned about the chocolate chips melting, then add them in last, after you've stirred in all the oats. If you let it sit for a few minutes, you'll be amazed at how much of the liquid the oats soak up.
  7. Scoop out cookie dough with a table or soup spoon, forming mounds on the cookie sheet. Then lightly press down with a fork, or back of the spoon.
  8. If desired, and highly recommended, press a small chunk of cut up candied ginger in the center of each one. (if you are not using chocolate chips in the actual dough, then press a chunk of dark chocolate into the center).
  9. Bake for ~13-15 minutes, until firm around the edges.  
  10. These cookies are very moist & chewy. They will continue to set/firm up overnight. If you'd like them to be crispier, then bake them longer, to your liking :) 

Let's be real: these are just pumpkin oatmeal in a cookie shape...so enjoy freely!!  They're GREAT for breakfast :)

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My favourite versions are:

  • 2.5 cups oat flakes, 1/2 cup steel cut oats, and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, with dark chocolate pressed into the top
  • 3 cups oat flakes (or 2.5 cups oat flakes & 1/2 cup steel cut oats) with 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, a tablespoon of chia seeds thrown in, and then some candied ginger pressed into the top. 
  • 3.5 cups oats/steel cut oats, and then simply decorate some with chocolate chunks pressed in, and some with ginger chunks. 

Notes & Mix-ins Ideas:

  • This recipe is VERY forgiving...if you find yourself with slightly more or less of any of the ingredients, it usually always works out
  • Feel free to go nuts with the pumpkin pie spices: cloves & nutmeg would be great in here too, I'd mix them in with the dry stuff. You can also add in vanilla to the liquid ingredients. :) 
  • I keep thinking that some almond butter or other nut/seed butter mixed in would make these even more delicious. 
  • I usually make a double or triple batch or however many I can to use up a whole can of pumpkin. They freeze pretty well...and make great treats to give to friends who enjoy pumpkin treats in cold weather. <3

I've been wanting to post this for awhile now, but had been unsuccessfully searching for this recipe (I realized that it is at the bottom of a moving box). This post is up because of my dear sister, who had a copy of this recipe (THANKS!). We made these last year together, multiple times. She's the best, and deserves a gold star...and a batch of these cookies.

They also taste amazing with an almond milk latte the size of your head...just sayin' !

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Crustless 10 Minute Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pie

Oh my pumpkin pie. 

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I decided at 4pm on the day of our Thanksgiving dinner, that I actually did indeed want a pumpkin pie for dessert. But, I didn't feel like making the ones from last year (so so so delicious btw), as I didn't have enough flour to make a crust, or enough time.

I had saved this recipe I stumbled upon a few weeks ago, and decided to go for it, as I had just enough time to make it and try it for dessert. 

10 Min. Crustless Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pie

Oil Free, Refined Sugar Free, Crustless, Vegan, GF if desired, & Delicious

As mentioned above, this recipe is entirely inspired by and based off of this one here, by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Such a good find. I jess-ified it a bit, and made it more macro-friendly. This crustless pie actually forms an almost-crust on it's own. Way to go pie, gold star for you!

Ingredients

  • 398ml (15 oz) can of organic pumpkin puree
  • 1.5 cups soymilk (I used Eden brand original, but I'm sure other milks like almond or coconut would work as well)
  • 1 heaping TBSP Kuzu Powder
  • 2 Chia "eggs" - 2 TBSP white chia seeds, whisked into and then soaked in 7TBSP water for about 10 minutes.
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oat flour {I ground about 3/4 cup regular oat flakes in high speed blender to make the flour}** See below for other flour options.
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar (coconut palm sugar would also work here)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 heaping tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder

Directions

  1. Turn oven on to 350F.
  2. Prepare dry ingredients: Mix together everything that's dry, except for the kuzu powder, in a bowl.
  3. In a blender, combine the soymilk, chia "eggs", vanilla and kuzu powder. Blend on high until combined.
  4. Add in the pumpkin puree and blend on high until combined.
  5. Add in bowl of dry ingredients and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until everything is combined. Stop if necessary and stir/scrape sides so everything gets mixed in.
  6. Oil a pie pan - I used a glass pyrex pie dish, and I oiled it with sesame oil.
  7. Pour the blender contents into the pie dish. 
  8. Bake for 60 minutes. 
  9. Let cool before serving. (I let it cool down enough to put it in the fridge, and then let it set and cool for a few more hours before eating it.) *Tastes even better the next day. 
  10. Serve with tofu whipped cream or coconut whipped cream, if you like. 
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**The oat flour makes this "pie" a bit more dense. Whole wheat pastry flour also works, as does regular old unbleached flour. I'm sure the white rice flour option would be awesome, and I'm looking forward to trying this with other flours such as light spelt flour and sweet rice flour.  The texture was nicest with the the unbleached flour, so I want to try it again with light spelt flour next time. :)

This pie got a 2 thumbs up from T, as well as a regular pie eater too. I also got a request to bake this pie inside the crust I made from last year. And I made it last minute on a whim. I think I'll call that a win.

Eating this pie for breakfast the next day? That's for SURE a win :)

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Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pudding / Custard

On Monday, I talked about KUZU - Macrobiotics' secret thickening ingredient that is also very useful when prepared medicinally for healing and helping many conditions. I promised you a recipe using this ingredient.

Seeing as how it's Autumn, almost Canadian Thanksgiving, and there are as many beautiful colours of leaves as there are beautiful pumpkins, I thought I'd stick with the theme. I've had pumpkin pudding on the brain since my Pumpkin Pie Showdown last Thanksgiving. I've made quite a few different variations and random throw-together quick puddings in the kitchen, but this time I sat down and wrote it all out, so I'd remember it for next time. The extra filling from one of my pumpkin pies last year, that I ate the next day pudding style, was my inspiration behind this recipe.

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Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pudding / Custard

Dainty Pig Style

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of pumpkin (398ml or 14 fl oz.) 
  • 1 cup of almond milk (or your choice of milk - coconut or soy would make it a bit creamier) 
  • 4 TBSP maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (this amount is for cinnamon lovers, so reduce to 1 or 2 tsp. if you'd like it a bit more subtle)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/3 cup (6 TBSP) Kuzu diluted in 1/3 cup water.  *** Edited to add: I tried this again, and you can totally get away with 4 TBSP Kuzu diluted in 1/4c water
  • Maple flakes, cookie, cinnamon, pecans! as an optional garnish
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Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan combine the pumpkin and almond milk (I used a fork, but you could also whisk it together). 
  2. Add in your sweetener - I used maple syrup - and mix it in. 
  3. Heat it up, stirring often, over medium-low heat.  Mixture will begin to bubble a bit, so be careful of splatters.
  4. Stir in the vanilla and spices. 
  5. Prepare the kuzu: in a small bowl or mug: add 1/3 cup water to 6 TBSP kuzu, and stir until liquidy and combined. 
  6. Add kuzu mixture to the pumpkin mixture on the stove, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. 
  7. Continue stirring until mixture thickens - maybe 3 minutes or so, and then simmer for 1-2 more minutes (it may get a bit translucent, depending on the kind of milk you used).
  8. Pour into 4 separate bowls or ramekins. 
  9. Enjoy warm, or leave (covered) overnight in the fridge to thicken and for the flavour to develop.  {I had a bit warm & it was delicious, but then I left the rest in the fridge overnight to see what it was like the next day}

Enjoy! 

If you eat it right away it has more of a pudding texture (my favourite). If you wait until the next day it is thicker, like a custard. I topped mine with a store-bought macro friendly ginger cookie, and a few sprinkles of maple flakes and cinnamon. I recommend serving it with a nice cup of chai tea. Divine!

***This makes a lightly sweetened pudding, so if you're planning on serving this to regular eaters, you might want to consider adding in a bit more maple syrup :) 

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I'd love to know what your favourite pumpkin recipe is!