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MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Friendly Apricot Berry Crisp

Happy Friday friends.

I've got a sweet, tangy, tart yet comforting summer fruit crisp for YOU.

Because I love you!
And I love summer fruit :)

MTF: Lemony Apricot Berry Crisp

Vegan, Macrobiotic Friendly, Quick & easy to prepare.

This recipe is very forgiving. Use what you have. Play around with the amounts. As you can see the amounts I've provided are pretty vague. I wanted a crisp that was very light and tart and fresh, so it doesn't have much fat or sugar compared to regular recipes. If you want something a little richer, add in a bit more oil or sugar, and you're good to go :)

Ingredients

  • 1 small pint of a more tart berry (I used red currants). Feel free to use strawberries, cherries, or blackberries as well.
  • About 2 cups, of blueberries (I used josta berries from the market)
  • about 6 fresh apricots, cut into sixths
  • Juice of half a lemon + zest (optional)
  • coconut oil - about 4 TBSP total (or other oil / fat of choice)
  • 1 cup flour of choice (I used spelt flour)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar of choice (maple sugar, coconut sugar etc), divided between filling and topping
  • dash of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • almond milk or cold water, about 1/4 cup

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Rub some oil all around on a glass pyrex dish ( I used a 13" x 9" one)*
  3. Wash all fruit, cut up the apricots.
  4. Spread the fruit over the bottom of the pyrex dish.
  5. Sprinkle in about 2 - 4 TBSP of sugar, depending on how tart you like your crisp, and how tart your berries are. Add in a pinch of sea salt, the lemon juice, and stir around so everything gets coated. **
  6. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, and a few tablespoons more of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. Using a fork, or your hands, crumble in a few heaping tablespoons of coconut oil. [If using other oil, then just mix in with a fork].
  7. Add in just enough almond milk or cold water to form a crumbly wet dough.
  8. Using your hands, grab chunks of the dough and crumble evenly over the the fruit.
  9. Bake at 350F for at least 30 minutes, but up to an hour - checking for when the fruit is bubbling around and edges, and the top is golden. I left mine in for about 45 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool. If the fruit seems liquidy, don't worry - mine firmed up as it cooled. We kept the leftovers in the fridge, and the next morning they were GOOD. Yum!

NOTES:
* You can definitely use a smaller baking dish, just be warned it may take a bit longer to cook at it will be a bit deeper
** Feel free to add in a tablespoon or two of flour to the fruit, or another starch of choice, if you want it to "gum up" a bit more.

You may want to serve it with some vegan vanilla icecream for a treat...or top it with more fresh berries the next morning (as I did) for a delicious summery breakfast.

Enjoy!! <3

Macro Monday: daikon

When I wait in line at the market, and at grocery stores, I often overhear a variation of the same question..."what IS that?" says someone, while pointing at the giant daikon in my shopping basket... and "what do you do with THAT?"

Well, dear friends, if you've ever wondered just that, then this post is for you. It's all about what you can do with one of my favourite veggies:

Macro Monday: Daikon

Daikon are a kind of Asian radish, and are characterized by their enormous size. They most commonly look like giant white carrots, and can be up to 14" long.

 Thanks  Wikipedia , for the image :)

Thanks Wikipedia, for the image :)

Daikon have many healing properties, and are used extensively through Asia as both food, and as remedies for specific conditions. They are often used to make pickles - Japanese style, and Korean style (spicy like kimchi). They are often in miso soup, too. Really the ways of using this wonderful veggie seem unlimited. It's just THAT good :)

I have found that the smaller and/or shorter or rounder ones have a stronger "radish" flavour. Look for ones that have the leaves on - they will be fresher, AND you can eat the leaves too (chop them up, and lightly steam or saute with the daikon).

Today though, I want to talk about a few of the different ways of preparing it!

How to Prepare Daikon

When you cook the daikon, it loses a lot of its pungency and bitterness, and instead becomes gently sweet.

Steamed

My favourite, as far as simplicity and taste goes, is simply to steam it. I cut off a chunk, scrub it, and cut it into rounds, then in half, so I have some nice half-moon shapes. Then I simply steam it, for about the same length of time as you would steam carrots (depending on the size). Daikon & carrots steamed together make a fine match, just are steamed daikon and greens. Drizzle a tiny bit of umeboshi vinegar after steaming. Yum.

Stir-Fry

I have also cut thinner rounds, and/or diced it into small chunks and thrown it into a veggie stir-fry or saute.

Long cooked // Daikon stew

You can also easily make a delicious dish of stewed daikon. And it's one of my favourite ways to enjoy this veggie.

Cut the daikon into thick rounds (peeling the skin off makes for a nicer flavour), place a strip of kombu in a saucepan, and place the daikon rounds on top. Add just enough water to cover the daikon. Bring to boil, then turn heat to low and slowly simmer with lid on. Check often, and continue adding tiny bits of water as needed, as it boils away. You can let it cook for a long time - up to an hour or perhaps even more, depending on the thickness of your daikon rounds. The longer you cook it, the sweeter it'll be. The daikon is ready when a toothpick can be easily inserted. Once it is done, add in a few teaspoons of shoyu and let simmer for 5 more minutes or so. Clamp the lid down (using an oven mitt), and give the pot a good shake, and serve.

Raw

And of course you can slice it and put it in salads just like any other radish. You can also julienne it, and/or grate it - you may have noticed that white vegetable they serve with sashimi at Japanese restaurants...yep, that'd be daikon.

Have you ever tried daikon? What's your favourite way of eating it?

I'll leave you with a photo of my goodies from the Market this week. Summer's the best. Do you see the daikon hiding in there?

Have a great week, friends, and see you back here on Friday, for MacroTreat Friday!

MacroTreat Friday: Delicious Veggies

Hey Friends,

I know it's MacroTREAT friday, but sometimes treats come in unsuspecting shapes and sizes.

The best TREAT I've had this week was the taste of amazingly fresh & delicious veggies. I just signed up for an organic produce box (I had one when I was in Edmonton) to supplement my weekly veggies from the market (I kind of have a love / hate relationship with grocery stores, and avoiding them and getting my foods elsewhere can feel nice!). Dang - summer's just the best! So many fresh veggies and fruits. YUM!

MTF: Fresh Veggie Saute

IMG_7382.JPG

Ingredients

Serves 2 veggie lovers <3

  • 3 baby bok choy
  • a large handful of fresh basil
  • 4 large green onion stalks
  • a few bunches of oyster mushrooms
  • sesame oil, ginger juice (freshly grated and squeezed, or out of a bottle), shoyu & umeboshi vinegar
  • Serve with your grain of choice

Directions

  1. Heat up a generous splash of sesame oil in a heavy pan or skillet.
  2. While pan is heating prepare the seasonings: take a cup, add some water (about 1/2 cup) and then a few drops of umeboshi vinegar, a splash of ginger juice, and a couple splashes of shoyu. Stir it all up. This will be the liquid you add to the veggies.
  3. When the pan is hot, add in the chopped green onions. Put a lid on and let them cook for a few minutes. If they are sticking, add in a splash of the cooking liquid. Stir around a few times.
  4. Add in the chopped mushrooms. Again, put the lid on and let them cook down a bit.
  5. Add in add a few splashes of the cooking liquid again.
  6. Add in the bok choy, and another splash of cooking liquid. Put the lid on, and let the  bokchoy "steam" for a few minutes on top of the mushrooms. Then stir in and let cook for a bit more.
  7. Add the chopped basil in last, and the remaining cooking liquid. Stir around, put the lid on, and cook for another minute or so.
  8. Serve with cooked rice, quinoa, millet...any grain your heart desires. Or you could even just have a couple pieces of good bread on the side, or wrap it all up in a nice pita or wrap. Your call. We enjoyed ours with fresh cooked short grain brown rice that was cooked with some wakame in it., and topped with half an umeboshi plum!
  9. ** TIP: when you take the lid off after cooking, shake the condensation on the lid back into your pan - I learned this tip from a macrobiotic cooking class I took in Japan - the teachers told me this is where a lot of good flavour ends up :)

What kinds of FRESH summer produce and food have you been treating yourself to lately?

And... HAPPY CANADA DAY weekend to all my lovely Canadian friends <3
xo Jess

MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My guy LOVES oatmeal raisin cookies. So do I...but I've never made them until now. I mean, if I have the choice of adding chocolate or raisins, I usually go with the chocolate. But these were so good that I will indeed be willing to choose raisins again in the future. That says a lot.

MTF: Macro Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These guys are vegan (obvs) and gluten free too. The tahini creates a nice satisfying almost buttery taste, and they are lightly sweetened with brown rice syrup, but not too much to overpower the lovely sweetness of the raisins. And they are really easy to make too. Win!

Makes 12 large cookies.

Ingredients

Wet:

  • 2 TBSP ground flax mixed with 6 TBSP water
  • 1/3 c brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup water

Dry (will be added one by one to wet mixture):

  • 1/2 cup gf oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 & 3/4 cup gf rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup + 2 TBSP raisins - I used sultanas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flax & water, and let sit for 10 mins.
  3. Add the brown rice syrup, tahini, vanilla, and salt to the flax mixture. Stir with a fork or whisk.
  4. Stir in 1/3 cup water to wet mixture.
  5. Add the dry ingredients one by one to the wet mix, stirring in each one before adding the next: first the flour, then the baking soda, the cinnamon, & the oats. When it is all mixed up, then add in the raisins.
  6. If mixture seems too wet, don't hesitate to add in a few more spoons of oats...but even though it seems fairly wet, it will come together while baking.
  7. Drop by large spoonful onto cookie sheet, or you can use your hands but be warned, it's kinda messy  - I made 12 large cookies. Press them down with your hands or a fork. Don't worry if some bits are crumbly / falling off the edges...these bits will be like granola, and you get to enjoy it straight from the cookie sheet once they're done baking ;)
  8. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F. Let them rest/cool on the cookie sheet for around 10 minutes, and they'll firm up a bit more.

Enjoy!

MacroTreat Friday: It's a Juicy One!

Hey Friends,

I have a treat for you today, and it's a juicy one!

I'm not much of a juicing person. I mean, don't get me wrong, I LIKE juice (green juices included), BUT, I don't have juice instead of food, and I don't often think of using juicing as a way to add veggies to my diet. I try to eat most veggies instead. I don't use my juicer nearly as much as I thought I would (oops, my bad). But, they are yummy, and I do love the juices whenever I make them. So to me, a juice - be it apple, orange, red, purple or GREEN, feels like a treat - a fun thing to supplement my diet with. They're super tasty & you can be really creative with your combinations.  A juice can be a little something fun to add to your day once in awhile!

Because green juices are all the rage, I thought I'd share my favourite recipe. FYI I like things lemon-ey & gingery...so feel free to reduce the amounts of those if you want something a little milder.

MTF: Yummy Green Juice - Dainty Pig Style

Ingredients

All organic, if possible:

  • 1 whole bunch curly parsley OR cilantro.
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 small head of romaine lettuce
  • A couple of handfuls of spinach or baby kale
  • 1 large green apple or 2 small ones
  • 1 pear or a red apple
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 inch knob of ginger

Directions

Scrub, wash & cut everything up. You don't need to worry about peeling anything, including the ginger & citrus, if it's organic. Put ingredients through juicer: rotate through as you put stuff into the juicer (i.e., some lettuce, then celery, apple, parsley, lime, ginger, kale, cucumber, pear, lemon, then lettuce again).

This makes a LOT...so share with someone special, or fill up a jar and keep in the fridge for the next day.

Also, it kind of feels like you're drinking a magical potion - I mean, look at it!

And P.S. IF you are having digestive issues, I would recommend having a juice before or between meals, rather than with them :)

Do you juice? If so, what's your favourite recipe?

MacroTreat Friday: Fiddle Diddles

yep. fiddle diddles. as far as I can tell they are very much like macaroons. macaroons with a sweet name, that is.

these are the first thing I can recall baking on my "own" when I was young. I remember my friend and I "baking" these in about grade four...trying to understand the measurements, and just hoping for the best.

good thing this recipe is super easy...and is actually a NO BAKE recipe. perfect for kids, and for hot summer days.

this version has been veganized, macrobiotic-ish-ified, and is pretty dang tasty.

MTF: Fiddle Diddles // vegan & gf

oatey, coconutey, chocolatey goodness. no bake. takes literally 5 minutes to make. and about 1 minute to devour :)

Ingredients

"WET"

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 - 1 cup granulated sugar of choice (I used 1/2 cup maple sugar)
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)

DRY

  • 6 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 cups gf oats - quick cooking (not instant) is better here, but regular will be ok too!

Directions

  1. Put coconut oil, sugar, & milk into a saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring often, until it comes to a boil. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Add / stir in the remaining ingredients, in the order listed.
  3. Drop by rounded tablespoon fulls onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet.
  4. Cool completely - I put mine in the freezer, as coconut oil firms up well this way. Store in the freezer, and let thaw a few minutes before eating.
  5. Munch away :)

*TIPS:

  • If the mixture just seems way too crumbly to drop by the spoonful, then use your hands and squish into balls - that's what I did. You could also add in a bit of maple syrup, if you want them to stick together more.
  • Feel free to melt in peanut butter or any other nut butter, with the wet ingredients. I'm sure it'd be fantastic.

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They're also great right out of the freezer after a long hot walk in the sun ;)

don't fret - the crumbs are tasty too :)

Happy Weekend Friends!!
xo Jess

MacroTreat Friday: Vegan Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These guys were inspired by an insanely delicious treat at a bakery awhile back.
Of course they aren't quite the same, as I don't often use or eat eggs or butter, but they did the trick when the craving struck. They are the perfect mix of crumbly, crispy, and chewy and they are oaty and chocolatey. I don't really need to say any more.

MTF: Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These guys are vegan of course, and gluten free too. They are Macrobiotic friendly in the sense that they use whole & natural foods - but they do have chocolate chips and coconut, making them more of a playful choice, on the outskirts of regular daily foods. They sure are yum, though.

Recipe makes 6 large cookies.

Ingredients

Dry:

  • 1 cup gf oat flour
  • 1 cup gf rolled oats
  • 3 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt

Wet:

  • 1/3 cup of apple sauce (I used one of those mini snack containers)
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar of choice (maple sugar is what I used - I bet coconut palm sugar would be good too)
  • 1/4 cup water

AND

  • 2 - 4 TBSP coconut oil, I used 2, but if you'd like them to taste "buttery", then go for 4
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Drop the coconut oil into the dry and either use a pastry cutter, a fork, or crumble/rub  the oil in with your fingers (I used my fingers).
  4. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl, and stir into dry. I used a fork to mix them together.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips.
  6. Using your hands, roll 6 large balls from the dough, and place onto cookie sheet. Press down with your hand, or a fork.
  7. Bake for 15 mins. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then move to a rack.

Enjoy! <3 <3 <3



MacroTreat Friday: Spring Lemon & Berry Kanten

I love lemons. And I love berries. And the weather has been beautiful these days. So naturally I wanted to create something that involved all of these happy things.

This dessert is super simple, delicious, & mega refreshing. It's a great way to celebrate the changing seasons and warmer weather. Plus, it's kind of like jello...and while I never really had the stuff growing up, I do like this. Also, there's seaweed in it, so you can feel extra good about yourself <3

You should probably try it.

MTF: Spring Lemon & Berry Kanten

Kantens are a classic Macrobiotic treat, and are a delicious way to enjoy whatever fruit your heart desires. For this version, I wanted to use up some frozen berries I had, and just so happened to have some delightful pear juice on hand. Feel free to be creative with your juice & fruit choices.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups juice of choice - I used really natural pear juice
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pack of kanten powder (4g) or appropriate amount of agar-agar flakes / bar ***see below
  • a touch of lemon zest
  • optional: a few spoons of rice syrup or maple syrup, if you want something a bit sweeter.
  • 2 cups frozen berries of choice. (I used a blackberry, blueberry and black currant mix). Fresh berries work great too!
  • *** For the agar agar: I still had a bit of powder from Japan, and it came in 4 gram packs, meant to gel up 2 cups of liquid. If you don't have these convenient packages, and are using agar flakes, 2 tbsp should do the trick, and if you are using agar powder use 2 tsp. For more info on what kanten/agar is, please check out my previous Macro Monday post on it here!

Directions

  1. Put frozen berries into a bowl, or pyrex dish - just something that will hold about 4 cups ( I used a big round glass tupperware, it all fit perfectly, and I could easily pop a lid on to put it in the fridge).
  2. Add juice, a pinch of sea salt, lemon zest, & sweetener (if using) to a saucepan. Whisk in the kanten powder, and bring mixture to a boil over low heat. Stir until dissolved (should only take a few minutes with powder).
  3. Pour mixture over frozen berries.
  4. Let cool completely. Mixture will set as it cools. You can put it in the fridge and enjoy it within a few hours, or wait and eat it the next day. Serve it up how you like - in slices, or by the spoonful!

If you like lemons a lot, feel free to serve with some lemon slices as I did, and it will get all juicy and wonderful and the sourness is just perfect with all the berries.

Nature is the best medicine, and sunshine on your face, with a touch of something simple & refreshing afterwards is probably one of the best things ever, in my opinion.

Have a FRESH, FUN, and DELIGHFTUL weekend outdoors, friends.
xo Jess

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MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Friendly Chestnut Cookies

Chestnuts are one of my favourite things to eat. They have such a unique texture & flavour, and peeling them out of their roasted shells is kinda fun :) It must be a genetic predisposition to love anything that has chestnut in it, because my sister and I, along with our Nana and mom, all share a love for fresh roasted chestnuts...and desserts that use chestnut puree.

With my chestnut love in mind, I purchased some pure Italian chestnut flour awhile ago - both exciting & new to me - and have been meaning to try it out.

Enter a new kind of macrobiotic friendly cookie <3

MTF: Chestnut Cookie

Lightly sweetened, crunchy and chewy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, gluten free cookies made with chestnut flour & rolled oats. The texture is similar to a macaroon (the most similar I've experienced, outside of an actual macaroon, anyways!). Add in any dried fruit, seeds, or treats you like to change up the flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chestnut flour [ I used this one HERE ] **
  • 1/2 cup gf rolled oats
  • 2 TSBP ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (brown rice syrup will work too - but it has a stronger flavour, especially noticeable in these cookies)
  • 1/3 cup high quality oil of choice - I used sunflower seed here, but sesame, coconut, or avocado would work well too
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup mixins - currants, dark chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, raisins, seeds, your choice!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  2. Mix first five ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mix syrup, oil, water &  vanilla in a bowl.
  4. Add wet to dry. Stir until combined.
  5. Add in any mixins of your choice. (I used 1/4 cup currants because I was out of raisins and anything else, but scooped some out plain first).
  6. PLEASE NOTE: batter will be very very sticky, especially if using brown rice syrup. If you let it sit a few minutes, it'll firm up a tiny bit - but it'll stay fairly sticky and hard to manage with your hands. So...
  7. Scoop out dough by the teaspoon, and drop onto cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for ~15 minutes (check at 10 minutes).
  9. Let cool, and devour <3

** Notes:

  • If you don't have chestnut flour, or aren't a fan of the flavour, I'm certain you could simply use whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or a gluten free mix with no problems.
  • This is my first time using chestnut flour, and I am kinda excited...the texture of these cookies is unlike any other flour (especially gf flour) I have used. As I mentioned above, the texture is so chewy - almost like a real macaroon made with egg whites. I want to experiment some more with it, and see what else I can come up with.

Have you ever made anything with chestnut flour before?

Enjoy, my sweet friends, and have a great weekend!
xo Jess
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