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MTF: Gluten Free Tahini Cookies

Hi Friends,

It's Friday...yipee!

It's been a busy start to the Month, and so today I'm sharing with you a repeat (reEAT more like it) recipe for MacroTreat Friday!

MTF: Gluten Free Macrobiotic Tahini Cookies

I made THIS RECIPE that I posted awhile ago...but I used tahini in place of the sunflower seed butter. Super yum! Tahini almost tastes like peanut butter. Truth.

To make them gluten free, use gf oat flour. I used all oat flour, and no oat flakes this time, and these cookies were way to easy to make (mere minutes), and even easier to eat!

I put a few dark chocolate chips in some, and left some plain.

They go perfect with a chai tea, and a reading nook in the sun! yum <3

Happy happy day, friends!

Macro Monday: September Reflections

Hi Friends,

September has always been my time. It's the time of year when I feel the most energized , revitalized, and determined. I just LOVE when the air gets a little crisp. Not to mention the way the sunlight filters through the still-a-little-green pretty red & yellow leaves.

I think this is why I have always loved the start of school. I always dreamed about crunching leaves with my new boots on the walk home, and having an excuse to wear a few cozier things like scarves. My heart just swoons. And I know I'm not the only one.

This summer has been mega busy. Good busy. Bad busy. A little bit of all kinds of busy. I am so grateful to have been able to spend to much time with family and friends this summer. Lots of beaches and outings and all of that. And we'll be getting to see more family in a few short weeks, which is super fun! It goes without saying though, that life has been a little more chaotic than I am used to. Finding balance has been hard. But I am learning (trying) to find my grounding within it all.

So, this long weekend T and I unplugged. In fact, there would have been no other choice - we simply needed to regroup and relax and take a break from everything and everyone. We'll be back into the swing of things later on today (this post was written a few days ago, actually, so I could truly unplug over the weekend).

Anyways, back to September - I always love watching how we naturally adapt to the changing seasons. Without consciously thinking about it, I haven't been craving salads in the last few weeks. And I haven't been drawn to the berries at the market the last few weeks (I still got a few, duh). My intuition has been pulling me towards celeriac, and squash, and carrots, and has me planning soups and stews and warm, nourishing plates of delicious hearty food.

I also am drawn to work inwards and see what needs a little polishing. What kinds of things are not serving me at the moment? How can I focus my time more effectively on the things that matter? What can I let go of, and is there anything I need to bring more of in? There are definitely a few habits that I'm going to focus on letting go of, which I may write about in a future post.

I'm also excited, and gearing up to teach a few more Macrobiotic classes in September and October at one of the most lovely & wonderful spaces I've ever been in: Templed Mind. Definitely check them out, and their amazing schedule full of wonderful classes and events. Next Monday, September 8th, at 5-6:30pm, I'll be doing a class on some of the Macrobiotic Healing Foods. Hope to see you there!

Are you an Autumn kind of person? What's your favourite season? Any foods you've been craving lately?

Sending you a big crunchy-leaf, wool socks, and hot mug of tea kinda hug!
xoxo Jess

 

MTF: Vegan Lemon + Raspberry "Cheesecake" {raw}

It was my birthday this week (29th birthday), and to celebrate I wanted to indulge my recent random craving for something cheese-cake-ey. Usually I'm all up in the chocolate cake for my birthday, but not this year.

I have had delicious and wonderful baked tofu cheesecakes before, but I wanted something super dense and rich, and didn't feel like using the oven.

So, with the help of the handy vitamix I was able to borrow (pretty wicked machine - don't want to give it back) , this delicious cake was born, and the recipe was destined for a MacroTreat Friday (MTF) post.

I'm not usually so into raw desserts as I find they can sit quite heavy, but raw cheesecakes can be pretty divine once in awhile. This one held up to all my expectations <3

MTF: Raw Lemon + Raspberry Cheesecake

This is a tart and fresh, yet superbly decadent treat. If you're craving something dense like a cheesecake, and you love lemon - you'll love this recipe. It's not super sweet, so play around with adding in some more maple syrup if desired. I'd recommend serving with some ginger tea :)

* Largely Inspired by + Modified from a combination of this recipe and this recipe and another from one of my cookbooks :)

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 2/3 cup hemp hearts or walnuts (I used hemp hearts)
  • 1 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil

Lemon Filling

  • 2.5 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened coconut out of a carton) + a bit more
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (if you love lemon as much as me, add in even more!)
  • 3 TBSP coconut butter
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • zest of one lemon

Raspberry Swirl

  • 1/2 - 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Make the crust: In a highspeed blender or food processor, combine the almonds and hemp hearts until they are crumbly (not butter). Add in the maple syrup and coconut oil, and blend again until combined.
  2. Line a 6" tart pan or springform with parchment paper.
  3. Press crust into bottom of pan.
  4. Make filling: Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Add to blender, along with all of the other filling ingredients, and process until very smooth. Add a little more milk if needed (I ended up adding about 2 TBSP more).
  5. Pour onto crust.
  6. Make Raspberry swirl: add in all ingredients to blender, and blend until smooth. Pour on top of cake, and using a fork, swirl it around to combine. If you use less raspberries, you'll get more of a swirl look. I used quite a few (yum!) so I ended up with a pink layer.
  7. Put into fridge overnight. If you have toothpicks, I'd recommend putting a few in around the edges and covering with plastic wrap. You can also place in the freezer to set faster - I'd guess about 4 hours or so. [in the end I put mine in the freezer to firm up, it wasn't quite as solid as I wanted the next morning].
  8. Bring out of fridge or freezer and let sit for about 15 minutes before you cut + serve.
  9. Enjoy!

It was really, really good, and hit my lemon + berry craving straight on the nose.

Do you like raw or vegan cheesecakes? What's your favourite recipe?
Have a great weekend, friends!
xoxo Jess

Macro Monday: Start Subtracting

Today's post is just a simple conversation about something I like to chat about A LOT: simplifying. Subtracting. Reducing the things the don't matter.

I love Macrobiotics because it feels simple to me: it places a large focus on finding balance through local, natural foods. Eat what's growing around you. Pretty simple. But, the Macrobiotic lifestyle also encourages simplicity. Some of the recommendations include: spending time in nature, gentle exercise, laughing, natural fabrics, and less time in front of screens. I think that is why I continually appreciate Macrobiotics -> it is another tool on the road to a simple life.

I have been growing a subtle distaste for EXCESS. I have my moments where I get caught up in consumerism, but they are becoming fewer and farther between. I have my sweet buddy, T, to thank for this - he is by nature the least possession oriented person I know - but also my yoga practice and my practice of Macrobiotics continue to be hugely influential. And another thing that's been adding fuel to the less is more fire: moving into a smaller space has been WONDERFUL. I can't say it enough. When you don't have rooms and basements and garages to hide your junk, you have to face it (or live in chaos, which I can't handle).

So the flipside of my growing distaste for excess is my huge appreciation for simplicity. The quote above, is for me, an amazing idea that I think would be great to live by: "When things aren't adding up in your life, start subtracting." If something about your current situation just doesn't feel right, then look to how you can simplify and refocus, by reducing the unnecessary blocks in your way.

If this interests you, I'd begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What IS truly important to you? Or, how do I want my life/job/relationship/house etc. to look like / feel like / embody?
  • What are the bare essentials that I require for this to happen?
  • How can I focus on or achieve those bare essentials?

Then, put everything else into the don't really need it or under consideration category, and stop thinking / doing / acting on those things - begin to reduce them from your life.

If spending time outside and being in nature is your focus, then ask: what are the bare essentials I need for that? My guess is probably TIME. So what gives you free time? Less work and obligations. And how can you work less? Well, you decide to buy less. So ---> reduce the number of things you buy, so you can reduce the number of hours you work, and instead spend your extra time outside.

If going traveling is your focus, then ask yourself what do I need to do that (what are the bare essentials)? Depending on you and the kind of travel or length of traveling, you may feel like the bare essential you need is simply money. If the bare essential is indeed needing to make money for traveling, then you need to STOP SPENDING on all other things, and amp up your work hours (I personally did this when T and I traveled though South America - I worked horrible long hours at a call centre, and didn't do much else). Many people think it's impossible to go traveling, because they just don't have the money. The truth is, if traveling is really the most important thing to you, you can indeed save up for it working a minimum wage job - its absolutely your spending that you need to address. Stop going out for drinks, going to the mall, eating out, decorating your house and walk or bike instead of paying for a car. Perhaps get a roommate, move into a cheaper place, or move home with your folks while you save up. All of these things will help you get to your money goal faster.

And here's a potential tough part, where I think many of us get caught in: perhaps if you aren't willing to make those changes to achieve your bare minimum (i.e., saving for traveling), then you should sit back and ask: is it (i.e., traveling) really that important to me? Maybe it actually comes second or eighth or twentieth on the list - maybe socializing with friends and spending money decorating the house are higher on the priority list. Be willing to realize that priorities shift and change. And that is totally cool, everyone has different priorities, and different things that make them happy. But be honest with yourself - it'll save you from feeling like you are being denied something, or that you CAN'T do something. Be willing to let go of things that are no longer your priorities. Instead, if you get in touch with your real, true, current priorities in life, it'll make you feel like you're doing awesome at the things you are working for. You'll no longer be pining over something you actually don't really want.

As you can see, you can apply this kind of thinking to WHATEVER goal you have or whatever it is that is important to you. If things just don't seem to be going your way, try it: try reducing. Figure out, and then get rid of the things that ARE getting in your way to achieving what is most important to you. And don't be scared or upset if you realize that the things in your way are there, because they have a message for you about what is NOT your priority (often they are things you subconsciously put in your own way).

Go for what YOU really want, not for what you think you should want, or what other people think you should want.

And get rid of the rest.

Have you done this before? Do you have trouble reducing to your bare essentials?

Have a wonderful week friends <3 <3 <3
~~Jess

 

 

 

MacroTreat Friday: Creamy Dreamy Golden Milk

Hi Friends,

It's Friday! This weeks' treat is a little unusual - no cookies or muffins or squares or cakes (don't worry, soon enough more of those yummies coming your way!). Instead, this week's treat is a golden-ey delicious paste that you can add to a milk of choice, and heat up for a little bed time treat.

This is a treat for your body, and has the bonus of making your house smell wonderful, whenever you make it!

MTF: Golden Milk [aka tumeric milk]

 It was SO pretty to make!

It was SO pretty to make!

Tumeric has been touted for centuries for it's healing properties, and perhaps is most known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

I could go on & on about the wonderfulness that is tumeric, but you can learn more here, and also here. And here too,

I don't use too many spices that often in my cooking, but I do enjoy tumeric from time to time in lentil dahl, a tofu scramble, or even the occasional smoothie. Somewhere along the way though, I read about tumeric being great for sleep...and I've seen many tumeric milk recipes floating around, so I decided to try it out. Basically it's a way to amp up that warm milk + honey you might have occasionally before bedtime. I combined multiple recipes floating around to try it out at home, and it turned out super nicely :)

STEP #1:  First, let's make tumeric paste!

||| BE WARNED: TUMERIC stains stuff...so don't cook this on too high of a temperature, and if you use a wooden spoon, expect it to be yellow after...also, it can stain stovetops and countertops too - so wipe up any bubbles or spills ASAP. And wear an apron too! |||

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tumeric powder (get a high quality brand, organic if possible).
  • a few grinds of a black pepper mill (optional, but the combo with tumeric is supposed to make cucurmin (the active component in tumeric) more bio available)

Directions

  1. Add water to a small saucepan.
  2. Stir in tumeric.
  3. Cook over medium - low heat for about 7-8 minutes. Stir frequently while cooking. You want the paste to be a nice paste that is quite runny - not super chunky - so you may need to add in a bit more water. Watch for it bubbling over.
  4. Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge (wait until it's cooled to put in fridge).
  5. Mine lasted ~2 weeks until it separated (not sure just how long it'll last, but I would imagine about this time length).

STEP #2: Use Tumeric Paste to make GOLDEN MILK

Serves 1.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk of choice (I've tried with rice and almond).
  • optional sweetener to taste (I'd say between 1tsp - 1 TBSP pure maple syrup or honey).
  • 1 heaping tsp of tumeric paste
  • 1 tsp high quality vegetable oil, such as sesame (optional, but also increases absorption)
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. Add about 1 cup of milk of choice to a small saucepan , and stir in a heaping teaspoon of tumeric paste.
  2. Heat on stove over over medium - low. Stir often.
  3. Once tumeric paste is completely dissolved, add in oil (if using). If using maple syrup as a sweetener, stir into milk as well.
  4. Bring to almost boil.
  5. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and enjoy! Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, if you like.
  6. *If using honey as a sweetener, I'd stir it in after you've removed from heat.

I found this to be incredibly relaxing and very enjoyable in the evening, before bed, especially when it's a bit chilly out. My guy T came over and needed a taste, because the smell of it all warming up on the stove was just TOO good. He now enjoys his own from time to time :)

I haven't done so yet, but I imagine this paste would be a killer addition to any kind of lentil stew, or curry, or stirfry!

Do you use tumeric in your cooking? Have you tried golden milk before?

Macro Monday: The Superfoods Trap

Happy Macro Monday friends!!

Today's post is about something that I have played around with in my own shopping and eating experience, and is something that you are likely familiar with if you're into the health world. So...let's chat about being bombarded with "superfoods."

 My kind of SUPER foods :)

My kind of SUPER foods :)

Macro Monday: The Superfoods Trap

For the past while, it seems that there is a new superfood that makes appearances in the stores and in internet-land each and every week. We've been through goji berries, to acai berries, to spirulina, lucuma powder, coconut oil, chlorella, maca etc. Whatever ~~~berry has "just been discovered." And you just "must try it."

Now, before you put your guard up - I'm not trying to knock healthy foods. And not the ones I mentioned above, either (some of them are dang delicious and wonderful, and things I do use from time to time). If you know me, you'll know that I'm all about healthy eating. But I do feel there is a giant "superfood" trap out there that we need to be aware of. And I also think we should be calling many more foods "superfoods" -> because any foods that are truly health supporting, in my mind, are indeed SUPER.

But I think it's a shame that a lot of our focus has shifted away from fresh, whole food, and moved towards these so-called "superfood" powders, extracts, tonics and elixirs.  We've really adopted the faster and more is better mentality with these foods. The real superfoods, in my mind, are the ones that you might mix in with those powders: a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole-grains and healthy fats.

Straight up local and organic veggies in their whole form are truly SUPER in all ways. They probably don't come in a fancy package, they aren't advertised (usually), and they generally don't run at $15 - $100 per item. In other words, these kinds of foods probably seem boring, dirty (literally, covered in dirt sometimes), and not so miraculous in comparison to their shiny new "superfood" friends.

But I want to tell you something, friends, and I'm speaking from my heart and my experience. Whenever I have been tempted and lured into purchasing these amazingly packaged powders, tonics & superfoods, I usually regret it later on. Not because they don't have some healthful properties, or they taste bad (they can often taste delicious). But because nothing alone, no one single powder, ethically sourced and straight from the jungle healer's hands, is the key to health. And when you invest your hard-earned dollars on something that is advertised as being so essential and so amazing, it's likely that you will begin to believe it (hi cognitive dissonance), and you might then, feel that you MUST have these things to be healthy, feel stressed if you can't afford them, and you may begin to overlook the regular boring FOOD that has sustained humans, healthily, for a long long time.

Something new & exciting that has the price tag to match it's "amazing healing properties" is, in the long run, probably not so sustainable - for your bank account, but also for our beautiful Earth. So many of these miracle foods that become "superfoods" have a high ecological toll because the demand for them skyrockets out of the blue. Those foods, I'm sure, have likely earned at least some of their SUPER status - but maybe we should consider the small communities that have been eating them traditionally for thousands of years and often rely on these foods, and perhaps adjust our over-consumption, slow it down a little, so that we can give our Earth time to adjust for the increased demand.

For myself, when I forget about this and that superfood, and focus on eating local and organic food in its whole form,  I feel SUPER. I feel healthy. Eating more vegetables + whole grains always make me feel good. These are also foods that we have been eating as humans, for a long time, and they are also the foods that natural healing systems such as Macrobiotics and Ayurveda promote. We've been growing these kinds of foods all around the world for a long time, and we for the most part, seem to have the hang of it. Another bonus when I eat this way: my bank account loves me for it. I never regret buying vegetables, fruits, and wholegrains - when I fill my cart with these things, I never cringe at the grocery bill. If my eyebrows ever raise at the checkout, it is always because I've on a whim thrown in something in a pretty package that most likely includes the word SUPER on it.

Of course, if your budget allows, and health is your passion, then play away, responsibly! I'm not trying to halt you on your quest for health, or discourage you for trying things out for yourself. Experiment with some of these new things if you so desire. I am certain that I will end up trying at least a few more - it seems really hard not to. And they will either be a repeat buy because they truly add something to my life (this doesn't happen so often), or end up in my "superfood" graveyard - the pile of random bulk baggies and jars of interesting things at the back of my cupboard. But here's what I've been trying to do: when I see something new and fancy and SUPERbly exciting, I won't buy it the first few times I see it. I'll read the labels, do some research, and avoid buying it for as long as possible, until I feel like I actually have a good reason to use it, and that is is indeed something that will enhance my everyday cooking and eating. I also try to look for the original, whole form of these superfoods, rather than the fancy powders, tonics and concentrated elixirs. For example, actual goji berries and cacao nibs in their "whole" form > goji berry cacao superfood smoothie powder mix, in my mind.

I guess, all I'm asking is that you don't forget the old-school once famous stars of the show: carrots, broccoli, oats and other grains, a variety of greens, traditional herbal teas, nuts & seeds, pumpkins and other veggies, apples, berries, etc. These guys are easy to find, have been considered healthy for a LONG time across all countries, and they won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Thoughts, dear friends? If you have tried a lot of superfoods, which ones have been worth it and are now something you use regularly?

MTF: Vegan & Macrobiotic friendly Chocolate Bundt Cake

It's good. It's really good. It's for sure Macro Treat Friday (MTF) approved.

Enough said.

MTF: Chocolate Bundt Cake // vegan & macrobiotic friendly

This cake got the 2 thumbs up from T, who enjoys cake that tastes more like cake than something really healthy. I was super happy because the texture reminded me of a cake we enjoyed as a family when I was growing up. It felt truly, like a treat. In any case, it's chocolate cake. It's good. There is a fair amount less oil and sugar (in fact, no sugar, just maple syrup) than traditional chocolate bundt cakes, making it more macrobiotic friendly, and of course it's vegan. This is a great cake for special occasions!  If you don't have a bundt pan, don't worry, you can also bake this in a "9 x 13" inch pan too.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 3 cups flour [ I've used whole sprouted spelt flour, and whole wheat pastry flour - the whole wheat pastry flour was my favourite of the two, but both were good, and I want to try it with whole spelt pastry flour next ]
  • 3/4 cup natural cocoa (non-alkalized)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Wet

  • 2/3 cup brewed coffee (or grain coffee, or water)
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3/4 cup oil. I used sunflower (and I also tried with 1/2 sesame & 1/4 EVO blend), but avocado or grapeseed would be good too.
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla

Optional (but highly recommended)

  • 1/2  to 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2  to 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350F. Oil a bundt pan. Feel free to lightly flour or cocoa the pan as well (I haven't tried that yet).
  2. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix wet together, and add to dry.
  4. Stir together until just combined. It'll be a really runny batter, but don't worry, and don't overmix :) lightly stir in the nuts and chocolate chips, if using.
  5. Bake for 45 - 55 minutes. Check with a toothpick at 45 - mine usually takes 55.
    If baking in a 9 X 13 dish, it will take less time - check at 30 minutes, if not before.
  6. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before inverting (says the directions that came with my bundt pan)...but I've read that it's best to place the bundt pan on a wire rack, let it cool completely, then tap a few times before inverting.
  7. If you desire, you can try some of the frosting suggestions below! I have enjoyed it both with, and without frosting.

Frosting

Option 1: Coconut Whipped Cream - I followed these steps HERE

  • this is what I used as it is simple, and not so sweet, so I could dress the cake up with berries

Option 2:  TOFU WHIPPED CREAM

  • Using an immersion blender, blend 2 package of lite silken tofu with 4 TBSP maple syrup, and 2 tsp vanilla until very smooth. Place in the fridge for a few hours to let it firm up. I haven't used this on the cake yet (but I have on other treats), so you might need to make even more to cover the whole cake.

Option 3: CHOCOLATE GLAZE

  • Melt 4 oz. very dark or semisweet chocolate in a double boiler with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • When melted, pour into bowl and add in 6 TBSP coconut milk, brewed coffee, or almond milk
  • Add in 1 tsp vanilla, and up to 1.5 cups of confectioners sugar (to sweetness). I have made once before, my own "maple sugar icing sugar" by blending in a highspeed blender maple sugar until really fine and powdery. It worked - not quite as well, but it did.
  • Pour over cake / spread over cake while while glaze is warm. Let glaze cool and harden before serving.
  • This one is straight up delicious - but very intense - decadent, sweet and rich.

 

Now...Celebrate!!
Buy some berries and perhaps some vegan icecream, make some cake, invite some friends over, and sit outside while you celebrate the wonderfulness of life, and enjoy your treat  <3

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!