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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

MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Fruit Tart

Hi Friends,

Phew - it has been a bit crazy busy these past few weeks. I haven't been able to spend nearly as much time in the kitchen baking, as I'd like to. So, today's treat is a link to a previous recipe I posted.

It is one of my favourite desserts I've ever made, and all the berries and fruit leave me dreaming of summer, which doesn't feel so far away <3

MTF: Macrobiotic Fruit Tart

Check out the post HERE to get the recipe.

I have included multiple crust options, including a gluten free version, and multiple filling options. You can put on the glaze, or not. You can line the crust with some dark chocolate for a more decadent treat - or not.
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Seriously, so good.

Go for it, make it today. Enjoy it all weekend. <3

Lots of love to you friends.

See you back here on Monday.
xo J

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Macro Mondays: Macrobiotic Fruit Tart

Today is special because not only is it Canada day (yay! err, I mean...yay-eh!), but my guy & I are celebrating 8 wonderful years together. Holy moly! And what better way to celebrate & say I love you berry berry much than with a fruit tart...right?

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MM: Macrobiotic Summer Fruit Tart

*Vegan / Gluten Free / Refined sugar free

Ingredients: 

Crust (for more crust options see end of post): 

  • 2 cups oat flour  
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup oil of choice (olive, grapeseed, coconut) 
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (almond, rice, soy, cow) 

Custard Filling: 

  • 2 cups (or a 456ml carton) amazake -- I used hazelnut flavoured
  • 2 heaping TBSP kuzu
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • lemon zest (optional) 
  • dash of vanilla (optional) 

Fruit Topping: - It's your art! you decide! Fruit for the one I made above is:

  • 1 pint (550ml) organic blueberries
  • 2 organic apricots, cut in to rings
  • a handful of strawberries, cut into hearts
  • a few raspberries

Optional Glaze

  • 1/2 cup apricot jam (fruit sweetened if preferred) 
  • 1TBSP water
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Directions: 

I highly recommend making the custard filling the night before, and if possible the crust too. Otherwise you'd need to allow enough time for both to fully cool before assembling.  If making this tart in advance, and you need it to keep well, read step 4 first. Other crust & filling options at the end of the post.

1. Prepare Custard Filling: Pour 2 cups of Amazake into a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, add 1/4 cup cold water to 2TBSP kuzu in a small bowl. Whisk until dissolved. Add kuzu to Amazake. Stir constantly, bring back to low boil, then lower heat and stir until mixture is nice & thick (about 3 minutes). Take off heat. Allow to cool and firm up in fridge.

2. Prepare Crust: Place flour & salt into bowl & gently mix. Either blend or whisk the oil & milk together in a separate container. Add wet to dry, mixing in with your hands, and form a ball. Add a tiny bit more flour if necessary. Place ball of dough in fridge to cool a bit (15-30 mins). Turn oven on to 350F. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment. Take top layer of parchment off. Grease an 11" pie pan (I used a white ceramic Ikea quiche pan), and place it face down on top of dough. Carefully flip it all over, peel off parchment, and press dough into pan. Poke some holes with a fork into the dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely

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3. Put it together: Spread chilled, thickened custard over the cooled crust. If the custard is just too thick, very carefully blend for just a second, to make it a bit runnier. Then decorate: make fruit art, make it pretty, make it colourful!

4. Optional glaze:  Heat the jam and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, until liquid & melted. Remove from heat, and pour through a thin sieve to remove any fruit lumps. Let cool until just very slightly warm, then brush over fruit. ***If planning to make this tart way in advance, I'd recommend brushing some glaze on the crust, letting it set for 20 minutes in fridge, and then continuing with the custard & fruit, and then topping with glaze (as this will keep crust from getting soggy & fruit from browning).

** I'd recommend letting the fruit tart set in fridge after assembling for 30 mins or more, as the filling will again firm up a bit. But this is not necessary, & we ate ours right away. 

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I made almost this exact tart last year, for our anniversary, and it had the above glaze on it {the glaze is delicious, but I forgot to get jam this time).  

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Some Other Crust & Filling Options

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Oat Flour & Brown Rice Flour Crust {A bit lighter & more crumbly}

Same directions as above, but use the following ingredients. 

  • 1.25 cups oat flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 + 1TBSP oil

Spelt Flour Crust {A bit sturdier crust}

    Same directions as above, but use the following ingredients:
    • 2 cups spelt flour (whole grain works well!) 
    • 1/2 cup oil of choice
    • 2 TBSP maple syrup
    • 2 - 4 TBSP cold water

    Oat & Chia Custard

    • 1/2 c rolled oats
    • 1 TBSP chia seeds
    • Boiling water to cover

    Pour boiling water over the oats/chia in a bowl, and cover wth a plate. Let sit until water is absorbed and it's no longer hot. Add in:

    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1/4 cup apple sauce
    • 1 TBSP maple syrup
    • zest of one lemon
    • pinch of salt

    Blend well. Then pour into small saucepan, and add 2 TBSP kuzu diluted into 1/4 c. cold water. Bring to low boil, stirring constantly. Let cook while stirring, for about 3 minutes. Take off heat and let firm up/cool in fridge.

    Dark Chocolate Layer

    Something sinfully delightful is to brush melted dark chocolate onto the crust. If doing so, make sure to let it cool & harden before layering on the custard & fruit. 

    HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK, FRIENDS!

    Macro (Easter) Monday: A guide to all that's sweet.

    Happy Easter Monday, all!

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    MM: The Sweet Stuff

    In Macrobiotics, sweetness falls more to the yin side of things. Sweet things can be relaxing, soothing and expanding & help us feel better when the yang side of things take over (stress, hot weather, tension, salty foods, too much work). So it makes sense that permanently denying all things sweet is not a good route to go. Sweetness is good: we need some yin to balance the yang-paced world we exist in! Plus, treats are great and fun and are often a source of social bonding --- think birthday cakes, Easter egg hunts, Christmas cookies, and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.

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    But, too much Yin throws off the Yang. Moderation is key. And some things are just simply too-strongly yin (fall to the very far side of Yin) and will always throw off the balance. You can always enjoy sweet vegetables like carrots & squash for a very balanced sweet taste. But, when you need something a little more treat-like, try making & enjoying some sweets made with some of these less-intense sweeteners.

    My Favourite Sweeteners:

    Pure Maple Syrup

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    This is my #1 go to sweetener to use in baking. And not because I love the flavour of maple. In fact, I don't really enjoy maple flavour at all. But most store bought "maple" cookies, candies, pancake syrup etc. is full of artificial maple flavour. Real natural maple syrup is not-so-strong (don't get me wrong, if you eat it straight, you'll taste maple, but not so intense). Personally, I don't even detect the taste at all when I use it in baking. I also use it in teas, coffee, cocoas etc, and find it to add a very gentle, subtle sweet taste. You can even buy granulated maple syrup to use in baking (it makes substituting sugar a breeze, as it is dry, so it doesn't change the texture much). If I make brownies, I use granulated maple syrup.  Real maple syrup comes straight from the tree, full of vitamins & minerals. Or maybe I just like it so much because I'm Canadian?! :)

    Fruit

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    Of course, the simplest, purest, quickest way to get some sweet in your life is to chow down on some fruit. Stewed fruit is divine, and for a special treat try adding ginger to stewed apples. Fruit crisps are seriously wonderful. And fresh fruit kantens are wonderfully refreshing in the summer. Dried fruits are intensely sweet (dates are nature's candy), and frozen fruits are really convenient to throw into baking or smoothies. I love using apple sauce in cookies, muffins, and cakes. And of course, fresh fruit has many vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, and are recognized as powerful cleansing foods. I love fruit tarts, and will make more like the one above this summer, with recipes to post on here.

    Brown Rice Syrup & Barley Malt

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    These are the quintessential macrobiotic sweeteners. If you are new to natural sweeteners, these ones may take a bit of time and multiple recipes, to get used to the taste. They are more complex sweeteners, and therefore hit the bloodstream a little slower...giving you more sustained balanced energy. I quite like brown rice syrup. It's great as a replacement for honey as it has a thick caramel-like texture. I haven't used barley malt as much, as I try to avoid gluten. But as my digestion has become much stronger, and gluten isn't as big of a deal for me any more, when I see something with barley malt in it, I'm excited to try it. You can make great cookies with these two sweeteners.

    Runners-up

    Raw Honey

    Honey as been used for centuries as medicine in many different cultures. I've seen tons of articles floating around these days toting the health benefits and healing properties of honey, often in combination with cinnamon. It tastes amazing (obviously), and is full of enzymes. It tastes sweeter than regular sugar, so you don't need to use quite as much. Also PB & Honey is a time-tested combination that no one can touch. YUM. Another amazing combination is tahini & honey.

    Blackstrap Molasses

    I love gingersnap cookies. Bring on the molasses, because without it you'll never get that wonderful gingersnap flavour. Blackstrap molasses is, well, black. In this case, black is a good thing, as it means that it is less processed and full of vitamins and minerals that are often taken out of regular molasses. Also, blackstrap molasses is really high in iron!

    Coconut-palm Sugar

    This is a newer product, and I've tried it in a few recipes over the past year. It is definitely not so sweet, which makes sense as it is supposed to be very low on the glycemic index. It is quite dark brown, and has a rough texture ---> this is good, as it shows that it is less processed. I would definitely try subbing some of this in for brown sugar or regular sugar in any recipe, if you'd like to try veering away from regular old white sugar.

    Sucanat / Turbinado Sugar

    These guys are basically less-processed white sugar. Some of the vitamins and minerals are still left in tact, making it slightly more nutritious, and easier to digest. These guys are easily found in all stores now, and you can make some simple & easy cookies with them, as bake just the same as regular sugar.

    Not-so-sure

    Stevia

    Many many health professionals and healthy eaters love stevia, as it is from a plant, and doesn't impact blood sugar really at all, but tastes super sweet. I don't really have any particular nutritional complaints about it (some are more natural than others though, for sure). But, I put it in the not-so-sure category, because my stomach doesn't really like it. It is pretty potent for me personally, and is so-so-so sweet that it often puts my cravings for sweetness into overdrive. It can be delicious though, for sure. My favourite brand for taste is nunaturals alcohol free vanilla liquid stevia.

    Agave

    Agave has a nice mild taste, and is from a plant (if you get the real stuff), but it's not my favourite, as it has such a high fructose content. I do eat it occasionally though, as it's often the "natural, raw, low glycemic" sweetener of choice in healthier options at stores & restaurants etc., but I have never bought it myself, nor used it in any of my own cooking/baking.

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    It can be really difficult to make healthy choices these days, with tons of information floating around out there, and coming at us in every direction from tweets, magazines, newspapers, facebook, news stories, etc. I think the best way to choose the foods you eat, is to simply be open & willing to try anything, and then make a note of how it makes you feel --- both physically & mentally. And then, once you eat those foods, if you're aware, you'll notice how much of them is right for you.

    What is your favourite sweetener, and how do you use it?

    How About Some Lovely Berries?

    Thanks for your kind words about Amber, my friends.

    Today has been lovely and sunny, full of yoga, laying on blankets, and fruit (so good, but so bad). Summer just brings so many delicious fruits: apricots, cherries, and berries are so hard for me to resist. Just before going outside I ate three little apricots, and a large handful of cherries. So far my tummy isn't too bad, but it was totally worth it. Sometimes, you just gotta have some sweet summer lovin'.

    Speaking of fruit, how about some strawberry kanten?


    What a delicious summer dessert. So easy. So beautiful. So versatile! (sub in any fruit you like). I have been meaning to post this one for awhile.

    Directions:

    1. Take one of these:


    It is agar in bar form, not flake form. Flakes work too though, just check the package for the amount to use.

    2. Rip it up into little pieces, and soak in cold water for an hour:

    3. In the meantime, cut up some gorgeous strawberries, and place them in the bottom of a pan/dish:

    4. After the agar has soaked for an hour, drain the water, and then use your fingers and squish the pieces, so that the excess water comes out.

    5. Put them in a pan with 2 cups of pure apple juice (I think I used 1-1.5 cups, and water for the rest).

    6. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the agar is dissolved.

    7. Pour the liquid over the strawberries, and let set (about 30 minutes in the fridge).

    8. Enjoy your delicious feast:

    Have a sweet and lovely weekend, full of sunshine. I'll post some more food pics, reviews, and recipes soon!
    xoxo