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MTF: Macrobiotic Friendly Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Happy MACRO TREAT FRIDAY (MTF). It's been awhile since I posted a sweet treat, and Christmas is almost here, so a cookie recipe seems appropriate.

I wasn't sure if I should call these gingersnaps, ginger molasses cookies, or gingerbread...so let's mix it all up and call 'em gingerbread cookies.

Delicious, whatever you call 'em.

Macro Gingerbread Cookies

Wholegrain. One bowl. Super Simple. Very light on the oil. Lightly sweetened with maple.
Makes about 16 small gingerbread cookies.

See other possibilities at the end of the post.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sprouted whole spelt flour (+ 2 TBSP if dough is a bit too sticky)
  • 1/4 tsp each cloves & nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp of FRESH grated ginger
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP olive oil or other vegetable oil of choice.
  • 4 TBSP maple syrup or brown rice syrup.
  • 2 tsp blackstrap molasses (for flavour)
  • 4 TBSP water
  • Maple sugar for rolling (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flour and spices together in a large bowl.
  3. Grate ginger. Add to bowl.
  4. Add to the flour: oil, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses and water.
  5. Mix together with a fork.
  6. Wet hands (this is key!!) and roll into small balls, about 1/2 ". If dough is just too sticky after trying with wet hands, don't be shy to sprinkle in a bit more flour.
  7. If desired, roll in maple sugar. Place on parchment paper.
  8. Bake until lightly browned on bottoms, about 12 minutes.
  9. Let sit for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack.
  10. Let cool completely, and enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

NOTES:

* If you wanted to roll these out and cut out gingerbread men, I'm sure this recipe would work. You might want to let the dough cool in the fridge for a bit first, and I'd roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Because it'll be thinner, it will take less time to bake. :)

*Also, if you like bigger gingerbread molasses cookies, then I'd recommend making 8 larger balls instead of about 16, and let cook for the same amount of time for really chewy cookies, and a few minutes longer for a bit crispier ones.

* I like them just as much without the maple sugar, as with <3

* And, for your viewing pleasure, here's a video of my class and I making these cookies together, during a Macrobiotic Sweets Class I taught earlier this December, where we made these cookies! I have been so honoured to teach a few Macrobiotic nutrition classes per month at the lovely Templed Mind Studio here in Victoria, and this clip gives you a sneak peek into their delightful studio.


Happy Holiday Baking!!

Β 

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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Brown Rice: A step by step guide to make the most perfect grain

If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that I have a huge love for brown rice. I have always liked it, but my intense love affair began with a 7 day brown rice fast last year. Brown Rice makes it's appearance on my table at least once a day.

When people find out that I eat brown rice, the most common response is: "but it takes so long to cook!" My response? Well, not if you try making it like I do! I cook it in less than 30 minutes--and it's not chewy and hard!

Brown Rice: Dainty Pig Style

What you'll need:
* 2 cups of short grain brown rice (other types work too, but this is my favourite)
* 4 cups water (plus a bit)
* a nice cooking pot (stainless steel works really well)
* a pinch of sea salt
* some dried wakame, ~2 inches (optional)
* a bit of ginger ~1cm chunk (optional)
* lots of love

1. Rinse your beautiful grain! I rinse all my grains; brown rice is no exception! Most books / articles recommend rinsing until the water running through is no longer milky, but clear. I usually just put my rice into a sieve and shake under running water for a few minutes.

2. Soak!! Add the drained brown rice to a pot, add the water, and let it sit there(I usually just rest the lid on top, kinda half on) for as long as you can. I usually soak mine for at least 6 hours, but most often overnight. This not only saves you cooking time, but makes the rice easier to digest, AND makes the grain more alkaline! And another bonus: the rice becomes so fluffy--much more voluminous!

3. Once you are done soaking, get the wakame and ginger ready |if you aren't using wakame or ginger, skip right to step 6|

Chop up the wakame, and soak in a bowl with enough lukewarm water to cover, for ~10mins. This re-hydrates the seaweed.

Dice up the fresh ginger root (you can even leave the peel on!), and add it
to the pot of rice.

4. Bring the rice to a boil, with the lid off.
This should take around 10 minutes, so by the time the rice has begun boiling, the wakame should be nice and soaked.

5. Add the soaking water from the wakame to the pot (this lets you keep the nutrients in the water).

6. Wait until the water boils again, and then add the pinch of sea salt.

7. Turn the stove down to simmer, and put on the lid. Set a time for ~15 minutes.

8. When the timer goes off, add the soaked wakame to the pot, and put the lid back on. Cook for ~10-15 mins. more. The total cooking time is usually around 30 minutes --not so long, definitely worth it You can lift the lid off to make sure there is no water left in the bottom.


(usually there is some water left when I add the seaweed in--sometimes there isn't, and this is ok...the seaweed just gets a bit "steamed")

9. Last step: leave the lid on, just shut the stove off, and let the rice sit in the pot for about 10 minutes. This steams away any last bit of water, and by waiting, also stops the rice from sticking to the pot. If you leave it on the turned off burner, the rice will end up a bit drier. I prefer mine not so dry, so I just take it right off the burner.

10. Eat!! Store the rest of the rice in the fridge. I usually have about 6 servings from this amount of rice.

Notes
**I find that it works best to cook at least 1 cup of rice at a time, and the bonus of doing this is that you get easy leftovers. Just make sure you use 2:1 water to rice.
**the longer you soak the rice, the fluffier it gets, and the less time it takes to cook
**To use the leftover rice, I sometimes just eat it cold, or steam it for a few minutes, or add a bit of water and boil. You can also use it in soups, stews, or casseroles.

Please check out my newer post, Brown Rice Version 2.0 (in the pressure cooker!).

Enjoy your rice, my lovelies! What is your favourite grain? How do you make it and what do you eat it with? Do you eat brown rice?