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MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Baked Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

Yum yum yum.

That's about all I've got to say about these guilt-free super healthy treats. Seriously, it's just like oatmeal...that's been baked...in a muffin cup.
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MTF: Macro Baked Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

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[JUNK FREE]: Flour Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with no leaveners added!

Makes 12 medium - large sized muffins.

Ingredients

Wet

  • one 398ml/15oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk (or water, or rice or soy milk)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2TBSP oil (sesame, grapeseed, avocado, olive or liquid coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce (I used one of those little snack sized containers)

Dry

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (use GF oats here if you like)
  • 1.5 cups steel cut oats, quick cooking steel cut oats, or more rolled oats (again, GF if desired)
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seeds
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup other mix ins - currants, raisins, cocoa nibs, chocolate chips, more nuts or seeds
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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl, using a fork.
  3. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients, except for the sunflower seeds and mixi-ns.
  4. Add wet to dry, mixing with your fork.
  5. Add in the sunflower seeds and whatever other mix-ins you so desire. (I divided the batter up and left 1/3 with only sunflower seeds, 1/3 I added in some currants, and 1/3 I added in some chocolate chips).
  6. Spoon into muffin liners, or a greased muffin tin. Don't be shy - fill them right up to the top, even piling it on and rounding with a spoon.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes, until firm and a toothpick comes out clean (they'll firm up more as they cool too).
  8. Let cool and serve!
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These treats were inspired by an overflowing pantry, and my flour free spicy pumpkin ginger cookies that are seriously the easiest cookies ever :)

Have a great weekend lovely friends.
I hope you enjoy some oatmeal in muffin form.
T & I sure do :)

xo Jess

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MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Nut Butter Cookies

Ready for another Friday treat? These are waaaayyyy too easy. I've made variations on these bad boys for a few years now, and I decided it was finally time to dig up the recipe for the blog. Happy weekend, friends!

MacroTreat Friday: Nut/Seed Butter Cookies

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Quick, Easy, no added oil or sugar. Gluten Free option too!
Makes 16 small cookies, or 12 medium sized cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1.25 cups whole sprouted spelt flour or whole oat flour
  • Optional: sub in 1/4 cup rolled oat flakes for 1/4 cup of the flour
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger (optional, I recommend if using peanut butter, it's delicious).
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seed or peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I'm sure you could sub rice syrup here)
  • a few drops of umeboshi vinegar (trust me on this one)
  • splash of water if necessary
  • optional: 1/2 cup add ins such as chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, etc.
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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl (except the optional add-ins).
  3. In a separate bowl combine nut/seed butter and maple syrup. I whisked them together with a fork.
  4. Drop in the umeboshi vinegar to the wet ingredients and mix.
  5. Combine wet & dry. Add a tiny splash of water if you need it. The dough will be pretty sticky, and rather thick.
  6. If using any add-ins like chocolate chips, feel free to throw them in now.
  7. Using hands make 16 cookie dough balls, and place on greased cookie sheet (if dough is too sticky, it was for me with the oat flour version, then just scoop out with a spoon).
  8. Wet a fork, and then use it to press down / flatten each cookie.
  9. Bake for 12-14 minutes or so, if making smaller cookies, & 15-18 mins for larger sized. Check to make sure bottoms are brown. They'll firm up as they cool.
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I've made these multiple times - sometimes with the oat flakes, sometimes without, and using all kinds of flours. I think overall I prefer the sunflower butter / oat flour combo, but T loves the peanut butter ones. Really, any way you choose to go, these are just too easy and delicious to go wrong.

I'd love to hear if you try any variations on these guys.

Enjoy!
xo jess


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


Macro Mondays: Berry Delicious Macrobiotic Ice Cream.

Sometimes you just need a little treat. Perhaps you don't have anything ready to munch on, and maybe you don't feel like baking. That happens on occasion.

Before my stomach let me know that dairy & I don't belong together, my favourite quick treat/dessert was unsweetened plain yogurt with frozen berries mixed in. Well, this is even better.

Today's 1 minute Macrobiotic Monday recipe (if you can even call it a recipe, as it is so simple!) helped me through a needing-a-treat crisis. And the berries made me feel all summery. Yay for summer!

MM: Macrobiotic Raspberry Ice Cream

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That would be ice cream less the cream. And made in less than 1 minute.

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen raspberries, organic if possible
1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice*

(And because you'll probably want more, 2:1 frozen berries to milk)

Directions

1. Add the berries to a blender. Then add the milk.
2. Blend until desired consistency reached. (I preferred to have some raspberry chunks still in there, so I literally only blended it for about 30 seconds in the magic bullet, stirring a few times).
3. Eat right away. Um, duh.

*Note: I used Eden brand unsweetened soy milk, as it was what I had on hand. But I know for a fact, that amasake would be amazing in here. Rice milk & almond milk would be great too. For a less traditionally macro version, try coconut milk -->I'm positive it would be ridiculously amazing.

Equally Delicious Variations

  • Adding 1TBSP cocoa or carob powder for a chocolatey berry extravaganza
  • Frozen blueberries or blackberries or peaches instead...yum!
  • Adding some healthy fat, like 1TBSP chia or flax, or 1TBSP nut/seed butter, if you need your treat to be a bit more substantial.
  • If you want more sweetness, add 1TBSP maple syrup or rice syrup.
  • You could also try spicing things up like adding a bit of lemon zest (especially nice with bluberries/blackberries), cinnamon (great with the cocoa/carob combo), vanilla, and fresh mint.

A few extra comments & suggestions:

I'm sure you could store this in the freezer for a few hours, but just watch it to make sure it doesn't harden up too much. I can't personally vouch for this though, as I usually only make it when I want a treat to eat right away.

I love using the Magic Bullet, as it's so easy to make things in small quantities, and it blends really well. I simply pour in the berries first, then fill the milk to half the height of the berries. Simple. So simple.

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Now, go for a walk or bike ride, smell some flowers, let the sun wash over your face, and then come home and enjoy this treat.

Fast lunch - rice cake heaven.

Sometimes rice cakes make the perfect lunch.

They're great, because they last for a long time in the cupboard, and they are a wonderfully crunchy gluten-free option for me. Also, they are tasty with pretty much any topping, sweet or savoury.

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For lunch, I usually go the savoury route, and one of my favourite things is making a mock-hummus with whatever beans I have on hand, and some sort of greens.

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These were organic black beans, mixed with a tiny pinch of cayenne, lemon, and olive or flax oil. I topped it with some fresh pea shoots. The only problem is...how do you eat it without everything falling off? Well, here's the best solution I've found:

Transient

Yup. Nori---that thing you see on sushi. Simply rip up a sheet into 4 squares, and use 2 squares layered on top of eachother per rice cake. It makes it like a sandwich, while providing tons of tasty good-for-you minerals. And it's much, much easier to hold.

Another favourite combo I've been enjoying recently is:

  • pumpkin or sunflower seed butter
  • mustard (the wholegrain kind with apple cider vinegar)
  • sauerkraut (traditional, no vinegar kind)
  • a giant pile of lettuce
  • nori on top

The good thing about eating some fresh raw greens is that the watery nature of raw veggies is more yin, compared to the contractive yang nature of rice cakes. 

I usually cut up a few carrots, celery, and radish to munch on along with the rice cakes. Sometimes I steam the veggies on side---just depends on my mood.

My favourite brands for rice cake ingredients are: 

Side note: I've found the best price for these ingredients to be at iHerb -- especially for the rice cakes. Even living in Canada, the prices are so low that including the shipping, it's still cheaper than most store prices. I usually order a box from iherb every couple of months, filled with my favourite macrobiotic goodies, teas, and natural organic soaps. Using my code  ROP008 at checkout will get you $5-$10 off your first order. 

Do you like rice cakes? What do you put on them?

Snack attack.

Fell in love with these beauties the other day:

Dark chocolate baking discs filled with: 
Artisana's Cashini butter (cashew + tahini).
Best kind of sandwich, if you ask me!
What have you been snacking on lately?

Tamari-roasted happiness


Tamari-roasted Seeds

Pretty basic. Pretty sure you have either seen/tasted/made these. But, if you haven`t, then here is how I do it:

*Heat a skillet or frying pan on medium. Wait a few minutes.
*Dump in about 1/2 c. of raw sunflower seeds. Stir around and around for a minute or two. Will start to smell yummy.
*Then stir in about 1/2 c. of raw pumpin seeds.
*Keep on stir-stir-stirring.
*Keep stirring until the pumpkin seeds *pop*

Then dump into a bowl and quickly stir in 1 tsp tamari while the seeds are still hot. I stir for a few minutes, and then leave the bowl out for a bit. The tamari dries onto the seeds really rice.

I make a big batch, because it`s easy, and they are delicious.

Variations:
~throw in some cashews, almonds, whateva you like (if I do cashews, I put them on the pan first for a few mins before the seeds, because they are bigger)
mmm...cashews.

Sprinkle over top of grains, add to salads, or just munch away. Delicious addition to any meal, and takes only a few minutes to make.

~love and peace and a great rest of your week~

Some new old eats.

I have been enjoying some more non-japanese food lately. Don't get me wrong, I love Japanese food. But sometimes it's nice to enjoy food that you are familiar with.

Pancake Sunday? Hell yes Heather! My guy used to always make fun of me back home, because I insisted on having what I called "Pancake Sunday" as well. Pancakes are much more fun if you dedicate a whole day to them. Don't you agree?

Macrobiotic Pancakes, with coconut maple topping!

*Recipe adapted from this recipe. My version included rice milk instead of orange juice (didn`t have any), lemon zest instead of orange zest, and I used buckwheat flour in place of wheat flour, as I have tummy problems with wheat.

Coconut Maple Topping:
*mash with a fork a soft block of tofu in a bowl.
*add some coconut milk (a couple of tbsp?)
*if you like, some maple syrup to sweeten
Keep mashing until you get whatever consistency you like, then plop on top of your pancakes.

I added some fruit only cassis jam:

And you have all seen Averie's balls, right? Well, I discovered I love balls. Yep. I said it. And i'm not taking it back:


Chocolate chip cookie balls

Oatmeal Raisin cookie balls

Dark chocolate coconut balls

Absolutely delicious.
Simple and easy.

How to make balls:

For one batch, I usually use the following base recipe, adapted from Averie's recipe.

Grind in a blender the following:

3/4 c. rolled oats
1/4-1/2 c. sunflower seeds and/or cashews
cinnamon to taste

Then, blend in:
1 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 tbsp water

Keep blending until dough like (you may need to add more liquid of your choice). I have to use a spoon a few times, because I don't have a vitamix. Once dough consistency is reached, use a spoon to stir in either chocolate chips and a few sunflower seeds (choco. chip cookies), or raisins and pumpkin seeds (oatmeal raisin cookie), or coconut flakes and ~3tbsp cocoa powder (dark chocolate coconut balls).

I don't really measure the goodies I through in. It's up to you! If you are making the dark chocolate coconut balls though, you probably need to add in some more maple syrup to sweeten (unless you are like me and like ridiculously bitter dark chocoalte stuff), and some more water or coconut milk. And for cinnamon lovers, just go wild (I throw in tons).

Once you have mixed in the goods, use hands to roll/ scoop into balls. Place in freezer. Eat. Enjoy. And giggle, because you love balls. Admit it.