MACROBIOTIC COOKING

A holistic approach to food and health.

Making wise choices about our eating influences our health and how we feel. We can also support society and the environment through Fair Trade, Organic Foods and Local Foods In Season.

We recommend using simple foods that are full of nutrients and energy, such as whole grains, vegetables, and plant-based proteins. These foods are now considered worldwide to be amongst the most healthy, and they also require minimum resources to produce.

Meals can be planned to suit individual needs, and varied to suit climate and season, activity and occasion. While we use mostly plant-based foods, it is personal choice what to include or leave out.

SOME MEAL IDEAS

Breakfasts

  • Oat porridge with nuts, seeds, fruit and cinnamon
  • Miso soup
  • Scrambled tofu and kale with wholegrain bread
  • Carrot juice and avocado toast with toasted seeds
  • Buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup and walnuts
  • Green smoothie and breakfast muffins and sugar free jam

Quick Meals

  • Hummus & vegetable wraps
  • Cannellini bean and pasta salad with red pepper and celery
  • Quinoa, chickpea and broccoli bowl
  • Noodles in broth with tofu and vegetables
  • Chunky bean and vegetable soup with bread and spread

A Full Course Meal

  • Butternut squash soup with parsley
  • Brown rice, black bean & vegetable stew, pressed salad of apple, carrot & fennel, steamed broccoli with tahini dressing.
  • Saurkraut
  • Apple crumble with almond topping

 Desserts

  • Fruit based desserts such as apple and lemon whip, strawberry jelly, dried apricot compote with cashew cream
  • Baked deserts such as blackberry and apple pie, lemon-poppy seed polenta cake, raspberry & almond tart
  • Nut and seed energy balls

COOKING AND EATING EVERY DAY

All these ingredients listed below can be cooked in variety of ways to make them tasty and satisfying. Styles can change according to the season and your own, and your family’s health, which means meals will be full of variety. Experiment with different recipes and ideas, including ones you create yourself! Practical tips can be picked up, such as soaking grains and beans overnight and left-over ingredients in different ways over a couple days. It is interesting to look at the cooking from other countries and regions and to experiment with new tastes. Many dishes can be adapted to your own climate and choice of ingredients.

Cooking becomes an enjoyable part of our day once we have a bit of experience.

The list below includes many staple foods that are good to use daily:

  • Whole grains: Quinoa, buckwheat, barley, brown rice, spelt, corn, amaranth, millet, wheat, oats and others. Whole grain products (such as flours, flakes, breads, wraps, pasta, noodles, polenta, puffs, cous-cous, grain milks, amasake etc).
  • Beans: Lentils, chickpeas, aduki, black beans, mung beans, pinto beans, butter beans, cannellini beans, haricot beans, black eyed beans, split-peas, soy beans and bean sprouts.
  • Plant proteins: Tofu, tempeh, seitan, natto, humus, falafel.
  • Vegetables: Green leafy, round and roots, shoots and sprouts.
  • Fruits: Local and seasonal when possible, fresh and dried.
  • Seeds: Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and others, tahini and seed butters and milks.
  • Nuts: Almonds, chestnuts, hazlenuts, walnuts, peanuts and others, nut butters and milks
  • Sea vegetables: Dulse, nori, wakame, kelp (kombu), arame, hijiki, agar agar, Irish moss, sea spaghetti and others
  • Fermented products: sauerkraut, pickles, umeboshi, kimchi, natto, tempeh, miso and shoyu.
  • Seasonings and condiments: Sea salt, herb salt, lemon, orange and lime (juice and zest), apple juice, mustard, local herbs and spices, miso, shoyu, umeboshi plums and puree, wasabe,  ume plum seasoning, mirim, kuzu, arrowroot, bouillon, toasted sesame oil, olives and sea vegetables.
  • Vinegars: Balsamic, apple cider, brown rice and others.
  • Oils: Sesame, olive for cooking and sunflower, flax, hemp and others for dressings
  • Sweeteners: Brown rice syrup, concentrated fruit juices, barley malt, maple syrup, honey.
  • Drinks: Spring or filtered water, kukicha twig tea, green tea, genmaicha herb teas, grain coffees, fruit and vegetable juices, grain, nut or seed milks, fresh smoothies.

AM I GETTING ALL THE NUTRIENTS I NEED?

We need to make sure that we including everyday essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals from all the major food groups. These are:

Carbohydrates – healthy low GI carbohydrates are plentiful in all whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats, wild rice, rye, spelt, barley as well as in beans and vegetables. If you are gluten intolerant you will want to choose gluten free grains such as rice, whole oats, millet, buckwheat and quinoa.

Protein –from plant sources like beans, pulses, lentils and legumes, black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, butter beans etc. Bean products such as humus, falafel, tempeh and tofu are also good sources of protein. Eating grains together with beans provides a complete source of protein.

Some animal products (from ethical and sustainable sources,) such as fish and seafood, are also good sources of protein.

Vitamins and minerals – using a good variety of ingredients will ensure you get adequate vitamins and minerals. These can be obtained from vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fish and fruit.

Fats – good quality oils such as omega oils are present in nuts and seeds, in oily fish. Grains, beans and vegetables all have small amounts of good oils.

Fibre – Whole grains, beans and vegetables are a good source of fibre.

Beneficial bacterias – these are found in some unpasteurised fermented foods

SOME TIPS ON HOW TO GET STARTED

* Clear your cupboards of foods and drinks that are highly refined or processed food and those with additives or refined sugar or lots of salt.

* Stock up with whole grains, beans, lentils and pulses so you can add these to soups, stews and salads. Dried beans and pulses are best but you can use tinned for quickness. (Beans and grains need soaking overnight (or for 8 hours), discarding the soaking water and replacing with fresh before cooking. Always cook beans with a piece of kombu (sea vegetable) to help to soften them, and cook well. ) Choose one or two whole grains (such as millet and/or brown rice) and learn how to cook these so that they are tasty and enjoyable.

*Eat more local and seasonal vegetables and fruit. You could order a weekly, organic vegetable box from a local farm, or from Riverford or Abel & Cole.

*Include good quality plant proteins in your daily cooking (see listed above.) If you feel you need some animal food, fish is a good choice (making sure it is sustainably sourced.)

*When eating out, don’t be afraid to ask about ingredients and specify which ones you do not want. There are many places to eat that now serve vegan and special requirement options.

*Invest in a couple of good macrobiotic cookery books. Have a read through and choose one or two new dishes to cook per week or search on the internet for recipes.

*A few stainless steel pans, a (preferably) wooden cutting board and a sharp vegetable cutting knife  are all useful kitchen items. A stainless steel pressure cooker is great for cooking beans and some of the harder grains.

*Share cooking and eating with friends and family and meet up with others with similar interests

*Take some cooking classes with an experienced teacher so that you can learn the best ways to make the food, and taste the different dishes.

*A Macrobiotic Coach will support and guide you to make healthier choices or, if you have health concerns, you may want to see a Macrobiotic Counsellor who will make recommendations specifically for you.

SOME BENEFITS OF COOKING AND EATING THIS WAY

Research suggests that eating a macrobiotic style plant based diet will encourage;

  • A more healthy heart
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of certain cancers
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Improved digestion and bowel movements

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