Wednesday 25th January 2017 – Learning and Growing

 personal-development  make things happen

Continuing on with the theme of growth and self development, I wanted to share with you some of my own insights and experiences from over the past 2 weeks.

As I mentioned in my previous post from the 17th January, I was scheduled to start a new course ‘Macrobiotics Cook & Health Advisor’ where I learn how to eat and cook a macrobiotic diet.  This goes further into understanding the holistic manner in which we not only eat certain foods, yet how to eat them for ease of digestion and how they benefit our bodies and minds and generally whole being.

Well my first class was last weekend and I LOVED it…… Those following me on Facebook and Instagram will see the wonderful pictures I posted of the foods we made and enjoyed and more importantly I learnt lots in just a short time and I can’t wait to bring to you my learnings so that you too can benefit.

macro savoury food raw macro dessert

One of the main foods I LOVE and that is so versatile and goes down a treat in the winter (in fact any time of year) is Miso soup.  Miso is a traditional Japanese staple food and seasoning and there is a wide variety of traditionally fermented Japanese miso.  They are prepared using the finest organically grown ingredients:  whole soya beans, cereal grains, a koji culture and sea salt.  Naturally aged in cedarwood kegs over many months at ambient temperature, the slow fermentation results in a seasoning with rich and complex flavours.  The most common types are white miso traditionally consumed in the western part of Japan including Kyoto, while the easter regions including Tokyo tend to prefer red miso.

Miso is an every day staple in the Japanese diet and has been treasured for centuries as a folk remedy.  Miso is typically salty but its flavour and aroma depends on various factors such as the type and quality of the ingredients used as well as the fermentation and ageing process.  The different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity and savoury.

The wonderful thing about miso is that it is light, wheat and dairy free, an excellent source of protein and a good source of fibre,  When I am especially busy and need to get moving, I enjoy this for breakfast in a flask……. great way to start your day on a cold morning.  To compliment miso, you tend to also use lots of fresh seasonal vegetables and ideally Organic.  I will talk about ‘Why Organic’ in a blog I will be posting tomorrow so watch this space………

To make this wonderful soup, I have included 2 recipes below with some essential guidelines for you to enjoy.

WHITE MISO SOUP

Miso soup white bean   Clearspring sweet white miso

Serves 4-6

10 cups of water (bring to a boil in a saucepan)
Mixed vegetables: the good thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever vegetables you have spare in the fridge, however for this recipe I used the following.

1 cup of broccoli, sliced into small pieces
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms
1 cup of Chinese cabbage (or savoy cabbage), sliced finely
3 tbsp of sweet white miso

Bring the water to boil.  Add all the vegetables.  Simmer until vegetables are tender.  Turn the heat down.  Add the miso paste, mix and simmer gently for 5 minutes and serve.  The key to miso is that because it is fermented, to not lose its natural benefits, you must not cook it for too long or on high heat, hence why it is added at the last stage.

RED MISO SOUP

Red bean miso Clearspring brown rice miso

Serves 4-6

10 cups of water (bring to a boil in a saucepan)
Mixed vegetables: use whatever vegetables you have spare in the fridge, however for this recipe I used the following.

1 cup of chopped carrots
1 cup kale
1 cup cabbage (Chinese or savoy)
1/2 cup coriander, finely chopped
3 tbsp of brown rice miso

Bring the water to boil.  Add all the vegetables.  Simmer until vegetables are tender.  Turn the heat down.  Add the miso paste, mix and simmer gently for 5 minutes and serve.  The key to miso is that because it is fermented, to not lose its natural benefits, you must not cook it for too long or on high heat, hence why it is added at the last stage.

I am often asked which products and makes do I use for my cooking and classes.

For my ‘Japanese/Chinese’ style cooking and now more so with my macrobiotic experimental style cooking,  I tend to use the brand ‘Clearspring’ because their products are:  organic, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, refined sugar free, nut free and gm free and you can choose from a wide variety of ‘health foods’ to compliment your cooking at home experience.

In Bedford, our natural food stockists that do have a good selection of Clearspring products are:

~  Pumpernickel:  https://pumpernickel-online.co.uk

Address:  7B The Arcade, Bedford, MK40 1NS, Phone:  01234 348179

~  Wholefoods:

Address:  1 Thurlow Street, Bedford, MK40 1LR, Phone:  01234 213929

They are both independent retailers and very helpful.

Please try these recipes at home – you won’t be disappointed.  I would love to see your pictures and of course any delicious variations you come up with.  Until soon x

 

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