It’s a system of eating that has been practised for thousands of years. Hippocrates talked of Macrobiotics but the modern macrobiotic system was taught in Japan by George Oshawa.
It uses whole foods, is predominantly plant based and is high fibre and low fat. The basic foods on a macrobiotic diet are:
It is suggested that you should eat 50% – 60% grains at each meal, 20% – 30% vegetables, 5% – 10% soups and 5% – 10% sea vegetables and beans. Grains are considered the most important part of the meal.
Macrobiotics also follows a yin and yang approach. Hot climates are yang so you need to eat more yin foods and vice versa. Balancing the tastes in the meal is very important – there are five elements of taste: bitter, sweet, sour, sharp and salty. Each of these are considered to help heal different parts of the body. For example sour foods like lemons, limes, vinegars, pickles etc are good for the gallbladder and liver.
The book considered to be one of the best to learn about Macrobiotics is The Macrobiotic Way by Kushi, M.
Wholefoods are exactly what the name says. Foods that are whole and have not been processed. So you buy whole grains and grind them into flours, for example. And you focus on foods grown in your area. On Day Two we made stock, nut milks, cauliflower and mushroom pie, cauliflower and almond bake, salsa verde veg with baked sweet potato and a salad with cashew balsamic dressing.
We then made three dishes without tomatoes as Macrobiotic cooking does not use tomatoes. The dishes were Gypsy soup, polenta with a variety of sauces sans tomato and a vegetable paella. For something sweet we made Kanten which is a Japanese dessert. Macrobiotics does not include many sweet dishes. We made our Kanten (which is like a jelly) into a trifle like dish using a millet and berry bake.
Paul Pitchford has the most amazing book called Healing with Whole Foods. It is like a natural chemist store, using food to treat the body rather than pharmaceutical drugs. You can look up certain ailments e.g. upset stomach and see food that can help to heal that ailment.
Italian would have to be one of my favourite cuisines, along with Mexican. Throughout the class I kept thinking that I knew the name Anthea Amore from somewhere but couldn’t place it. Turns out in December last year when I was in Books for Cooks in Melbourne I came across a vegan calendar that had 12 different recipes in it and I’ve been making one each month. The calendar was from Anthea, and her recipes are tasty and simple to make.
For our Italian whole foods day we made an antipasto board with giardinere, stuffed artichokes, hand made ravioli, minetsrone, a fennel, radicchio, celery and herb salad with a lemon and mint vinaigrette, a freekah, mint, cucumber and char-grilled zucchini salad as well as 2 Italian desserts. Two traditional Italian desserts – tiramisu and panna cotta!
And I am now the proud owner of another cookbook. This one is Anthea’s Passion cookbook. There is so much colour and vibrancy in the book. The thing I love the most is that the recipes are (mostly) super simple. Not too many ingredients. They don’t require hours and hours in the kitchen and, of course, they are made with whole foods, and she’s fairly local to me and runs a catering business.
And I’ve realised that I didn’t take any photos of the tiramisu or panna cotta so I’m just going to have to make those again.
Is there anything here that you’d love the recipe for? Let me know either in the comments below, or email or Facebook message me and I’ll do my best to re-cretae the recipe and post it for you to enjoy!