Currently Browsing: Macrobiotics: Getting Started

Finding Social Support for Practicing Macrobiotics

Social support can be really helpful as you begin a macrobiotic practice. However, finding like-minded people in your own area can often be a challenge. Frequently, individuals are surprised to discover that there are other macrobiotic people in their area. There are various ways of finding out if any macrobiotic people are in your area. Following are some suggestions:

  1. If there is a local health food or natural foods store carrying macrobiotic foods, then this is usually a good sign that there are people interested in macrobiotics nearby.  If there is a message board in the store, post a notice that you for other people interested in macrobiotics. The same can be done at local restaurants and shopping malls.
  2. Consider putting a notice in the classified section of your newspaper.
  3. Contact us at Macrobiotics America and we will check our directories and contacts to see if there are macrobiotic activities in your area.
  4. Consider sponsoring a macrobiotic potluck in your area and inviting friends, co-workers and family members to attend. Use a menu out of a macrobiotic cookbook and assign a recipe to each person who will be coming. You never know who might get interested.
  5. Sponsor a Macrobiotics America program in your area with David & Cynthia Briscoe to help bring an awareness of macrobiotics to your community. Many friends are made at these programs and they can plant seeds that blossom into a local macrobiotic community.
  6. Subscribe to Macrobiotics Today magazine published by The George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation (1-800-232-2372) to receive bi-monthly information about macrobiotics and national/international activities and contacts.
  7. Attend the annual macrobiotic national events to meet people of all ages and backgrounds from around the world who are practicing macrobiotics, including single people, families, teens and children.   French Meadows Summer Camp (CA): 1-800-232-2372; Kushi Institute Wellness Conference (MA): 1-888-547-2663; Health Classic (CA): 1-800-769-0638.

Recipes for Macrobiotics

Basic Macrobiotic Recipes

Brown Rice

1. Soak 2 cups of washed organically grown brown rice in 3 cups of spring water for 3 to 5 hours or

overnight.

2. Place in a pressure cooker with a pinch of sea salt or a 1-inch piece of kombu sea vegetable per cup of

rice.

3. Bring up to pressure on a medium high flame.

4. When pressure is up, place a flame deflector underneath and lower the flame.

5. Cook for 50 minutes.

6. Turn off the flame and let the pressure reduce itself naturally.

7. Remove the rice from the pot and put in a wooden bowl.

Other combinations of grains:

For variety, you can combine 80 percent brown rice with 20 percent barley, or millet, or wheat berries, or corn, etc. Combinations of grains and beans: 90 percent brown rice with 10 percent azuki beans, or soybeans, or chickpeas.

Morning Cereal

A delicious morning porridge can be made by pressure cooking or boiling rice, millet, barley, or other grain using 5 cups of water to 1 cup of grain and by seasoning and cooking as above.

Noodles in Broth

1. Bring 6 to 8 cups of spring water to a boil.

2. Add 1 8-ounce package of udon (whole wheat) or soba (whole wheat and buckwheat) noodles and

return to a boil.

3. After about 10 minutes check to see if they are done by breaking the end of one noodle. Soba cooks

faster than udon and thinner noodles cook faster than thicker. If the inside and outside are the same

color, the noodles are ready.

4. When done, remove the noodles from the pot, drain, and rinse thoroughly with cold water to prevent

clumping.

5. Meanwhile, for the broth, put 1 piece of kombu, 2 to 3 inches long, in a pot and add fresh water.

6. Soak 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, cut off and discard their stems, and slice the mushrooms. Add them

to the pot, bring to boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

7. Remove the kombu and shiitake and use in other dishes.

8. Add shoyu to taste to the pot and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

9. Put the cooked noodles into the broth to warm them, but do not let them boil.

10. When hot, remove the noodles and serve immediately with a little broth. Garnish with scallions,

chives, or toasted nori.

Note: If desired, add a little grated fresh ginger to the broth. Also cooked seitan, tofu, tempeh, or natto may be enjoyed with noodles and broth.

Miso Soup

1.  Soak wakame sea vegetable (1 1/2-inch piece per person) for 5 minutes and then cut into small pieces.

2.  Add to cold water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, cut vegetables into small pieces.

3.  Add the vegetables to the boiling broth and boil all together for 2 to 4 minutes until vegetables are soft

and edible.

4. Dilute miso (1/2 to 1 flat teaspoon per cup of broth), add to soup, and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes on a

low flame.

5. Occasionally a small portion of shiitake mushrooms can be included with the other vegetables.

Note: Please vary the types of vegetables every day and include leafy greens often.

Other Soup Suggestions:

1. Grain and Vegetable Soup: Add leftover cooked grains to basic miso soup or make fresh millet or

barley soup with vegetables.

2. Bean and Vegetable Soup: Add leftover cooked beans to basic miso soup or make a fresh soup using

lentils, chickpeas, or precooked beans.

3. Squash Soup: Cut and cook butternut, buttercup, acorn, or other fall-season squash in water until it

dissolves. Season with a pinch of sea salt or a dash or shoyu.

Vegetable Nabe

Nabe (pronounced “nah-bay”) style is a quick light style of boiling that is done on a portable burner at the table, usually in a large open ceramic or metal nabe pot. If a nabe pot and portable gas burner are not available, this dish may be prepared quickly on the stovetop in a large stainless steel skillet.

Vegetables:

Sliced green and upward-growing vegetables such as kale, collard greens, Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, leeks, mustard greens, carrot tops, daikon tops, radish tops, turnip tops, scallions, dandelion greens, broccoli, fresh or dried shiitake and other musrooms, string beans, celery, chives, snap peas, snowpeas, sprouts, Brussel sprouts, etc.

Daikon, carrot, and other roots in smaller amounts (optional)

Fresh or dried tofu, pre-cooked udon noodles, fu, mochi, white-meat fish (optional)

Strip of kombu (about 2″ x 3″ for 4 cups of vegetables)

Spring or well water

Slice as many types of the vegetables as desired and place in sections on a large platter. Pour 1 to 2″ of water into the nabe pot with a strip of kombu (optional) and with soaked and chopped dried shiitake mushrooms, if desired. Bring to a rapid boil on a high flame and cook until the kombu or mushrooms soften. You need not add any other seasoning to this dish. Then begin to add the sliced vegetables to the rapidly boiling broth. Add them in separate sections, starting with the harder vegetables which require the longest cooking time. Slowly add all the rest: most should require only 1-2 minutes of boiling. End with the sprouts, scallions, and other greens that require only several seconds of cooking. For variety, tofu, noodles, soaked fu, mochi, or fish may be added. It may be necessary to add more water during cooking as the bubbling broth evaporates.

When finished, this dish should yield a large sectioned pot of bright green, fresh and light vegetables. Serve immediately. If cooked at the table, vegetables may be eaten continuously and new ones added to the pot. Cook only enough that can be eaten by a family at one meal to get the maximum freshness and lightness. It should be the main dish at this meal, 2/3 or more of the total volume of the meal, and grains may constitute 1/3 or less of the remainder of the food.

Dipping Broth:

Nabe cooking broth

Grated ginger (optional)

Toasted nori (optional)

Miso, shoyu, or umeboshi paste

Chopped scallions

The cooking broth is very delicious and refreshing to drink, and it may be used to make a dipping sauce. Heat up a small volume of the broth and add miso or shoyu or umeboshi paste to taste. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Grate a small amount of ginger and squeeze in a few drops of juice. Add freshly chopped scallions and small pieces of toasted nori. Pour into a small dipping cup and dip in vegetables while eating at the table.

Aduki Beans with Squash and Kombu

1. Wash and soak 1/2 cup of azuki beans with a 1-inch square piece of kombu for 2 to 5 hours.

2. Place kombu in bottom of the pot and add chopped hard winter squash such as acorn, butternut, or

buttercup. When squash is not available, substitute onions, carrots, or parsnips.

3. Add azuki beans on top of squash and cover with water.

4. Cook over a low flame until the beans and squash become soft. While cooking, you may need to add

cold water for a few times.

5. When beans are 80 percent done, add a few pinches of sea salt.

6. Cover and let cook another 10 to 15 minutes or until all the water has cooked down.

7. Turn off the flame and let the pot sit for several minutes before serving.

Note: During cooking, it is best not to stir the beans.

Tofu or Tempeh Stew

1. Soak a 4-inch piece of kombu in 3 cups of spring water.

2.  Bring to a boil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

3.  Add either tofu or tempeh sliced into 1/2-inch cubes along with sliced daikon, carrots, lotus root, or

other root vegetables and cook for about 15 minutes.

4.  Add two or three of the following: onions, cabbage or Chinese cabbage, squash or Brussel sprouts, and

cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

5.  If you use fresh tofu, add it with the lighter green vegetables toward the end of cooking.

6.  Add a small amount of miso or shoyu for seasoning at the end of cooking.

7.  Chop finely 2 or 3 scallions and cook in for 1 minute.

Note: All vegetables should be boiled and cooked until soft, but the greens should still be fresh. A small amount of ginger may be added at the very end of cooking.

Steamed Greens

1. Wash and slice any of the following: turnip greens, daikon greens, carrot tops, kale, collage greens,

mustard greens, watercress, Chinese cabbage.

2.  Place the vegetables in a small amount of water (from 1/4 to 1/2 inch) or in a stainless steel steamer

over 1 inch of boiling water.

3.  Cover and steam for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the texture of the vegetables.

4.  At the end of cooking, lightly sprinkle with shoyu and serve.

Note: When served, greens should be fresh and bright.

Cooked Apples

1. Wash several organically grown apples, slice, and place in a pot with a little water to keep from

burning (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup).

2.  Add pinch of sea salt and simmer for 10 minutes or until soft.

Other Fruit: for variety, try apricots, peaches, blueberries, or other temperate-climate fruit.

Amasake Pudding

1.  Place 1 quart amasake and 6 tablespoons kuzu diluted in a little water in a pot.

2.  Slowly bring to a boil, constantly stirring to avoid lumping.

3.  Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, remove from heat, and serve.

4.  Garnish with a slice of lemon and allow to set before serving.

Variations: Raisins, apples, apricots, pears, peaches, strawberries, etc. may be cooked with the amasake before adding the kuzu.

Bancha Tea

1.  Add about 2 tablespoons of roasted twigs to 1 1/2 quarts of spring water and bring to a boil.

2.  Lower flame and simmer for several minutes.

3.  Place bamboo tea strainer in cup and pour out tea.

Rice With Other Grains

About Brown Rice with Other Grains

“Short-grain brown rice is ideally balanced, particularly for people living in temperate climates. Use a rich variety of staples – rice, buckwheat, wheat, millet, barley, rye, oats, and corn-selecting what grows locally and has been traditionally enjoyed in your part of the world. The grains you eat should be organically grown, free of chemical fertilizer and poisonous spray.” – Lima Ohsawa

The usual proportion of rice to other grains in combination dishes is 3/4 to 2/3 brown rice to 1/4 to 1/3 of the other grain. For optimal variety and balance, it is recommended that you combine your rice with other grains on a regular basis. When combining other whole grains with brown rice, it is sometimes necessary to soak, roast, or boil them first.

By combining brown rice with other grains you can create a variety of energies in your primary grain dish, while also providing a variety of different flavors and textures. Some grains, such as whole corn or hato mugi, have a slightly bitter flavor. Other grains, such as fresh sweet corn, sweet brown rice, millet, and whole oats, have a mild, subtly sweet flavor, while others, such as whole barley, wheat, and rye, have a chewier texture. Other grains also add protein, minerals, and other nutrients to your brown rice dishes.

Brown Rice with Barley

Barley has a light, upward quality of energy. Adding it to brown rice makes the dish fluffier and less glutinous. Barley can be cooked with brown rice on a regular basis.

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup whole barley, washed and soaked for 6 to 8 hours

–        4 1/2 cups water, including water used to soak barley

–        small pinch of sea salt or piece of kombu, soaked and diced

Place the brown rice, barley, and water in a pressure cooker. If you are using kombu, add now. Place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water starts to boil. If you are using sea salt instead of kombu, add it at this time. Cover the cooker, turn the flame to high, and bring up to pressure. Reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame, and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow to sit for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the rice and barley from the cooker and place in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Pearl Barley

Pearl barley, or hato mugi, is valued in Oriental countries for its power to neutralize the harmful effects of animal food. It adds a wonderfully light quality to your brown rice dishes.

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup organic hato mugi, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt or piece of kombu, soaked and diced

Place the brown rice, hato mugi, and water in a pressure cooker. Place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover, and turn the flame up high. Reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and let the pressure come down. Remove the cover and let the grains sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Wheat Berries

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup organic soft spring or pastry wheat berries, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Heat a stainless steel skillet over a high flame. Add the washed and drained wheat berries. With a wooden spoon or bamboo rice paddle, stir constantly to ensure even roasting and prevent burning. When the wheat berries are done they release a sweet, nutty fragrance, turn slightly golden and may begin to pop. Remove the wheat berries and place in a pressure cooker.

Add the brown rice and water. Mix and place the uncovered pressure cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover the cooker, and bring up to pressure on a high flame. When the pressure is up, place a flame deflector under the cooker and reduce the flame to medium-low. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and wheat to sit for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the grains and place in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Whole Rye

Whole rye berries can be soaked and cooked with brown rice for a dish with a delightfully chewy texture.

–        3 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup rye, washed and soaked for 6 to 8 hours

–        4 1/2 cups water, including water used to soak rye

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, rye, and water in a pressure cooker and mix. Place the uncovered pressure cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover the cooker, and turn the flame to high. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Allow to cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and rye to sit for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and place in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Whole Oats

Whole oats can either be soaked or dry roasted prior to cooking with brown rice.

–        3 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup whole oats, washed and soaked for 6 to 8 hours

–        4 1/2 cups water, including water used to soak oats

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, whole oats, and water in a pressure cooker. Mix and place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water begins to boil. Add the sea salt and cover the cooker. Place over a high flame and allow to come to pressure. Reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Allow to cook for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and oats to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Fresh Sweet Corn

Because sweet corn is soft, and not dry and hard like other grains, you do not need to add extra water when cooking it with rice. It adds a delicious sweet flavor to your rice.

–        3 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup fresh sweet corn, removed from the cob

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of salt

Place the brown rice, sweet corn, and water in a pressure cooker. Add the water and place the uncovered cooker over a low flame just until the water begins to boil. Add the sea salt and place the cover on the cooker. Raise the flame to high and bring up to pressure. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. When the pressure is down, remove the cover and allow the rice and corn to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Sweet Rice

Sweet brown rice is more glutinous than regular brown rice. It adds extra protein, fat, and sweetness to your rice dishes.

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup organic sweet brown rice, washed (for a softer texture, soak for 6 to 8 hours)

–        4 1/2 cups water, including water used to soak grains

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, sweet brown rice, and water in a pressure cooker and mix. Place the uncovered cooker over a low flame just until the water begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover, and turn the flame to high. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and sweet rice to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Long Grain Rice with Millet

Millet was valued in Oriental medicine for its healing properties, especially its beneficial effect on the pancreas. It can be cooked with short, medium, or long grain rice for a variety of flavors and textures.

–        2 1/2 cups organic long grain brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic millet, washed

–        6 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, millet, and water in a heavy pot without a cover. Place on a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover, and turn the flame to high. Reduce the flame to medium-low when the water is at a full boil. Place a flame deflector under the pot. Cook for approximately 1 hour. Remove from the flame and place the brown rice and millet in a serving bowl.

Long Grain Rice with Buckwheat

Buckwheat has a strong contractive quality and warming energy. It is delicious when cooked with long grain rice.

–        2 1/2 cups long grain brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup buckwheat groats, washed

–        6 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, buckwheat, water, and sea salt in a heavy pot. Cover and bring to a boil over a high flame. Reduce the flame to medium-low, place a flame deflector under the pot, and simmer for approximately 1 hour. Remove from the flame and place in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Amaranth

Amaranth, a traditional grain from Central America, can be cooked with brown rice for a distinctive taste.

–        2 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup amaranth, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, amaranth, and water in an uncovered pressure cooker. Place over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover and turn the flame to high. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the grains to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.

Brown Rice with Wild Rice

Wild rice gives brown rice dishes a delightfully rich flavor. It is especially popular during holidays.

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup organic wild rice, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, wild rice, and water in an uncovered pressure cooker. Place over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover the cooker, and turn the flame up to high. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and wild rice to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Quinoa

Quinoa was traditionally used in the Andes. It is high in protein and adds extra energy to brown rice dishes.

–        2 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cups organic quinoa, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, quinoa, water, and sea salt in a pressure cooker. Cover, place on a high flame, and bring up to pressure. Reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the rice and quinoa to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Sweet Rice and Millet

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic sweet brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic millet, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, sweet brown rice, and millet in a pressure cooker and mix thoroughly. Add the water and place the uncovered pressure cooker over a low flame just until the water begins to boil. Add the sea salt, place the cover on the cooker, and turn the flame to high. When the pressure is up, place a flame deflector under the cooker and reduce the flame to medium-low. Simmer for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover when the pressure is down and place the cooked grain in a wooden serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Whole Oats and Millet

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic whole oats, washed and soaked for 6 to 8 hours

–        1/2 cup organic millet, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water, including water used to soak oats

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, soaked whole oats, and millet in a pressure cooker and mix thoroughly. Add the water used for soaking the oats and fresh water. Place the uncovered pressure cooker over a low flame just until the water begins to boil. Add the sea salt, place the cover on the cooker, and turn the flame up to high. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. When the pressure is down, remove the cover. Allow the grain to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a wooden serving bowl.

Brown Rice Combination Dishes

Brown rice can be combined with a variety of fresh natural ingredients. Combining rice with nuts or seeds, for example, produces a deliciously rich, high-protein dish.

Depending on the type of nut or seed you use, you can create dishes with a sweeter or slightly bitter taste, and a more crunchy texture. Beans or vegetables can also be added.

–        Chestnut Rice

–        Sweet Brown Rice with Chestnuts

–        Brown Rice with Squash or Hokkaido Pumpkin

–        Seitan and Vegetable Gomoku (Mixed Rice)

–        Tempeh and Vegetable Gomoku

–        Brown Rice with Deep-fried Tofu and Vegetables

–        Basic Rice Salad

–        Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash

Chestnut Rice

This dish has a delicious flavor and helps satisfy the craving for sweets. Dry-roasting the chestnuts prior to cooking produces a very sweet flavor. It causes the chestnuts to retain a firmer consistency.

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup organic dried chestnuts, washed and drained

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Heat a skillet and place the damp chestnuts in it. Dry-roast by stirring with a wooden spoon or bamboo rice paddle, in a back and forth and side to side motion, until the chestnuts become slightly golden in color and release a sweet, nutty fragrance. Place the roasted chestnuts in the pressure cooker. Add the brown rice and water. Mix the chestnuts and rice. Place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, place the lid on the cooker, and turn the flame to high. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the lid and allow the rice and chestnuts to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a wooden serving bowl.

Sweet Brown Rice with Chestnuts

–        1 1/2 cups organic sweet brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic dried chestnuts, washed and soaked 3 to 4 hours

–        3 cups water, including the water used for soaking the chestnuts

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the sweet rice, soaked chestnuts, and water in an uncovered pressure cooker. Place over a low flame until the water begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover, and turn the flame up to high. When the pressure is up, place a flame deflector under the cooker and reduce the flame to medium-low. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and let sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Squash or Hokkaido Pumpkin

Any kind of hard winter squash, peeled or with the skin left on if the skin is not too tough, may be combined with brown rice to give the dish a delicious, naturally sweet flavor and an attractive orange color. Hokkaido pumpkin, sometimes referred to by the Japanese name kabocha, is especially delicious because it is very sweet and stays firm during cooking.

–        3 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup organic winter squash or Hokkaido pumpkin, sliced into 1 inch cubes

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice and squash or pumpkin cubes in the pressure cooker. Add the sea salt and water and mix. Cover the cooker and place over a high flame. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and gently mix the rice and squash. Let sit in the cooker for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Seitan and Vegetable Gomoku (Mixed Rice)

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed and dry-roasted

–        1 to 2 square inches of kombu, soaked and diced

–        4 pieces dried tofu, soaked for 10 minutes, diced

–        1 ear of sweet corn, removed from cob

–        1/2 cup carrots, diced

–        1/3 cup seitan, cubed

–        1 stalk celery, diced

–        1/4 cup daikon, diced

–        1/4 cup burdock, diced

–        3 cups water

Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker and mix thoroughly. Add the water, place the lid on the cooker, and place over a high flame. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and let the rice and vegetables sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a serving bowl.

Tempeh and Vegetable Gomoku

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup tempeh, cubed or diced and deep-fried until golden

–        1/4 cup lotus root (fresh or dried), diced

–        4 to 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked, stems removed, and diced

–        2 Tbsp dried daikon, rinsed, soaked 10 minutes, and chopped

–        2 square inches kombu, soaked and diced

–        1 tsp minced scallion roots

–        1/4 cup carrots, diced

–        2 Tbsp scallion, chives, or parsley, minced, for garnish

–        3 cups water, including the water used for soaking the shiitake, dried daikon, and kombu

Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker, add water, and mix thoroughly. Place the lid on the cooker and turn the flame to high. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and vegetables to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before mixing in the minced scallion, chives, or parsley garnish. Remove and place in a serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Deep-fried Tofu and Vegetables

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup deep-fried tofu, cubed

–        2 Tbsp bonita (dried fish) flakes

–        1/2 cup onions, diced

–        1/4 cup celery, diced

–        1/4 cup carrots, diced

–        1/2 cup fresh green peas, boiled until tender

–        4 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the rice, deep-fried tofu, bonita flakes, onions, celery, carrots, water, and sea salt in a heavy pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium-low and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the cover. Mix in the cooked green peas. Remove and place in a serving dish.

Basic Rice Salad

This dish is light and refreshing, and is wonderful during the summer. Most of the ingredients are cooked for only a short time prior to mixing.

–        4 cups cooked brown rice

–        1 cup deep-fried tofu, cut into very thin slices

–        1/2 cup carrots, cut into thin match sticks

–        1/4 cup burdock, shaved

–        5 shiitake mushrooms, soaked 10 to 15 minutes and sliced thin

–        1/2 cup green string beans, sliced into thin match sticks

–        1 sheet nori, toasted and cut into thin strips

–        2 Tbsp tan sesame seeds, toasted

–        water

–        tamari soy sauce

–        sesame oil

–        rice syrup

–        lemon juice

Place a small amount of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place the carrot match sticks in the water, cover, and simmer 1 minute. Remove and place on a plate. Place the green beans in the water, cover, and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and place on the plate with the carrots, keeping them separate. Place the tofu strips in a saucepan with enough water to just cover. Season the water with a little soy sauce for a mild salt taste. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove and drain. Place the tofu on a plate with the vegetables.

Place the shiitake in a saucepan with enough water to just cover. Season with a little soy sauce and brown rice syrup for a mild salty-sweet flavor. Simmer for several minutes until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove and place on the plate with the other ingredients. Place a small amount of sesame oil in a skillet and heat. Add the burdock and sauté’ for 1 to 2 minutes. Add enough water to half-cover. Cover and simmer for several minutes until tender. Season with a little soy sauce and simmer for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and place on the plate with the other ingredients. Place the fresh cooked rice in a serving bowl. Attractively arrange the vegetables, tofu, and shiitake on top of the rice. Sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds on top. Take 1/2 fresh lemon and squeeze the juice over the vegetable topping. Serve.

Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash

–        1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed

–        1/2 cup cooked rice and wild rice

–        1/2 cup whole wheat bread, cubed

–        1/4 cup onion, diced

–        1/4 cup celery, diced

–        2 Tbsp mushrooms, minced

–        1/4 cup water

–        tamari soy sauce

–        corn oil, for sautéing

Place a small amount of corn oil in a skillet and heat. sauté the onions for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and celery. sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle 4 to 5 drops of soy sauce over the vegetables. Place the vegetables in a mixing bowl. Add the rice, whole wheat bread, and water. Mix well. Fill each squash half with the stuffing. Place in a baking dish. Cover and bake at 450 degrees F. for about 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Poke with a fork to test. Remove and place on a serving platter.

Brown Rice with Beans

Cooking brown rice with beans creates a rich, satisfying, and nutritionally complete dish.

Because beans usually require longer to cook than grains, they often need advance preparation. They are usually soaked for several hours, roasted in a dry-skillet, or par-boiled for several minutes prior to combining them with brown rice. All beans may be soaked prior to cooking, which makes them softer and easier to digest.

To soak beans, first wash them in cold water, and then place them in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover. Let them soak for 6 to 8 hours. Remove and drain. If you are cooking azuki beans, black soybeans, or chickpeas, you can use the water used for soaking as part of the water measurement. The water used for soaking other beans may be discarded.

Some beans, such as black or yellow soybeans, produce foam when cooked. If you roast them first in a dry skillet, foam will not appear and the beans stay firmer during cooking. This method produces a deliciously sweet dish. If you par-boil the beans for 20 minutes prior to combining them with brown rice, and use the cooking water as part of the final water measurement, this produces a brightly colored dish.

Brown Rice with Azuki Beans

–        2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1 cup organic azuki beans, washed and soaked 6 to 8 hours

–        4 1/2 cups water, including water used to soak azuki beans

–        small pinch of sea salt

Drain the water from the soaked azuki beans and set aside. Place the beans and brown rice in a pressure cooker. Add the water used to soak the beans plus fresh water, according to the amount suggested above. Mix the brown rice and beans. Place the uncovered pressure cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, cover, and turn the flame to high. Reduce the flame to medium-low when the pressure is up. Place a flame deflector under the cooker and cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame, allow the pressure to come down, and remove the cover. Allow the rice and beans to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a wooden serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Black Soybeans

Black soybeans have a thin and delicate skin and need to be washed in a different manner than other beans to prevent the skins from coming off. Take a clean, damp kitchen towel and place the beans in the middle of it. Fold the towel over the beans so that they are completely covered with the towel. Rub the beans with a back and forth, side to side motion. Pour the beans into a bowl. Rinse the towel under cold water to remove soil and dust, and squeeze it out. Place the beans in the towel again and rub as before. Repeat this process one or two more times to completely clean the beans. They are now ready to dry-roast.

–        2 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic black soybeans, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

After washing the beans, place them in a strainer to drain. Heat a stainless steel skillet and add the beans. With a wooden spoon or bamboo rice paddle, roast the beans by moving them back and forth and side to side. Start with a high flame, and when the water from washing evaporates, reduce the flame to medium-low. Continue roasting until the skin of the beans becomes very tight and splits slightly, showing a small white streak or split in the skin. Remove the beans from the flame and place them in the pressure cooker. Add the rice and water measurement. Mix the rice and beans. Place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Place the sea salt in the cooker and place the lid on the cooker. Turn the flame up to high and bring up to pressure. Reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and let the rice and beans sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a wooden serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Kidney Beans

If you pre-boil kidney beans prior to combining them with rice, and use the cooking water from the beans, your dish will have an attractive red color.

–        2 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic kidney beans, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water, including cooking water from the beans

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the beans in a saucepan, add cold water to cover, and cover the pan. Bring to a boil on a high flame. Reduce the flame to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the flame and place the beans in a strainer. Drain the cooking liquid and set aside. Place the beans and rice in the pressure cooker and mix. Combine the cooking water with fresh cold water so as to obtain the above water measurement. Place the water in the cooker. Place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt and place the lid on the cooker. Turn the flame to high and bring up to pressure. Reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cooker from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and beans to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a wooden serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Pinto Beans

–        2 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic pinto beans, washed and soaked 6 to 8 hours or overnight, discard water used for

–        soaking

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the brown rice, soaked beans, and water in a pressure cooker. Place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt and place the cover on the cooker. Turn the flame to high and bring up to pressure. Reduce the flame to medium-low, place a flame deflector under the cooker, and cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and beans to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a wooden serving bowl.

Chickpea Rice

–        2 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup organic chickpeas, washed and soaked for 6 to 8 hours or overnight, discard water used

–        for soaking

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Combine the brown rice and chickpeas in a pressure cooker. Add the water and place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water just begins to boil. Add the sea salt, place the lid on the cooker, and turn the flame up to high. When the pressure is up, reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the cover and allow the rice and beans to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a wooden serving bowl.

Brown Rice with Lentils

Lentils are low in fat and have a very short cooking time. Simply wash the lentils and combine with brown rice. They will be done at the same time as the rice.

–        2 1/2 cups organic brown rice, washed

–        1/2 cup green or brown lentils, washed

–        4 1/2 cups water

–        small pinch of sea salt

Place the rice, lentils, and water in a pressure cooker and mix thoroughly. Place the uncovered cooker over a low flame until the water begins to boil. Add the sea salt, place the lid on the cooker, and turn the flame to high. Reduce the flame to medium-low and place a flame deflector under the cooker. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the flame and allow the pressure to come down. Remove the lid and allow the rice and lentils to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before placing in a wooden serving bowl.


Why Macrobiotics Recommends Avoiding Foods That Some Might Consider Healthy

In the macrobiotic literature and on the “Foods to Avoid List” of the Getting Started section of the Macrobiotics America web site, you will come across many foods that are recommended to be avoided according to the macrobiotic view. Among them will be some foods that are commonly sold in natural foods stores and commonly considered “healthy” foods. One example is soymilk. There are many others.

It is important to understand that macrobiotics views food not only through the modern nutritional lens of “protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals,” but also through the traditional understanding that each food has unique qualities. This is the macrobiotic “energetic” view, or what I sometimes refer to as the “invisible nutrition” of food. We can’t see it under a microscope but it is there nonetheless. And, depending on the food and drink we choose, this energy quality will have positive or negative effects on our on cells, tissue, organs and all system functions within the body, including the nervous and immune systems.

Basically, every food has its unique energetic quality that can be generally labeled as “contractive” or “expansive.” Sugar, fruit, hot spices, and alcohol, for example, all have extremely expansive qualities. Eggs, chicken, baked flour products, overly salty food, for example, all have extremely contractive qualities. This doesn’t imply that a food is “good” or “bad,” it is simply expressing the energy effects that a food’s “energetic quality” has on the human body and personal behavior. This can be very subtle and insidious, not showing up as a health problem for many years or decades, or it can be immediate as when a person gets a headache from eating ice cream or, even more obviously, when someone overuses alcohol or takes drugs. When taken regularly, foods with extremely contracting or extremely expanding qualities will lead to various types of imbalances in the body, resulting in a variety of physical symptoms as well as unstable psychological and emotional states.

In many cases, foods and drinks that might be considered useful from the modern nutritional view or even an alternative medical viewpoint, are not recommended from a macrobiotic view. This can be confusing in the beginning of one’s macrobiotic practice, since certain foods and supplements that we may have been using because a book or advertisement extolled their benefits, are to be avoided from a macrobiotic view because of energetic properties that can contribute to health problems. The foods listed in macrobiotic books and literature as those to be avoided are listed as such because they are considered energetically extreme and/or artificially produced and processed.

Macrobiotics teaches us to rely on our own judgment by applying macrobiotic principles to the selection and preparation of food and drink. Instead of relying on the marketing campaigns of the health food industry, constantly fluctuating government and scientific food pyramids, or this year’s nutritional pronouncements from best-selling books and popular TV diet gurus, macrobiotics teaches us to use time-tested traditional principles when deciding what to eat and not to eat.

If this all seems a bit mysterious or esoteric to you right now, don’t worry. It did to me, too. Eventually, if you continue to study and develop your understanding of food from a macrobiotic view, you will see the beauty and benefits of applying this way to your life.

On last thing: A wonderful macrobiotic teacher, the late Herman Aihara, said, “When it comes to food, always remember that mass popularity equals lowest quality.” So, if you want to know what NOT to eat just stand at the door of any supermarket or natural food store and watch what is bought the most. Then, don’t eat that yourself. You’ll do yourself a big favor! Whatever is the most popular food and drink, or the current diet, supplement or quick-fix health gismo getting the most media hype, will be best avoided by those who want genuine health. Best wishes for a healthy life.


Where to Buy Macrobiotic Books, Foods and Cooking Utensils

If you can’t find macrobiotic foods, books and utensils at local natural foods stores, don’t worry. You can order from the following stores:

Mail Order Macrobiotic Foods & Cooking Utensils

Gold Mine Natural Foods 7805 Arjons Drive San Diego, CA 92126-4368 Phone: 1-800-475-3663 Web site: www.goldminenaturalfood.com

Kushi Institute Store P.O. Box 500, Leland Road Becket, MA 01223-0500 Phone: 1-800-645-8744 Web site: www.kushiinstitute.org


Helpful Books


Many macrobiotic titles are currently out of print. The following are some basic titles that are still in print according to our bookseller sources:

Basic Macrobiotics by Herman Aihara

The Great Life Handbook by Denny Waxman

The Pocket Guide to Macrobiotics by Carl Ferré

The Cancer Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi

The Self-Healing Cookbook by Kristina Turner

The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health by Michio Kushi and Alex Jack

Order macrobiotic books from the following:

The George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation: 1-800-232-2372 or (530) 566 9765

 


A Very Basic Shopping List for Getting Started with Macrobiotics


A VERY BASIC SHOPPING LIST FOR GETTING STARTED

The following basic shopping list is intended for those who are just starting a macrobiotic practice. Soon you will want to add more to your stock of macrobiotic foods and utensils. Check macrobiotic cookbooks for a more detailed list. Also, if you’ve had a consultation, be sure to check your individual recommendations for additional items to add to your shopping list. If you cannot afford to buy all of the cookware and utensils at once, don’t worry, you can use any stainless steel cookware you already have, and then acquire the macrobiotic cookware over time. At first, it is more important to invest in the basic macrobiotic foods listed below. Whenever possible, buy organic foods.

Whole Grains
Short Grain Brown Rice
Whole (hulless) Barley
Millet

Vegetables
1-2 kinds of dark leafy greens
Chinese cabbage (nappa cabbage)
Carrots
Burdock
Yellow onions
Daikon radish
Green cabbage
Butternut
Kabocha or Acorn Squash
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Scallions (green onions)
Parsley

Sea Vegetables
Wakame Arame Nori
Kombu Hijiki (hiziki)
Seasonings
Si (brand) Sea Salt, Eden or Lima brand sea salt.
Ohsawa® Barley Miso or South River Barley Miso
Ohsawa® Nama Shoyu (natural soy sauce)
Ohsawa® Umeboshi Plums (whole)Ohsawa® Ume Plum Vinegar
Ohsawa® Brown Rice Vinegar
Fresh Ginger Root

Prepared Condiments
Shiso powder
Tekka

Seeds
Brown sesame seeds

Dried Beans and Other Dried or Frozen Foods
Aduki (azuki), chickpeas (garbanzo),
Lentils (green-brown)
Dried Tofu
Dried Daikon

Beverages
Ohsawa® Kukicha (“Twig Only” Tea)
Roasted Barley Tea (This is not an instant grain coffee. It is whole roasted barley, unsweetened. It has to be brewed before drinking.

Oil untoasted sesame oil
toasted sesame oil

Noodles
Udon (whole wheat)

Prepared Pickles
Organic Takuan-Daikon

Miscellaneous
Kuzu
Brown Rice Mochi (unflavored)
Shiitake Mushrooms (dried)
Tempeh
Tofu (fresh)

BASIC COOKWARE and UTENSILS
4-5 quart stainless steel pressure cooker
Medium-size cast iron skillet
Medium-size salad press
Medium to large suribachi (grinding bowl) with a wooden pestle
5-6 quart Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven or regular cast iron dutch oven
Several pieces of stainless steel cookware (saucepan, skillet, soup pot)
Several sizes of wooden spoons for stirring Carbon steel vegetable cutting knife

WATER It is essential to use the very best water available to you. Mountain Valley Spring Water is far and above the best bottled water in the USA, in our opinion. The fresher and more natural the water, the better. If you cannot find fresh quality spring water, We recommend purchasing a Multi Pure water filter for use at the tap.

————————————————————————————————————

Ohsawa brand products can be purchased from Gold Mind Natural Food 1-800-645-8744 www.goldminenaturalfood.com

If Ohsawa brand products are not available in your area, then use any good quality organic barley miso, shoyu, umeboshi, etc., that you can find.

————————————————————————————————————

Take this list with you to a natural food store and ask the manager to assign an employee to help you find these foods. If they are unavailable locally, then contact one of the macrobiotic mail order services listed on the Where to Buy link in the Getting Started section of the Macrobiotics America web site at www.macroamerica.com.

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Why Do I Recommend A Gas Stove? by David Briscoe

I have received many questions over the years as to why macrobiotics recommends gas over electric or microwave cooking. I recommend gas or flame cooking for the following important reasons:

Much better flavor in foods. The heat of flame cooking more slowly cooks the food, delivering far better flavors. Electric heat cooks food too quickly and the full flavor of grains and vegetables will not be revealed. More seasoning is usually needed with electric cooking.

Energizing. Flame cooking energizes food. Microwave cooking actually de-energizes food.

Especially for creating healing-quality food, I strongly recommend a gas stove.

People who are scientifically minded have often argued with me that there is no difference between the food cooked by electric, microwave, gas or wood heat. I respect their opinions; however, I must base my recommendations on my own experience and that of thousands of other macrobiotic cooks over the years. I believe gas stove cooking to be far superior.

If it is for some reason impossible for you to install a gas stove, I recommend the following:

Small gas tabletop cookers using butane gas cans, available at many kitchen stores (use in well-ventilated area).


Foods to Avoid for Better Health

The following foods are generally considered by traditional macrobiotic health theory to be detrimental to good health. These are basic lists only. There may be other foods, not listed here, that would need to minimized or avoided for an individual’s best health. Consulting with an experienced macrobiotic counselor will help you understand what foods to use and not use for your individual condition.

ANIMAL PRODUCTS Beef, Lamb, Pork (ham, bacon, sausage, etc.) Poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.) Wild Game, Eggs

DAIRY FOODS Cheese Butter Milk (buttermilk, skim milk) Yogurt (including soy yogurt) Kefir Ice Cream Cream Sour Cream Whipped Cream All other milk products All foods with milk products in the ingredients All soy dairy substitutes

SEAFOOD Shrimp, lobster, oysters, clams, all other shellfish

PROCESSED FOODS Instant food, canned food, frozen food, refined (white) flour, polished (white) rice, chewing gum, foods processed with chemicals, preservatives, additives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, artificial coloring, sprayed or dyed foods, genetically engineered foods, irradiated foods, boxed, canned and frozen foods

SWEETENERS Sugar (white, raw, brown, turbinado, etc.) artificial sweeteners: Sweet n’ Low, Nutri-Sweet, etc. Sucanat, Stevia, honey, molasses, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, organic evaporated cane juice, cane juice, cane syrup, pineapple concentrate, agave, Rapudra, date sugar, beet sugar, fructose powder, maple syrup, carob syrup, chocolate, carob, sorghum, and all other concentrated or refined simple sugars and sweeteners, natural or artificial.

STIMULANTS Spices (cayenne, peppers, cumin, curry, etc.) salsa, garlic, coffee, chai, black tea, geen tea, commercially dyed teas, stimulating aromatic teas (herb, mint, ginseng, etc.) Instant grain coffee sweetened with date sugar, beet sugar or other refined sweeteners (Pero, Cafix, etc.)

FATS Lard and all animal fats, soy margarine, other margarine, coconut oil, canola oil, palm oil, soybean oil, flax oil, peanut butter, other nut butters, chemically processed vegetable oils, Omega 3 oil capsules and supplements

TROPICAL FRUITS & JUICES Bananas, pineapple, grapefruit, mangoes, oranges, papaya, kiwi, figs, dates, coconut, plantain, all other tropical fruits – unless you live in a tropical area of the world, and in this can  they be included as a compliment to the main foods – whole grains and vegetables

BEVERAGES Soft drinks (colas, diet colas, 7-Up, Sprite, etc.), alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, etc.), fructose-sweetened drinks, Snapple, Sobee, Gatorade, other “sports drinks,” cane juice sweetened drinks such as Ginger Brew, honey sweetened drinks, all iced or cold drinks All drinks with artificial ingredients Herbal teas

FROZEN FOODS Ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt, frozen custard, Rice Dream, Tofutti, Soy Dream, Soy Delicious, Coconut Bliss, sorbet, frozen vegetables and fruits, frozen dinners, all other frozen foods

OTHER Texturized soy protein (Loma Linda brand, etc.), power bars, Spirulina, Green Magma with dextrose, blue-green algae, all foods manufactured with dextrose, vitamin and mineral supplements unless prescribed by your doctor, including coral calcium, shark cartilage, protein powders, baked flour products (bread, crackers, chips, cakes, cookies, muffins, tortillas, chapatis, flat bread, etc.), pasta made with white flour, overuse of salty foods and seasonings, cold cereal with milk, soy milk, etc. Vinegar (distilled), apple cider vinegar, Ensure, and other “nutrition drinks,” baking powder, baking soda, yeasted bakery goods.

To learn why foods listed here are to be avoided on a self-healing macrobiotic diet, study with experienced macrobiotic teachers is suggested.

Not all foods listed will need to be avoided by everyone. Guidance from an experienced macrobiotic counselor can help you best learn which foods to specifically avoid for your personal condition.


The Basic Macrobiotic Food Categories


The Basic Macrobiotic Diet

Understanding the DAILY MAIN FOODS and the SUPPLEMENTAL FOODS

The basic macrobiotic diet is based on the use of DAILY MAIN FOODS. Then, along with these daily staple foods, certain
SUPPLEMENTAL FOODS are regularly used, increased or decreased according to the individual needs and health condition.
DAILY MAIN FOODS
DAILY: WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains are the daily main food, 30-60% by weight daily
(cooked in ways that are acceptable to the person’s digestion
and appropriate for the current health needs). Almost every macrobiotic meal is centered on whole grain. Sometimes, though,
certain individuals may need to decrease the amount of whole grains and increase the vegetables and other daily foods. A
macrobiotic counselor can help you determine this. If an individual is allergic to gluten or has other reactions to certain whole
grains, then these will need to be avoided and whole grains that can be tolerated would be used instead. It is still possible to
practice a macrobiotic diet even when a person has to temporarily minimize or avoid some of the macrobiotic foods.
DAILY: VEGETABLES
Vegetables are an important part of daily macrobiotic meals, usually 30-40% daily by weight (mostly cooked, though some can
be raw if the person has healthy and strong digestion) It is good to use dark leafy green vegetables daily in addition to other
vegetables. Of course each person is unique and will need to discover the most beneficial way of using vegetables. An
experienced macrobiotic counselor can help. Some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant, are known to contribute to
conditions such as arthritis and other health problems. These may need to be avoided.
DAILY: BEANS and/or OTHER REGULARLY USED PROTEIN-CONCENTRATED FOODS
5-10% beans and/or other protein-concentrated foods like tofu, tempeh, dried tofu, natto
(A variety of these protein-concentrated foods are used in meals throughout the week, not the same one each day. Not every
meal has to include one of the protein-concentrated foods, but at least one or two meals per day, usually lunch and/or dinner.)
DAILY: SEA VEGETABLES
Approximately 1 Tablespoon daily of cooked sea vegetable is a general recommendation.
DAILY: MISO SOUP
1-2 cups of miso soup (usually vegetable-wakame soup seasoned with barley miso) is recommended each day, especially in the
beginning months of a macrobiotic practice.
DAILY: CONDIMENT FOR SPRINKLING ON COOKED WHOLE GRAIN
Condiments such as gomasio (sesame-salt) can be sprinkled lightly on cooked whole grains before eating them.
DAILY: MACROBIOTIC PICKLES
A small amount of macrobiotic pickles (approximately 1 Tablespoon total daily) is recommended with meals to aid digestion.
DAILY: MACROBIOTIC TEA
Kukicha “twig” tea or Bancha “twig & leaf” tea or unsweetened Barley tea are the daily beverages in a traditional macrobiotic
eating practice.
SUPPLEMENTAL FOODS

Depending on the person’s health condition, many of the following supplemental foods may be included daily in small amounts or used less than daily, or in some cases even avoided temporarily.

SUPPLEMENTAL: BREAD, PASTA and OTHER PRODUCTS MADE FROM CRACKED, CRUSHED or ROLLED WHOLE GRAINS
Bread, pasta, crackers, rice cakes, cous cous, cornmeal, tortillas, chapatis, pita bread,
bulghur, oatmeal, cracked wheat, rolled oats, cold cereal, steel cut oats, 7-grain cereal,
cream of wheat, etc.
SUPPLEMENTAL: COOKING OIL and OTHER OIL-CONCENTRATED FOODS
Sesame oil and other vegetable oils, tahini (sesame seed butter), nuts, seeds
SUPPLEMENTAL: FISH and OTHER OCCASIONAL PROTEIN-CONCENTRATED FOODS
Fish, nuts, seeds
SUPPLEMENTAL: FRUITS, DESSERTS, SYRUPS and OTHER SWEET-CONCENTRATED FOODS
Fruits, juices, dried fruits, plain-flavored amasake (a sweet rice concentrate), brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup, macrobiotic
desserts
SUPPLEMENTAL: OTHER TEAS and BEVERAGES
A person in robust good health can use additional natural teas and beverages without sugar, corn syrup and other concentrated
sweeteners.
SEASONINGS

DAILY SEASONINGS
The following seasonings can be used daily, but lightly, in macrobiotic cooking:
Miso, shoyu (natural soy sauce), sea salt, umeboshi vinegar, brown rice vinegar
SUPPLEMENTAL SEASONINGS

There are other seasonings that may also be used by those in robust good health or when recommended by the counselor


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