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Sweet Rice Balls—Black Rice Ohagi

By Bettina Zumdick

This dessert is wonderful for the winter time - rich, nourishing and warming.

1 cup sticky black rice (Thai sweet black rice or sweet brown rice)

1 - 1 ¼ cups water

1 pinch of salt

½ cup walnuts, lightly roasted, then finely chopped

½ cup mulberries or raisins, minced

¼ cup dried apricots, minced

2 - 3 tablespoons rice syrup

1 teaspoon barley miso mixed with 1 teaspoon sweet miso such as chickpea miso

shredded coconut for garnish


1. Place black sweet rice with water and salt into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.

2. Turn the heat down to very low or place a flame deflector under the pot and simmer for 40 minutes.

3. Immediately after the rice is cooked, add nuts and dried fruit into the rice, mix well and let it sit until it cools.

4. Add rice syrup and miso into a saucepan and heat slowly until well mixed.

5. Mold the rice into small spheres (no bigger than a golf ball) and top with a small amount of rice syrup-miso mixture.

6. Serve with shredded coconut garnish.


By Naomi Ichikawa Esko

Kanten, or agar, a gelatinous substance made from a red sea algae known as tengusa, offers a healthy vegan alternative to Jell-O and other gelatin-based products. The process of making kanten is natural and labor intensive. It makes use of natural sunlight and freezing cold to turn the boiled sea vegetable liquid into dried strips. Only a handful of producers in Japan still produce kanten in the traditional way.


Agar has been used traditionally in Asia as an ingredient in desserts. In macrobiotic cooking we use it to prepare a variety of cooling and refreshing kanten desserts, which have the texture and feel of Jell-O without the harmful ingredients. Kanten dessert is a perfect way to soften hardness, discharge excess yang, and prepare for sprin


3 cups apple cider

pinch of salt

1 ½ teaspoon kanten flakes


1. Place apple cider in a saucepan and add kanten flakes.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer until thoroughly dissolved.

3. Add a pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil.

4. Pour into a mold or individual serving cups.

5. Refrigerate until jelled. Serve chilled as a refreshing dessert.


Note: Bring the liquid to a complete boil for the best results.

White Kidney Bean—Green Tea Kanten

By Naomi Ichikawa Esko

¼ package of bar kanten* (soak for ½ hour) or 1 ½ tsp. kanten flakes

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup brown rice syrup

pinch of sea salt

1 cup white kidney beans (boil until soft then puree in a skillet)

1 tbsp. Matcha green tea powder * (dissolved in 2 tbsp. water)

Goji berries for garnish


Place 2 cups water, soaked bar kanten, sea salt, and maple and rice syrup in a pot. Simmer over a medium flame, stirring constantly until kanten melts completely. Once the kanten has melted, bring a boil, again stirring constantly. (It is important to bring the liquid to a boil; otherwise the kanten may not jell.)


Turn flame to low, add pureed beans and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly until smooth and slightly thick. Take care not to burn. Turn off flame, add dissolved Matcha, and mix.


Pour the liquid into a container to set. Place the container of kanten in a larger container of ice water (the ice water should not go over the height of the mold.) When the liquid becomes like a soft jelly, place in the refrigerator and chill for 3 to 4 hours. Cut into 2-inch squares, top with Goji berries, and serve.


*Available from

Creamy Strawberry Mousse

By Judy MacKenney

This is a delightful strawberry mousse.


Almond Milk

¼ cup almonds

1 cup boiling water

1 pinch sea salt



¼ cup brown rice syrup

2 Tbsp agar flakes

1 pinch sea salt

1 pint fresh strawberries

Rind, grated from ½ of a lemon

Juice from ½ of a lemon

1 tsp natural vanilla flavor

2 Tbsp kuzu, dissolved in ¼ cup cool water

Whole strawberries for garnish, washed


1. To make “almond milk,” place almonds, hot water and salt in a blender and blend until puréed and strained.

2. Combine almond milk, brown rice syrup, agar flakes and another pinch of salt in a medium saucepan.

3. Simmer until flakes have dissolved (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally, then pour into blender.

4. Set aside 4-6 strawberries for garnish.

5. Remove stems from remaining strawberries and place in blender.

6. Add lemon juice, grated rind and dissolved kuzu.

7. Blend for 1 minute, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

8. Whip mixture with a hand mixer, then refrigerate an additional hour until firm.

9. Spoon into serving dishes and garnish with a strawberry.

Notes: You may substitute other berries. You may substitute 1 cup rice or soy beverage for “almond milk”.

Adapted from:  Lenore’s Natural Cuisine by Lenore Baum.

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