Azuki Bean and Squash Soup by Sommer White, MD
1 ½ cups azuki beans, washed and soaked 6-8 hours
6 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 inch piece kombu, soaked
1 cup onion, diced
2 cups winter squash (kabocha, butternut, acorn), small cube
Pinch of sea salt
4 cups vegetable broth
2 large carrots, chopped
2 T white miso, diluted in ¼ cup soup broth
½ t sea salt
½ cup minced parsley
1. Combine azuki beans with water, kombu and bay leaves in a stockpot and bring to a boil.
2. Simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes, until azuki beans get tender but not mushy.
3. Add a pinch of salt, broth, onions, and squash, and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Add carrots and simmer for 5 more minutes
Sweet Potato Bars with Date-Pecan Crust and Pecan Cream by Anna Aeschlimann
This sweet potato dessert can be served as a bar, a pie, or a custard. If you are short on time, opt for the custard as it skips the crust. The pecan cream is a delicious addition to any form of this dessert, but if you are pressed for time feel free to skip it, as the dessert is delicious all by itself.
Makes 9 bars (using a 8’’ x 8’’ x 2’’ baking pan), 1 tart (using a 9-inch tart pan) or 8 custards (using individual ramequins)
For the Date-Pecan Crust
1.5 cups toasted pecans
9 tablespoons dried Medjool dates, pitted and chopped small
1/16 teaspoon sea salt
To make the crust
Place the nuts and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are ground well, but not powdery. Take care not to over process otherwise you will end up with nut butter! Add the chopped dates, 2 tablespoons at a time. Wait until the dates are thoroughly combined with the nuts before adding the next tablespoons. You should now have a sticky mixture that holds together. Press this into your oiled pan to form the crust.
For the Sweet Potato Filling
4 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice (alternatively use 2 cups of sweet potato puree from a package)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup rice syrup
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon + 1/16 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups soymilk, divided (if you are sensitive to soy use another plant-based milk, such as almond milk or rice milk. Just make sure that the milk is unsweetened.)
¼ cup agar flakes
4 teaspoons kuzu
To make the sweet potato filling
In a small saucepan soak the agar flakes in 1.75 cups of the soymilk for 15 minutes. While you’re waiting for the flakes to soak prepare the other ingredients.
Place the sweet potato in a small saucepan and add water to halfway cover (about ¾ cup). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the salt and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender. Remove the lid and cook until all liquid has evaporated. It’s okay if the sweet potatoes turn mushy in this process, as you will be blending them anyways.
Place the sweet potato in a food processor and blend, starting on the lowest setting and ending on the highest. Blend until completely smooth. You may need to turn the blender off, scrape the sides, and re-blend several times to achieve this.
Measure out 2 level cups of sweet potato puree. If you have extra puree save this to eat as a snack or as part of a meal later on – it’s delicious. Place the 2 cups of sweet potato in a high-speed blender along with the maple syrup, rice syrup, almond butter, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
In a small measuring cup dissolve the kuzu in ¼ cup of the soymilk. Bring the agar-soymilk mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Stirring constantly prevents the flakes from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan and helps them dissolve evenly. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until the flakes are completely dissolved.
Bring the mixture back to a boil. Stir the kuzu-mixture (as it sits, the kuzu tends to collect at the bottom). Gradually pour the kuzu into the boiling agar, while stirring constantly. Take care to make sure the kuzu is fully incorporated into the boiling agar before adding more. Once all the kuzu has been added, simmer for 1 minute.
With the blender running on the lowest setting pour the agar-kuzu mixture through the feed tube. Replace the top and blend on the highest setting until completely smooth. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and blend on the lowest setting just to incorporate, about 5 seconds.
Pour the filling over the crust. Let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature, then carefully cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely set, about 1 hour.
For the Pecan Cream
½ cup toasted pecans
1.25 teaspoons agar powder
1/3 cup chilled kukicha tea
2 tablespoons rice syrup
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/16 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla
To make the pecan cream
In a small saucepan soak the agar powder in 1/3 cup of the chilled kukicha (make sure the kukicha is chilled, otherwise the flakes will not dissolve).
Place the pecans in a small blender (a vitamix will be too large). Blend until you have pecan butter, turning the blender off and scraping the sides as needed. This may take some time. Add the maple syrup, rice syrup, and salt.
Bring the agar-kukicha mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1 minute. Pour the agar mixture into the blender. Blend on the highest setting for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and blend just to incorporate, about 5 seconds.
Pour into a small pyrex container and refrigerate until completely set, anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
You will now have a very firm mixture. Place the mixture in a blender by the spoonful to help break it up. Blend until completely smooth. This cream is thick and sturdy enough to put through a piping bag. Once the sweet potato filling is set, decorate the top with the pecan cream as you like. Enjoy!
 Pecans are most delicious when roasted in the oven on a low temperature (225 °F) for several hours: Rinse and drain the nuts, then spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Stir every 15 minutes to make sure they roast evenly. The process could take up to 2 hours. If you are short on time, roast the pecans in a cast-iron skillet over a medium flame on the stovetop.
A note on agar-agar: Agar-agar is a sea vegetable that is sold in the form of bars, flakes, and powder. This recipe uses agar flakes and agar powder as they are more widely available. The powder is up to five times more concentrated than the flakes, so the two cannot be used interchangeably.
Cashew-Lemon Kanten with Blueberry Sauce by Anna Aeschlimann
½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in 1.5 cups of spring water
2 tablespoons + 2.5 teaspoons rice syrup
2 tablespoons + 2.5 teaspoons maple syrup
1/16 teaspoon sea salt
4.5 teaspoons agar flakes
1 teaspoon kuzu
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (zest the lemon before juicing it. Reserve the zest to garnish the kanten.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan soak the agar flakes in ½ cup of spring water for 15 minutes. While you’re waiting for the flakes to soak, prepare the other ingredients.
Pour the soaked cashews through a fine-mesh strainer, rinse thoroughly with fresh water, and place in a high-speed blender.
Add ½ cup of spring water and blend, starting on the lowest setting and ending on the highest. Blend until completely smooth. You may need to turn the blender off, scrape the sides, and reblend several times to achieve this.
Add the rice syrup, maple syrup, and salt, and blend on the highest setting.
Pour the mixture into a measuring cup that holds minimum 2 cups of liquid. You should have 1 cup + 1/3 cup. If not, add the balance in spring water. Return mixture to the blender.
In a small measuring cup dissolve the kuzu in 1 tablespoon of spring water.
Bring the agar-water mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Stirring constantly prevents the flakes from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan and helps them dissolve evenly. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until the flakes are completely dissolved.
Bring the mixture back to a boil. Stir the kuzu-mixture (as it sits, the kuzu tends to collect at the bottom). Gradually pour the kuzu into the boiling agar, while stirring constantly. Take care to make sure the kuzu is fully incorporated into the boiling agar before adding more. Once all the kuzu has been added, simmer for 2 minutes.
With the blender running on the lowest setting pour the agar-kuzu mixture through the feed tube. Replace the top and blend on the highest setting for 1 minute.
Pour the mixture into a measuring cup that holds minimum 3 cups of liquid. Whisk in the vanilla and the lemon juice.
Pour into four or five ramekins. Take care to leave about 2 inches of space at the top of each ramekin so the blueberry sauce will comfortably fit. Cover with plastic wrap (the plastic wrap prevents a film from forming on the top) and place in the fridge to set for about one hour.
1 cup fresh blueberries
¾ cup apple juice
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 teaspoons kuzu
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a small measuring cup dissolve the kuzu in 2 tablespoons of the apple juice.
Pour the rest of the apple juice into a small saucepan. Add the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stirring constantly prevents the sweeteners from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Bring back to a boil. Stir the kuzu-mixture. Gradually pour the kuzu into the boiling apple juice, while stirring constantly. Take care to make sure the kuzu is fully incorporated into the boiling juice before adding more. Once all the kuzu has been added, simmer for 2 minutes.
Stir in the blueberries. Wait for the mixture to start bubbling again gently. Do not increase the heat – blueberries have very sensitive skins that rupture when heated rapidly which makes the presentation of the dessert less beautiful.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice. The blueberries should have released some of their juice turning the sauce a vibrant purple. Pour into a pyrex container, cover, and let rest until the cashew-lemon kanten is set.
Once the kanten is set, spoon the blueberry sauce overtop. For optimal taste and texture let the kanten come to room temperature before garnishing with lemon zest and serving. Enjoy!