One cool thing that I have learned through macrobiotics is the use of a variety of condiments at the table. These aren’t the kind of condiments, like mayo, ketchup and mustard, that many of us grew up with in the US. These are condiments specifically used to add minerals and create balance with both your condition and the environment.
Through the wise use of items like gomashio, shiso powder, tekka, and toasted seeds, we can help add minerals and balance our condition at the table. Consider a family with a variety of different health needs. One may need a low salt diet, one needs to increase iron and another needs to add calories and richness. By using condiments at the table, you can make a low salt rice dish, as an example, and then different members of the family can use condiments to add elements to support their own health.Even Uncle Joe who is visiting and not that interested in health can add a condiment that will help add flavor. It’s a beautiful way to be able to cook for the whole family and adjust for a variety of needs at the table.
Many of the condiments I learned about are Japanese in origin, but every long standing societies has their version, often in a particular spice blend or fermented food used at the table to aid digestion or to create balance with the external environment.
One condiment that I have been using more often is furikake. Often a blend of sesame seeds, sea vegetables and sea salt, furikake is a wonderful way to add some minerals and flavor to a grain dish. By sprinkling it on at the table or when plating, it adds visual appeal and flavor and can really elevate the meal.
There are many recipes online, but they often contain sugar. I have yet to make this on my own, but have found a brand that I love: Muso Organic Furikake. It comes in a variety of flavors and can be purchased online through Health Goods and Goldmine Natural Foods.
I have tried several different flavors. My favorites are the ume and nori varieties. I love sprinkling it on my grain. One word to the wise, a little goes a long way. Use moderation with all the condiments because many of them do add salt to the dish, and they do have a healing quality that is best used with some mindfulness.