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Winter-warming recipe: Sweet Potato Delights – Junko Maria Furugori

sweet potato delights This was one of the desserts served at this year’s Autumn Retreat and it brought some openly expressed delight around the lunch table. I had fun adapting Japanese macrobiotic chef, Deco Nakajima’s recipe. The more juicy nature of the orange -fleshed sweet potatoes we get here in England, compared to the yellow-fleshed ones more common in Japan, called for a few extra ingredients to create a good consistency. The only secret to making this easy and quick: cook the sweet potatoes and apple until just soft enough to be able to mash. If you feel adventurous try discovering and using different varieties of sweet potatoes. Enjoy!

Ingredients (to make approximately 16 portions)

3 medium Sweet potatoes (steamed, peeled and mashed)
1 Apple (peeled and cut into cubes)
3 Dried apricots (chopped)
½ Sea salt
2 tbsp Tahini
¼ Vanilla essence
30-50g Ground almonds
Cinnamon powder to taste
Rind of 1 orange
A dash of oat or other grain milk


  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°C, Gas Mark 5.
  • Dip the apple cubes in salted water (approx. ½ tsp + 100ml water) and place in a small saucepan. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder and simmer with the lid on until soft enough to mash.
  • Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, apples, apricots, sea salt, tahini, vanilla essence and orange rind in a bowl. Add the quantity of ground almonds to create a thick enough mixture to form into mini sweet potato shapes. Adjust with the oat milk as necessary.
  • Use two spoons or a wet cloth to form the shapes and lay on an oiled baking tray.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder and serve either hot or cold.

Okido Yoga Course in Belgium 11-16 November 2012 at Intenational Shiatsu School – Participant's Reports

This week has given me a lot of joy. The first meeting with the other students went well. The group was diverse mixture with men and women in reasonable proportion, and there were some people I already knew. We had some lessons together with the students from the other courses (Taiko and Purification), which brought dynamics and comfort in the group. And after I got to know the others better, I realised that several women had the same problems as I, which gave me even more connection to the group.

We started the day with the wonderful exercises that I have been accustomed to all these years through the shiatsu training. The food was delicious and like a treat because at home I have to take care for my husband and son and here it was like a holiday. Tomoko’s yoga lessons were fascinating. They were sometimes challenging, but she helped us very well to get the right attitudes and made more aware of our own body.

The taiko lessons by Grete were a welcome surprise, and despite of my sore arms, shoulders and neck, I was not bothered by that, in my surprise. In fact it felt good. This was something I needed, to build up condition in a good way. So it is definitely worth of repeating. Jan’s lessons gave a good balance to the other lessons, and were very pleasant and interesting. When we had a treatment time every night, I enjoyed both giving and receiving.

A very nice group, a lovely week. Great experience. I met many nice people, amazing teachers and cooking crew. I was glad that the staff people also participated in the lessons. I enjoyed the course, and will come back as soon as possible. Thank you! (Jenny Coppelmans - www.jennysmassage.nl)

taiko lesson do-in lesson

It was a great week and just what I needed. For the last few years, I was stuck in a low point. I am almost recovered, but the process has not finished yet. This week was tremendous. In the taiko lessons, I re-found pleasure to express myself physically in a beneficial way. In the lessons with Tomoko, I re-found the stability and subtlety of the body. These experiences were to feel the subtlety of the body, to let everything cooperate and activate, and to use all capacity. I feel; training of the body is training of the mind, and it is the basic support for all we do in our creativity to reach the maximum joy, gratitude and expression.

I may be a bit over-joyed at present, and now have to translate this into my daily life to carry on my work, as promising not to avoid but to face difficulties and challenges without fear. I feel myself growing to be stronger and positive. The process to reach my deeper level has been on for a while, and this week was an extra push into this direction. (J.V)

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