Maintaining digestive health is essential for our overall well-being and ensuring our bodies are in balance. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) strongly emphasise digestive support, which serve both culinary and therapeutic purposes. As we move into the colder months, it is important that we keep our digestive fire alive by nourishing it with warm, slow cooked meals for easy digestion. Congee is a loose rice soup that has been considered a medicinal meal in China since 206 BCE. It benefits the Stomach, Spleen and Intestines and is particularly suitable for those with gastrointestinal issues, or long-term chronic health conditions.
Congee is a great meal for any time of the year; however, it is especially beneficial in the autumn and as the weather gets cooler. One Chinese medicine principle is to eat with the seasons, and as it gets cooler outside, it is important to eat warm foods. The body’s digestion is like a heater and works best when it is warm and is given warm, nourishing foods. Cold and raw foods, such as smoothies and icy drinks, are harder for the body to digest and can lead to indigestion, bloating, and feeling fatigued after a meal. Medicinally, congee is used to promote strong digestion and good health. This porridge is easy to digest, harmonises digestion and supplements Blood and Qi. Congee is also beneficial for relieving inflammation and nourishing the immune system.
Congee is made with rice and water that is cooked low and slow on the stove or crockpot until it transforms into a creamy porridge consistency. It is a common home remedy for when you are sick with a cold, flu, cough or are recovering from any digesting upset or stomach flu.
- 1 cup of uncooked white of jasmine rice
- 8 cups of water
- Combine rice and water in a pot
- Bring the rice and water up to a boil, then cook on low with the pot covered with the lid slightly ajar for 90 minutes
- Stir occasionally to ensure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot
- Portion in glass containers for easy reheating
- Top with toppings of your choice when serving
- Nuts: peanuts, cashews, almonds, peanut butter
- Seeds: pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds
- Sweet: goji berries, honey, cinnamon, bananas, Chinese red dates, ginger