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What I’m having for breakfast

What I’m having for breakfast

Congee!  Otherwise known as jook.  Or to be really obvious, rice porridge.  Whatever you call it, it’s a traditional Chinese food (although many cultures do something similar) that is very simple to make and extremely nourishing.  The basic recipe is 1 part rice (you can use any kind although whole grain is best) to about 5 times the amount of water, cooked over low heat for several hours.  Then add in whatever else you like, either savory or sweet.  Paul Pitchford gives lots of variations for specific ailments in his amazing book Healing With Whole Foods, such as fennel for stomach upset and gas and sesame seed for moistening the intestines.  The rice alone is very healing to the digestive system, and it’s the perfect delivery system for the other food and herbs you add to the mix.

This evening I’ll put one cup of brown jasmine rice with 5 cups of water in a mini crockpot, with some cinnamon and ginger (extra- warming!), and cook it on low all night.  In the morning – yummy rice porridge.  I may throw a few walnuts and dried cranberries in before I eat it.

Give this a try, especially if you’re still eating cold cereal and skim milk for breakfast heading into the winter.  The cereal/skim milk combo isn’t really healthy anytime of the year – cereal is usually highly-processed, and if it claims to be high in protein, it’s often isolated soy protein which the body can’t utilize; plus without the fat, your body can’t absorb any of the nutrients from the milk.  It’s better to be eating warm foods this time of year, so here’s to warm breakfasts!  And if you’re not up for the congee, maybe some oats (steel-cut are best and they cook up really fast in the morning if you soak them the night before).  Or millet.

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