Recipe for Nourishing Beauty – Sweet Rice Congee

Sweet black rice, when cooked with longan berries (euphoria longana) and Chinese dates, becomes a congee that nourishes blood and Qi.

In the Oriental medicine system of food cures, these three foods work together to enhance beauty and longevity.

• The sweet rice promotes the flow of liver Qi, which helps keep angry feelings at bay and leads to calmness.

• The Chinese dates (different from the Mediterranean variety) nourish blood and spleen, promoting restful sleep and mental clarity.

• Longan fruit, a blood enhancer, was used by the ancients to add luster to the skin. From a Western perspective, we know that longans contain large amounts of Vitamin C and phenolic compounds, which may help to detoxify and protect the liver.

Recipe: Sweet Rice Congee
(Taken from Ancient Healing for Modern Women, by Dr. Xiolan Zhao, C.M.D.)

Ingredients:

6 cups water

1 cup black sweet rice (wash before using)

½ cup dried longan fruit

10 Chinese dates

2 tablespoons raw sugar

½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Instructions:

In a large heavy saucepan, add 6 cups of water, black sweet rice, longan fruit, dates, and raw sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Garnish with ginger. Makes four servings.

Note: All ingredients are available at most Asian grocery stores.

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