Meyer Lemons

I bought these delicious Meyer Lemons this week. Perfect time because my kids got a mild cold. Nothing better than this natural remedy. These Meyers Lemons taste a bit like chinese kumquat which hydrate kids throat pefectly if they have dry throat as well. Simply squeezing these fresh lemon juice with water will instantly enhance your water taste! Love love these Meyer lemons!

Quick cold remedy: Mix fresh Meyer lemons slices with honey and ginger juice. If your kids have sore throat, I will add a pinch of salt in drink. Happy Recovery !

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Fighting Cough Series

Fighting Cough Series

Serie 2: Dry Coughdrymandarin

Dry coughs are persistent cough and they could last forever and nothing is worse than hearing your kids coughing nonstop and seemingly no end in sight. Here I have prepared a few soup and drink recipes that is well suited for kids and adult. They will help your “coughers” feel better and with the belief that a well hydrated and nourished lungs, it could help to cure the dry coughing. We try to provide drinks and soup to ensure good liquid intake and also to nurish their lungs back to shape. Here are a couple of recipes I use for my family that I like to share today.

 

Drink 1:

Ingredients:

Chinese almond (south and north) 10g

*One asian pear (remove core keep the skin)

Some rock sugar to taste

Method: boil all ingredients in 500ml water for 20 min

* If no asian pear at home, it could replace with apple but better result with asian

**optional, add fritillaria bulbs or powder about 1-2 tsp

 

Drink 2:

Ingredients:

Peppermint 6g

Upright ladybell root沙參9g

Liquorice root甘草根 4g

Method: boil all ingredients in 750ml water for 20 min

 

Drink 3:

Ingredients:

Fresh peppermint 10g

reed rhizome芦根45g

Method:  Clean and cut into fine pieces, steep the ingredients in boiling water for 10 min. Drink the warm solution frequently

 

Soup recipe 1:  

Ingredients:

2 Dried persimmon柿饼

3 candied dates蜜枣

Tangine peel陈皮

10 g Chinese almonds

A piece small pork

Method: boil 45-50 min in 1.3 liter of water, gives about 3-4 small bowl of soup, add salt to taste.

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Chinese dry fig

I love to use dry fig in my chinese soups. Lately, I have incorporated some dry figs into my daughter’s congee. Dry fig has sweet taste and throat soothing effect. A great list of benefits are hiding in this little fruit.

  • help and soothe sore throat (Recipe 1)
  • help dry cough and asthma
  • moisten dry lungs that are caused by dry cough or dry weather
  • help soothe weaken lungs cause by prolonged coughing (Recipe 2)
  • nourish stomach and promote digestion
  • promote fluid production through meridians of the lungs

dried fig

Recipes: 

  1. Ingredients: 1 or 2 dry figs, 1/2 cup of water. Method: boil ingredients a few minutes and drink liquid a few times a day
  2. Ingredients: 4 dry figs, 2 apples, 2 tsp chinese almond, a few white fungus, a piece of pork. Method: boil as a soup boil for about 45 min in 5 cup of water. (Tip 1)

Tips:

  1. Use soup to incorporate in your baby’s congee making. Great taste and promote baby’s health. Remember not to add salt.

 

References: 

http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/soothing-dry-cough-figs

http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/9-ways-to-use-figs-as-a-natural-remedy/

 

 

Chinese Coughing Remedies

Serie 1: Understanding cough 101

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Today, we are going to focus on learning all types of coughs. Coughing gives mommies worries and sleepless nights. I am constantly reading and updating myself with Chinese articles and learning about how to combat ugly coughs. We treat different coughs with different foods and herbal combinations. So let’s start Coughing 101 today!

When coughing starts, don’t wait, analyze the symptoms and treat it right away. When my son comes back from daycare with a cough, if times allow, I will make some herbal tea on the same night and feed him before he goes to bed. I like to treat my patient (son and husband!) for about 3-5 consecutive days, feeding them morning and night (don’t be lazy).  At my opinion, coughs could heal fast if appropriate herbal tea is given on time. However, if your little guy caught a bacteria then is better to go consult your own family doctor. My son caught a bacteria from daycare lately. I made him one week of herbal tea and soup, the cough turn better but is still ugly and come deep from his lungs. At the doctor, while my son acting super healthy and running around lol. She told me that my son got bronchitis and he needs to be on antibiotic. So mommies, use your judgement and reach your family doctor to get additional information and help.

What you need to know is herbal tea or Chinese nourishing soup come to protect and boots your lung’s immune system. I made an easy and useful summary charts down below. Hope it will be especially useful for all mommies with winter season coming along! There are basically three main types of coughs, each of them has different symptoms and requires different food and remedies. Happy reading !

Coughing remedies for each type of coughs series are coming along, stay tune!

Type of Coughs Symptoms Requires Recommanded food Food to avoid

 

Cold Cough  

Cough along with thin and white phlegm

 

 

 

Promote the dispersing of coldness, reduce secretion and relieve coughing

 

 

Ginger, onion, green onion, cooked radish, Tangerine peel, garlic, Fritillaria bulbs (chuan bei) and pumpkin

 

Cold property food, froze, raw greasy or difficult to digest; banana, plum, fresh melons, peppermint

 

 

 

Heat Cough

 

Cough along with yellow and thick phlegm

 

 

 

Cooling effect and help dissolve phlegm

 

Tangerine peel, arhat fruit, Fresh radish, fresh lotus root, bean curd, pear, loquat fruit, fig, apple, coconut, star fruit, olive, bean sprouts, peppermint, chrysanthemum, fresh or dried long li leaf, Fritillaria bulbs (chuan bei), kelp, seaweed, duck meat and water chestnut

 

 

Hot and greasy; ginseng, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, longan fruit, litchi and red dates

 

 

Dry cough/Chronic

 

Perssitent cough, no phlegm

 

 

 

Nourish dry or possibly damaged lungs, promote the tissue repairing

 

Lily bulb, sugarcane, honey, white fungus, black fungus, dried persimmon, fresh or dried long li leaf ,almond, pear, maltose, tomato, mulberry,

loquat fruit, figs, duck meat and Fritillaria bulbs (chuan bei)

 

 

Hot and Spciy food

Great reference:

http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/exam/cough_sees.html

 

Chinese Fungus

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There are varieties of fungus in Chinese cuisine; the most common ones are white and black fungus. I am not an expert in any way in regards to Chinese herbs, but I eat and use fungus in my day to day cooking. Recently, I have a friend who is asking for ideas of how to use them. So wanted to just share of what I know and also some useful recipes inspiration.

Without going too complicated, here I made a listing some simple benefits of white and black fungus:

White fungus:

Benefits:

  • Help dry cough
  • Dry throat
  • Cough with no phlegm
  • Beauty enhancer to improve complexion (to all my mommies yay!)
  • Fight inflammation which will slow aging process
  • Protect liver

Cooking inspiration:

Soup 1 recipe: 1 cup* white fungus, 1 1/2 -2 Asian pear, 1 tbsp Chinese almonds,  about 1 cup pork ribs (Tip 3)

Soup 2 recipe: 1 cup *white fungus, 5 dry figs, 2 slices ginger, 1 tbsp Chinese almonds, 1 cup pork (Tip 3)

Dessert 1 recipe: 1 cup* white fungus, 1/2 small papaya, 1 tbsp Chinese almonds, rock sugar to your taste

Dessert 2 recipe: 1 cup* white fungus, 5-10 red dates, 1 Asian pear, 4 dried longan, Chinese almonds, rock sugar to your taste

Black fungus (black cloud ears and dried black ears):

Benefit:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Improve blood circulation and soften blood veins
  • Contains high iron (highest amount vegetables)
  • Great source of calcium
  • Good “absorbent” of toxins then expel from your body

Cooking Inspiration:

Dishes 1 asparagus sauté: ½ cup* black fungus, 1 cup asparagus, 1 cup carrots, 2 cloves garlic, (see sauce**)

Dishes 2 zucchini sauté: ½ cup* black fungus, 1 chicken breast, 1 tbsp Goji, 2 cups zucchini, ½ cup onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (see sauce**)

Dishes 3 Chinese steam chicken: ¼ cup* black fungus, 4 boneless chickens legs (marinate with 1 tsp ginger juice), 1 tbsp Goji, 1 Chinese dry sausage. 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, salt to adjust your taste

Salad a la fungus: 1 ½ cup* black fungus, 1/2 -1 tsp finely minced garlic, 2 tbsp Chinese black rice vinegar, 1tsp sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce, salt to adjust taste

Tips:

  1. * Please use quantity after having soaked your fungus (rehydrated fungus). You will need to soak your dry fungus for at least a good 10-15 min before usage.
  2. During a cold or flu, or if you have diarrhea or aversion to cold, it is better not to consume white fungus.
  3. They are about 2-3 people serving. You could use double boiling soup making to make the soup recipe or just put all ingrédient in a pot (see picture below)
  4. **Sauce: once all ingredient cooked, add this sauce to finish the cooking: 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, ½ tsp sugar, 1 tbsp chicken broth or water, 1 tsp corn starch

 

References:

http://www.tastehongkong.com/ingredients/white-fungus-benefits-and-a-few-how-to/

http://www.dobbyssignature.com/2012/06/black-fungus-health-benefits-anticancer.html

http://www.herbmuseum.ca/content/medicinal-benefits-snow-fungus

 

 

Chinese Beauty Congee (Detox)

Chinese Beauty Congee (Detox)

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As I aged, I have became more cautious of food I choose to eat and I also got interested into Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine had existed for so many years for a reason. Each food has its function and if we use them intelligently, it could help us to enhance our health and cure our body. I have used this congee recipe as my breakfast, it helped me to detox and expel toxins out of my body.  I feel more energized, better skin and also loose some weight. For those who are interested by Chinese medicine, I have listed the benefits of each ingredient down below.

 

 

Ingredient:

  • Glutinous rice 2/8 cup
  • Millet 1/8 cup
  • Black rice 1/8 cup
  • Pearl Barley 1/8 cup
  • Adzuki bean (red bean) 1/8 cup
  • Chinese red dates a pinch
  • Goji a pinch
  • Brown sugar in piece (I use ½ – 1 piece depending on your liking)

Method:

  1. Soak all grain and rice overnight (optional, but this save me time soak them in advance for next day cooking time)
  2. Wash all your grain and rice a few time
  3. Boil 9-10 cup of water depending the consistency you like
  4. Once water boiled, add all grain and rice including Goji and red dates
  5. Cook for about 1 hr, between medium low to low fire. To save time, you could also use pressure cooker 45min-50min
  6. Add sugar
  7. ready to serve

Tips:

  1. Here are some of the benefits of the congee ingredients. If you wish to know more, please read the references below.
    1. Glutinous rice: provide warm energy in body, good for weak stomach condition person
    2. Millet: remove humidity inside body, strengthen the spleen and nourish liver
    3. Black rice: reinforcing body fluid, tonify kidney and make blood flow smoothly, help to cure; white hair, dizzy, anemia and constipation
    4. Pearl Barley: tonify lung, expel toxins, remove dampness and cool body
    5. Adzuki bean (red bean): resolve toxin and expel pus
    6. Chinese red dates: improve immunity, decrease level of cholesterol in your bloodstream, which helps to protect liver
    7. Goji: strengthen kidney, anti-aging effect and reduce blood sugar

 

References: (for further reading):

http://www.chineseherbshealing.com/adzuki-beans-chi-xiao-dou/

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2012/03/red-dates-the-healthiest-fruit-on-earth/

http://www.pingminghealth.com/article/791/health-benefits-of-goji-berries/

http://www.chinesemedicinejournal.com/regimen-of-black-rice/

 

 

Coughing – Mandarin Peel (陳皮)

drymandarin

My family uses a lot of dry mandarin peel either as medicine or in cooking recipe. There are many benefits in this food that is really worth to talk about.

Some great benefits[1]  are: (1) Reduce phlegm (2) Relief in coughing (3) reduce nausea (4) enhance digestion.

Taste: Little bitter and acrid

How I use it: make tea, minced them on put on top of my chinese steam pork patties, add in my congee recipes

Here I am sharing an Herbal tea recipe that I made this week for my son and husband. They just started to cough, I usually make this herbal tea as soon as I hear them starting coughing. This drink is more effective to use as soon as the cough starts.

Ingredients:

  • Mandarin peel 1-2 full pieces
  • Water 5 cups
  • Apple 2-3 (for better taste)
  • Chinese almonds (optional)

Method:

1-Put Dry mandarin peel in water to hydrate them, leave for 10 min

2-Clean wash dry mandarin peel; scratch the inside of the peel to remove some skin off. I found by doing so it lighten the bitter taste, kids like it better with reduced bitter taste.

3-Cut apple in half, keep the apple peels on

4-Boil hot water

5-Put all ingredient to boil medium heat for 30-35 min

6-Ready to serve

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  1. If you have young baby under one year old; like my daughter, I just give her the apple sauce from the apples I cook from the drink. It is totally natural and she is not intaking the mandarin peel directly. But yet, the nutriant of mandarin peel water is infused in the apple would relief in her coughing. I prefer this method rather than feeding her the coughing syrup. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, coughing syrup don’t work on young children and may even post risk. [4] I have been using this drink on my daughter and it really had relieved her coughing.

2.For older kids, they could take this drink as juice and it will relief or prevent coughing.

3.Possible to serve this recipe with a little honey if you prefer to add some sweetness. Honey is excellent in soothing throat during coughing moments. Please be very careful not to feed honey to baby under 12 months. Consult with your family doctor.

4.The above recipe is preferably avoided by pregnant woman. Large amount of dry mandarin peel could increase uterus and intestinal wall contraction. This increases the risk of miscarriage.[3]

5.Dry mandarin peel could possibly reduce milk production for breastfeeding mummies, is to avoid if you plan to continue breastfeeding your baby[2].

References (for further readings): 

[1]            http://www.esgreen.com/info/about-dried-tangerineor-orange-peel-chen-pi/

[2] http://www.mama.cn/z/12595/

[3] http://www.freewebs.com/jumblebox/healthF/oren.html#sthash.FboWJk4C.dpuf

[4]  http://www.webmd.com/children/news/20120806/mom-was-right-honey-can-calm-cough