Tag Archives: Foods

Ten Healing Foods Used in Chinese Herbal Medicine

When we think about Chinese medicine, most of us immediately think of acupuncture, however, the use of herbs in healing is a cornerstone of Chinese medicine, too. The theory behind herbal medicine is that each herb exerts several different effects on the body through its inherent temperature, actions, and the organ(s) that it affects.

Like herbs, foods also have healing properties. However, some foods have stronger actions on the body and are in fact considered herbs as well as foods. Among them:

Ginger is best known for its ability to settle an upset stomach. Also considered a very warm herb, ginger can be combined with scallions in broth to fight off the early stages of a cold.

Walnuts have been getting the thumbs up lately as a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. However, walnuts are also used in Chinese herbal formulas and in food therapy to moisten the intestines and relieve constipation. Walnuts are also considered a good tonic for the Chinese Kidney – think longevity.

Watermelon is a food you often crave on a hot, humid day, and for good reason. Watermelon is cooling and moistening, and is used in Chinese medicine for a condition called Summerheat, which is that blah nauseous feeling you get when it’s really hot and sticky out.

Mung beans are also good for Summerheat. Boil the mung beans until they are soft and drink the water they were cooked in. If that sounds gross, just add a little broth, seasoning and some vegetables, and make it into a soup.

Cinnamon is warm and gets your energy moving. It’s good if you have a cold with lots of aches and pains.

Scallions are also warming and dispersing (moving). They are most commonly used in the early stages of a cold boiled with ginger. Drink the broth and go to bed – these herbs are used to cause a mild sweat, which can diffuse a cold before it gets too severe.

Hawthorne fruit can be found in Asian markets, as a supplement, or as a sour candy called Hawflakes. Hawthorne is good for something called food stagnation in Chinese medicine, which is similar to indigestion.

Garlic is known to kill parasites. It’s used as a flu preventative in Chinese medicine, as well as for food toxicity (food poisoning), with symptoms such as diarrhea and dysentery.

Chinese dates are great to tonify the Chinese Spleen. Signs of a Spleen weakness include shortness of breath, fatigue, poor appetite, lack of energy. Chinese dates can also be found in Asian markets and some health food stores. They can be eaten alone or added to salads and other dishes.

In the last couple of years, Goji berries have gotten a lot of attention as a food for health and longevity. Also known as Chinese Wolfberries, Goji berries are red, sweet and sour, and can be eaten or added to foods like raisins. In Chinese herbal medicine Goji berries are used for eye problems like blurred vision and diminished eyesight due to aging. Eating Goji berries for longevity wouldn’t be wrong, as they also benefit the Chinese Kidneys, which are associated with aging.

Lynn Jaffee is a licensed acupuncturist practicing in St. Louis Park, MN. She is also the author of the book, Simple Steps: The Chinese Way to Better Health. For more information and articles, check out her website at http://www.acupunctureinthepark.com or her blog at http://www.acupuncturetwincities.com

Chile Powder Makes Many Texas Foods Classic

Traditional Texas cooking requires a broad range of seasonings, sauces, and spices. Many of these flavoring agents have drifted away from their early roots and have begun to spice liven up other cooking styles. You will find a large variation in blends of seasonings within Texas food today. This is producing dishes with bold, assertive flavors that are finding their way into other parts of the country.

Chile, with an “e”, is meant here when talking about peppers and pepper spices, not as the famous Texas bowl of red called chili (with an “i”). Chili cooking and recipes will be well-represented throughout the Food In Texas website, but here we will be talking about spices and seasonings.

The chile pepper was introduced to Texans by Spanish and Mexican settlers over 150 years ago. This sometimes hot, sometimes not fruit finds its way into almost every Texas recipe there is. Today, there is about 120 varieties of chiles grown in the state. They can be found fresh, pickled, smoked, frozen, dried, and canned.

Most of the dried chiles used in are found in the form of chile powder. This is a mixture of one or more kinds of dried chiles, combined with cumin and other dried spices. When using the store-bought powder at home, find brands that contain less or no salt, as well as a sweet taste. A quality chile powder should be warm to the taste but not burn your mouth. Chile powder should not be confused with chili mixes, which contain onions, garlic, thickeners,and other ingredients.

Many Texas recipes call for a ground dried red chile. This chile powder comes mostly from two chile peppers, the New Mexico chile, and the Ancho pepper, which has a chocolate, sweet taste. The New Mexico chile, called the “long red” by some, is hotter and a deeper red color than you will find in most packaged chile powders. This deep red color produces a chile powder that is the purest there is.

When at all possible, grind your own chile powder. It has deeper, more intense flavors than you will find in any packaged chile powder. To grind your own chile powder takes hardly any effort or time, but it is well-worth it. Remove all stems and seeds from the peppers, toast in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until slightly crisp, break into pieces, then grind in a blender or spice grinder.

A couple of other chiles include passillas and mulatos, which are similar in heat, but with slightly different flavors. These can be grinded and blended to make your own special chile powder mixes, if you choose.

There are also quite a few other hotter chiles that can be used to make great chile powders in the same dried red form. These include the the tiny chiltepins or chile pequins, which grow wild in the southern part of Texas. Chile de arbol and cayenne, two other red chile cousins, also provide an intense heat. Chile de arbol ads more of a Mexican flavor, and the cayenne is normally associated with cajun food.

A milder variety of red chile available to make chile powder is the paprika. It usually comes already powdered, and provides a sweeter, less intense flavor. Some varieties of ground paprika provide almost no heat, and these should be avoided if wanting to add significant flavor to your dishes.

If purchasing packaged chile powders, only buy what you think you will use in the near future. The flavors of these powders lose their intensity in a very short time, so be prepared to change out your chile powder when it gets old.

Billy Bristol is the writer and editor for Food in Texas, a website devoted to the celebration of tradition homemade Texas Food. With simple recipes and cooking ideas that bring out the best in classic Texas cuisine, Food in Texas is creating its own culinary legacy.

Foods With Wishes Serves During The Chinese New Year

People believe that the new year should start with fresh and luck, which can last all year round. For example, people should appear clean because the appearance and attitude during New Years sets the tone for the rest of the year.

The lucky red in New Year
The color red is corresponding with fire, symbolizes good luck, fortune and joy in Chinese culture. In Chinese New Year, people wear red clothes, pastes spring couplets which with poem on red paper, and give children lucky money in red envelops. Another color that appears during the Chinese New Year is gold, which is a symbol of power. So if you visit an Asia supermarket during the Chinese New Year, dont be surprised with the abundance of red and gold decorations.

Oranges, pemelos and tangerines
From the second day of the New Year, people will visit friends and relatives with a bag of oranges and tangerines. They are symbols for abundant happiness. The word for tangerine have the same sounds as luck in Chinese, and the word for orange having the same sound as wealth. Pomelos are large pear-shaped grapefruits.
Tangerines with leaves intact assure that ones relationship with the other remains secure.

Candy tray
People shop for candies for starting the new year sweetly. Those candies are arranged in either a circle or octagon which called the tray of togetherness. After taking several pieces of candy from the tray, adults places a red envelope on the center compartment of the tray. Each item represents some kind of good fortune. For example, the candied melon symbolizes growth and good health; red melon seed are dyed red to symbolize joy, happiness, truth and sincerity; coconut means togetherness and peanuts present the wish of long life.

Foods on the celebration tables
On the Chinese New Year, vast amount of traditional foods are prepared for family and friends. Different from the feasts on festivals in US, each of the dishes served on the table has deep meanings and wishes for the coming year.

Buddhist New Years day have the vegetarian dish named JAI. It is a Buddhist tradition that no animal or fish should be killed on the first day of the lunar year. Vegetables are considered to be purifying, and many of the ingredients in this dish have their own special significance. For example, the bamboo shoot is a term which sounds like wishing that everything would be better and better. There must be a whole fish to represent togetherness and abundance and a chicken for prosperity.

In south China, there is a typical cake but is made in different way from cakes that we eat. It is called NIAN GAO, which is made from sweet steamed glutinous rice pudding. And ZONG ZI, which is glutinous rice wrapped up in reed leaves, is another popular delicacy. But in the north, steamed-wheat bread and small meat JIAOZI (dumplings) were the preferred food. But actually there is something different in south and north parts of China, but no matter what the differences are, the tremendous amount of food prepared at this time is meant to symbolized abundance and wealth for the household.

The coach products have been a longtime favorite, making coach outlet stores popular. Nowadays, more and more people choose to shop for coach bags and other accessories on the coach outlet online store or coach factory outlet onlin store.

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