Chinese Medicine advises eating appropriately for the seasons. Out go the stews and soups of winter and in come more raw or lightly cooked foods. The key word here is more; a completely raw food diet would be seen as unhealthy. The “Stomach” organ (the capital denotes that the concept differs from Western medicine) needs warm or room temperature foods and not too dry. A useful analogy is a pot of liquid with a fire underneath, if you put cold food into that pot, more heat or energy is required to cook the food than would be if the it had been cooked first. Same for the energy or Qi of the Stomach, too many cold foods and drinks, require more energy and this drains the Stomach Qi, resulting in impaired digestion. So mix raw foods with cooked for a balanced diet.
Raw food guru, Jayne Totty of Supernourished in Crystal Palace, demonstrates a super healthy breakfast using buckwheat, lots of seeds and berries. See Jayne demonstrate how to make this porridge:
Super Seed Summer Porridge Recipe
Approx 100-150g buckwheat, presoaked for 1 hour and rinsed
1tbsp each of flaxseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds.
A few brazil nuts
A drizzle of maple syrup or other natural sweetener.
Put above in a blender, add enough non-dairy milk (rice, almond, etc) to cover and extra, pinch of salt optional, and blend.
Pour into bowl and add berries of choice on top (blue berries, black berries, raspberries, strawberries)
Buckwheat – a fruit seed packed with flavonoids which are phytonutrients that help us process antioxidants, such as vit C, has magnesium too.
Flaxseeds – phytoestrogens, omega 3s
Hempseeds – magnesium, omega 3s
Pumpkin seeds – zinc
Brazil nuts – selenium antioxidant
Berries – antioxidants, vit C
Most people won’t have an hour to spare to pre-soak the buckwheat in the morning. So leave to soak overnight and rinse thoroughly the next day. Fresh berries are sometimes hard to come by, buying frozen ones, means they are always available when you need them. You can warm the berries gently with some water and then pour onto your buckwheat porridge.
Besides being super-healthy, this porridge is gluten and lactose-free too, so great for people with food intolerances. Packed with protein, this breakfast makes you feel full for longer, so less snacking and more energy. In Chinese Medicine this porridge is good for ‘Blood deficient’ types – these are often people with skin allergies – as it packs a high protein punch. To nourish “Blood” further, choose more dark berries to add to the porridge – such as blue berries and black berries and add almonds.