Ying Yang Xue

"If something is cold, heat it. If something is hot, cool it." –Huangdi Neijing

Archive for the tag “bread”

Seasonal pumpkin delight for the Spleen

DH kicked off the new semester by satisfying our spleens with a delicious pumpkin, apple & pear bread.  This is a perfect seasonal treat, as our spleens tend to suffer with the excessive amount of treats around this time of year (not to mention the stressful situations in which we tend to eat.  Can we say ‘Family Thanksgiving Dinner’?)  This bread proved quite a quandary, though: in moderate amounts, it’s beneficial for the spleen, but with a bread this delicious, how do you expect me to eat moderate amounts?!

TCM DOS: Spleen Qi Deficiency

Many of our patients suffer on a regular basis from SP qi xu, and yet plenty of the foods they like during the Autumn season are for SP qi xu.

Spleen qi deficiency signs and symptoms include:  fatigue, loose stool, bloating and lack of appetite. P: weak  T: pale, soft with thin white fur.

Western diagnosis would include anemia, diarrhea and gastric or duodenal ulcers.

Patients with the condition of SP qi xu should consider including any of the following:
Warming foods should be cooked; potatoes, carrots, yams, squash, turnips, leeks, onions, rice, oats, butter, modest amounts of turkey, chicken, beef, cooked peaches, cherries, strawberries, figs, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg (hmm autumn flavors) black pepper, custard, small amounts of honey, molasses, maple syrup and sugar. Meals should be average to small.

Patients should avoid eating the following on a regular basis:
excess sugar, seaweed, milk, cheese, buckwheat, millet, tofu, citrus, salsa and too much salt

I decided to bake (since cooked, warming foods are good for the taxed spleen) my favorite recipe Harvest Pumpkin with Apple and Pear Bread, since it is autumn and pumpkins, apples and pears are in abundance during this time of year. I also thought it would be a great way to get in the spirit of the autumn season and nourish everybody’s spleen.

Harvest Pumpkin With Apple and Pear Bread

Whole lotta autumn love.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (such as Libby’s) 4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice (or water)
1⁄2 medium baking apple, peeled,cored and diced 1⁄2 medium bosc pear, peeled, cored and diced

1  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2  Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
3  Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
4  Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil and apple juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. 5
Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.
6  Fold in apples and pears
7  Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.
8  Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
9  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
10  To make using three 8 X 4-inch loaf pans: Prepare as above and bake for 60 to 65 minutes.
11  To make using five or six 5 X 3-inch mini-loaf pans: Prepare as above and bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

Foods to Soothe Liver Qi Stagnation

S.D. took on the task of preparing a dish that would combat Liver Qi Stagnation (click the link to learn more about the signs and symptoms of this particular imbalance).    Quite the cornbread culinary master, S.D. wanted to make something in a similar style, so he chose an orange buckwheat bread.  True to his brave nature, he tackled this despite buckwheat’s reputation as being a fickle ingredient.  Some of us took his creaetion and experimented even further, popping it in the oven and adding honey, which gave it a whole ‘nother healing dimension!
Orange Buckwheat bread

looks like a brownie, but it courses liver qi!

Buckwheat– Sweet flavor, cool nature.  Enters spleen, stomach, and large intestine channel.  Action is to send down counterflow qi, reinforce spleen, remove damp. 
Orange– Sweet and sour in flavor, cool in nature.  Action is to relieve stagnation, send down counterflow qi, harmonize stomach.
Sesame– Sweet in flavor, neutral in nature. Enters liver, kidney, large intestine channels.  Action is to reinforce liver and kidney, replenish essence. 
Other ingredients-  Olive oil, filtered water, yeast.
Preparation–  In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of buckwheat flour with adequate water to mix into dough.  Add two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well.   Add one packet of yeast to dough. mix well.
Peel two oranges, cut out cores.  Dice flesh and pulp of oranges, and put these pieces with the juice into bowl with dough.  Mix well. 
Pour ingredients into an oiled pan, bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.
Baking increases the yang nature of foods, and may decrease the cooling quality of foods. 

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