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
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.