Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “sweet potato”

Sweet as Sweet Potato Pie

A few weeks ago, EN primed our Spleens for holiday fare (yes, spleens like the holidays, too!).  She made a sweet potato pie that would be at home on any holiday table.    Are we advocating eating pie as health food?  Unfortunately, no.  However, we know as practitioners that we have to meet our patients where they are.   If the choice is between a chocolate mousse cake or a pie that leans heavily on antioxidant and nutrient-rich sweet potatoes, we’re definitely going with the latter!   It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing with diet; some occasions (especially this season) will call for desserts, and you might as well use the desserts to your body’s advantage!

TCM DOS: Spleen Qi deficiency

Manifestations: poor appetite, emaciation, obesity, abdominal distension after eating, fatigue, lassitude, sallow complexion, weakness of limbs, loose stools, nausea, stuffiness of chest and epigastrium, feelings of heaviness.

Tongue: pale or normal colored, swollen, scalloped sides

Pulse: Weak, soft or thready

Recommended foods for SP Qi Deficiency are foods that are easy to digest.  Only warming and nourishing foods should be eaten.  Cooked, warmed, slow-cooking foods are best for those who suffer from Spleen Qi deficiency.  Recipes like soups, broths, cooked vegetables, rice, oatmeal and small portions of meats.  Uncooked and raw foods should be avoided as they are difficult for the body to digest.  Avoiding salads and raw vegetables will improve function of the spleen.  Over eating, fasting and eating while working should be avoided.

Recommendations: Millet, Beans, Pine nuts, Figs, Dates, Squash, Carrots, Cabbage, cooked vegetables, cooked grains, leeks, oats, onion, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams, rice, dried fruits, cherries, peaches, strawberries, anchovies, chicken, turkey, beef, spices, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, barley, malt, maple syrup

 

The Spleen’s Special Sweet Potato Pie

4 ounces butter, softened

2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes

2 cups sugar

1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, beaten

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

2 prepared pie shells, unbaked

Preparation:

Mix butter, potatoes, sugar and evaporated milk until well blended.  Add vanilla, eggs and cinnamon; mix well. Pour into the prepared pie shells. Bake in 350 degree oven for an hour, until set. Makes 2 pies.

 

Patty cake, patty cake, Kidney Yin

SB brought a colorful batch of healing to this week’s class, based around Kidney yin deficiency.  Her black bean cakes (and accompanying accoutrements) were like yin-boosting confetti puffs, dotted with nourishing blasts of colorful vegetables.  The “rainbow mango salsa” and avocado lime yogurt only added to the visual appeal and taste.  This would make an excellent dish to bring to a potluck party,  particularly since partying hard taxes the Kidney yin.    Covert healing!

TCM DOS: Kidney Yin Deficiency

KD yin xu is characterized by night sweats, hot sensation in the palms, soles and chest, dark scanty urine, thirst, dizziness, malar flush, low back pain, knee weakness, nocturnal emissions, constipation

Tongue:  Red with no or peeled coat

Pulse:  Rapid and thready

Beneficial foods for KD yin xu:  black beans, black rice, wheat, oats, rice, millet, barley, eggs, zucchini, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, string beans, beets, button mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, apples, banana, blueberries, black berries, peaches, mulberries, mango, grapes, goji berries, pears, walnuts, raspberries, corn, walnuts

Foods to avoid:  chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, basil, cloves, coffee

 

Black Bean Sweet Potato Cakes with Avocado Lime Yogurt “Sour Cream” & Rainbow Salsa


  • 2 c. Black Beans
  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 1 Beet
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp  black sesame seeds
  • ½ c Corn
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 Green Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2Red Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 Yellow Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 Orange Bell pepper, chopped

Boil black beans for 1.5 hours then drain.  Boil sweet potato and beet then drain.  Combine boiled black beans, sweet potato, beet and 2 eggs into food processor.  Leave some black beans out to add back into cake later.  Chop bell peppers, tomato, corn and stir into black bean cake mixture along with panko breadcrumbs and black sesame seeds.  Form mixture into small cakes/  Bake on 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes depending on size of cake.

Rainbow  Mango Salsa

  • 5 small mangoes, chopped
  • ½ cup corn
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 12/ Green Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Orange Bell pepper, chopped
  • Mint
  • Cilantro

Chop and combine all ingredients and let sit overnight in refrigerator.

Avocado Lime Yogurt “sour cream

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 container Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime

Mix avocado and lime into Greek yogurt until smooth.

A paparazzi shot of the cakes in the nude!

Delicious Damp Heat Congee

JG rounded out the semester with an absolutely divine damp heat-draining congee.  (A congee is a rice-based porridge, slow-cooked with a lot of water, that is particularly beneficial to the middle jiao–the spleen and stomach.)  When you hear the word congee, you usually think “bland bland bland.”  When you think of foods that typically drain damp, you think “bland bland bland.”   I cannot tell you how much further from “bland” this wonderful congee was!  Slow cooked for 7+ hours, JG added the perfect amount of seasonings without comprising this dish’s ability to clear heat.  I must admit I have several bowls of this…and I stopped only at “several” to uphold my dainty, lady-like reputation (*ahem*).

TCM DOS: Damp heat

Western Correlations: leukorrhea, jaundice, eczema, psoriasis, boils, hepatitis, tenesmus,
dysentery, UTI, conjunctivitis, ear infection with yellow/green discharge, bronchitis/pneumonia
with coughing up yellow phlegm,

TCM s/s: yellow discharge (c/b foul odor) of genitals, ears, eyes, nose; yellow phlegm when
coughing; skin rash that is red & oozy; loose stool with blood, mucus, and/or foul odor; ascites

Tongue: red, thick yellow & greasy coat

Pulse: rapid, slippery

Foods that help: aduki beans, alfalfa, amaranth, basmati rice, celery, Job’s tears, lettuce, mung

bean, pumpkin, turnip

Foods to avoid: alcohol, greasy, fatty, fried, foods; hot, spicy foods/spices (think ginger, onion, garlic, etc); nuts; oats; beef, chicken egg, lamb, pork; dairy; excess sweets; excess raw fruits/vegetables

Helpful cooking methods: If patient has weak digestion make sure to steam, boil, roast vegetables for easy digestion.

Damp Heat-Clearing Congee

Ingredients:

• 2 cups rice; basmati not recommended because it doesn’t brake up ( I used Lundberg Wild
Blend)

• 12 cups vegetable broth

• 6 cups water
~About 1 cup rice to 5-10 cups water/broth. Thicker congee: 1:5 rice:water/broth
Soupy congee: 1:10 rice:water/broth. It’s better to use too much water/broth, then too little.

• 4 bay leaves (for flavor only, not to be eaten)

• Salt to taste

• Cumin 1/4-1/2 tsp

• Garlic powder 1/8-1/4 tsp (caution: just to taste because to warming for damp heat)

4 tops of carrots only (used for medicinal purpose only, not to be eaten)

1 cup fresh diced pumpkin (7oz = 1/2 can canned pumpkin)

1 cup fresh diced sweet potato/yam

1 can (15oz) rinsed aduki beans

1 stalk celery, cut into smiley face

Directions:

• Place rice, vegetable broth, water, bay leaf, salt, cumin, garlic powder, carrot tops in crock pot and cook on low heat for 7 hours (can cook on higher setting for approximately 5 hours, but “the longer congee cooks, the more powerful it becomes”~ Paul Pitchford)

• Add pumpkin, sweet potato/yam, aduki beans, & celery to congee and cook for an additional 1-2 hours when the congee is thick, rice is fully broken down, and vegetables are tender.

Damp Heat

• Congee itself is good for dampness, heat conditions, & tonifying the spleen

• Pumpkin is cooling and relieves damp conditions

• Sweet potato/yam is cooling and strengthens the spleen

• Aduki beans detoxify the body, remove heat conditions, & are used for damp & watery conditions

• Celery is cooling, dries damp, & used for excess heat conditions

• Carrot tops are good for damp conditions

~~~

*Amazing website for congee benefits, preparation, cooking methods, properties of grains, legumes, meats, herbs, vegetables, and fruits that could be used, and it list different recipes for different TCM diagnosis.

Check it out:

The Journal of Chinese Medicine Read Periodicals: Congee – Longevity Food for Life, 2/1/2010
http://www.readperiodicals.com/201002/1984286621.html#b

Foods to help boost Spleen Qi

D.R. created our inaugural spread, and what a spread it was!  She outdid herself, creating a calming, therapeutic environment in which to eat this healing food.  She even used yellow utensils and plates (yellow being the color of the Spleen in Five Element Chinese Medicine) and used LED tealights and sounds of nature MP3 for ambiance!  She requested that we do a 2 minute meditation before eating, and then we all ate in silence for 12 minutes (chewing our food very carefully).  What an experience!   Here are the details of D.R.’s project below, in her own words::
~  ~  ~  ~

TCM Pattern: Spleen Qi Xu (Spleen Qi Deficiency)

  • Western Diagnosis/ Correlation:: Diarrhea, gastroenteritis, anemia, gastric/duodenal ulcer
  • Signs & Symptoms:: poor appetite, fatigue, sallow complexion, abdominal distention, loose stools
  • Pulse:: weak
  • Tongue:: pale, thin white coat, possibly swollen, teeth marks as condition worsens
  • For Dietary Therapy Choose:  Foods that are warm, neutral and sweet, chewed well in small to moderate amounts, or congees or soups.
  • Avoid: Raw foods, salads, salsa, milk, cheese, and excesses of fruit, juices, and sugar.
Today’s Menu:
  • Sweet potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Brown Sugar (small amount)
  •  Black beans with Leeks and Black Pepper
  •  White Beans with Carrots
  •  Yellow squash with Black Pepper
  •  Brown rice
Cooking Methods chosen:
  • Baking  supplies yang energy
  • Boiling/Simmering Prolonged boiling at several hours at medium/high temperature adds yang energy to yin foods although vegetarian stews can decrease the energetic process over time so warming spices can be adds to increase yang energy.
  • Frying with little oil high heat/short time (similar to woking)- supplies food with yang energy.

Recipes::

Sweet potatoes: clean poke holes in to vent,
                          Bake at 325 degrees x 1 hour,
                          Peel put in mixing bowl
                          Add dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar to taste
                          Mash to soft consistency adding water as needed until desired consistency
Black beans:  canned or dry-cook beans in their own juice add water as needed
                      2 medium leeks cleaned and cut to desired size
                      Black pepper to taste
                      Boil over med heat until soft, decrease heat to low and simmer 3-6 + hours
White beans:  canned or dry beans
                       Cook beans per instructions in their own juices
                       Carrots cut into ¼ inch pieces
                       Black pepper to taste
                       Boil over med/ high heat until soft, decrease heat to low and simmer 3-6 + hours; add vegetable broth if desired
Yellow squash:  clean cut into ¼ inch pieces,
                            Heat pan to high with small amount oil and spices red/black pepper, dash sea salt, fry quickly until slightly browned and soft turning frequently.

In Chinese Medicine it is recommended to eat foods in a relaxed atmosphere, chewing each bite at least 10- 15 times before swallowing.  Positive emotions generally promote good qi flow and during meals allow free flow of spleen qi to support smooth transportation for transformation to begin.  Negative emotions may block smooth digestive qi flow for spleen and stomach.

Of note in dietary therapy for spleen, any strengthening of blood also will supplement the spleen.

 
The classic texts recommend:

“When angry, it is easy to swallow food, but hard to digest it.  When sad, it is hard to swallow and digest food.  When experiencing strong emotions, it is advisable to delay eating until they have disappeared.  Foods should always be ingested at the proper time, this makes it easier to digest them.  Delaying eating and being able to digest food is better  than eating too soon and not being able to digest.  Digestive problems are accompanied by trouble, while good digestion frees a person from worry.  It is not advisable to eat when strong emotions are brewing.”

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: