Chrysanthemum & Goji Berry Tea
Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua) and Goji berry (Gou Qi Zi) are two Chinese herbs that are beneficial for nourishing the eyes and improving vision. Dried goji berries are easily found in natural food stores or even your local grocery store where the dried fruits and nuts are located. For the chrysanthemum flowers, if there is an Asian market, you may be able to find it there, or at a Chinese herbal market or tea shop. If unable to find the loose, dried chrysanthemum flowers, then you can use chrysanthemum tea bags, as an alternative. In addition to benefitting the eyes, this tea is also good for drinking during cold and flu season, and for supporting overall health and immunity.
2 TBS chrysanthemum flowers (ju hua)
2 TBS goji berries
(gou qi zi)
2-3 cups water
1 tsp honey, to taste (optional)
Combine the chrysanthemum flowers*, goji berries and water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the tea steep for another 5 minutes.
Strain the tea to remove the flowers and berries (you can place some of the berries in your cup to eat while sipping tea).
Add honey to taste, if desired.
* OPTIONAL DIRECTIONS:
If unable to find loose, dried chrysanthemum flowers, you may use the packaged form of chrysanthemum tea (tea bag).
Place tea bag in a cup, add a generous pinch of goji berries.
Pour hot water into cup.
Steep for 5 minutes and remove tea bag.
Add honey, if desired.
The recipe is from Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing and Long Life (Da Capo Press, 2010).
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Steamed Pear with Ginger & Honey
This is one of my favorite food (and fruit) therapy dishes to make in the fall and winter. Living in California with wildfires and Santa Ana winds, this dish is perfect to help with dry throat, dry cough, allergies and asthma. Additionally, in Chinese medicine, pears are great for moistening the lungs and supporting lung health. Plus, the ginger and honey are both immune-boosting and anti-viral; making this recipe ideal for cold and flu season as well.
2 medium-sized pears
4 TBS honey
6 fresh ginger slices
1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional
Cut the top third of each pear and reserve. Cut out the core of the bottom part of the pear, making a hole but leaving the bottom and outside intact. For the top part of the pear, cut a small hole in the center to remove the stem and to provide an opening for the steam; set aside for later.
Place the pear bottoms in a large pot that can accommodate both pears. Add water to the pot; enough to cover between 1/2 to 2/3 of the pear bottoms.
Place 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 slices of ginger into each hollowed pear. (OPTIONAL: add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon for more warming flavors.) Now replace the top on each pear, restoring its original shape.
Cover pot and over medium-high heat bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low; making sure liquid does not completely evaporate from the pot. Cook until a fork can easily pierce the flesh of the pear.
Serve the pears warm, including any remaining liquid in the pot, in a bowl. Enjoy the pear and drink the liquid as a tea.
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