I’m not sure what section this belongs in, but it’s squarely in the category of “thing you would know about if we were friends” so 🤷♀️
Congee is basically a rice porridge. It has a risotto vibe when you’re making it, and I think I might channel a bit of
I don’t have a good explanation for why congee is as delicious as it is. It is not just soggy rice.
For digestion, one idea is that congee is very hydrating, in a way that’s easier for your gut to absorb. Liquids normally pass right through, but rice that’s absorbed many times its volume in water will take time to release.
It’s also in the broader category of warm wet foods [my sister has recently lobbied to rename this category “warming comfort foods” 🙃] which are nourishing in a way that an ice cold (and otherwise nutritious) smoothie can’t be, due to the general way it causes your body to contract/constrict.
I make a big batch to last all week (3 cups of rice makes about 4.5qts which is the max that fits comfortably in my
Andrew Sterman appears to be the relevant expert in the area (he’s also a super-accomplished musician!):
Congee and Wet Breakfasts for Health
Hydration is key to good health, and wet breakfasts are an often forgotten key to good hydration. Wet breakfasts—porridges and congee—absorb a great deal of water as they cook, fluid is gradually given up during digestion, like a time-release capsule of healthy hydration. Beyond bringing fluids into the system so effectively, wet breakfasts soothe and restore the organs of digestion themselves (in Chinese Medical terms, Stomach, Spleen/Pancreas, Small Intestine and Large Intestine). Wet-cook
This involves a fair amount of pushing rice around and making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. For that I recommend a wooden spoon with a relatively flat bottom, e.g.
Helen’s Asian Kitchen Stir Fry Spatula, Natural Bamboo, 13-Inch
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update: this spoon is great, but the edges of the handle are uncomfortable when stirring a huge pot of congee. I’m testing out the OXO turner set (which wirecutter rejected due to them drying out/cracking quickly — so I’ll probably not put them in the dishwasher and I’ll maybe need to spoil them with mineral oil and see how that goes)
His wife’s page has a lot of resources as well, and I’m trying out their ideas about “meal design,” for now mostly in changing what sorts of things I treat as appetizers:
(I’ve also started drinking hot water, especially first thing when I wake up, with a diagnosis of maybe having some sort of persistent chill?) It helps that I have an
(update: this is my first summer on the wet warm food train (maybe it’s actually better to continue putting warm things in as a way of powering the natural processes that cool you down?) and I’m now trying out Andrew’s two volume cookbook set, where one seems to be more conceptual and the second is more hands-on)
Welcoming Food, Book 1: Energetics of Food and Healing: Diet as Medicine for Home Cooks and Other Healers
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Welcoming Food, Book 2: Recipes and Kitchen Practice: Diet as Medicine for Home Cooks and Other Healers
Welcoming Food, Book 2: Recipes and Kitchen Practice: Diet as Medicine for Home Cooks and Other Healers [Sterman, Andrew] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Welcoming Food, Book 2: Recipes and Kitchen Practice: Diet as Medicine for Home Cooks and Other Healers
(new favorite(?) weird food: chia pudding. Wildly easy to prepare, seems like it might be fine even with only a tiny amount of sweetener (I made it with maple syrup), generally seems to have similar benefits to congee: holds lots of moisture, has a sort of smooth gelatin thing going on, is warm and comforting and apparently good for you? I made mine with 1 cup TJ’s whole organic coconut milk, 1/3tsp cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg (just enough for the aroma or 1/16tsp), 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup TJ’s organic chia seeds, and a splash of maple syrup (less than 1/8c)— I used my hand-held electric whisk to mix the spices and syrup and coconut milk and then added the seeds, stirred it all together, came back in an hour and stirred some more, added some water because it seemed like it could absorb a bit more, popped it in the fridge and then heated up a small serving when the mood struck.)
(It calls for cardamom, but I didn’t have any, so I made do without and we still love it)
I haven’t really updated y’all about using mason jars yet, but: I use them all the time; even more than my