Nourishing Breakfast: Congee
Congee, at its most basic, is a lot like oatmeal: warm, porridge-like grain soup served in bowls. But cooked over long periods of time and garnished with additional healing foods (made savory or sweet), congee can be the spark that leads to weight loss, increased metabolic function, healthier digestion, and stronger immunity. It is the standard Asian healing food for the sick or malnourished. Congee is also generally gluten-free, classically made with rice. You will notice that congee is very easily digested, you will feel hungry again about 1-2 hours after eating it! This meal is a great way to kickstart your digestion and metabolism and allow your body to fully absorb nutrients upon waking. Adding in meats, nuts, egg, fish stock etc will add protein for a fuller meal.
Today I made a sweet & simple congee, although I do like the savory versions as well - even for breakfast - so I’ll describe a few alternatives to this recipe you may want to experiment with. Made this way, it’s enough for the whole family to enjoy in the morning - with no prep work for you!
Brown Rice Congee:
1 C short or long grain brown rice
6 C water
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 large handful dried goji berries (gou qi zi)
Place all ingredients into a slow-cooker or crock pot and set on low. Cook overnight, or for about 8-9 hours on the low setting. Serve with garnishes of your choice (see below).
- for this congee I made a topping of walnuts, sliced almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds & goji berries, mixed with a drizzle of olive oil, honey, and sea salt. Stir this nut mixture up and use as a garnish for congee, plain yogurt, or smoothies. Keeps in the fridge for about 10 days.
- for creamier sweet congee, sub 1 C coconut milk for 1 C water and cook as directed.
- for savory congee, instead of goji berries, add bamboo shoots, diced carrots or sweet potato, or ½ C dried mung beans and cook as directed. Also try cooking in half chicken or fish broth, half water. Or garnish with diced boiled egg, pickled veggies, sea salt, pepper, & olive oil.