As we make the transition from fall to winter, treating ourselves to a warm + nourishing breakfast is an amazing way to start the day. One of my favorite ways to do this is with congee. I used to be an oatmeal breakfast person, but since I've reduced my dairy intake (it's just not the same without yogurt!!) what I've started turning to more and more are delicious savory congees. Morning perfection.
There are so many ways to make congee. You can google recipes and find a bazillion that will all give you different water to rice ratios, cooking times, condiments.......really, you just have to play around with it and find what you like the best!
What I've found works great for our house is to use 3 times as much water as rice, and I let it cook for about 2 hours. If we have bone broth or stock I'll use that as at least 1/2 of my cooking liquid, for an additional nutrition boost and to help support my energy. As we make the transition to winter, keeping our selves warm, our furnace stoked through adequate sleep and our bellies happy have the potential to make a big difference in our health as we navigate the seasonal changes.
Often while the rice is cooking I'll add other things like:
- If I'm feeling sweet: da zao or Chinese red dates, gou qi zi or goji berries, prunes, cinnamon stick and lots of ginger.
- If I'm feeling savory: ginger, garlic, chili peppers + chicken drumsticks (mmmmmmm)
And my favorite toppings: cashews, cilantro, sesame oil, soy sauce, sliced roasted pork or beef, fried egg or hard-boiled egg OR maple syrup if'n I go the sweet route.
My favorite thing about congee is that I can make a HUGE batch on Sunday and we can eat it all week for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or all 3!! (Hello comps, midterms and finals week!) This means you don't have to spend 2 hours each morning cooking for yourself and you'll have enough to sustain you through the week. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and starting our furnace each morning with some kind of warm energizing meal is one of the best ways we can take care of our selves and our loved ones.
Enjoy playing around with the concepts of congee and finding the flavor combinations that get you excited about breakfast!! If you need ideas about what to add, or are super stoked to check out foods for your constitution, check out "Healing with Whole Foods" by Paul Pitchford, or "Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen" by Wang, Sheir, and Ono.