Immune Boosting Congee
When I’m feeling a little run down and need nourishing comfort food, I head to the kitchen and make congee. Congee is a delicious medicinal porridge that helps nourish the body and promote good health. It’s a very grounding and comforting soup that only takes a few ingredients to prepare.
You can use water or any stock as your base for the soup, but for my simple no fuss version I’ve used water to simmer my rice. Finish off your congee with healing aromatics such as turmeric and ginger before eating it. I also love to switch between using brown rice, quinoa and even whole barley or oat groats that adds a delicate chewiness. Serve in generous bowls and instantly feel nourished and satisfied.
What’s Great About It:
Ginger is a potent detoxifying and antiviral herb that helps the body get rid of toxins, stimulate circulation and boost your immune system. It’s regarded as a natural antibiotic for the body and helps to reduce congestion and mucous production.
Turmeric has been linked to the prevention of cancer cell growth and management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. It is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron. Turmeric also aids digestion, relieves joint pain, and can reduce symptoms of cold and flu.
Cayenne Pepper packs a fiery punch, adding zing to both your dinner and cardiovascular system. Capsaicin is the heat-producing phytonutrient in cayenne that is shown to stimulate circulation, relieve pain and minimise inflammation.
Matcha is high in antioxidants to support overall health, energy + vitality. The health benefits of Matcha Green Tea are incredible – one bowl of Matcha tea is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea – it’s a powerful, green tonic to revitalize the body and mind.
Brown rice is kind to the digestive system and great for people with food sensitivities. It is rich in B vitamins for energy and nurturing for body and soul.
Coriander (Cilantro) is beautiful aromatic herb that really nurtures the body. It can help to relieve nausea, support liver function and fight inflammation. Parsley can be used in place of coriander if needed.
180 g (6 oz) organic brown rice
2 litres (64 fl oz) water or vegetable stock
ACCOMPANIMENTS TO SERVE (allow each person to choose their own)
fresh ginger, sliced
spring onion, sliced
cayenne pepper / dried pepper
Place rice into a pot and dry-roast over a low heat until fragrant, but not coloured.
Pour over the water or stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and slow-cook the rice, stirring regularly for 1 hour or until rice is soft. The end mix should look creamy.
Spoon into generous serving bowls and garnish with shredded ginger, sesame oil, tamari, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and matcha powder.
Notes + Inspiration
Brown rice can be replaced with quinoa, barley or whole oat groats.
A light sprinkle of fried shallots can be used for extra crunch and texture.
Add roasted garlic before serving
Use chicken stock in place of water or vegetable stock – add poached organic chicken or fish.