Diet, food, food allergy, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Almond, ginger and blueberry slice

ginger almond blueberry slice plateAs regular readers of this blog may be aware I am a big fan of ginger. Aside from its myriad of therapeutic properties, I value it just because it so delicious!

So here is a slice based on ginger that I baked for our wonderful team of ladies I work with at the clinic in West End: The Acupuncture and Natural Therapies Centre. We have an excellent team of health professionals at this thirty year old health centre: three acupuncturists (Nicola Macdonald, Amber Fulton and me), another massage therapist (Sia Carlyon) and two lovely ladies at the reception and dispensary, Shelley and Jane.

So this recipe’s key ingredient Chinese medicine properties are:

  • Ginger: Warm, pungent and sweet. It benefits the Lung, Stomach and Spleen.
  • Almonds: Neutral in temperature and sweet, they benefit the Lung, Spleen and Large Intestine.
  • Blueberries: Cooling, sweet and sour. Blueberries benefit the Liver.

Even though the sugar is reduced in this recipe, overall it is still sweet in flavour and so tonifies the Earth element and Qi, and nourishes the Spleen and Lung. It is high in fibre and protein (for a sweet snack) but should still be only consumed in moderation.

The recipe is adapted from this one and I have altered it to be lower in sugar, gluten and dairy free with added blueberries.

ginger almond blueberry slice

Ginger, almond and blueberry slice

Ingredients

  • 175g coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar & stevia combination (equivalent to 1 cup caster sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 100g almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 125g ‘naked’ uncrystallised ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 70g flaked almonds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Grease an 18 x 28cm rectangular baking tin. Line with baking paper.
  3. Beat coconut oil and sugar together until light in colour and well mixed. Beat in egg, then alternate the additions of coconut milk and flour.
  4. Add almond meal, ground ginger and uncrystallised ginger and mix thoroughly.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and press down evenly with a clean fist.
  6. Evenly distribute blueberries on top of mix, pressing in gently.
  7. Evenly sprinkle flaked almonds over the top of the slice.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden.
  9. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in pan, then cool on a rack.
  10. Cut into small squares or fingers.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

Diet, food, food allergy, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Pumpkin scones: gluten and dairy free

pumpkin sconesI have fond memories of eating Mum’s pumpkin scones fresh from the oven when I was a child. Homemade pumpkin scones, rock cakes and ANZAC biscuits were our sweet snack staples.

I picked up a beautifully sweet piece of pumpkin on the weekend and it reminded me of those pumpkin scones Mum used to make. It inspired me to pull out her old recipe and modify it a little in terms of sugars, fats and flours.

From a Chinese medicine point of view, pumpkin is a highly valued Earth element food. It builds up our Spleen Qi (digestive energy) and helps to drain dampness. Food that are naturally occurring in shades of oranges and yellow are classed as Earth element foods. For this reason pumpkin soup is valued as one of the best meals for a struggling digestive system. Pumpkin is warm-neutral-cooling in thermal nature dependent on how its cooked and what its colour is: the paler or greener a pumpkin is the more cooling it will be.

I like to make these scones with dark yellow/orange pumpkin flesh. I’ve also used brown rice flour (more fibre) with ground cinnamon and ginger for flavouring which add a little warm energy to the recipe and to aid digestion. I’ve also substituted the butter 1:1 for coconut oil and used a stevia/sugar mix to reduce the level of sugar. This is also an incredibly quick and easy recipe to make.

Pumpkin Scones recipe

Ingredients:

  • 60g coconut oil (in a soft solid form)
  • 1/4 cup sugar stevia blend (or 1/2 cup regular sugar). This can be reduced if you have a particularly sweet pumpkin.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup steamed, mashed and cooled pumpkin
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 230ºC.
  2. Grease two baking trays.
  3. Cream coconut oil and sugar.
  4. Add egg and beat in.
  5. Mix in pumpkin, flour and spices until well combined.
  6. Drop (or roll) rounded, heaped dessertspoon fulls of mixture onto prepared trays.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes of until golden.
  8. Best served warm with jam.

Makes 16.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.