A very nutritious and delicious brew with fragrant black sesame and sweet almonds that helps to lubricate the lungs and treat a persistent cough. I used a frother here to make a really creamy infusion!A very nutritious and delicious brew with fragrant black sesame and sweet almonds that helps to lubricate the lungs and treat a persistent cough. I used a frother here to make a really creamy infusion!

Following my previous post about “Floral Tisanes”, I am going to talk about “Five Grains” brews in this second part of the “Nourishing Oriental Infusions” series.

Five Grains is a term referring to a range of wholesome grains that can be consumed by humans. The term was first mentioned in Compendium of Materia Medica (written by Li Shizhen in 1596) which refers to 33 kinds of grains and 14 types of beans.

We know that these grains contain vitamins A, B2, E and phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, iron and unsaturated fats. These help to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar and are a good source of fibre. They are also a more efficient way of using our finite farming land.

The earliest “Five Grains” brew used rice, beans, wheat, corn and barley together with Chinese teas. Over time, the Chinese started to expand their recipes to include green and red mung beans, walnuts, soy beans and almonds as well as Chinese medicinal herbs. Of course, it is not just the Chinese who realised the natural goodness of these brews. The Germans also have a drink which involves ground tea leaves and corn which they claim is comparable to coffee! One of the perhaps better known grains infusions here in London is the roasted barley tea that is served in Korean restaurants.

The typical, nutritious way of enjoying these grains in a brew is to grind them into powder and then combine with green or black tea. Finely grinding grains allows the body to absorb them quicker and reduces the time they stay in our digestive tracts, thereby reducing bloatedness. The other way of brewing grains is to cook them in water before eating them as a soup or else strain them and drink the liquor.

A few things to take note of: (1) one should make sure that the grains are properly cooked if the recipe calls for cooking or roasting. Some grains like soy beans are poison if eaten uncooked. (2) Try to choose grains suited to your body type and how you are feeling. People suffering from bloatedness or with a yang body type should avoid sesame, pine nuts, peanuts, barley, walnuts, cashew nuts and sunflower seeds.

The best time to consume the Five Grains brews is in the morning as it will lift your spirits and improve your concentration.

Here are a few recipes:

Beauty Tea Brew
30g Green mung beans
30g Chinese red dates
500ml Water
Brown sugar to taste

– Wash the beans and dates and put into a pot together with the water.
– Bring to a boil for 10 minutes and simmer till the beans are soft.
– Add the brown sugar. Strain and drink the liquor or eat it as a sweet chunky soup.

** A tea that will brighten your complexion.

Liver Detox Brew
50g Red mung beans
25g Raw peanuts (skin on)
15g Chinese red dates
15g Brown sugar
700ml Water

– Wash the beans and peanuts. Soak the dates in warm water for 10 minutes.
– Put the beans and peanuts in water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1.5 hours.
– Add the dates and sugar and simmer for 30 minutes more.
– Strain for the liquor or eat as a sweet chunky soup.

** A cup of this before meal will help your liver to detox.

No More Bloatedness Brew
100g Black soy beans
30g Barley
700ml Water

– Wash the beans and barley. Bring to a boil with the water and simmer till beans are cooked.
– strain for the liquor or eat it as a sweet chunky soup.

** A very refreshing brew for removing the bloatedness feeling. Also nourishes your spleen.

Coughing Tea
10g Black sesame
8g Almonds
Rock sugar to taste
250ml Boiling water

– Dry fry the sesame and almond on low heat.
– Grind the almond and sesame to a rough paste.
– Add boiling water and sugar.

** A very nutritious and delicious brew that helps to lubricate the lungs and treat a persistent cough.

Anti-Aging Tea Brew
30g Black Sesame
10g Green Tea leaves
10g Brown sugar
250ml Hot water

– Dry fry the sesame on low heat.
– Add sesame, green tea leaves and sugar into a mug or pot and add hot water. Infuse for 2 minutes, strain and enjoy!

** Very nourishing and enjoying the anti-aging properties of both sesame seeds and green tea.

Stomach nourishment
2g Pine nuts
2g Walnut
5g Peanuts
2g Oolong tea leaves
250ml Hot water

– Dry fry the peanuts, walnuts and pine nuts. Grind to a smooth paste.
– Add the nutty paste to a mug or pot and add the oolong tea leaves.
– Pour in hot water and infuse for 2 minutes.

In the next part, I will talk about Han herbal infusions.

Warmly,

Pei
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