With the fabulous summer weather you may find plums or damsons ready to use. If you live rurally always keep an eye out for wild plums in the hedgerows these will likely be quite sweet this year.
Plums are considered 'neutral' in temperature, there flavour is sour and sweet. Overall plums nourish yin & blood, regulate heat patterns, boost circulation and have a draining action on retained water.
They strengthen the liver and can really help if a patient has 'liver heat' or 'stagnation in the intestines'.
Recipe: Plum fool
1 pound of plums
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1/2 tsp of dried ginger
4 tbsp of concentrated apple juice
Stone & halve the plums, cook gently in a covered pan with the spices, After 20 minutes remove from heat, mash or puree.
Add the apple juice, mixing well.
This will last lovely served warm or cool and with a swirl of yoghurt.
From Recipes for Self Healing by Daverick Leggett
You probably knew it wouldn't be long before I write about courgette, by now many of you will have harvested a few and possibly had so many you had to pass them on to willing friends!
Veggie growers will know that a courgette is quite versatile and provides many dishes if willing to explore.
Energetically it is cool in temperature and has a sweet flavour. It can be mildly stimulating to circulation and nourish the body targeting the spleen, stomach and lung. As it cooling in nature it regulates heat conditions.
Top ideas to use courgette:
1. Using your julienne peeler make long ribbons resembling spaghetti, pair with a basic tomato basil sauce
2. Courgette is wonderful in cakes and loafs of a sweet nature, it can be adapted into carrot cake recipe. Just make sure you grate and then allow the water to drain before mixing it in.
3. Salads, whether julienne or thinly sliced paired with something a bit stronger (roast red peppers) and a grain such as spelt or couscous it strikes a lovely balance.
4. Soups, paired with pea or spring veggies in a chicken or vegetable broth base
5. Pickle them! or add to chutney
6. Roast with other veggies, make a ratatouille
7. Grill on BBQ with olive oil and crushed garlic
8. Lastly, add to a risotto, dice and sauté
I will eventually write about something other than berries but there is so much on offer right now in the height of summer, I must write about them while the going is good.
Gooseberries, yes they are tart to eat raw but with right amount of sugar they can taste fabulous. Yes.. sugar I said. A bit of sugar to balance a dish is fine within the dietary aspect of Chinese medicine. You might also try sugar alternatives such as maple syrup or Xylitol.
Gooseberries as you can probably guess have flavour of sweet and sour. The temperature energetically speaking is 'cold'. It doesn't have any properties like our previous two berries posted. The gooseberry is associated to the liver, due to its sour nature.
Chinese medicine associates a type of taste for main meridian organs.
Recipe: try a crumble recipe, possibly mix them with apples
There are some great chutney recipes available, my favourite is goose berries red onion.