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Herbal Explorations

Crossing The Barrier: Applying TCM Food Therapy to American Cuisine

By: JK DeLapp

"Until Man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so called Scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand In favor compared with the products of Nature, The living cell of the plant, The final result of the rays of the sun, the Mother of all Life." ˜ Thomas Edison

I feel like, in the month of August, we should be celebrating the summer with what the Mother of all Life has provided for us—with a nourishing array of Nature´s Bounty!

I asked several mothers what they would love to be served for a summer feast this year, and oddly, all but one wanted a seafood dish. Sounds like the lovely ladies in our lives need a little Kidney boost!

This Month´s Recipes:

Rose-infused Water

Many of us have access to chemical-free roses right out in our back yards. What many of us don´t know is that they can be consumed!

India is famous for making and using rose water for the purpose of caring for the skin. The perfume industry has long used rose as a sensual and expensive scent. Sadly, many of these products nowadays are synthetic, or extracted using beaucoup chemicals. Purchasing a 15mL bottle of true rose essence/essential absolute will cost somewhere in the ball park of $150. That´s just for roughly 100 drops!

The reason for this is that it takes approximately 2500 rose petals to make a single drop of rose essential absolute! That´s insane! Fortunately for us, we can make our own very light—and delightful to look at—rose water right at home with roses from our own garden.

Roses have an extrememly high vibrational energy. They nourish the Heart and Heart Spirit, as well as open the Heart Chakra (I know, I know—that´s a Vedic idea…but still holds true). True rose oil is also extremely electro-active. A single drop of rose oil into ocean water will light it up with an electrical current! And, seeing as how you and I are electrical beings, roses lighten us up, too! Now do you understand why every woman loves a good rose?

Making this rose-infused water not only is a delight to the eye, but will open the Hearts of every woman who sees it. Take pictures and have witnesses because it will be worth it.

Ingredients:

6-12 chemical-free roses in ½ to full bloom, best if fresh-picked from your own garden A clear, tall, glass water pitcher

Really fragrant roses work best. Make sure you are ONLY using roses that have NOT been sprayed

Directions:

Fill your glass water pitcher to 80% full.

Place, bloom-side up, each of the roses into the pitcher.

Press the blooms down into the water so that most of them are covered with water, and allow to set for one hour, if time allows, before consuming.

**If you have an abundance of roses, you can fill a stainless steel or ceramic pan full of just the petals, cover with water, add 1-3 tablespoons of sugar, and slow-simmer with the lid on for one hour. This will make a rose syrup. Dilute with water, or add to your pitcher, and drink!

Bacon-wrapped Scallops

Scallops are cold and sweet. They benefit the five internal organs and nourish Kidney Yin. They are great for addressing many conditions of Yin deficieny such as dizziness, hot flashes, dry mouth, weakness in the lower back and knees, night time urination, emotional upset, and insomnia.

Pork moistens and nourishes the organs and is great for dry cough and skin, as well as Yin deficiency thirst. Not to mention, it tastes great!

I like cooking these in a cast iron skillet in the oven, but can also be cooked on a cookie/baking sheet.

When purchasing scallops, always go to a reputable fishmonger. Buy sea scallops that are ivory or off-white in color. If you see white-white scallops and they are sitting in a milky looking liquid, they have been treated with a preservative, whose side effects cause the scallops to soak up extra water (bad for searing and you´re paying for extra water) and affect the subtle sweet taste of the scallop. Scallops are best when they are fresh and wild-caught.

Ingredients:

4-6 Sea scallops per person
Enough bacon to individually wrap each scallop, cut into half-strips. Applewood-smoked or maple are two of my favorites
Fresh ground pepper
Toothpicks
Lemon wedges for garnish or squeezing

Directions:

Cook bacon gently over medium heat until partially cooked but not crisp. Let cool.

Pat each scallop dry on each side and sprinkle with some fresh ground pepper.

Cut each bacon slice in half and wrap one half around a scallop, securing with a toothpick. Place on cookie sheet or broiling pan.

Preheat broiler. Place scallops on top rack. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until scallops turn opaque throughout. Turn a few times so bacon gets crisp, not more than 8-10 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Seafood Stew

Fish

Fish strengthens the Spleen and Stomach, eliminates dampness, and regulates Blood. Freshwater fish tend to be neutral and sweet, whereas ocean fish tend to be neutral to cold, and salty, just like their environment. They are great to consume once or twice a week, especially during the warming Spring and hot Summer.

Shrimp

Shrimp are warm and sweet, nourish the Blood and tonify the Qi and Kidney Yang. They are great for weakness, impotence, and lower back pain. If you consume them with the shells on—and my personal favorite—with the heads still on, then even better! The shells and heads are phenomenal for your Kidneys and spine—so eat them whole!

Scallops

See the above recipe.

All in all, this dish is great for tonifying Qi, regulating Liver Qi, moistening the Lungs, clearing Heat, and calming the Spirit. It is also great for the weather changes that are going on around the country as it transitions from cool to warm.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1-2 lbs assorted fish, shrimp, and scallops
1 inch of ginger, minced
½ lb of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 green onions, minced—roots discarded
1 cup white wine or vermouth
Pinch of sea salt
1 ½ tbls powdered kudzu or arrowroot
3 tbls water
Lemon wedges

Directions:

Heat your oil in a pan and sautee the seafood with the ginger and white parts of the green onions for 3-5 mintues, browing the seafood.

Add the asparagus, wine/vermouth, and sea salt. Cover and bring back to a boil.

Simmer over low heat for 3-5 more minutes, finishing the cooking of the asparagus and seafood.

In a separate bowl, mix the kudzu or arrowroot with a little bit of water, and then add it to the pan and stir well.

Before serving, garnish with minced green onions and lemon wedges.

Is there something that you would like to be learning about specifically as we journey through the season? Are there any types of foods or dishes that you would like to be learning more about? Any questions and queries that you may have, nuherbs Co. and I would love to hear about them.

Please do send us an email. We´d love to hear what you have to say: herbalexplorations@nuherbs.com