If you love the Eight Treasure Tea, you'll probably enjoy the Eight Treasure Congee, a warm comforting dish that's popular during the colder months in China.
Also known as La Ba Zhou - 腊八粥, the Eight Treasure Porridge has been around in China for over a thousand years. This delicious congee came into existence with the introduction of Buddhism into China and evolved at the height of the Silk Road.
Devout Buddhists in China celebrate Buddha’s enlightenment on the eighth day of the twelve lunar months (also known as La Ba Festival) with the Eight Treasure Congee. It was said this congee was a sacred offering to the gods in ancient times.
Other than spiritual significance, this whole-grain porridge is packed with superfood nutrients, highly digestible, and easily adaptable to accommodate dietary needs.
Mildly sweet, fragrant, and warm, the Eight Treasure Congee strengthens the Spleen and Stomach, tonifies Qi and Blood, and calms Spirit.
This multi-grain porridge is perfect for cold winter mornings, post-workout snack, late-night supper, and especially comforting when nursing a cold. We love eating this with pickles and braised vegetables but it’s delicious on its own.
As the name suggested - there are usually eight or more ingredients in this dish - the most common ones are below.Rice: Strengthens Spleen and Stomach, boosts Qi. High in calcium, iron, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folate, and vitamin E.
Millet: Strengthens Spleen. Rich in protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins and dietary minerals.
Mung Bean: Clears heat, resolves toxins, reduces inflammation. Protein, dietary fiber, B complex especially folates, thiamin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and niacin.
Red or Adzuki Bean: Tonifies heart, calms the spirit, clears damp. Protein, dietary fiber, B-complex vitamins, particularly vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and niacin. Wide range of minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium.
Job's Tears: Benefits spleen and stomach, drains damp. High in protein, calcium, iron, potassium, and fiber.
Peanuts: Benefits spleen and stomach. High in monounsaturated fats, protein, polyphenolic antioxidants, primarily p-coumaric acid. Excellent source of resveratrol.
Red Dates: Nourishes blood, benefits Spleen. Rich in tannins, excellent sources of vitamin C, calcium
Goji Berries: Tonifies yin, benefits eyes. Rich in vitamin A, C, calcium, carotenoids, antioxidants - zeaxanthin, quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, hesperidin, and rutin.
Lotus Seeds: Clears heart heat, nourishes yin, calms spirit. Rich in protein, vitamin B, folate, minerals,
EIGHT TREASURE PORRIDGE RECIPE
1. Wash and rinse all ingredients separately. Soak beans and grains for at least 4-8 hours. (^ Some lotus seeds come with a tiny green sprout inside, be sure to remove the green sprouts as they are cold and bitter in nature.)
2. Fill a soup pot (8 quart) with purified water. Add red beans, green beans, peanuts, job’s tears + lotus seeds into pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. After 20 minutes, add sweet rice and black rice, continue to simmer for another 20-30 minutes. Stir pot frequently to make sure ingredients do not stick to the bottom.
4. Add the millet to the pot and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
5. Add goji and red dates during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. The final product should be gooey and slightly chewy, some texture from the nuts and job's tears.
You may add or substitute with the following:
Beans - red or adzuki beans, green beans, black beans, yellow beans, kidney bean
Grains - black rice, brown rice, purple rice, barley, buckwheat, oat, millet, corn grits
Nuts/seeds - Walnuts, peanuts, lotus nuts, cashew, black sesame seed, chestnuts, fox nuts (aka Qian Shi, Euryale seed)
Others - Longan berry, red jujube, raisins, lily bulb, wild yam
Be sure to soak all grains and nuts for at least 6 hours. We prefer to soak everything overnight to make things simple.