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5 Culinary Herbs Perfect for Healthy Asian Recipes


5 Culinary Herbs Perfect for Health Asian Recipes | Vita Blog

We love breakfast, lunch and dinner. To be honest, any meal is worthy of a celebration in our eyes! That is why a range of culinary herbs as mushrooms, beans and other Chinese foods are ideal for use in cooking traditional Asian recipes.

We’ve shortlisted 5 of our favourite culinary herbs which we think are perfect ingredients for healthy and tasty Asian recipes…

1) Huang Hua Cai / Day Lily

 

Huang Hua Cai / Day Lily | Vita Blog

 

Day Lily (Huang Hua Cai) plants are a common sight in your garden that blossom mostly between late Spring and mid-Summer. The flowers are delicate and trumpet shaped.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), they are dried and later used in teas, soups and hot dishes. Day Lilies (Huang Hua Cai) are usually available in dried form rather than fresh, as fresh ones can be toxic if not cooked properly or soaked in water beforehand.

The dried golden buds of the Day Lily are 2 to 3 inches long and have a delicate, musky-sweet flavour. The Chinese lily flower has a slightly crunchy texture and makes a great addition to stir-fries. 

Benefits may include:

- May help with insomnia 

- Can help stop bleeding 

- May help soothe nerves

- Can be used to help hoarse voice

For bleeding problems (nosebleed, coughing blood or urinary bleeding):

  • Cook soup with 30g dried daylily and 30g fresh bai mao gen (cogongrass rhizome).
  • Drink often as tea.

For Sleeplessness:

  • Cook soup with 30g dried daylily and 30g he huan hua (silk tree flower). Keep boiling for 30 minutes and filter the soup.
  • Add honey, cook 2-5 minutes. Drink before sleeping.

For Hoarse Voice:

  • Cook 30g dried day lily with 400ml water. Add 30g honey.
  • Drink one-third at a time slowly over the day.

2) Gou Qi Zi/Goji Berry

Dried Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi / Wolf Berries) are well known as a superfood. This may be due to the high content of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. 

We grow these Goji berries in their original and natural source - Ning Xia in China so that they contain the highest level of nutrition. Our sun-dried Goji Berries are 100% free of artificial preservatives, colouring or flavours.

Benefits may include:

- Known as a superfood

- High content of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals 

- May help boost the immune system 

- Can assist and improve eye health, support healthy skin and manage blood sugar levels 

- May potentially aid weight loss

- Can help increase metabolism, sperm movement and quality

Uses

It can be eaten as a snack and sprinkled over porridge, smoothie bowls and granola. The 'superfood' is great for teas, soups and in breakfast dishes. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Click here for recipe ideas.

3) Da Hong Zao/Jujube Dates

The Giant Jujube Dates (Da Hong Zao) are specially sourced from Xinjiang Province, in China near Mongolia and the Middle East. Being a desert, the climate here is very hot and dry.

The Chinese name ‘Da Hong Zao’ translates to Big Red Dates as this variety of red dates can grow 2-3 times larger than the average Hong Zao - even bigger than a chicken egg! This fruit is a delicious treat and much more spongey than the typical variety of Hong Zao.

Benefits may include:

- Acting as a warming fruit

- High in antioxidants, vitamin B & C, calcium and iron

-Treating the spleen and stomach

- Assisting the blood and Qi

Uses

Jujube dates are red in colour and have a crisp skin with soft, juicy flesh that is delightfully sweet; however, be careful of the stone in the middle! They can be used in a number of culinary dishes – click here for recipe ideas. Alternatively, the dates can be placed in hot water and rehydrated for a juicer fruit. The water can also be drunk for a warming herbal tea.

4) Mei Gui Hua/Rosebuds

Dried Rosebuds (Mei Gui Hua) look pretty and also taste good! Rosebuds are known for their healing properties.

Benefits may include:

- Can assist with anti-aging and anti-wrinkles 

- Contain antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C, E and Epigallocatechin (EGCG) 

- May be used to treat oily and acne-prone skin 

- Can help relieve stress and other mental health disorders 

- May assist to treat menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), irregular periods and heavy periods 

- Can help cleanse the urinary system to prevent tract infections (UTIs) 

- May be useful in fighting bacterial infections 

- Can aid the digestive system and treat constipation 

- May help restore balance of emotional health and calm the nervous system

Uses

However, aside from looking pretty, rosebuds have been used therapeutically for the last 5000 years in Chinese and Ayurvedic herbal medicine. Try drinking rosebud tea on its own or with a black tea such as Darjeeling or Earl Grey.

Dried Rosebud tea has been used for many years as it is considered a miracle herbal tea, especially for women. Rosebud tea just sounds beautiful, doesn't it? This tea is gorgeously pink, smells floral and tastes a little like Turkish delight. What a dream! Click here for recipe ideas.

For glowing skin - why not put rosebuds into your Facial Steamer? If you don't have one, simply put hot water and rosebuds into a large bowl, and then lean over with your face above the bowl. Steam your face for 5-7 minutes and absorb the goodness! Afterwards, wipe your face with a clean washcloth to get rid of any impurities from the skin.

5) Mu Er/Wood Ear Fungus

Wood Ear mushrooms are a species of edible Auricularia Auricula fungus found worldwide. Known as 'Jelly Ear' or 'Mu Er', these are popular for adding texture to soups and stir-fry and absorbing flavours.

The Asian fungus is often added to Chinese hot and sour soup to add texture and to Szechwan cuisine to soak up their spicier flavours. 

Wood Ear is usually black with no caps or stems - unlike most mushrooms. They are sometimes known as cloud ear, tree ear or black fungus and most commonly sold dried. Their crunchy texture and dark, velvety colour add an unusual element to even the most basic dish.

Benefits may include:

- Rich in fibre, iron, Vitamin B2, C and D to support the immune system

- High levels of iron, selenium, zinc and copper 

- Rich in fibre and large amounts of calcium 

- Assisting with anti-cancer properties 

- Help lower cholesterol 

- Help with blood clotting

You can add Wood Ear to many different recipes to replace common white and brown mushrooms, to add a different texture, or simply include them in dishes alongside Shiitake or Nameko mushrooms.

Hot and Sour Soup

Chicken with Wood Ear Mushrooms & Dried Lily Flowers

The great thing about these culinary herbs – zero use of sulphur, pesticides and herbicides!

Why not try something new today and treat your tastebuds and tummy with our range of culinary herbs?

You can shop the full range here. If you would like to know more about the range or have any further queries, please contact info@vitaherbalnutrition.com.


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