As the summer season unfolds, it brings with it a desire to nourish our bodies with refreshing and healthy snacks. Incorporating Chinese herbs into your summer snacks not only adds unique flavours but also offers a range of health benefits. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has long recognised the healing properties of herbs, which can help support your summer wellness goals. In this blog post, we will explore five herb snack ideas infused with TCM wisdom, along with two easy-to-follow recipes that you can enjoy throughout the season.
So, grab your chef hat and apron, here are 5 herb snack ideas to support your summer goals…
Summer is the FIRE element!
The summer season is associated with the element of Fire in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Fire represents a dynamic and transformative energy that manifests during the hottest time of the year. In TCM, Fire is closely related to the heart and small intestine, which are considered the primary organs associated with this element. Just as the sun radiates warmth and light, Fire symbolises passion, enthusiasm, and vitality. It is a time of abundance and expansion, where energy flourishes, and nature is in full bloom. Fire is also associated with joy, laughter, and the ability to connect with others on a deep emotional level. However, when the Fire element is out of balance, it can lead to excessive heat, restlessness, and emotional imbalances such as anxiety and insomnia. Therefore, during the summer, it is important to maintain balance by embracing the Fire element's positive aspects while taking measures to cool and calm the body and mind. Through proper nutrition, adequate hydration, and mindful practices, we can harness the transformative energy of Fire to support our well-being during the summer season.
How Can I Use These In Everyday Snacks for the family?
Incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) culinary herbs into everyday snacks for the family is remarkably easy and can add a delightful twist to your culinary repertoire. Many TCM herbs are readily available in dried or powdered form, making them convenient to use. For instance, you can sprinkle powdered astragalus or ginseng root into smoothies, homemade granola bars, or energy balls for an added nutritional boost. Herbs like chrysanthemum, mint, and chamomile can be infused into teas or incorporated into fruit salads for a refreshing and aromatic touch. With a little creativity, you can easily experiment with TCM herbs in various dishes, such as soups, stews, stir-fries, and even baked goods. The versatility of TCM culinary herbs allows you to infuse your family's favourite snacks with their unique flavours and therapeutic properties, supporting their well-being in a natural and delicious way.
Let's not delay any further, here are 5 herb snack ideas to support your summer goals…
1) Nourishing Trail Mix with Astragalus & Dried Fruits
Nourishing Trail Mix with Astragalus and Dried Fruits: For a portable and nourishing snack, create your own trail mix using Chinese herbs and dried fruits. Astragalus, a powerful adaptogenic herb, supports immune function and helps combat fatigue. This snack provides a balanced blend of protein, healthy fats, and natural sweetness while boosting your body's resilience.
What You'll Need
- 1/4 cup of dried goji berries
- 2 dried jujube dates dices small
- 50g roasted almonds
- 50g walnuts
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp Astragalus powder (We have the root variety in our DaoDi range)
- Combine the roasted almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dried goji berries, and diced jujube dates.
- Sprinkle powdered astragalus root over the mix and toss well.
- Store in an airtight reusable container for easy travel and snackage
2) Energising Green Tea Infused with Ginseng
If you're seeking a revitalising beverage to boost your energy levels, look no further than green tea infused with ginseng. Green tea is known for its antioxidant properties, while ginseng is believed to enhance physical endurance and mental focus. Brew a cup of green tea and add a slice of dried ginseng root for a stimulating and refreshing drink that will keep you energized throughout the day.
What You'll Need
- Green tea
- 3 slices of dried ginseng root
- Boiling water
- Ice (if you'd like iced tea)
- Place a green tea sachet or 3 teaspoons of fresh green tea leaves in a teapot.
- Boil water and then pour into the teapot
- Add the ginseng slices into the teapot and stir, leave to steep for 3 minutes
- Transfer your tea int a teacup and enjoy!
- You can enjoy this as ice tea by letting the tea cool and pour over a tall glass topped with ice and stir or pour it all into a serving jug filled with ice.
3) Crispy Kale with Dried Seaweed & Sesame
Kale is a great source of fibre, full of antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, plus a wide range of other nutrients that may help prevent various health problems. Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures. One of the key ingredients used in TCM, dried seaweed, holds a treasure trove of nutrients that can transform your culinary creations into healthy and flavourful delights, it is rich in essential minerals, full of vitamins A, C and E plus a source of fibre, paired with black sesame seeds which are a good source of calcium and antioxidants which may work wonders to aid digestion, give you some summer energy and glowing skin and hair.
What You'll Need
- 150g Fresh Kale leaves
- 1tbsp Dried Seaweed
- 1 tbsp Sesame oil
- 10g Black Sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 175°C
- Wash and dry the kale leaves thoroughly, removing the tough stems.
- Tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle with sesame oil and toss to coat the leaves evenly.
- Crumble the dried seaweed and sprinkle over the leaves.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds and sea salt.
- Spread the seasoned kale leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until the kale chips turn crispy and slightly golden.
- Allow them to cool before enjoying this delicious and nutritious snack.
4) Refreshing Watermelon Salad with Goji Berries & Orange
Watermelon is a summer favourite that naturally hydrates and cools the body. By incorporating goji berries and orange peel, you can elevate its nutritional value and promote overall well-being. Goji berries are rich in antioxidants and support immune function, while dried orange peel takes on a citrusy twist that complements the sweet watermelon and goji berries. The dried orange peel adds a delightful aroma and flavour while providing vitamin C. Lemon aids digestion and promotes a sense of calm. Combined with the hydrating properties of watermelon and the antioxidant-rich goji berries, this salad offers a refreshing and nutritious treat for hot summer days. Enjoy the vibrant flavours of this watermelon salad with goji berries and dried orange peel! Serve the watermelon salad as a standalone snack or as a refreshing side dish. It's perfect for picnics, BBQs, or any summer gathering.
What You'll Need
- 4 cups of cubed watermelon
- 1/2 cup of goji berries
- 1 tablespoon of dried orange peel
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Start by preparing the watermelon, remove the rind and seeds, cut the watermelon into bite-sized cubes. Place the cubes in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the goji berries to the bowl with the watermelon.
- Take the dried orange peel and crush it slightly to release its aromatic oils. Use a mortar and pestle or simply crumble it between your fingers. Sprinkle the crushed orange peel over the watermelon and goji berries.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the salad.
- Gently toss the ingredients together, ensuring the watermelon cubes are coated with the goji berries, dried orange peel, and lemon juice.
- Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes before serving. This helps enhance the refreshing nature of the watermelon.
5) Steamed Chinese Herbal Sticky Rice Balls
Are you craving a sweet snack this summer but don't want to be too unhealthy? These Chinese herbal sticky rice balls make a delightful and nourishing snack, perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth. Jujube dates, known for their sweet flavour and rich nutritional profile, provide a natural source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support overall well-being. Longan fruit adds a touch of sweetness and is believed to boost energy levels and support healthy blood circulation. Lotus seeds, a popular ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine, are nutrient-dense and known for their calming and restorative properties. When combined with glutinous rice, which provides sustained energy and a comforting texture, and a drizzle of honey for a touch of sweetness, this snack becomes a nourishing powerhouse that satisfies both the taste buds and the body. Enjoy this delightful combination as a snack in summer to replenish your energy.
- 1 cup of glutinous rice flour
- 15g Dried jujube dates
- 15g Dried longan fruit
- 15g Dried lotus seeds
- 1tbsp Honey
- 10g Black Sesame seeds
- Prepare a steamer and line it with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of glutinous rice flour with water to form a sticky dough.
- Take a small portion of the dough (about 1 tablespoon) and flatten it in your palm.
- Place a Chinese herb in the centre of the flattened dough and wrap it, forming a small ball.
- Repeat the process until all the dough and herbs are used.
- Place the sticky rice balls in the steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes until they are cooked and soft.
- Serve with a drizzle honey for added sweetness and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
How Can I Get Hold Of These Ingredients?
All the items listed above can be found in your local supermarket or health food store. All the herbs can be found in our DaoDi culinary herb range. Click on the links provided in the above recipe ingredients list. Or view our whole range here:
By incorporating Chinese herbs into your summer snack routine, you can nourish your body, support your summer wellness goals, and enjoy a variety of unique flavours. From cooling cucumber slices to refreshing watermelon salad and energising green tea, these herb-infused snacks will keep you feeling revitalised throughout the season. Embrace the wisdom of TCM and savour the natural benefits these herbs have to offer. Stay healthy, cool, and enjoy the abundance of summer!
Now that you've got some scrumptious ideas of how to use these versatile herbs, we're excited to see you impress your friends and family with your cooking skills!
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