Ever have those random moments where you just reminisce about your favourite foods?
Yeah, us too.
Luckily - we've all got an excuse to dream today...
We're not going to lie - this is one of our highlights of the year!
As part of our love for all things edible, we've outlined the perfect Chinese herbal recipes and created our Ultimate Feast Recipe Bundle, packed with flavour and fun:
Now, in Eastern culture this is usually eaten as a dessert.
BUT - because there are no rules when it comes to delicious food, we're encouraging you to ignore these rules and kickstart your day in style.
If you're not familiar with Jujube Dates, you're probably wondering... why use these?
What Makes Jujube Dates Special?
These beauties have a soft and crisp red skin, with a sweet, slightly tart spongy centre.
Another great benefit of these is that they're packed with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fibre - a perfect balance between taste and feel-good!
We recommend using the non-pitted Jujube Dates, to ensure the vibrant flavours are kept in-tact.
Right - enough of us teasing you with the Jujube's life story - let's get to the real fun...
How to Make the Perfect Jujube Date Pancake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup of boiling water
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1 cup of Jujube Dates
[Optional for a sweeter tooth] - 2 tablespoons of sugar
1) Sift the flour into a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of boiling water and stir.
2) Knead the warm dough until it is smooth, then add the remaining 1/4 cup of water if necessary.
3) Cover the dough and rest for 30 mins
4) Place the rested dough on a flat surface and cut in half. Roll out until it is roughly 1/4 inch-thick.
5) Use a cookie cutter to cut out 3-inch circles of dough.
6) Brush the sesame oil over the top of 2 dough circles, then lay them on top of each other (with the oil sides together)
7) Roll out the dough to form a 6-inch pancake, then repeat to make the rest of the 3-inch dough circles.
8) Heat a frying pan over a low heat, then add one of the paired pancakes and cook until brown on both sides (approx. 3 minutes together)
9) Remove from the heat and pull the pancakes apart. Do the same with the remainder of your pancakes. Cool for a minute or two.
10) Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Crush down and spread the Jujube Dates over the unbrowned surface of the pancakes.
11) Roll the pancakes over 2 to 3 times, to form a flat roll. Brown the pancakes in the pan on both sides
12) Dust the pancakes with sugar (if required).
13) Serve and enjoy!
After a great start to the day, we want to keep those energy levels boosted.
An on-the-go option, coming right up!
What Makes Black Sesame Seeds Special?
A versatile ingredient to many dishes, Black Sesame Seeds are naturally high in protein, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, copper and iron.
These are also great for their anti-aging properties, assisting to stabilise blood pressure, plus helping with fibre and cell reinforcements.
How to Make the Perfect Black Sesame Seed Smoothie
- 250ml milk of your choice (we're going with soya milk)
- 1 tbsp grounded flaxseed
- 1 tsp maca powder (optional)
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1 date (stoned)
- 1 small ripe banana
- Handful of spinach
- 1 tbsp of butter
- Handful of black sesame seeds
1) Pour the milk into a blender and add the ground flaxseed, maca powder, and cinnamon
2) Add the remaining ingredients then mix until smooth
3) Pour into a glass, then add the Black Sesame Seeds on top
You can't go wrong with a good-old soup, but with a tasty twist!
Here's why we recommend using Nameko Mushrooms in this dish...
What Makes Nameko Mushrooms Special?
With an enhanced earthy flavour when sautéed, these mushrooms contain a naturally occurring gelatin on the cap which allows them to lightly thicken soups.
Nameko Mushrooms are very popular, as they may assist with strengthening of the immune system, reduce cholesterol, combat mental health disorders and help resistance of staph infection.
How to Make the Perfect Nameko Mushroom Soup
- 1 handful of Nameko mushrooms
- 1/4 leek
- 600ml Dashi stock
- 2 tablespoons of Miso
1) Finely chop the leek. Rinse the mushrooms and leave them to drain in a colander
2) Place a pan on a medium heat and bring to a boil. Mix in the Dashi stock
3) Add the mushrooms and leek into the pan and stir
4) Lower the heat and add the miso to thicken the soup
5) Once thickened, remove from the heat and leave to stand for 1 minute
6) Serve and enjoy!
As a super-efficient, easy snack, these seeds are tasty and nutritious, two of our favourite words.
What Makes Dried Lotus Seeds Special?
These are valued for a tonne of great health and healing properties, including:
- High in protein, calcium, zinc, iron & potassium
- May improve a sluggish appetite
- Can improve brain function and memory (senile dementia)
- Low in sugar and saturated fat
- Can help with anti-ageing
- May act as an anti-inflammatory and reduce blood pressure
- Can help benefit the kidneys
- May assist insomnia
- Can help treat urinary problems
- May help reduce heart disease
- Can assist weight loss
How to Eat Dried Lotus Seeds?
These are super easy to consume - raw or cooked.
As they have a hard and rough texture, they must be soaked in water overnight before eating.
Once you've done this, make sure to de-shell them before tucking in!
*Don't worry if you're vegan/vegetarian, click here for an alternative recipe!
Traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine, Dang Gui is a powerful ingredient with impressive health benefits.
What Makes Dang Gui Special?
Known to assist cardiovascular diseases, improve blood circulation and women's reproductive health issues, this is a tasty yet important health boosting tool!
It may also be beneficial to dilate blood vessels and control muscle spasms, further helping the regulation of menstrual flow in women.
How to Make the Perfect Steamed Chicken in Dang Gui Sauce
- 40g of ginger
- 500g of chicken with skin and bone (cut into 3cm pieces)
- 30g rice (of your choice)
- 20g soy sauce
- 5 slices of Dang Gui
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 800g of water
- 10 jujube dates (optional)
1) Place ginger in a mixing bowl and chop finely
2) Transfer this mix into a small sieve
3) Place chicken and rest of ingredients into a pot fitted with steamer basket over water
4) Bring water to the boil, until the chicken juices run clear (30 mins)
5) Let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes then remove
6) Serve and enjoy!
DESSERT (if you're still peckish)
If you're still hanging in there and haven't succumbed to a food coma just yet, we salute you.
In our eyes, that's ALWAYS room for dessert, so top off World Food Day with a sweet sensation...
What Makes Black Plum Special?
Belonging to the same family as peaches, apricots and nectarines, Black Plums are the more diverse fruit of the family.
They make great additions to most salads or desserts due to being high in Vitamin C, but the sweetest part of this ingredient is how it can benefit your health.
Known to help stop coughing, alleviate thirst and pain, prevent diarrhoea, stop bleeding and treating corns/warts, this is a key health boosting fruit you need to try!
How to Make the Perfect Black Plum Pie
- 2 unbaked pie crusts
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp butter
- 500g of dried black plums
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees (Gas Mark 8)
2) Place one pie crust into a 9 inch pie dish, then wash the plums
3) Cut plums in half (removing pit), then into quarters
4) Arrange plums evenly in the pie crust
5) Mix together dry ingredients then sprinkle over the top of the plums
6) Slightly glaze the mix with butter
7) Place top crust over the plums, then trim the crust to fit the edge
8) Cut around 6 slits into the top of the pie
9) Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees (Gas Mark 3) for a further 25 minutes
10) Check after time elapsed - if plums are tender you're good to go
11) Serve and enjoy, warm or cold!
If you've made it this far, you're a superstar.
You've successfully completed the Vita Ultimate Feast challenge, what an achievement!
Now that you've got some great ideas of how to use Chinese herbal ingredients in some unique dishes, check out our other recipes here.
For any further information on Chinese culinary herbs, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.