Hello my luvlies! Let me ask you, what better way is there to inspire ourselves to eat to stay healthy then to launch The Medicinal Gourmet Cooking Collective! Many foods are also medicines and when included in a meal can really help to improve your health! In India there are many spices and herbs that are used, as well as certain vegetables like bitter gourd that are very medicinal. Bitter foods tend to help the blood and heart. In China there are many things eaten for health such as Ginseng, Fermented Foods, Mushrooms, and many Herbs. Most countries have their own way to heal the body naturally through food, and this collective will bring us all together so that we can share our knowledge and inspire each other.
This challenge is a lovely opportunity to cook, learn, experiment with some new ideas, and share in the spirit of good health. In this collective we are more concerned with the medicinal value of the dishes rather then having perfect presentation (although that always helps!). Your meal can include a drink or juice as well as a starter or dessert if you want. It's up to you how far you take your meal and how medicinal you want to get.
The Five Elements
Each week we will be cooking to support one of the five elements. According to the Ancient Chinese, all things in the world can be divided into five vibrational families and the elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. In the body, these Five Elements represent the five major organs - The kidneys, the Liver, the Heart, the Spleen/Stomach/Pancreas and the Lungs - all of which are necessary for survival. Usually one of these organs is stronger than the others giving extra energy to that organ and helping people to behave in certain ways and clearly influences personality and lifestyle choices - things like food preferences, fun, fashion, decorating, sleeping, playing, etc. And, one of the organs is usually slightly deficient and needs building up. When you are strong in one element, you usually need to build up the other elements to find balance.
When our organs are in balance with each other we can experience good health. Our organs can be supported by eating foods that nourish and bring balance to the body. You can see in the chart below how the elements correspond to the organs of the body, what emotions they are related to, as well as the colour and tates that can be eaten to bring them into balance.
Week 1: Red / Fire / Heart Food
Consuming food that is red in colour or bitter in taste is good for your heart, small intestine, and brain. Foods that fall into this category include carrots, tomato, sweet potato, strawberry, chilli, red beans, red pepper, jujube, goji berry, dragon fruit, apple, beetroot, saffron, and anything else that is a shade of red. Other food types that are good for the heart include 70%+ dark chocolate, raw garlic, olive oil, nuts, asparagus, spinach, artichoke, aubergine, liquorice, broccoli, and flax-seeds.
We will cook once a week, and today marks the start of the first day of week 1. If you would like to join us in this challenge for week 1 please let us know in the comments. You don't have to do them all if you don’t want, a one week commitment is also totally fine ;-) The final date to post with us is next Thursday 12th July.
This first challenge will focus on the Fire Element or the Heart. This could be a meal that contains ingredients that are known to reduce blood pressure, stress, or other heart related ailments. It might include a relaxing tea such as chamomile. It should be a dish that promotes a healthy heart. It could even include a dish made with red chocolate!? It could be a special soup that helps to reduce weight, or any medicinal dishes that help the heart that you know of.
1. The meal should include an element of the colour red and there should be a bitter element to it. You can also use any ingredients that support the healthy functioning of the heart.
2. Please post using the tag #medicinal-cooking so that it is easy to find your post.
3. Please try out the recipes yourself and include photos of your dish(es) and how you made it.
4. Please explain in your post how this meal is beneficial to the Heart or Fire Element.
5. This challenge is open to everyone. There are no rules regarding ingredients, including the use of (ethically sourced) meat or fish, although we encourage vegan ideas as they are usually the best!
6. The deadline for this is Friday 13th July ;-) Please do comment if you have any questions!
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