Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chinese Red Dates 红枣, Dried Longan 桂圆

From the perspective of traditional Chinese food therpay, Chinese red dates (jujubes) - 红枣 (hong zao) and dried longans - 桂圆 (gui yuan) are categorized as "heaty" yang elements and can be consumed to neutralize "cold" or yin elements, especially if one has a relatively "cold" internal body system. By imparting heat to the internal body, it improves blood circulation and thus is believed to have an effect on relaxation.

Both the dried forms of Chinese red dates and longans are naturally sweet. They are natural sweeteners and complements savoriness really well e.g. Silkie Black Chicken Soup - a nourishing winter tonic soup. Even if it is not winter, Chinese red dates and dried longans can be especially beneficial for women due to the relatively higher iron content.

Simply boil some ginger, red dates and dried longans in water then consume or sip as hot tea.

Photo top: red dates (jujubes); bottom: dried longans

These ingredients can also be added when making savory Chinese soups.

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