Warming Winter Congee

As the cold and dark of winter settles in it’s important that we eat rich and warming foods. These foods are easy to digest , warm us from within and are good for our immune systems.  Congee is a simple rice porridge found throughout Asia that fits the bill.  Congee is slow cooked rice with different herbs, vegetables, meats and spices. Congee can be made sweet and aromatic, with herbs like cinnamon and cloves, or it can be made rich and nourishing with additions like bone broth and chicken.  The possibilities are endless but the basic concept of warming nutritious food remains the same.
 
Here is a basic congee recipe to get you started. This is a richer version great for combatting the cold and strengthening the immune system.
 
Garlic Ginger Congee
 
1 cup white or brown rice
6-8 cups bone broth, stock, or water
3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 inch of ginger, minced or grated
Salt, shoyu, or plum vinegar to taste
 
Add all ingredients to a big pot and bring to a boil.  
Reduce the heat to low and cover.  
Cook for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
The rice will break down and the congee will thicken.  
Add salt or tamari to taste.  
 
There is a lot of room for experimentation with congee! You can add other vegetables like carrots, bok choy, or broccoli. You can also try adding sliced chicken or fish. Add these ingredients towards the last 10-30 minutes of cooking so they aren’t over cooked.