Forbidden Rice Pudding with Blueberries & Longan Fruit

Categories: Heart Blood Vacuity, Heart Yin Vacuity, Kidney Qi Vacuity, Kidney Yin Vacuity, Shen Calming, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Stomach Yin Vacuity

by Kathy Deng

Yield: Serves six

½ cup of Forbidden rice (Chinese black rice)
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup rice milk
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
¼ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup blueberries
¼ cup longan dried fruit

1. Combine the rice, water and salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed.

2. Add the milk, coconut milk and honey to the rice, and stir together. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for five to 10 minutes, until creamy. Add the vanilla and blueberries, and continue to simmer for another five minutes.

3. Scrape into a bowl or into individual serving dishes. Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving.

Advance preparation: You can make this a day or two ahead and keep in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

TCM analysis: Overall warm, sweet, tonifies SP, KD, HT, yin and blood.

Forbidden rice:
Aphrodisiac.
Nutritious, high in iron, tonifies blood.
It is a short-grained, heirloom rice. It is purple when raw and dark purple when cooked.
One theory as to the name is that it was reserved for emperors in ancient China because of its nutritiousness and rarity.
Another theory is that when the Greeks took over parts of the Middle East, they had it banned due to the belief that it was being used by their enemies to aid them in battle. However, the most likely theory is that the name is simply a marketing ploy.

Coconut milk:
Warm, sweet
Strengthens the body, reduces swellings, stops bleeding, kills worms, activates HT function.

Honey:
Warm, sweet, nourishes yin
Lubricates dryness, tonifies weakness, harmonizes, antidote to drugs, strengthens spleen.
Blueberries:
Warm, Sweet, Sour.
Tonifies KD, nourishes blood, astringes Qi, slows aging process.

Longan fruit (Long yan rou):
Tonifies blood. Warm & Sweet.
Goes to HT, SP.  Tonifies & augments HT and SP, nourishes blood, calms spirit. Commonly used for problems associated with excessive pensiveness or overwork.

Resources:
1. Tao of Nutrition, Maoshing Ni.
2. New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/health/nutrition/26recipehealth.h
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_rice
4. http://www.classbrain.com/artaskcb/publish/article_181.shtml
5. TCM Materia Medica, Bensky