Our April cooking day for the Berkshire ACT (Acupuncture for Childbirth Team) was a great success. The day was all about blood nourishment for fertility and childbirth.
We were a group of acupuncturists exploring how to incorporate food-like Chinese herbs in cooking. We want to help women to understand better how to nourish their body, particularly while trying to conceive and after giving birth. Cooking with stock is an excellent tool. You can see some of the Chinese herbs in this stock, like dang shen (codonopsis root), hong zao (red dates) and ling zhi (reishi or ganoderma mushrooms). Mushrooms are very useful in stocks, especially if you are vegetarian.
We made the stock into an amazing nettle and beetroot soup - both foods nourish the blood. We also used it to cook some black turtle beans for our main course.
And it doesn't all have to be savoury to be healthy. Here we are making some sugar free spelt biscuits with powdered herbs, that turned out to be delicious with coconut yoghurt!
We ate our soup with a liver pate we made with dang gui (Chinese angelica) brandy. Nothing in Chinese medicine is considered good or bad, it is all about what is appropriate and in moderation. Alcohol is marvellous for moving the blood, and highly prized, and there is a long tradition of medicinal wines. So of course we took the opportunity to make our own dang gui brandy for the future....
We were lucky to be able to hold our day at the Cholsey Pavilion, and really enjoyed using the new kitchen and spacious foyer there, under the watchful gaze of the sheep.