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Jujube dates - add strength to your day

Jujube dates, also called Chinese dates, are packed with nutritional value. They are sweet and warm and calming on the emotions. If you feel tired and weak, overall sluggish and listless, throw in some fresh or dried Chinese dates into your diet. Chinese dates are used extensively in Chinese herbal medicine.

I love them especially in winter when the cold, dark, and rainy days make getting up in the morning just that little bit harder. I simply add them to my morning rice-porridge.

With only a few simple steps, you can create your own rice congee. It tastes delicious, sweet in a very subtle, not overpowering way. And, of course, recipes are not set in stone. You can use white or black rice, sprinkle some cinnamon, or even sesame seeds on top, or sweeten your porridge with some extra honey.

Sweet Rice Congee

1 cup of rice – you can use sweet black rice instead (rinse before use) 10 Chinese dates (Jujube dates) 1 cup dried longan fruit

2 tablespoons raw sugar

6 cups water Garnish: small piece of fresh peeled ginger, thinly sliced

Preparation (four servings):

In a large heavy saucepan, add water, rice, dates, longan, and raw sugar. Bring everything to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat. Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Garnish with fresh ginger slices. Lovely!

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