With the arrival of autumn, temperatures drop, leaves fall, and climatic conditions tend to become drier. According to the Five Phases philosophy of Chinese medicine, this moment corresponds to the metal element, which in turn is related to the lungs. This week's recipe - a wonderful twist on the conventional fruit smoothie - is designed to benefit the lungs and relieve coughs. Our main ingredient, pears, is highly valued in China as the fruit that is most beneficial for coughs. Pears are "sweet, slightly sour, and cool." They "generate fluids" but also "dissolve phlegm," so they are ideal for treating dry coughs, a hoarse voice, and thirst and agitation in general.
Our second key ingredient is almonds, which are found in some of the border regions of China but are not common in Chinese cuisine. Almonds, however, are closely related to apricots, and apricot seeds are one of the key medicinals for treating coughs in Chinese medicine. Almonds are not as potent as apricot seeds (which have some mild toxicity and shouldn't be consumed on a regular basis), but they do have some similar properties - moistening the lungs, relieving coughing and panting - that make them the perfect complement to pears in this smoothie.
Great recipes don’t need more than three great ingredients. Here we flavor the pear and almonds with garam masala, a pungent spice mix, which can be made of things like black pepper, mace, cinnamon, clove, cardamom and nutmeg. These spices all have "warm, dispersing" properties. They not only add nice complexity to the flavors of this smoothie, but they can also help to driving out a persistent cough. For those of us who have ever suffered with a chronic bronchitis-type cough, we know how unpleasant it can be. The key to treating this problem clinically is to add warm, dispersing medicinals to a formula that treats coughs. We hope this smoothie helps everyone settle into the new season and gives relief to anyone struggling with a persistent cough.
Curried Pear Smoothie with Almonds and Chia
Serving size: About 1-2
Prep Time / Cook Time: 5 minutes / 5 minutes
¾-1Cup Almond Milk (how thick do you like it?)
¼-1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala (to taste)
1 Tablespoon Chia Seed
1-2 Teaspoons Honey
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!
The recipes on The Way are intended as an East meets West look at food and its relationship to health and nutrition. Food is powerful, and every bite can either greatly benefit your system or effectively work against it. In Chinese Medicine, each grain, vegetable, meat, fruit, and spice has unique properties that can be harnessed to help us achieve and maintain balance in our bodies. Our recipes seek to incorporate some of the age-old principles of Chinese medicine into the culinary practices more familiar to the West.