Monday, January 16, 2012

Pumpkin Barley Dessert

Happy New Year folks!

I have been so busy with business in between planning out stuff for this year that I've been quite guilty of not updating fast enough. Anyway, since this is the week before Chinese New Year, I'm going to be good and share some interesting dessert soup recipes.

OK, onwards to this dessert made with two nourishing ingredients, pumpkin and barley.

I had this as a drink recently when I was lunching with a good friend at a macrobiotic cafe. I enjoyed the taste very much and decided to replicate it at home.

Pumpkin barley dessert - so nutritious and easy to make

Pumpkin is one of my favourite vegetables but Nic doesn't like it much (especially cooked as a dish for dinner). But I do know that pumpkin is good for health and I try to incorporate it as much as I can into our food.

Buying pumpkin whole is always better than buying halves but how else can you have pumpkin besides stir-fried with garlic? Hence this recipe! (Also I make pumpkin man-tou too with leftover pumpkin. I also roast pumpkin when I am roasting chicken - my pumpkin man-tau is a true keeper I tell you! Soft, fluffy goodness! Will share that here soon so come back.)

If you make this pumpkin barley dessert, even those die-hard haters of pumpkin will eat it. Once it is simmered, the pumpkin pieces taste like sweet potato (just make sure you do not over simmer or the pumpkin will be mushy).

Pumpkin and barley 

Pumpkin Barley Dessert
(Makes 6 servings)

You need only 4 ingredients:

1/2 pumpkin, remove skin and seeds, cubed
50 gm barley (soaked and rinsed)
some rock sugar
2 fresh pandan leaves, cut into pieces

Put these ingredients into a pot of 1 liter water.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Once it is boiling, lower heat and simmer covered for another 45 minutes.
Taste to adjust sweetness. Serve warm as a dessert.

If you are unable to finish this in one sitting, you can refrigerate it (do not freeze). When you wish to drink it, just warm it up lightly on your stove (do not bring to a boil).

Closer look at this soothing dessert 

Why Eat Pumpkin?
I am a big fan of pumpkin. I will eat pumpkin even if it is not nutritious! But then again, pumpkin is terribly good for your body.

Pumpkin is good for your eyes as it's loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, particularly alpha and beta-carotenes. It contains vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron. According to Chinese medicine, pumpkin seeds - dried and ground up - are good for expelling worms from your intestines! On the Western front, pumpkin seeds are famous for helping with prostate health.

According to TCM sites, pumpkin has a cooling nature and helps to resolve dampness, stabilizes a hyperactive foetus, kills worms, reduces fever and diabetes. It is also (surprise) an antidote for opium addiction!

What's most interesting is that pumpkin seeds helps to build Kidney Yin which is essential for reproduction and fertility.

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