The word “Pudding” usually evokes elementary school memories of little “snack pack” containers in my lunch bag. Vanilla. Chocolate. Butterscotch. Tapioca. All the usual flavours.
But have you ever tried sesame pudding?
I made this pudding for my dad. It’s his birthday, and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, black sesame seeds help to nourish our kidney energy.
It’s silky, warming, and slightly sweet, with an unique aromatic finish that comes from toasting the sesame seeds.
The kidneys are the root of life. According to TCM, they store our Essence or “Jing”, which is a precious substance that gives us life.
We all inherit Essence from our parents, which influences our individual constitutions and development through life. This essence allows each individual to manifest as a unique human being, which is why no two people on this earth are identical. The quality and amount of essence one inherits depends on their parent’s health and constitution, which can explain why certain traits or diseases are passed down from generation to generation.
As we age, essence starts to decline. The kidneys govern the bones, the hair, teeth and lower back, which explains why bone degeneration, greying of the hair, loosening of the teeth, and aching of the lower back are common complaints as we age.
Foods to Nourish the Kidneys:
Certain foods that nourish the kidney essence are Almonds, organic milk, clarified butter, Solomon’s Seal, Nettles, bone marrow, royal jelly, and bee pollen. Also, because the colour relating to the Kidney network is black, any foods with a natural black color fall into this category as well, such as black beans, seeds in kiwis etc. The charred bits on your barbecued ribs do not count.
Although Essence cannot be replaced, it can be augmented by foods that specifically nourish this deep root energy, and help us overcome, or at least curb the adverse effects of aging.
Black sesame + Acupuncture for Longevity and Beauty:
I have a patient who is 76 years old, complaining that she’d do anything to have her natural hair color back. When we first started treatment, her hair was strikingly white from root to tip. It was beautiful, but I did what I could to address her concern. I used acupuncture points to nourish her kidney essence, and told her to start sprinkling black sesame seeds into her daily meals. 3 visits later, her hair had went from white to a light grey, and she had several brown locks growing from the base of her hairline! We were both very pleased with the results.
1/2 cup of black sesame seeds: Strengthens liver & kidney function, augments essence, darkens the hair
1/2 cup of Glutinous rice flour: Warms the stomach, nourishes spleen and stomach
1 pinch of sea salt: Nourishes the kidney
Honey to taste (I used 2 tablespoons): Generates moisture, strengthens the spleen
Top with Goji Berries: Nourishes essence, liver and kidney yin, sharpens vision
Toast the black sesame seeds in a pan for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently so they do not burn. They will start to emit a nice toasted aroma.
Blend or grind the dry toasted sesame seeds with a pinch of salt until it becomes a fine powder.
Mix in 1/2 cup of dry glutinous rice flour and blend until a uniform grey powder forms.
Pour 3 cups of water into the blender, and mix together until smooth.
Transfer the sesame pudding into a pot, and bring to a boil. The pudding will thicken as it simmers, and you can add more water to the mixture if you prefer a thinner consistency. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Modifications: Boil slices of ginger in the water beforehand if you are feeling cold or have poor digestion. Add a teaspoon of Job’s Tear’s powder to the dry mix if you have excessive dampness.
Happy birthday, Dad! May your life be full of happiness and good health.