Foodie Friday - Lotus Root

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Totally tubular!

Speaking (again) of the lungs, lotus root, an off-the-beaten-Western-path vegetable, is remarkable for its ability to 'melt mucus accumulation' and clear out lung congestion.

Found in many Asian dishes, lotus or lily root, is just that... the rhizome of the water-dwelling lotus flower.  Perhaps the ancients made the connection, as they often did, between its appearance and its function: tubular in shape, but containing tunnels shot through its length, like bronchial passageways. The texture of lotus root is starchy, almost like a potato, and with little distinctive flavor, so it takes nicely to whatever seasoning is added to it. Sliced thinly and deep-fried, it becomes almost like exotic potato chips.

Medicinally, however, it is prepared as a tea. Fresh lotus root is ideal, when it can be found... most likely in Asian markets, though I have seen it on rare occasion in some natural food stores. It can, however, be purchased dried, either sliced (secondly ideal) or powdered. I have included recipes for making tea with each form, as well as links for some yummy recipes, should you happen to find the fresh root near you.

I can tell you from personal experience that this tea is indeed a powerful expectorant... and good to keep on hand during the hacking cough season. Can't find even the packaged form near you? Order it below!

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Lotus Root Tea

**From fresh lotus root: Grate a two-inch piece of fresh lotus root. Squeeze out the juice through a piece of cheesecloth. Add 2-3 drops of ginger juice (made from grating fresh ginger), or add 1 gram of ginger powder. Add a pinch of sea salt or a few drops of tamari soy sauce. Add an equal amount of water, and boil this combination for a few minutes.

**From dried: Boil 1/3 ounce (about 10 grams) of dried lotus root in 1 cup water for 12-15 minutes. Add 2-3 drops of ginger juice (or 1 gram ginger powder) and a pinch of sea salt or tamari soy sauce.

** From powdered: Use one teaspoon lotus root powder per person. Add to it a small cup of water, together with a pinch of sea salt and 2-3 drops of ginger juice (or 1 ginger powder). Heat this on a low flame, and turn off the heat when it begins to boil.

Check these links for more ways to prepare lotus root:

Justhungry.com

Homemade-Chinese-Soups.com

TheWellSeasonedCook.blogspot.com

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