A Recipe for May

The Emerging Abundance of Mid-Spring

Spring Recipe

The merry month of May bridges the unpredictable weather of early spring with the warmth and heat of summer is just that replete with abundant spring growth. In this post, you will find a delicious spring recipe to add to any meal.

The month of May is thought to have been named after the Roman goddess Maia, who embodied the concept of growth.[1] 

In the Chinese seasonal calendar of this period (Bearded Grain)-May 21st) the weather continues to vary between a morning chilliness, afternoon warmth, sun, rain and clouds. The earth produces an abundance of green vegetables from asparagus to leafy greens to fava beans, pungent radishes, wild greens and fiddleheads, dandelion greens, pea shoots, rhubarb and more.

For us humans, we too can mimic the full energy of May nourishing our body, mind and spirit with foods, activity and relationships. But first, let’s look at what might inhibit our well being. Of course, the external climate that may continue to be cool, or chilly and damp needs to be balanced. So, we can keep an outer layer to protect us from fluctuating temperatures, keep our home environments clean and free from dampness (try a dehumidifier if you live a in a damp climate) and try to avoid cold and damp foods that contribute to contracting our internal energy.

Flavors have Impact

Of course we all love delicious foods! Why not explore the inherent delight of flavor found in the foods that abound in May? Try some foods that are mildly bitter, which helps to clear out internal dampness, found in foods such as asparagus, dandelion greens, rhubarb and green tea.

Include some mildy sour ( such as new strawberries)  and fermented foods to support your gut health (see the recipe below!) And continue to eat foods that support your stomach and spleen network that are bland and sweet (whole grains, yi yi ren (Job’s tears) and tofu.

Try to resist the American tradition of sipping icy drinks in the heat, which also contracts and congeals our internal energy. Instead try room temperature water or warm herbal and green teas.

And, now for the recipe of the month.

I love to create condiments that can be added to any meal, especially when you are serving a family and people with different preferences. This simple  Parsley and Radish Top Sauerkraut  is delightful with fresh herbs and greens. Feel free to use different pungent greens in place of the parsley and radish tops: try arugula, mustard greens, baby greens or stemmed tender kale leaves.


Parsley and Radish Top Sauerkraut

In many countries, fermented foods are made using a little bit of the leftovers from a previous batch . Here, sauerkraut juice acts as the starter . You may think this is a ton of greens, but fermentation greatly decreases their volume . Serve this condiment with any meal to increase your digestive juices .

1 cup   packed coarsely chopped fresh parsley

1 cup   packed thinly sliced radish tops (leaves and stems)

1 tbsp   sauerkraut juice (from unpasteurized sauerkraut; store­bought or homemade)

1 tsp    kosher or non-­iodized sea salt     

  1. In jar, combine parsley and radish tops. Sprinkle with sauerkraut juice and salt. Cover loosely with lid and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours before serving.
  2. To store, using the back of a spoon, press parsley mixture down until submerged in liquid. Refrigerate in sealed jar for up to 2 weeks.

Health Tip

These strongly flavored greens activate digestion and break up stagnation in the body.

They make a great spring and summer condiment to add to your meal.

[1] Turcan, Robert (2001). The Gods of Ancient Rome – Religion in Everyday Life from Archaic to Imperial Times. London: Routledge. p. 70. ISBN 9780415929745.

Excerpt and Recipe Courtesy of Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine by Ellen Goldsmith with Maya Klein© 2017  www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.

Text copyright © 2017 Ellen Goldsmith
Recipes copyright © 2017 Maya Klein and Ellen Goldsmith
Cover and text design copyright © 2017 Robert Rose Inc

Share This
Ellen Goldsmith

Ellen Goldsmith

Ellen Goldsmith is a licensed and nationally board certified acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She has been in the field of Asian medicine for the past 30 years, teaching, speaking and working with thousands of people to give them the resources, skills and tools they seek to improve the quality of their health and lives. Ellen is the author of the well respected book, Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine: + 175 Recipes for Optimal Health. She is on faculty at the National University of Natural Medicine’s College of Classical Chinese Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Leave a Comment