top of page
  • Writer's pictureEartha Armstrong, L.Ac.

What to eat for breakfast?

Eating an easily-metabolized breakfast will give you energy all morning and help to kick start your digestive organs, ensuring efficient digestion and sustained energy throughout the day. Congee also known as Jook is a traditional breakfast porridge that is served across East Asia.

I often start cooking Congee in the crock pot overnight so that it will be all ready to eat when I wake up in the morning. This is also an easy recipe that makes enough to reheat throughout the week. It is optimal to use this recipe for breakfast at least 4-5 times per week. The key to success is making sure it tastes good!

CONGEE or JOOK (English: “rice soup”)


½ c. organic rice (rinsed thoroughly)

½ c. organic mixed grains (see Healing Properties of Grains below to see which grains suit you best)

10 c. high quality filtered water or organic stock (I often use bone broth)

optional: add chicken (thighs or breast), 2 tablespoons butter and sliced ginger

In crock pot:

1) Mix all ingredients in crock pot.

2) Turn on low overnight.

3) It should be a soupy rice porridge. See below for additional serving suggestions.

4) Refrigerate unused portion for use over the next five days.

In pressure cooker: (I use the Instant Pot)

1) Reduce liquids (water/broth) to 6.5 cups, rather than 10 cups.

2) Mix all ingredients in the pressure cooker.

3) Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.

4) Allow pressure to naturally release and remove the lid.

5) It should be a soupy rice porridge. See below for additional serving suggestions.

6) Refrigerate unused portion for use over the next five days.

Another option is to cook ingredients on the stove top:

1) Mix all ingredients in pot (glass or stainless steel are optimum).

2) Bring to boil.

3) Reduce to a simmer for 90-120 minutes, until grains are cooked completely and most of the water is absorbed and rice is broken down.

4) It should be a soupy rice porridge. See below for additional serving suggestions.

5) Refrigerate unused portion for use over the next five days.


Serving Suggestions:

• Add a small amount of your favorite fruit juice or dried fruit to sweeten (preferably organic)

• Add 1-2 T. uncooked rolled oats to avoid a blood sugar spike (preferably organic)

• Add soy sauce or tamari and sesame oil for salty umami flavor. (preferably organic)

• Add a poached or fried egg for added protein (this is my favorite!)

• Add a handful of baby greens to your bowl first and pour the hot congee on top to wilt the greens for added fiber, vitamins and minerals.

• Use later: add to soups, burritos or stir fry


Amaranth: cooling in temperature, bitter and sweet flavor, dries dampness and benefits the lungs, high in protein, high in calcium, magnesium and amino acids, very good tasting.

Barley: (contains gluten) slightly cooling, sweet and salty flavor, strengthens the function of pancreas, builds blood and moistens dryness, easily digested, reduces inflammation

Buckwheat: (Groats, Kasha) neutral in temperature, sweet flavor, cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite, increases circulation and is excellent for cold hands and feet, reduces blood pressure, alkalizing

Millet: slightly cooling, sweet and salty flavor, supplements spleen-pancreas and stomach (excellent burning fuel), high in amino acids and protein, anti-fungal (great for Candida Albicans overgrowth), moistens dryness, alkalizing

Oats: warming in temperature, sweet and slightly bitter, calms the nervous system, balances thyroid, removes cholesterol form the digestive tract and arteries, lubricates the intestines.

Quinoa: slightly warming, sweet and sour, good for adrenals, invigorates kidney function, high in protein vitamins and minerals, strengthens the whole body. (Rinse before using!)

Brown Rice: neutral temperature, sweet, strengthens the function of the pancreas and stomach, drains dampness, high in B vitamins, builds energy, beneficial to the nervous system

*If you briefly dry roast grains in a pan before boiling it will give a better taste and texture.*



1. The Book of Jook: Chinese Medicinal Porridges : a Healthy Alternative to the Typical Western Breakfast written by Bob Flaws

2. Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition written by Paul Pitchford

This blog and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on this blog is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 


bottom of page