My family has various types of Chinese desserts/beverage weekly. Unless prepared by myself (that I may add in more ingredients), otherwise my maid will prepare simple ones daily or on alternate days.
As my kids are all in schools during morning and afternoon hours, my maid is relatively free at home and so, she has to prepare any one of the above during weekdays (weekends we will eat those more complicated ones prepared by my mum).
Common Chinese desserts that can be prepared by my maid are:
Green Beans soup with/without sweet potatoes
Barley (the ‘magical beans’ though many people are not aware of it) with/without 百合
Steamed pear and
Red bean soup
Sweet potatoes soup
Green Beans are excellent for detox purposes (if well cooked). Such detox include the cleansing of all those electric charges / radiation that are clinging to us due to long hours exposure to all those computer/TV/handphone/electronic gadgets. All these electrical charges if accumulate enough can cause fatigue/headache/nauseas/body ache/etc in some of us. If you have ulcers, itchy skin (allergy) and food poisoning, you may try eating this (but not to be taken together with your medication, if there is any. If you are taking medicine, can eat this 30 minutes after your medicine).
I remember my grandma ever told me a ‘story’ of her friend who fell sick (sick as in in a sense of ‘losing part of her soul’ that she was not very conscious) after attending a funeral. She said that coz her friend was affected by the ‘air’ of the dead body when the friend went near to the coffin to pay her last respect, the bad air was trapped in her body and therefore resulting in her sickness. Then she was told to drink green bean soup and cleansed it thereafter. It is a must for all my siblings who after attending any funeral to have a bowl of green bean soup to ‘detox’ in this sense…
Boiling green bean soup looks like a very easy thing to do but actually it requires some technique to make it and drink it correctly. My mum is very particular about it…
Found a nice video to share with all (in Chinese):
For those who are unable to understand Chinese, basically:
if the purpose of you making the green bean soup is for cooling purposes, then you have to add the beans to boiling water in a Clay Pot (not metal ones to prevent oxidation) and boil in medium/small fire for 10 minutes. Then, discard beans and drink the soup (add in a bit of rock / brown sugar). The colour of the soup is greenish.
If the purpose of you making the green bean soup is for detox, then have to use the above method and boil longer (more than 30 minutes) till the beans are soft. The colour of the soup is reddish. Eat the beans and drink the soup.
Green bean soup is not suitable for those who has a ‘cool’ body (those with cold hands and feet), for women who have white discharge, for women who are about to have menses or who are having menses. Young children and old folks can eat in moderate amount but not too regularly (detox at least once a month is a good thing to do).
Sweet potatoes have excellent anti-cancer properties, with the Japanese cite as one of the most powerful antioxidant foods. Something cheap and good that I thought all should eat a bit…
When I have the time, will talk more about the magical bean – Barley (again another good and cheap thing) with百合. Also in my mind is to share with all how to take care of the reproductive organs of girls who are beginning to have their menstrual cycles (basically to keep those organs strong instead of ‘cold’ to make them have an easier pregnancy / delivery when they are ready. Those medicines that my mum got me to take when I was young were sort of very yucky but I have studied to come up with nicer ones. BUT my mum’s old fashioned recipes seems good as my 2 sisters and I all have problem free pregnancies /deliveries and the effectiveness of those that I am using on my daughter are yet to be known…)
PS: for those ladies out there who seldom cook, you may want to start with something simple like with one ingredient. Then, as you are more confident and have time, can begin to add one or more ingredients inside to make the dessert even more nutritious and tastier… (common cheap and good ingredients include 白木耳、黑木耳、枸杞、红枣、黑枣、龙眼干、etc. Each has its own medicinal properties…)