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Yi Yi Ren & Millet Congee

Breakfast congee recipe to support healthy digestion and metabolism.

Congee is often made using rice, but in this recipe we use some unique grains for their medicinal benefits.

Yi Yi Ren is a food grade Chinese herb that supports healthy metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Some of the indications for using Yi Yi Ren include: low appetite and slow metabolism, water retention, joint pain, blood sugar instability, and skin disorders (acne, eczema, psoriasis). 30-60 grams of Yi Yi Ren can be taken per day, either in decoction form or as food like congee. You can find Yi Yi Ren online or at most Asian grocery stores. It is a gluten-free grain, despite some its alternate names including Job's tears, coix barley, and pearl barley.

Yi Yi Ren and Millet Congee Recipe

3 cups water (chicken broth can be substituted)

1/4 cup Yi Yi Ren

1/4 cup Millet

3 slices (1/4 in thick) fresh ginger root

Place ingredients into crock pot slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-10 hrs. To make this recipe as a breakfast congee, start it before you go to sleep and it will be ready when you wake. Individual crock pot cook times may vary, add more water if yours is cooking too hot.

Salt to taste using mineral salt, add optional oil/fat (olive oil, coconut oil, butter, sesame oil, etc)

Makes 1 to 2 servings.

Dress it up!

This congee recipe can be modified however you see fit to round out a complete breakfast. In the morning you can add leafy greens like bok choy, chard, or kale and ground meat to cook for 10 minutes (or until fully cooked) or add a raw egg yolk to cook for 1 minute. Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley, or dried herbs - cinnamon and cardamon, curry powder, salt and pepper, whatever gets you excited.


Adding ground meat to a congee is a great way to turn it into a heartier meal. You can add ground meat such as ground chicken, beef, or lamb and allow to cook in the last 10 minutes before serving. You can also add ground meat, or thicker meat cuts at the beginning and allow it to slow cook overnight.


Add leafy greens such bok choy, kale, chard and allow to cook in the last 10 minutes before serving.

Egg Drop

At the end of cooking, add 1-2 raw egg yolks to the hot congee and allow to cook for 60 seconds.


For fatigue – add 3 grams Da Zao (jujube date)

For insomnia, anemia – add a small amount of fresh liver (chicken, beef, lamb) or ground beef

To increase warmth and circulation - add ground lamb, sweet cinnamon, fresh ginger

For tendency to weak digestion, diarrhea, low appetite - add 3-9 grams Qian Shi (foxnut), Lian Zi (lotus seed)

Sweet and savory - add ground black sesame seed, walnuts, goji berries.


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