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Congee can be enjoyed as a soothing and nourishing meal any time of the day. Rice is cooked with extra water and simmered until the grains break down, making it easier to digest. Adding yams and pumpkin to this simple recipe creates a powerful tool for healing the digestive tract and adds flavour to this comforting meal.

Although often mistaken for sweet potatoes, Chinese yams (also sometimes called a tuber or rhizome) are mild and starchy with a distinctive bark-like exterior. They were traditionally used to improve women’s reproductive health and support digestion. Indeed, this humble root vegetable is an amazing source of fiber, which passes through the body undigested— flushing out toxins and keeping the digestive system healthy.

In TCM, pumpkins correspond to the Earth element, which represents the digestive system. They are considered a warming food that is deeply nourishing to the body, especially during the colder months.

If you are struggling with a weakened digestive system, try preparing this delicious yam and pumpkin congee recipe.


  • 1 cup short-grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound of yams, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound of pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • salt to taste
  • 1 2-inch piece of freshly and thinly sliced ginger


  1. In a pot, combine the sliced ginger, rice, and 12 cups of water.
  2. Bring to a simmer over low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once it looks creamy, add the pumpkin and yams and continue to cook for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Serve desired amount in a bowl and enjoy warm. All ingredients except for the ginger can be consumed.