This last recipe is eaten as a popular snack or dessert. Walnuts, looking like miniature brains, have long been believed by the Chinese to tonify the brain and to contribute to longevity. My Chinese professors at acupuncture school often urged us to eat more walnuts to combat the wear and tear on our brains from studying. Interestingly, researchers at Tufts University** have found that diets high in walnuts do reverse a number of parameters of brain aging in senior rats.
2 cups shelled walnuts
¼ cup rice flour
3 oz. turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 1 quart water to high boil in large saucepan. Add walnuts, boil for 1 minute, drain well. Spread walnuts on foil or parchment lined cookie sheet and bake til golden and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack.
Grind with ½ cup cold water in blender or food processor until nearly consistency of smooth paste. Add ½ more cup of cold water, scraping down sides and blend til almost smooth.
Wisk 1 cup water and rice flour in large saucepan til smooth, then wisk in walnut puree and 2 ½ cups more water. Heat over medium high heat, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil. Add turbinado sugar, reduce heat, and simmer 10 more minutes, whisking frequently. Add water if necessary; it should be about as thick as a light cream soup. Serve hot.
*from “The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen,” by Grace Young