Grain Rain Gǔ Yǔ 谷雨 April 20
Updated: Apr 22
"During the Grain Rain Solar Term, the spring scenery is like the sun at dawn; The mountains and rivers, the grass and trees, seem to be covered with a blue dress."
We've passed through Clear and Bright Qīng Míng 清明 (Apr 4-18) and are now in the tail end of the spring quarter. We are about mid-way between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Grain Rain brings warm weather and more active yang energy. Spring shoots are appearing and 'grains' and flora grow with increased speed. Often, temperatures rise more quickly than in the previous solar terms as well. Energy is really beginning to move!
We can support our health by following this trend and increasing our outdoor physical activity. Walking, running, hiking, gardening - whatever gets your juices flowing! Vigorous massage over Ren 8 (navel/belly button) in the morning nourishes the digestive system and invigorates our natural yang energy.
Eat lighter, easy to digest foods; jook (congee), barley, yams, peanuts, cherries, tofu & spinach soup, eggs & asparagus. In the Bay Area, other in-season foods include avocados, leeks & spring onions, morel mushrooms, artichokes, snap peas, nettles, turnips, citrus fruit (lemons, mandarins, grapefruit, pomelos, etc). If you're a caffeine drinker, consider adding green tea (or switching from coffee) to your morning ritual for the spring and summer. Green tea is packed with beneficial phytonutrients that benefit the mind and body. For a non-caffeinated spring beverage, drink nettle and chrysanthemum tea.
Spring Snap Pea, Mushroom & Barley Salad
2 cups water
1 cup quick-cooking barley
8 ounces snap peas, trimmed and sliced into matchsticks
1/4 cup finely chopped spring onions (scallions, chives, etc)
1/2-1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms of your choice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice or rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1) Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add barley and cook, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes, or according to package directions. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
2) Sauté mushrooms. You can lightly sauté the peas and onions also if desired.
3) Rinse barley under cool water and transfer to a large bowl. Add snap peas, onion, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Refrigerate. Serve chilled. Yield 4 to 6 servings.