If it is snowing outside and you need a warm nourishing treat, this is the perfect recipe to consider (along with hot vanilla steamers).
Bay Sticky Rice
3 TBSP of sushi rice
1 TBSP of butter
2 tsp of maple syrup
1 can of coconut milk
1 cup of milk or subsitute
3 fresh bay leaves
1/8 tsp of cardamon powder
Preheat the oven to 400. Grease an ovenproof dish. Add in the rice, maple syrup, cardamon and milks. Stir and then add in the bay leaves making sure to submerge them under your mixture so that they will not scorch. Finely dice the butter and scatter it over the surface.
Place your dish onto a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 and bake for an hour or until all liquid has been absorbed and your “pudding” is creamy and soft.
Bay leaves are found in most grocery stores. I prefer to use fresh ones can be found packaged in plastic containers in the produce section. Dried bay leaves are pretty useless for medicine. If you plan to be simmering them for a long time in something like soup, as bouquet garni, they will impart flavor but not much else. I rarely use bottled pure essential oils for anything but “housecleaning”. They are just too concentrated and in my opinion hard to use safely as a layperson. I do use hydrosols, essential oils from the citrus family in baking, Chinese liniments, and on occasion eucalyptus essential oil (make sure to use a pure reputable source).
You may also know Bay as Laurel( not to be confused with Prunus laurocerasus or Umbellularia californica which are poisonous), an evergreen bush from the Mediterranean. Bay leaves are a rich green, shiny, lance shaped, and pointed on both ends. They are a bit tough and have leather like feel about them. White flowers grow in a cluster to later produce black/purple, oval berries.
The volatile oils found in both the leaves and berries can be used externally as a liniment for sore muscles, headache, sprains, arthritis or rheumatism. Historically an infusion has been used to treat fungal and bacterial infection of the skin, nails or scalp. A decoction mixed with honey can be applied to the chest for respiratory illness. Culinarily the leaves help with digestive issues by toning and stimulating the organs. This herb has been used to treat bloating/wind, menstrual pains, blood/energy stagnation, numbness, nerve damage, coughs/colds, jaundice, and edema. Bay leaves should always be removed and not consumed once they have been used for food or medicine. They make an effective insect repellent when placed in food containers or among books and textiles.
Contraindications: none if you have properly identified the right plant. As with all plants hight in volatile oils, use sparingly if pregnant.