Congee: The Nourishing Postpartum Recipe That Practically Makes Itself

While this recipe for Congee basically makes itself, you’re busy! Send this article to someone who loves you and have them make it and bring it over to you 😉

Do you ever have those moments of smacking your palm to your forehead and thinking to yourself, “Wait, how did I forget about that?” Remembering the power of a good bowl of congee only after I’d gone through my first pregnancy and a few months postpartum was one of those moments for me. 

This dish is so simple to make and so deeply nourishing and somehow slipped my mind in those blurry days, and weeks, of adjusting to the giant new identity of mom and parent. There were so many days where I wondered dozens of times, “Will I ever have time to bake/cook/clean/shower/be by myself again????” And all the while, there was congee just waiting to be made.

I did not grow up eating congee, I was brought up on good old oatmeal aka porridge. Which, don’t get me wrong, is also a great option for postpartum nourishment. Especially if you are wanting to support a good milk supply if you choose to breastfeed. Read more about my journey with breastfeeding, pumping, bottle feeding, and figuring out what works best for me and my family here

There is something about this incredible dish that is perfect for the postpartum period, especially in the early days (also known as the fourth trimester). Not just specifically for postpartum,  I was introduced to it by my partner when we were dating and I had a nasty stomach bug, which he then also got…There was a lot of congee that week….

Congee is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as Ayurveda for postpartum recovery. There are many different versions (note: this is something that is safe to google after giving birth, no scary pictures from an initial search that I did). 

It’s hard to go wrong making Congee, and so much to go right. 

  • This simple meal is jam packed with protein & collagen which are imperative to tissue repair. 
  • The long cooking process makes this easy to digest and we all know we want easy digestion after giving birth (we’re looking at you postpartum bowel movements). 
  • Ginger helps reduce inflammation and supports the immune system which is also still recovering from pregnancy and birth. 

This is my simple go to recipe that I love to follow and also play around with. 

Basic Congee

1 Cup White rice – you can use brown rice but I find white rice congee more soupy and nourishing. 

7-8 Cups of a combination of water and broth as prefered. Using homemade or store bought bone broth adds much needed collage and protein.

1 Tsp grated fresh ginger

Splash of sesame oil

A generous pinch of sea salt

Bonus if you have it: Kombu or Wakame flakes as they provide many different nutrients, vitamins and minerals to support and restore balance for birthing people in their recovery

Combine all in a pressure cooker or slow cooker. 

If you are using a pressure cooker, set pressure on high and set time for 30 minutes. I typically let mine cook for 1-1 ½ hours after it is done and then naturally release as this helps make it a thicker, more soup-like consistency. 

If you are using a slow cooker I would set it on low heat for 8-10 hours. 

Add more salt as needed, scallions, wakame flakes, chicken, or nothing at all! 

While Congee basically makes itself, you’re busy! Send this article to someone who loves you and have them make it and bring it over to you!

Best enjoyed while horizontal 🙂

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