In time for Mid-Autumn Festival, Tzu Chi volunteers made pastries using Jing Si multigrain powder, raising funds for Tzu Chi’s construction projects in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
Tzu Chi volunteers in the Philippines seize the Mid-Autumn Festival season to promote Jing Si products and a healthier way of celebrating this occasion.
Volunteers from across Metro Manila gather at the Jing Si Hall every day since September 10, mixing ingredients to produce three flavors of healthy food, which they called “Love Pastries.”
The pastries are made using Jing Si multigrain powders, which contain 19 to 22 kinds of mixed grains and cereals with recipe formulated by Manila Tzu Chi volunteer Catherine Tiu.
After attending a global training seminar in Taiwan this year, Catherine was moved by how the Buddhist nuns in the Jing Si Abode, Tzu Chi Foundation’s spiritual home, uphold the principle of “No Work, No Meal.”
Since the organization started half a century ago, its founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen has not accepted offerings. Instead, she and her disciples worked in order to sustain their own living. From sewing baby shoes, pottery making, farming, making multigrain powders, and candles – the nuns have done more than 21 kinds of work. This ensures that the living expenses of the abode residents are clearly separate from the donations that Tzu Chi receives from around the world.
Wanting to help the nuns, Catherine resolved to learn more about the Jing Si multigrain powders when she got back to the Philippines. “I discovered that they are not only nutritious but are also environmentally-friendly since the nuns at the abode do not use pesticides,” she shared.
She also found out that the multigrain powders can also be used as ingredients in making cookies and other pastries. At home, she started experimenting, combining the powders with local flavors like coconut oil and nuts. Her children loved her creations.
When fellow Tzu Chi volunteers found out about this, they encouraged Catherine to share her recipe. Thus, began the idea of baking pastries for the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is traditionally marked with families and friends exchanging and sharing mooncakes.
15 to 20 volunteers would come to Jing-Si Hall here at Agno St. Quezon City everyday to help in preparing the pastries. They were able to handcraft three flavors namely toasted oats with floss and nuts, Jew’s mallows (Saluyot) with cranberry and almonds, and dark chocolate with cacao nibs.
“I am touched to see many of my fellow volunteers are involved in the making of the pastries and are happy in the process.” remarked Catherine.
Volunteer Aileen Chiu does not like mooncakes since they are too sweet to her taste. But helping make these multi-grain pastries gave her a better alternative.
“These are made from multigrain mix powder, cocoa, Jew’s mallows (Saluyot), floss and nuts which are not sweet but savory.” she noted.
A box of six pieces of these healthy pastries is on sale for Php500. Proceeds will go to fund the reconstruction of Tzu Chi Foundation’s Great Love Complex in Sta. Mesa, Manila.