Yay! It is fall, a beautiful time to feel the heat releasing from the body, and a great time to cleanse before the cold sets in. The most exciting of all is getting to put more sweet, salty, and sour foods in our diets (especially for those with a Vata imbalance). The Vata season consists of dry, rough, cold, light, subtle and mobile qualities, so we need to reduce our intake of foods that contain these qualities if we desire alignment and balance.
The words that come to mind when thinking of balancing Vata are grounding, nurturing and warming.
Because of Salt’s ability to accelerate metabolism (and at the same time contain and hold water in the body– as well as calm the nervous system), increased consumption can bring with it a passion for life. It is a great taste to add during Fall season as our digestion from the summer slows down. Exmp.Sea salt, Seaweeds, Purslane, Miso, Tamari Caution: do not increase if you have heart problems, or issues with water retention.
Sweet calms, softens, creates stability, and grounds. It gives our body Ojas. Exmp. Almond butter, Cooked Apples, Bananas, Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Squashes, Dates, Figs, Mangos, Papayas
Sour can help increase the metabolism as well as ground and build the immune system. We have to be a bit careful with sours though, most are rajasic or tamasic, so we need to take in healthy types of fermented foods or sour fruits. Exmp. Cherries, Green grapes, Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Grapefruit
Not sure how to put it all together? I have made it easy as pie. Here is a dee-lish recipe to help support the balance of Vata and welcome Fall and its magnificent tastes!
3 mangos diced
1 lemon juiced
3 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 piece of ginger (3 inches)grated
1 garlic clove chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup dates pitted
1 cup raisins
1 teas salt
Combine the syrup and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a low boil. Add the mangoes and the remaining ingredients to the mixture. Reduce the heat to a medium simmer and cook uncovered. This takes about an hour, or until thickened.
2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1/3 cup Miso paste
1/2 cup water
3 tbls almond butter
2 tbls maple syrup or agave
Preheat oven to 425. Mix miso paste, water, almond butter and syrup in a bowl. Add sweet potatoes. Place sweet potatoes on a baking rack. Roast for 25 minutes.
2 cups cooked Rice
1 cup Coconut Milk
1 to 2 Leeks chopped
1/4 cup Tamari
Lemon Zest or Lime Zest
1 piece of Ginger (1 inch) grated
1 Garlic clove pressed
1/2 cup Pineapple
Place coconut milk, chopped leeks, cilantro, tamari, lime zest, ginger, and garlic in a food processor. Blend well. Add pineapple to cooked rice. Pour over green curry.
To plate: Rice curry on bottom, topped with miso sweet potatoes and finished with the yummy mango chutney
Guest Writer : Hila Granger is an Ayurvedic Chef and Educator who studied at the California College of Ayurveda. She currently resides in Tucson and teaches food education classes as well as promotes her blog and product line Veggietemptress. Her pleasure is serving others by offering the gifts as a food healer and Ayurvedic educator to propel awareness and consciousness to the world. Veggietemptress.blogspot.com Veggietemptress@gmail.com