Taste the Season with These Mouthwatering Fall Recipes

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!

Mango Date Chutney with Miso Sweet Potatoes in a Rice Coconut Curry

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 bunche of Cilantro

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

Healing with Taste

Have you ever craved salty after a longer work out or felt the need for something sweet at the end of a meal?  Taste is very important for healing and staying balanced.  When you have all six tastes during a meal it leaves you feeling satisfied.  This recipe covers all the tastes and is a perfect summer meal or side.

Six Taste Salad

  • Fill a bowl 2/3rds full with lettuce (romaine, red or green lettuce) (bitter)
  • Sprinkle with cranberries (astringent)
  • Add 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds, a great source of protein (sweet)
  • Drizzle with Olive Oil, a good source of Omegas
  • Dash of Vinegar(sour)
  • Salt to taste  (salty)
  • Light sprinkle of black pepper (pungent)

Feel free to add or vary, but try to keep all the tastes.   Vatas and Pittas may want to add Avocado or Blueberries.  Kaphas may want to add some green peppers or radishes.

Calming the Doshas with Taste

Vata– Sweet (moistening affect)

Pitta– Bitter and Sweet (cooling and moistening affect)

Kapha– Bitter and Astringent (drying affect)

(The sweet taste I am talking about is not candy, but can be found in grains, fruit and protein)   Enjoy!

Summer Reading (Ayurveda Books)

Here is a list of the Ayurveda books I find myself recommending the most.  They are in no particular order and each have a brief review.  I have also found that every Ayurveda book has an intro to the Doshas, it is definitely worth the time to read this section even if you feel fairly knowledgeable about the Doshas.  It seems that everyone is written with a slightly different focus or view-point.

1.  Eat Taste Heal an Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, M.D., Daniel Rhoda, D.A.S., and Chef Johnny Brannigan  This book has a great intro. to Ayurveda focusing on Doshas and taste.  The rest of the book is filled with more modern recipes that have different options for different Doshas. 

There is also an online site for recipes I recommend a lot which is www.Joyfulbelly.com  

2.  Ayurveda the Science of Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad  This book is a wonderful introduction to Ayurveda covering a wide span of topics in an easy to understand format.  Perfect for anyone wanting to know more than just the meaning of the Doshas.

3.  Balance your Hormones, Balance your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Welness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and Western Science by Dr. Claudia Welch, MSOM  I feel this book should be in every womans library.  This book is clear and simple to understand and delves into a lot of topics on women’s health, and shows you that you do not have to suffer there are natural ways to work with your body to find health.

4.  Yoga and Ayurveda Self Healing and Self Realization by Dr. David Frawley  This book covers a lot of Ayurveda and Yoga information, you may want some previous knowledge on the subject before diving in or make sure to start from the beginning as the book builds on itself.  I remember trying to read this book before going to CCA. Having studied the subject for a while on my own I thought I knew a lot and that this book would be a walk in the park, it proved me wrong.  Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) is considered a Saint in India and has great knowledge of the Vedic texts and shares this in his books.  Another book that I would recommend by this Author if you are interested in the subject area is Neti: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda.

5.  Ayurveda and Aromatherapy (The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing) by Dr. Light Miller, ND and Dr. Bryan Miller,DC  I love this book it covers some of my favorite topics all in one book: Ayurveda, Marma Points and Essential Oils.  The essential oil guide is a great reference tool sharing the effects on the Doshas and great information on the oils themselves.

All of these books are based on Ayurveda with different subject focuses I hope you find one that interests you.  I invite you to take some time out of your day and enjoy one of these great books sitting out under the shade of a tree.