Eating for the Season: Recipes to keep Kapha in Balance!

Eating for the Season

Coming out of November and into December we are moving from the Vata season to Kapha season. As the cold and wetness of winter settle in, the effects of the winter climates are obvious, but even in more temperate climates, you can still notice the subtler changes that come with winter. With any shift in season, there are steps you can take to stay balanced through your diet. During this time Kahpa and Vata are both vulnerable so its best to approach a diet that concentrates on herbs and foods that carry dual tastes in order to avoid aggravating your Vata while balancing Kapha.

In general avoid refined sweets, excessively cold, dry,  unctuous, salty and fatty foods. I know it seems hard with the holidays, but if you keep this in mind you may notice the ease that it creates in your health during this time. It’s best to slightly increase the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes in your meals during Kapha season. However, as it is also important for Vata to pay attention to your sensitivity to these tastes, and learn to adjust your diet according to the daily conditions. For example, if it’s a strongly Vata day (i.e. dry and windy) despite being Kapha season, focus on more Vata-balancing foods and tastes. Otherwise, eat to balance Kapha and Vata with warming meals. Also be mindful of your agni or digestive fire. Since Kapha season can contribute to sluggish digestion, eat at regularly scheduled times without skipping meals or overeating. As always, eat your largest meal at lunch, when the digestive fires of Pitta are strongest.

Here are some simple recipes that can support you in balancing your diet this time of year.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (serves 4)

  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon of finally chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 tablespoon rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon soya oil
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • parsley
  • landcress

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add squash, oats, cilantro, spices including black pepper and salt, fresh ginger, lemon juice. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 35 minutes. Use a flat bottom ladle and puree the squash. Heat oil in a small skillet and saute scallions for about 2 minutes, then add to the creamed soup. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with fresh parsley and landcress.

Seven-Grain Bread (serves 4)

  • 1 Tablespoon of natural yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame butter
  • 1/2 spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup soya flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/2 cup of oat bran
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cracked wheat
  • 1 tablespoon of Sucanat
  • 1/2 teaspoon of rock salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Dissolve the yeast in warm water, then dilute the sesame butter in the yeast solution. Combine the flours, bran rolled oats, cracked wheat, Sucanat, salt and remaining water together, then add the yeast-sesame butter mixture. Kneed into a sticky dough. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl. Cover securely and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes. Punch down the dough, cover, and let rise again for 40 minutes, until it doubles in size. Form dough into four rolls and place on oiled backing trays. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Whole Mung Dhal (serves 4)

  • 1 Cup whole mung dhal
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 minced green chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Masala
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Wash mung dhal until water runs clear. Soak in 3 coups of cold water overnight. Drain. Boil 2 cups of water and add dhal, turmeric, and salt. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 50 minutes. In a small skillet, heat ghee, green chili pepper, and ginger for a few minutes. Add the Masala toward the end of browning. Add to dhal with lemon juice and remaining water. Cover and continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes over low heat.

Sauteed Golden beets with Masala (serves 4)

  • 4 golden beets
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon masala
  • 2 yellow onions of shallots, half moon slices
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Scrub the beets and cut into bite-size pieces. Heat cast-iron skillet with sunflower oil. Stir in masala until slightly browned. Add shallots, beets, and salt. Stir and add two tablespoons of water. Cover and allow to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot.

Caraway Brown Rice (serves 4)

  • 2 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 3 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds

Wash rice until water runs clear and add to boiling water. Add salt. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 minutes. Dry roast caraway seeds in a small cast-iron pan until golden. Add to rice mixture and cook and additional 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Red Cabbage and Onion Soup (serves 4)

  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1 small red cabbage shredded
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of rock salt
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 1 red onion, thin- half moon slices

Bring water to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the cabbage and onions, along with the coriander and cayenne powders, dried dill, parsley and salt. Lightly crush the garlic cloves with a hand stone and remove the skin. Add the lightly crushed cloves of garlic to the soup mixture. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 35 minutes, until onions are practically dissolved. Add cashew butter and stir the soup until it dissolves. Garnish the hot soup with thinly sliced red onions remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot with a heaping dollop of Millet Supreme.

Millet Supreme (serves 4)

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups millet
  • 1/4 cup fresh peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup currents
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds, slivered
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Thoroughly was the millet and add to boiling water, along with the peas, turmeric, cumin powder, ajwain seeds and salt. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. Heat the oil in a small skillet, and add the currants and almonds. Stir for another few minutes until currants begin to swell. Add the lemon juice. Add to the millet, and continue cooking for 10 minutes more. Serve warm.

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.