Ayurveda Winter Guide Part I : Nutrition and recipes for cold days
For most of us Winter is probably the most difficult season to fall in love with or to embrace wholeheartedly. Because who enjoys the cold and short days with very little sunshine that make you want to stay in bed all day, feeling sluggish or craving unhealthy foods? Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic approach to Winter, which might help you live your best Winter yet - balanced, grounded and in tune with yourself and your body, by giving it exactly what it needs. Today we start our new weekly Ayurveda for Winter Guide series with one of the most important aspects of our everyday life: nutrition and food!
A key principle of Ayurveda is the digestive fire, called AGNI. Maintaining agni is crucial for getting through Winter time in a healthy way, as the cold weather outside challenges the digestion. Igniting our digestive fire with a variety of spices and warm meals is one of the most simple, yet effective ways to prevent us from being sluggish or catching a cold or flu. As a consequence of our bodies requiring more energy to keep us warm, we naturally crave more substantial food in Winter.
Supporting your body with the fuel it needs without overloading it, is the goal of any supportive Ayurvedic diet. It is all about balancing out strong Vata influences that prevail outside (related to cold, windy and dry weather). This is best achieved by eating cooked, warm foods that are well-spiced to balance the six tastes of Ayurveda (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent) as all of them affect the body energetically.
Avoid drinking cold drinks and consider preparing a healing and warming tea with fresh ginger, cinnamon and cloves to keep you hydrated.
Check out these easy-to-follow Ayurvedic recipes, a great addition to your Winter recipe collection!
Tri-doshic pumpkin porridge with millet and apples
for 1 serving:
- 50g cooked millet
- 1 apple, grated
- 2-3 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 1.5 cups of hemp, cashew or almond milk
- pinch of natural vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
- pinch of clove, ground
- pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1 tbsp date syrup
- toppings: hemp seeds, hempseed butter, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds,.. get creative!
Start by grating the apple. In a pan, bring the milk and 1 small glass of water to a boil and stir in millet, grated apple, pumpkin puree, vanilla & all other spices. Let the porridge simmer over medium heat until the mixture has soaked up the liquids and it has a creamy consistency. Sweeten with date syrup. To serve, you can add a dollop of a yoghurt of your choice and get creative with toppings!
miso-roasted brussel sprouts with crispy pumpkin seeds
for 2 servings:
- 300g brussel sprouts
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- black pepper, ground
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- himalayan salt ground
- two handful of pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Wash and trim brussel sprouts, discarding any brown patches. Chop them in half and transfer them onto a lined baking tray. In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, salt, pepper, miso paste, vinegar and minced garlic. Stir until well combined. If it is too thick, add a splash of water. Drizzle the brussel sprouts with marinade and make sure, everything is covered evenly. Roast brussel sprouts in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and slightly crispy. Flip them over halfway through the roasting time. for Just before they are ready, toast pumpkin seeds and cumin seeds in a pan over high heat for 1 minute to help them release their full flavor. Serve brussel sprouts with pumpkin seed topping. Goes well with a side of rice, daal, soba noodles or just on their own!
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