I walked by dog this morning and noticed not only was the air crisp and dry, but my lips were cracked and when I looked down at my legs they were drier than they’d ever been. The inside of my nose burned and my eyes were red and lacked moisture. I sensed that vata had finally “kicked” in.
Primarily vata/pitta type, I tend to have rough, scaly skin. My skin was moist and slightly oily during the summer, but with Autumn bringing light, cooler days, my skin officially dried up. In addition to having a generous amount of vata in my constitution, entering vata season has taken dryness to the next level. I knew that I needed deep moisture and oleation!
Vata is represented by the elements air and ether and the qualities: dry, cold, light, mobile, and rough. According to Ayurveda, opposite qualities of vata, pitta, and kapha bring balance, while increasing the qualities will increase the dosas.
Diet being one of the 3 Pillars of Ayurvedic Health and since eating is something we do all the time, nourishing ourselves from the inside out is primary to healing any systematic dryness. These recipes are perfect for fall and can be enjoyed any time there is increased vata. Increasing moisture, smoothness, warmth, grounding, and regularity in our eating is necessary to balance vata during such a sensitive season. Choosing foods with similar qualities and focusing on the taste sweet, sour and salty ensure vata is well balanced.
Enjoy these simple and easy to make recipes any time there is increased vata in your life: transition, postpartum, post surgery, debility or weakness, detoxing, fatigue, vata season: fall and early winter.
Sweet Potato Leek Soup Recipe
So yummy! You can always substitute the sweet potato with kobucha squash, potatoes, butternut squash, or carrots if you please. Any root veggie or grounding heavier veggies will do!
6-7 small-medium size sweet potatoes
1 medium size leak
4 tbs of ghee
slices of raw ginger
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
pinch of hing aka asafoetida
1/4 tsp pipali aka long pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1-1 1/2 cup or water
Fill a saucepan with water and add salt. Add sweet potatoes and boil. In another pan add 2 tbs of ghee and spices. Add the chopped leaks and sautee until soft ( sometimes I add a little water to add moisture) Once the potatoes are soft, peel the skin ( it’s easier to peel after it’s been cooked) and add the leeks into a blender. Puree the mix until it is soft, adding water as needed. *More water for soupier version, and less for a thicker version. I recommend at least 1-1 1/2 cups to start.
To garnish, I added beet tops sauteed with 1-2 tbs of ghee until soft. And add the veggies to the soup. You can sautee carrots, beets, or other greens for different texture. Enjoy!
Beet “Salad” Recipe
For those of you that love salads, this is a nourishing and grounding version of a cold green salad which can cause more dryness in ones constitution.
2 medium sized beets
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 cups of cooked quinoia
salt and pepper and any other spices you’d like to add
bunch of cilantro
1-2 tbs ghee
Steam the beets until they are soft. Wash and cut up cilantro and sautee them in a pan with ghee and salt. Add spices if you like. Once the quinoia has cooked. Let everything cool so it’s not piping hot. Then mix all the ingredients together. At the end, add cubed slices of avocado, or sometimes I like to add a little bit of feta cheese. Enjoy at room temperature or slightly warm.
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
This is the perfect season to enjoy meals warmly cooked with pumpkins and spices!!
1 can of pumpkin puree ( or home made pumpkin puree)
1 cup ghee
2/3 cup of H2o
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups of succanat or coconut sugar ( maple syrup is ok too)
3 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs pumpkin spices mixed as you like ( cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove)
Preheat over to 350 degrees and grease 2 8.5x4x2.5 inch pan. Mix all the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Then add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well. Add to pan and bake for 60 minutes.