Have you ever noticed times when you eat that you can eat and eat and eat and never seem to feel full or satisfied? Most likely what you were eating only had one or two tastes. Lately when I eat I do a little check-in to make sure my meal includes all 6 tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent). In Ayurveda, incorporating all six tastes in every meal aides with proper digestion and helps nourish and satisfy the body and mind, and reduces cravings and overeating.
Here's an easy guide to the 6 tastes:
Sweet: carbohydrates/grains, rice, bread, sweet fruit, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, milk, oils, meats, nuts Sour: citrus fruits, yogurt, alcohol, vinegar, cheese, tomato, raspberries, strawberries Salty: all salts, celery Pungent: garlic, onion, ginger, wasabi, black pepper, cloves, cayenne pepper, horseradish, salsa, jalapenos, all spices Bitter: coffee, rhubarb, tumeric, most green and yellow veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, leafy greens, cabbage Astringent: fruit peels, leafy greens, blueberries, cranberries, beans, legumes, peas, green tea, raw apple, pomegranate
Here are a few winter salads that fit the bill. They are delicious, nourishing and deeply satisfying!
Butternut, Apple and Pomegranate Salad from True Food by Andrew Weil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (sweet) 2 T EVOO 1 t salt (salty) and black pepper to taste (pungent) 6 oz(9 cups) mixed baby greens (bitter) 1 apple, fuji, gala, cored and sliced (astringent) 1/2 c Balsamic Vinaigrette (sour) 5 oz goat cheese, crumbled (sour) 1/4 c walnuts, toasted and chopped (sweet) 1/4 c pomegranate seeds (astringent)
Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or foil. Toss squash with olive oil and salt. Arrange in single layer on prepared sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, until squash is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Toss mixed greens, squash, apple and Vinaigrette. Top w/ goat cheese, walnuts and pomegranate seeds
Warm Winter Vegetable Salad
1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges 1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces 1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces 1 small beet, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (all the roasted veggies are sweet taste) 3 T EVOO Salt and freshly ground pepper (salty and pungent taste) 1/4 cup walnuts (sweet) 1 1/2 t balsamic vinegar (sour) 1 1/2 t fresh lemon juice (sour and astringent) 1/2 t Dijon mustard (pungent) 2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley (bitter)
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium roasting pan, toss the onion, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery root and beet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.
Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a work surface and coarsely chop.
In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice, mustard and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fold in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and walnuts to the dressing and toss.
Eat in a quiet, settled atmosphere and enjoy the different tastes dancing on your tongue : )