Warming Ayurvedic Foods for Winter

After all the excitement and preparation of Eye of the Tiger, I came down with a bit of a cold. I've been loading up on Ester C (thanks Tara!), Cold Formula tea with raw local honey, Echinacea and Goldenseal Tincture (again, thanks Tara - she always takes care of me!) and keeping up with my green smoothies and juices. However, it's gotten quite cold these last few days and I've been craving nurturing and warming foods. According to Ayurveda, the root of most illness and disease is improper digestion. Therefore, when you're sick, eat healthy and easy to digest foods that give your system a break so it can focus it's energy on healing.  Below are a few of my favorite healing Ayurvedic recipes for when the temperature drops. I've included some of the properties of the spices used.

Stewed Apples from Eat/Taste/Heal, my favorite Ayurvedic guide and cookbook. 

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 4 dates, pitted and cut in half
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger (heating, aids in congestion, digestion, circulation and inflammation)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (health benefits - too many to list here)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (warming, aids in digestive, respiratory and reproductive health)

Put all ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Transfer 1/3 of the ingredients into a blender, puree, and return to pan. Serve warm. Serves 2.

 

Ayurvedic Dahl Soup from Eat Pure Food

Serves 6-8

  • 2 cups Red Lentils (Masoor Dal)
  • 7 cups Water
  • 2 medium Carrots, 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp Curry Powder (anti-cancer, curry powder is a combination of many herbs and is full of health benefits)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut or Olive Oil
  • 5 Green Onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Raisins (optional)
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro, Minced (aids in digestion, heavy metal detox, inflammation, anti-oxidant)

Rinse the lentils in a fine sieve under cool running water 3-5min or until the water runs clear. Place lentils in a large soup pot with the water and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Add the carrots and 1 tsp of the ginger.  Cover and let simmer for 30 min. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the remaining ginger and green onions.  Saute for 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and tomato paste and cook 2 minutes more. Add mixture to the lentils along with the raisins, coconut milk and salt. Simmer uncovered for 20 min on low heat.  The dahl will be fairly thick when finished.  Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. (Keeps well for 3-4 days)