Ayurveda is an ancient Indian form of homeopathic medicine and preventative health care that is individualized into three “doshas” or general body types, Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. I would suggest that everyone take a simple and free online test to find your particular dosha. These small quizzes are available through many websites for free and will dictate the type of diet you should adhere to with specific lists of food do’s and don’ts. In general, every dosha has different needs and different foods which will both benefit and harm the system, but there are a few recipes that are generally beneficial to all doshas. Below are 8 ayurvedic recipes to try this winter.
1. Homemade Almond Milk with Cardamom and Saffron
Start by soaking about 2 tablespoons of raw almonds overnight in purified water. After a full night of soaking, peel the skins and blend in a blender or food processor with a bit of purified water until the solution is mostly liquid. Use cheesecloth to strain the liquid removing any leftover bits of almond. Add a pinch of cardamom and about two pinches of saffron and a tablespoon of honey. Feel free to add a bit of dairy or nondairy milk to thicken the solution and drink either hot or cold. Some benefits of this tasty wintery beverage are homemade laxatives-like effects to aid with constipation, sleep aid, and skin tonic to help keep dry winter skin at bay.
2. Turmeric and Honey Tonic
This recipe is not for the faint of heart, as it can e rather thick and tastes very strongly of turmeric. However, if you enjoy spicy bitter tonics, you will not only enjoy the flavor of this tea, you will also enjoy the health benefits. Heat water to just about a boil as you would with tea water, add 2 tablespoons of turmeric and a heaping tablespoon of raw honey. Mix to dilution and add freshly squeezed lemon to taste. This tonic will provide anti-inflammatory effects, soothe digestive discomfort and aid in elimination.
3. Ayurvedic Peppermint Mocha Shake
1 cup of almond milk (unsweetened) added to a blender with half a banana, a pinch of cardamom, one tablespoon of cacao powder, a quarter of a cup of coffee and a sprig of mint blended with ice will make you a delicious ayurvedic inspired shake. Traditionally, Ayurveda would not include coffee as it can be acidifying so that part of the recipe is up to you. However, the other fresh ingredients combined in the drink will have you smiling with a gorgeous flavor and lots of antioxidants to boost the immune system. Cacao powder also acts to stimulate brain function so be ready to feel wide awake after indulging in this sugar-free smoothie.
4. Ginger, Lemon, and Honey Tea
This is for the ayurvedic lover on the go. Many brands of tea now have a ginger lemon tea (try Yogi Tea’s Lemon Ginger tea) making it easy and convenient to have a cup of tea with plenty of health benefits. Ginger soothes indigestion and also acts as an antiseptic on the system killing unwanted bacteria in the stomach. Add raw honey to this tea to supercharge the health benefits.
5. Aztec Hot Chocolate
This tasty tonic is both alkalizing and rejuvenating for the body. Cacao, as opposed to its more popular and processed counterpart, coco powder, is usually sugar-free and acts as a healing agent on the body rejuvenating body and mind. Be warned though that this recipe is as spicy and it is chocolate-y, so be mindful of the chili pepper and feel free to lessen the amount or even cut it out completely, but be warned you’ll be missing out on some vital health benefits. Combine two cups unsweetened almond milk with two tablespoons of cacao powder. About a half tablespoon of chipotle chili can be added to taste as well as a tablespoon of cinnamon, a pinch of clove and a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Add stevia if the mixture isn’t sweet enough for your liking. Combine and cook on a stovetop for 5-10 minutes.
6. Supercharged Chai Tea
Again, this recipe is great for people crunched for time. Add a chai tea bag to hot water and allow to steep, adding unsweetened almond milk, a pinch or two of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg to the mixture. This is a simple way to get a quick ayurvedic fix when you’re in a rush.
7. Coconut Sweet Potato Soup
This delicious soup will awaken the system during the cold winter months. With Thai inspired flavors and fresh ingredients, this will not only delight the taste buds but rejuvenate the system. Combine one cup of coconut milk with two cups of cooked sweet potato. Place in the blender adding about a quarter of fresh lime juice, three cups of purified water, a quarter tablespoon of Himalayan salt and fresh ginger to taste. Blend until creamy and heat on the stove top.
8. Homemade Ginger tea
Not for the faint of heart this tea when homemade tends to be on the spicy side. Cut and peel 3-4 pieces of ginger and add to about 4 cups of water. Bring water to a boil and let simmer for about 20-30 min. Allow water to cool on the stove covered for about 30 minutes. Strain the ginger and add raw honey to taste. This tea is great to fight and ward off colds in the winter.