Chai is authentically Indian and contains a whole host of benefits. I have a saying “drink one cup of chai day to help keep the doctor away”.
If there are 2 drinks that I promote for health & wellness, they are Chai and Kombucha – stay tuned to an upcoming article on the super healing komucha beverage.
Chai has a delicious smooth, milky and creamy taste – infused with exotic Indian Ayuvedic spices.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to use diary for your Chai; you can use almond milk, soy milk or my favorite – cashew milk.
Right now I want to share with you the health benefits of Chai, and also my personal recipe.
The health benefits of Chai are derived from the synergy of the spices and herbs.
Here is what I find are the most important and healthy Ayurvedic spices to be included: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and fennel seeds.
Ginger - is the spiciest ingredient and also extremely flavorful. Ginger is a known to be one of the most sattvic (harmonizing, balancing) of all spices. Ginger is widely used in aiding digestive and respiratory conditions. It is also good for arthritic conditions and it is a tonic for the heart. Ginger relieves gas and cramps in the abdomen and relieves all types of stomach aches.
Cinnamon – is a herb for strengthening and harmonizing the flow of circulation. It is an excellent diaphoretic and expectorant for colds and flues. Cinnamon is also a pain reliever for toothache and muscle tension. It promotes a healthy digestive fire, strengthens the heart, and warms the kidneys. Cinnamon is Sattvic (balancing) for almost everyone. Continue reading
What can I say … the title of this blog post says it all. The Ayurvedic Diet doesn’t always have to be strict, without room for some yummy desserts.
You can enjoy this wonderful moist chocolate zucchini cake with a cup of warm milk & ghee and call it a meal. A healthy, nutritious and delicious meal that is.
In Ayurveda and in a a lot of Ayurveda recipes, we do use dairy as it is considered nutritive, healthy and tissue building.
Sorry, for all you vegans out there. You could however replace the yogurt and buttermilk with a soy or almond substitute.
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup fat-free plain or vanilla yogurt ( I like the Greek yogurt with probiotics)
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup raw cane sugar or sucanant
2 eggs or 1/2 cup of apple sauce or 1/4 cup of flax gounded flax seeds with some water
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 small zucchini, grated (with skin)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
* Top off with some fresh whipped cream
*Use fresh organic ingredients if possible.
Prep time: 10 min Active cooking time: 55 min Total time to make: 65 min
Serves: 6 to 8 people
Preparation & Cooking Procedure:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease any size cake pan with a little coconut oill and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, yogurt, maple syrup, cane sugar, eggs or substitute , vanilla, and buttermilk.
Add dry ingredients and stir together until moistened. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into your cake pan and bake in oven for approximately 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted and comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before cutting and eating.
In India we call these types of dishes Subji.
The green beans in this dish are extracting which helps to draw toxins out of the body.
Tofu is suitable for all doshas and is considered augmenting which feeds and nurtures the tissues of the body.
Green beans according to the Ayurvedic diet are sweet, cooling and astringent. They can help to increase agni (the internal fire), but can aggravate Vata if consumed in excess and produce gas and constipation.
Fortunately the spices is this recipe will help to prevent this and calm Vata. They should still however be eaten in moderation.
I don’t use onions very often but here you can use them, as an option, to add a rajastic or heating quality to the food. They also have a sweet characteristic to make it that more tasteful and pleasurable.
Onions can also be used occasionally to cleanse the blood but I wouldn’t recommended using them to often as their rajastic nature can affect the mind.
Safflower oil contains linoleic acid, which is considered a PUFA – a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Research has suggested that this oil – a plant source can help prevent heart disease.
Safflower oil has also been know to increase good cholesterol and help with blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and inflammation.
Make sure to use a safflower oil that is recommended for cooking at high to medium temperatures – higher in oleic acid
Prep time: 10 min Active cooking time: 20 min Total time to make: 30 min Continue reading
Soups are a great way to get all your essential nutrients, spices and tastes as part of your Ayurvedic diet.
The following Ayurvedic recipe below is a delicious soup and a complete meal in itself.
This ayurvedic recipe is one I decided to experiment with – using certain ingredients that are common in Ayurveda.
This particular recipe is extremely tasty as it includes all the 6 tastes and makes for a yummy and balanced meal.
For a more sattvic or balancing recipe, omit the onions and the cayenne spice as they may aggravate Vata and Pitta dosha.
Feel free to have this soup with a side of rice or some roti or chapatis.
Enjoy this one!
Ingredients: Continue reading
This healthy hummus Ayurvedic recipe with sesame seed oil not only tastes amazing but is extremely nourishing, especially when it comes to the Ayurvedic diet.
Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are extremely healthy for the heart.
They are an excellent source of folate, magnesium and fiber.
When preparing this Ayurvedic hummus recipe, stay away from using canned chickpeas which often contain toxins and have much less nutrients .
In fact, anything canned is void of vital energy or prana making it less healthy for the mind and body. Take the time to buy dry chickpeas, organic if possible, and cook them yourself.
Just like soaking any other beans, soaking chickpeas reduces the cooking time and makes them a lot easier to digest.
The healing and healthy spices used in this Ayurvedic recipe tastes great and the sesame tahini or sesame seeds adds more nutritional value.
Prep time: 10 min Active cooking time for chick peas: 30 – 40 min (15 min in pressure cooker) Total time to make: 40 -50min
• 2 cup of cooked chickpeas
• 1 teaspoon of raw sesame tahini or
• 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
• 3 tablespoons of sesame seed oil
• 2 to 3 tablespoons of warm water, more as needed
• 1 teaspoon of grounded cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon of grounded coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon of rock salt
• 1 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic (2 – 3 garlic cloves)*optional
• A pinch of hing or asafoetida
• Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon or lime
• 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
* use organic ingredients and filtered water if possible
Preparation & Cooking Procedure:
1. Wash 1 and a half cups of dried chickpeas and place in a bowl.
2. Add 3 to 4 cups water and put the bowl in the fridge. Soak for 12 hours or continue to soak them for a day or two before you are ready to cook them. *They can stay soaked in the fridge for 3 to 4 days even if I don’t use them immediately
3. Cook the soaked chickpeas thoroughly – see methods below using stoves top or pressure cooker
4. Put the cooked chickpeas and all the other ingredients with the exception of the parsley in a blender or food processor and blend until a rich, smooth texture is reached.
5. Serve and garnish with the parsley and some extra fresh lime or lemon.
How to Cook chickpeas in a pot on the stove
1. Place the soaked chickpeas along with the water they were soaked in a large pot.
2. Add an extra 1 or 2 cups of water if necessary. The water should cover the chickpeas.
3. Bring the pot to boil, reduce the heat and continue boiling on low to medium heat until the chickpeas are cooked soft to your liking.
4. Cooking time will range from 30- 40 minutes from the time water starts boiling.
How to Cook chickpeas in the pressure cooker
1. Place the chickpeas and water in the pressure cooker and add more water if needed.
2. After the pressure has reached highest, reduce the heat a to low and cook for 20 – 30 minutes until soft.
The Ayurvedic Diet
Chickpeas are an excellent food to incorporate in your Ayurvedic diet. They are generally good for all doshas in moderation.
The ingredients in this recipe may have a heating quality for your Ayurvedic diet, so if you are feeling a little agitated (excess Pitta or Vata) then omit the garlic and consume this hummus in moderation.
image courtesy of Marju Randmur