Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing a food demo in an Ayurvedic Immersion class that was taught by Travis Eliot at Santa Monica Yoga. I received my 200 hour yoga teacher training with he and his amazing wife, Lauren Eckstrom last year. I admit, I don’t have extensive knowledge in Ayurveda, but I do find it very interesting! I have seen a couple of Ayurvedic practitioners in the past, and have even tried diet recommendations to help with the issues I went to see these people for. I believe in the power of Ayurveda. Heck, it’s *only* 5,000 years old. 😉
So, when it came to the food demo, I was a tad limited, since I would not have access to a kitchen. Travis originally asked if I would be willing to make kitchari, which is a sort of porridge, and it would have been awesome, but alas, no stove.
I chose two foods that I could do with minimal cooking requirements; Golden Turmeric Milk and Ayurvedic Bliss Balls. All these required were my Vitamix blender and my food processor!
I thought I would share these recipes with you, so you would have the chance to experience some of the healing benefits in these foods. They call for the use of some pretty healing and delicious spices; cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and saffron. Before I get into the recipes, I want to share with you the benefits of these particular spices. I am a nutrition educator, after all! 😉
Known as the “Queen of Spices”
Good for detox, digestion, and is considered an antioxidant
Mentioned in the Vedic texts as antidepressant
One of the most expensive spices next to vanilla and saffron
2 types of cinnamon on the market: Ceylon & Cassia – Cassia is most common and cheaper, Ceylon is “true” cinnamon, and more expensive
Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, lowers blood sugar
Has been shown to help with HIV
Cinnamon pacifies Vata and Kapha doshas, but it may aggravate Pitta dosha if taken in excess. It has a sweet, pungent, and bitter taste, it is heating, and has a pungent vipak or aftertaste
Excellent for digestion, nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness
There is an ayurvedic sutra (verse) that says that everyone should eat fresh ginger just before lunch and dinner to enhance digestion.
Antioxidant / anti-cancer
Every traditional Indian bride is layered in turmeric paste before her wedding to create that special glow!!
Used in Ayurveda to balance vata, pitta, and kapha, though in excess, it can aggravate pitta and vata.
Most expensive spice on the market (roughly $8 per oz.)
Dried stigma of Crocus plant
Helps pacify all three doshas. It improves immunity, increases energy, helps fight phlegm and respiratory disorders, improves vision and reduces inflammation. Its tonic can lower cholesterol, improve digestion and help treat spleen ailments, insomnia, impotency, premenstrual syndrome and neurodegenerative disorders.
Now, here’s what you can make with all of the above!! Enjoy!
Golden Turmeric Milk – traditionally, this recipe uses ghee (clarified butter), and is served warm. My version is vegan and sort of a “cheater” easy version that can be served warm or cold
2 cups almond milk
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp pure maple syrup (or you can use coconut nectar or stevia, if trying to avoid sugar)
Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Serve cold, or warm gently in a small pot over the stove to enjoy warm.
Ayurvedic Bliss Balls – bliss balls are amazing because you can pretty much add in or remove any ingredient that doesn’t work for you, and since they are raw, the proportions do not have to be exact. Play around and create your favorite version!
1 C dry coconut flakes
1/4 C raw almonds
1/4 C raw sesame seeds
1/4 C raw sunflower seeds
1 C Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5-6 saffron strands
Process all ingredients in your food processor and roll into bite sized balls. Can store in the fridge for 1 week.
For more information on Ayurveda, you can contact Travis, although, his focus is on teaching yoga and teacher trainings. He is definitely an expert though! Another amazing resource and friend of mine is Dr. Aunna Pourang, who is an Ayurvedic MD!!! Check her out here.
For nutrition coaching and more super healthy and easy recipes, contact me! As always, I’m happy to be of service to you!!