Foods For Autumn

Date Posted:24 March 2014 

The change from summer to autumn is a period of time called Ritu Sandhi in Ayurveda. It refers to the gap between seasons. This is a delicate time for the digestion, because the doshas are fluctuating and digestive capacity can also waver. This time of fluctuation provides a natural opportunity to cleanse the body, and Ayurveda suggests that we make good use of the natural tendency of the body to cleanse itself.

Keep it light and warm

Maharishi Ayurveda recommends favoring lighter, warmer foods and skipping heavier foods during the few weeks when one season is changing into another. An easy-to-digest, purifying diet is recommended during this time. You might want to avoid certain foods like meats, leftovers and processed or junk foods, because they are more difficult to digest during this time.

You may find that delicious, hot vegetarian soups, more hot liquids, and more cooked foods with less oil are more agreeable to your stomach. Dhal soups, rice, and cooked vegetables are well suited to this cleansing period. Supplementing your diet with Organic Digest Tone, the traditional Ayurvedic digestion formula, is an easy way to keep your digestion strong and elimination regular (take 1-2 tablets prior main meals for digestion. Take 2-4 tablets at bedtime if bowel is not regular)

Looking after Pitta and Vata

Besides enjoying a purifying diet, remember that autumn is also the junction between the Pitta and Vata seasons. Those two doshas can get out of balance at this time, so pacifying Pitta and Vata doshas will help keep you in top form. The recipes below are from Vaidya Manohar, an Ayurvedic expert. These delicious meals will help bring Vata and Pitta doshas into balance and are perfect for autumn cleansing.

Autumn herbals

Also, you might consider Maharishi Ayurveda’s detox programme. Elim-Tox helps purify toxins from your whole body—down to the cells (If you are more Pitta by nature, the product Elim-Tox O will be more suitable. The Herbal Cleanse formula promotes normal, regular elimination and aids intestinal cleansing and efficient absorption of nutrients. Radiant Skin is a potent herbal food supplement. A precise blend of 14 rare herbs, it helps purify the liver and blood, and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Neem is a famous plant used for centuries in India to make skin look more radiant. Neem is also used to clean the teeth, and as a natural bug repellent. Although nothing can replace the deep, purifying experience of Maharishi Panchakarma (PK), we do like to call our detox program “PK in a bottle.”

Pitta-Balancing Rice Pudding (Kheer)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup organic basmati rice
  • 4 cups organic whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dates
  • 2 teaspoons cashews or pistachios (unshelled)
  • 3 small pieces of organic cardamom seed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or agave syrup (adjust amount to taste)
  • Toasted coconut for garnish

Soak the rice in water for two hours. Boil the milk. Add the rice and all other ingredients. Boil slowly for thirty minutes or more until the mixture reaches a slightly thick consistency, but can be stirred easily. It will thicken further when you let it cool. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Green Detox Smoothie

Choose fresh, organic vegetables and fruits for detoxification.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of cold water
  • 1 medium-size cucumber
  • 3 large stalks of celery
  • 1/3 bunch of coriander
  • 1/3 bunch of parsley (parsley can be doubled as a coriander substitute)
  • Juice of half a fresh lemon

Blend ingredients until smooth. Drink while still fresh. This recipe serves two.

Vata-Pitta Balancing Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely-diced zucchini
  • 1 cup finely-diced pumpkin
  • 1 cup thinly-cut green beans
  • 2 celery ribs, finely-diced
  • 3/4 cup finely-diced peeled carrots
  • 1/4 cup moong dhal
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds, sautéed in a tiny amount of ghee until they pop
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • Fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, and rosemary to taste

Boil vegetables and dhal in two quarts purified water. Skim foam from top.

Add all other ingredients and simmer with pot partially covered for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

Remove from heat and keep covered for 10 minutes. Serves six

Autumn Food Tips for Vata Season

Autumn is traditionally a time of abundance, when we can enjoy the harvest of a cornucopia of vegetables from our gardens and local farmer’s markets. This is a great time to enjoy the fresh flavor of foods that are in season and locally grown. Plan your menus around the following seasonal vegetables and fruits. Whenever possible, favor organic, pesticide-free, GMO-free foods.

For soups:

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli (finely chopped)
  • Squash (including, zucchini, yellow squash, delicata squash, loki squash, pumpkin, acorn squash, autumn cup squash, butternut squash, carnival squash, gold nugget squash, kabocha squash, spaghetti squash, turban squash and other seasonal, regional varieties)

For steamed or puréed vegetable side dishes:

  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard

For steamed and sautéed vegetable side dishes with ghee and spices:

  • Cauliflower
  • Squash
  • Broccoli

Seasonings:

  • Parsley
  • Optional: Small amounts of sautéed garlic

Fall Fruit Snacks:

  • Sautéed, baked or steamed apple with raisins
  • Fresh sliced juicy ripe pear, or sautéed, steamed or baked.
  • Black or red grapes
  • Fresh grape juice with pinch of cinnamon

Reprinted with permission from MAPI, USA.