Nourishing Autumn Recipes to Reduce Vata Dosha

Fall has always been my favourite season. I love the turning leaves, dark mornings, cool days, warm scarves, wool socks, and the 12088436_145473572471652_3634592809143255631_nsmell of wood smoke in the air. But along with all this also comes some of the challenges that occur when Vata Dosha becomes aggravated ( as it often does in this time of the year), challenges such as erratic digestion, exhaustion, mild anxiety, and dry skin to name a few. As well after the more extroverted and drying seasons of Spring & Summer we often arrive at this time of the year at a low ebb, deficient in Ojas (vitality) and in need of deeper nourishment. Along with getting good quality sleep & doing grounding practices it is important to eat foods that will strengthen our Agni (digestive fire), reduce Vata (excess Wind), and increase Ojas.  Below are a couple recipes I have been enjoying lately which fit the bill perfectly.

Golden Milk

Golden milk is a rich and nourishing Ayurvedic remedy that can help strengthen immunity, decreases inflammation and nourish Ojas. This is a version of the recipe that I have been enjoying lately, perfect as a soothing bedtime drink or equally delicious as your morning brew. For each 1 cup of milk (almond, full fat cow, or goat) add the following.

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 inch grated turmeric root or 1 tsp powder
  • 1 inch grated ginger root or 1 tsp powder
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 Tbs ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp honey or 1 Medjool date (optional)

Bring milk & spices to a low boil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, then simmer lightly for 10 minutes. Strain off spices.  Add spiced milk to a blend with ghee/coconut oil and honey/date and blend well. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg if desired, serve in a warmed mug and enjoy.

Slow Cooked Moroccan Lamb Stew

I love rich and gamey meats like lamb in the colder months of the year and this spicy, sweet and savoury stew is one that my family has been enjoying a lot this last month. Please note that I don’t use exact measurements when cooking at home so the amounts listed here are approximate.

  • 2 pounds lamb stew meat, chopped small
  • 6 cups beef bone broth
  • 1 small butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, cut small
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1-2 small onions or leeks
  • 1 bunch collard greens or black kale
  • 6-10 dried prunes, chopped small
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch grated ginger root
  • 1 inch grated turmeric root
  • 2 tsps cumin seed powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seed powder
  • 2 tsps harissa paste
  • 3 tsps salt
  • 2-3 Tbs ghee

Heat up bone broth in a counter top slow cooker while you chop your veggies. In a heavy bottomed pot saute onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, harissa paste, salt, and spice powders in 1 TBS ghee until soft, then add stew meat and brown lightly. Add meat and onions to your slow cooker. Add more ghee to your saucepan and saute the squash, cabbage, celery, and cauliflower for 5-7 minutes, then add to the crockpot with the prunes and the collard greens. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender. Add extra salt and pepper as desired. Serve on it’s own or over a bed of cous-cous.