by Aparna Khanolkar
Food is medicine.Food that is organic, fresh, seasonal and which nourishes and pacifies your doshas are the building blocks of good health.
Eating well is a long-term investment in your health. Cooking for yourself is one of the greatest acts of self-nurturance.
Have you ever noticed how you feel when you eat fresh healthy food?
Pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later.
Which do you choose? Grow your own food in a small plot in your backyard or grow food in pots. If you live in an area where farmer’s markets are held regularly, visit it at least once a week. Shop for local produce.
If you are not a cook, start.No one will put as much love and attention into your food as you would. You don’t have to prepare gourmet dishes. Simple, easy to digest is best. Cook with our recipes. They are easy.
Use spices and fresh herbs.They have concentrated intelligence that is medicinal in nature. Let spices and herbs heal you. Dill, mint and cilantro are all cooling. Cumin, black pepper, ginger, garlic, fenugreek, chilies, cinnamon, clove are warming. In the summer, use cooling herbs. In the winter and cooler months use warming spices.
All of the abundant food that Nature gives us is composed of the same five elements that we are made of.
A good dose of consciousness + Earth + fire + ether + water + air = Your body/mind
Foods enhance or decrease the elements in the body. For instance, root vegetables are more earth. Beans are airy. Hot spices have the element of fire. Sugar, dairy and meats create more phlegm in the body.
If you eat too many hot spices, you will experience anger, irritability, hyperacidity, inflammation and ulcers. If you eat too many raw and cold foods, you will experience dry skin, cold extremities, constipation and feeling spacey. Eating foods that balance the five elements in the body/mind will lead to better digestion, elimination and assimilation.
When you cook for yourself while paying attention to the concept of elements and their properties, you will notice a greater sense of wellness and balance. When you sit down and eat your food, you will feel a deeper sense of connection with your own body. There is power in self-nourishment. It is healing.
Enjoy cooking + celebrate your body + offer gratitude to Mother Nature.
3 Easy + Mouth-Watering Recipes, just for YOU!
Mint Cilantro ChutneyIngredients:
- 2 bunches of cilantro leaves with tender stem only
- 1 bunch of fresh mint, leaves only
- 2 Thai chilies
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 inch ginger root, chopped
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ¾ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp lime juice
Place all the ingredients in a blender. Add a small quantity of water (about 1/8 cup at the most)and blend until smooth. This will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days
- 1/2 package frozen mango chunks or 1 whole ripe sweet mango cut into chunks
- 1 tbsp cane sugar
- 2 cups 2% milk or almond milk
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 4 cubes of ice (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a large blender such as Vitamix and blend on high till smooth. If you don’t have a Vita-mix, run in a regular blender in two batches. Serve cold.
- 1/2 cup blackeyed peas soaked in 2 cups of water overnight
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped
- ½ tsp grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne powder
- 2 Roma tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- Optional: 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Drain the soaked beans and wash thoroughly. Add 4-5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam and scum. Continue to cook till the beans are tender. In the meanwhile, heat the oil and add the cinnamon stick and onion and sauté on medium heat till light brown. Then add the ginger and garlic and cook for about a minute.
Now add the spices and sauté for one minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir fry for about 10-13 minutes or till the tomatoes are completely soft. Add the cooked beans along with the salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes so the spices can infuse the sauce. Add the cilantro just before serving.
Order Aparna's cookbooks at TheMistressOfSpice.com/Blog