We’ve been following this theme of small changes, so the first recipe I thought best to post is one that is a breakfast staple for every American. No, not cereal and milk, but its heartier counterpart, oatmeal. Ayurveda is all about finding balance within ourselves and with our surroundings. Oatmeal’s heavy, moist, dense qualities help to balance out the Southwest’s cold and dry climate this time of year. This can be thought of as maintaining the middle path, like that of Buddhism. This is why it works so well with the philosophy of yoga. If we can keep the idea of maintaining balance, we can be our own healers.
In Ayurveda it is important we eat as close to nature as possible. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this means that packaged oatmeal with loads of partially hydrogenated oils, sugar and about three flakes of what was previously considered an apple, is not the best option. This is because whole food contains more life energy, or prana. Our modern research will confirm that there is a larger nutritional value in whole foods. Two sides of the same coin. Whole foods give our bodies the nourishment and base material to repair and replace each and every tissue in our body. The cell replacement rates in Ayurveda match up to those of the tissues, or dhatus, in modern science. Here is an interesting chart: How Quickly Do Different Cells In The Body Replace Themselves
Our body is always at work. Why not give it the nutrition it needs in the most compact form to make its job easier, which leaves our minds clear, our energy up and our mood improved?
Oatmeal is a great recipe to start with as it can be suited to any constitution.
For Kapha constitution, the quantity should be smaller and the addition of the suggested spices below would be helpful in digestion. If too much is consumed, you’ll notice you feel heavy after the meal.
For Pitta constitution, the quantity can be quite large, but the warming spices should be used with caution, especially ginger. If heartburn is experienced, you know that the spices, especially ginger, were too much.
For Vata constitution, the quantity can be moderate, but with the inclusion of chia seeds for the emollient properties, spices for the warming properties and ghee. If elimination proves difficult, added ghee will be helpful.
We add apple to our oatmeal, but we cook it first. This is because raw apples increase vata and pitta due to its cold and sour qualities. It is easier to digest and therefore increases ojas in the body if it is cooked first.
On that note, here is our easy-peasy recipe:
1 cup water + ½ cup water
¼ cup of steel cut oats per person
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of fresh ginger (dried can be too aggravating, but if not it can be used)
1 tsp ghee
2 tsp chia seeds
A small amount of almond milk to taste
Raisins to taste
We start by chopping up an apple into bite size pieces. Add the cut up apple, spices, oatmeal and 1 cup of water to a pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
Then add your desired toppings… That is it!
We start this after our first cup of coffee in the morning. By the time we are done getting dressed and ready for the day, the food is ready! Slow cooking is a lifestyle change, but it is easier than you think if it is set as a priority.
This is really a great recipe for balancing all of our doshas. Daddy Yogi and I both lean towards vata imbalances, but he has more pitta. I have a feeling that Baby Yogini also tends towards pitta imbalances, but this is to be determined.
This recipe is nice as it takes into consideration all of our personal doshas and balances well with the season of winter – which can be Kapha or Vata, depending on your location. And not to mention, Baby Yogini approves! The recipe, especially with the addition of ghee, is ojas increasing and really simple to make.
Enjoy! And remember, eat without distraction, chew your food slowly, say grace (or take a few breaths before you begin eating) to remind your body you are now safe to eat, and be grateful for all of the nutritional goodness you are giving your body to fuel your day.
Disclaimer The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively.