Who said pudding can’t be healthy? Especially when you add a power ingredient like chia—beyond healthy! From an Ayurvedic perspective, chia has several doshic benefits. It reduces vata—the air and space element, optimizes pitta—the fire element, and nourishes kapha—the water and earth elements.
Chia seeds are also sattvic, or pure in nature, meaning that they foster clarity and tranquility of the mind, while also nurturing the body. According to Ayurveda, the chia seed creates a natural warming effect within the body-mind aura, enhancing cognitive health, a balanced metabolism and even joy. What a superfood hero! This is just one example showing how our diet can affect the body and mind, one of the basic principles of Ayurveda.
Chia seeds support deep hydration and have high quality fiber, helping to improve and conserve our ojas (inner strength and vitality). Adding even more super power with their large amounts of Omega-3 oils, chia seeds help conquer inflammation and control blood sugar.
Don’t yet believe the benefits? The proof is in the pudding!
Protein Packed (Chia) Pudding
Makes 4 servings
1.5 cup carrageenan-free almond milk or homemade nut milk
1.5 cup pure coconut water (or just use double the milk if you have no coconut water)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup oats
1 tbsp flax seeds (I like to grind my own in a coffee grinder)
1-2 tsp good cinnamon
4 scoops collagen peptides (the BEST protein boost, but optional if you are a veg. you can also use the marine collagen)
1. Combine all ingredients in quart sized mason jar, collagen last (or else it will congeal all your chia seeds).
2. Shake vigorously. then shake again after 5 minutes. Then shake again after another 5 minutes.
3. Stick it in the fridge overnight.
4. Divide into clear glasses or jars, top with berries, stewed apples, banana, coconut, and/or my favorite - paleo granola.
Yoga Journal: https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/doshas-decoded-learn-unique-mind-body-type#gid=ci02075699b0132620&pid=woman-doing-chandra-bhedana-moon-breath-pranayama-nadi-shodhana
La Yoga: https://layoga.com/life-style/ayurveda/the-ayurvedic-benefits-of-chia-seeds/
I became curious about sprouting while enrolled in my 10-week Ayurvedic-based habit change program. (I'll be announcing my pilot program for 50% off the normal rate soon - make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss it!) One of the habits is Plant Based Diet (PBD) which involves a deeper look at the plants we eat. I already do my best to eat local and organic. My go-to grocery stores are Whole Foods & Trader Joes. I'm lucky enough to live within walking distance of both, and each store carries their own unique options. Lately, I've been making more of an effort to get to know my local plant species. Now, I spend more time at the Boston Public Market, Boston Growers in Coolidge Corner, and various other farmers markets near my home in Cambridge. I also recently signed up for Boston Organics - a super customizable no commitment CSA-type of program. Check it out if you're in the area!
Ok let's chat SPROUTS. I used to purchase sprouts at Whole Foods until I found out how simple and affordable it is to grow them at home. I'm talking $5 vs. $.25... pretty big difference right? The best part is that it's so easy! Indoor gardening may sound intimidating ...it totally did to me. Let's just say, I'm not the BEST at keeping plants alive. But sprouting is a game-changer. My favorite part about this sprouting recipe is that it requires no soil - the key to why it's so simple. Honestly, the hardest part about sprouting is remembering to rinse your seeds twice a day.
Sprouts are the quintessential nutritional powerhouse. Think of a plant as a human being. A seed as an embryo, a sprout as a feisty and energetic toddler, a full grown plant as a strong and grounded adult. When we eat unsprouted seeds we are eating locked up potential. If sprouts are comparable to an energetic toddler, can you imagine about how much more energy sprouted seeds can provide? Imagine absorbing all that energy. When you eat sprouts you are literally eating potential, energy, and fresh perspective. Don't get me wrong, seeds and nuts are still good for you, and fully grown plants have their place in our diet as well. It's just that sprouting seeds cracks open their potential making their nutrients more digestible and bio-available to your body. (To sprout nuts all you have to do is soak them overnight in a bowl of water and rinse them in the morning. They won't grow a tail but you'll notice they become more plump and soft. Eat them right away or dehydrate and freeze them for snacking. If you get bellyaches from eating nuts this is a game changer).
Eating sprouts will...
improve your digestion, boost metabolism, increase enzymatic activity throughout the body, help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, prevent anemia, boost skin health, improve vision, support the immune system, increase energy reserves, reduce blood pressure, and prevent neural tube defects in infants.
The most common sprouts are alfalfa. You'll typically find those in grocery stores but you can really sprout any seed! Just make sure you are buying "sprouting seeds". I get mine at Cambridge Naturals. Try out a few different seed varieties and see what you vibe most with!
- Vitamin C, A, K, B6
- Thiamin and Niacin
- Panthothenic acid
How to make your own Sprouts
Kitchen Tools & Ingredients:
32 oz Mason Jar
Sprouting Lid, cheesecloth or a Mason Jar lid with holes poked in it
Sprouting Seeds like Alfalfa, Red Clover, Broccoli (purchase at local herb market or Amazon)
1. Soak 1 tablespoon of sprouting seeds in water for 10 minutes.
2. Strain seeds through the sprouting lid, cheesecloth or holey lid.
3. Put seeds into jar with a cup or two (doesn't have to be accurate) of cool water. Let sit for 8 hours.
4. Drain the jar, shake the jar to spread the seeds around the inside of the jar (you do not want the seeds covering the drain holes), and place lid-side down in a bowl on a slant so the water can continue to drain.
5. Rinse and swirl seeds in the jar 2-3 times a day, placing it back in the bowl at an angle. Do this for 4 days.
6. After 4 days, place the sprouts by the window in indirect sunlight to help them green up and develop chlorophyll. Do your rinsing routine keeping them by the window for 2 more days.
7. Once you see green tails and a little tiny leaf, you will know your sprouts are ready! Empty your cute little sprouts in a large bowl of cool water and use your fingers to loosen up the sprouts. Use a mini strainer or spoon to remove the seeds that floated to the top.
8. Spread 2 layers of paper towel on a baking sheet and lay your sprouts out to dry (you can use a salad spinner if you have one) for a few hours. Timing will vary on your indoor climate.
9. To store, first make sure your sprouts are dry (or they will rot). Line a tupperware container with a paper towel and pack in your sprouts. You can pack them in tightly, this will not affect their quality.
My favorite ways to enjoy raw sprouts (cooking sprouts negates their nutritional value):
- Avocado Toast
- Warm Grain Bowls
What's your favorite way to eat sprouts? Leave me a comment below!
It's April 1st and it's snowing... it's time to admit climate change is real if you don't already. I'm bundled up in my toasty home, spending the day doing yoga, chillin with my puggle Eva and watching The Kitchen of course.
This week I've decided to incorporate more local veggies, more greens, more soups and more living things in my diet lately. Not living things like humans or animals but living vegetables, fresh, raw and ALIVE. Cate Stillman shared an amazing recipe with our group on Body Thrive (an amazing 10-week Ayurveda program I'm deep into). Spring is Kapha season but it just started snowing where I live so I'm still eating Vata-balancing foods. I made this soup just now and it is so freakin' quick and easy. The hardest part was getting out of the house to buy ingredients. I just finished eating it and I am stuffed, happy, hydrated, and warmed to the core. I'm also surprisingly full! I love myself a warm grain bowl with protein but as I head into Spring I'm looking to let go of some heaviness so this is exactly what I needed. So, if you're feeling chilly or are Vata-dominant this soup is for you. If you aren't sure what your Dosha is you can take this quiz. Take your results with a grain of salt and use them more as a guideline. To find out what your Dosha is exactly takes a lot more than an online quiz. My teacher once told me it requires 7-14 visits everyday to an Ayurvedic practitioner who reads your tongue, pulse, etc every time you come in.
According to my quiz results, I am equally tridoshic which is a bit confusing and doesn't guide me as easily as someone who is predominantly Vata, Kapha, or Pitta. This is why I follow the seasons and listen to what my body wants. That's really what Ayuerveda is all about - listening to your body and eaing, moving, breathing in a way that is suitable for YOUR BODY. Try this recipe and let me know what you think. And if it's too raw for you, cook it up a little post-blend.
Basic Vata Green Living Soup
Prep & cook time: 10 minutes
Adapted from Cate Stillman's Basic Vata Green Soup Recipe
1 cup fennel
1/2 cup yellow peppers
1/4 cup fresh basil or dill chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey
1 veggie broth cube
a dash or two of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
Blend with 4 cups boiling water. Garnish with fennel greens, dill, or sprouts.
And this is what you get... doesn't that color just brighten your day?
You can find this and other living soup recipes here.
Italian Veggie Spaghetti Squash Bowls
Cooking time: 45 minutes
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 14oz can of tomato sauce
1 package mushrooms, cut into quarters (portobella, baby bella, shitake, white button)
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
a few handfuls of Spinach
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tsp herbs: any ratio you liked of basil, oregano, parsley
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp allspice (optional)
grated parmesan cheese, freshly grated is best! (optional)
1. Preheat over to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating up, cut off ends of spaghetti squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour water onto cookie sheet and place squash face down on sheet. Set timer for 45 minutes.
2. While squash is cooking, sautee onions and garlic in coconut oil with a little salt and pepper. Add in mushrooms, cooking for 5 minutes. Add in tomatoes, s&p and cook for 2 minutes or so. Add in spinach and tomato sauce. Let it come to a boil then cover and simmer while squash cooks.
3. After 40 minutes flip squash over and spoon sauce veggie mixture in the bowls of the squash. Set oven to broil. Grate parmesean cheese on top and put back into over for 5 minutes.
4. Carefully remove squash from over and place on a plate. Add more parm if you want.
I recently saw a recipe online that takes veggie scraps and turns them into veggie broth. And I'm over here buying boxed veggie stock from Trader Joe's? No way, I thought to myself, this is too easy. The recipe calls for saved and frozen veggie scraps from a week or months past (depending on how often you cook) which is great to know for the future but didn't help my grumbling belly at that moment.
I had a lot of leftovers from our NYE party grocery haul and thought, what better way to use up all those baby carrots than with a soup? I love dipping these babies in hummus in the summer months but raw vegetables don't digest well for me in the winter, nor do I crave them. I also had some ready-to-be-eaten celery, onions, cilantro, mushrooms, sage and rosemary.
Here is my version of a "clean out the fridge"/"everything but the kitchen sink" stock I made a few days ago. Sooo sustainable.