A yoga practice is so much more than spending time on the mat. We’re big believers in living a whole yoga lifestyle, and that includes paying close attention to how we nourish our bodies. When we’re looking for recipes that will give us the right kind of fuel, we turn to Ayurveda, a traditional Hindu system of medicine. Ayurveda helps us to live in harmony with the laws of nature, which can lead us toward optimal health. Cooking with Ayurvedic principles in mind is an easy way to start incorporating this ancient way of healing into your life. Focusing on six tastes – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent – Ayurvedic cooking tailors your diet to your unique body type by balancing the qualities you naturally have with qualities you need. Keeping yourself healthy and feeling good is important year round, but it’s an absolute necessity during the winter.
The first thing you’ll want to do, if you don’t already know, is find out which Ayurvedic dosha you fit into. (This quiz is a good place to start!) The three doshas are vata, pitta, and kapha, and each of them roughly correspond with body types. Below, we’re sharing a winter recipe for each dosha, as well as tips specific to your dosha for staying well throughout the cold months.
Those with a vata dosha tend to be thin and energetic. This translates as being more “cool”. The out of balance vata dosha can experience anxiety, insomnia, and dry skin. In order to enhance your lively and creative nature, balance out your cool constitution with cooked foods and warming spices like cinnamon. This blended root vegetable soup will warm your soul and keep you moving forward this winter.
1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander
½ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom
¼ to ½ teaspoon of cayenne
1 small kabocha squash, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
6 to 8 cups vegetable stock or broth
1 14 oz can of full fat coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
big squeeze of lemon at end
– Heat the oil over a low heat. Add the onion with a pinch or two of salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic & ginger and cook for 1 minute more.
– Add spices and sauté for another minute or two. Add a dash of the broth if the spices are sticking to the pan.
– Add in the squash, carrots, and sweet potato; sauté for 2 to 3 more minutes splashing with additional veggie broth if spices are sticking again. Season with a pinch or two of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.
– Add in vegetable broth, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook for around 20 minutes until veggies are soft. Add in coconut milk and simmer another 10 minutes.
– Once veggies are fully cooked, blend in high-speed blender in batches making sure not to splash the hot liquid. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and garnnish with micro greens or cilantro.
– The soup will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months in portions for later use.
Pittas are the warm to vata’s cool, and tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented. If a pitta dosha is out of balance, you might experience indigestion and inflammation. To keep your pitta dosha happy, stick to fresh fruits and vegetables instead of fried or spicy foods. Treat yourself to this apple raisin cake on the next chilly day.
2/3 cup unrefined sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil (or other oil of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or a 50-50 mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flours)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 cups apples, roughly chopped
1 cup seedless raisins
– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
– In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir until well blended.
– Stir in flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
– Fold in apples and raisins.
– Spoon mixture into a greased and floured 13”x 9” baking pan.
– Bake for 45 minutes.
Those with a kapha dosha often have a slower metabolism and can be rather sluggish. Their lack of internal fire means raw foods can be a challenge, and imbalanced kapha doshas can lead to – among other things – weight gain. To keep a kapha dosha motivated and moving, avoid sweets and incorporate spicy or warming foods. Red lentil quinoa fritters with lots of warm spices make a great side or take-to-work lunch.
3/4 cup quinoa
1/3 cup red lentils
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1/8 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
1/8 cup tahini
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander
1/2 teaspoon Soma salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/8 cup cornmeal
1/8 cup chickpea flour
– Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
– Rinse and drain lentils and quinoa. Place in a pot with the water or broth and bring to a boil. Turn to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
– Put the quinoa-lentil mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the spices, cilantro, tahini, mustard, and lemon juice. Combine so all the ingredients are well incorporated.
– Add the cornmeal and chickpea flour. The mixture should easily come together to form patties without being too sticky. If needed, add more chickpea flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach the correct consistency.
– Bake for 15 minutes then flip and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve warm with other side dishes or cool and serve in a pita bread or wrap. Can also serve with a tahini or yogurt sauce.
We hope these recipes keep you feeling great throughout the winter!