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Best Ayurvedic Foods for Spring

Updated: May 4, 2023

Ayurveda emphasizes the use of seasonal foods to maintain balance and promote overall health and well-being. Consuming foods that are in season can help align our bodies with the rhythms of nature and support our digestive fire or "agni." Seasonal foods help to strengthen our microbiome as we consume foods that are less processed in the sense they have not been held in warehouses or traveled long distances to reach you. Of course, your regional location will also influence the foods available to you at a specific time of the year, but during spring no matter where you are, you want to get rid of winter sluggishness and renew your bodies strength. Wash off the lingering effects of winter with fresh seasonal foods!



healthy salads for spring


The Quality of Spring foods that support your health during this Kapha season:


  • Pungent

  • Bitter

  • Astringent

  • Warm

  • Light

  • Dry

  • Subtle

  • Sharp


Specific Examples of Ideal Foods:

  • Berries

  • Pomegranate

  • Cranberry

  • Honey

  • Microgreens

  • Light leafy greens {eg. baby lettuce}

  • Radish

  • Sprouts

  • Corn

  • Quinoa

  • Turmeric

  • Ginger

  • Black pepper

  • Dandelion


Foods for Various Seasons:

Winter (December to February)

  • Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and parsnips are considered grounding and nourishing during the colder months.

  • Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are rich in vitamin C and can help boost the immune system during winter.

  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds are considered warming and provide healthy fats for energy and warmth.

  • Ginger and cinnamon are warming spices that can aid digestion and circulation during the cold season.



Spring (March to May):

  • Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are considered detoxifying and rejuvenating, helping to cleanse the body after winter.

  • Fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are rich in antioxidants and add sweetness to the diet.

  • Fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, and mint can help to refresh and cleanse the body.

  • Sprouts and microgreens are considered light and easy to digest, making them great additions to spring meals.


Summer (June to August):

  • Juicy fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and mangoes are hydrating and cooling, helping to balance the heat of summer.

  • Cooling vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash are hydrating and refreshing.

  • Coconut water is considered a natural electrolyte-rich beverage that can help to replenish fluids and minerals during hot weather.

  • Cooling spices like fennel, coriander, and cardamom can help to balance excess heat in the body.


Fall (September to November):

  • Apples, pears, and figs are considered grounding and nourishing fruits that are abundant during the fall season.

  • Warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove can help to support digestion and circulation during the cooler months.

  • Winter squash varieties like butternut squash, acorn squash, and pumpkin are considered grounding and nourishing.

  • Mushrooms are abundant during the fall season and are considered immune-boosting and balancing.


It's important to note that Ayurveda is an individualized system of medicine, and the best foods for each person may vary depending on their unique constitution, dosha and region on the planet.



Recipes for Spring!



Asparagus and Green Pea stir-fry recipe for spring


Here are some spring recipes according to Ayurveda that incorporate seasonal ingredients and align with the principles of Ayurvedic cooking:


Asparagus and Green Pea Stir-Fry:


Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen green peas

  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Instructions:

  1. Heat ghee or coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.

  2. Add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.

  3. Add grated ginger and sauté for a minute.

  4. Add asparagus and green peas to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they are tender but still crisp.

  5. Add turmeric, salt, and black pepper and stir-fry for another minute.

  6. Remove from heat and serve as a side dish or mix with cooked quinoa or brown rice for a complete meal.


Mint and Cilantro Chutney:


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of fresh mint leaves

  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 small green chili (optional, adjust to taste)

  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger, peeled

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • Salt to taste

  • Water as needed


Instructions:

  1. Wash and chop the mint leaves and cilantro leaves.

  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, adding water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

  3. Taste and adjust salt and lime or lemon juice as needed.

  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  5. Use as a condiment or dip with crackers, vegetables, or as a spread on sandwiches or wraps.


Spinach and Chickpea Curry:


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped

  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas

  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


Instructions:

  1. Heat ghee or coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.

  2. Add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.

  3. Add finely chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger to the pan and sauté until the onion is translucent.

  4. Add coriander powder, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom to the pan and sauté for another minute.

  5. Add chopped spinach and cooked chickpeas to the pan and cook until the spinach wilts and the flavors meld, about 5 minutes.

  6. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or whole grain bread.


Spring Vegetable Stir-Fry with Brown Rice:


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of mixed spring vegetables (such as asparagus, green beans, peas, carrots, and bell peppers), washed and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Cooked brown rice for serving

  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


Instructions:

  1. Heat ghee or coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.

  2. Add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.

  3. Add grated ginger and sauté for a minute.

  4. Add mixed spring vegetables to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they are tender but still crisp.

  5. Add turmeric, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper and stir-fry for another minute.

  6. Remove from heat and serve over cooked brown rice.

  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and enjoy as a wholesome spring meal.


Fresh Radish Salad with Lemon Dressing:


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh radishes, thinly sliced

  • 1 small carrot, peeled and grated

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup

  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sliced radishes, carrots, red onion, and chopped cilantro or parsley.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, raw honey or maple syrup, salt, and black pepper to make the dressing.

  3. Pour the dressing over the radish mixture and toss well to coat.

  4. Let the salad marinate for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  5. Serve as a refreshing and crunchy spring salad.


Spring Detox Soup:


Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 4 cups of mixed spring vegetables (such as asparagus, spinach, carrots, and peas), washed and chopped

  • 4 cups of vegetable broth or water

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


Instructions:

  1. Heat ghee or coconut oil in a pot over medium heat.

  2. Add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.

  3. Add finely chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent.

  4. Add coriander powder, turmeric, mixed spring vegetables, and vegetable broth or water to the pot.

  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

  6. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  7. Remove from heat and let the soup cool slightly.

  8. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the soup until smooth.

  9. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.


Thoughts on Leftovers:

Ayurvedic texts specifically mention that food should be consumed with an hour or two of preparation, and after that it becomes harder and harder to digest. In Ayurveda, digestion refers to what we absorb from food, not simply the fact of food moving from the stomach through the intestinal passage and out. It refers also to how our agni responds…do we dampen agni? Do we strengthen agni? Does anything at all happen to agni? A strong agni is the power of transforming food into nourishment for our tissues…skin, hair, organs, muscles, etc. Clearly, fresh food is desirable in terms of keeping agni strong. However, the reality is we live in this modern world with its strengths and weaknesses. So what can we do?

1. Try to prepare only as much food as you can eat. 2. Heat any leftovers before eating 3. Drink a digestive tea, or try some 'avipatikar churna', or add some ‘hingvastak’ churna if leftovers are unavoidable


Please reach out to us at mds@samsaraveda.com if you have questions on diet and nutrition according to Ayurveda!

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