An Ayurvedic diet in autumn focuses on balancing Vata dosha, which tends to be aggravated during this season due to the qualities associated with autumn, such as dryness, coldness, and variability. Given these Vata-like qualities of autumn, it's common to experience Vata imbalances during this time, such as dry skin (very common), digestive issues, anxiety, and restlessness.
To counteract these imbalances and maintain a sense of wellness and stability during autumn, Ayurveda recommends eating warm, nourishing, and well-cooked foods. You can also embrace seasonal fruits and vegetables such as pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, apples, pears, and dark leafy greens. Incorporate healthy fats into your diet, such as ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil, and olive oil. These fats provide essential nourishment and moisture to combat dryness during autumn. Use warming and aromatic spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric in your cooking. These spices help improve digestion, boost immunity, and provide a comforting aroma and flavor to your meals. Include moderate amounts of high-quality protein sources like lentils, beans, tofu, and lean meats (if you're not vegetarian), and most importantly, make sure to maintain a regular eating schedule, and avoid excessive consumption of raw, cold, or processed foods. Moderation in all aspects of eating is a key principle of Ayurveda.
And I know this week is really hot and feels like the beginning of Summer, but Autumn is definitely here and it's important to review your daily routine and make any necessary adjustments to accommodate the changes of the season which also includes adjusting your diet to support your immune system, and I'm sure this Spiced Pumpkin Porridge recipe will be the perfect breakfast solution to balance your Vata energy this Autumn 🍁
To prepare it, you'll need the following ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if needed)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)
A handful of chopped nuts (such as almonds or walnuts)
A handful of raisins or chopped dried apricots (optional)
Sliced fresh fruit (e.g., apples, pears, or bananas) for topping
Prepare the Oats: In a saucepan, combine the rolled oats and almond milk. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently. Allow it to come to a gentle simmer.
Add Pumpkin Puree and Spices: Once the oats start to simmer, add the pumpkin puree and all the ground spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg). Stir well to combine.
Simmer and Cook: Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until the oats are soft and the porridge reaches your desired consistency. If it thickens too much, you can add a bit more almond milk.
Sweeten to Taste: Stir in honey or maple syrup to sweeten the porridge to your liking. Adjust the sweetness to suit your taste preferences.
Top and Serve: Pour the spiced pumpkin porridge into a bowl. Top it with your choice of chopped nuts, raisins or dried apricots (if using), and fresh fruit slices. You can also drizzle a bit more honey or maple syrup on top if desired.
Enjoy: Savor this warm and comforting breakfast, which is not only delicious but also aligns with Ayurvedic principles, especially during the autumn season.
This spiced pumpkin porridge is a wonderful way to start your day with the flavors and warmth of autumn while incorporating Ayurvedic principles of balance and nourishment. It's also easily customizable, so feel free to adjust the spices and sweetness to suit your personal taste and enjoy!