Category Archives: Recipes

Ayurvedic bedtime drink

Today I would love to share one of my favouritest (is that a word?) drinks with you. It is the version I have adapted from Dr Johan Douillard’s website. If you would like to learn more about ayurveda from an ayurvedic physician, I recommend exploring his site for some great information.

Milk is really good for helping us go to sleep and this drink is a wonder when it comes to pacifying vata dosha.

In ayurveda, food is considered in terms of it’s qualities, instead of it’s calorie count or vitamin or mineral content. In ayurveda, the quality of milk is cold, sweet and heavy. When we heat it and add warming spices, we make it easier to digest. It is really good for vata and pitta types. Kapha types may like to spice it up with ginger or nutmeg and use soy or almond milk. Milk is really nourishing for the tissues.

You can use organic, unhomoginised cow’s milk, rice, almond, hemp, good quality soy or any other milk you like.

The addition of the ayurvedic herbs makes it more potent. Please check with your health care provider if you are not sure about using the herbs. Ayurvedic herbs are very powerful.

  • Shatavari is the wonder herb for all women. It translates as “strength of 100 husbands”. It contains unusually high amounts of plant derived oestrogen used to balance the female hormonal system and strengthen virility. It is good for PMS, menopause, help with lactation and to balance the menstrual cycle. Please check with your health care provider about it’s safety during pregnancy.
  • Ashwagandha has a calming effect on the mind and nerves. It translates as “strength of 10 horses.” It strengthens the  bones and muscles and is particularly beneficial for reducing anxiety as well as reversing sexual debility in men.

Here is my recipe:

Bring half a cup of milk and half a cup of water to a boil on the stove.

While the milk is coming to a boil, add:

  • One chopped date
  • One tablespoon of almond meal
  • One tablespoon of coconut meal
  • One teaspoon of ghee
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of shatavari powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ashwagandha powder

Once milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and blend. You can use a stick blender in the pot or pop into into a big blender.

Strain any sediment through a fine sieve and enjoy with one teaspoon of raw honey.

Drinking this for three months will build up your ojas (strength and immunity) and help you to have a beautiful sleep.

I hope you enjoy and don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for you. John Douillard adds saffron, but my body doesn’t seem to like it, so I don’t add it. My body is craving cardamom, so I am quite liberal in my addition of it.

Ayurveda is all about connecting with your own body and it’s needs. Use this as a base and feel into what your body needs.

I would love to hear from you once you have tried it. Let me know if it makes a difference to your state of mind and if you feel better after drinking it.

I also make it for my children without the addition of the ayurvedic herbs and they love it too.

Blessings to you.

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Almond milk

(This is an updated version of a post I did in 2102. Enjoy!)
I love almond milk. It’s full of healthy protein, highly prized in ayurveda and a great alternative if you don’t drink cow’s milk.
And it’s really yummy too!
But have you seen the ingredients on the box if you buy it in the shop? Sugar, salt, rice (?!?!).
Never mind the price.
Never fear, here is a recipe that won’t break the bank and tastes sooooo much better than the box variety.
Soak one cup of almonds in water overnight.
In the morning, drain your almonds and rinse.
Pop them in the blender.
Add three cups of filtered water.
Blend.
Strain.
Yum!
It lasts about 3 days in the fridge.
(Recipe from Sara Avant, I love her work.
Get her amazing book over here.)
Blessings to you.
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Hot water and lemon: Recipe for busting Ama.

Hi gorgeous ones!

Today I thought I would share my morning drink with you. We all know that drinking hot water with lemon is really good for us. It cleanses the system and acts as a great detoxifier.

I have been drinking it for many years, thinking I was doing a great thing for myself. But when I spoke to Sarah, my Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant, she told me that drinking only lemon with water is way too acidic for the body. She has given me a much more balanced, Ayurvedic recipe, which I have been drinking for over 6 months now and I feel a lot better for it.

IMG_0201Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Boiling water
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh lemon
  • Fennel seeds
  • Raw honey

Method:

  • Upon waking, boil a kettle with filtered water.
  • While the kettle is boiling, chop up, or grate a nice big chunk of fresh ginger. Add to a teapot.
  • Add half a teaspoon of fennel seeds to the teapot.
  • Pour boiling water into the teapot and add a few squeezes of lemon while it’s brewing.
  • Allow to brew for about 5 minutes.
  • Strain tea into a cup and add a spoon of raw honey.
  • Drink as much as you like, first thing in the morning, before your breakfast.

There are many good things about this which I would love to share:

  • According to Sarah, this is the best Ama buster to have in the morning. What is Ama, you may ask? According to Ayurveda, it is undigested food residue that lodges itself within the organs and channels of the body. There is no real equivalent in the west, a basic understanding is that it is toxins in the body. However, Ama is greater than just toxins in the body, it extends further out into the mind and spirit. If you are wondering if you have Ama, have a look at your tongue. If you see a white coating on your tongue, you are directly observing Ama accumulation. Here are a few other signs that you may have an excess build up of Ama*:
  • You feel a sense of blockage in the body, such as constipation or congestion.
  • You feel foggy in the morning.
  • You feel weak for no apparent reason.
  • You feel lethargic and unmotivated.
  • You feel the need to cough regularly.
  • You become exhausted really easily – physically and mentally.
  • You feel depressed.
  • The combination of ginger, lemon, honey and fennel is very beneficial in Ayurveda. Ginger is a great way to wake the body up, removes ama, it improves digestion, relieves constipation and inflammation; fennel stimulates and improves the digestive system; lemon removes ama and honey warms up the body, and due to it’s stickiness, assists the accumulated ama to flow through the digestive system. Something to note about honey, is that ayurveda recommends that honey should always be raw and never heated. Once honey is heated, it becomes toxic in the body and creates more ama. According to ayurveda, we should never cook with honey and always add it to our drinks once they are at drinking temperature.
  • This drink is really potent to get the bowels moving, first thing in the morning. According to ayurveda, the efficiency of the bowels is a very good indicator of our health. And it is important to move the bowels every day, another way of removing ama from the body :).

I hope you like the recipe. I would love to know what you think and if you notice a difference in yourself after drinking it.

Blessings to you.

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*Yarema, Rhoda and Brannigan

The best dhal you will ever eat

{Welcome to the new look blog and new address. To make a long story short, I was struggling with the technology gods on the previous site. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and start afresh, so here is the shiny new blog. I hope you like it!}

Hello beautiful!

Today I thought that I would share one of our favourite family recipes. Mondays in our home have become known as Moong dhal Mondays, or Moongdays! I find that running the home is so much easier when I have an assigned day for certain meals. It cuts out a lot of the drama involved in deciding what to cook, so that I can relax and do other things. (Like recreate Monet’s garden.) We like to do a fancy lunch on Sundays, so Mondays are a lovely day to eat something simple, nourishing and easily digestible.

There are two secrets to making this dish amazing.

The lentils you use and the cooking medium.

  • If you have never heard of moong dhal (or mung dhal as it is sometimes spelled), it is the split mung bean. It is not usually available in the supermarket. I get mine at the local health shop, you can also find it at any Indian grocer. In ayurveda, it is known as a tridoshic bean, which means that it is good for all constitutions. This means that if you eat it, instead of being thrown out of balance (as can unintentionally happen when we are unknowingly eating a food that is not designed for our constitution), it will bring us into balance. A good thing, don’t you think?

Another reason it is good is that it is the most easily digestible bean. How something is digested, is a pillar of ayurveda. According to ayurveda, all problems in the body start with inefficient digestion. If you have ever tried to eat beans and lentils and found that they are too gassy for you, try this recipe. I promise that you will feel great.

  • The cooking medium that has changed my life is ghee. If you have not heard of ghee, it is butter that has been cooked on a very low flame until all the impurities have cooked away. It is the golden nectar of ayurveda. People have told me that it is a saturated fat and that it causes cholesterol, so they will not eat it. I can tell you that I know of ayurvedic practitioners who have healed people of cholesterol with ghee. A teaspoon a day is said to prevent alzheimers as it lubricates the brain. Provided it is prepared with milk from happy cows, it is a sattvic food. This means that it brings a wonderful state of peace into the body as it calms the nervous system. Initially, I was quite reluctant to cook with ghee, as it seemed to go against everything mainstream health professionals have to say about a healthy diet. I have found that since I have been cooking with ghee, I am losing weight and I am feeling much more balanced. I buy my ghee from the local health shop. I have found that the supermarket variety is not as pure, since it is mass produced and I do not know about the quality of the milk it comes from. Sometimes I make my own. It is really easy and satisfying to do. There are a lot of wonderful videos on the internet that you can find which will teach you how to make it.

Onto the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of moong dhal, soaked for two hours (Soaking of all grains – including rice – is very important, it makes the digestion much easier.)
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup of good quality coconut cream
  • salt to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon to taste
  • fresh coriander for serving (optional – my children don’t like it, but yours might)

Method:

  • Place moong beans, water or stock and turmeric in a large, heavy-based pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes, or until tender. Stir occasionally and check the mixture is not catching on the bottom of the pan.
  • Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a small frying pan and add the onion. Cook on a low heat until soft and golden and add the cumin, ground coriander and fennel seeds. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Stir the onions and spices into the lentil mixture.
  • Add the coconut cream and stir until heated through.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Serve with a squeeze of lemon and fresh coriander on top.
  • I normally make this with basmati rice, cucumber raita and mango chutney.

So that is it! This dish will take no more than 30 minutes, from start to finish (excluding the soaking time, of course). I hope you try it and let me know if it has been a success in your home.

Blessings to you.

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Elderberry immunity booster

IMG_9108

I thought I would share a lovely and easy recipe that you can make for your family that will increase everyone’s immunity. I must say that I love making up my own herbal remedies for my family. I feel very connected to the women who over thousands of years have healed their families with natural remedies. Chemically derived medicine has only been around for 100 years, did you know? Mother Nature really has all we need to heal ourselves on every layer of our being.

I got this recipe from Crooked Moon Mama a few years ago and I am sad to see that she is not blogging at the moment. You can still go and see her blog as there is some lovely inspiration in there.

On to the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried elderberries
  • 1/2 cup of elder flowers
  • 4 tbs of fresh, diced ginger
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of manuka honey

In a small saucepan, simmer the water with the elderberries and elder flowers on med-low heat for 30 minutes. Crush the berries well and strain through a cloth, squeezing every last bit out of them. Return the juice to the pan and add the ginger. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered. Strain the ginger from the liquid  and reduce the liquid to 1 cup on low heat. Remove from the heat and pour the honey in, stirring to dissolve it (about 2 minutes). Cool and bottle. Store in the fridge. It will keep for about 3 months. If you want to keep it a bit longer, you can add 1/4 cup of brandy.

Dosage: 1 tsp a day as a tonic, or 1 tsp 3 times a day if sick. This dosage is safe for both children and adults. Not for children under 1 due to the honey.

Some interesting information about Elderberries: Research has shown that the influenza virus has tiny spikes that it uses to invade healthy cells and the elderberry disarms this action within 24-48 hours. It also improves antibody formation against the influenza virus, ensuring stronger immunity.

Some interesting information about Manuka honey: This healing honey has been known to New Zealand’s indigenous cultures for thousands of years. Manuka honey contains anti-bacterial properties and in a study conducted by the University of Sydney killed nearly every type of bacteria it was exposed to. In 2004, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) licensed the use of medical grade manuka honey as a wound dressing, some pretty amazing honey, I must say!

I hope you enjoy this healing remedy. Here is to good health to you and your family.

Blessings to you.

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