“Life is the conjunction of the soul, mind, senses and body.” - Charaka Samhita (Su. 1.42)
Heetam Ashniyat - eat what is good for you Ushnam Ashniyat - eat warm cooked food Snigdham Ashniyat - cook with ghee or oil Matravat Ashniyat - eat appropriate amount
This quotation is from the Ashtanga Sangraha, and reflects the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in preparing and enjoying our meals.
About Soy Products
Soy itself is nourishing and beneficial for a vegetarian diet, and is suitable for a vata or pitta pacifying diet. For a kapha reducing diet soy should be used sparingly. The way in which the soybean is prepared determines its suitability from an Ayurvedic prespective. Unfortunately many of the commercially available soy products are heavily fermented and will ultimately aggravate vata and pitta doshas. So with soy, the simpler and fresher the better. To cook beans at home, sort out the broken and discolored beans and soak in plenty of water for 8 to 12 hours. Rinse well. Pressure cook for 20 minutes with enough fresh water to just cover the beans, a few slices of ginger root, and optionally a 3 inch piece of kombu seaweed. Discard ginger and kombu. Add the beans to soups, or sauté briefly with cumin powder and salt or Bragg’s, or prepare this pate.
Red Pepper Soy Pate
1 cup dry Soy Beans, cooked as above
2 cups chopped Red Bell Pepper
½ cup finely chopped sweet Onion
½ cup toasted Sunflower Seeds
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Hing, 2 tsp. Cumin Powder
Heat oil and cook spices briefly. Add onion and red pepper and sauté on low heat until very soft. Mash or food process all ingredients, a sprinkle of lemon juice, and salt to taste. Garnish with paprika or chopped parsley.
Tofu is like cheese, it’s cultured and heavy, so don’t eat too much of it. The quality of the tofu is important. Ideally, tofu should be bought from an oriental market or health food store where they make it fresh, and used within 2 days. Tofu should be soft and have a bland taste. As tofu gets older it becomes fermented, gets harder, and gains a stronger, slightly sour taste. This tofu should be avoided, as it is hard to digest and aggravates pitta dosha. Tofu must be cooked thoroughly to deactivate an enzyme that interferes with digestion: steam it, boil it in soups, or sauté it. Fresh pure soy milk is good stuff, very light to digest and high in protein. However, most commercial soy milk is not so pure. Usually they add a fermented sweetener like malt or rice syrup, oil and other ingredients, and it appears to be homogenized. Homogenization is a refining process that makes milk harder to digest and increases vata dosha. Look for pure, unsweetened soy milk with no additional ingredients; there are a few available. Most other soy products like soy sauce, tamari, miso, tempeh, and soy cheese are not recommended. They are highly refined and fermented. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is a soy sauce that is not fermented and can be used in place of salt.
Happy Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie
1 15 oz. can Pumpkin
½ cup Milk (Cow, Soy, Rice…)
½ cup Maple Syrup
¼ cup Sucanat
1 Tbs. Ener-G brand Egg Replacer or Tapioca Starch mixed with 2 Tbs. cold water
½ tsp. Salt, ¼ tsp. Cloves, ¾ tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. finely grated Ginger Root
Mix all ingredients, pour into an unbaked 9” pie crust. You can make a great crust with spelt flour, or half spelt and half barley, and ghee, following a standard pie crust recipe. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 30 minutes.