A little about Vata Dosha & a Recipe: Apricot Cardamom Oatmeal
This is the first of two breakfast recipes I’ll post for today. They’re similar in ways: both with a healthy dose of cardamom and both warm and mushy. You might be thinking “yeah, like everything you post Kate.” and you know, you’re right! There’s a good reason that many of the recipes I post are for mushy, lightly spiced food, and it’s because it’s pacifying to Vata (primarily) and doesn’t aggravate Pitta. How many of you can identify with feeling anxious, overwhelmed, tense, stiff, bloated, constipated, fatigued, run-down, waking up in the middle of the night or experiencing dry skin? You all, my friends, know my good friend imbalanced-Vata well. When Vata is in excess in our bodies and minds, we find ourselves with some (or all) of the above symptoms. Vata is best calmed (and kept in balance) by what we can think of as healthy comfort food, eaten in a mindful way. So the food I post is designed primarily to balance Vata. A large number of participants in my Ayurvedic programs and clients experience Vata imbalance, and then sometimes one other dosha out of balance as well. Vata, being the “king of the doshas” is the dosha to balance first (generally). Vata, the air dosha, which governs movement in the body is the real havoc-reeker. A fire (Pitta) is fairly manageable so long as there aren’t high winds. Earth (Kapha) is quite nice so long as it’s not being moved to create an earthquake. And likewise, excess Kapha and Pitta are both far more manageable without troublemaker Vata coming along to make the whole situation more challenging. There’s nothing inherently wrong with dry or cool foods; it’s just that they aren’t as easy to digest. Coddling our digestion is a great way to stay healthy when life is stressful. I try to eat (delicious) easy to digest food for the majority of my diet and then eat the more challenging to digest foods as treats (like going out to dinner to Locanda in the Mission district like I did last night- yum!). And now, on to more easy to digest recipes!
RECIPE: APRICOT CARDAMOM OATMEAL
6 dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
2/3 c rolled oats
1 1/2 c water
1/4 t ground cardamom
ghee, sweetener, rice milk to top
In a pot, put apricots & just enough water to cover on medium heat. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer for four minutes. The apricots should soften then add oats, water and cardamom. Bring to boil then down to simmer. Stir frequently so the oats don’t stick to the pot too much. When oats are cooked to desired consistency (for me, it’s about 8 minutes after bringing to a boil) remove from heat and serve with a little ghee & rice milk. Some might like a little liquid sweetener on top (maple, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses).
- Vata: Great! Use any sweetener but honey.
- Pitta: Great! Use maple syrup.
- Kapha: Better with Rye flakes, Barley or Quinoa. Omit ghee. Can use dry ginger for half of cardamom. Use honey.