Spring is traditionally the time for cleansing, renewal, and immune system support. In the Ayurvedic healing tradition of India, cooks pay special attention to seasonal dietary preferences. In spring, we eat less dairy and meat and more vegetables, greens and bitter herbs.
Here are some of the spring dietary suggestions from the Ayurvedic practitioners at Joyful Belly (www.joyfulbelly.com):
Ayurvedic practitioners say the general springtime diet should favor grains such as barley and corn, and warming spices like ginger and turmeric to ward off blood stagnation. Green foods, especially bitter greens like dandelion and arugula, will also aid in fat metabolism. We should increase fiber and take herbal supplements to keep bowels clear and aid the cleansing process. Avoid heavy, oily, sweet and salty foods such as red meat and dairy.
Potato and Leek Soup with Red Pepper Flakes
This smooth, peppery potato soup tastes like “fresh bright green” with fennel seeds and leeks. The recipe is from Chef Mark Reinfled of Blossoming Lotus, Hawaii.
1 tsp fennel seeds
6 cups water
½ tsp mineral salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup leeks
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (chili)
Heat 4 cups of water on high. Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes. Add to the water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, slice the leeks. Strain the potatoes after boiling for 10 minutes, saving the water. Add 2 cups cool water to the potatoes (to cool them for the blender) and blend. Pour back into the hot liquid and return to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
Do you have a favorite springtime recipe?