Sweet Potato Chai Smoothie

#Sweet Potato Chai Smoothie

So here’s how spacey I can be: I put a sweet potato in the oven on Monday, thinking I’d have it later in the day with ghee and a sprinkle of Autumn spices. After an hour, its sweet aroma called me from my office. “Done!” it was signaling. I went and turned the oven off.

On Tuesday night,  3 hours away on a road trip with my mother, just before falling asleep, I remembered that little packet of Ojas, still sitting all by its lonesome in that now cold oven. Uh!

#sweetpotato

What happened? Too embarrassed to tell my husband, I let it remain there until I got home late the following night, whereupon I gently drew it from those dark cavernous racks, slid it into a safe, cozy place in the fridge, and then in the morning, knowing I had to use it or lose it, popped it in the blender and made a breakfast smoothie.

Sweet Potato #Smoothie

Being morning, following a full week of teaching and traveling, I knew it would offer the grounding I needed, but also wanted warming spices to rev up the morning fires. So I added a bit of fresh ginger, splashes of cinnamon, dashes of cardamom, and a sprinkle of fresh grated nutmeg. That, along with fresh Almond Milk, made for the gentlest, Autumn-welcoming, home-coming breakfast I can remember. Ever.

Sweet Potato #Smoothie

But then, as I mentioned, my memory is not that reliable… especially in Autumn. You see, in Ayurveda, Autumn is what we call the “Vata” season. Vata relates to the air element, which is windy and can make us restless, scattered, spacey. To balance the light, mobile, dry, cool qualities of Vata, we want to favor foods that are substantial, nourishing, wet and warm (either by lightly cooking and/or spicing). It’s almost like we are looking for foods we can sink into, foods we know will love and take care of us, foods we can trust.

I was having what we call in our house “a Vata moment,” and that sweet potato was just what I needed to restore balance. Amazingly, given how long it had sat, it was as good as if it had just been baked. That’s a food you can trust.

#vata-reducing

So here’s the recipe. If you omit the water, you’ll have something like a Sweet Potato Pudding, a great healthy dessert or snack. But I made it into a Smoothie because I needed something drinkable. That’s just the way mornings are for me.

Sweet Potato Chai Smoothie (or, Sweet Potato Pudding)
Makes enough for 2

1 small Sweet Potato (or half a large one)
1 cup Almond Milk
2 Dates
1/2″ inch coin Ginger, peeled
1 generous shake of cinnamon
A more reserved shake each of Nutmeg, Clove, Cardamom
1 t Raw Honey

1/4 cup Purified Water
Option: 1/8 t orange zest

Pierce your sweet potato and bake at 400° F for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool. Put it in your blender with everything, except the water, and mix on high until it is smooth. At this point, you’ll have something like a pudding. You could spoon this into dessert bowls and enjoy it like  a sweet snack, or for a Smoothie, add water until you get the consistency you desire. Pour and serve, with a spoon!

#SweetPotato #Chai Smoothie

This is so good you won’t believe it is good for you: tonifying, balancing, grounding, it is both Vata and Pitta pacifying. For Kapha, add more water, more ginger and clove, and maybe even a good shake of cayenne.

Given how healing and hormone-balancing sweet potatoes are, this is another truly delicious example of Mother Nature loving you. To Mother’s nature in you, Namaste!

Dog Days of Summer Fig Smoothie

Carolyn sent over a basket of figs yesterday. She has a huge fig tree out behind her house, so the basket she sent over was correspondingly large. My first thought was, “Goodness, such beauty!” My second was, “Carolyn is so divine!” Third thought? “We will never get through that many figs.”

#Figs

So I tossed a few handfuls in the blender and made a Fig Smoothie. Like Carolyn, divine!

Version 1: Figs were the only fruit
Version 1

On my first go, the only fruit was figs. But it needed a bit of the sour and maybe astringent taste to help round out the flavors, so I added a plum and some blueberries. Once it all came together, it caught my breath. The colors, that dapple of deep purple dancing with sparkles of gold, make it as beautiful as it is nourishing.

#Figs #Healthy Smoothies
Version 2

Cardamom Fig Smoothie

Figs, 2 handfuls
Blueberries, 1 handful
Plum, 1
Lime, Juice and a bit of zest
Water, 1/2 c
1/2 t Vanilla Extract
Cardamom, dash or two
Medjool Date, 1-2

Option 1: Replace plain water with coconut water or coconut milk.
Option 2: If you don’t have dates, add a teaspoon of maple syrup.

Put everything in the blender and mix on high-speed a little longer than usual to be sure everything is well macerated.

Enjoy!

#figsmoothie

Thanks to Carolyn for this inspiration and bounty!

~

While we are mentioning Carolyn, her good friend and my favorite Gluten-free Recipe Renovator, Stephanie Weaver, is running a fun and fabulous Blog Hop as a way of connecting, raising awareness and generating funding to publish her book, Golden Angels: Lessons in Love and Lesson from Buddy Girl and Daisy May. Here is her Kickstarter page. I have had a read and love this book. It is an important healing tool for anyone who has suffered from loss and grieving. I hope you will take a minute to have a look.

GA_MainImage

Be sure to check out the many contributors, too, who have offered great and gorgeous recipes to help Stephanie in her campaign ~ Dog Days of Summer Blog Hop.

Namaste!

Spring Green & Clean: Detox Protein Smoothie

sprong smoothie
In Ayurveda, Spring is the season of purification. For me, there is no better place to witness the lessons of Spring, and to learn about ourselves as dynamic and integral aspects of nature than in our own humble garden.

IMG_8059Perhaps the greatest joy of Spring is watching the seeds bud. Seeing those two flaps rise up out of the soil, open out to the sun, and days later reveal the head of a new unique plant is my version of a thrill.

IMG_8055Fenugreek is Kapha-reducing, thus beneficial for spring, especially spring allergies. Its leaves are great in Saag; the seeds are ground for spices and medicine in Ayurveda.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

We have lavender everywhere. It is calming to Pitta, and blooms just in time to ease us into Pitta’s summer season.

ruth garden

When my niece was here she helped us clean out and plant our Spring beds, including the installation of a  drip irrigation system.

IMG_7962

After hours of hearty toil in the garden, we came in and “irrigated” ourselves with this purifying Spring Green Smoothie.

Detox Protein Smoothie
Serves 2

1 Apple, cored and chopped
1 T VitaMineral Greens (or Spirulina/Chlorella powder)
1 c Apple cider (or unfiltered juice)
1 handful raw sunflower seeds
1 t Coconut Oil
1 t Raw Honey
dash of Turmeric, Cardamom

Blend ingredients together for a couple of minutes until the consistency is smooth. Drink at room temperature. Enjoy!

ruth juicing

Isn’t Spring a joyful reminder of Mother’s Earth’s loving nature?

I wish you all that joy nature wants for you.

Namaste!

~

Related articles

Hangover Remedy

Clover
Shamrocks, aka Clover

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday this year, it occurred to me that some of you might appreciate a remedy for recovery come Monday.

This healing tonic matches the color of the day, and points to the Ayurvedic call in this season for a Cleanse. It’s laced with shamrocks, too, for fun – but also to add brightness in color and flavor.

The Shamrocks, also known more commonly as Clover, are optional. But if you are like us and have it growing all over your garden this Spring, toss in a handful to augment the magical, “luck of the Irish” benefits. Then you could call this hangover remedy, a “Shamrock Shake,” and continue your holiday celebrations, even while you recover. It is kid-friendly, too!

Shamrock ShakeShamrock Shake Hangover Remedy
Serves 2

1 Banana
6-8 leave Kale, with stems
10 Brazil Nuts
1/3 c Aloe Vera Juice
1 c Almond Milk
1 T VitaMineral Greens (optional)
1 t Coconut Oil
1 t Turmeric
A few pickings of fresh Shamrock (White Clover), leaves and flowers (optional)

Toss it all in a blender and mix until it is very thoroughly blended. Drink at room temperature. Best on an empty stomach.

Shamrock Shake

Clover is a natural alterative, or blood purifier, used by traditional poeple across North America and Europe. It is “rich in minerals and vitamins that help with decongestion and (which) stimulate the liver and digestion. While most alteratives contain bitter compounds, Clover is unique because it is sweet and tasty,” writes acclaimed herbalist Rosemary Gladstar.

Clover makes a great tea. So if you want to skip the Guinness, but still celebrate, you could enjoy instead an old-fashioned cup of “Shamrock Brew:” Simply boil up a few cups of water, add clover leaves and flowers, reduce to a low simmer, and steep for ten minutes.

Speaking of green, my annual Spring Cleanse begins next weekend. If you would like to join us to greenify your body and mind, please visit my website to register or learn more. If you can’t wait to get started, you’ll find a Spring Green Detox Tonic I wrote up for Elephant Journal here.

May your days be happy and green!

Namaste!

Related articles:
Clover’s Medicinal Uses, Live and Feel Well

Clover and Ayurveda, Tattva’s Herbs
White & Red Clover Species, Montana Plant Life

Pumpkin Smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie
Speckled with spices for warming, grounding delight

I declared one of the days earlier this week a Day of Bed Rest, and spent my waking hours working with my computer in the comfort of pj’s, pillows and privacy; no clocks, no appointments, no deadlines, no rush. It is Autumn, after all, the season of Vata, giving us permission to shut it all off, dial it all down, turn it all in, stay home, build a fire, and, once in a while even, pass the whole day in bed!

Luxuriating in the spaciousness of life without time, I surrendered ~ and found myself nourished by time off, time away, time to myself.

For lunch that day, I indulged in an Autumn-balancing, Vata-reducing, grounding, warming, deeply restorative and utterly gorgeous, golden Pumpkin Smoothie.

Image
Autumn’s Golden Color

It made me think that Autumn is gold for a reason: the bounty of this season is so rich!

It is a simplified and Ayurvedafied recipe inspired by Oh She Glows and suggested by a very wonderful and deep Yogi Pamela Hunt Cloyd. Try making this yourself and see if it doesn’t just make you feel golden.

Pumpkin Smoothie

2 T Chia Seeds
1 c Pumpkin Puree (easy to make or in a box from Pacific)
1 Banana
1 c Almond Milk (make your own or sugar free from your favorite food supplier)
1/2 c Almond Meal (you can also make your own by soaking, rinsing then grinding your almonds)
1/2 c Coconut Milk
1 coin Ginger, peeled (or 1/2 t Ginger Powder)
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 t Cinnamon
1/4 t Nutmeg
1 Pinch Clove, optional
2 Dates, optional
maple syrup to taste, optional

Soak the Chia Seeds in 1/4 cup water overnight, or at least for one hour. Put all your ingredients in your power blender and blend until very smooth and very creamy. Add chopped Dates for more sweet body, or maple syrup to flesh out and unite the flavors.

Then slip into your silky sumptuous self and sip slowly.

Image
Beauty and Nourishment for my Beloved

~

What a reminder that Food is Love!

Lisa’s adorable daughter enjoying her Pumpkin Smoothie!

Enjoy!

 Namaste ~

Green Goddess Mornings

Green Goddess Mornings

Have you ever wondered what to eat in the morning? Ever felt tired of the “same old?” Dry cereal and cold milk lost its Mojo for you?

Personally, I never had much taste or enthusiasm for breakfast as a daily habit. Sure, breakfast as event is an inspiring way to begin any day. “Daddy’s Pancakes” on a Saturday, Brunch with extended family on a Sunday, fresh croissant at a place like the Darshan Bakery in Encinitas, bagels at the beach with friends ~ these are breakfasts to get up for.

But everyday breakfast, the one the pundits all say we absolutely must have, that leaves me wanting to go back to bed. And shouldn’t breakfast be just the opposite? Shouldn’t it give you fire, energy, pizzazz? Shouldn’t breakfast start your day the way you intend to live it?

Because I think breakfast should absolutely be one more great reason to get up in the morning, I make it sparkle, I make it fun, I make it lavishly green, I make it portable (why stop when the day has just begun?), and I make it right after Yoga practice while I am still dancing, singing, lovingly greeting the day. These, I call “Green Goddess Mornings.”

Tara: Green Goddess of Compassion

“What do you have for breakfast?” a client asked today, gently requesting I post the recipe here. Of course, with Green Goddess Mornings, nothing is ever the same. If it were, it wouldn’t be a Green Goddess Morning, would it?

Here, however, is an example of what breakfast could look like on any given day ~

GREEN GODDESS MORNING GLORY
2 Servings

1/2 cup Sparkling water (doesn’t have to be fizzy: “flat” water is fine)
1/2 cup Pomegranate or Hibiscus Juice
1/2 cup Aloe Vera Juice
Fresh juice of 1 Lemon
2 heaping tablespoons of Spirulina
2 Kale leaves, spine removed (beet leaves, brocoli florets, celery are also great)
1/2 of a Banana
1 heaping tablespoon Coconut Oil (or Walnut Oil)
1 heaping tablespoon ground Flaxseed (I like Bob’s as they are able to preserve vital nutrients often lost in the grinding process)
1 tablespoon Honey
1 dash each of Cinnamon and Turmeric (some days I also add a dash of either Cardamom, Cayenne, or Ginger)

Put everything together in a Juicer or Blender and give it a good mix. Pour into your favorite, most beautiful, most inspiring glasses ~ because you deserve it, and serve.

Green Goddess Morning Glory Shake

For its deep color and coconut speckles, it is gorgeous. As a meal, though, its rich green has been known to frighten! If it looks scary to you, adjust the measure of honey, thank it for its green Goddess potency, and it will be delicious.

I suggest, too, that before drinking, you tell your Green Goddess Shake exactly what kind of day you would like to have. Who knows? All great and true Goddesses have infinite power. Maybe she can restore the breakfast Mojo!

Green Goddess Mornings

I chose the painting above, Goddess of the Forest, by visionary artist Teressena, as it looks like the dawning of the day ~ Divine Mother bringing us the sun. Currently, Teressena, who uses images from her meditations, is working on a series of Goddess paintings that delve deeper in the universal consciousness of the divine feminine and the mysteries of the sacred. A reproduction of her Goddess on canvas can be purchased here, or here  for a reproduction on paper. 

Namaste!