Happy First Day of Autumn! Autumn is a season of deficiency and change, provoking higher stress levels. Once leaves transition to an artist palette of colors and they fall, nourishing and seasonal foods like pumpkin and nutmeg to soothe the nervous system help us weather this change. Pumpkins whether embodied in the essence of a sweet chai or cheesecake are soft and comforting. Both sedatives, pumpkin and nutmeg together reduce stress.
Don’t think the only thing to be changing is the leaves! The onset of Autumn always seems to ignite a spark to our schedules whether we’re going back to school or not. Wearing oneself ragged in October’s social calendar could result in compromised immunity for flu season come November. The temperatures start to drop and our bodies try to make up for the heat loss. This is why it’s basic and primal to focus on drawing energy inward so we can meditate on preparing for Winter. According to Ayurveda, keeping the nervous system stable through fall is our number one tool for maintaining strong immunity and staying healthy.
Nourishing foods like pumpkin seem all the more enticing while helping refortify deficient tissue, thicken the skin, and insulate from the cold because pumpkin contains beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A. This is one reason why I found myself brewing a big steaming cup of pumpkin chai along with my oatmeal this morning.
Pumpkin chai is similar to chai which is a welcome addition on any Autumn morning alone – but the addition of pumpkin along with some of these familiar Autumn spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves) are the ideal for balancing the nervous system and strengthening your immunity.
Haven’t you heard of pumpkin chai yet? Here’s the recipe to make on your own in case you can’t find this one at your local coffeeshop!
- 2 tbsp ghee (Ghee is clarified butter that you can find at your local health foods store. For a vegan or non-dairy substitute, try coconut oil.)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- 1/2 cup almond milk (You can use soy milk too but almond milk has a sweeter consistency so you’ll want to keep this in mind when you prepare hot/cold drinks and for baking.)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cloves
Chop and mix the pumpkin with the almond milk and spices in a blender. Puree in a blender. Bring to a boil in a saucepan and serve warm. Enjoy!
Now I’m off to the fair with more posts in mind for next week and some tailored around to the ingredients we’ve used in this recipe (working with what you have instead of running out to that store for one little thing? yes!) – stay tuned!
What’s your favorite seasonal meal for Autumn? What are you having for dinner this weekend? Do you go to a local fair too? Did you find any somewhat healthy/organic venders there?