Updated: Aug 7, 2019
It's getting close to a very special time of the year and the most important time of the year to cleanse and listen to the body. Spring Equinox falls on the 21st March, it heralds a revival nature into action. Days and nights equal in length in the equinox's hours, then for the next six months the sun will be dominating this time of the year. In Ayurveda, this period of the year, choose foods which pacify Kapha and Vata, and later in spring turning more to a Pitta pacifying diet.
Focus on foods which are more Pungent (Spicy), Bitter, Astringent which have the qualities of Light, Dry, Warm.
My own shopping list is full of baby leaf salads, artichokes, asparagus, , beets, carrots, spinach, squash, cilantro, parsley. Seasonal fruits such as citrus fruits, plums, strawberries, dried figs, dried apricots, berries, apples and pears. Fresh parsley & cilantro, anise, hing, cinnamon, cumin, fenugreek, fresh root turmeric and ginger, black pepper, Kashmiri chilli powder, curry powder and mustard seeds.
If we can understand that eating a diet full of fresh, non-GMO & organic, seasonal foods, then there is little need for radical fasting when it comes to cleansing time. The liver and gallbladder, organs used to filter the blood will be delighted at these recipes (see below). Drinking warm water through out the day and before meals (see my lavender cleansing tea recipe) will help enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems.
Lemony Spinach Quinoa Bowl
Ingredients 1 cup Quinoa 2 cups boiling water 1tsp miso bouillon 1 tsp curry powder 1-inch fresh ginger 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped 1/4 tsp Kashmir chilli powder 2 tbsp mint juice and zest of 1 lemon 2 tbsp sesame oil 1 small leek, sliced at an angle 2 cups spinach or kale
a sprinkle of bee pollen (optional) 1 pack fermented seasoned tofu or tofu with seasoning such as rosemary, basil, oregano. 2 tbsp ghee
1. Cook the quinoa with the bouillon, water curry powder and grated ginger for 15mins on a medium/low flame. 2. Heat sesame oil and add the leek until soft. Add the spinach a big splash of lemon juice and lemon zest until soft.
3. Add the green on top of the quinoa. Leave on the side while you prepare the ghee in a frying pan and add the tofu to cook until brown and crispy.
4. Mix the dressing of the chili powder, mint, parsley and apple cider vinegar and the rest of the lemon juice and pour over quinoa and tofu. Serve and finish with a sprinkle of bee pollen or green herb.
During winter it is very tempting to forget to hydrate oneself but it is essential for all the tissues of the body. Using up my stock of harvest herbs from last year I came across some lavender flowers from our garden. I managed to grow a ton of lemon balm which is a soothing tonic for the nerves and lemon verbena which helps with weight loss, reduces inflammation, boost the immune system, calms the stomach, reduces fever, soothe nerves, and reduces congestion. So we have a refreshing cleansing tea and fabulous lavender lemon cake recipe to share.
Lavender Cleansing Tea
8 cups boiling water 1/2 cup lavender flowers 1 cup lemon balm leaves 3/4 cup lemon verbena leaves 2 lemon rinds washed & roughly slice without pith. 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 cup lemon juice
1. In a flask add lavender, lemon balm, and verbena with the 5 cups of boiling water and steep over night. 2. Add the zest of the lemons with 3 cups of hot water in a pan. Turn on the heat until they boil let them sit for three minutes with heat off. 3. Pour in the tea and mix with lemon juice and maple syrup. 4. Add to two containers strained tea. Serve when needed with extra hot water and sip through out the day.
Click on the picture for full recipe.
From our home grown garden it has been lovely to pick edible flowers such as borage, dandelion peppery nostrums and anti viral basil flowers. Add the touch of beautiful to sauteed chicory, homemade pickles (as I have in the photo below), soups and salads. This is a pretty way to add astringents and bitter tastes to the table and the kids love eating flowers. I found a couple of photos of a few of the meals they made
Curried carrot soup with seedy borage flower topping.
Homemade celeriac and black pepper pickle.