It's no secret that halfway through the day your energy levels begin to decrease. This can be frustrating at times because you may still have tasks to accomplish before the day is over. With these Ayurvedic sweet treats you can be sure to add that extra boost to your day.
Let's start off with this latte-like elixir is mix between the ever-popular golden milk, Indian chai, and Ayurveda’s ojas tonic. It’s the perfect drink for a winter afternoon pick-me-up, with the date giving a nice little boost of energy.
Ojas is explained in Ayurveda to be the essence of our body tissues. It represents your power of immunity as well as your strength. Ojas is what protects you against illness—strong and balanced ojas can be thought of like good immunity, while weak ojas is what puts you at risk for imbalances such as frequent colds and yeast infections. It determines your resistance against disease.
Ayurveda’s ojas elixir is generally a mix of milk, almonds, ghee and dates; all of which are considered sattvic and nourishing. It’s not really correct to say that this drink directly nourishes ojas, but it does nourish the body tissues and through this succession, healthy ojas is formed.
In this version, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and turmeric are added for their mild medicinal effects. Ginger and turmeric digest toxins while cinnamon and black pepper open the respiratory passages. Cardamom lifts the prana of food upward. And of course, the spices also add deliciousness.
This ojas latte tastes best when made with homemade almond milk. However, substitute store-bought almond milk if you’re short on time.
- 2 cups homemade almond milk (see below)
- 1” ginger, crushed or sliced
- 3” cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon dried turmeric root or turmeric powder
- 5 black peppercorns
- 5 cardamom pods
- ½ teaspoon ghee
- 1 date
- Ground cinnamon for serving
- To make homemade almond milk: soak ½ cup almonds in water overnight. Drain and rinse. Toss them in the blender with 2 cups of water and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Strain through a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth, squeezing to extract all the milk. Save the almond meal and add to soups and stews.
- If you have a mortar and pestle, toss in the ginger, cinnamon stick, dried turmeric root (if using), peppercorns, and cardamom pods. Pound a few times to release their flavors.
- Combine the almond milk with all other ingredients (except for the ground cinnamon) in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a low boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Strain into a blender, but toss the date back into the liquid.
- Blend until frothy. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
Coconut Carmelized Plantains
These super flavorful plantains make for a wholesome dessert or mid afternoon snack. They’re tossed with all-natural coconut sugar, cinnamon, and a little Himalayan salt, then pan fried until they’re caramelized. In goes coconut milk, simmered down until it’s a thick, creamy sauce, and everything gets topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
While this dish hails from south India, similar versions show up around Latin America where both plantains and coconut are staple foods. Both are considered in Ayurveda to be nourishing and bulk promoting. Plantains are considered in Ayurveda as superior to bananas. They’re less sweet and slimy, meaning they aggravate kapha less.
Plantains are delicious whether they’re served savory or sweet. It all depends on how ripe the plantain is to start. Green plantains are used in savory dishes: fried, steamed, boiled, or baked. Ripe plantains are used in savory or sweet dishes.
Once they’re yellowish with brown spots they start to become sweet and are better suited for this particular dish. If all you can find is green plantains, place them in a paper bag and check their ripeness each day. The process could take a week or two.
These coconut caramelized plantains are especially good for dry, vata-type winter days. Because the dish is nourishing, grounding, warm, and sweet, it’s great for mitigating vata. It could also be served in summer and fall; it’s just not the best dish to eat during kapha season (spring).
- 2 fairly ripe plantains (dark yellow with some brown spots), cut on the diagonal into ½” slices
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Ground cinnamon for garnishing
- Combine the coconut sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Toss in the plantains and stir to coat (the hands are the best tools for this step).
- Put the coconut oil in a medium sized frying or cast iron pan and heat on medium high.
- When the oil is hot, place in the plantains so that they’re flat in the pan. Fry, without stirring, for 3 minutes or until the underside is golden brown. Flip the plantains over and fry on the other side for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat to medium low and move the plantains around in the pan to avoid sticking. Pour in the coconut milk and cook for about 2 minutes or until the milk thickens to a creamy sauce.
- Divide the plantains into bowls. Pour over some of the coconut cream, then sprinkle with ground cinnamon and serve warm.