(4.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review
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April Showers & Body Moisture
Along with showers and springtime flowers, the buildup of congestion in the body peaks during the month of April. The body continues to metabolize and release winter fats from the skin. Warmer temperatures moisturize the skin. A warm day mixed with a heavy carbohydrate meal could be a challenging cocktail for your constitution. Simply put, the body has a hard time dealing with heavy foods on warm spring days. Instead of enriching the blood, the body wants to "lighten up" for summer by burning off excess.
There are many signs of springtime congestion. Excess saliva, mucus buildup in the sinuses, achy flu-like symptoms, and a sore patch in the back of the throat are all likely signs that your whole system is congested from "rich spring blood." Spring emotions tend to vacillate as quickly as the weather between grief over loss, to the joy of rebirth and renewal.
As the thermometer rises in April, we transition away from spices. Instead, "Eat beans
and greens" for a healthy balance of astringent
tastes. Foods with astringent taste make the tongue feel like sandpaper. Astringent taste restores tone and firmness to tissues. Bitter taste detoxifies the liver. Hummus Spiced with Cumin, served on a bed of arugula, is a perfect combination for April weather wetness.
Beans are high in potassium, a diuretic that drains these excess fluids from the body. In Ayurvedic terms, potassium has dry
quality and astringent taste. It's action is the opposite to sodium in our body, relieving water retention. Parsley comes from the Greek "rock celery" is also a strong diuretic effect that flushes excess water from the tissues. The dry quality of beans and parsley can aggravate Vata.
Beans: The Musical Fruit
Beans are also high in saponins, a natural insect repellent that is also a protein digestion inhibitor. These saponins are difficult to digest and cause noxious gas. Since the primary site of protein digestion is the stomach, people who have gas after eating beans may also have an upper GI deficiency.
Beans that are cooked properly are easier to digest. Soak beans overnight then strain before cooking. Then slowly cook beans for a long time, skimming any suds (the saponins) off the surface. Saponins are water-soluble. Changing the water several times during the cooking process reduces their concentration. Adding a small square of kombu or sea kelp to the beans can also improve digestibility. Kelp helps to break the beans down into smaller and easier to digest particles. Serve beans soft and spicy. If beans still give you gas, choose an easier bean like green beans or sweet peas. Lastly, buy canned beans instead of dried. Because canning companies recognize that gas affects their bottom line, they are invested in cooking methods that result in a fart-free product.
Beans for Fiber & Cholesterol
If your body is not aggravated by dryness, and you can digest beans without gas, they are an essential food for cleansing in the spring. Not only reducing water weight, they are high in soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber is chickpeas is nearly 75% insoluble which remains undigested until it reaches the colon. This significantly bulks up stools for a satisfying morning elimination. As with many high fiber foods, beans have been shown to reduce cholesterol, perhaps because of its flushing effect on the gall bladder. The high protein content in beans helps rebuild muscle tissue as winter hibernation yields to outdoor activities and projects.
Chickpeas have a higher amount of tryptophan than other legumes. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps to regulate sleep and emotions. Using chickpeas adds a soothing, comfort food feeling that makes this dish satisfying. Cumin is a stimulating and drying lung tonic.
Perfect as a snack or side dish that can be shared at picnics or to give you energy before and after activities. Garlic, lemon and onion add sharp, sour and pungent tastes that are balanced by the smooth texture of chickpeas and the nutty depth of tahini. Traditionally served with falafal or pita bread, you can also try it with cucumber or served on a bed of arugula.
Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain and rinse the following morning. Cook with the onion in 4 cups of water until the chickpeas are tender. Pour off the water reserving a ½ cup. Mash with a potato masher or blend in a food processor. I prefer potato masher because it gives more texture.
In a blender, mix the tahini with the garlic and lemon juice until the color whitens. Pour into the chickpeas and add the reserved cooking liquid. Let sit for two hours to cool; correct the taste with lemon, salt. Spread onto a plate. Garnish with paprika, cumin and olive oil.
How to shell chickpeas
Chickpea shells are difficult to digest. Shelled chickpeas are tastier and have a nicer consistency. To easily shell chickpeas, boil them for one hour after soaking, or until the shells are easy to remove. The chickpeas should not be mushy at this point. Cover the bottom of a large pot with chickpeas. Using a potato masher, split the chickpeas in half. Cover the chickpeas with about two inches of the broth. Then, pour the broth into a bowl through a strainer slowly. The shells will be easily removed using this method. Reuse the broth over and over again until all chickpeas are shelled.
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questions, comments & reviews
(4.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review
what is the hindi name of tahini?
- radhika, Mumbai, 07-23-10
Tahini is ground sesame seeds. Sesame is called 'til' in hindi, but I don't know the word for tahini specifically.
I have always loved hummus, I have only just started my Vata diet and lifestyle, and was disappointed to find I cannot eat chickpeas, but you have it in the list for Vata pacifying. So can I eat hummus or not?
- Geraldine, Inverness, 11-13-10
Hummus is mixed with oils and sometimes psices as well to make it more digestible. It is also usually well cooked. The final answer depends on whether you can digest the hummus without gas or bloating.
also try with fava beans. They are just as tasty and you don't need to use sesame tahini, which is heavy and can be very distressing to the system. And by the way, if you like chick peas, eat them when you want just not all the time! From one Vata to another.
- judith scott, Venice, CA, 04-20-11
I enjoyed red lentil hummus and didn't suffer any gas. Are the lentils just as healthy as the chick peas?
- Joanne Patterson, Davis, WV, 04-11-12
I replaced the chickpeas with mung beans and the tahini for cashew butter...and the result was divine!
- Andrea, Sedona, AZ, 04-18-12
Very good recipe. Quite tasty.