Autumn is a season of deficiency
and change, provoking higher stress levels. As leaves fall, you need nourishing and seasonal foods like pumpkin and other winter squashes, and nervines like nutmeg, to soothe your nervous system. Your body needs help in weathering the changes of autumn. Cooked pumpkins are soft and comforting. Both sedatives, pumpkin and nutmeg together reduce stress. Wearing yourself ragged keeping up with October's social calendar can result in compromised immunity for flu season come November. Focusing attention inward frees up energy to help your body prepare for winter. According to Ayurveda, keeping your nervous system stable through fall is your No. 1 tool for maintaining strong immunity and staying healthy.
In fall when the temperature starts to drop, your body scrambles to protect itself from heat loss. Nourishing foods are enticing, helping to fortify deficient tissue, thicken your skin, and insulate from the cold. Pumpkins, ghee, almonds, and sugar all buildojas
in time for the coming winter. Ojas is Ayurveda's word for nourishment.
In addition to nourishing tissue, pumpkin chai is also a rasayana
(meaning tonic). Pumpkins are orange because of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Beta-carotene, also in carrots, gives pumpkin an orange color and encourages healing through rejuvenation and regeneration of tissue. Orange foods with beta-carotene are generally liver tonics that clear any residue of the heat damage from the weather and intensity of the summer. They also purify the blood and soothe the eyes. The cooling demulcent and laxative properties of pumpkin soothe the GI tract.
Spices make these heavy ingredients lighter for digestion, and pumpkin a bit less gas-forming. While all spices stimulate circulation, cloves specifically move heat to the surface of the body, warming up cold extremities. For Kapha types reduce ghee to one tsp and substitute one tbsp honey instead of sugar..
questions, comments & reviews
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Can Stevia or Truvia be used in this recipe as a replacement to raw sugar ?
- Karen, San francisco, CA, 11-10-10
Wow, 1/2 c of milk to 1 c of pumpkin. Seems like it would be very thick. I'm not familiar to heating almond milk and wonder if it scalds just like cow's milk? I'm eager to try this because of the healing properties of the pumpkin. I'll let you know how good it was.
- Lindy Sousa, Brownwood, TX, 11-11-10
should it be taken regularly, weekly or according to the rising cold
- udey shanker, Chandigarh/ambala, 11-13-10
It can be taken as often as desired according to dosha. And yes, alternative sweeteners may be used.
Just made this... quite delicious and I roasted the seeds with salt to make a snack as well.
- Analisa, San francisco, CA, 12-27-10
I've made this more than once this season and find it extremely delicious! I did use the canned pumpkin. It serves as my breakfast in the morning or a snack in the afternoon as it is a bit thick. Warm and satisfying!
- Gail Stamler, Jackson, MI, 11-12-11
Yes you can replace the sugar with stevia, especially if you're not supposed to have much sugar.
- Lucy Calhoun, Athens, GA, 10-10-12
Yes, I'm Kapha but I also have equal Vata and Pitta
Would this recipe be something that is good for me. It sure sounds wonderful and pleasing to me.
- Eli Wise, Easton, PA, 10-10-12
this Recipe is not for a Kapha. It is Vata pacifying and nourishing. A Kapha needs foods with a reducing quality.
- Alexandra Epple, Cedar ridge, CA, 10-11-12
So Delicious!! I just finished the last sip of this Pumpkin Chai and I'm in love. I love thick, creamy drinks and this recipe yielded the perfect consistency. I only had canned pumpkin pie filling from Whole Foods, so I used that and although it had more sugar it was so easy to make because it already had all the spices. Thank you John :)
- Kate crawford, Milan, NJ, 10-13-12
I love this recipe. I wonder if a Kapha could be a little heavier on the heating herbs (ginger, cloves, add some cinnamon, etc.) and perhaps mix with water instead of almond milk? Maybe even sweeten with a tiny bit of honey instead of sugar?
- Jeannie, Denver, CO, 10-14-12
It was way too sweet for my taste but with half or less of the sweetener (I use honey) it's the most amazing new recipe I've tried in a long time. I used the meat from an heirloom white pumpkin and it turned out wonderful. I love it. Thank you.
- Michael Cutter, 10-22-12