Written by John Immel,
July is prime summertime. School's out, vacation is on the horizon, the workload lightens - so many reasons to celebrate the freedom that summer invites! You will likely find yourself at more social gatherings this time of year. What better way to come together then to share food? This month we've put together a list of 10 recipes that are cooling, easy to make and perfect for pleasing a crowd.
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Do you live in the Southern Hemisphere? You may need the 15 Ayurvedic Recipes for January instead.
Less Cooking, More PlayingNo one wants to be in the kitchen long on a gorgeous summer's day. Our 10 recipes for July are quick to prepare, refreshing and easy to digest. Start your day by eating light - fresh fruit smoothies such as Watermelon Basil Smoothie or Banana Smoothie with Lime and Cardamom nourish your body without overwhelming digestion and only take a few minutes to prepare. Any extra smoothie can be made into ice pops for an afternoon treat.
As long as the heat ensues, digestion is weak. The body pushes blood to the extremities to keep you cool diverting it away from digestion. This leads to both a decrease in appetite and digestive capacity. It's ideal to listen to your gut and eat only when you are hungry. However, just being out in the heat depletes your body. Make a pitcher of Ginger Basil Limeade to sip on poolside. This revitalizing drink will replenish your stores of electrolytes which are easily depleted while sweating under the scorching summer sun. Pack along some sweet pea guacamole with baked chips, crackers or fresh veggies. Sweet peas balance the natural oiliness of avocado, while pungent raw onions and drying cumin create a kapha-friendly guacamole that is much lighter and easy to digest.
Save your heavier meals for the evening when the heat subsides. Eat an early dinner around 4 or 5 to ensure a good night's sleep. Raw zucchini noodles with basil avocado sauce are a great finish to a fun day. Summer is the best time of year to enjoy raw foods. Raw food offers nutritional benefits but is more difficult to digest, often causing gas and bloating. Among raw foods, zucchini and avocado are relatively easy to digest. Adding zesty lime and fragrant parsley to these raw foods further boosts your body's ability to digest and assimilate this uncooked dish. Raw food is also cooling, making it a great choice for July's intense heat.
Pitta PeaksBeing that July is the hottest month of the year, it is the most challenging time of year to keep Pitta in check. As the heat rises, so do tempers and inflammation. These recipes ensure you will keep your cool while feeling as imbued with life as the landscape. Fresh and crunchy summer squash arugula salad celebrates all that your farmer's market has to offer. In the hot dog days of summer, crunchy greens and veggies seem to wake you while tomato's juiciness revive you. The bitter orange zest in this light dressing adds a vivacious flare to the mix.
Ever notice how tropical countries have a plethora of spicy cuisine? That's because spices like cayenne, jalapeno and red pepper can actually cool you down. Initially, they warm the internal organs and stimulate blood flow. Blood carries heat. As it circulates to the periphery of the body, heat can be released through the sweat glands which ultimately cools you down. Hence, vegan cauliflower hot wings are on the menu for July. They make a great addition to any barbecue and are devoured by vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
A Month of TransitionEarly July is damp and the hottest of hots. As the month progresses, you'll notice the humidity subsides. It's important that your diet reflect the seasonal changes happening around you. As July comes to a close, moistening and slightly heavier foods are in order. Grace your grill with salmon quinoa burgers come late July. Salmon, rich in proteins and healthy fats, blends with quinoa for a strengthening, protein filled meal. Quinoa is rich in iron and magnesium - both of which are easily depleted in the heat of summer - and therefore restores strength to deficient blood. Juicy Omega 3's makes these ideal for the impending dry weather.
Cooling and demulcent lemon saffron tapioca pudding makes a perfect evening snack in late July. The heat of summer and sweating seems to sap your strength, tax your blood sugar, and deplete vital electrolytes. Late summer and early fall tend to be astringent and dry. The richness of tapioca and coconut milk restores sweetness and oileyness to your blood, bringing your energy levels back. Lemon's sourness restores juiciness to a dried out system. This dish takes a bit more time to prepare, but is well worth the effort!
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.
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Thank you for wonderful ideas
You are most welcome! Thank you for your feedback : )
So which is more important: l love the recipes, so much more generous than those required by a strict Pitta Pacifying diet.May I indulge?
Great question! As always, it will depend on how your system is doing. EG: if you have a very high Pitta imbalance, avoiding some of those heating foods is likely a good idea. If you are fairly balanced and healthy, you can likely enjoy from time to time. Being mindful of how the foods impact you after eating will help guide you!