BEET CLEANSE SOUP (BORSCHT)
How to Make Beet Cleanse Soup (Borscht)
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 60 MINUTES
Chop onions. Slice potato, carrots, beets and cabbage thinly. Place all ingredients in a pot and cover twice the height with water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for one hour of more.
Variations include garlic and parsley.
How Can This Ayurvedic Recipe Make You Feel Great?
This colorful fuchsia soup will have you asking, Is this really just a wintertime food? Beet soup has brightened the cold days for countless generations in Central Europe eastward while they subsisted on food from wintertime root cellars. Originally from Ukraine, this hearty soup made of beet broth has as many varieties as it does spellings (borsht, barszcz or borshch).
February comes at the bitter end of winter, the time of ashes. The natural environment offers slim pickings this time of year and the pantry is nearly bare. Early spring is the hardest month for animals in the wild. Anxiously awaiting the hope and promise of spring, lovers will make a last ditch effort on Valentine's Day to resurrect the dying embers of affection.
You may experience waves of bitterness, discouragement and a sense of failure in February. Try not to take these 'liver' emotions too seriously. Instead, these emotions offer an important cue.
As soon as temperatures start to rise in early February, the body begins to metabolize some of the winter fats in preparation for Spring. The blood becomes rich and congested with these fats which aggravates Kapha. It becomes thick and hard to circulate. Fatty blood makes February heart attack month. The fatty blood congests the liver as well. Much like a stuffed goose, your stuffed liver start to look as fatty as foie gras. You may have even noticed a week or two of dark, loose stools.
These important cues are signs your body is ready for cleansing. Ayurvedically, it is a critical time to cleanse the liver and jump-start the body's fat metabolism.
Liver Cleansing in the Spring
This recipe pairs winter root vegetables like potatoes and beets with the cleansing spring flavors of dill and vinegar, helping your body transition into spring. Beets and vinegar are a perfect addition to an early spring diet
. They offer a healthy remedy to a congested spring blood and liver. As they stimulate the gall bladder to release bile, they flush out burdensome fats and toxins leftover from holiday celebrations, reducing triglyceride levels. Bile is also a major pathway of cholesterol metabolism. The mild laxative qualities of beets and vinegar help flush the digestive tract as well. The beta-carotene in beets is an excellent liver tonic.
Brightening the Skin
The spices dill and black pepper get your sluggish blood moving, causing a much-needed sweating action, much like a sauna in a bowl. Dill flushes water weight and black pepper stimulates circulation, counteracting the sedentary effects of winter's short days. By cleansing the blood and lymphatic system, and bringing heat to the surface of the skin, borscht helps restore a healthy, vibrant glow to dull wintertime skin.
WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?
Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is
tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with
at any given time. Foods that supplement your specific body type’s needs and digest
easily create your menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you
are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive
tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you
experience optimal health.
Is Beet Cleanse Soup (Borscht) Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz
You'll learn your body type, and whether Beet Cleanse Soup (Borscht) is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.
Increases These Qualities (Gunas)
Functional Ayurveda helps you assess imbalances through 20 main characteristics
Aggravating these characteristics weakens your body and causes imbalance.
By knowing which characteristics are habitually imbalanced in your body, you will be able to identify and correct imbalances before you get sick.
Every characteristic has an opposite which balances it (i.e. hot balances cold).
You restore balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite characteristic.
ABOUT MOBILE GUNA
Mobile refers to anything that stimulates the nervous system, muscles, or activity.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MOBILE
ABOUT CLEAR GUNA
Clear refers to anything that cleanses or flushes out wastes, or that digests ama.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CLEAR
ABOUT HOT GUNA
Hot is identified by increased body temperature, metabolism, or inflammation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOT
ABOUT DRY GUNA
Dry is identified by lack of moisture, lack of fat, or anything that causes diuresis.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DRY
The 6 Tastes
Taste is used to sense the most basic properties and effects of food.
Each taste has a specific medicinal effect on your body.
Cravings for food with certain tastes indicate your body is craving specific medicinal results from food.
Taste is experienced on the tongue and represents your body's reaction to foods.
Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion.
Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste.
One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes.
The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below?
ABOUT BITTER GUNA
Bitter is disagreeable and stimulating rejection, and a strong taste often associated with black coffee, dark chocolate, and most salad greens.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BITTER
ABOUT PUNGENT GUNA
Pungency is characterized by irritation, or sharp, spicy foods that irritate the mouth such as black pepper.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PUNGENT
The Three Doshas / Body Types
People tend to get sick, over and over again, due to similar causes and habitual imbalances that are unique to the person.
Your body type summarizes this tendency, showing you the 'type' of conditions and imbalances that frequently challenge your health & wellness.
Using body type, you can also identify remedies likely to improve your strength and resiliency.
Your body type identifies physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses.
The calculation of your body type is based on your medical history.
The 3 functional body types
are Catabolic (Vata), Metabolic (Pitta), and Anabolic (Kapha).
Catabolic individuals tend to break down body mass into energy.
Metabolic individuals tend to burn or use energy.
Anabolic individuals tend to store energy as body mass.
Catabolic people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry.
Metabolic people tend to be rosy-cheeked, easily irritated, focused, driven, and easily inflamed.
Anabolic people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
HAS THE FOLLOWING
Rajasic foods stimulate desire or nervous energy. Red meat, high protein food, garlic and onions stimulate desire. Rajasic foods include chili peppers, coffee, and anything that stimulates movement.
LEARN MORE ABOUT RAJASIC
Prana is the Sanskrit word for vital life energy, similar to Qi in Chinese Medicine. Many herbs stimulate your energy, or improve the flow of prana through your body. Generally, prana needs to be increased in spring after a sleepy winter.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PRANA
An herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ALKALIZING
Ojas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after long-term illness, debility, emotional and physical trauma, and even sadness.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OJAS
A member of the plant family Solanaceae. Members of this family have a tendency to irritate the liver and arthritic conditions. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers.
LEARN MORE ABOUT NIGHTSHADE
Herbs or spices with volatile essential oils that present strong aromas. Aromatic oils shock, refresh and numb tissue, with the end result of relaxing, opening and clearing stagnant fluids in tissues.
LEARN MORE ABOUT AROMATIC
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
The list of actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Stimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CARMINATIVE
An herb that increases appetite or settles a nauseas or nervous stomach. These generally increase the digestive fire, therefore relieving symptoms of sluggish or difficult digestion.
LEARN MORE ABOUT STOMACHIC
Cleanse and Detox:
An herb that detoxifies by helping your body metabolize toxins, as opposed to eliminating them.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BURNS-TOXINS
Heart & Circulation:
A vasodilator is an herb that widens the blood vessels by the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, thereby increasing circulation systemically or to a local area.
LEARN MORE ABOUT VASODILATOR
An abortifacient is a substance that induces abortion. These herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ABORTIFACIENT
Eat Well for Life With Ayurveda: Balance Your Dosha
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About the Author
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda.
His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful.
His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week
provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
, which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition.
John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his 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.
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I have a suggestion: skip the cabbage and add chopped apples.
- Naddina, Arden, NC 10-12-11
Although tasty, chopped apples and beets may not be a good food combination for a weak, Vata type digestion.
Dear Monica, The cabbage does not need to be pre-cooked. It is labeled 'cooked' because the Ayurvedic properties of cooked and raw cabbage are different.
Tried this today as a a snack. I omitted the spices, potato, onion, and subtituted lemon juice for the vinegar. The result tasted very much like tomato soup! I imagine if I pureed it it the consistency would've been spot on as well! What a great tomato soup substitute this is. :)
Dear Dee - Try adding more carrots? Substituting with kale? It will be different but still tasty. -John
Thank you very much, John.
I made this recipe, substituting sesame oil, and really enjoyed the soup--what a beautiful colour.
Your site is a rich source of recipes and advice; thank you for sharing it with us.
Larisa (Vata/Kapha, Southwest US)
- Larisa, CO 02-05-15
I used red cabbage for the additional anti oxidant properties and it gave me no gas
- Sahara 09-25-15
Candice, try doubling the spices and adding 1/2 tsp of salt.