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Summer is here, and you may be experiencing extreme temperatures and the imbalances that accompany the high heat. One of the most effective ways to regulate body temperature and bring one’s self back into balance is through diet.
Pitta is that which is governed, mainly, by the fire element, and responds well to sweet, astringent, and bitter tastes to bring it back into balance when overheated. Therefore, it would stand to reason that the hot summer is pitta season. We want to be careful not to add too much heat to this already fiery time of the year! Choosing the appropriate seasonal foods will help pacify pitta’s predilection for pyrogenic tendencies.
This light salad is a great way to honor your body’s nutritional needs without feeling too weighed down in the heat. See how the seasonal and light nature of this salad provides a tantalizing, tasty, and nutritionally balanced meal as each of the ingredients pave the way for pitta pacification.
Broccoli, bell peppers: These cruciferous vegetables honor pitta’s need for cooling, sweet and astringent flavors.
Avocado: The avocado is a sweet, wonderful fat that does not provoke pitta’s heating quality and encourages healthy bile flow.
Sunflower seeds and almonds: You may find that nuts and seeds can be heating but, in this case, sunflower seeds are pitta’s pals and the skin removed from the almond, make it an ally as well. Both provide a powerful protein punch.
Coconut: The coconut is sweet and cooling. It also possesses unctuous qualities to counteract drying effects that can accompany too much heat.
Dandelion: Dandelion greens scream bitter as they cool and detoxify. They have an affinity for the liver which can suffer ill effects from over heating.
Cumin, coriander, fennel, cilantro: Spices, surely, are medicine and these 3 Musketeers come to the rescue every time! They possess febrifuge (fever reducing), diaphoretic (sweat inducing which is cooling), digestive, and alternative (aids in healing) abilities.
Lime juice: Lime is a great way to impart the salty flavor without the heating qualities of salt.
- 2 cups chopped & steamed broccoli
- 1 cup (or more, if you want a bitter-tasting salad) lightly steamed dandelion greens
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup steamed, chopped bell peppers – yellow, red, or orange
- 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
- 2 tbs shredded coconut
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, and fennel
In a large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients except the avocado and cilantro almond sauce. Gently stir in the sauce and toss in the avocado.
*You can eat this salad raw if you feel no deleterious effects to your digestion.
*If you’re looking to bulk up this meal, add some white basmati rice, but be sure to cook the vegetables!
Fresh Cilantro and Almond Sauce
If your agni (digestive fire) is up to the task of digesting raw veggies, this sauce could double as a dip for crudite as well. Otherwise, it dresses cooked vegetables very nicely.
- 1/2 cup almonds, soaked overnight and peeled
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, or more, to taste
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tbs. good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of mineral salt
- Black pepper to taste
Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add more water, if necessary, for desired consistency. The sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours.