Comfortable in the Cold: Ayurvedic Meals for Fall

Along with falling leaves and cooler temperatures, heartier meals are a sign that fall is here. So, what’s cooking on our mountaintop? We spent some time in the kitchen at Art of Living Retreat Center to learn more about Ayurvedic Cooking in this season.

Of no surprise, squash and pumpkins are key ingredients in fall meals. They are nutritious, tasty, vegan and gluten-free. Here are a few of the ways we use squash and pumpkins:

  • Puree or add chunks of squash to soups or use as a starch.
  • Sprinkle pumpkin seeds in salads to add crunch.
  • Bake pumpkin and squash with oil and salt as a side dish instead of fried potatoes.
  • Stuff acorn squash with quinoa and kale or spinach for a healthy main dish.
  • Add a sweet ending, such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or pumpkin pudding.


Alternative Foods for Fall

Some fall ingredients with which you may not be as familiar:

  • Chayote squash or turnip to make a hearty stew.
  • Endive, pomegranate and feta crumble salad is an effortless, yet tasty salad for fall.
  • And, persimmon smoothies for children because of the great, natural sweetness.


The smoothie could be an after-school treat along with these suggestions, which could also work for packed school lunches: veggie noodle spaghetti, fall veggie wrap and pumpkin & sunflower seed muffins.

If you crave sweet, sour or salty foods, fall is a great time for your taste buds. Fall is a vata season and carries with it dry, rough, cold, subtle & mobile qualities. One way we can achieve balance in the fall is by eating foods that ground, moisten and warm the body. Sweet, sour and salty tastes do so. We recommend including in your diet

  • Fresh, sweet fruits like apples and berries
  • Fresh, sour fruits such as cranberries, lemon and limes.
  • Sweet vegetables including corn and peas.


The Season for Detox

As we’ve written on the blog previously, fall is the best time of year for a detox. If you are cleansing, here are a few tips:

  • Follow a khichari diet for five days to help dissolve toxins. Khichari is a dish made from rice and lentils. It’s known for the ability to detox and balance the body.
  • Avoid oily foods and overeating.
  • Drink a glass of hot water before sleep.


Regardless of the season, the benefits of Ayurvedic cooking are plentiful and contribute to overall health and wellness. They include better mood control, freedom from depression & anxiety, and increased energy levels.

To experience Ayurvedic cooking personally, please feel welcome to visit us.


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


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