Along with falling leaves and cooler temperatures, heartier meals are a sign that fall is here. It’s no surprise that squash and pumpkins are key ingredients in fall meals. They are nutritious, tasty, vegan and gluten-free. You can use them several ways:
- 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.
- An endive, pomegranate, and feta crumble salad is an effortless, yet tasty salad for fall.
- Persimmon smoothies for children because of the natural sweetness.
These suggestions could all work for lunches or dinners. And don’t forget veggie noodle spaghetti, fall veggie wraps, and pumpkin and 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, and 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 also recommend including in your diet fresh
- Sweet fruits like apples and berries
- Sour fruits such as cranberries, lemons, and limes
- Sweet vegetables including corn and peas.
The Season for Detox
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 and anxiety, and increased energy levels.