Ayurvedic Recipes: Collard Wraps
Ready, Set, Spring!
When it comes to eating seasonally, green means go at this time of year! Verdant veggies vie for our attention as they burst up through the earth’s floor, beckoning us to savor their flavor.
If you follow Mother Nature’s lead, she signals us to leave behind the heavier, heating, acid-forming foods of winter that kept us warm, and asks us to focus our attention on the lighter, cooling, alkaline foods that help us to maintain balance as the season shifts and heats up.
Collard greens are the perfect host for the abundance of veggies that grow at this time of the year. Spices and the friendly bacteria on vegetables enkindle agni (digestive fire), and enhance assimilation and absorption of nutrients.
In this recipe, explore how the bitter, astringent, and pungent flavors of broccoli, radish, scallion, avocado, and cilantro team up with just enough of the sweet, sour, and salty tastes of lime and coconut to tantalize our taste buds.
- 4 or more large collard green leaves
- 1 very ripe avocado, mashed
- 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced or minced radish
- A generous handful of cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or 1/4 each
- 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame or olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
*If you are experiencing feelings of heaviness, bloating, and lethargy (kapha dosha), use less avocado, seeds, coconut, and sesame oil.
1. At room temperature, combine all ingredients (except the collard green leaves) in a large bowl and mix well.
2. Lay the collard leaves out flat, and then spoon and spread some of the mixture evenly onto each of the leaves. Wrap them up and you’re ready to roll!
Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!
Wellness, Naturally: No April Fools Here!
Spring is here, and as the saying goes, “We got this!” Practicing Ayurveda gives us an edge over imbalances that might otherwise sneak up on us, as long as we practice awareness with the right diet and lifestyle.
We surfed through March, riding the wave of fluctuating temperatures and unpredictable weather. The test of our ability to shift on the fly and make appropriate food choices, while on the cusp of spring, really kept us on our toes.
Now, spring weather conditions are consistently here. We can transition from the more acidic, heavy diet that kept us balanced in winter to a diet more high in alkaline, light qualities. This will help ensure smooth sailing into spring.
One of the most beautiful aspects of Ayurveda is that there is no need to memorize a lot of information. Common sense and an organic approach of following the lead of Mother Nature guides us as she serves up spring’s verdant variety of chlorophyll rich (alkaline) foods that aid in transformation from the acid to alkaline state.
Here are my favourite spring seasonal eating lifestyle tips!
Honor Your Agni with Ginger
Encourage strong digestion with ginger tea. Ayurveda has a saying – “honor your agni” – because good health or dis-ease is predicated upon the strength of one’s agni, or digestive fire. When agni is weak, we experience imbalances, and when it is strong, we feel well. This is one of the main tenets of Ayurveda.
Ginger is heating in nature, and so, helps kindle agni. Ginger aids in stimulating the appetite, improves digestion and assimilation of nutrients, provides an analgesic effect for joint pain, and facilitates the clearing of wastes from the body. Generally speaking, ginger can be used every day.
Those with hyperacidity should introduce ginger into their diet slowly and with guidance from their health care practitioner. A tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger brought to a boil in 8 to 12 ounces of water, simmered for about 10 minutes, and accompanied by the juice of half a lemon can do wonders! Dried ginger in a tea bag is effective as well.
Protect Yourself with Chlorophyll
The many delicious green vegetables that color our plates in spring contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a plant pigment responsible for the many disease-fighting and detoxification properties of fresh greens. Because it slows the rate at which harmful bacteria can reproduce, it is a potent wound healer. It’s anti-viral effects protect the skin from viruses like herpes, that cause cold sores, shingles, etc.
Since cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment, chlorophyll is a boon for cancer prevention. Chlorophyll cleanses and detoxifies the liver by inhibiting the ability for certain chemicals to metabolize and cause cell damage. It also increases the activity of enzymes that protect healthy cells. Chlorophyll is the superhero you want on your side!
Snack on Spirulina
This is one of my favorite recipes for a spring snack – chlorophyll-filled, protein-packed Spirulina (blue-green algae) power balls! They’re no-bake and easy to make.
1/2 c. softened coconut oil
1/3 c. raw honey
1/2 tsp. mineral salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. spirulina powder (or, up to 1/4 cup)
3/4 c. white or black sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, ground
1/2 c. hemp, chia, or sunflower seeds, ground
*Optional – toasted coconut flakes or raw cacao powder in which to roll the balls.
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
2. Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour, so that the balls stay formed when you roll them.
3. Roll into bite-sized balls, and then roll in coconut or cacao.
4. Store in the fridge, eat and room temperature for best flavor and digestion.
Check out one of our spring Ayurveda retreats for a full immersion experience!
Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.