In Ayurveda, Kapha Dosha accumulates or increases in everyone in Late Winter and Early Spring. This can be a problem in particular for Kapha dominant types with their moist, unctuous, slow moving, cool bodies. But everyone, regardless of dosha, will want to pacify Kapha with their diet to some extent in Early Spring, what’s called a Spring Cleanse. This is because for all of Ama digestive toxins tend to accumulate over the cold long nights of Winter and the rush of moisture that occurs in Spring.
A Diet to Pacify Kapha–Warm, Light, Dry, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent, Smaller Meals
A diet to pacify Kapha dosha is a diet that is high in warming, dryer, lighter foods, rich in bitter, pungent, and astringent spices and vegetables. This diet will be low in starches and sweets, with less sour and salty tastes like pickles and salty snacks. Even fruits are less sweet–apples, berries, persimmon. Moderation in wonder sweet fruits like watermelon and mangos that are high in sugar.
Roasted or broiled vegetables are excellent for pacifying Kapha dosha in Ayurveda. Roasted vegetables are light, dry, and retain the strongly warming fire Qi of the oven or barbecue. The general theme for Kapha is to protect it from its natural tendency to accumulate fat and fluid by reducing all heavy foods like wheat, dairy, meats, and fats, while increasing naturally cleansing vegetables as much as possible, and eating meats with vegetables, not grains, and grains with vegetables, not meats.
The best grains to pacify Kapha are the gluten free ones like Quinoa, Teff, Corn, and Rice, in this case brown rice. Grain should always be in moderation, and in fact, Kapha season is even a good time to fast from grains for a few weeks, as almost all grains are sweet, and elevate Kapha. Indeed, Kapha is the dosha that benefits most from fasting, and can even fast for several days at a time, while drinking Agni stimulating beverages with herbs like ginger, clove, black pepper and cardamom.
Pacify Kapha with Warming Spices like Pepper, Cumin, Oregano, Thyme, Chile, Ginger, Fenugreek
Pacify Kapha and its naturally heavy moist properties by eating lighter food free from unctuous or creamy sauces, and by avoiding sweets and sugar like the plague. Kapha needs to be careful even to not overeat fruit, and does best with lighter, less sweet fruits that are also astringent, like apple, persimmon, or pomegranate. Another way to keep Kapha from accumulating cold water is to counter this with warming spices. Adding spices, with their pungent, bitter, and astringent flavors to roasted vegetables will increase their Kapha pacifying ability. But avoid the temptation to combine these with sweet, sour, salty, and creamy sauces or dips. Instead, my recipe calls for an onion roasted on the side, which balances the dry roasted veggie well.
Sesame, olive, and mustard oil are good for Kapha, as they are warming, and all spices are good. If you are a Kapha and you tolerate hot spices like Chili Peppers, go for it. The theme for Kapha is stimulation, with spicy food and hard exercise. Dig ditches eat chillis. Everything that is the opposite of lethargy and sloth. Climb mountains, ride bicycles, rock climb, eat spicy hot food, and keep your body clean with lots of vegetables, herbs, and spices. Kaphas do well to drink a Kapha pacifying Agni building tea daily with spices like clove, ginger, black pepper, long pepper, and cardamom, unsweetened, of course. In hot dry weather this may be unecessary.
Roasted Curried Cauliflower and Kabocha Squash to Pacify Kapha
1 cup cauliflower, broken into flowerets
5-6 slices Kabocha, like crescents
1 onion cut in thick rings, or just in half
Salt to taste
2-4 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
- Preheat oven to low broil.
- Break cauliflower into flowerets and place in a bowl.
- Cut Kabocha squash into slices and place on a tray or plate.
- Add your favorite curry powder with a minuscule amount of salt, and a little extra turmeric powder if you like, enough to lightly coat the flowerets and slices of squash. Should I say “dust the vegetables with curry powder?
- I use about 2 tsp for 1 cup of veggies. Add more if you like
- Turn the veggies so they are evenly dusted.
- Now add 1tsp sesame or olive oil, just enough to very lightly coat. This helps seal in the flavor and keeps the veggies from getting too dried out.
- Lay flowerets and crescents out on a baking sheet.
- Broil for about 10-15 minutes, being careful not to burn
- When evenly brown turn over and broil another 5 minutes.
- The flowerets should be nice and brown on the outside and cooked nicely through, not hard and crunchy. But they will still have a little crunch.
- The kabocha will be soft inside like a french fry without the grease.
- You baked onion will be delicious and sweet all by itself.
- Serve with roasted red peppers.
Roasted Red Peppers
Recently there have been these mini red peppers at the market.
They are even easier than the Cauliflower
Simply coat in a little olive oil of the kind that takes hot temperatures
Lay out on a baking sheet next to the flowerets and roast away, turning so they don’t burn. Let them burn a tiny bit though.
You see this in Spain and Catalunya a lot.
Complete your plate with a steamed leafy green like baby bok choy, dandelion green, or collards, a serving of Quinoa or Rice, and some Lentils or Beans.
To Pacify Kapha even more, have this dish with just green vegetables, and fast from grains.
About Kabocha Squash:
Kabocha is the least sweet of the squashes, so it is an ideal starch source for Kapha types. It is also dense, almost meaty, so very satisfying.
If you don’t find it at the regular Super, then try Whole Foods
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