Eating Seasonally for Your Dosha, Plus 2 Springtime Recipes

The ancient Ayurvedic text, Sushrita Samhita, states: “He whose doshas are in balance, whose appetite is good…and whose Self, mind, and senses remain full of bliss, is called a healthy person.” Eating specific foods can help balance your dosha—and so can eating according to the season. As you move into springtime, explore these time-honored diet tips that can help you adjust to a new season and keep your dosha balanced.

Eating for Your Dosha

Each person’s unique constitution consists of varying degrees of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Most constitutions are predominantly composed of one or two doshas, with the third dosha having less influence. (If you don’t know your primary dosha, you can take this dosha quiz to help you find out.)

In Ayurvedic teaching, each dosha is balanced by specific diets and tastes (rasas).

  • Vata: The diet for this constitution should be calming, soothing, and nourishing.
    • Increase Vata with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes
    • Decrease Vata (to avoid excess) with sweet, sour, and salty tastes
  • Pitta: This constitution does best with a diet that is cooling and moderately heavy.
    • Increase Pitta with pungent, sour, and salty tastes
    • Decrease Pitta with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes
  • Kapha: The optimal diet for this constitution is stimulating and warming.
    • Increase Kapha with sweet, sour, and salty tastes
    • Decrease Kapha with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes

Changing Your Diet with the Seasons

Adding a layer of complexity, each season of the year is associated with a dosha, which can impact the balance of your own dosha. Kapha season extends from late winter through spring, Pitta season extends from late spring through summer, and Vata season extends from autumn through early winter.

Whatever your dosha is, you can keep your dosha in balance by eating foods that nourish and support your constitution, as mentioned above—and if you need an extra boost during seasonal transitions, consider weaving in foods that pertain to the season as well.

  • Summer: Try to add light, cooling foods to your diet.
  • Fall: A good rule of thumb is to incorporate warming foods, and sweet, bitter, and astringent foods into your diet.
  • Winter: Aim to eat more sweet, sour, and salty foods.
  • Spring: Consume more astringent, bitter, and pungent foods.

Foods to Balance You During Springtime

If you’re feeling a bit imbalanced as you transition to spring, no matter what your dosha, you can eat more foods that help calm the heavy, cold, and oily Kapha qualities.

Eat fresh, steamed veggies (not raw veggies), greens (including broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage), broth, brown rice, and a variety of legumes, which are astringent and bitter. Eat fewer foods that are sweet, sour, salty, heavy, cold, and oily, including fried food and cold or frozen dairy, such as ice cream.

Luckily, many people tend to want to eat light, fresh foods in the springtime after a long winter of heavy carbs and sweets, so it may not be too hard to make the switch.

The following recipes are intended to help pacify Kapha during the spring months.

Ayurvedic Breakfast Potatoes

These potatoes and black beans help to balance all three doshas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 red, 1 purple, and 1 white potato, scrubbed and diced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (choose cans that aren’t lined with BPA)
  • 3 collard green leaves (or other greens), shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups baby salad greens

Directions:

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy skillet over low heat.  Add the cumin seeds and stir constantly, about 1 to 2 minutes, until browned.

Add the water and increase heat to boiling. When water is boiling, add potatoes, sea salt, pepper, turmeric, oregano, and basil.

Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the black beans, collard greens, and diced garlic. Cook until the potatoes are soft, continuing to stir often. Add a tablespoon or two of water as needed to prevent potatoes from sticking to pan.

Divide the salad greens among 6 plates and top with the cooked potato mixture.

Makes 6 servings

Spring Vegetable Soup

This soup provides a refreshing, light way to help pacify Kapha in the spring.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 large radish, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 stalks bok choy, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • ½ head green cabbage, shredded
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

Melt the coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add radish, celery, bok choy, and onion, and sauté.

Add the water, carrot, cabbage, garlic, grated ginger, lime zest, sea salt, and black pepper. Increase heat to high, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add fresh parsley and remove from heat. Stir, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Fresh Spring Collard Wraps with Almond Sauce

Like traditional fresh spring rolls, this recipe uses steamed collard greens instead of rice paper for the wraps, helping to pacify Kapha, and includes an almond sauce.

Wrap Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • ½ jicama, julienned
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 beet, shredded
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 handful fresh mint, de-stemmed
  • 1 handful fresh basil, de-stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh turmeric, grated

Wrap Directions:

Wash and cut collard greens in half, removing the stems. Steam collard greens in a steamer basket for 30 seconds, or until just soft and bright green. Place in a colander and rinse under cold water.

Place two collard green leaf halves on top of each other, lengthwise. Place a few slices or shreds of jicama, beet, carrot, and mung bean sprouts lengthwise across the bottom third of the collard green. Add a pinch of mint, fresh basil, grated ginger, and turmeric.

Wrap from the bottom up, tucking in the two sides after the first fold, and continuing to roll, making a tight wrap.

Repeat  with the remaining collard greens and ingredients.

Serve with almond sauce for dipping.

Almond Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons roasted almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

Almond Sauce Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients into a creamy sauce.

Add more water by the teaspoon if needed to create a good consistency for dipping sauce.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


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About the Author

Heidi Hackler

Holistic Health Coach and Health Writer
Heidi Hackler is a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC) and blogger, who received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). She inspires healthy habits on her happiness and wellness blog , and through her holistic health coaching programs. Heidi quenches her thirst for knowledge through continuing education courses at Chopra Center Certifications , Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine, and Andrea Beaman’s New Healers Master Coaching program. Heidi lives with her husband and two kittens aboard their 40-foot sailboat. They have a zest for living the...Read more