Mustard Seeds ~ Not Just For Hot Dogs & Burgers + Mustard Seed Cauliflower Recipe

Health Benefits Of Mustard Seed
When mentioning mustard, most of the western world will think of the delicious accompaniment to hot dogs and burgers. However the origins of the mustard seed are well documented with vast health benefits – when used correctly. There are over 40 varieties of mustard plants yet there are three main types that are used to make mustard seeds – black, brown and white. The black mustard seeds are the most pungent and the brown mustard seeds are usually used to make Dijon mustard. The white ones, which are actually yellow in color, are the most commonly used to make American yellow mustard as they are the mildest of the three.

Ayurvedic Cooking Essentials  - Stimulate Your Digestive Fire

A common cooking spice, mustard seeds can be found in kitchens all over the world. These beautiful little seeds are a wonderful addition to savory dishes especially during the spring months. They have a pungent flavor and a heating quality that makes them particularly useful in home remedies to aid in colds and congestion. In addition to its stimulating effect on the lungs and digestion, it also contains important phytonutrients that have been studied for their anti-carcinogenic effects. Mustard seeds are also excellent sources of magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, copper, vitamin B1 and not to mention, omega-3 fatty acids! These nutrients have been shown to, amongst many health benefits, alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, decrease asthma severity and even to help prevent cancer.

Pickled Mustard Seed 

Mustard seeds work particularly well in cases of krumi (worm, parasites) and have carminative, analgesic and expectorant effects as well as rheumatic properties. This makes them very beneficial in cases of joint pain and breathing difficulties.

Kitchari Spice Kit Online
This kit provides all the basic supplies you need to make Kitchari for 7 days.

Properties

Mustard seeds are light, dry and penetrating with a pungent and bitter taste. They have a heating effect in the body and their post digestive effect is also pungent. They have a strong affinity for the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. 

Some indications, amongst others, include:

  • Low or weak/sluggish digestion
  • Intestinal worms
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pain and swelling
  • Constitutional kapha conditions
  • And many more!

 

It is important to be aware of some of the contraindications of using mustard seeds. It is advised against usage in inflammation and other high pitta conditions.  Always seek a physician’s advice before undertaking herbal supplementation.

Usage

There are many combination compounds that involve Mustard seeds to address certain conditions. Some being:

  • Mustard seeds with ginger, guduchi, pippali and black pepper for low digestive fire
  • Mustard seeds with guggulu myrrh and frankincense for arthritis – particularly rheumatoid
  • Mustard seeds with pippali, pushkaramoola, anthrapachaka for lung congestion

 

There are numerous recipes which use Mustard seeds and it is used abundantly in many savory dishes. A delicious way to experience the benefits of mustard seeds is in a cauliflower dish! This is a flavorful meal that can bring digestive ease in a soothing and delicious way!

~Mustard Seed Cauliflower Recipe~

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower washed, stripped and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tsp of  chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp of chopped ginger
  • ½ cup of chopped cilantro
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes chopped
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 tsp coriander powdered
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp hing
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (brown preferably)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of salt (more or less can be adjusted according to taste/need)

 

Steps

  1. Sauté the onions, ginger, garlic and cilantro in the ghee in a large saucepan until they are soft and slightly browned
  2. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and continue sautéing for a further 5 mins.
  3. Add the rest of the spices (turmeric, salt, coriander, hing and garam masala) and cook for a further 5-7 mins.
  4. Add the potatoes and stir well so that the mixture (tharka) covers all the chopped pieces. Cook for about 5-7 mins.
  5. Add the cauliflower and again stir well. Cook on medium-low heat until the potatoes and cauliflower are soft and can break apart with ease.
  6. Finally add the kale and stir into the vegetable dish. Let cook on low heat for a further 10 mins.
  7. Serve hot with a little ghee and a garnish of parsley. Enjoy with Paranthas!

 

  • Other vegetables and herbs can also be added or replaced as desired.

 

References

  • Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. New York: Three Rivers Press.
  • Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
  • Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda. Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
  • Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs: An Ayurvedic guide to herbal medicine. Santa Fe, N.M.: Lotus Press.
  • Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice. London: Singing Dragon.
  • Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook a home manual. Berkeley, Calif.: The Crossing Press.

Ayurvedic Recipe - Acorn Squash Delight

 

Ayurvedic Recipe - Acorn Squash Delight
Ayurveda explains a concept of “like increases like” – which means the increased cold quality of autumn and winter for example will also increase the cold quality within; hence the tendency to catch a “cold” during this time of year. Therefore, in order to remain balanced during the season we should consider nourishing warm meals. No better reason to enjoy this delicious Acorn Squash Recipe

Seasonal Considerations:
– eat warming, soothing, and easily digestible meals
– eat foods which are primarily sweet, sour and salty in taste
– drink warming herbal teas such as ginger, cinnamon and cardamom tea
– keep warm and stay out of strong winds
– do regular yoga, meditation, and pranayama breathing exercises

"Acorn Squash Delight"

INGREDIENTS:
1 Acorn squash
1 tbs. of ghee or coconut oil
1/4 cup of pecans or walnuts
1 cup of cooked basmati rice
1/4 tsp. of cumin powder
2 tbs. of raisins
pinch of salt
1/4 onion diced
1/4 tsp. of ginger powder
1/4 cup of cilantro, basil or parsley

PREPARATION:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2. Cut the squash in half and gut out the seeds.
3. Prepare a pie dish or baking dish with 1/2 inch of water.
4. In a small pan warm ghee and then mix all the ingredients, minus the rice, acorn and cilantro etc., sautéing for around 5 minutes on a medium flame.
5. Separately, bring 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Lower the flame and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.
6. Take these ingredients, mix them all together in a small bowl and add them to the halves of the squash. Place the acorn squash into the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
7. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Test the acorn squash with a fork and when the squash appears soft. Turn the oven off and remove from racks. Let sit for 5 minutes. Garnish  with the cilantro etc. and serve.

Bon Appétit

About The Author: 
Vishnu M.Ayu, BA Psy., LMT, CSP, E-RYT, CS2, is a licensed massage therapist with more than 15 years of experience and Master’s of Ayurveda/Yoga from Hindu University of America. He is the owner of ‘Hidden Health’ Center and offers Ayurveda out of a few locations. To learn more about Vishnu and his practice you can find him at hiddenhealthcenter.com.


Healthy Ayurvedic Recipes For The Holidays

 

Healthy Ayurvedic Recipes
With all the winter holidays coming up, there is much temptation in the way of food and drink! Every supermarket and store is displaying holiday treats and the delicious aromas are enough to invite one to splurge. However, the following recipes will lessen the guilt that comes with indulgence. After all, using organic and doshic friendly ingredients will bring joy and contentment instead of the guilt of festive sweets. Enjoy!

Ayurvedic Sooji Halwa 

All ingredients should be organic.
Ingredients

    • ½ cup of coconut oil or ghee
    • 1 cup of semolina flour
    • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon of cardamom
    • 1 cup of whole milk
    • 2 cups of filtered spring water
    • ½ cup of raisins
    • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
    • ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
    • ¼ cup of turbinado sugar

 

    1. In a saucepan boil the milk, water, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom together. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
    2. In the meantime, in a separate pan, sauté the flour in the oil until a deep golden color. Keep over medium/low heat.
    3. Add the boiled mixture to the sautéed semolina stirring frequently with care as there may be some sizzling and splashing.
    4. Add the raisins and the seeds and let cook for a further 5 minutes.
    5. Spoon into a bowl and enjoy! 

 

Great Video: How To Easily Make Delicious Sooji Halwa

Ayurvedic Fruit Bake
Note: Pitta types can substitute fennel powder over cinnamon and Kapha types can add ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger.

All ingredients should be organic.
Ingredients

  • 3 bananas peeled and sliced
  • 4 apricots pitted and sliced
  • 3 peaches pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup of dried figs
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • ½ cup of coconut flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ cup of slivered almonds
  • Juice of two oranges
  • Mint for garnish

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Arrange the fruit in a dish large enough to hold in a single layer.
  3. Sprinkle the raisins, figs over the fruit.
  4. Pour the orange juice over the fruit and sprinkle the cardamom and cinnamon on top.
  5. Sprinkle the almonds and coconut on top and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Garnish with mint and enjoy!

 

Ayurvedic Winter Delight
Note: This is a rather heavy drink so Kapha types should drink in moderation and substitute almond milk over whole milk. For Pitta types substitute Fennel powder instead of ginger.

All ingredients should be organic.
Ingredients

  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • ½ vanilla bean pod with seeds removed
  • ¼ tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp of ground ginger

 

  1. Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a pot and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain into a cup and enjoy!
  3. Honey, jaggery or stevia can be added for sweetness according to taste.
  4. Alternatively adding blended dates and/or almonds can also enhance the vitality boosting element.

CUCUMBER RAITA ~ Simple & Delicious Dishes To Keep Cool This Summer!

 

Simple & Delicious Dishes To Help Keep Cool This Summer!
According to the teachings of Ayurveda, every aspect of our lives contrubutes to our overall health with seasonal changes being of great significance. The summer heat is reflective of the fiery element of pitta giving all the more reason to discover some delectable yummy and cooling dishes to help stay cool this summer.

CUCUMBER RAITA
Often a good meal for lunch on a hot summer day is basmati rice and mung dal kitchari. However, to bring about flavor you may also want to consider cucumber raita to help improve digestion and even help to cool down many spicy dishes.

Ingredients:
·        1 small cucumber skinned and grated
·        1 teaspoon of ground fennel seeds dry roasted
·        ½ cup of plain yogurt
·        ¼ teaspoon of salt
·        ¼ teaspoon of pepper
·        4-5 chopped mint leaves
       * Simply mix all together and enjoy!

Want To Stay Cool & Well Hydrated?
It's also very important to stay well hydrated especially during the hot summer days. Therefore, consider sipping on this drink throughout the day to keep the body hydrated and cool.
·        1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
·        Pinch of salt
·        1 tablespoon of raw sugar
·        2.5  cups of water
       * Mix all together and sip away!

How About Cilantro Chutney?
This helps to cool down even the most spiciest of dishes.
·        2 Apples
·        1 cup of fresh cilantro
·        ¼ tsp salt
·        Juice of 2 lemons

Simply peel and core apples and place in food processor with cilantro. Add lemon and salt according to taste. Can also substitute pears for apples and limes for lemons if desired.

 

Simple Tips To Stay Cool This Summer:
Lastly, here are a few simple tips in helping reduce the excess heat during this summer:
·        Consuming a pitta pacifying diet
·        Drinking cooling herbal teas such as mint, cumin coriander and fennel tea
·        Cooling drinks and meals such as cucumber raita, lime, cilantro chutneys & aloe vera juice
·        Favoring foods with sweet, astringent and bitter tastes
·        Using certain essential oils to reduce body heat such as sandalwood, rose and khus
·        Applying coconut oil to the soles of the feet and the scalp before bed
·        Reducing alcohol in particular whiskey brandy or rum and red wine (pittagenic)
·        If there’s susceptibility to skin conditions (rash, hives, urticaria) then reduce time in the sun
·        Amalaki is a wonderful pitta pacifying herb that can help to reduce internal heat

There are other simple recommendations to also assist in reducing pitta during summer by wearing hats or sunglasses as well as light cotton clothing. I hope you enjoyed these simple yet essential tips for staying cool during these hot summer days.

Organic Ayurvedic Cleanse Kit

There are other simple recommendations to also assist in reducing pitta during summer by wearing hats or sunglasses as well as light cotton clothing. I hope you enjoyed these simple yet essential tips for staying cool during these hot summer days.

References:
1.      Yarema, T., & Rhoda, D. (2006). Eat-taste-heal: An Ayurvedic guidebook and cookbook for modern living.
2.      Dugliss, P. (2010). Enlightened Nutrition (1st ed., Vol. 1). Santa Barbara, California: MCD century publications, LLc.
3.      Lad, U., & Lad, V. (1997). Ayurvedic cooking for self-healing (2nd ed.). Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
4.      Lad, V. (1998). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. New York: Harmony Books.
5.      Hospodar, M. (1999). Heaven's banquet: Vegetarian cooking for lifelong health the ayurveda way. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Dutton.