Warming Ayurvedic Kitchari

Let me first disclaim that I am by no means and Ayurvedic health professional, just a gal who likes to research wellness and add some things into my routine if they work.

Kitchari (pronounced kich-uh-ree) is a traditional cleansing food of Ayurveda, the ancient, holistic health science of India. It has long been used to nourish babies, the elderly, the sick, and the healthy during special times of detox, cleansing, and deep spiritual practice. With a combination of basmati rice, split mung dal, and warming spices, this dish is comforting and satiating. Every so often, I make a giant pot and do a kitchari cleanse - that’s right, nothin’ but bowls and bowls of kitchari for several days. It gives my digestive system a chance to reset and cleanse. Unlike juice cleanses, kitchari is delicious, nourishing, and keeps me full throughout the day.

benefits of eating kitchari

IT’S TRI-DOSHIC

This warming dish is balancing for all constitution types. Not sure your specific dosha? Find out more about that here.

EASY TO DIGEST + NOURISHING

The combination of basmati rice and mung dal provides all the essential amino acids needed to form a complete protein. The protein content of kitchari supports stable blood sugar levels (crucial for us hormone-balancing gals!) so that energy and mental clarity are balanced during the cleansing process. Taking a mono-diet of primarily kitchari for several days gives the digestive system a chance to reset because the diet is so simple.

REMOVES TOXIC BUILD UP

Mung dal has an astringent (dry) quality which has a natural pulling action that helps remove toxic build up from the intestinal lining. This particular pulling action is much gentler than the harsh or abrasive “scraping” that can happen with cold or raw foods, particularly raw vegetables. Once the toxins are loosened from the body, it’s essential that they are properly eliminated. Split mung dal provide 15grams of fiber per 1 cup serving, thus making it easy to move the toxins through the G.I. tract and out of the body.

GUT HEALING

With 95% of the body’s serotonin produced in the gut, it’s clear we process our stress through the intestinal wall. Chronic stress will irritate the intestinal wall and compromise digestion, the ability to detoxify through the gut, and cope with stress. During a kitchari cleanse, the digestive system can heal. This gives the body a chance to reset and restore.

REMINERALIZES THE BODY + ANTI INFLAMMATORY

I’ve been particularly enjoying this kitchari cleanse during my menstrual phase because of the anti-inflammatory properties and the ability of the dulse/kombu to remineralize the body. During menstruation, our bodies lose a fair amount of iron and zinc which can be easily reintroduced into the body through the addition of seaweed. The addition of turmeric in this recipe also provides some wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, great for decreasing those pesky period cramps. It’s no secret that heat is a wonderful way to alleviate cramps, and I find that eating warming foods and dishes while menstruating decreases my cramps substantially.

warming Ayurvedic kitchari

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice

  • 1 cup split mung dal

  • 1 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard seed

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

  • 5 cups filtered water

  • 2 sheets of kombu or dulse (or any seaweed)

  • Veggies of choice - I like to use broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and kale

HOW TO MAKE

  1. In a heavy-bottom dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add in your spices, stirring for about thirty seconds to wake up the spices.

  2. Add in the rice and mung dal and stir for another thirty seconds, making sure they’re coated with the spices and oil.

  3. Add in your liquid (you can omit the veggie broth if you don’t have it, but I find it adds a nice flavor), and bring to a boil.

  4. Once the mixture is boiling, add in the sheets of kombu or dulse and reduce to a simmer.

  5. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the rice and dal have absorbed most of the liquid.

  6. Add your heartier veggies (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower) about halfway through the cooking process and stir leafy greens in at the end.

  7. When the kitchari is finished, dispose of the dulse/kombu.

  8. I like to top my kitchari with cilantro, avocado, and tahini paste. Enjoy!

With love and light xx

Chickpea + Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Whether it's a holiday or just a random Sunday, I love to bake. There's something so soothing and therapeutic about it for me. Since I changed my diet, I haven't been baking as much simply because I like to avoid sugar - but sometimes a gal needs a sweet treat and these do not disappoint. These sweet little nuggets are vegan and free of gluten, grains, and refined sugar and so friggin' delicious! There's also some added protein in there from the chickpeas - it's a win win. The best part? You can swap out the nut butter with whatever you have in the pantry (peanut, almond, sunbutter, etc...) - it's so easy!

Happy baking y'all!

Get yourself a napkin to wipe up that drool

Get yourself a napkin to wipe up that drool

INGREDIENTS

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  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line one baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
  2. Add all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips to a food processor and blend for about a minute until dough is well combined. The dough should be smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer the cookie dough to a bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Using a spoon, scoop dough into balls and place evenly on the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the cookie size. The tops should be golden brown.
  6. Remove and let cool.
  7. Enjoy with a tall glass of hemp milk - yum!

Do you like to bake?

With love and light xx

Juicer-Free Green Juice!

Juice! It's a 3.4 billion dollar industry and the "juice cleanse" craze has taken over our society. With some bottles going for $10 a pop, it's an expensive habit that lures people in with aesthetically-pleasing packaging and weight-loss focused slogans. I've never been too keen on juice bars; why spend all that money when you can make it at home?

Just creepin' in the reflection.

Just creepin' in the reflection.

I've been incorporating this green juice into my mornings for the past couple of weeks and now I'm addicted. The best part is that you don't even need a juicer! Juicers are messy, clunky, take so much extra time to clean and set up, and demand counter space that is not readily available in a tiny apartment.

This juice is zingy and slightly spicy from the ginger, which is anti-inflammatory and boosts immunity (I always add extra because I'm a ginger fiend but feel free to dial it back if it's not your favorite). It's also low in sugar and keeps the blood sugar levels stable. Often times, folks begin their day with sugary cereal or yogurt, which can cause a huge spike in your insulin. For all my ladies out there struggling with hormonal breakouts/acne, high blood sugar is directly connected to acne; higher blood sugar in your body means more of the hormone insulin which means pesky breakouts. I've noticed a huge difference in the overall appearance of my skin as well as the amount of breakouts I get from when I started drinking this juice daily.

Drinking this juice in the mornings also gets things movin'. If you're someone who struggles with constipation, incorporating this juice into your diet will help eliminate toxins and keep your body more regular. The cucumber and celery in the juice keeps the skin hydrated. Back to hormonal breakouts, if you're constantly covering your breakouts with creams and potions in attempt to dry them out, you're not giving the breakouts a chance to heal. Keeping your skin hydrated (and letting it breathe!) is crucial for clearing up those blemishes. Even if you're not struggling with breakouts, glowy, hydrated skin is the best kind!

BENEFITS

  • Anti-inflammatory. 
  • Boosts immunity.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  • Decreases hormonal acne.
  • Gets your digestive enzymes flowing. 
  • Hydrates.
  • Increases energy.

Lets get to it!


Ain't nobody got time to strain lemon seeds.

Ain't nobody got time to strain lemon seeds.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 inch nob of cucumber, chopped
  • 2 inch nob of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 a green apple
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Big handful of parsley
  • Optional: 2 inch piece of fresh aloe vera, peeled and chopped (extra skin food!)

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender (I recommend a Vitamix or NutriBullet) and blend for about 1 minute. There will be some froth so you can either wait a couple of minutes or scoop it off of the top with a spoon if you're impatient like me.
  2. Pour into a glass and enjoy! 

*Note - this juice does contain some pulp since the ingredients are kept whole. If you're not a fan of pulp, you can simply strain the juice through a nut-milk bag and it will be much more smooth!

*Note - this recipe makes about 5 cups of juice. I drink the whole batch every morning, but you can certainly divvy it up and enjoy it throughout the week, instead!

I hope this juice leaves you feeling energized, refreshed, and rejuvenated!

With love and light xx

Vegan + Gluten Free Seed and Nut Bread!

Today I'm finally sharing the recipe for this dense, thick, and super nutritious seed and nut bread! This recipe is 100% inspired by Josey Baker's Adventure Bread - I just offer a few substitutions here and there.

Vegan and gluten free bread can be very hard to find in grocery stores, and when you do find it, it's insanely expensive and usually pretty crappy. A lot of them fall apart and taste like cardboard, quite frankly. Other than the Sprouted For Life breads that I buy on occasion, I've been making this delish seed and nut bread for a couple of months now and love it. It's super filling and thick so one loaf lasts awhile for me (sometimes...).

Feel free to get creative and add more or less of one ingredient. The recipe is pretty forgiving so if I don't have a particular nut or seed on hand, I just swap it out for another one or add double the amount of one I'm already using. It's also pretty painless to make and takes hardly any time to prepare - my kinda recipe. Have fun with it!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 C sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 C walnuts
  • 1/2 C pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 C almonds
  • 2 1/2 C gluten free oats
  • 3/4 C ground flax
  • 1/2 C ground psyllium husks
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 C avocado oil (can sub with olive oil or coconut oil)
  • 2 1/2 C filtered water

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop the larger nuts into smaller pieces and place on a baking sheet with the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Toast for 15 minutes or until golden brown - keep an eye on them because they'll burn quick!
  2. When the nuts and seeds are finished toasting, combine all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir well to make sure everything is incorporated. The mixture should be mushy.
  3. Prepare a loaf pan by coating the bottom and sides with oil, then dump the bread mixture into the pan. Press it down slightly so all the ingredients are tightly packed together. Cover and let sit in the fridge anywhere from 10-24 hours.
  4. To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and allow the bread mixture to come back to room temperature before baking it for 60-70 minutes.
  5. Put your patience pants on and let the bread cool for 2 hours before cutting into it - it's hard but worth it!

Top a toasty slice with anything you'd like - make it sweet or savory! Enjoy!

Half a slice topped with smashed avo + everything but the bagel seasoning and half topped with Coconut Cult probiotic yogurt and fresh blueberries - so gooooood.

Half a slice topped with smashed avo + everything but the bagel seasoning and half topped with Coconut Cult probiotic yogurt and fresh blueberries - so gooooood.

With love and light xx