As we move from Summer to Autumn, I tend not to recommend raw fruit smoothies and veggie juices for breakfast.
Raw and cold drinks will dampen the digestive fire, especially for Vata types. Autumn is predominantly Vata season, so foods and drinks should warming, nourishing and grounding.
Nourishing breakfast milks are a great, non-caffeine start to the day, or any time when we need a warming hug-in-a-mug. We can change the type of milk and spices to suit each dosha.
Vata – grounding breakfast smoothie
1 cup of almond or oat milk
- 1 date
- 1 tsp almond butter
- 1/3 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2tsp ghee
Blitz all ingredients together. Can be served at room temperature, but this time of year it is particularly balancing when warm.
Saffron Latte – sweet and calming for Pitta Dosha
- 1 cup of light almond, rice or coconut milk
- A pinch of saffron
- 2 Cardamon pods crushed
- A pinch of cinnamon
Gentle warm all the ingredients in a pan. Enjoy at any time of day.
Spiced Almond Latte – warming for Kapha
- 1 cup light (unsweetened) almond milk
- A pinch of turmeric
- A pinch of cinnamon
- A pinch dry ginger
- A generous grind of black pepper
Gently warm all the ingredients together. This could be served as a light breakfast or mid-morning drink for Kapha dosha.
Matcha Latte – use the above milk for each dosha.
In general, Pitta dosha needs a substantial breakfast. Pitta dominant people tend to have a strong digestive fire and health appetite. Breakfast for Vata should be nourishing, cooked and grounding. Too much food can be taxing on the digestive system. Kapha dosha should have a light or no breakfast. Observing the appetite is important. Kapha needs to be reminded not to eat if they are not hungry. Don’t eat just because it’s breakfast time.
Here’s some breakfast and brunch ideas and how we can adapt them for each dosha.
‘Porridge’…. not just oats
Rice porridge – This is an Ayurvedic staple. We can adapt a the recipes for each dosha. Think of this as breakfast rice pudding. It is perfect for this time of year. Warming, nourishing, grounding and easy on the digestive system.
I like to prepare and soak all the ingredients the night before. Add everything to the pot then just put t on a low heat in the morning when you are having your shower.
For 1 serving: 25g rice to 500mls liquid. I like a 250mls milk : 250mls water ratio.
- Milk: cows milk or any non – dairy milk.
- Sweet, warming spices: cinnamon, cardamon, dry ginger.
- A little brown sugar, jaggery or honey to taste.
- Milk: Light rice, coconut or almond milk
- Sweet spices: cinnamon and cardamon and desiccated coconut or coconut flakes.
- A little maple syrup to taste.
- Milk: more water to milk ratio. Light almond milk.
- Warming spices. Dry ginger, black pepper, cinnamon.
- No additional sweetener.
How should Vata have their oats?
Oats….a breakfast staple for all the doshas, but how should Vata have their oats. Oats are very dry in nature; just look at how much liquid they absorb when they’re cooking.
- 1 cup oats
- 3 cups liquid. Choose the rain and type to suit you:
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2-3 cloves
- Pinch turmeric
- Pinch black pepper
If using non-dairy milk add maple syrup, fruit compote or apple sauce.
The how to:
For autumn, dairy is really balancing for Vata dosha, so whole (organic) milk would be great. Play around with the ratio that suits your tase. whole milk (or any other milk alternative):water. For this recipe i used 2:1 last milk:water.
Add all ingredients to a pot and allow to soak over night. Cook gently in the morning. It shouldn’t take too long to cook due to the overnight soaking.
The final consistency should be like a thick soup. The oats should be completely saturated, so they don’t absorb moisture from the digestive system at they digest.
Why it’s so good
The sweet, warming spices are very balancing for Vata dosha.
Quick cook oats or raw oats in muesli or ‘bircher’ style muesli is just too drying for Vata digestion as they will continue to absorb moisture for the digestive system.
This type of breakfast is more suitable to Kapha dosha where excess moisture in the body can lead to imbalance. Great for the cold, damp months of winter.
Porridge oats are great for Pitta dosha. Overnight soaking isn’t essential. Add lots of sweet spices to balance pitta dosha – cinnamon, cardamon, rose are all great options.
Congee (or rice gruel):
is a thinner consistency to the above. If the digestion was feeling particularly upset or if you were recovering from an illness or fatigue, this is perfect.
In Ayurveda we would recommend roasting uncooked basmati rice until it’s slightly nutty. Use the same promotions as above (or just water). Preferably cook at a very low heat in a slow cooker. If you are making a small amount, make it in a bowl and sit the bowl in the slow cooker. This prevents it drying out.
The spices above can be added or traditionally a green bitter plant – Gotu Kola can be juiced and added. It may not be readily available, so you could add the juice of parsley, watercress or wheatgrass.
Alternative grains can also be used:
Buckwheat is heating and a little drying, so good for Kapha dosha.
Oats are a good choice for Pitta dosha. Coconut oats: Soak oats in coconut milk, water coconut flakes and desiccated coconut and sweet spices.
Bread and Butter
What breads most suitable for he doshas.
Carbohydrate is essential for Vata and Pitta dosha. Kapha dosha can definitely do with a little less carbohydrates. As an avid bread maker, I love bread and toast with breakfast or brunch. Wheat is quite heavy and grounding, but can be drying for Vata, so oil and moisture needs to be added.
Yeast free bread id the best option for Pitta dosha: Soda bread, yeast free flat bread or sourdough are good options (also a good choice for Vata).
For Vata dosha you really can’t go wrong (I think) with some homemade bread, salted butter and jam. Here’s are some other (dosha suitable) ideas to spread on our bread, toast or pancakes
- Almond butter: Good for all the doshas, although too much is a little too oily for Kapha. TO make your own you do need a powerful food blender. Toast almonds for about 10 mins, add a little salt and blitz to your preferred consistency.
- Tomato and marmite butter. This is so tasty, a little goes a long way. It’s delicious spread on some fresh flatbreads, straight from the over. This is quite heating so too much can be Pitta aggravating. A mall jar or drained sun-dried tomatoes, a tsp marmite, a couple of knobs of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Avocado: great for Vata and Pitta
- Roasted tomatoes with cumin. Great for Kapha dosha, served with a little sautéed spinach or some rye bread (no better)
The (not so) humble egg
This is my absolute favourite brunch dish. In our house it’s called Moroccan Eggs, but there are may more varieties of this favourite baked egg dish.
Here’s the basic recipe. You can adapt to suit the doshas.
- 1-2 large onions
- 1-2 red peppers
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds (crushed)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Bunch cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper.
- Fresh coriander or parsley
Heat the oil and ad the spices. Gently fry and add the sliced onions and pepper til soft. Add tomatoes. Fry gently for 10 mins. Season. Make a well for each egg. Crack an egg into each well. Cook until the white of the egg is completely cooked and the yolk is runny. Add parsley or coriander to serve.
How to adapt for the dosha:
Vata. Perfect as it is. Serve with flatbread.
Pitta: No tomatoes for you.
Kapha: No bread required