Ayurvedic ideas for summer salads

When the thermometer climbs above the 25 °C mark, Ayurveda speaks of Pitta time. Pitta represents heat and fire. To balance Pitta Dosha, we recommend cooling food. It’s best to favor sweet, astringent, and bitter flavors.

Cooling ingredients for salads:

  • all leafy salads
  • arugula (rugula or garden rocket)
  • cucumber
  • leafy vegetables
  • okra
  • celery
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • red and white cabbage
  • green peas
  • avocado
  • asparagus
  • pumpkin
  • courgette
  • chicory
  • green beans

Vegetables such as okra or green beans should be enjoyed cooked and then cooled down to room temperature.

Avoid all sour, spicy, salty and also very hot dishes when temperatures are high.

Reduce these foods as possible:

  • beetroot
  • aubergines
  • carrots
  • radish
  • tomatoes
  • hot peppers
  • onions and garlic
  • olives
  • cashew nuts

It‘s actually quite easy to remember: green cools, red heats. It’s oversimplified, but as a rule of thumb it goes a long way.

Preparing cooling summer salads

For a salad dressing, mix olive oil with a little lemon juice and a pinch of rock salt in a bowl. It is better to use plenty of local, freshly chopped garden herbs than to use salt, which is heating – and by doing so, you also add lots of invigorating vitamins, minerals, enzymes and chlorophyll.
You can give the salad a sweeter character (sweet cools Pitta Dosha) with a tablespoon of agave syrup and round it off with Pitta Churna.
Then mix your choice of Pitta-reducing salad ingredients in a bowl.

During the warm season, the drink we warmly recommend is Lassi, in all its varieties! Lassi is generally cooling, it helps digestion and building up good intestinal flora.
Especially refreshing during summer is coconut Lassi: Whisk fresh yoghurt (from organic whole milk, if possible) with water in a ratio of 1:5. Add a little coconut milk or pureed coconut pulp, vanilla sugar, and a little Sharkara or cane sugar.
Two other cooling recipes: Mango Lassi and Lassi with rose water.

Please do not forget to drink boiled, hot water, especially when the weather is hot. This may sound counterintuitive, but here’s how it works:
When temperatures are up, the body redistributes the blood to some extent, from the inner organs to the periphery, to promote cooling through the skin. Therefore, the digestive tract has to work with less blood volume than usual and the digestive fire is reduced.
Of course, the hot water should not be taken as hot as during the winter. But drinking Ayurvedic boiled water will help you feel much fitter and fresher, also in summer.

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