Best Foods & Simple Recipes To Stay Healthy This Fall
An essential teaching of Chinese Medicine is that as the seasons change, so do our bodies' needs. One of the best ways to resonate with the energy of a season by eating foods with the flavors and colors associated with that time.
In Chinese Medicine, Fall is associated the spicy flavor and the color white. In balanced amounts, the spicy flavor support the health of the Lungs and Large Intestine (the organs associated with Fall), as spiciness clears and dries congestion, opens pores, promotes circulation, stimulates digestion and fights pathogens that enter the body.
Super hot, spicy food can be aggravating and drying to the system, especially for those with excessive heat or dryness, inflammation, or ulcers, so make sure to balance with more mildly spicy foods that are both warming and cooling.
Warm spicy foods include cinnamon, ginger, cloves , garlic, cayenne, cumin, and rosemary. Cool spicy foods include mint, radishes (especially daikon radish), turnips and spicy mustard greens.
Ginger-peppermint tea is a perfect drink for the fall, with balance of cooling and warming spiciness. Add honey and a pinch of cayenne to help with nasal congestion or dryness.
White foods also support the organs of fall - this includes cauliflower, daikon radish, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, white onions, apples, pears, mushrooms white beans sesame seeds, almonds and cashews.
Also enjoy Autumn’s abundant pumpkins, squash, apples, pears, winter greens such as kale and cabbage, and root vegetables such as radishes, beets, parsnips, turnips and sweet potatoes.
Like all things in Chinese medicine, eating is about creating balance, so eat a variety of cooked and raw foods, using more cooked foods if you live in cooler weather.
SIMPLE BLENDED SOUP
One of the most nourishing thing to eat in Fall are simple blended soups. There are endless varieties you can try.
Here are some combo ideas:
- Butternut squash + Curry powder
- Celery Root + Broccoli + Red Potatoes
- Cauliflower + Leek + Lemon Zest
- Carrots + Sweet potato + Ginger + Turmeric
- Beets + Parsnips + Cumin
- Kale + Cauliflower + Zucchini
- Celery + Canned white beans + Rosemary
And here are some basic instructions that work for most soups:
1. Sautee some garlic and onion
2. Add vegetables - play with different combinations
3. Add liquids to cover (water, veggie /chicken broth,
4. Simmer veggies until soft
5. Add herbs or spices in the last minute
6. Remove from heat for 5-10 minutes, and then use a hand
blender (or put in batches into a blender) and blend until
smooth, or a little under if you like chunky veggies
7. Add salt and pepper to taste
8. Garnish (Add some color and crunch ~ finely chopped scallions, dill, parsley, cilantro, thyme, crushed red pepper, a spoonful of hemp seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, crushed walnuts, drizzle of olive oil, coconut cream, squeeze of lemon, seaweed flakes)
SPICED BAKED PEARS
Pears are said to nourish, cool and moisten the Lungs, and can be combined with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger to provide a balanced fall treat.
Cut a pear lengthwise, place the 2 sides in a baking dish skin down and sprinkle with cinnamon, ginger powder and a pinch of nutmeg. No need to add sweetener, but if you like you can add a tiny drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes, until the pears are tender.
You can also toast some almonds or walnuts dry in a pan and add for a yummy crunch.