[recipe] maple oven-Roasted Fennel

3/30/2020

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fennel

 

This recipe comes to you from Kate O' Donnell's second cookbook Everyday Ayurveda for a Calm, Clear, Mind. The roasting process and the maple syrup transform the fennel into a candy-like dish that is both easy and healthy. Fennel has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps with digestion. This dish can be paired with white rice, kitchari (check out our blog post with a recipe for that here), or as a side with fish, chicken, or other roasted vegetables.

For the recipe you will need 4 bulbs of fennel, parchment paper, a cookie sheet, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt.

MapleRoastedFennelPicIngredients 

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • 4 bulbs of fennel 
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup 
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

Lay a parchment paper on your cookie sheet. Cut fennel into 3 inch slices and place them on the paper In a small sauce pan, melt all of the other ingredients together. After about two minutes, drizzle your mixture over the fennel. Flip each piece to evenly distribute mixture onto each side. Place sheet on oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Immune Boosting Practices and Recipes for Spring

3/29/2020

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Immunity BOOSTING practices and recipes!

The transition to Spring can be really tricky for many people. With the weather quickly shifting from cold to warm to freezing to hot, our immune systems can tank easily. Check out these tips from Veronica Wolff-Casey, our in-house Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, on how to keep your immune system strong during this time of year.

Check out the video tips from Veronica

  • Sleep, sleep and sleep some more! Being rested will ensure a stronger immune system.
  • Wake up at the same time every day, and scrape your tongue! Scraping your tongue is an Ayurvedic practice. It removes gross gunk that sits in your mouth all night. Guess what's in that gunk? Yep, you guessed it, bacteria. Get rid of it before you do anything else, except sleep, sleep first then remove the gunk.
  • Rinse your hands, face, eye and nose when you wake up in the morning.
  • Move! Get outside and breathe the fresh air, or do some gentle yoga. Whatever you do, please, move your body.
  • Eat well-cooked, well-spiced and warm seasonal food. Veronica always says that our health is determined by our digestive system, so we need to care for our digestion. Try making kitchari, a simple dish of rice and split mung beans that's easy on your digestive system. Here's a recipe for you.
  • Minimize dairy, wheat, and cold foods and drinks. This won't help, and will actually reduce your ability to digest things properly, which can make your immune system tank.
  • Meditate and keep your nervous system calm and regulated.

Try the tea recipes below. They are recommended for Kapha season, because they get things moving in the body. Try a warm cup about 15-20 minutes before you eat dinner, or after, if you feel you've eaten too much. The teas both have a warming and digest effect, and can help digestion and relieve gas and bloating.

Ginger tea:

Boil water in your tea kettle and put dried ginger in a mug. Allow it to steep for 5-8 minutes and drink up.

Black Pepper Tea:

Boil water in your tea kettle and put a few black pepper corns in a mug. Allow it to steep for about 5 minutes, and drink up. With black pepper, a little goes a long way, and you may be able to use the same peppercorns to steep another cup.

[book review] The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O'Donnell

3/27/2020

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EverydayAyurvedaCookbook

Let me tell you a story about how Ayurveda saved my life.

It was early December about 10 years ago. I live near Boston, so winter usually starts early and the transition can be tough. For me that meant dry hands, but this year, it was was particularly bad. Not only were they cracked, they were bleeding. And nothing at the drug store helped. I tried all the creams that promised to heal dry, cracking skin. Sometimes it felt like they were making it worse. It burned!

As a yoga educator, I had heard about Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga. I had heard that Ayurveda could help someone with overall lifestyle shifts and dietary changes, and that it was mostly based on the seasons. But I didn't know much.

I was desperate, so I thought I had nothing to lose, and everything. I booked my one-on-one consultation with Kate O'Donnell, and found her in a room off of a small yoga studio in Boston's South End. 

I learned many things in that hour with Kate, but the biggest thing she told me about was a self-massage with oil, called Abhyanga. Kate said that Abhyanga was a great way to nourish not only my skin, but my entire body, from the tissues to the nervous system. She suggested I used sesame oil, for its warming and grounding properties. She also gave me permission to nap - which is generally not recommended unless sleep is hard to come by. Check out my blog post on how to Abhyanga here.

I went home and was so determined to try this that I used the toasted sesame oil I had in my kitchen for the Abhyanga. I smelled like an egg roll, but I slept like a baby. (Please don't try this at home. You can easily find the untoasted stuff at your natural grocer or online.)

And the next day when I woke up, my hands were silky smooth. I couldn't believe it. Overnight they had gone from bleeding to beautiful. Several days later, when they started to feel dry again, I tried rubbing sesame oil on them. It didn't work. I had to do my whole body. And it was magic. I haven't had cracked hands since. I continue to practice Abhyanga about once a week, and have incorporated many of Ayurveda's other principles into my life and diet. 

Several years after my consultation with Kate, she wrote a book. She's written two actually. This one is her first. It's a wonderful introduction to life and the kitchen through the lens of Ayurveda, the daily rituals that can nourish us, and seasonal recipes that can help keep us in rhythm with nature. 

You can buy the book AND support independent booksellers, including borealis here: https://bookshop.org/lists/march-2020-booklist

Kate O'Donnell is a New England-based Ayurvedic practitioner. You can find out more about her here on her website

P.S. Abhyanga is a wonderful practice. However, unless you're completely burnt out, Spring may not be the best time for it. Or you may need to use a lighter oil, like sunflower oil, instead of the richer, heavier sesame oil. In the summer, you may want to switch to coconut oil, since it's light and cooling - which is exactly why you can't use it all year round.

Reviewed by Emilie Reid