Have you ever heard that in order to give your body plenty of energy, nutrients, nourishment and antioxidants, it is advised to eat the rainbow? When you “eat the rainbow”, this act ensures that you are consuming a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout your day. We are of course huge proponents of eating the rainbow, not only because of the essential nutrients that fruits and veggies provide, but also due to the fresh prana (life force energy) that they contain which, when consumed, actively replenishes and enhances vitality. Even more, Ayurveda considers the foods that we eat to be medicine for the body; hence, eating fresh, plant-based foods daily can have a tremendous amount of healing effects. For instance, in Ayurvedic medicine, some fruits and veggies, like strawberries and leafy greens, may even reduce excess heat (inflammation) associated with an unhealthy increase in pitta dosha.
Speaking of pitta dosha, in the Northern hemisphere, we are experiencing summertime which in Ayurveda is known as pitta season. During this season of the year, pitta is predominant in the natural world, hence it is easier and more likely that pitta dosha can go out of balance. Some symptoms of a pitta imbalance include inflammation, hyperacidity, loose stools, a short temper, sensitive skin, acne in the T-zone areas of the face and/or feeling overall burnt out. To help assuage symptoms of pitta, Ayurveda recommends reaching for foods that can help soothe and cool the fiery nature of pitta dosha. Thus, we thought it would be an opportune time to share with you our latest recipe- Pitta Balancing Veggie Bowl with Coconut Rice. This bowl will help keep your belly comfortably full by providing an ample serving of prana-rich veggies and grains to sustain you and keep you feeling cool, calm and collected through these long summer days.
As you artfully prepare your Veggie Bowls, you may notice that the color of the rainbow most represented in this dish is GREEN. This is because when working to balance excess pitta dosha or by simply opting to eat with the current season, Ayurveda recommends incorporating plenty of greens because of their cooling and cleansing properties. You will find that this recipe even includes the ultimate summer green for balancing pitta- dandelion greens!
Dandelion greens are extremely pitta (heat) reducing and are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. In fact, in the book Eating on the Wild Side, writer Jo Robinson says that compared to spinach, dandelion greens have “eight times more antioxidants, two times more calcium, three times more Vitamin A, and five times more vitamin K and vitamin E.” Pretty amazing right?! There is a catch though- dandelion greens are extremely bitter tasting; however, it is important to keep in mind that the bitter taste has tremendous medicinal value. For example, the bitter taste cools, purifies and cleanses, and is particularly beneficial at detoxifying the liver and GI tract. If you have not tried dandelion greens before and if they are available at your local grocery store, farmer’s market or co-op, or even in your backyard, we encourage you to give them a whirl.
In order to make this Veggie Bowl perfectly balanced for pitta dosha, in addition to the light, bitter greens, we also included nourishing vegetables, fats and a grain. For example, you will find sweet potato and avocado, healthy fats like Ahara Rasa Ghee (or coconut oil) and Jasmine (or Basmati) rice. All of these ingredients can help replenish bodily tissues, restore moisture to the mucous membranes and calm the mind. Further, the recipe opts for Coconut aminos instead of soy sauce due to the sweeter taste of Coconut aminos being more balancing to pitta dosha versus the salty, pitta increasing energetics associated with soy sauce. Finally, there are also pitta balancing spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom and fennel included in the recipe thanks to the inclusion of our Pitta Spice Blend.
If you have never made homemade Coconut rice, we are so excited to share with you our simple recipe that will make you feel like a culinary pro! The trick to having perfectly fluffy Coconut rice is to follow each step outlined in our directions, especially the part about rinsing the rice. Rinsing the rice will help remove the excess starch and help it not become gooey and mushy once the Coconut milk is added.
Alright, now for the recipe!
Pitta Balancing Veggie Bowl with Coconut Rice
Coconut Rice Ingredients:
2 cups jasmine or basmati rice
14 ounces full-fat coconut milk (1 can)
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
Veggie Prep Ingredients:
1 medium or large sweet potato, chopped
4-6 teaspoons Ahara Rasa Ghee or coconut oil
3 teaspoons Pitta Spice Blend
½ teaspoon salt
15 ounces prepared garbanzo beans (1 can)
8-10 stalks of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 in. pieces
1 bunch dandelion greens, chopped (bottom stems removed)
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
1 ounce sunflower greens
1 cup red cabbage, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
½. cup fresh mint, chopped
2 small avocados, sliced
2 juicy limes, halved
Coconut Rice Prep:
Add the jasmine or basmati rice into a 2-quart saucepan. To rinse the rice, add enough water to cover the rice then swish the rice around with your fingers. Drain the water as best as you can (there is no need to use a colander to drain the water from the rice, just simply pour as much water out as you can with each rinse). Repeat this process 3-4 more times until the water runs pretty clear. Please note that the water will not be completely clear, but you will notice more and more clarity with each rinse.
Soak the rice in water for 15 minutes, then drain the water from the rice, this time using a colander. Return the rice to the 2-quart saucepan.
Add the coconut milk, ½ cup water and ½ teaspoon of salt to the rice, stirring all ingredients together.
Bring the Coconut Rice to a simmer over medium-high heat until the entire surface of the rice begins to come to a gentle, rolling boil. Give the rice one stir only, then cover and turn the heat down to LOW.
Cook the rice for 14 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes with the lid on.
Fluff the rice with a fork or rubber spatula.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chopped sweet potato in a roasting pan and add 2 teaspoons of Ahara Rasa Ghee or coconut oil to the potatoes, coating them evenly with the oil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the Pitta Spice Blend and a dash of salt onto the potatoes. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes.
While your sweet potatoes are roasting, you can continue with cooking some of the other vegetables. Add 1-2 teaspoons of Ahara Rasa Ghee or coconut oil into a frying pan and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the garbanzo beans and 1 teaspoon of the Pitta Spice Blend and allow the garbanzo beans to crisp on medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus into the boiling water for 2 minutes or until crisp and tender. Drain and rinse asparagus under cold water and set aside.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of Ahara Rasa Ghee or coconut oil into a pan and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the chopped dandelion greens, 1 teaspoon of Pitta Spice Blend and 2 teaspoons of coconut aminos. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until the greens begin to wilt, about 2-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the sunflower greens. Stir to combine.
Veggie Bowl Prep:
Now it’s time to prepare your Pitta Balancing Veggie Bowls! Start with placing ½ cup of Coconut Rice into each of the 4 bowls.
Put an even amount of all veggies (garbanzo beans, sweet potato, asparagus, greens, red cabbage and avocado) into each bowl.
Sprinkle each bowl with a dash of the Pitta Spice Blend.
Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro.
Squeeze a half lime’s juice into each bowl.
Add coconut aminos to taste, if desired.
We hope that you find this recipe as fun to make and delicious to eat as we do. Please know that you can sub out any of the ingredients found in the recipe to make this Pitta Balancing Veggie Bowl your own! We suggest using our Pitta Balancing Foods List to help guide your decision-making. This way, no matter which ingredients you sub out, you know that you are selecting a pitta balancing food to take its place. If you are working to balance vata or kapha, we suggest following this same recipe, but incorporating some veggies and grains from the Vata Balancing Foods List or Kapha Balancing Foods List.