This morning I got a snuggly sneak peak at fall from a chill in the air and a torrential downpour. Unfortunately it wasn’t long until the low clouds were replaced with blazing sun which is now casting a nasty glare on my computer. Boo! But with the Indian Summer still seeming to be in full swing, I am doing all I can to nestle into fall habits to bring a touch of autumn into my day. What are you doing to cozy up the season? Please share!
This past Sunday, I made a batch of Sugar-Free Green Chai Tea to sip on all week and this morning it was especially comforting. Homemade chai is so much better than overly sweetened concentrates you get at Starbuck’s or off the shelf and takes mere minutes of hands on time to prepare. I like to warm mine with unsweetened vanilla almond milk for a creamy and cozy autumn cup.
So what’s new? Last week, you got an earful about HIIT training and I am dying to know how it is working for you? Intense right? Who knew you could feel completely ‘worked’ in only 15 minutes! Keep it up and take care of that one and only body of yours! Send me an update of your progress!
This week I would like to remind you to nourish your insides too. Fall is known to evoke change and often during this season, you can feel fragmented from stored negative energy or patterns of thought and this can disrupt your digestive action. Yes, I literally mean fall can cause a traffic jam in your intestines…cause you to be irregular….feel bloated…constipated…you get it the picture.
So to support gleaming bowel activity and to keep you feeling mentally and physically grounded and sane, I suggest you build a little fire in your gut. No, I am not suggesting you seek out hellish heartburn but rather increase your ‘Agni,’ which in Ayurveda medicine means ‘Digestive Fire’. A healthy presence of Agni supports proper assimilation and elimination of the foods you eat and encourages warmth and rooting in the body, allowing you to let go of what you don’t need.
Agni can be achieved by eating comforting and soul-warming foods rich in spices such as ginger, turmeric, clove, and cinnamon. All of these spices nurture your insides, reduce inflammation and calm your nerves which you will need these next couple of months. To get you blazing, I am sharing one of my favorite fall recipes with you. It is my Warming Spice Squash and Apple Soup. This dairy-free and creamy autumn bisque is seasoned with fire-enhancing spices and balanced with sweet squash and apple cider.
Enjoy this for lunch or dinner with a rice salad or cooked protein of your choice. Yesterday I whipped up a hearty side dish of cooked wild rice, chili-roasted mushrooms, toasted pine nuts and chopped and warmed kale. I finished it off with chopped shallots, a small drizzle of coconut oil, sea salt, chopped parsley, and cracked black pepper. It was delicious with this soup!
Makes: 8-10 servings
Time: 1 1/4 hours
4-cups raw kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), peeled, seeds removed, and cubed, (about 1 large squash)
2-cups butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed (about 1 medium squash)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted and divided
1 tsp. sea salt
1 ½ cups yellow onion, diced
1-cup celery, diced
1-cup carrot, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
8-cups vegetable stock
2-cups apple cider
¼ cup maple syrup
1-cup unsweetened original almond milk
½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss cubed squash with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil and a light sprinkling of sea salt. Divide between two large baking sheets, transfer to oven, and roast for 45 minutes. Shake baking pans occasionally to ensure even cooking.
3. Meanwhile, heat remaining coconut oil in a large saucepot. Add onions and cook for three minutes. Add celery and carrot and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, turmeric, white pepper, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg and heat one minute.
4. Remove squash from oven and add to soup pot. Pour in stock, apple cider, and maple syrup and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks.
5. In batches, transfer soup to a blender and purée until smooth. (Be sure to vent lid and cover with a kitchen towel to avoid hot soup splatter.)
6. Return puréed soup to another large soup pot and turn heat to low. Add almond milk to warming soup, season with salt and white pepper if desired. Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Have a toasty week!