Summer is here and the heat is on! As the weather changes, it’s important to readjust your eating habits and routines to keep your in balance. (You can see some of the switches I make this time of year here)
I commonly get asked about how to adjust your diet in the summer. Āyurveda recommends eating primarily cooked foods, which isn’t what we necessarily think of as the perfect summer fare. But cooked foods can still be cooling!
In Āyurveda, “hot” isn’t just about the temperature. Some raw foods can be heating (like a chile pepper) while some cooked foods can be cooling (like a cucumber soup). So to determine if a food is “hot”, we also look to the qualities of heat in the taste of the food and in its post-digestive effects. The different qualities (called the gurvadi gunas) can also impact whether foods feel balancing or imbalancing during the summer.
So I still recommend eating primarily cooked foods during the summer. To cool your foods, begin to favor more cooling ingredients like mint, fennel, parsley, coconut, and organic milk. You want to make sure that grains and water-rich foods and vegetables are present on your plate.
Mint has become my secret ingredient this summer because it adds a fresh, delicious flavor to every dish – sweet or savory. This minty-fresh pesto is a household favorite over rice and veggies, as a dip for dumplings, or as the saucy base of a pizza. It gets bonus points from me because my toddler son absolutely adores it. It’s his favorite way to get some greens!
Try out this simple recipe for a delicious pesto you’ll love this summer. And don’t forget to tag your creations on instagram! I’m @spirocollective.
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ tsp salt
- Juice from ½ of a lemon or lime
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup mixed greens (kale, spinach, parsley, basil)
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- Blend sunflower seeds, salt, lemon or lime juice, olive oil until smooth.
- You can proceed to the next step right away, or for an even better flavor, let the mixture sit for 30 min-2 hours.
- Add your mixed greens and fresh mint to the blender and blend.
- If needed add water (1-2tbsp at a time) to get the desired consistency.
- Serve on top of rice or pasta, as a pizza sauce, or as a dip for pita and veggies.