Incorporating Ayurveda into your diet can bring many wonderful benefits, including better digestion, stable energy through the day and a calmer mind. And sometimes, it even comes with dessert.
That’s right: Ayurveda believes that sweetness in life and in cooking is a good thing. The sweet taste is nourishing, grounding and calms your body and mind. It’s just a matter of rethinking what you are accustomed to know as dessert and putting something more loving in its place, like our Carrot Halvah recipe below.
Ayurvedic dessert to bring balance
Ayurvedic eating is meant to bring you toward a balanced state. Dessert can be a part of this shift when you work within a few parameters:
First, eat what you might normally think of as “dessert” as part of your meal. If you want Ayurvedic pumpkin pie, the pumpkin and the crust become part of the augmenting portion of your meal. Aim for 60% of your meal to be made up of the sweeter, augmenting foods and 40% to be made of the foods with more bitter and astringent taste. Here’s a guide to understanding the difference.
Second, avoid overeating in any one sitting. Enjoy your sweet bites before your first burp, which is an important signal from your body that you’ve eaten all you will digest successfully. Don’t eat beyond that and you’ll find that digestive issues and excess weight fall away without effort.
Third, enjoy sweet foods and natural sweeteners in their whole form (such as maple syrup or jaggery) in balance with the other rasa, or tastes. Expand your palette by eliminating rajasic and tamasic foods that overstimulate or dull your taste buds. Soon, you’ll find an abundance of tastes, including a range of sweet, that you had not noticed before.
Our Carrot Halvah is an Ayurvedic version of the traditional Indian or middle eastern sweet, and a great way to try out this new way of enjoying sweet foods. Include it in your meal plan this week for a wholesome, delicious way to enjoy the sweeter things in life.
Carrot Halvah recipe
This halvah recipe can also be made with pumpkin or a combination of pumpkin and carrots.
6 large carrots, grated (about 3 cups)
3-4 Tbsp. ghee
2-3 Tbsp. jaggery, sucanat, or maple syrup
¾ tsp. ground cardamom seed
¾ tsp. sweet cinnamon
Pinch of mineral salt
4 Tbsp. chopped and peeled almonds (soak almonds overnight to make it easy to remove the indigestible peel)
1 cup whole or raw cow milk, or rice milk
Warm the ghee in a saucepan. Add the almonds and spices and simmer until the aroma comes up. Add the carrots and jaggery, mixing well. Add the water and milk. Lower the heat and cover, cooking until the liquid is absorbed.
For a pudding-like texture, blend after cooking. Or serve as is in small bowls. You can also press the halvah into a baking dish, let sit and serve as a bar.