Nature draws inward during the cooler seasons. Plants shift their focus away from producing showy flowers and leaves and focus instead on strengthening their roots in order to stay grounded and nourished throughout the year.
The wisdom is simple, but profound: When you go within, you grow your foundation. You can apply this to your own life, starting in your kitchen.
Root down with root vegetables
The food we eat brings in the qualities we’d like more of. So if you want to be more grounded, more connected to the stability of the earth, eat root vegetables.
Root vegetables -- such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, cassava and turnips -- connect us to the earth in which they grew. They nourish us and build our tissues so our bodies and minds can work at their optimum levels.
Root vegetables were made for roasting. This style of cooking brings out the sweetness in anything you cook. A slow roast unfolds the richness that has been lying dormant under the dirt, just waiting for a warm oven to unlock its secrets.
This month’s recipe is a combination of two of our favorite root vegetables: carrots and beets. Tossed with spices, oil, fresh herbs and cashews and baked to perfection, the dish is balanced and delicious.
The vibrancy of the colors of the beets and carrots, the aroma of the fresh herbs and the texture of the cashews are a feast for the senses. This will soon become a favorite dish in your home as it is in ours.
Simple Ayurvedic recipe: Roasted root vegetables
This dish makes a great addition to our Ayurvedic hummus recipe from last month. Add a side of chapati and sautéed greens for a complete meal.
1 ½ cups carrot, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 ½ cups beets, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup cashews
3 Tbsp. sesame or sunflower oil (use sesame if you need warmth; sunflower is neutral and good for everyone)
¼ tsp. mustard seed
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
⅓ cup fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Squeeze of lime
Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C).
Heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seed and black pepper. Simmer until the mustard seeds start to pop, then remove from heat and stir in the cashews and fresh dill.
Place the chopped carrots and beets in a baking dish and pour the oil mixture over them. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the dish. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife goes into the veggies easily (stir after 10 minutes to stir and add additional water if needed).
Remove from the oven, squeeze the lime on top and stir in the cilantro. Let the dish sit for 5 minutes before serving.