Oats and Ayurveda. Three Sweet and Savory Ayurvedic Recipes
You all may have heard and may even have tried overnight oats. I tried once and I just didn't like the idea of cold oats for a morning breakfast. Ayurveda says, your morning breakfast should be fresh, warm and unctuous. From an Ayurvedic standpoint, oats in any form are considered to have soft, heavy, sticky, warm, and slightly oily (mucilaginous, we might say) qualities. And oats, in their grain form, naturally taste sweet. These qualities and the dominant sweet taste are particularly balancing for vata dosha, and the sweet taste, along with the heavy and soft qualities, are balancing for pitta. Oats are so similar to kapha dosha (think heavy, oily, soft, sticky, and sweet) that by the rules of Ayurveda, they are aggravating to kapha and kapha conditions unless prepared correctly. Ayurvedic Healing Ingredients Oats Ayurvedically, oats have an “Earth” energy and are balancing for high Fire and high Air elements in the body. They are great for balancing anger and anxiety, producing a calming, grounding “Earth” effect on the mind and body. Flax Seeds Flax seeds are high in Earth energy and best for Vata types. They are great for healthy hormone production and proper functioning of the nervous system, brain, and gastrointestinal tract. They are a great replacement for eggs as a binder in baking or burger/patty/”meat”ball making, with less cholesterol and a healthy Omega 3 ratio. Although they have an Earth energy, they are a better choice than eggs, even for Kapha and Pitta types, because they are less “ama” (toxin) producing and easier to digest if you have a weakened digestion. Cinnamon High in Fire energy, cinnamon is a perfect heating spice to warm an imbalanced “Air” element and melt excess “Earth/Water” elements. It is great for keeping the blood sugar stable, dissolving excess fat, reducing headaches, reducing lethargy, and reducing anxiety. Sharing below my favorite oat recipes. Simple Dosha Balancing Bowl This oatmeal recipe can be eaten by any dosha type. Read notes for more detailed description for each dosha. Ingredients 1 cup Organic rolled oats Small amount of fresh ginger or 1 tbsp ginger powder 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder 1/4 tsp cardamom powder 1 tbsp Maple syrup to taste 2 tbsp sliced almonds 2 tbsp chopped walnuts 1 tablespoon of nut butter 1 tablespoon coconut milk Extra water Instructions Refer to the package directions on your oats for suggested quantities and cooking times. For most oatmeal recipes, the ratio for oats to water is 1:2, but adding a little extra water will give your oats more moist and it will be easier for your digestion. Mix the water, oats, cinnamon, cardamom, and and gently stir on low heat for 10 minutes. Add maple syrup and coconut milk and stir for two minutes until desired consistency is achieved. Add sliced almonds and walnuts, nut butter, maple syrup, mix well and enjoy warm oatmeal. Notes: If using fruit, favor sweet apples, bananas, pomegranate, dates, raisins, and figs as toppings. Alternatively, you can use fresh, diluted yogurt as a topping. (Remember, yogurt and fruit are not compatible for optimal digestion so choose either one) Do not use Yogurt if you are using milk instead of water to make oats. You can use any plant based milk. If you’d like to add nuts or seeds, opt for soaked and peeled almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. The best sweetener for kapha is honey. If desired, you can add a small amount to your bowl for a little extra sweetness. Ghee (clarified butter) can be an excellent tridoshic choice for topping your oatmeal. Feel free to use ghee generally in any of the below recipes. Alternatively you can also add 1 tbsp of turmeric make Golden Milk Oats. Nuts & Seeds You can add nuts to your oats, and what’s appropriate for you will depend on your dosha. Vata benefits from simple combinations, and nuts, while providing fats and protein, can challenge vata digestion, so it may be best to avoid adding nuts altogether. If you do add them, small quantities of coconut, sunflower seeds, and almonds are appropriate. Pitta often has a strong digestive fire and may burn through a breakfast of oatmeal within an hour. This is where nuts can help sustain them. Soaked and peeled almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are appropriate. Kapha can do well with the addition of nuts, as the qualities of some nuts can bring balance to this dosha. Soaked and peeled almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are appropriate. Savory Ayurvedic Oatmeal Ingredients (serves 1) 2 tsp cultured organic ghee [sub coconut oil if vegan] 1/4 tsp fennel seeds (Pregnant woman omit this) 1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds [optional] 1/4 tsp ginger, fresh & diced [sub 1/2 tsp ground ginger] 1/4 tsp coriander, ground 1/8 tsp turmeric, ground 1/2 cup gluten-free whole grain rolled oats 1 Tbsp golden raisins 1/2 cup water 1 cup collard greens, sliced into thin ribbons/chopped to your preference (opt for Spinach) 1 pinch sea salt 1 pinch black pepper Toppings 1/4 avocado sunflower seeds, dry toasted & unsalted [optional] Instructions 1. In a medium saucepan, add the ghee on medium heat. 2. Add fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and fresh ginger and saute for 2 minutes. 3. Add ground spices except salt and pepper. Stir for 5 minutes.
4. Add oats and raisins, stirring to absorb the ghee.
5. Add water first and stir, then add milk – bring to a boil, then cover partially and simmer
for 5 minutes.
6. Add the greens and stir well to combine, cover partially and continue to simmer for
another 2-5 minutes until combined and cooked.
7. Turn off heat adding sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine.
8. Enjoy with avocado. Oats Khichdi Ingredients 1/3 Cup quick cooking oats 1/3 cup moong dal (split and skinned) 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 1/4 tbsp red chili powder 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 small carrot, chopped 45 gram green peas 3/4 tsp ginger, finely chopped 1/2 tsp green chilies, chopped Salt as needed 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used Peanut oil, you can also use coconut oil) 2.5 cups water For Garnishing: 1/2 tbsp coriander leaves (fresh), chopped Instructions Heat oil in a pressure cooker add oil, add cumin seeds, let them crackle. Add chopped onion cook till translucent, add ginger and green chilies, cook for few more seconds. Add turmeric powder and red chili powder. Let them cook till tender. Add all the vegetables and rinsed moong dal along with oats. Sauté for a few seconds. Add water and adjust salt. Pressure cook for 8 minutes. Let the pressure settle down, open the lid. Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves or green chillies, accompanied with yogurt. NOTES Oats might be beneficial for the topical management of skin diseases. It helps to strengthen the barrier on the skin and thus protects the skin. It also helps in the formation of new skin cells. It helps to regulate the oil and pH balance of the skin. Oatmeal extract helps to reduce dryness of the skin. Tips: 1. Take 1/2 -1 teaspoon of Oats. 2. Add honey to it and make a paste. 3. Apply on the skin. 4. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes. 5. Wash thoroughly with tap water and pat dry. 1. What happens when you eat Oats every morning? Fibres present in Oats work better to manage constipation and give you a healthy digestive system. It also helps to manage your cholesterol and blood glucose levels. If you include Oats in your daily breakfast every morning it will help you stay fit, healthy and active. 2. How effective is Oats for weight loss? Oats is found to be quite effective in weight loss due to the presence of certain constituent (Beta-glucan) which helps in regulating the metabolism, reducing abdominal fat and keeping a check on cholesterol levels. Oats also contain dietary fibres which helps to suppress hunger by giving a feeling of fullness and reduces total calorie intake[4-6].
AYURVEDIC VIEW Weight gain is a condition that occurs due to weak or poor digestion, resulting in the accumulation of toxins in the form of excess fat or Ama (toxin remains in the body due to incomplete digestion). Oats help to reduce weight due to its Deepan (appetizer) property. It helps to improve the digestive fire and thus the metabolism. This helps to remove toxins from the body. It also enhances stool production and helps to remove it from the intestines, thus resulting in weight loss. References Chang HC, Huang CN, Yeh DM, et al.Oat prevents obesity and abdominal fat distribution, and improves liver function in humans. Plant Foods Hum Nutr.2013;68(1):18-23. Varma P, Bhankharia H, Bhatia S. Oats:A multi-functional grain.J Clin Prev Cardiol.2016;5:9-17 Rebello CJ, Johnson WD, Martin CK, et al. Instant Oatmeal Increases Satiety and Reduces Energy Intake Compared to a Ready-to-Eat Oat-Based Breakfast Cereal: A Randomized Crossover Trial.J Am Coll Nutr.2016;35(1):41-9. Criquet M, Roure R, Dayan L, et al.Safety and efficacy of personal care products containing colloidal oatmeal. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol.2012; 5:183-93. Reynertson KA, Garay M, Nebus J, et al.Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin.J Drugs Dermatol.2015;14(1):43-8.