My Vedic Kitchen

Delicious Defense — Ayurvedic Summer Recipes

Here are two recipes from Chef Domnick Mason at The Raj resort. The Raj is a world-famous Maharishi Ayurveda Spa located in Fairfield, Iowa. For the last 25 years The Raj has been providing a full range of authentic panchakarma treatments to clientele worldwide as well as meals for guests and the community that feature organic foods — many of them local.

Chef Domnick Mason offers a fast summer recipe for a delicious exotic drink that expertly blends cucumber and lime. It will help you beat the summer heat. The second recipe is a favorite of visiting dignitaries — a simple satisfying pumpkin seed treat that also supports men's prostate health. It's also an irresistibly healthy ayurvedic snack.

Oven-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

This is a recipe that supports men's prostate health. This almost irresistible zinc-rich snack is made with whole pumpkin seeds. These little common seeds happen to be full of nutrients supporting men's prostate health. They are often recommended by vaidyas at The Raj.

According to ayurveda, nuts of all kinds, in moderation, including nut milks and nut butters, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are excellent for pacifying Vata. Blanched and peeled almonds in moderation, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds along with coconuts, are good for Pitta. While nuts increase Kapha, sunflower and pumpkin seeds in moderation are acceptable in a Kapha diet. As always, favor certified organic whenever possible.

Make sure the nuts you buy are fresh and in season, because rancid oils from nuts can actually increase free radicals and are considered toxic. Nuts can be a little heavy to digest, so it is important to learn how to prepare them so that the body can use them effectively. If you are on a light diet to reduce ama, then it is best to avoid nuts. Eating a handful of nuts along with some raisins helps to digest the nuts and is a popular ayurvedic snack — great for children after school or on a hiking trip or long car ride.

Nuts have been a food staple for thousands of years in different parts of the world. Native American tribes recognized the value of these nuts both as food and medicinal health support. In ayurveda, nuts are ground into flours, nut milks, nut butters, and pastes such as almond paste or the popular dessert marzipan. There are a variety of ways to cook with nuts in main dishes, snacks, or desserts. The nutritional oils from almonds, cashews, and coconuts also make beneficial massage oils, which your skin literally eats. The personal skin care line from Maharishi Ayurveda includes products that contain some of these precious oils as ingredients.

This is a very simple, delicious pumpkin seed recipe. It's easy to make and deliciously difficult to keep your hands away from.

Oven-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

A few words about junk foods: the food you eat should be lively. Fresh, organic, home-cooked food has the power to carry nature's intelligence to your brain and body. These foods are called triptighna, which means they are satisfying and nourishing. Preserved, frozen, processed foods and leftovers, on the other hand, are foods that leave your body unsatisfied and craving for more. Since these junk foods are void of intelligence, they cannot support the intelligence of the physiology, so you end up eating more and craving for more without ever getting nourished or fulfilled. What's more, you can easily gain weight this way.

Cucumber-Lime In-The-Summertime Beverage

Recipes © Domnick Mason 2010

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.