Well it’s the first day of winter and brrrr am I cold! This can only mean one thing. It’s apple crumble time! This recipe is sure to warm you from the inside out.
The change in season is particularly vata activating. If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, I briefly introduced Ayurveda, the ancient Indian preventative medicine and health care system I love, last week on the blog. If you missed it, you can catchup here.
To briefly re-cap, according to Ayurveda, we all have three doshas – vata, pitta and kapha. We all have a different amount of each within us, with one often being dominant. These print out not only in us, but in nature too.
Vata: Air and space element
Pitta: Fire and air element
Kapha: Earth and water element
The Auyrvedic thinking is that we are a microcosm of the macrocosm of nature.
As our external environment changes, our internal experience can change too. As vata increases in our external environment we can experience the same types of changes internally – shorter days, shorter attention span; dry leaves, dry skin; crackly leaves, crackly joints; windy days, windy bowels; colder days, colder extremities.
When our vata is out of whack we may also start to feel anxious, restless, have poor circulation, irregular hunger and digestion, interrupted sleep, feel pain in our bodies, and we are extra susceptible to feeling cold. Any of these sounding familiar? They should. This is what a vata imbalance looks like.
I’ve got loads of vata in my constitution. How do I know? Well it physically prints out in us in our eye colour, hair colour, and physical stature, to name a few. A person with a stack of vata in their constitution will have physical and mental qualities that reflect the elemental qualities of air and space. So vata dominant types are commonly thin, fast, athletic, have brown hair, and are fast thinking.
If that description is the exact opposite of how you’d describe yourself, and yet you know you experience the print out of a vata imbalance as I’ve described it above, it’s because we all have vata in our constitution in differing amounts. Vata controls all of the doshas too, meaning that if vata becomes imbalanced, the other doshas – pitta and kapha – become imbalanced too. Plus we are all living particularly vata activating lives. So the moral of the story here is to pacify our vata.
The key to balancing vata through food is simple – think warming and grounding.
To balance vata we want to favour warm, smooth, moist, sweet dishes that are easily digestible. Anything that is dry, rough and cool is going to increase our vata.
While raw apples can be cold, drying and difficult to digest, and therefore aggravate vata, cooked apples are warm and soft, and digest in a snap, pacifying our vata and strengthening our digestive system.
Cinnamon is great for vata because of its warming qualities, as is buckwheat flour, almost all nuts are good for pacifying vata because of their high oil and fat content (but eat in small quantities), as is ghee, butter and coconut.
So there’s the quick run down of how this recipe will do more than just fill your tummy! Enjoy!
Vata Pacifying Apple Crumble Recipe
Makes 1-2 serves
1 – 1 1/2 apples diced
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp water/ or a squeeze of fresh orange juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon ghee at room temperature (or butter)
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon mixed nuts, sliced finely (use whatever you have, activated nuts are best)
1 tablespoon buckwheat flour (or another flour type you have)
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place the diced apple into one or two ramekins and pour in wet ingredients. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
2. Place ghee, desiccated coconut, nuts and buckwheat flour in a bowl and combine using fingers. Rubbing the mixture together to create a crumb.
3. Sprinkle crumb over the apple mixture. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 20 – 30 minutes, until crumb is golden brown. Serve with a little natural yoghurt or cream if you desire (avoid ice-cream, it aggravates vata).