O Lord was it a glorious day when a friend shared the revolutionary idea with me that oatmeal didn’t need to be sweet! My mornings went from a syrupy mas o menos to a savory delight.
Oatmeal is a perfect grain to enjoy for fall, as it is Vata season. The qualities of Vata are cold, dry, light mobile and erratic. When we are out of balance in Vata we can experience symptoms such as constipation, anxiety, fear, indecision, lower back pain and dry skin…to name a few! Oatmeal is warm, moist, demulcent and sweet. It is naturally a sweet grain. Sweet, salty and sour tastes balance Vata. A warm bowl of oatmeal is an anecdote to Vata imbalance!If whole groats are used, they are especially grounding as they have the most earth element of any form of oats. Because whole groats take longer to cook, I’ve found using a pressure cooker or a crock pot over night great ways to keep breakfast prep efficient. In a pressure cooker, the ratio of water to groat is a little less that 3:1.
Try this for a delicious bowl of groats: add a generous spoonful or two of ghee, nutritional yeast, some black pepper and soy sauce. Ghee is a digestive stimulant so it stokes your digestion, allowing you to digest and reap the benefit of a healthy fat during a dry fall and winter. Don’t be shy about adding plenty of ghee unless you have a Kapha imbalance, in which case, use only minimal fats. If you don’t have aggravated Pitta, add some hot sauce and a fried egg a top. Egg yolks and peppers increase pitta. Some of us may have excess pitta and still need to “cool down” after a hot summer and should refrain from the yolk and hot sauce.
When we eat and how we eat is as important as what we eat.
Eating meals at the same time daily is especially important for keeping Vata in balance. Routine balances the erratic nature of Vata. Eating at the same time also helps your digestion function optimally.
Chewing our food well and eating slowly and mindfully aids in the first stage of digestion when food mixes with saliva. This is helpful for Vatas who tend to have finicky digestion, sometimes leading to constipation and accumulated toxins.
And as we know, but often need to remind ourselves: gratitude is the attitude! Preparing our food with love and taking a moment to appreciate the blessings of our meal and life go a long way. Praise the Lord for savory oatmeal:)
For more Ayurvedic tips and recipes, including information on seasonal cleanses, visit www.elizakerr.com