I never seem to make enough granola. In our home it disappears in a few days. As I was digging through my most coveted recipes on this blog, I found this one from the sweet, seaside town of Sayulita, Mexico, where now almost nine years ago we ran one of our amazing Yoga.Ecology.Surf retreats at a secluded retreat centre called Haramara, It was a perfect post 2010 Winter Olympic respite. From the snow to the surf.
We practiced in the gorgeous circular shalas overlooking the tropical Pacific Ocean, surfed easy waves and filled our bellies with happy food.
I looked forward in particular to breakfast every day, and ate copious amounts of this light, yet filling and flavourful granola. This granola is a speciality of Luis, who was the smiling chef at Harmara that season and is made with amaranth, one of the ancient grains of the planet. First recorded as being consumed by the Aztecs, amaranth’s iron content exceeds that of whole-grain wheat, it is high in lysine, a beneficial protein, its fibre content has been proven to fight cancer and heart disease.
Amaranth also contains minimal gluten, making this a tasty and nutritionally beneficial way to start your day, espcially if you have a sensitivity to gluten or celiac disease.
Luis graciously parted with his recipe. Here is my adaptation of the original.
6 cups popped amaranth
1/6 cup steel cut oats
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup almonds sliced
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup flax seeds
1 cup grated dry coconut
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil
pinch of himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon and cardamom or 1/2 tsp lavender and cardamom
Melt the coconut oil until it is liquid.
Mix together all ingredients except raisins.
Toast in oven (160 – 180 degrees C), mix occasionally until golden, this will take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes depending on your oven, so do watch it carefully.
Add raisins. Let cool and enjoy.
You can store granola in an airtight jar for a few weeks in a cool, dry place.
Ask for “popped” amaranth, you may have to look for it in a latin foods specialty market. If you can find any online sources, let me know.
For clear soft skin with a lot of sweetness.
Who said you’ve got to quit sugar after the holidays. This simple face mask has the healing and sweet benefits of raw honey and turmeric and the goodness of fresh cream – if you’re vegan use some coconut cream instead.
Sip some warm tea, light a candle and take 5 minutes for yourself. You deserve it. Relax. This ayurvedic inspired facial mask will feed your skin and prolong that happy holiday glow. Beware, this tastes delicious but try to save it for your face and not your lips 🙂
Ayurvedic Honey Face Mask
- Pure local (organic + raw) honey – 2 tbsp
- turmeric – dried, 1/2 tsp
- cream – 1 tbsp – fresh from the top of non-homogenized milk / or plain thick yoghurt or coconut cream.
Mix thoroughly until smooth and pat onto your face. Raw honey is full of antioxidants and turmeric is both an immune booster and an anti-bacterial, while the cream will soften your skin and make it all glowy. Enjoy.
Ayurvedic Immunity Tea… mmmm delicious
Hello from Santa Cruz, California, where my husband, son and I have now been living for over a year. If you’ve followed my travels at all over the fledgling course of this blog you will know that this is a milestone in what has been our peripatetic gypsy life of the past seven or eight years, or ever since we got hitched!
So far, Santa Cruz is treating to surf, sunshine and an embracing yoga community – plus our son loves it here – especially our little beach house and his constant joy at being able play with his toys in one place, vs. taking only a few in a suitcase! – and most importantly (I think) – he has a little band of friends and loves both them and his school.
Yet even in this land of golden sunshine, Fall has arrived with even a few, short rainstorms, which prompted me to share some thoughts – inspired by a wisdom tradition I study: Ayurveda – on the changing season and how we can best sustain our immunity during these months of turning toward greater darkness.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian philosophy of life, health and healing, Fall or Autumn is a time when the force of the Vata dosha (or bio-energy) – Vata translates as wind/air or space; is at its highest. To understand the quality of Vata, consider the quickness and coolness of autumn wind, the drying out quality of Fall, the leaves which start to lose their green vitality and juiciness and begin to prepare for a winter of sleep. You can also feel it in swift temperature changes throughout the day – the mornings and nights are cold here while during the middle of the day the sun is strident. The quickness of these changes can destabilise our physiology say the Ayurvedic sages and doctors – which is why – fall is traditionally seen as a time when it is easy for us to fall ill. If you think about the onset of winter cold and flu season, it generally begins right now and in Ayurvedic terms, this happens when we allow the instability and erratic-ness of Vata to destabilise us.
How can we allay the effects of this season and stay healthy? It’s more simple than you think. Since Vata is all about change-ability – we can counter that with it’s opposite: routine. This is a time when we both need to and can detoxify our bodies and minds by following a routine of gentle, sustained exercise such as yoga, healthful, whole foods and a regular sleep schedule. The more routine we can establish, the easier it will be for our bodies and minds to regulate and sustain our immunity as we make way for the cooler months to come. Plus if you look after yourself now, you can enjoy the festive season so much more. For more on a daily Ayurvedic routine, check this post out here on Dinacharya.
Detoxifying the liver is ideal now – as the liver has been working hard for us all year and needs some extra love. Here’s a simple recipe containing three powerful, immune superstar herbs that act together to support liver detoxification. According to traditional chinese medicine, the liver is most active between 1 and 3 a.m. and so it’s beneficial to drink this tea before bedtime. Honestly, I love it in the mornings also! Turmeric is known as both an anti-carcinogen and an anti-inflammatory; and works closely with black pepper which stimulates digestion and cleanses the body of excess kapha dosha (the watery/heaviness that can cause colds and excess mucous in our bodies). Ginger with its pungent kick is wonderful for improving circulation and warming the body. And the lemon and maple syrup add a delicious lift.
This recipe is adapted from Get it Ripe, a wonderful vegan cookbook by Toronto/Montreal based holistic nutritionist Jae Steele. My lovely friend Jen from Centre Luna Yoga in Montreal, shared the book with me and it is definitely one of my kitchen staples. This recipe is common in Ayurvedic cuisine. Turmeric, black pepper and ginger were essential ingredients in my grandmother’s, mother’s and any Indian/ Ayurvedic kitchen!
- 1 tsp grated turmeric root or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp grated ginger root or 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
- 2 – 3 twists of black pepper (from a pepper mill)
- 1 1/2 cups filtered water
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsp maple syrup or to taste (you can use raw honey also, but be sure to let the tea cool a little bit before adding the honey)
Combine turmeric, ginger, black pepper and water in a saucepan on medium-high heat. (If you use turmeric powder, you can also toast the powder on a dry skillet for 30 seconds to a minute and allow it to get toasty and warm before you add it to the pot of water). Allow the mixture of herbs to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes; be careful not to boil. Strain and pour into a mug, add lemon juice and maple syrup to taste, stir and enjoy.
* ps. Turmeric stains a bright yellow so be careful with your countertops, clothing, dishtowels etc. I once had a security deposit deducted from a rent check as I left a turmeric stain on a kitchen countertop! 🙁 In fact turmeric is also used as a natural dye. If you have a glass saucepan, and a glass mug, use them as the colour won’t stain the glass.
** Be sure to use organic ingredients and non-irradiated spices.
Namaste + enjoy.
If you know me, you know that I love cooking and eating whole, natural foods, which is why I am so excited about the Blissology Project Commitment #4: eating food that’s high on the pranameter(TM). It makes sense, right? If we eat food that comes from a natural, prana (energy) filled source (ideally no factories between you and your food) we are going to be more radiantly alive?
To celebrate that awesome connection between this simple idea: we are what we eat, here’s a recipe for some blissology “bliss” balls, made with organic, raw ingredients and a whole lotta love.
“Welcome to 2012, a time of transformation, change and new consciousness. You roll your eyes as you read this. Welcome to another new year, you think. This is the year when everything is going to be perfect, your new years’ resolutions are going to stick and the next 365 days are going to be better, more creative, and more satisfying for you, your family and everyone you love and care about, way more than the previous year, and yes, we’re going to achieve world peace as well. Before you unleash your innercynic, hang in there for a moment and breathe. “
That’s an excerpt from a recent piece I wrote for the wonderful Asia Spa Magazine, which is based out of Hongkong. Not merely a showcase of fluffy spa profiles, the magazine has creative, inspiring and thought provoking articles under the helm of it’s current editor Rebecca Walker. I am so happy to have a lead story in the January 2012 issue, a story that marks my re-entry into the world of writing after the birth of my baby son ten months ago. I hope that you enjoy it. And yes, happy new year!!!
July 1st is already here, which in Canada is the celebration of Canada Day, in the time honored tradition of Canadian holidays and American holidays being, you know, a few days apart!
By now, even the far north should be in the midst of summer, bbqs abound and the days go on forever, well at least until ten o’clock at night, which is one of the things that I cherish about living on the 49th parallel.
The World Health Organization announced yesterday that cell phones can possibly cause cancer. Whether you’re rolling your eyes, or sitting upright in disbelief, you are probably paying attention. Yes, this is important to our health, especially given that currently, worldwide, there are 5 billion cell phones in service, this amongst a global population of a little over 6 billion.