Keeping tabs on what you eat is a great way to keep your dosha in balance. Vatas are more susceptible to digestive disorders than the other doshas so what you eat plays a big role in keeping your Vata dosha in balance.
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This simple pumpkin soup recipe is made for Vatas. Since Vata is drying, cooling, and light, you should favour foods that are oily, warming, or heavy (like pumpkin soup). Pumpkins are a winter squash with a sweet flavour that soothes the Vata dosha. The cheerful pumpkin’s orange flesh is also packed with beta-carotene (an antioxidant that helps improve immune function and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease). A cup of cooked pumpkin has just 49 calories, 2.7 grams of fibre, 567 milligrams of potassium, and 5,116 micrograms of vitamin A. What more could you want?
Very Simple Pumpkin Soup
- 1 large pumpkin (about 3lbs)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil
- 1 cup chopped leeks or onions
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 2 to 3 cups vegetable stock – (I use Kallo organic)
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk (regular milk is also fine)
- Nutmeg & Coriander for garnish
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Wash the pumpkin, cut in half, and remove seeds. (If you are carving your pumpkin then remove the seeds and scrape out the centre). Place the pumpkin in a deep baking tray. Pour in the water and cover pan with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the pumpkin pulls out easily.
Let cool then remove the pumpkin pulp from the rind with a spoon. Place into a bowl and set aside. You should have about 3 cups of pumpkin pulp.
Heat a saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the leeks and spices. Sauté for 4 or 5 minutes or until the leeks are translucent. Add some stock if the mixture begins to dry.
Add the pumpkin pulp and continue to sauté for another 3 or 4 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock to cover the pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Using a hand blender or food processor, purée the soup to a smooth and creamy consistency, adding the milk as you purée the soup. Return the soup to the pan and reheat if necessary.
Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and coriander.
Tip: Don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds. You can make a tasty snack by roasting these hearty seeds, which are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, protein, zinc & fatty acids which help maintain a healthy heart. Pumpkin seed oil can also reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
How do I toast my Pumpkin seeds?
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Scatter your pumpkin seeds onto a baking tray making sure they are in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, rapeseed oil or any other oil of your choice. Season with salt & pepper toss to coat. Bake for about 7 minutes until they are light brown & crispy.
Top 11 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds. Find out here
How to Choose a Pumpkin
- Look for varieties specifically grown for consumption, such as the sugar pumpkin.
- Choose a pumpkin that is brightly coloured, blemish-free, and heavy for its size.
- Smaller pumpkins have more succulent, tasty flesh. Don’t use large pumpkins intended for jack-o’-lanterns as the pulp is watery and stringy.
- A ripe pumpkin will have a tough skin. Test it by gently pressing with your fingernail; if you can leave a mark on the skin, the pumpkin isn’t ready for cooking.