So the next question is what foods will be beneficial to eat during our cooler season? When it gets cooler, it is a good idea to nourish and warm your system physically, mentally and emotionally. I am sure you’ve heard of hearty dishes such as casseroles, curries, and soups, right?
In cooler seasons with continuous raining, it can raise the humidity in the air. This may increase cold and dampness in our body, which can become predominant to Yin–Moon quality. Imagine a quality of Moon as cooling, dark, but yet gentle and soothing. Those qualities are necessary for life, however, too much of those qualities can influence for some people such as getting cold hands and feet, hypothyroidism, some digestive and reproductive health challenges.
Therefore, it is beneficial to include some Yang–Sun foods in our diet during the cooler season. Imagine what colour of fruits and vegetables remind you of the Sun and what colour of foods are a dark, earthy colour? Great examples are carrots, sweet potato, beetroots, pumpkin, and squash which are classified as root vegetables. They are all bright orange, or dark, aren’t they? Mandarin, pomegranates, and blueberries are also good too. You might want to consider some warming herbs and spices such as ginger (absolutely my favourite!), cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, turmeric, oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil and so forth.
I have listed a few recipes that resonate with Autumn here by using seasonal vegetables. I hope you will enjoy them. The sweet potato bake was served at the event on 24th April – Japanese Tea Ceremony and Gong Bath with the amazing Sound Angel – Renee Cashman at Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre. People enjoyed it very much and I received a few recipe requests. So I am sharing it here for people to enjoy, accompanied by the beautiful matcha green tea (if you fancy green tea, it is absolutely my favourite too!)
– 25 servings
🌱Sweet potato 500g
🌱 Organic evaporated cane juice 60g
🌱 (or soaked dates and blend them to make a paste)
🌱 Pinch of salt
🌱 Nut milk 5 tablespoons
🌱 (I used coconut milk, but it can be almond, rice, soy, oat, any nut milk)
🌱 Tamari sauce (Gluten-free) 2 tbsp
🌱 White Tahini paste 40g
🌱 1 Egg yolk (for brushing to create the glossiness)
🌱 Black sesame seeds (garnish)
- Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into slices, and boil them until the chopsticks stick. When it is boiled, put it in a colander and crush it into small pieces while it is hot.
- Put butter in a pan and heat it over low heat until melted. Add sweetener (cane juice or date paste), salt, nut milk, soy sauce and mix. * Add milk while checking the softness. I will add egg yolk later, so it may be better to make it a little harder. Add soy sauce little by little until you get the taste you like.
- When the taste is complete, add white sesame tahini paste and mix.
- When mixed evenly, remove from heat. The dough after mixing with sesame looks like this. Remove the heat so that the yolks do not harden, then add the yolks and mix.
- Shape it into your favourite shape, apply a mixture of egg yolk for polishing and water to the surface, and put black sesame seeds for decoration on the surface. Bake in an oven at 200° C for about 20 minutes until browned. * Bake for about 10 minutes, take it out once, and apply egg yolk again to improve the glossiness!
6. If it is browned cleanly and nicely, it’s done
– 8 to 10 people
🌱1 tin of cannellini beans 425g
🌱3 medium-sized fresh beetroots
🌱3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
🌱1/2 cup lemon juice
🌱1 tsp curry powder
🌱1&1/2 tbsp tahini paste
🌱1 clove garlic
🌱Handful of coriander
🌱Pinch of Salt and pepper
- Drain a tin of cannellini beans and wash them with water
- Peel the beetroot and cut them into quarters and steam lightly
- Once beetroots cool down, mix all the ingredients into a blender
- Season with salt and pepper as desired
Beetroots are a late Summer to Autumn vegetable, beetroots are a nitrate-rich vegetable that provides therapeutic effects including lowering blood pressure, enhancing exercise performance and so forth.
Combining with other ingredients such as garlic and good quality extra virgin olive oil to create our food as the medicine for our body.
Cannellini beans are high in fibre and include iron and calcium. It is a good source of protein as well.
Tahini is a great food to add to the dish as it is high in B vitamins and some minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
– 12 muffins
🌱1/4 cup coconut flour
🌱1/4 cup rice bran flour (it can be replaced with tapioca flour, or psyllium powder-use less than 1/4 cups and make it up with other flour)
🌱1/4 cup almond flour
🌱Finely chopped garlic, ginger, chilli (optional), rosemary, basil, and oregano (dried herbs are fine too)
🌱Finely chopped olives
🌱Sauteed any mushrooms & leeks with turmeric and black pepper (onions, spring onions are a good option as well)
🌱Any leftover vegetables in the fridge (I used tomatoes & frozen peas)
🌱1/2 to 1 cup of any nut milk (I used almond milk)
🌱Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Sauté mushrooms and leeks in a frying pan with coconut oil or olive oil, adding turmeric and black pepper. Let it cool down before mixing with other ingredients.
- Pre-heat the oven to 175°(celsius).
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add more nut milk or water to find the right consistency, not too thick & runny.
- Place mixing ingredients into muffin tray and cook for 10~15 mins.
For the serving:
- Dress with any healthy sauce such as homemade hummus, beetroot dip, basil pesto, or simply good quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar with some fresh greens!
The muffins are full of fibre and contain a considerable number of herbs and spices, which are fantastic for digestion and immune-boosting. The dish is also gluten and dairy-free and contains low carbohydrates; therefore, it is beneficial for fat burning and anti-inflammatory!
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