Ever wonder why you crave crisp salads and cold smoothies in summer but not so much in winter? It probably has a lot to do with the weather outside. But Ayurvedic principles may also be influencing our eating patterns. Eating with the changes in the season can help us stay healthy and energized throughout the year. This recipe helps us transition from the colder months to the warmer ones.
Ayurveda is a powerful mind-body health system developed by the sages of India thousands of years ago. It teaches us that the mind and body are connected and finding balance in our diet, among other lifestyle factors, decreases the production of stress hormones and boosts feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.
In Western society, we’re used to a four-season year. In Ayurvedic practice, there are three seasons. These seasons are: Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. Doshas make up our mental and physical constitutions and influence our well-being.
Vata season runs from autumn through early winter and is characterized by wind and cool, dry weather. As we adjust to the temperature outside, Ayurvedic guidelines say we should turn to warm and grounding foods to nourish our bodies. Raw fruits and vegetables and cool drinks can create a Vata imbalance and should be reduced this time of year.
Since the smoothie craving can strike at any time, we created a soothing Ayurvedic smoothie to keep your mind and body in balance at the end of Vata season. It’s made with delicious roasted sweet potato, almond butter, cinnamon, and vanilla. It’s naturally sweetened with dates. For optimal effects, leave out the ice and drink this Ayurvedic smoothie at room temperature.
1 medium sweet potato (5 to 6 inches long)
1 Tbsp. almond butter
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup almond milk (plain and unsweetened)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
¼ cup water (plus more to thin)
Chopped raw almonds, for garnish (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Wrap the sweet potato in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for one hour, or until easily pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, measure and prepare the almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond milk, vanilla extract, and dates.
When cool enough to handle, slice the sweet potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. You should get about a cup.
Once the sweet potato has cooled to room temperature, add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until thick and creamy. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and garnish with chopped almonds, if desired.
Recipe and photography by Kate Kasbee
If you like this recipe, you might also like Good Morning Moringa Smoothie Recipe