A very important topic of Ayurveda lifestyle is breakfast. According to Ayurveda, breakfast is also called Nyahari, pronounced Nyaa-Haree. This means to eat something healthy once you start your day. In this article I’ll share a morning sweet potato pudding recipe (sweet potato kheer) with a hot chai recipe. I’ll also explain how to keep your metabolism strong throughout the morning.
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The Ayurvedic Approach To Breakfast Morning Hot Chai Sweet Potato Pudding Recipe (Sweet Potato Kheer)
According to Ayurvedic dinacharya (morning activity), it’s beneficial to wake up between 4 and 7 am. After all the morning rituals, the best time to complete breakfast is sometime between 6 and 10am. In the morning the digestive fire or agni is quite low, and it’s not easy for most bodies to digest a big or heavy breakfast. According to Ayurveda a morning breakfast must be light and easy to digest. It should be an easily digestible meal that nourishes the body by giving it the fuel it needs, without overwhelming it. It helps the person to be productive throughout the day and also have healthier relationships.
Think of it this way. Your metabolism is like a wood-burning furnace that needs careful tending so it can heat the house (your whole body) and support all of the activities going on inside. In the morning, there may be embers left over from the previous day, so we have to be gentle with our food choices in the morning. To have a healthy fire, you need to gently rekindle the flame.
Keep this in mind. Digestive fire is energy and energy is digestive fire. Trying to focus on eating a warm and hearty breakfast should be your goal. A bowl of cold cereal or a buttery toast and a sweet doughnut, gives the body a sugar rush and burns the agni furiously for a bit and then the flames die out.
So, in addition to self-care morning rituals that aim to ignite agni, we have to ensure that the first meal of the day gently stokes the fire. This means eating warm, well-spiced, easy-to-digest foods, with an emphasis on hot cereals and cooked fruits, rather than cold cereals and raw fruits or cold juices and a heavy, fatty breakfast. The Ayurvedic approach both feeds the body and helps the mind achieve a sharp but calm sense of focus.
A balancing morning meal might consist of stewed apples, pears, and dates, stirred into hot cereal cooked with some warming spices. Spices which help in digestion and provide warmth to the digestive fire are those that stoke agni and make it stronger. Examples are allspice, basil, black pepper, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, fresh ginger, green chili, mustard, nutmeg, rock salt, rosemary, and turmeric.
Here are two recipes for morning, a morning hot chai and a sweet potato pudding recipe, similar to a sweet potato kheer recipe. The sweet potato pudding recipe is best for Vata and Pitta types. Kapha constitutions should limit intake of sweet potatoes.
A healthy cup of chai or tea not only provides the energy to start the morning but also helps to kindle the agni or digestive fire in a gentle way. Chai is a beverage that is a blend of black tea, honey or sweeteners, spices and milk.
Directions: Boil a cup of water over a medium low flame. To the boiling water add one teaspoon of black tea of your choice. Add a teaspoon of sugar (optional). In a mortar or spice grinder take ½ inch piece of fresh and raw ginger root and one cardamom pod. With the pestle grind the mixture. Add the spices and their juices, if any, to the boiling pot of tea. In another pot warm ½ cup of milk (avoid nut milk). Pour the warm milk into the tea mixture and let the tea boil for 2-3 minutes. Strain the tea and enjoy it warm every morning.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrition and are earthy and sweet in nature which provide you with essential energy, a boost to the digestive fire and also help in good elimination due to their fiber content. Sweet potatoes are Vata and Pitta dosha pacifying. A person with a Kapha constitution should limit the intake of sweet potatoes.
Ingredients 1 medium sized sweet potato 1 Tbsp of ghee 1 pinch cardamom powder 1 pinch nutmeg powder ½ cup of milk (your choice of dairy or plant-based) 4-5 crushed almonds and cashews 4-5 black currants
Directions Boil, peel and grate the sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add the above ingredients and give it a stir. Warm the milk and add to the sweet potato, creating the pudding.
Enjoy each delicious bite, knowing there’s no better way to fire up your body’s furnace and start the day right.