In Ayurvedic food wisdom, spices are the desirable rasa. The irresistible fragrant jewels which bring the mouth-watering, ecstacy-provoking, digestive-juice activating taste to your food and less commonly but very certainly to your beverages as well.
Summertime and you’ll be lightening up with more juices, smoothies, and salads which makes good sense being the Pitta time of year. You need the cooling, easygoing fare of Summer and there are several aroma-activating spices to include to up the ante when making your own booster-juice. For cleansing as well as nourishing, juicing is a concentrated super-food. When enjoyed regularly, spiced-up juices cheerfully flush the yucky’s out of your body while keeping the yummies in.
Juices, just like Pitta Dosha, are intense. Consider they are a pure concentrated shot of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (without the fibre for the digestive system to slog through). As if released by the bow of a master archer, they shoot directly into the bloodstream as concentrated nutrition.
Now if you don’t have an actual juicer take heart.
All you need is a regular blender, some veggies, spices, filtered water and a nut-milk bag. (I use an awesome one from a company called Me + You). So why will you love this? Because it is quick, easy, and clean up is minimal. Also, you can put the remaining pulp in a bag in the freezer with other veggie trimmings to make a weekly broth or you can compost them (there is really very little pulp remaining because as you may know fruits and veggies are made up largely of water). True, you may not squeeze the total maximum nutrients out as you would with a cold-pressed juice from a pro-juicer, but very few of us have those fabulous gizmos in our kitchens.
So here it is simple and quick:
THE BLENDER METHOD SPICE BOOSTED SUPER-JUICE
- Place about 4 cups of your fave fruit/veggies in the blender (I LOVE my Vitamix) and add one cup of filtered water, or half water and half coconut water. Add your spices of choice*
- Blend until everything is completely liquid (with a bit of pulp remaining of course).
- Pour through your nut-milk bag and then squeeze as much liquid through as you can into a bowl.
- Pour into a nice tall glass and enjoy. Refrigerate the rest in a mason jar for up to 2 days.
- Compost or you can freeze the remaining pulp for broth (there will still be some nutrients left as the blender won’t get them all). You could also add the pulp to a savoury veggie muffin recipe in place of say zucchini or apple.
*If you’re using a traditional juicer you can toast and grind the spices first to release the aromatic molecules and stir them in at the end. If you buy already ground spices it is harder to ensure they are still potent, so as much as possible grind your own whole seeds – its so worth the time. Strain the juice so you have no gritty spice residue in your juice. If you are using fresh ginger or turmeric you can just juice along with the other fruits and veggies.
The juice I made today turned a radical deep reddish chocolate-coffee bean colour. With the addition of beets to the apples, carrots, lemon, cilantro, spinach, and kale, I wasn’t too surprised. Spices and herbs added were fresh ginger, cilantro, spearmint leaves with flowering tops from my garden, fennel seed, and coriander. Whooooweee. Talk about a booster-juice. I felt like I was vibrating on a whole other frequency after enjoying a glass as my mid-morning libation. No need for caffeine.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE SPICE BOOST?
Here is the golden nugget. Imbuing your juices with super-spices increases the benefits of the juice and adds to the incredible aromatic taste. In Ayurveda getting the six tastes in your meal is supremely important. Why? Just like building your dream house, you get to choose the building materials which can result either in a gorgeous and inspiring zen abode, or an under-functioning messy shack. The variety of spices provide almost all of the six tastes (all except sour but you can augment with tamarind, lemon or lime). Each taste has a very specific role to play in building, cleansing, nourishing, balancing, and manifesting your seven vital tissue layers.
- Blood (Rakta): formed by sour, salty, pungent
- Muscle (Mamsa): formed by sweet, sour, astringent
- Fat (Media): formed by sweet and salty
- Bone (Asthi): formed by pungent, bitter, astringent
- Bone marrow and nerve (Majja): formed by sour, salty, pungent
- Reproductive fluid (Shukra): essence of water; created by the refined essential nutrients of all elements after all the tissue layers have been nourished by the 6 tastes. The quality of this essence depends on the quality and digestibility of the foods we ingest and digest.
The final essence created is your life-force, your immunity, your OJAS. Each taste has a different effect on the vital health of your OJAS. Improper diet and poor digestion will lead to accumulation of ama or toxins in each tissue layer. Including all six tastes in your meals strengthens your immune system, satiates your tissues, removes the desire for overeating, satisfies your appetite and assists digestion. As a result ‘you are what you eat’ builds the most radiant you that you can be by building the healthiest tissue layers.
Best spices and herbs for customizing your booster-juice for your Dosha:
For Pitta: Fennel seed, fresh ginger, cumin, turmeric (fresh or dried), coriander, saffron, coconut, fresh mint, lime.
For Vata: Cardamom, fennel, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fresh ginger, nutmeg, all spice, star anise, lemon. Basil, tarragon, rosemary.
For Kapha: Cardamom, fennel, cumin, coriander, fresh or dried ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, rosemary, oregano, basil, tarragon, thyme.
These spices help to balance the Doshas especially if doing a lot of juicing and I invite you to try it because it takes juicing to a whole new sensually arousing level of aromanutrition.
Chins up, cheers, and to your health! If you like this booster-blog please share with your juice-happy friends, those with either juicers or blenders, you will for sure make their day juicier!
Fragrant Juicy Blessings,
Glynn and Mel