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Summer Recipes and Health

The thought of summer conjures images of freedom, adventure, and fun in the sun. It’s a time of heat, intensity, and expansion. For many, the summer season is a time to savor being outside, gathering with friends, and celebrating the long, warm days when everything feels possible.

Ayurveda recognizes summer as pitta season because of the qualities it shares with pitta dosha. For example, both are intense, hot, fiery, light, sharp, and expansive. Because of these similarities, it’s a time when pitta can accumulate in our bodies and minds and lead to imbalance if we’re not careful.

Excess pitta can show up in several ways, such as redness in the skin, a fiery temper, overactive digestion, and thoughts that are judgmental, critical, or sharp. In order to stay balanced, Ayurveda recommends incorporating healthy summer foods and lifestyle practices that are cooling, calming, and soothing.

Following a healthy summer food program doesn’t mean you have to give up your summer sausage, pasta salad, cookout foods, or favorite summer food. For party goers, outdoor adventurers, daytime workers, and families looking for quick and easy meal ideas, there are plenty of recipes and snacks that are Ayurveda-friendly.

The main thing to keep in mind is to eat plenty of foods that are cooling and soothing, to balance the intense heat of pitta and keep your mind and body calm and happy. This may look like fresh salads, cold soups, and cooling snacks and side-dishes with cucumber, watermelon, avocado, and coconut.

Looking for the perfect picnic foods? Pack a sandwich with cucumber and avocado. Preparing a spread of summer foods for a crowd, event, or gathering of friends? There are plenty of healthy Ayurvedic meals that are satisfying and delicious and won’t cause your pitta to explode.

So what are some of Ayurveda’s favorite summer foods? For dinner or lunch, we have some cooling, pitta-balancing kitchari recipes available here, along with things like cucumber raita, cilantro chutney, or avocado-cucumber salad. For breakfast, there’s plenty of options such as a veggie scramble, kitchari crepes, or creamy chia pudding.

Whatever you’re cooking up throughout the summer, cooling herbs and spices are a great way to make sure your foods will be pitta-friendly and supportive for balanced digestion. Things like dill, fennel, cilantro, and coriander seeds are excellent summer meal additions.

In the realm of summer drinks, the possibilities are endless! Summer is the best time to enjoy smoothies and cold drinks, as well as iced teas and tasty refreshments like hibiscus-lime cooler. Banyan’s line of loose-leaf herbal teas create wonderful iced teas to enjoy throughout the hot summer days.

Taking some time to explore Ayurvedic recipes and eat mindfully through the heat of summer will ensure that your system stays balanced, your body stays cool, and your mind stays calm. With this baseline of well-being, you’ll be free to enjoy the fullness and delight that summer brings.

So pull out your picnic basket, fire up the barbecue, and gather your friends! These recipes and Ayurvedic guidelines for the season offer plenty of inspiration and healthy summer wisdom to explore.