Cooling Cucumber-Avocado Salad Recipe for Summertime
Summer is here. The full energy of the sun can be felt and embraced by every cell in the body. The energy and heat of the season are mirrored in our own experience, and we may feel especially fiery, motivated, and energized.
It’s hot, bright, and sharp—pitta season. It is a season of activity, intensity, and expansion. In many ways, the nature of pitta dosha is to “over” anything. Over-extend, over-work, over-imbibe, over-stress, and over-eat.
Ayurveda recognizes that the environment around us will be mirrored within—and embracing this energy can cause imbalances by increasing the qualities of heat and dryness in the body. This can look like depleted energy, an increase in criticism, fraught nerves, skin irritations, eyes that are sensitive to light, and loose stools.
Equally as important as the foods you eat is the attitude and intentional attention you bring to your daily meals.
So put on your sunglasses, sit in the grass in the shade, slow down, and savor each bite—it is the best time of year to consume a little ice cream, after all.
In summer, the power of agni (the digestive fire) also disperses, and you don’t have the same capacity for digestion as you do in winter.
As a result, you may notice your appetite drops. It’s normal to have natural cravings for sweet, cool, moist, astringent, and bitter foods.
Luckily, our bodies are brilliantly designed to harmonize with nature, and the foods that we need to cool pitta dosha grow abundantly in the summer. Melons, pears, peas, collard greens, cucumber, salad, kale, rhubarb, and zucchini, just to name a few.
The following recipe was created with summertime balance in mind. Made with cooling ingredients like cucumber, avocado, and dill, it brings relief and balance to pitta’s heat.
It can be added as a side to any meal and is best enjoyed in a calm, relaxed environment.
Cucumber Avocado Salad with Dill and Mint
This juicy, cooling, and oh-so refreshing salad is best served for lunch. Shaving the cucumber into strips increases the sensation of smoothness (shlakshna) while cooling pitta dosha.
Vegan, gluten free
Serves 2 (as a side)
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and shaved into strips (use a potato peeler or grater)
- 1 ½–2 ripe avocados, very thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups sprouts of choice (mung bean sprouts, pea sprouts, broccoli sprouts)
- ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
- ¼ cup whole mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon maple syrup
- Mineral salt and pepper to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed fennel seed or cumin seed for easier digestion
Peel and shave the cucumber into long, thin strips (this is important for texture).
Thinly slice the avocado. Mince the dill and tear the mint leaves from the stalk, then set aside.
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously until combined. Add the salt and pepper to your desired taste.
To assemble, put the cucumber in the bowl, drizzle with some of the dressing and toss, then add the dill and a sprinkle of salt and toss again. Continue to add the dressing little by little and toss as you go.
Add the mint leaves and the sprouts, toss lightly again. Then add to a bowl, top with avocado, sprinkle with a touch more salt, and add a last douse of dressing if desired. Enjoy!