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Have you heard of the six flavors? Each flavor is known in Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India) for different qualities and elements. Each of the six flavors has its own unique medicinal properties that can be honed and fine-tuned within your eating. Often known as the taste of satiation, the combination and balance of all six flavors are said to give you the feeling of not only being satiated but being satiated well.
Before diving into some delicious fall foods full of flavor, here is a peek into deeper descriptions of the six Ayurvedic flavors:
Now is the perfect time to visit any of your local farmers’ markets to pick up fresh, seasonal produce that you will fall in love with. Let’s take a peek into these five fall foods full of different varieties of these flavors.
Flavors: Pungent and sweet
Ginger’s warming quality makes it a perfect addition to many of your fall recipes for this year’s harvest time. Ginger is a potent root vegetable that is chock full of medicinal properties. Ginger is used worldwide for its full flavor and healing properties. Along with its high level of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties, eating more ginger has been linked to health benefits such as reducing arthritis and inflammatory conditions, soothing digestion and combatting diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
One study looked at the various healing properties of ginger and found antimicrobial properties strong enough to fight E. coli and salmonella. Ginger contains several elements that have antibacterial and antifungal effects.
Notably, this makes ginger a wonderful food and flavor to include in your fall meals—especially to keep your immune system strong and vital as the weather changes into fall.
How to enjoy: Try grating ginger and gently boiling in water for 15 minutes to create a medicinal tea. Simply add some lemon and honey for an immune-boosting tonic. Throw a lightly chopped piece into your morning smoothie or juicer. Try adding some ginger into your favorite stir-fry or soups.
Try this delicious and warming bowl of goodness for dinner, with plenty of room for your favorite vegetables, hearty quinoa, and protein of choice. The ginger (and sriracha) add just enough heat to tantalize your taste buds while also boosting your immunity for the fall. Enjoy!
Chop your desired protein into bite-sized pieces and sauté with your cooking oil and a pinch of salt.
Stir in a pan or wok over high until cooked. Place cooked protein off to the side.
Using the same pan, add a bit more oil and sauté garlic and ginger for about one minute. Add your vegetables of choice with a pinch of salt and sauté until tender (3–4 minutes). If the pan dries out, add a touch more oil or a splash of water.
Once the dense vegetables are cooked, shut off the heat and mix in your leafy greens for just a minute until they wilt.
Combine your protein, vegetables, and cooked quinoa into a bowl. Toss with sesame oil, tamari, sriracha, and sesame seeds. Serve warm.
Flavors: Bitter, pungent and sweet
Turnips are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables, grown in moderate climates around the world. Turnips are a root vegetable, with earthy delightful flavors that get sweeter with cooking. Turnip greens can also be eaten; prepare similar to any other green.
Turnips are a good source of vitamin C making them a great immune booster for you this fall.
How to enjoy: Try turnips cooked into your favorite dinner soups or hearty stews. Roast them until golden brown (recipe below) or simply enjoy grated raw over your favorite salad.
The delightful mingling of the flavors of roasted turnips is a sure way to celebrate the fall season. Roasting turnips brings out the sweetness and softens the bitterness at the same time. Try as a substitute for roasted potatoes to change things up this fall. Gluten-free, paleo, and vegan.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Chop your turnips into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.
Pour in avocado oil or melted ghee, sea salt, pepper, and thyme. Roll gently in the bowl until the turnips evenly coated.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the turnips onto a baking pan and leave excess oil in a bowl (if the turnips are coated well).
Roast for approximately 30 minutes. Add extra sea salt and pepper to taste.
Flavors: Astringent, sour, and sweet
Have you tried a seasonal local apple recently? The combination of flavors—astringent, sour, and sweet—makes for a delightful palate explosion. With an array of health benefits that include heart health, cancer prevention, and stabilized blood sugar levels, apples are a tasty and versatile fruit that you’re sure to love this fall.
How to enjoy: The best thing about apples is that they taste great as is. Likewise, apples make a great on-the-go snack, especially along with a handful of nuts. Honeycrisp apples are tasty lightly cooked to top off a warm bowl of steel-cut oats, with a dash of ghee and cinnamon, for a soothing fall breakfast. Bake into a delicious crisp combined with other fall flavors (recipe below) such as cinnamon and ginger.
Nothing says autumn more than apple season. This delicious and guilt-free dessert is a wonderful way to enjoy your favorite varieties of apples. The warming flavors of ginger and cinnamon are just right to add even more fall flair to this tasty sweet treat.
Ingredients for Fruit Filling:
Ingredients for Crisp Topping:
Preheat oven to 350.
Slice apples evenly, about a quarter-inch thick, and add to a baking dish (approximately 8" in diameter if circular or 8"x8" if square). Toss with spices and one tablespoon of arrowroot flour.
Prepare the crisp topping by combining all ingredients together using a fork.
Bake for 40 minutes; let cool before serving to allow the fruit to thicken.
Flavors: Pungent, bitter, and sweet
Do you like the popular sweet and spicy spice cinnamon? Cinnamon is used in many dishes in cultures far and wide. Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a variety of trees that belong to the genus Cinnamomum.
Cinnamon is a powerhouse ingredient that boosts the chromium levels in your blood, an important nutrient that helps with blood sugar regulation and stability.
How to enjoy: Cinnamon is an easy (and forgiving) spice to cook with as it is delightfully sweet and warming. Cinnamon goes well with homemade pies, smoothies, teas, warm cereals, and baking.
Try the Spicy Chai Green Smoothie below as a nice way to enhance your morning smoothie with warming flavors of fall.
Add these goods into your blender and blend for 30 seconds until smooth.
Flavors: Bitter and astringent
Kale is known as a superfood because of its incredibly high antioxidant levels and outstanding ORAC value (oxygen reactive absorbance capacity)—the scale that measures the antioxidant capacity of a food.
Kale is versatile and easy to cook. If you want to power up your plate this fall, explore the many ways to include kale in your diet.
How to enjoy: Try adding baby kale to your green smoothie. Roast it in the oven into delicious kale chips (recipe below) or add it to your favorite soup or stew right before serving as to gently wilt it, preserving its brilliant bright green color.
Do you crave salty and crunchy snacks? If so, give yourself a snack-shapeshift with these simple and fun kale chips. Packed with nutrients, yet perfectly crunchy and salty. Use as a side dish to any meal or eat as a snack for on-the-go days.
Destem the kale and rip into bite-sized pieces. Place the leaves on a cookie sheet and coat the leaves in warmed coconut oil (liquid) and tamari, and then place in the oven on broil. Watch carefully as they can crisp up quickly, depending on your oven.
After approximately 2 minutes, toss. Then leave in until desired crispness (usually about 2 more minutes).
When it’s done you will have crisp tasty kale chips—a great addition to any meal or a snack!
There are endless foods and flavors of fall to explore—each food and flavor with a unique nuance to entice your palate. Enjoy savoring the many fall flavors, refining your senses, and elevating your eating this season.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.
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