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breakfast foods that ground for unsettled days

breakfast foods that ground for unsettled days

breakfast foods that ground for unsettled days
breakfast foods that ground for unsettled days

Vegetable miso soup

When things go slightly pear-shaped for me, I reach for miso. I make a big pot, ensuring it has plenty of grounding vegetables in the mix, and then sip on it all day long. I prefer to use an organic shiro miso made from sweet white rice, but if it is cold and windy, then I use a darker, saltier, brown rice genmai miso.
  • 10 g dried wakame
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 small daikon radish, thinly sliced
  • 6 dried Chinese mushrooms, broken into small pieces
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely julienned
  • 2 tablespoons shiro miso
  • 6 asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed, sliced
  • 180 g (1 cup) frozen shelled edamame
  • 150 g silken firm tofu, cut into small cubes
Put 1.25 litres (5 cups) of water into a large saucepan, add the wakame, spring onion, carrot, daikon, mushroom and ginger and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Blend the miso with 2 tablespoons of the hot stock and add to the pan; do not allow the stock to boil once you have done this. Add the asparagus, edamame and tofu and cook for 5 minutes, until the edamame are bright green and tender.
Serves 4

 Gomasio

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 75 g (½ cup) black or white sesame seeds
Place the salt in a frying pan and toast over medium heat until it turns grey. Transfer the salt to a mortar and pestle – a suribachi (a ridged Japanese mortar and pestle) is ideal – and set aside.
Add the sesame seeds to the pan and cook over medium heat until the seeds start to pop and move around in the pan. Transfer to the mortar and pestle and gently grind with the salt to break up the seeds. You don’t want them to be too fine and you don’t want to end up with salty tahini.
Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store for up to 2 months. Sprinkle over soups, salads and roast vegetables.
Makes 75 g (½ cup)

 Comforting congee

This is a savoury version, but I sometimes leave out the savoury flavourings and serve a simple congee with stewed fruit that is in season. You’ll need a slow cooker for this recipe.
  • 220 g (1 cup) medium-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 piece of kombu
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 3 litres (12 cups) water or dashi stock
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon shiro miso
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 3 tablespoons Gomasio
  • 3 tablespoons Tamari seeds
  • 3 tablespoons fried shallots
  • 2 hard-boiled free-range eggs, grated (optional)
  • 1 nori sheet, torn into small pieces
Toast the drained rice in a large dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant.
Transfer the rice to a slow cooker, add the kombu, garlic, spring onion, water or dashi, turn the heat to medium and leave to cook overnight.
The next day, if there is a lot of excess liquid, transfer the rice to a large saucepan and cook over high heat until thick and creamy but still soupy. Stir the tamari into the rice.
Blend the miso with 375ml (1½ cups) of hot water, place in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook without boiling for 5 minutes.
Spoon the congee into bowls, then ladle on some of the miso broth. Dot the ghee on top and finish with the gomasio, tamari seeds, fried shallots, egg and torn nori.
Serves 6

 Tamari seeds

  • 210 g (2 cups) mixed sunflower seeds, pepitas, linseeds (flaxseeds)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
Put the seeds into a large frying pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until nice and brown. Add the tamari and toss to coat the seeds, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the seeds are dry.
Allow the seeds to cool before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 210 g (2 cups)

 Grilled figs on honeyed nut butter with spiced nuts

Sweet juicy fruits are very grounding, especially those with seeds, and are best served warm on windy, unsettled mornings. This recipe is also delicious with poached dried figs.
  • 8 figs
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 4 tablespoons super spread or nut butter
  • 2 tablespoons raw honeycomb
  • 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, cracked

Spiced nuts
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the grill to medium.
Tear the figs in half and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place a small piece of ghee in the centre of each fig. Cook under the grill until the figs are warmed through and the ghee has melted.
Fold the honey through the super spread or nut butter, then spread some of the honeyed paste on each serving plate.
To make the spiced nuts, put the walnuts, pine nuts and cinnamon into a bowl and mix to combine.
Top the honeyed nut butter with the figs, sprinkle with the spiced nuts and finish with a little honeycomb and some pink peppercorns.
Serves 4
Fruits and vegetables with seeds and stones help draw us down into our centre. Cooked fruits are more grounding than fresh, which tend to be more cooling.
Grilled figs on honeyed nut butter with spiced nuts
Grilled figs on honeyed nut butter with spiced nuts

Sesame and egg fried rice

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 spring onions, sliced, plus extra to serve
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 185 g (1 cup) cooked basmati rice, cooled
  • ¼ teaspoon Gomasio
Heat the ghee and sesame oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add the spring onion and cook for 3 minutes, until soft.
Pour the egg into the pan and cook until lightly set, then stir to break up and scramble lightly. Add the rice and cook for several minutes, until warmed through. Serve topped with the gomasio and the extra spring onion.
Serves 2

 Sweet omelette rolls with pistachio and goji sprinkle

  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

Pistachio and goji sprinkle
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
Whisk together the eggs and maple syrup in a bowl.
Heat a little of the ghee in a small frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of the egg mixture and cook over medium heat until the egg is just set around the edge. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds, then gently roll the omelette up in the pan. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat this process with the remaining egg mixture.
To make the pistachio and goji sprinkle, put the berries, pistachios, sesame seeds and coconut sugar into a bowl and mix to combine.
Scatter the pistachio and goji sprinkle over the omelette rolls and serve immediately.
Serves 4
Sweet omelette rolls with pistachio and goji sprinkle
Sweet omelette rolls with pistachio and goji sprinkle

Sweet carrot and ricotta pancakes

Carrot is an incredibly grounding, calming vegetable; in fact, any vegetable that needs to push down into the earth to grow will bring us out of our chatty, busy minds and down into our bodies.
  • 250 g fresh ricotta
  • 4 free-range eggs, separated
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) unsweetened almond milk
  • 130 g (1½ cups) buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 25 g (½ cup) quinoa flakes
  • 25 g (¼ cup) almond meal
  • 100 g carrot, grated
  • 25 g butter
  • pure maple syrup, to serve

Orange, cinnamon and maple butter
  • 100 g butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
To make the orange, cinnamon and maple butter, put the butter, cardamom, orange zest and maple syrup into a bowl and mix to combine.
Place the butter mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log, roll up and chill until firm.
Combine the ricotta, egg yolks and almond milk in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder and spices, then stir in the quinoa flakes and almond meal. Make a well in the centre and stir in the ricotta mixture.
Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into the ricotta mixture with the grated carrot.
Melt a little of the butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and drop 3 tablespoons of batter per pancake into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, until the underside is golden, turn and cook the other side for another 3 minutes, until golden. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.
Serve the pancakes topped with slices of the orange, cinnamon and maple butter and a good splash of maple syrup.
Serves 4–6

I like to have vegetables at every meal – even breakfast.
Sweet carrot and ricotta pancakes
Sweet carrot and ricotta pancakes

Carrot halva with warm almond quinoa

This is a great portable breakfast. Instead of the grated carrot, you could top the halva with mixed berries or poached stone fruit – but the grated carrot is something a little different.
In Ayurveda it is recommended that almonds are soaked overnight to make them easier to digest. We even soak our raisins, too, if we have time.
  • 100 g (½ cup) quinoa, rinsed
  • 500 ml (2 cups) unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 310 g (2 cups) grated carrot
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 50 g (scant ⅓ cup) whole almonds, soaked overnight, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
Put the quinoa into a saucepan, cover with plenty of water and cook over high heat for 15 minutes, until the tails separate from the seed. Drain well, stir in the almond milk and keep warm.
Heat the ghee in a large frying pan, add the cardamom and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the carrot and cook for 10 minutes, until soft. Stir in the raisins, almonds and rice syrup and cook until heated through.
Spoon the warm quinoa mixture into four serving glasses and top with the carrot halva.
Serves 4

 Morning poha

This is an Ayurvedic breakfast for those, like me, who prefer a savoury instead of a sweet start to the day. The rice flakes should be cooked in ghee rather than butter because ghee is much more grounding. Overcooking the rice flakes will turn them to mush.
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 6 asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed, chopped
  • 100 g (1 cup) rice flakes
Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and golden. Stir in the mustard seeds and turmeric and cook until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
Add the carrot, asparagus and rice flakes to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, until the rice flakes are just soft.
Serves 4

 Baby apples with lavender and vanilla

Apples should always be lightly cooked if we are looking to calm and balance Vata or movement. This is because apples are naturally light, crisp and crunchy, and are considered too cooling for anyone with a fragile digestive system. If you feel like a fresh apple, go for sweet and juicy over sour and tart.
  • 12 small organic sweet red apples
  • 2 lavender sprigs
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
Cut around the middle of each apple, taking care not to cut all the way through. This stops the skin from splitting unevenly – it does not need to be a deep cut.
Put the apples in a large saucepan. Add the lavender, vanilla bean and coconut sugar. Cover with water and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, until the apples are soft.
Serves 4–6

 Warm spice-infused almond milk

  • 500 ml (2 cups) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon raw honeycomb
Put the almond milk into a saucepan, add the ghee, cinnamon stick, orange flower water and ginger and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the flavours infuse. Set aside to cool slightly (you don’t want the liquid to be too hot when you pour it over the honeycomb or it will affect the health-giving properties of the honey). Remove the cinnamon stick.
To serve, place a small piece of the honeycomb in each cup and pour the warm, cinnamon-infused milk over the top.
Serves 2–4
Warm spice-infused almond milk 2
Warm spice-infused almond milk 2
Warm spice-infused almond milk
Warm spice-infused almond milk

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