Ayurveda Eating For Autumn And Winter…

Ayurveda Eating For Autumn And Winter

Ayurveda, which means the science of life, provides a profound knowledge on how to create balance in the body and mind and on how to avoid diseases. Ayurveda increases health, vitality, and well-being by means of herbal medicine, detoxication, exercise and proper diet. According to Ayurveda, autumn and winter are characterized by the qualities light, movable, fast, dry and cold. These qualities are called Vata in Ayurvedic terminology. In order to maintain balance during autumn and winter, it is important to counteract Vata by bringing the opposite qualities – heavy, stable, slow, moist and warm into our life through food and activity. The vegetarian recipes on these pages will help you with this.

If the qualities of Vata are also prevalent in your body and mind, it is especially important to pay attention to the pieces of advice on these pages. This is so because too much of one of Vata’s qualities creates discomfort and, at worst, disease.

  • Movable: Too much of this quality makes you indecisive and unpredictable. You will lack structure and determination. Stable environment, fixed meal times and enough sleep counteracts the movable quality.
  • Dry: Too much dryness can produce lack of enthusiasm, low spirits, and reduced vitality. The skin can become too dry and constipation or pain in the joints can also be the physical outcome. You will need sufficient fluid and fat to prevent drying out.
  • Fast: Too much of this quality can cause dissatisfaction, disharmony, wrong decisions and a bad economy. The body has no time to assimilate the food. Peace and rest balance this quality.
  • Light: Too much lightness can result in cold hands and feet, underweight and lack of grounding. A sufficient amount of food balances the light quality.
  • Cold: Too much of the cold quality can create lack of sympathy, egotism and a weak digestion. All kinds of heat balance Vata, such as hot baths, moderate sunbathing and hot food and drink.


Diet for the Autumn and Winter

In order to keep Vata in balance, you can eat warm food with a certain heaviness and drink plenty of water. Prefer sweet, sour and salty flavors and reduce bitter, astringent and hot. The following foods are also suitable:

  • Cereals: Spelt, emmer, wheat, durum wheat, rice, oats (cooked) and pancakes.
  • Milk Products: All, if you’re comfortable with that.
  • Sweeteners: All natural sweeteners in small quantities, for example, raw sugar, syrup and honey; and high-quality sweets and cakes except Madeira cake and other dry cakes and cookies. Everything should be taken in small quantity.
  • Fruit: Ripe, juicy and sweet. For example banana, orange, pineapple, plum, berries, lemon, fresh dates, grapefruit, strawberries, cherries, mango, melon, papaya, and avocado.
  • Vegetables: Root vegetables, like beetroot, carrot, sweet potato and parsnip, and also squash and tomato. All vegetables should be cooked.
  • Lentils/beans: Yellow and green mung beans
  • Spices: All, but especially the sweet, and mild.
  • Other: Oils, butter, ghee (clarified butter).

Reduce intake of these foods as well:

  • General: Cold, dry and light food.
  • Cereals: Crispbread, crackers, biscuits, millet, buckwheat, barley, rye, corn, cold and dry breakfast cereals such as raw oats, cornflakes and other flakes, puffed wheat, raw muesli, etc.
  • Fruit: Unripe fruit and dried fruit in large quantities.
  • Vegetables: Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, sprouted beans and lentils, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, artichokes, potatoes, olives, green pepper, parsley, radishes, lettuce, celery, mushrooms, and chard.
  • Spices: Large quantities of spicy food.
  • Lentils/Beans: All beans, chickpeas, yellow peas, dried peas.
  • Other: Raw food, dry cakes, and cookies, chewing gum, throat lozenge, crisps, peanuts and pretzel.

How Vata are You?

Place a tick by the statements below that best describe you:

__I sleep lightly and often wake up in the middle of the night

__I had a low weight at birth

__I tend to have dry skin

__My appetite is irregular. Sometimes strong, sometimes weak

__My bowel movements are irregular

__ I am easy to excite

__Coincidences often characterize my life

__My walk is light and fast

__I do not like frosty weather

__I am easy getting along with new ideas

__I learn quickly

__I am indecisive and often have difficulty choosing

__I am quick, imaginative and alert


If you have more than six checks, you are dominated by Vata, which means that the qualities fast, easy, movable and cold are prominent in your body and mind. Therefore it is particularly important for you to follow the advice on these pages. If you have only a few ticks, you can go easy on these tips.

Pumpkin Pie

Preparation Time: 1 1⁄2 hour

Pie Base

  • 3 1⁄2 oz (100 grams) white spelt flour/wheat flour
  • 2 1⁄2 oz (75 grams) wholemeal spelt flour/wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 oz (75 grams) butter
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons water

Mix all the ingredients together to form the pie dough. Then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (optional). Sprinkle flour on a board, and roll the dough out so that it suits a pie dish (approx. 25 cm in diameter).

Grease the pie dish, and place the dough into it. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) in the center of the oven for 10-20 minutes, until it is golden brown.


  • 1 pound (500 grams) Hokkaido-pumpkin (or carrots)
  • 7 oz (200 grams) tofu
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 cup (100 ml) junket – optional
  • Parsley for garnish

Rinse the pumpkin, chop it into large pieces and remove the seeds with a spoon. Boil for 20 minutes and pour off excess water (if you use carrots then cook them whole for about 25 minutes). Mix the pumpkin/carrots, tofu, pepper, salt and yogurt (optional) and place it onto the baked pie base. Bake the pie 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) in the middle of the oven and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Oven-Baked Root Vegetables

Preparation Time: 1 1⁄4 hour

  • 2 1⁄2 pounds (1200 g) root vegetables such as carrots, parsnip, beetroot, and potato – 10 oz (300 grams) each
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil/coconut oil/ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) water
  • 1 oz (25 g) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Fresh parsley or fresh thyme for garnish

Peel the root vegetables, chop into small pieces and place in an ovenproof dish with the remaining ingredients. Bake at 370 degrees F (185 degrees C) for about 1 hour, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or thyme.

Tip: For a more creamy dish, you can add 2/3 cup (150 ml) cream/coconut milk and leave out the fat.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Guacamole

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

  • 8 large tomatoes
  • Guacamole made from 6 avocados
  • Garnish with hazelnuts

Chop the tops off the tomatoes and save them. Hollow out the tomatoes with a spoon. Fill the tomatoes with guacamole as described below. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and put the top on the tomatoes.


Preparation Time: 5 minutes

  • 6 avocados
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt/junket (optional)

Peel the avocados and remove the stones. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and blend or mash. Serve immediately, as the guacamole becomes brown quite quickly.

Carrot Cake

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Cake Mixture

  • 1⁄2 pound (200 grams) white spelt flour/wheat flour
  • 1⁄2 cup (100 ml) junket/yogurt
  • 5 1⁄2 oz (150 grams) cane sugar
  • 4 oz (100 grams) butter/oil/ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1⁄2 pound (200 grams) grated carrots/zucchini
  • 2 oz (50 grams) raisins or dates, chopped finely
  • 2 oz (50 grams) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Stir all ingredients together and put the batter into a greased baking dish. Bake in the center of the oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

Glaze (optional)

  • 2 1⁄2 oz (65 grams) butter
  • 3 oz (75 grams) honey
  • 2 1⁄2 oz (65 grams) cream cheese
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Mix all the ingredients and spread the glaze on the cooled cake.

This article is based on Nicolay Marcus Zederlinn’s vegetarian, Ayurvedic cookbook “Unity Cooking”. You can buy the book at this link.

Nicolay Marcus Zederlinn is a Danish author, who has worked with food and health from an Ayurvedic perspective in the last 25 years. Nicolay has his own ayurvedic education and he has also written the books: ”Cooking and bliss” and ”Health through Listening”. Nicolay was the founder and owner of the Ayurvedic restaurant Flow in Copenhagen, Denmark.


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Nicolay Marcus Zederlinn

Nicolay Marcus Zederlinn is a Danish author, who has worked with food and health from an Ayurvedic perspective in the…

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