Springtime, also known as kapha season, gives the opportunity to slough off the stagnancy of winter as gentle showers replace snowstorms and May flowers awaken the dormancy in the natural world. As this season of rebirth and renewal emerges, the once balancing foods of winter (vata season) give way to lighter fare. For example, the heavy stews, winter squashes, root vegetables and sweet baked fruits that were recommended during vata season can now be replaced with lighter soups, seasonal steamed vegetables like mustard greens, peas and/or asparagus and more astringent fruits like cherries and apricots. According to Ayurveda, foods that contain a light, dry and warming quality are considered to be balancing to kapha because they have the ability to gently cleanse the body, stimulate digestion (agni) and pacify the heavy, dense, moist, cool, static and dull qualities associated with this dosha. Therefore, if you are currently experiencing common kapha season imbalances such as lethargy, fatigue, allergies and/or gastrointestinal disturbances like nausea, low appetite and/or sluggish digestion, we encourage you to explore our kapha balancing foods list so that you may support your body and mind with the best foods for your current needs. Additionally, if appropriate, we recommend daily movement practices like kapha pacifying yoga and pranayama, dance and/or cardiovascular exercise in order to promote lightness, warmth and mobility.
SPICY BLACK BEAN CHILI
- 1 pound black beans
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons safflower or grapeseed oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 6 garlic cloves crushed or chopped
- 2 tablespoons cumin powder
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 15 ounces freshly chopped tomatoes (canned tomatoes are an alternative to freshly chopped tomatoes)
- ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke, optional
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
- 1 to 2 bunches of dark leafy seasonal greens (mustard greens, chard, kale &/or spinach)
ROASTED GREEN SALSA
Make ahead of time or prepare as your Black Bean Chili is simmering.
- 1 to tablespoons safflower or grapeseed oil
- 12 small tomatillos, husked
- ½ onion, peeled
- 3 small poblano peppers
- 1 head of garlic (you will have extra garlic to incorporate into other recipes)
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Use your hands to rub safflower or grapeseed oil evenly over the tomatillos, onion and peppers before placing on the baking sheet. Chop off the top of the garlic head, place on a square of foil, drizzle with a little bit of your oil, wrap into a bundle and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until tomatillos burst and peppers are blistered. The garlic bulb should feel soft. Cool all the vegetables down until they are comfortable to handle. Coarsely chop tomatillos, onion and peppers together in a bowl. Add 2-3 cloves of garlic and mash with a fork into the salsa mixture. Stir in cilantro. Serve at room temperature on top of the Black Bean Chili.
Thirty minutes prior to enjoying your Black Bean Chili and Roasted Green Salsa, you can blend up a digestive churna easily by using our Kapha Spice Blend! This blend contains digestive spices like ginger, pippali, black pepper and cinnamon and is designed to rekindle and strengthen low or weak agni that has been upset by a disturbance in kapha dosha. You may also find that you like the taste of this Spice Blend sprinkled on top of your chili or mixed into your black beans as they cook.
We hope you find this kapha balancing meal both delicious and supportive to your current needs. To learn more about your unique blend and current state of the doshas, you can take our Dosha Quiz and/or meet with our in-house Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Laurel Odom.
Kapha Balancing Products
Tomatillo photo by Mark Stebnicki