Autumn Pumpkin chai latte

**sounds of crickets**

Is there anyone still listening?

I hope that my several week hiatus from the blogosphere hasn’t completely lost my dearest readers. I am positive that at least friends and family could still be interested…and anyway it is nice to just write for myself : ) So here it goes.

Perhaps it’s a bit late to discuss the Autumn since winter is on our heals. But this Autumn has been really strong for me. How can a season be strong? Autumn is  referred to as a Vata (air) season according to Ayurveda, which means the presence of air and space is more noticeable in and around us. This means that when a change is about to occur…you can simply feel it. Maybe it’s a personal change, one at work, with a spouse, or with your friends for example, and of course nature is not shy about the changes it is going through.

As soon as the weather started to change, I could feel it. After many months of deliberating about certain decisions that I had to make, the Autumn really elucidated my mental turmoil.  Knowing and feeling that the world is constantly going through seasons, just as people are going through them, was a great comfort and motivator in my decision to begin a journey back to a peaceful relationship with myself. Fist bump Autumn!!

In the Autumn you can notice that your body no longer craves the raw, fresh foods of summer. In fact you probably crave new colors, sounds, and scents as well. To balance the body and calm the Vata, it can help to follow these Ayurvedic tips.

1. Food – Put away the salad and make a hearty soup instead. Cooking with more coconut oil, sesame oil, or olive oils will give the body the heavier feeling it is craving. A visit to the market will tell you to eat up on all the harvest foods as well. Try a soup made of carrots, beets, squash, and turnips.

2. Body – Your body may feel like all the radiance and moisture from summer sweat is completely depleted. Make sure to oil up with either coconut, almond, or sesame oils after showering.

3. Colors – We are a visual species and colors can greatly contribute to the overall feeling of balance in the body. Fill your living space with warm tones, like the autumn leaves, or consider hanging some christmas lights indoors to create a warm light. Wearing some warmer shades of clothing can also create balance, think: greens, reds, oranges, and yellows.

4. Scent- It’s not for everyone, but I love burning incense. Traditional nagchampa is a perfect scent for fall, being warm, sweet, and heavy. For a bit lighter smell, you can try the Agni Nagchampa  (if you’re a Dammer, you can find a great selection at De Tuinen).

5. Sound- Anything with bass or drums. The sounds of the earth. Try some shamanic drumming for a nice meditation.

And finally, enjoy as many pumpkin recipes as you can!

Pumpkin Chai Latte

1 small pumpkin

1 cup almond milk

pumpkin pie spices (Can be bought at most shops in US, premixed)

raw sugar

indian spiced chai (I buy pre-made tea bags at the Indian grocery, but you can make your own from black tea, ground cardamon, cloves, ginger, and a touch of black/red pepper)

First you need to roast your pumpkin by placing the halved pumpkin in a baking dish with about 1 inch water in the bottom, with shell facing up. Cooking time varies with each pumpkin, but should take about 30 minutes-1 hour, or until a fork can easily pierce the flesh.  Once the pumpkin has cooled, scrap the soft pumpkin into a container, which you can then use all week for yummy lattes.

Warm the almond milk with a teaspoon of sugar, 2 TBSP of pumpkin and about 1/2 teaspoon of spices. Add either the prepared tea from tea bags, or prepared/strained loose tea (about one cup tea/each cup milk) to the milk mixture.Voila!

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For a boost in Omega-3s, roast the pumpkin seeds with your favorite spices.

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