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Ayurvedic Vegan Recipes For Every Dosha

Want to improve your eating habits this year? Why not try these Ayurvedic vegan recipes? We have them for every dosha!

By Lora O’Brien

Ayurveda is a natural approach to health that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. It can help guide you towards understanding your body better so that you can learn how to prevent disease. In Ayurveda, there are three doshas, or types. According to chef Johnny Brannigan of the Chopra Center, “doshas are the three energies that define every person’s makeup. Knowing your dosha can help you live a healthier, more balanced life.”

Your dosha describes the usual state of your body and mind. The three main types are called vata, pitta and kapha. While all three are present in everyone, we each have a dominant dosha that is determined at birth, which equally balances with the other two doshas to help us thrive.

“The role the doshas play is a dynamic one, constantly changing in response to weather, conditions, and stress,” says Brannigan. “The habits—good or bad—that you create are manifestations of your dosha.”

When our doshas are balanced, we feel healthy. And when they’re unbalanced, we’re more susceptible to getting sick. Our hair and skin may suffer, we can develop poor digestion and even depression and anxiety. Practising Ayurveda can help you to understand the effects food has on your body, and teach you to naturally crave and choose foods that are right for you.

Who Are You?

Understanding your dosha means understanding yourself. You may be inclined to go a bit overboard on cake, spend too much time talking on the phone late at night with loved ones, or fail to go to the gym as often as you should, like a typical kapha.

If you’re a typical pitta, you may enjoy feeling like you’re right all the time in debates, wolf down a huge lunch, then crave a snack right afterwards. You probably love going for brisk walks or jogs outdoors.

Or maybe you love to dance and listen to music, when you’re not on a spontaneous shopping spree, like a typical vata.

There are physical characteristics related to each dosha, too. Want to learn which one you are? Take this quiz here.

And after that’s done, if you’d like to know what you should be eating to balance your body and mind, read on! Here, I’ve put together some Ayurvedic vegan recipes for pitta, vata and kapha doshas to take the mystery out of which foods suit you best.

Ayurvedic Vegan Recipes For Every Dosha

PITTA Dosha

Pittas have more fire in them than the other doshas. Due to being hot-headed, they can withstand the cold better. Since pittas have a strong and healthy digestion, they can eat just about everything, unlike the other doshas, but salt shouldn’t be consumed too liberally.

The diet of a pitta dosha should favour cool to lukewarm beverages and eat a diet of warm, freshly cooked foods made from foods with a sweet, bitter or astringent taste. Pungent, spicy food is best avoided, as are sour foods like vinegar and salty snacks. The best foods to eat/avoid are:

Grains: White rice (basmati, jasmine), barley, oats, quinoa, amaranth and whole wheat
Legumes:
Mung beans, small kidney beans, non-fermented soybean products such as tofu, and other beans are okay in moderation
Vegetables:
Yellow squash, zucchini, cucumber, kale, bok choy, asparagus, artichokes, okra, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, potatoes, peas, spinach, chard, Brussels sprouts, sweetcorn, mushrooms and all leafy greens (except for mustard greens)
Fruits:
Sweet grapes, sweet mango, coconut, melons, sweet plums, bananas, persimmon, pomegranates, sweet apples and pears, raisins, dates, figs and avocados. 
Spices/seasonings: Coriander, cilantro, cumin, some turmeric, saffron, fennel, cardamom, parsley and mint
Sweetener:
Whole raw cane sugar, date sugar, maple sugar and honey (only to be added to cool or warm woods, and never heated)
Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin seeds and blanched and peeled almonds can be eaten in small quantities, sunflower seeds, cucumber seeds and watermelon seeds

FOODS TO AVOID:
Corn, rye, millets, buckwheat and brown rice. 
Fermented soybean products such as tempeh.
Tomatoes and tomato sauce, radish, eggplant, peppers, mustard greens, raw onions and ginger.
Avoid sour fruits such as unripe peaches, sour grapes, pineapple, berries, prunes and acidic fruit such as grapefruit, lemon, limes and oranges. Also avoid dried fruits. In terms of spices, c
hilli peppers, cayenne, mustard seeds, cloves, ajawin, fenugreek, ginger, black pepper. garlic, onion and turmeric should all be kept to a minimum.

1. Healthy Date Shake

This thick, luscious date shake is the perfect breakfast to kickstart the day. The sweet, ripe bananas will help sustain energy levels while the gooey sweet medjool dates offer a natural sugar boost. Simply throw everything in the blender and then sip away!

Get the recipe here.

2. Couscous Pilau

A delicious yet simple couscous pilau with sauteed mushrooms, peas and carrots is fabulous for pittas. Although it uses minimal spices, it’s still loaded with flavour, and is perfect as a side dish or a main meal. Tip: As pittas should avoid anything too spicy, I’d skip the sriracha in this recipe!

Get the recipe here.

3. Asparagus Risotto

A perfect risotto is both light and creamy, and this vegan recipe does not disappoint. It’s healthy with an abundance of light, refreshing flavours and kept super simple with only rice, asparagus, garden peas and staple herbs. Simple yet wholesome and tasty!

Get the recipe here.

4. Roasted Zucchini with Pesto

Great things happen when Mediterranean cuisine meets Ayurvedic vegan recipes! The courgettes in this pasta dish are roasted till soft, and then blended into a creamy, fresh pesto sauce. Served with pasta, spinach, toasted pine nuts and vegan parmesan, it’s the perfect light yet wholesome lunch or dinner dish. You could also switch this up to incorporate other green veggies that are good for a Pitta, such as asparagus, broccoli or avocado.

Get the recipe here.

ayurvedic vegan recipes

5. Fresh Hummus

Lemon is a staple ingredient in most traditional hummus recipes, but this recipe is perfect for pittas. With no added citrus fruit, this this pitta friendly hummus is incredibly smooth and creamy, while remaining hearty and healthy, thanks to the olive oil and chickpeas.

Get the recipe here.

6. Turmeric Broth

This turmeric broth detox soup is just what we need with the colder months coming. It’s naturally healing, soothing and comforting. And the best thing about this Ayurvedic soup is that it’s easily customizable, so you can alter it to best suit your dosha.

Get the recipe here.

7. Sweet Potato Pesto Pizza

Sure, you may have to ditch your local greasy takeaway pizza, but you can make your own. And I promise it will taste even better AND not leave you in a carb-fuelled food coma after eating! This root veggie crust plant-based pizza is topped with pesto, almond feta, roasted chickpeas and an assortment of veggies. And best of all, it’s tomato-free, so you can share it with fellow pittas in your life!

8. Favourite Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds

A salad is a great way to eat for your dosha, because you can simply add in whatever you want, and skip anything you’re wanting to eat less of or avoid. This leafy salad with apples, cranberries and pumpkin seeds has lots of texture, and the vinegarette falls more on the sweeter side thanks to the added honey (if you don’t eat honey, swap for maple syrup or agave). Also keep this vegan by skipping the cheese or adding a dairy-free alternative. We have an awesome feta made from tofu here!

Get the recipe here.

9. Coconut Curry

Loaded with nourishing veggies, this coconut curry is a wholesome and tasty meal. More sweet than spicy thanks to the coconut and maple syrup, this is perfect for pittas. Use a mild curry powder to keep the spice low, and skip garnishing it with nuts and opt for chopped coriander for some fragrant flavours.

Get the recipe here.

Ayurvedic vegan recipes

10. Bulgur Mac and “Cheese”

Who needs dairy when you can make this vegan cheese sauce using a bunch of nourishing ingredients that will make you feel amazing? Pumpkin and tahini are mixed with various other ingredients to create a plant-based cheese that will be great over pasta and even rice, if you like.

Get the recipe here.

VATA DOSHA

Vata is a cold and dry dosha, therefore warm, nourishing foods with added fats are a great way to strive for balance. A Vata dosha diet should include warm, cooked foods and beverages, as well as soft and oily foods. Cooked cereals, pasta, porridge and soups should be eaten in favour of dry and crunchy foods, such as granola or crackers. Choose boiled vegetables over grilled veggies, and remember that raw vegetables should be eaten only in small quantities. Cold drinks, frozen desserts and chilled yogurt should be avoided. No ice cream, sorry! The best foods to eat/avoid are:

Grains: Wheat, rice, cooked oatmeal, bulgar wheat, quinoa, spelt and whole-grain breads. 
Legumes:
Yellow mung beans, green mung beans, red lentils and tofu. 
Vegetables:
Zucchini, asparagus, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, okra, parsley, green peas, fennel and spinach in small amounts. 
Fruits:
All ripe, sweet and juicy fruits such as sweet grapes, melon, banana, plums, cherries, kiwi, peach, apricot, mango, papaya, pomegranate, sweet pineapples, sweet oranges, dates, figs and creamy avocados. Only eat apples and pears if ripe and juicy. Dried fruit can be eaten but should be soaked in water beforehand to soften it. 
Spices/seasonings: Cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, celery seeds, fenugreek, coriander, bay leaves, basil, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, anise, fennel, dill, mint, garlic, nutmeg and tamarind can all be used to season food. All other spices should be used in moderation. 
Sweeteners: Sweeten food with whole, natural/raw cane sugar (in small amounts) honey and date sugar.  
Nuts and seeds:
All nuts and seeds except peanuts (which should be avoided) can be eaten but should always be soaked overnight to soften them and allow them to become easier to digest. 

FOODS TO AVOID:
Corn, rye, buckwheat, raw oats and millet
Chickpeas, kidney beans, Adzuki beans, black gram, gram dal, soybeans
Green leafy vegetables, artichokes, dried peas, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, sprouts, onion, radish, raw vegetables and salads
Unripe/sour fruits. Guava, cranberries and persimmon
Cayenne, chilli peppers and other hot spices
Avoid all
white or processed sugar
Peanuts

1. Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal

It may sound strange to some, but I love incorporating pre-cooked, super mushy sweet potato into my oatmeal. Not only does it make it incredibly rich and creamy, but it’s a super healthy breakfast option for any time of the year. With just 7 simple ingredients, this oatmeal will hit the spot every morning!

Get the recipe here.

2. Golden Milk Latte

This is one of the most traditional of all the Ayurvedic vegan recipes. It may be trendy now, but these plant-based lattes have been popular in India since time began. Not only is the turmeric here anti-inflammatory, but it’s super flavoursome, and a great alternative to coffee and tea. If you love turmeric, click here for more recipes featuring the stuff!

Get the recipe here.

3. Immune Boosting Carrot & Ginger Soup

This carrot and ginger soup is one of the best Ayurvedic vegan recipes for winter! It’s both vegan and gluten-free, and super creamy with a little added spice from the ginger. Loaded with ingredients that are beneficial for a vata, this is the perfect soup to slurp back when it’s freezing cold outside, or when you’re feeling run down.

Get the recipe here.

4. Vegan Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach

It’s just as delicious and nourishing alone, but if you want an extra protein boost you could add pan-fried tofu to this squash curry. As Vatas should eat leafy greens in moderation, wilting some spinach into curry is a great way to benefit from them without overdoing it. Serve with white rice or quinoa and enjoy!

Get the recipe here.

5. Red Lentil Dahl

Lentil dahl often has a kick to it, but this recipe is more creamy than it is spicy. As vatas should really steer away from overly spicy foods, using coconut milk here a great way to make this dish sweeter and smoother. I would also switch out the masala for a mild curry powder. There will still be heaps of flavour from the herbs and veggie broth.

Get the recipe here.

6. Tofu Stir Fry

This tofu-veggie stir fry is made with simple ingredients, yet it’s so delicious, and is absolutely bursting with texture and flavour. If you’re not keen on tofu, try this recipe, it will seriously change the way you view this plant-based protein! Serve over rice, or even with salad for a healthy and nourishing weeknight lunch or dinner recipe.

Get the recipe here.

7. Kitchari

Kitchari is a traditional cleansing food in Ayurveda, and is made from a combination of split mung beans and white basmati rice. The dish is infused with plenty of spices, which you can alter to depend on what suits your dosha. It’s a super delicious yet quick recipe to throw together – just remember to soak the lentils overnight.

Get the recipe here.

8. Chinese-Inspired Fennel Rainbow Noodles

Think sticking Ayurvedic vegan recipes means eating boring, bland food? Ha! Think again! When eating the Ayurvedic way to heal your body from the inside out, you can truly taste the rainbow – and this noodle dish is just one example of what I’m talking about. Splurge on wholesome, unprocessed ingredients to get the best from your food and healing.

Get the recipe here.

9. Spinach Soup With Green Peas

A warm bowl of soup always soothes the soul, and this vibrant dish is brimming with goodness. Using only 5 ingredients, this is one of the simpler Ayurvedic vegan recipes, taking just fifteen minutes to make. You could batch cook this and freeze it also so you can defrost it and devour when time is limited.

Get the recipe here.

10. Orange Blossom Coconut Macaroons with Toasted Almonds

A dessert that requires only a few ingredients and no baking time? Yes, please! These raw, vegan Ayurvedic orange blossom coconut macaroons with toasted almonds are insanely addictive. Loaded with a citrusy, floral, nutty taste, they’re the perfect treat to satiate any sweet tooth, without greatly imbalancing blood sugar levels.

Get the recipe here.

KAPHA DOSHA

While kaphas tend to have a heavier build than the other doshas, storing fluids and fat easily, they have excellent stamina as well as sooth, radiant skin. They tend to sleep soundly and have regular digestion, but kaphas can easily gain weight, retain fluid and are prone to allergies, causing them to get sick.

Warm, light and dry food is favourable for a kapha, and they thrive on lightly cooked foods or raw fruits and vegetables. During the winter months especially, spicy food is great for kaphas. Choosing dry cooking methods such as baking, broiling, grilling and sautéing is more effective than moist cooking such as steaming or boiling. The best foods to eat/avoid are:

Grains: Barley, millet, corn, buckwheat, rye, quinoa, couscous and whole-grain breads toasted. 
Legumes:
Moong or mung dhal, lentils and beans. 
Vegetables:
All leafy green veggies, carrots, beets, white potatoes, artichokes, broccoli, corn, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, peas, bell pepper, green beans and sprouts. Tomato, asparagus and zucchini can be eaten but should be consumed in smaller amounts. 
Fruits:
Apples, pears, figs, papaya, guava, pomegranate, cranberries, persimmon and dry fruit. 
Spices/seasonings:
Ginger, black pepper, cumin, mustard seeds, ajwain, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, anise, fennel, coriander, dill, mint, garlic, nutmeg, tamarind, sea salt and lemon juice. 
Sweeteners:
Raw honey which is neither baked or cooked, plus small amounts of raw sugar. 
Nuts and seeds: 
Small amounts of sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, pecans and walnuts. 

FOODS TO AVOID:
Wheat, rice, cooked oats, plus all yeasted or sourdough breads and pasta
Tofu, tempeh and soy
Sweet potatoes, tapioca and cucumber
Avocados and very sweet fruits like mango and banana
Spices can be enjoyed but salt should be limited
White, refined sugar and sugary products such as sweets and chocolate
Nuts can be eaten but in VERY small amounts

1. Buckwheat Crepes with Tamarind Apple Jam

Many of us skip breakfast, or turn to unhealthy, processed options, such as pancakes, waffles and sugar-loaded cereals. These all taste amazing, sure, but they also cause blood sugar crashes an hour or two after eating. This comforting breakfast dish, on the other hand,  is the perfect recipe to satiate cravings, minus the sugar rush!

Get the recipe here.

2. Healthy Sunchoke Crisps

Combat snacking urges with this healthy take on crisps. Unlike the deep-fried potato snack, sunchokes – also known as Jerusalem artichokes – are yummy tubers that are often cooked much like potatoes. They’re a fabulous source of iron, potassium, phosphorus and inulin. Eat with a little salt, or jazz them up with some red pepper flakes as well!

Get the recipe here.

3. Cauliflower Chickpea Patties

If you’re looking to ditch meat and looking for a plant-based patty that is as healthy as it is tasty, then you’ve found it! These patties are so delicious and super versatile. Throw them on top of a salad, or enjoy them for breakfast. They’d also be great chopped up in rice bowls. Make them gluten-free by trading the panko crumbs out for flour or oats.

Get the recipe here.

4. Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower Bowls

Ditching meat is easy when dishes like this exist! If you thought you’d never be able to enjoy ‘chicken’ wings on a vegan, ayurvedic diet, then think again. Cauliflower makes the perfect substitute: not only is it super healthy, but it has a meat-like texture when cooked. These Indian-inspired ‘wings’ can be thrown into a bowl with rice, avocado and a tahini dressing.

Get the recipe here.

5. Olive tapenade

Salty, garlicky and perfectly addictive – that’s what this olive tapenade is. This simple dish is made using kalamata olives, and is LOADED with an infusion of flavours, making it a total delight on your tastebuds! Use it as a topper for soups and salads, or a spread. Either way, don’t expect it to stick around long!

Get the recipe here.

6. White Bean Chilli

This is one of the easiest Ayurvedic vegan recipes! You’ll be surprised that this chilli takes just 20 minutes to whip up! Three kinds of beans are added to this quick and easy dish, making it a perfect recipe for kaphas to keep in their recipe repertoire.

Get the recipe here.

7. Sprouted Lentil Vegetable Stew with Chimichurri Sauce

Lentils have many creative and tasty uses, much like this stew recipe. They’re packed with fiber and protein, keeping you full for long periods of time, maintaining your energy and strength. This soup is suitable for both pitta and kapha dosha, and is a great meal to balance the body through all four seasons.

Get the recipe here.

8. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh is a light, yet refreshing cleansing salad that is both quick and easy to make, and loaded with an array of yummy flavours. Traditional couscous is balancing for vata and pitta, but kaphas should replace it with quinoa, like in this recipe.

Get the recipe here.

 

9. Spiced Pumpkin Tacos with Raw Sunflower Bell Pepper Cream

Pumpkin is a great vegetable to eat at any time of the year. It’s sweet and helps to soothe both vata and pitta doshas, and it’s not so sweet that it will upset kapha. This veggie will ease and balance digestion, and these pumpkin tacos are a powerhouse of nutrition, vitamins and Ayurvedic healing. You can also switch this recipe up with squash, sweet potatoes, or zucchini – all with great Ayurvedic benefits!

Get the recipe here.

10. Sugarless Apple Pie

If you ask me, this is one of the most comforting of all the ayurvedic vegan recipes! Turn your ripe apples into this delicious apple pie – minus the spoonfuls of refined sugar! It’s still sweet, and I love the marriage of crunchy/soft textures.

Get the recipe here.

 

Lora O'Brien

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