One of Vata’s characteristics is weaker digestion, so during this season, we need to focus on helping and supporting our digestive system more than normal. Here is a modification of a classic American Favorite, the French Toast, to help support not just digestion, but also helping to cool any excess Pitta (fire) from the previous season. Next, while this may not be “perfect” Ayurvedicly, my goal is to modify common American Favorite recipes into something that is more balanced while still keeping with the aspects of why this is a favorite. This modification is great for late-summer and early-fall seasons when it’s windy, and can still be hot out, and the next day chilly.
*Note: as always Organic Ingredients are preferable, though not required.
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 cups of Whole Milk
- 1 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Tbsp Cane Sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground Cardamom
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- Crack of Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Mineral Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix (ground cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, clove, and cardamom)
- 1/4 tsp melted “room-temperature” ghee
- 1 sprig of Saffron
- about 1/2 loaf of your favorite bread, preferably a denser bread
- extra ghee to fry/sear the french toast
- about 1/3 to 1/4 cup of Pumpkin Seeds
- about a handful of roughly crushed Walnut Seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground Coriander
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- approximately another 2 Tbsp Cane Sugar or Jaggary
- extra ghee to fry/sear the nut mixture
- about 3+ cups of Pure Maple Syrup
In a large mixing bowl add the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, cardamom, vanilla, turmeric, black pepper, ginger, salt, pumpkin spice mix, room-temp ghee, saffron, and beat all ingredients well. Then place a slice or two of your bread into the batter, coating the bread, and allow for it to soak in some. Heat a pan to medium heat and then add a little bit of ghee to the pan. Once pan and ghee are hot, put the coated bread on the pan. Now get the next 1 or 2 slices of bread ready like before. After about 2 or 3 minutes, that side should be a nice golden brown, and then flip. Once that is golden brown, remove from pan, and place on a plate or something to hold it. Next, add a little more ghee if needed, then the next slice or two of coated bread. Repeat until you have maybe about 1/4 cup left of the batter and we will use this for the topping.
For the topping, add the pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cinnamon, coriander, and sugar to the remaining small amount of batter you have left and mix/combine well so everything is nice and coated. Then dump this into the fry pan (you might want to add a smidge more ghee to the pan). Turn down to Medium-Low heat, and flatten. After a few minutes, the nuts should be slightly seared, stir to sear a little more if you’d like, and once the aroma starts coming up, turn-off the heat and add the Maple Syrup to the mixture (while still in the pan, this will heat it up slightly).
Then, put the Maple Syrup topping mixture on the French Toast & enjoy!
Why these ingredients?
Some of the ingredients that I have in this recipe may sound slightly “odd” for some… like Turmeric, Saffron, and even Coriander, especially when it comes to a more traditional American breakfast food. I will say with the amount used, you more than likely won’t even notice via taste that those are in there, though they should still help to create a subtle positive influence for you overall. Below I’ve mentioned or highlighted, the reasons for these items in the recipe, so give it a try and see what you think.
- Cardamom is a more cooling spice and a fantastic herb that supports digestion. It also has been used traditionally for the absorption of nutrients, while also being nice for many Vata issues like asthma, detoxifies the caffeine from coffee, and is helpful for the spleen and pancreas.
- Turmeric helps with digestion of proteins, and wheat has gluten-proteins, and the eggs also have proteins. Additionally, Turmeric is warming and supportive for the digestive system, and also helps with the flora balance. They say that Turmeric also gives one the Divine Goddess’s energy and prosperity, cleanses the Chakras, and helps a person be more limber and flexible.
- Black Pepper helps Turmeric become more bioavailable by up to 2,000xs! Whenever using Turmeric, if you want truly desire the benefits, add just a little bit of black pepper.
- Cane Sugar is very supportive during Vata Season. Vata is the elements of Ether and Air, while Sugars are Earth and Water. These are opposites and help create balance in this season. While you can use other sugars, remember to never directly heat honey as it makes subtle toxins. Also, Cane Sugar does have it’s benefits while used in moderation. It helps build strength and is cooling. It also helps remind us that we need to digest the sweetness of life in the physical.
- Ginger is also another nice digestive spice. You can use fresh or ground ginger if you would like, especially if you’re trying to balance more of the Pitta in your system.
- Vanilla is both Pitta and Vata balancing.
- Pumpkin Spice Mix – all these ingredients are fantastic for this time of year
- Ghee is nourishing to the entire body, helps to soften dried out tissues. Ghee also has high amounts of butyric acid which help to feed the flora of the small intestine, helps the metabolism, and is great for helping the body burn fat deposits. Ghee also helps to transport herbs deeper into the body.
- Saffron is balancing for all, and helps to create circulation, food assimilation (hence also helping with the assimilation of life into the things you can use), and helps one develop love and compassion. It is traditionally used also for gastrointestinal disorders, regulation of the spleen, asthma, cold, cough, and depression.
- Pumpkin Seeds, or Pepita Seeds, are high in zinc, magnesium, omega-3’s, as well as many other benefits. These seeds are totally called for in Vata season.
- Walnuts, just look up all the benefits of walnuts.
- Coriander is also another digestive herb while also helping with allergies, and said to help neutralize toxins. Oh, it is also helpful in flatulence (a vata thing).
- Cinnamon helps with digestion of sugars, and while being very similar to cardamom in its properties, it is slightly more on the heating side, and when used with cardamom is a nice thing as we’re transitioning from the hot months to the cold months. Cinnamon also helps the agni, digestive fire, helps one generate energy, and strengthens one’s constitution… just to name some of the many fantastic things with this herb/spice.