When the seasons turn, I revisit each meal with the intention to balance my body according to Ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of holistic healing, in which all of nature is divided into three doshas, or element qualities: Pitta is Fire and Water, Vata is Air and Ether, and Kapha is Earth and Water. Each season is governed by one of these doshas as well. We are moving from the summer Pitta season into the autumn Vata season. It is a slow transition that happens over the month of September. At times we still feel the heat of Pitta, and at other times we feel the cool Vata breeze. As we stroll into Vata season, we can keep our bodies in balance and better defend against those impending sneezes and sniffles, by eating foods that are dense, oily, and rich, to nourish us through the colder seasons.
For breakfast, I usually whirl up a smoothie during the summer. Produce is abundant all summer, and I enjoy a rich, luscious, green smoothie. But these early September mornings I have been craving granola. Thick rolled oats, lightly toasted with a variety of nuts, topped with some fresh almond milk. The carbohydrates leave me feeling full, and the protein in the nuts gives me plenty of energy to tackle the day’s teaching schedule and to bring in the remains of our garden’s harvest.
This granola recipe is simple, takes just a few minutes to put together, and is unsweetened. I prefer my granola unsweetened, as too much sugar in the morning makes me feel nauseous. My husband prefers his granola sweetened, so he adds a spoonful of maple syrup to his bowl. What I love about granola is you can make it your own by adding or subtracting any number of ingredients. If you love almonds, add more! If you prefer cashews, use fewer almonds, etc. If you choose to add dried fruits like raisins, you will want to add them after you roast the granola. Otherwise, they will burn.
Simple September Sugar Free Granola
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup dried coconut
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3/4 cup oil, sunflower or coconut
1. Add all dry ingredients into a big bowl. Then add oil and stir to coat.
2. Spread a thin layer of mixed granola on a baking sheet. You could use parchment paper, but I simply place it on the pan without the added paper.
3. Place baking sheet in pre-heated oven for about 12-13 minutes. When timer goes off, remove and carefully mix granola. Return to oven for about another 10 minutes. If you like your granola roasted to a rich brown, you might keep it in for a few more minutes. If you prefer a milder, remove sooner.
4. After the second roast, remove granola and let cool completely. Store granola in a glass jar.
*I like to add freshly made almond milk to my morning breakfast bowl. I soak 1 cup of raw almonds over-night, and in the morning I rinse the almonds and then place them in my vitamix blender, with about 4-5 cups of water. Blend and then strain almonds with a cheesecloth. Homemade almond milk will last a few days in the fridge.
Eating according to the season will have you feeling balanced and energized. Food is an important component of my own personal practice. I think carefully about my ingredients and their impact on my own body, and the on planet’s body. When you make your own food from scratch, you are certain to be giving your body wholesome, nourishing, healing energy.
Get more like this—Subscribe to our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photo: Angie Follensbee-Hall