One of the best things for strengthening the digestive track is to—spice it up! Spices (and this includes herbs) are like digestive aides. They support the digestion of food from the time it enters the body to the time it exits. Rich in vitamins and minerals, spices prevent toxins from accumulating in the gut. In-turn, allowing for better absorption and fostering good health.
Eating healthy is not just about organic, fresh and local vegetables, good fats, and whole grains. It also considers if the food can be easily digested.
Spices can be intimidating, at first. The variety of spices alone can make it challenging to figure out which ones to buy. I recommend starting with a 4-5 dry spices. A few different spices is all you need to get the party started. Then, it’s having fun experimenting with different combinations, adjusting the quantity, or when to incorporate them into the pot. Even with just a few of the same spices, making these types of adjustments can change a dishes flavor.
My recipe below will help you get started on your spice journey. It is a tri-doshic recipe, meaning it’s balanced for all, in every season. It will not just boost the flavor of your dish along with adding a little S. Asian touch, but the ingredients will foster healthy enzymes, reduce inflammation, help with the absorption of nutrients and much more. Spice it up.
Total Time: 20-25 minutes
- Your favorite vegetable cleaned and chopped like: 4 cups or so of greens (kale, chard, collard, spinach) or 2 cups of green beans, cauliflower, potatoes, yams, or squash
- 2 T ghee or coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- pink salt/sea salt to taste
- 1-2 T chopped cilantro/dill/mint
- lemon juice
- 1-2 T water (optional)
1. In a saute pan or wide bottom saucepan, heat the ghee or coconut oil on medium heat. The consistency of the oil will be less dense as the oil becomes hotter. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add the mustard seeds. They should sizzle a bit. If not wait until they start to sizzle and crackle this is when the essential oils and flavor begins to release. Then add cumin seeds. Let them toast a slight bit. About 10-20 seconds. Check out my video to see a taarka (hot oil infusion) in action.
2. Next add the veggies, turmeric, ginger and salt. Stir until the ingredients are mixed well and the veggies begin to sweat (for greens cover until they wilt then stir). Then cover and reduce the heat if needed (you may not need to do this for zucchini or greens beans since they cook fairly quickly). If the ingredients begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, add a little water. Rinsing your veggies right before cooking may prevent from adding the water.
3. Cook the veggies until they’re 90% cooked. Turn off the stove and immediately add the lemon juice and fresh herbs. Cover and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Go Crazy! Add a few more spices like: 5-6 curry leaves, 1 tsp fennel seeds and/or saute in a small onion, a little minced garlic
In the Winter or late Fall: replace the fresh cilantro/dill/mint with fresh rosemary, oregano, basil, or thyme