To have more balance in my life I should be eating more Bitter, Astringent and Pungent foods. I wasn’t even sure what Bitter, Astringent and Pungent meant, as I had been so long in the Sweet, and Salty aisles.
Should is not a word I like to use but as I am going along my path to better eating habits and lifestyle I am giving Ayurveda a look. I was reading about the types, Vatta, Pitta and Kapha. (I know what you are thinking, who wants to be put into a neat box and labelled but I thought, keep an open mind.) If it makes me healthy and it does no harm then I will try it. I seem to be Kapha, hence, the Bitter Pungent and Astringent food suggestions.
I had a Sweet food relapse two nights ago, milk chocolate covered marshmallow Easter eggs and licorice. What a shame the eggs weren’t dark chocolate!
Here are some examples in no particular order:
|Dark Chocolate||Black Pepper||Cranberries|
|Brussels Sprouts||Red Pepper||Apples|
|Cloves||Fish sauce (nampla)||Quinoa|
|Olives (uncured)||Brie Cheese||Cauliflower|
|Mustard Greens||Roasted Garlic||Dried Fruits|
I was pleasantly surprised to see dark chocolate on the Bitter list, more specifically dark chocolate over 60%, preferably 80% and over. (Milk chocolate contains only has about 40% chocolate if that.) I am not a great fan of radicchio because it really is bitter, but I am willing to give it a try again adding something else to disguise the flavour. Something to think about in summer. Kale, I can try growing. Uncured olives are a bit too bitter, much prefer the cured ones.
On the Pungent list I saw Anise. I love licorice which is not the same as anise but of a similar flavour. Sansho (a Japanese spice) is great as a condiment with eel. I love this in summer. It is supposed to give you lots of energy, but I think they were meaning the eel.
I cannot get enough anchovies or sardines. I just love them. Kimchee, I overdosed on it over the summer and now don’t want to look at it. Just give me a little time. Vegemite. Superb. Love it. I have a tub of it in the fridge. I also have peanut butter, a local one that is made just from pressed peanuts. It is very natural tasting. I am now a huge fan. Crunchy is without salt, Smooth with added salt. Just picked some more up yesterday.
Astringent quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is from Latin America and is the seed of a leafy plant that is related to spinach but it tastes and looks like a grain. I have looked for it and found it in health food shops. It is very expensive to buy here in New Zealand. I haven’t tried it yet. Will look at recipes to see what I can make first. Buckwheat soba noodles I love, and it tastes very nice with grazed daikon radish and soba dipping sauce. The perfect lunch. I don’t eat nearly enough beans or lentils. Time to get the recipe books out again. I love food. Eating, cooking, smelling and looking at it, sharing it. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. Time to go. Ciao!
*Vegemite is an Australian black paste made from yeast extract that is used as a breakfast spread on toast. Very high in Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B9. Similar to Marmite. It is an acquired taste.