Let’s talk about the season’s energy. With the arrival of spring-summer, one can sense the change in energy, apart from the heat in April/May. In traditional Chinese medicine, each organ corresponds to a season, taste, time of day, etc. Including seasonal food in our diet strengthens the corresponding organ for that season.
Organs associated with this time of the year are liver, gall bladder, spleen, stomach, and pancreas. Food that nurtures liver and gallbladder are barley (grain), anything growing upward such as sprouts, leeks, suha (dill), coriander, green onions, and leafy greens. Since the taste of the liver is ‘sour’, include food such as lime, green apples, and apple cider vinegar, which help discharge liver excesses. Add shiitake mushrooms in your diet, as it dissolves fat in the liver. Spleen, stomach, and pancreas would benefit from millets (of the sweeter variety like foxtail millet), melons, and sweeter vegetables such as corn, carrots, onions, etc.
Also, since cooling foods activate our body, add chia seeds, watermelon, honeydew melon, cucumber, mint, sesame, white raddish, pomegranate, coconut water, fennel, poppy seeds, and fenugreek seeds to the diet. Opt for cooking styles such as blanching, quick sauté, medium boil, steaming, one-hour pressed salad (with rock/sea salt). Go for boiled grains as opposed to pressure cooked, and quick marinated pickles. Avoid alcohol, sugar (extremely expansive, causing liver energy to rise quickly and resulting in migraines), big portions of fruit (keep it under 500 grams a day), and reduce oil and salt intake.
Carrot Sprouted Moong Bean Salad (Serves 4)
Green sprouted moong (steamed): ¼ cup
Carrot: One, large and grated
Red bell pepper: ½, skinned and diced
Ginger: 1 tsp, grated
Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
Green chilli: 1 small, chopped
Curry leaves: 10
Fresh coriander: 1 tbsp
In a skillet, heat oil, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Once the popping stops, add chilli and curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds. Now, add this to the green sprouted moong, red bell pepper, ginger, and carrots. Add coriander leaves and lime-toss in the oil dressing before serving.