In Traditional Chinese medicine, Autumn represents the beginning of the Yin cycle. This is a time where people, animals, and plants begin to slow down and turn in for the coming winter months. In Autumn, we move from the external, expansive nature of summer to a more internal nature. While we still have a few more months until the winter days, autumn is a time to prepare! Autumn is considered to be a “dry” time, therefore, time to nourish yin. This dryness may reflect as dry/itchy skin, dry cough, sore throats, sinus congestion, headaches, constipation.
Giving attention to what we eat may be all the medicine we need sometimes. Whether you are looking for inspiration or seeking a way to nourish your yin, here are a few simple autumn recipes the whole family can enjoy as we indulge in the beauty of these Fall months.
- 4 beetroots
- 1 cup of Greek or goat yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of dill
- 1 small sweet onion
- Grate or chop the beetroot finely into a salad bowl.
- Mix together the yogurt, dill, and finely chopped onion.
- Pour mixture over the beetroot and all it to sit for 20 minutes.
Beetroot nourishes the blood. Yogurt nourishes the yin, benefits the intestines, and cools the system. Together, the ingredients create a cooling, moistening salad.
You might be thinking, “…Porridge? How boring! I already know this!” But try adding the following few ingredients to enhance the yin nourishing aspects.
- 1 cup oats
- 2 ½ cups water
- Oats can be cooked on a stovetop, or you can try soaking the oats overnight before cooking.
- While cooking, add a bit of tahini (depending on how much you desire), add in small chopped pieces of apple and/or pear.
- Voila! A simple yin nourishing breakfast
Oats are a warming Qi tonic for the earth center of our bodies: the Spleen and Stomach. This is especially great for constipation. Adding in tahini, apples, and pears will help nourish and strengthen the yin.
Carrot and Tofu Quiche
This is an egg-free and dairy-free quiche!
- 4 carrots
- 1 pound tofu
- Pinch of salt
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon of dill seed
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Sprinkle of sesame seeds
- One 9″ pastry pie dish
- Steam the carrots until soft, and then strain and mash.
- In a separate bowl, blend the tofu with some of the leftover carrot water and add a pinch of salt. Use enough water to give the tofu a creamy consistency.
- Finely chop the onion and garlic, add to the tofu mixture with the grated orange rind, dill, and parsley.
- Stir in the mashed carrots and mix ingredients well.
- Pour mixture into the 9″ pastry dish, sprinkle some sesame seeds and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
The combination of tofu, carrot, and parsley provides nourishment for the yin, blood, and qi. The onion, garlic, dill, and orange rind add warmth as well as counteract any dampness or stagnation that may occur from the richness of a pastry.
And last but not least, what is life without a little sweet treat?
- 2 cups sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ cup of honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Dry roast the sesame seeds until you can smell them, but be careful not to burn them!
- Grind them as finely as possible, then stir in the other ingredients and press them together.
- Let the mixture cool and harden.
- Wet your hands and shape the mixture into little balls, the size of marbles, and they are ready to serve!
Sesame seeds strengthen the yin, and honey acts as a sweet tonic for the qi. Eating a small quantity of these treats will certainly help counteract any dryness.