I've been struggling so much lately with what the heck to eat for breakfast. I live in Montana, and it's winter, soooo...smoothies just aren't sounding too appealing! The thought of a frozen breakfast when it's snowing....well...it's not my first. I love oatmeal but I want some variety. I don't want eggs everyday because I just don't. Even though sometimes I do. ;) So basically it's been a daily stressor and I've managed well by eating cinnamon toast and a banana most days. Ready for something else...
I've been seeing lots of people posting about kitchari lately, and since I'm obviously into natural medicine and herbal things, I thought I would check it out.
Kitchari is an ayurvedic dish used during cleansing, detox, and healing treatments. It's easy to digest, high in protein and carbs, highly nutritious, and it's eaten for every meal during treatment. The main two ingredients are typically basmati rice and mung dal beans, but you can swap out the rice for millet from what I've read. I actually decided to do just that, since I wanted to try something different. I can't remember having eaten millet, ever, but I'm liking it! Apparently it's a grass that's been a diet staple since pretty much the beginning of time. It's high in carbs and protein, plus B vitamins and other nutrients. So, together, these two make a nutrient rich, well-rounded meal that you can jazz up lots of different ways.
Let me interject here to say that I am NOT eating this as any specific treatment. I'm not following recommendations for specific issues or being extremely strict with recipes.
Aside from all wonderful healing purposes, this is a nutritious and tasty meal that doesn't cost very much and is easy to make - all reason enough for me to love it and check it out.
I simmered my mung beans and milllet after soaking them overnight, then sprinkled on some cinnamon, coconut flake, and walnuts. I'll be keeping the base the neutral in the recipe posted below, and will just add my flavors each time I make it. I plan to use it mostly for breakfast but this way allows me to also use it for lunch or dinner if I want.
One of the reasons I decided to give this a try, besides it being a healthy and easy plant-based breakfast, is that I've dealt with gut issues for almost 10 years now. They aren't fun. I don't have them quite as badly as I used to, but I definitely have a sensitive stomach that could use some natural settling. I went through a period of about 5 years with chronic stomach pain, appetite loss, vomiting, chronic nausea, etc. Sometimes I'd throw up trying to eat. That actually happened a lot. I would throw up randomly too, and could never really pinpoint exactly what the cause could be. I do wonder if it could have been related to my cyst (which I'll talk about some other time), and honestly that would be great because hopefully that means those problems are gone!
Either way, why not give my tum a break to start the day and do something easy that I can change up as needed. I like the fact that I can make it sweet or savory, and it means I don't have to think that much first thing in the morning.
Please let me know in the comments below if you decide to give it a try!
Here's the recipe from ayurveda.com - I adjusted mine a little since I really dislike cumin. :) This amount made enough for about 4 breakfast bowls.
If you can't find hing spice near you, here's some on Amazon.com. There's also millet and mung beans on there if you wanna get your shopping done. I also found this ready-to-go kitchari spice mix to make it even easier for ya.
1 cup mung dal beans (split yellow if you can find them)
1/2 cup millet or basmati rice
6 cups water
1/2 to 1 inch ginger root, chopped or grated
A bit of mineral salt (1/4 tsp. or so)
2 tsp. ghee
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)
Pick through your beans to make sure there aren't any stones. Simmer together in one pot until soft, about 20 - 30 minutes. Saute spices in ghee, or clarified butter, and add to the pot. Season as you like, and enjoy. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
You can read more about ayurveda and kitchari on the The Ayurvedic Institute, but here's a little snippet of what they have to say about it:
"Kitchari is basic to the Ayurvedic way of life. Composed of basmati rice and mung dal, it has as many variations as there are cooks who prepare it. A one-pot dish, kitchari originates on the Asian subcontinent and has references dating back thousands of years. The skillful use of spices and vegetables can produce balancing effects for the three bodily doshas. It has many qualities but being quick and easy to prepare makes it a popular dish for almost every lifestyle."