This is a really beautiful recipe. It is delicious, delicately spiced and so soothing for the digestive system as well as for the nervous system. It has a highly calming effect, especially with the addition of healing herbal powders like Shatavari, Ashwaghanda and cinnamon.
A little bit more about the two whose names might be challenging to pronounce, but are not like the other un-pronounceable “nasties” that they interject our foods with these days. Quite on the contrary, Ashwaghanda and Shatavari are widely used to help support immune function, promote balance in the body-mind, reduce anxiety and reduce inflammation among a variety of other things.
Ashwaghanda is a very unique herb. It is a herb that is extensively used in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system that dates back to over 2000 years old. It is most often used as an adaptogen to support or aid anxiety disorders, stress management, arthritis and other joint pain/disorders, menstrual issues and is also often used for reducing inflammation. It is also known as an “Indian ginseng” - Ginseng (for those of you who do not know) is a plant tuber that is used globally for it’s medicinal & healing properties. It is a potent herb that supports mental & physical health.
Excerpt taken from the Aether Herbalist & Apothecary website (which is where you can locate a really affordable, HIGH quality Ashwaghanda powder AND you can get 10% off using the code THEHEALINGROOT at check out!).
“Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress - Cortisol our natural stress hormone is released from the adrenals to mobilize a “fight or flight” response to a perceived imminent danger. Cortisol naturally follows a daily rhythm, rising in the morning to help mobilize the body’s forces for our daily needs and lowering in the evening to allow the body to sleep and perform restorative measures, however the stress of modern human culture chronically activates the cortisol stress response - which can impact delicate glucose and lipid balance as well as vascular integrity, gastrointestinal membrane integrity and nervous system function. Ashwagandha has been shown to promote healthy levels of cortisol and contribute to healthy inflammatory processes, numerous tests prove that this adaptogenic herb can promote the functions of the immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as protect the brain, muscles and joints from long term degeneration.”
“Shatavari is an interesting herb that belongs to the asparagus family. Shatavari simply translates to she who possesses one hundred husbands, illustrating its effects as a women's general and reproductive tonic. This amazing herb has been utilized in Ayurveda for thousands of years, where it is more commonly known as the “Queen of herbs”, it is thought to nourish the primordial divine qualities within women of love, creativity and sensuality. Shatavari is thought to be the main rejuvenating herb for the female form, and is highly effective in problems related to the female reproductive system as well as being a vital ally in increasing longevity, imparting immunity, improve mental function, vigor and adding vitality to the body.
The major active constituents of Shatavari are galactose, arabinose, steroidal glycosides & steroidal saponins - Shatavarins I to IV being highly medicinal. Supporting women through every stage of their lives, Shatavari's main constituents, the steroidal saponins Shatavarins I to IV suggest its use as an oestrogen regulator. This modulation helps to regulate menstrual cycles, manage PMS symptoms, alleviate menstrual cramps and control the amount of blood loss. Shatavari greatly helps with fluid retention and may also be helpful with the uncomfortable bloating often suffered before and sometimes after menstruation.
Shatavari also nourishes the female reproductive system, helping to relieve menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes and insomnia. This phytoestrogen-rich herb naturally helps to balance the hormones responsible for many of the more unpleasant symptoms associated with this change in life, as well as stimulates and balances the production of happy hormones; endorphins, serotonin and dopamine - meaning it can greatly reduce mood swings, irritability and menopause induced depression."
I chose to use the spices Cinnamon, Clove and Ginger for their particular energetic properties. Cinnamon, clove & ginger are all innately warming. This means they are particularly balancing for Vata types who need the extra warmth and the associated calmness that comes in hand with eating Vata balancing spices and foods. All of these spices are also especially used in Ayurveda for their digestive (stimulating particular digestive- enzymes), metabolism-enhancing and blood-sugar regulating properties. Clove is also used for enhancing circulation. Ginger for helping with nausea or tummy cramps. Cinnamon for calming the nervous system and assisting with calming stomach disorders.
For the Pots:
1/4 cup of chia seeds 1/2 cup of filtered water 1/2 cup of soy milk (or you can do 1 full cup of soy milk) 1/2 tsp ground clove 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp shatavari 1/2 tsp ashwaghanda 1/2 tsp stevia liquid or 1 tablespoon of maple or honey
For the Compote:
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen - I used frozen) 1 peach, diced 1 tablespoon of raw honey 2 tablespoons water 1.5 tsp corn flour 1.5 tsp water to make slurry Zest of 1 lemon
In a jar, place all of the ‘chia pot’ ingredients. Mix well & set aside to soak up the water and become “gloopy”. You can make this overnight so that it’s ready for breakfast OR you can make it and wait about half an hour and then tuck in!
To make the compote, place the blueberries in a saucepan along with the water and bring the the boil. Add in the diced peach, the lemon rind. Let it simmer a bit and then add in the honey along with the slurry. To make the slurry, place the cornflour into a small bowl along with equal amounts of water and mix well. Now add in the corn starch slurry and keep simmering the mixture so that it can begin to activate the cornstarch’s thickening properties.
This total cooking process should take about 7-10 minutes. Turn off the heat & let cool to thicken. Place in a jar to keep in the fridge. If you would like your compote thicker, keep simmering. If you would like it looser, you can add a touch of water.
To serve, top with coco nut milk or coconut cream OR just some extra soy milk, and any other additional add-ons you'd like to (goji berries, walnuts and the like!). ENJOY!
- Maria from The Healing Root
Ashwagandha picture: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/432486370450425702/
Shatavari picture: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/391039180121095335/