The word ‘equinox’ is derived from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night), and after the Summer months, this time of year is for finding more balance in life (especially if any of us ‘over did it’ in the Summer).
Autumn is also characterised very much by wind, the life cycle of plants, unpredictable weather, and the changing of our habits as we perhaps adopt a different approach (consciously or subconsciously) to this time of year. All of these aspects are very much linked to the Ayurvedic dosha of Vata, which in itself is all about movement, change, and coolness. (To find out more about Ayurveda, the doshas and Vata, click HERE).
We might notice this aspect of Vata becoming more apparent at this time of year – especially if you yourself are a Vata-type dosha. Feeling ‘ungrounded’ or anxious, needing warmer foods and drinks, feeling the cold a little more, noticing drier skin on the hands, elbows, knees and legs, cracking or ‘popping’ joints, becoming more easily tired, and getting easily thrown ‘out of balance’ are all strong characteristics of an excess of Vata.
In order to find balance with this dosha, it’s important to eat grounding, warm and nourishing meals with more fats and protein, develop daily routines, and to make meditation a priority. Slowing down and building strength are also important – just as important as making time for rest and comfort.
Specific spices to balance or ‘ground’ Vata are cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, star anise, turmeric, ashwagandha and licorice.
Kitchari is a fantastic dish to make at this time of year too I’ll post a recipe for this next week), since its extremely nourishing, warming, comforting, healthy and is often used when detoxing as it contains such beneficial ingredients and gives the digestive system a slight rest (very good if you’ve spent most of Summer drinking too much alcohol or eating only hard-to-digest raw foods).
Due to all of the above then, it seemed like the perfect excuse to make some of these walnut, maple and ginger cookies….. Healthy fats from walnuts, grounding ginger, natural maple sweetness and calming oats make this the perfect Vata balancing snack. Make up a batch of these when you’re in need of balance (or in need of cookies), and dip them in tea to make the whole thing extra comforting.
(Makes roughly 20 depending upon size of cookie)
2 cups oats
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 ½ tsp baking powder
4 handfuls walnuts
6 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 flax egg (2 tbsp flax and 4-6 tbsp water, left for about 10-15 minutes to set)
4 tbsp walnut oil
1 handful of crystallised ginger, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 175C (I used a fan oven setting) and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper
- Add the oats, buckwheat, baking powder and 2 handfuls of walnuts to the food processor
- Whizz until everything forms a flour-like consistency
- Place the ‘flour’ in a large bowl
- Roughly chop the other 2 handfuls of walnuts
- Add the walnuts, maple syrup, ginger, walnut oil and flax ‘egg’, to the bowl and mix well to form a doughy consistency
- Separate into small balls and then flatten onto the baking paper. **Rolling the balls with damp hands makes it much easier and less messy!**
- Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until you can smell them and they start to brown
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack
- Share! These will stay fresh for 1-2 weeks