Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Ayurvedic snack: Apricot-Almond Energy Balls
Although I love everything that has to do with food and nutrition, it is sometimes tricky to be confronted with its benefits and contraindications. Although I feel very good the difference whether I apply the Ayurvedic diet guidelines or not, I try to be flexible as well since enjoyment is more important I believe. Every now and then we need a sweet snack. The Veda's even write about enjoyment as called Kama in Sanskrit. It is even stated as one of the four life goals that we should pursuit. Besides enjoyment practicality is also an issue. For me the in between (rare) snacks are the biggest challenges since I am often on the go and I don't want to buy processed food. My Pitta every now and then flares up when I am getting very hungry. And for these types (Pitta) it is very important to eat instantly when you get hungry. Otherwise Agni starts to get out of balance. These almond-apricot energy balls are the perfect solution for that: easy to make and to take with you.
Recipe (serving 12/14 balls)
Soak 200 grams of dried Damascus apricots for 1-2 hours
Roast 50 grams of almonds
Roast 75 grams of sunflower seeds
Half a teaspoon vanilla powder
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
Roast some grated coconut
Put everything in the blender and form the balls. If the mixture is too sticky add some extra seeds or chill in the fridge for easier handling.
Roll the balls through the grated coconut. And ready to serve!
Ayurvedic nutrition review
Nuts are filled with nutrients and therefore best for Vata types (that have more tendency to be malnourished). However, nuts can be hard to digest so therefore they should not be taken in large amounts. It is better to take them more frequently than to consume bigger amounts at the same time. In order to improve the digestive capacity you can soak or lightly roast them. This also releases more nutrients and helps to preserve them longer. Almonds in particular are the best nut for Vata and are a nervine, aphrodisiac, demulcent, laxative, anti-carcinogenic and good for dry cough. They help to increase bone marrow, Ojas, semen, strengthen the kidneys, reproductive organs and brain. The skins need to be taken off since these are considered to be indigestible in Ayurvedic nutrition.
Virya = warming
Apricots have a cleansing effect on the body and can work as a laxative. They function as a protector of mucus membranes, especially the lungs and throat. They also help for anemia. In general apricots have a cooling action so are suitable for Pitta types. However if the taste is too sour the action is heating. That means less beneficial for Pitta types but more beneficial for Kapha types.
Virya = cooling
Coconut is very suitable for high pitta conditions because of its sweet rasa and cooling Virya. Besides its refrigerant quality, it is a demulcent so soothes and protects the internal membranes and acts as a skin protector.
Virya = cooling
As you can conclude from the above, for Kapha types these balls are a little less beneficial. The Kapha types are able to digest these ingredients but the metabolism is in general slower. Therefore, it is important for them to eat them in moderation and eat these only when you are hungry. I have added some lemon zest which kindles the digestive fire and therefore make the balls also more appropriate for the Kapha types. No worries a few balls will not aggravate your constitution (in case you have no severe Kapha imbalance). And it is always better than processed sweets.
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