In our written series of Yoga Yummies we will venture, with a light-hearted manner, to highlight the magic of chosen power foods, their consumption and origins – and, importantly, how they can invigorate us, bring energy and joy into our daily living while helping us to enliven our yoga routines.
Nourishing nuts – the origins
Today, let’s take a look into the nuts and bolts of a healthy cuisine! Yosef Gikatilla begins his poem, ’The Nut Garden’ with the words: ” The Nut Garden holds things felt and thought/and feeling for thought is always a palace—”. Nuts can indeed grow into mighty oaks providing a contemplative shelter, as nuts are actually fruits that consist of a hard shell and a hidden kernel, a singular seed, identical to tiny acorns that sprout to become trees.
The early humans also recognized the necessity and benefits of nuts, developing a wide variety of nut-cracking tools as early as during the Pleistocene period, which began over two million years ago. Today, we can of course crack our nuts using modern tools, yet we can still witness these techniques being taught to the young as a part of primate behavior.
Nourishing nuts – the vitamin essence
In a less restricted culinary sense, we can consider the family of nutritious nuts extending from almonds to pistachios, from pecans to walnuts, from cashews to earth nuts – all a solid source of fantastic fatty acids in their unsaturated form, as well as fiber, folate and several other amino acids. As nuts are high in protein (especially the peanut) and boast an energy-intense benefit package, they make for an essential part of a vegetarian diet and also provide a desired durability within your yoga exercise as well – they will help in the maintenance of physically demanding static poses such as lunges and hamstring-stretches, as they evenly release their energy to that yoga-performing cosmic corpus.
Also, as one cultivates the spiritual health of the heart with mindful contemplation, one can physically help the heart by eating nuts that will gently help to nurture the arteries. To ensure the fairy-like essence of a glowing skin, consume nuts for their vitamin E and fuel yourself with nutty energy for their high concentration in vitamin C.
Nourishing nuts – choose & store
The harvesting season for nuts is during the fall, and they make for an excellent ingredient on any shelf also due to their longevity and preservative qualities in regular room temperatures or refrigerated if so preferred. Once choosing your nuts in the shop, make sure (if buying from the counter) to sniff and to rattle them, feel their weight and ensure their surface is free of cracks.
Nourishing nuts – eat & enjoy!
Munch them raw or roasted, throw a good handful into a veggie-wok or salad, generously sprinkle them on top of a fruity smoothie. Prepare a delicious portion inspired by Bulgarian breakfast by combining natural yoghurt, honey and nuts into a stomach-nourishing, energy-invigorating mix. Combine them with gojiberries, cranberries, raisins and other dried fruits for a rich, rewarding culinary combo!