Summer has finally arrived in Vancouver, and boy- is it a hot one?! I personally thrive in this weather, having been raised in the intense heat of south India. However, the heat does challenge our system (both mind and body), so it's best to take some care to stay balanced through the summer.
There are foods and drinks that are good for keeping the body cool and hydrated in peak summer heat. Here is a recipe for an Ayurvedic favourite - buttermilk.
Traditional buttermilk is made from yogurt and the term is honestly quite a misnomer. It is actually the opposite- a light drink made by removing the fatty component from yogurt. While yogurt can weigh down the system and cause heaviness, buttermilk helps lighten emotions and give the body energy. It’s perfect for summer, and provides a boost of beneficial bacteria for better digestion and assimilation.
Buttermilk that you buy in grocery stores here in North America is quite different than the buttermilk we make in India. It is thick, heavy and fatty. I was vey surprised when I first came across it in my early days in Vancouver. I prefer to make my own buttermilk fresh at home when a recipe calls for it, or if I simply need a good digestive mid-afternoon tonic.
Ayurvedic Buttermilk Recipe
· ¼ cup fresh cold plain yogurt (make your own at home when possible, for best results)
· ¾ cup cold water
· ¼ tsp. cumin powder
· ¼ tsp. coriander leaf (also called cilantro)
· 1 pinch of rock salt (sea salt is an acceptable substitute)
· Place the yogurt and cold water in a blender, and blend for three to five minutes. (one minute if you are using a Vitamix).
· Collect and discard the fatty foam on top (foam may take a minute or 2 to set before you can scoop it off). If the liquid still seems thick or solid white, repeat blending and remove another round of fatty foam. The liquid should be watery but cloudy when finished.
· Add the salt and spices and stir by hand to mix.
· Serve at room temperature.
Also, I made a quick little video on how I make buttermilk at home. Here it is on my facebook page.