Vata Diet and Recipes - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Vata Diet and Recipes

Vata Diet and Recipes

Elements- Ether & AirVata Diet & Recipes


  • Dry
  • Light
  • Cool
  • Subtle
  • Rough
  • Mobile
  • Clear

Season- Later Fall, Early Winter

Time of Life- 60+, Menopause and beyond

Time of Day- 2-6 AM/PM

Tastes that Balance Vata – Sweet, Sour, Salty

Tastes that Increase Vata- Bitter, Pungent, Astringent

In general, pacify Vata dosha with foods that are cooked, spiced, warm and balanced with healthy fats. Vata dosha is composed of ether and air, and has no fire. It is a cold, light dosha and should be treated with warm food rather than raw. Consuming raw food will only serve to exacerbate any the mobile qualities of Vata. Vata is known to have an irregular digestive fire, therefore, the raw food can be quite taxing on the digestive system.

It is best to avoid cold foods and beverages, coffee, alcohol, dry & light foods such as rice cakes, dried fruits, gas producing vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels) if you suspect you have a Vata imbalance. Vatas get the green light for heavier comfort foods, wheat and root vegetables.

Vata Diet Shopping List

Fruits- Sweet Fruits. Avoid dried and astringent fruits

Apricots, Avocados, Bananas, Berries, Cherries, Coconut, Fresh Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Lemons, Mango, Melons (Sweet), Oranges (Sweet), Papaya, Peaches, Pineapples, Plums.

Vegetables- Cooked Vegetables. Avoid raw vegetables.

Asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, green branes, okra (cooked), onion (cooked), potato (sweet), radishes, zucchini

Grains- Heavy sweet grains. Avoid dry, light grains

Oats (cooked), rice, wheat

Animal Proteins- Avoid Beef, chicken/turkey (white meat), eggs (fried or scrambled)

Lamb, pork, rabbit, venison,

Legumes- Avoid legumes (produces gas)

May consume mung beans, tofu, black and red lentils

Nuts- All nuts are acceptable for Vata

Sweeteners- All sweeteners (save for white sugar)

Spices- All spices are fair game

Dairy- In moderation, all Dairy is beneficial to Vata

Oils- All oils are beneficial to Vata

Vata Balancing Recipes


Golden Milk

Recipe courtesy of Laura Plumb

Serves 2


  • 2 c fresh Milk
  • 2 t Turmeric powder, or a 2-inch coin of fresh Turmeric root, peeled
  • A dusting of fresh cracked Pepper, or a small pinch of ground Cardamom, or both


  1. Put the ingredients in saucepan.
  2. Whisk the milk gently while bringing to a gentle boil.
  3. Serve and drink warm.

Warning: Wear an apron. Turmeric stains!

Dairy Free Golden Milk

Serves 2


  • 2 t Turmeric powder or a 2-inch coin of fresh turmeric root, peeled
  • 2 c fresh Almond milk* or Coconut Milk
  • 2 t raw Honey, optional
  • 1 t Ghee or Coconut oil, optional


  1. Add the ingredients to a blender on high speed and mix for a few minutes to heat the drink.
  2. Enjoy it warm.

For Vata: Blend in a date and skip the honey. Add a shake of ginger and a dash of cardamom

Squash, Carrot, and Ginger Soup

Recipe courtesy of Margo Bachman

Serves 6


  • 1 medium to large butternut squash
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 8 cups water + extra for baking squash
  • 8 medium carrots
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger, 1/4-inch thick each
  • 1 (13- or 14-ounce) can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and place it cutside down on a baking sheet.
  3. Add 1/4 inch of water.
  4. Clean and scrub the sweet potatoes, pierce them deeply with a fork, and place on a separate baking sheet.
  5. Bake the squash and the sweet potatoes until soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. While the squash and sweet potatoes are cooking, place 8 cups of water in a large soup pot and begin heating on high.
  7. Scrub the carrots, chop off and discard both ends, and chop into 2-inch pieces.
  8. Add the carrots and ginger to the water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the carrots and ginger rest in the vegetable broth that’s been created.
  9. When the squash and sweet potatoes are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
  10. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and add it to the soup pot.
  11. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into pieces, and add them to the soup.
  12. Add the coconut milk, spices, and salt.
  13. Blend the mixture in a blender or in the pot with a wand mixer until smooth.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Raisins and Chipotle

This delicious little seed helps regulate insulin levels, kills parasites, and supports prostate health. Roasted Pumpkin seeds with raisins and chipotle are also high in zinc.

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Divine Saffron Oatmeal Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Manju Joshi 

Serves two


  • 1 cup Almond/Cashew milk
  • ½ cup organic, steel cut oats
  • 1 Tbs organic ghee or coconut oil
  • Pinch of saffron (three-four stems.)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 small banana or any other seasonal fruits/berries (optional)
  • Honey or brown sugar (optional)


In a small sauce pan mix milk and oats. Place it on the medium flame and bring to boil. Add saffron, cinnamon, chopped nuts and ghee/coconut oil. Cook for two more minutes or until the oats are thoroughly cooked.

Remove from heat. Add honey or brown sugar if desired. Pour in a bowl and add fruits.

Inhale the aroma and enjoy warm.

Note  Substitute cooked Quinoa, cooked brown rice etc. for oats, if desired. Cooking time may vary for each grain.

– See more at:

Potato Latkes- A Lighter Ayurvedic Version

An Ayurvedic preparation of Latkes has several minor changes: instead of wheat flour, substitute easy-to-digest and lighter spelt flour.

Potatoes can be a little hard to digest because of their cold and heavy qualities. Black pepper is a remedy because it stimulates digestion.

Sunflower oil lubricates the digestive tract and counteracts potato’s dryness. If you’ve never experienced potato’s dryness, compare the difference between a baked potato and a latke. The baked potato may leave your mouth feeling parched. Many people who suffer from gas and bloating will be surprised to find that it’s often due to dryness, so have a latke!

Medicine for Vata/Winter

Oily, heavy, salty, and slightly sweet, Potato Latkes strengthen those with a dry or fragile Vata constitution. However, latkes and other fried foods are aggravating to oily Pitta and heavy Kapha-types.

Kitchari for the American Kitchen

Cleanse Your Body

If your belly feels sluggish after too many treats, Kitchari is an easy way to cleanse your digestion and restore freshness.

Kitchari offers a true delight to both your body and senses. It is a heart warming synergy of beans, basmati rice, and digestive spices that is easy to prepare. This time tested formula, centuries old, is a complete protein, rich in fiber, cleansing to the digestive tract, and will act to bulk up stool for easier elimination.

To maximize the many benefits your will receive from kitchari, eat it for several meals in a row, such as lunch and dinner on the same day. Once you experience the benefits of kitchari, you’ll see how feeling good again is just a few steps away. It just may become addictive! Those who avoid beans because of digestive difficulties should use mung beans or even green beans, which are easier to digest than chick peas.

Invigorate Your Metabolism

Spices are the difference between a tasty meal and a bland one, and also the difference between healthy and poor circulation. A well-spiced dish can stimulate your circulation, invigorate your metabolism, and clear out toxins. In this recipe, cloves open up your pores and enhance blood flow to the skin, reducing puffiness and lymphatic congestion. Ginger stimulates the heart. Cinnamon warms your metabolism. Reach for these spices with enthusiasm, but remember: Too much spice is harsh and can leave a burning feeling the intestines. Be aware of your body’s reaction to spices. Those with ulcers or inflammation will not benefit from too many spices, but it is helpful for those with sluggish digestion.

About Kitchari

Kitchari is Ayurveda’s perfect food, indicated in times of recovery as well as cleansing. Kitchari can even be the centerpiece of a mono-diet or fast, as it is a simple food that supplements the healing process. As with Grandma’s chicken soup, there are as many ways to make kitchari as there are reasons to consume it. Typical modifications include vegetables such as carrots, greens, zucchini, or potatoes. Spices like cumin, cinnamon, or black pepper can be included, as well as even toasted nuts or coconut. Technically, a kitchari is any dish combining rice and legumes. Traditional kitcharies use mung beans, available at most Asian food stores, because they are an easiest legume to digest.

This kitchari is especially suited to Kapha and Vata dosha.

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Quinoa, Walnut and Date Warm Cereal

Earthy quinoa with crunchy walnuts is a breakfast of champions. Sweetened by juicy dates and served up nice and hot, Quinoa Walnut Date Warm Cereal takes the crisp edge off of a blustery fall morning.

Protein Packed for Reduced Sugar Cravings

Quinoa Walnut Date Warm Cereal is a sturdy breakfast that can help curb carb cravings and so you maintain a healthy weight. Often, carbohydrate and sugar cravings are protein cravings in disguise. If you crave carbs, make quinoa your first choice. Quinoa provides the satisfaction of carbohydrates, but also feeds your hidden protein craving.
Quinoa offers more protein than any other whole grain in a nice, easy to digest package. Its high quantity of protein coupled with walnuts sustains the hot, demanding appetite of pitta, while the grounding warmth makes vata feel stable and strong. Quinoa is light and slightly scraping, making it a choice grain for kaphas.

Blood Building

Quinoa is rich in iron, and restores strength to deficient blood. It contains more calcium than milk, and is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, strengthening kidney yang. Magnesium relaxes and nourishes the heart and muscles, while it promotes heart function.

Nourishing After Illness

The simple and satisfying “pseudo-grain” known is especially attractive for those with weak digestion or recovering from illness. It is high in fiber, soothing to the digestive tract, and slightly cooling, relieving inflammatory conditions. Plus it is free of gluten, a common allergen found in wheat and other grains, which contributes to its digestibility and increasing popularity.

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