Cooler temperatures are here. The mornings and evenings have been much colder and I find myself getting into fall vibes right away. I slept in a bit longer on the weekend, cozied up under a blanket on the couch, and I am starting to crave fall foods, like warm soups and casseroles already!
Due to the cooler weather and the increase in wind, I have already noticed some dryness in my system over the past few days. My skin is a bit rougher, and my eyes felt really dry. Time to adjust my diet!
But! Summer is officially not over yet, so we can still enjoy some delicious summer fruits and vegetables.
Let’s see what to put in your grocery basket this month.
In Ayurveda we believe that the earth provides us what we need at the exact right moment. What is growing around you at this time of year is exactly what you should be eating. The best way to find out what that is, is to pay a visit to your local Farmers' market and see the abundance that September has to bring.
To help you out I created a list of foods to favour in September.
You can still enjoy the sweetness of berries early in September. Strawberries and raspberries are perfect to make a tart with or stew for a dessert sauce. Yes, you can also can these and preserve them for wintertime.
Melons are still available as well. You can still find watermelon and cantaloupes at your farmer's market. Enjoy these juicy and sweet fruits while they last.
The first week of September was the last week of peaches and plums, but you might still find some to enjoy. Grapes are available as well and get ready for apple and pear season!
"Mornings and evenings have been much cooler, and I find myself getting into fall vibes right away!"
As far as vegetables we can still enjoy an abundance of them. Enjoy sweet corn while it lasts, and the abundance of the tomato harvest. They are juicy and sweet! Fennel is now available as well and is such a delightful vegetable! I love eating it raw in a salad or braising it in the oven with a whole fish. Incredible and different flavour, try it out. Cabbage is also available in different varieties, red, green, Nappa, pick your favourite. You can pickle your cabbage in a jar for the winter, you can quick pickle it for an Asian-type salad or braise it for a more hearty and fall-like meal.
As far as greens, go for broccoli, kale, and chard. Leeks are also available and have that sweet kind of onion flavour that I love. More and more root vegetables will become available like kohlrabi, celeriac root, and of course an abundance of potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Eggplant and zucchini squashes are also a great choice for September, make an oven-baked Moussaka or roast them in the oven with fresh herbs!
I drove by Urban Roots Farm in London, Ontario last Friday I saw their pumpkins ready to be harvested! How exciting!
Plenty to go around at this time of year!
"Enjoy sweet corn while it lasts and the abundance of the tomato harvest."
Herbs and spices
In the summer we have been able to enjoy fresh green herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint. Now we are moving a little bit more towards thyme, rosemary, oregano, and sage season. But you can still enjoy basil in abundance and make your pesto pasta over the weekend.
As far as spices you can slowly bring back some more pungent spices like mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, curry powders, garam masala, and anything dried Italian style.
In the summer we don’t use many spices because they are generally warming to the body and we have enough heat from the sun. Now with colder evenings, it is great to bring them back.
Oh and this is a great time to let go of iced coffees and drinks and introduce the chai latte again! (next month we’ll start with the pumpkin spice latte ;)
As we ease out of pitta (fire) season into vata (wind) season we want our grains to move from rougher and dryer (like millet and barley) towards smoother and heavier, like:
Pancake season is starting! Me and Katarina have enjoyed our first pancake morning yesterday with spelt pancakes with homemade buttermilk. Hearty and warming for a colder morning. We still had peaches with them to stay in the summer vibes for as long as we can.
"The summer is a season of lots of activities and this can easily aggravate the fire of pittas. Take the time to cool and calm down."
Summer is a more vegetarian season or a time to enjoy lighter fish and seafood. Now the cold brings our craving for heavier foods. Meat can come back on the table, but still, we can be moderate and mindful with it, choose meats that are local and sustainably grown to pick the healthiest protein for ourselves.
A great option is to choose meats that are a bit more exotic and therefore less mass-produced like venison, duck, fowl, and rabbit. They might seem a bit daunting to work with at first, but Google a recipe and try it out!
When you choose not to eat animal products go for tempeh and tofu, edamame beans, any type of bean or legume, and add nuts and seeds to your diet.
If you eat meat you get a good amount of fat from that. Other good quality fats are ghee, a great time of year to start adding this to your meals to reduce dryness and to start building good quality insulation. Olive oil and sesame oil are always good choices as well since they are warming oils.
Ease out of coconut oil, since this oil is cooling and slightly drying.
Avocados are still acceptable at this time of year, but they can become too cooling for vata later in the fall.
Good quality local and organic eggs are great, bring back cheese! (I know you are jumping for joy!) Nuts and seeds are a good source of fat as well.
Digestion in September
September can be a tricky month for your digestion though. The heat and activity of the summer can have a negative impact on your belly and you might be struggling a bit with the elimination and digesting of your meals. Be aware of this and careful with bringing back heavier foods. Ease yourself into it and keep adding green leafy vegetables to aid digestion.
Ayurvedic Fall Cleanse
In September we want to start thinking about a cleanse, a reset for body and mind. Ayurveda recommends doing a cleanse in the transition period of summer to fall. From mid-August on temperatures are dropping and we are moving towards winter in the coming months. We need to prepare for this to make sure we survive! Now of course we are going to survive, but we want to get through all seasons feeling good and balanced. An Ayurvedic cleanse is gentle and still nourishing. Read more here about my cleanse coming up in October.
Curious to learn more about how Ayurveda can help you get through the fall? Book a FREE 20-min consult with me now. Click here!
Click the image below to learn more about my upcoming Ayurveda Fall Cleanse.
*Always consult your physician before making adaptations to your lifestyle and diet.