By Gabriele Kushi
When the autumn colors are embracing the northern hemisphere, we can look for seasonal foods that support the tendencies of the season. It is the season of harvesting, letting go and changing, and also of planting seeds. For some animals, it is the rutting season--laying down the starting point for new creation in the spring. Applying the unifying principles of the universe to your kitchen will help you sort out what to eat at this time and be your start for preparing a dish with seasonal vegetables and ingredients to satisfy you— mind, body, and soul.
According to the 5-element transformation wheel, the autumn season brings the downward condensed force, also called metal energy, the contracting energy that corresponds with both grief and hope and influences the health of the lungs and large intestines. Activities that support these organs are grief rituals where you can weep about things and people you have lost.
Foods that support these organs are short and medium grain rice, sweet brown rice, and mochi. Choose vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, daikon radish, onion, and lotus root; fruits like peaches and pears; legumes like navy beans and soybeans, including tofu and tempeh; and nuts like walnut or hickory nut. If you are eating animal food, let your first choice be very small amounts of cod, flounder, or halibut, and then organic turkey or beef. Drink mint tea and use spirulina as your algae source.
The metal energy is found in various aspects of these recommended foods. Metal energy corresponds with hot and pungent tastes such as garlic, scallions, watercress, onions, chives, grated daikon, gingerroot, garlic, mustard, and horseradish.
The metal element also corresponds with the color white. The white-hued vegetables of autumn--garlic, onions, cabbage, and others--contain allicin, a phytochemical that may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Other phytochemicals, polyphenols, found in white-hued pears and green grapes, may reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Establish rhythmic order in your life, and use the color white more often in your cooking. You can even wear it sometimes. Do daily breathing exercises to strengthen your respiration and bring resolve to your body, emotions, mind, and energy. Bring clarity and peace to the world by gathering your neighbors and friends and sharing your culinary delights.
For Fall Classes and Online Study Programs visit www.kushiskitchen.com