Mighty Sattvic Hummus
Many people love hummus but have a really hard time digesting it. One reason can be that you are sensitive to an ingredient like fillers or preservatives if the hummus is store bought. Another reason may be that you are sensitive to the garbanzo beans, or chick peas, that are traditionally used in hummus. Or maybe you are sensitive to garlic.
In Ayurveda, garlic is praised for its Rasayana or rejuvenating, qualities, which make it a desired food. In the West we know garlic for it’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Yet an increasing number of people seem to be developing sensitivities and adverse reactions to garlic, which can range from light-headedness and skin rashes to more severe reactions such as nausea, vomiting, hot flashes and digestive issues like diarrhea.
Apart from these physical reactions, garlic in the yogic system is often avoided as it increases Rajas, the quality that can make our mind overactive and give us grief falling asleep. It is often suggested to avoid garlic before meditation or in (Vata) anxiety disorders.
For those who want to (or have to) avoid garlic but really enjoy a good hummus, here is a recipe to the rescue.
The traditionally used garlic in this recipe has been replaced with leek, which is much milder in action then garlic yet still gives the hummus enough of a pungent quality for you to enjoy as a dip or spread with your favourite raw or steamed veggies or crackers.
Not only does this garlic-free hummus taste just as delicious as its traditional cousin, it is also much kinder to eat before your yoga class where the odor of garlic breath may otherwise cause your fellow class members to have rather un-yogic thoughts.
Sattvic Garlic-Free Hummus
1 cup cooked, or 1 cup canned Chickpeas
2 tbsp Tahini
2 tbsp finely chopped Leek (white and green parts)
1 small Red Chili
1 heaping tsp Cumin Seed Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
¼ Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
1 tbsp finely chopped Chives
1 tbsp finely chopped Parsley
Small pinch of Hing (Asafoetida, use very little, a small amount goes far)
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Put all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix and process until you get to the desired consistency (about 40 sec in Vitamix). If using a food processor, chop the herbs and Leek very finely so you don’t end up with chunky Hummus. Add a little water if you like your Hummus more like a dressing or dip.
Spinning the Seven Sacred Centers: Ayurveda And the Chakra
The popular seven chakra system is well known in the West. Chakra, meaning vortex or wheel, are the sacred centers of spiritual transformation. Everything from clothing, home décor, and oracle cards sport the seven subtle centers with their associated rainbow of colors. Popular western literature corresponds each of the chakras with a fundamental human need. The root chakra, or Muladhara, is associated with the need for survival.
The second chakra, Swadisthana, is associated with the need for emotional flow, desire, and sexuality. The third chakra, Manipuri, is associated with self-worth. The fourth chakra, Anahata, is associated with love. The fifth chakra, Vishudhi, is associated with the need for expression. The sixth chakra, Ajna, is associated with insight and intuition. And the 7th or crown chakra, Sahasrara, is associated with connection to the divine.
However, ancient scriptures on the chakras such as the 16th-century text, Sat Chakra Nirupama, do not associate the seven chakras with fundamental human needs. This association was, to my knowledge, first made by Carl Jung in a series of lectures that have been republished as “(1932).
Likewise, the association of rainbow colors (red for the 1st chakra, orange for the 2nd and so on up to purple at the crown) was made first in the 1970s in a book titled “,” by Christopher Hills. Ancient Sanskrit and Tibetan texts on chakras and the subtle energetic body (also known as the Pranamayakosha) have various numbers of chakras and a variety of color schemes that do not follow the “ROYGBIV” rainbow-schema.
For better or worse, the seven chakra system has become reified in yogic culture; the seven chakras system is the “standard” system with which most students and teachers of yoga are familiar with. Many students and teachers of yoga may also have some familiarity with Ayurveda, the “Science of Life.” Ayurveda is a system of earth-based holistic medicine that was originally developed in ancient India but has evolved for contemporary application. Ayurveda uses three archetypal categories, called doshas, to understand balance in the body.
These categories are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata is like air and ether. It is light, dry, and cold, and responsible for everything in the body that moves, communicates, and transports. Pitta is like fire. It is hot and slightly damp. Pitta is responsible for digestion, metabolism, and transformation in the body. Finally, Kapha is similar to earth and water. It is slow and stable. Wet and cold. Kapha is responsible for our stability, immunity, and strength.