spring recipes

Nature offers an assortment of herbs for each season. Once the snow has melted, spring is naturally the best season to cleanse, detox, and rejuvenate. The majority of plants and herbs found during spring can be used in our cuisine to invigorate our body, soul, and mind.

Nature provides everything you need
For energised and healthy new spring beginning chose: fresh dandelion, wild garlic, nettle, radishes, asparagus, spinach, and sprouts, as well as the left-overs from your winter storage such as kale, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, and beets. These all contain cleansing properties. Whilst preparing these foods, add some ginger, dill, and black pepper to stimulate your circulation and assist with the detoxification of your body. Do not forget to add a pinch of turmeric to any of your foods during this time as it promotes circulation and helps cleanse your liver.

It is advisable to try out a mono diet, as eating only one food type at a time aids digestion, which helps your metabolism and your body to rejuvenate faster. Your metabolism is already having to work hard enough with the winter to spring transition. Anything light, warm, or bitter in taste is a perfect choice. Also, it is advisable to sip room temperature water throughout the day.

Asparagus and Wild Garlic Risotto
This is a lovely Sattvic dish, with diaphoretic characteristics, which will benefit all three doshas and leave your body energised. It is especially recommended if you have a cold or congestion. Asparagus is high in potassium and saponins, which is perfect for releasing excess fluids, however, due to its cooling, drying and astringent characteristics, it might increase mucus in the body. Therefore, adding some wild garlic and a pinch of black pepper, cumin seeds or ginger, will help your body extract the excess mucus, whilst stimulating circulation. Adding saffron or turmeric will help purify your blood and is also particularly healing for Pitta disorders such as blood stagnation, inflammation, arthritis, acne, poor eyesight, and poor digestion.

Collect and prepare:

  • 12 medium spears of asparagus
  • A handful of wild garlic leaves (fresh if possible)
  • 1.5 cup of Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 5.5 cups of water
  • Cumin seeds
  • Saffron or turmeric
  • Fresh ginger (optional)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Grind the saffron in order to release colour and flavours, whilst adding drops of water until it dissolves completely. Let it sit for ten minutes. If you are using turmeric powder, you can add it directly to the dish.
  • Boil the water and set aside.
  • Clean and cut the asparagus. Slice the stalks finely into tiny disks up to 2cm below the tips, keep the tips whole. In this way, you get the most out of the stalks and tips.
  • Finely chop the wild garlic leaves.
  • Add the ghee to a large pot and sauté the cumin seeds. Add 1/4 of the chopped garlic leaves, salt, ginger and saffron/turmeric. Add the rice before the cumin seeds begin to brown and sauté for a couple of seconds.
  • Add a half cup of boiling water and lower the heat. Add the asparagus stalks (leave the tips for later) and mix all the ingredients well. Sauté lightly.
  • Add 3 cups of water, whilst continually stirring and allow it to boil gently, then turn the heat down, simmer until all the water is almost absorbed and continue adding the rest of the water until the asparagus and rice are cooked.
  • Add the asparagus tips only 2 minutes before the end.
  • Stir in the juice of the lemon and some salt.
  • Once the liquid is absorbed and the dish is creamy, add the rest of chopped wild garlic leaves and remove from the heat immediately (otherwise the leaves will start to wilt after a couple of seconds).
  • Then leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. You can garnish with fresh coriander, parsley, dill, or mint, depending on your taste and preferences. It is OK to serve with a drizzle of olive oil but avoid using Parmesan if you have a cold or lots of mucus.

Beet Cleanse Soup
This soup is perfect if you are feeling bitter, anxious, or noticing your blood starting to thicken. It is usual to experience these symptoms around February or March, depending on the developments in nature and where you live.

The winter root vegetables in this soup combined with the cleansing and stimulating flavours of dill, help your body transition into spring. Potatoes and beets stimulate the gallbladder to release toxins, fats, and bile, whilst the beta-carotene in the beets detoxes the liver. This soup is a wonderful blood and lymphatic system cleanser, which in turn will bring a beautiful spring glow to your skin. Since the soup awakens Pitta, the soup is not suitable for people with aggravated Pitta.

Collect and prepare:

  • 3 large beets
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 potato
  • Ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3/4 cup freshly chopped dill
  • 1 lime
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Wash the vegetables and slice them thinly (including the beet greens).
  • Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a large pan. Brown the chopped onions. Add salt, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Sauté for 1–2 minutes. Add the beets and sauté further.
  • Add water and bring everything to the boil. Make sure the water is double the height of the vegetables. Cover and simmer on a low heat for at least an hour.
  • Squeeze in lime juice and stir.
  • Before turning the heat off, add the beet greens, dill, coriander/parsley (optional) and simmer for 5 minutes. If you feel your immune system is low, add some garlic or wild garlic leaves.
  • Turn off the heat, purée and season with salt and pepper.

Dandelion Salad
Dandelion is one of the best healing plants for spring dis-balances. It grows when our bodies need it most and is a natural spring tonic, cleansing the liver and cooling Pitta dis-balances. Dandelion pacifies Kapha but is very drying so is not recommended for people with Vata dis-balances. This plant is a strong diuretic, helping to eliminate excess water from the body as well as stimulating the gallbladder to release bile. To balance the cooling effect of dandelion, add lemon and black pepper. It is also OK to use cardamom and ginger if you prefer, yet it is not advisable to use too much of these if you suffer from Pitta dis-balances.

The great news about dandelion is that the whole plant is edible. However, it is recommended to use the root during early spring or late autumn when the plant is dormant, then use the leaves and flowers in spring. There are so many ways to use dandelion: chop, steam or eat raw like other greens to aid digestion. You can use the leaves in soups, with eggs or purée them into a raw pesto with olive oil and salt. There is an old saying that eating 20 dandelion flowers for 3 days will revitalise your brain forever.

Dandelion tea is a great choice to detox and cleanse the body, yet it has many other positive effects. To make the tea; boil the leaves in water until the water reduces by 1/4. Leave them to stew in the water for 10 minutes before you consume. Do not drink more than 2 cups per day and if possible drink half an hour after a meal.

Collect and prepare:

  • A large bowl of dandelion leaves and flowers
  • Ghee or coconut oil
  • A handful of chopped dill
  • 1 garlic (use wild garlic in case of Pitta and Kapha dis-balances)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Mint
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Wash and cut the dandelion leaves and flowers and put them into a nice salad bowl.
  • Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a small pan.
  • Add salt and garlic. You can also add some pre-cooked sweet potatoes as well as cinnamon or ginger (heating bitter dandelion keeps Kapha circulation open, whilst the bitters thin the blood and increase lymphatic movement).
  • Add the contents of the pan along with lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the salad bowl.
  • Mix together.
  • Garnish with dill and mint.

Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup
Nettle is great to use when feeling lethargic and weak. It helps with colds, flu, detoxification, and allergies but also 'builds' blood, which is helpful for women after menstruation or childbirth. Nettle was traditionally used to sting parts of the body to prevent rheumatism and improve circulation as well as lymph flow to the joints.

Nettles are cooling, drying and neutral in temperature, thus perfect for all three doshas. Adding nettle to your daily cuisine is a perfect choice to revitalise your early spring energy. As mentioned previously, adding wild garlic together with nutmeg and black pepper stimulates your circulation, speeding up the release of toxins from your body.

Nettle can be used throughout the year as a pesto (blend nettle, holy basil, olive oil and salt), or can be mixed with oil and wild garlic and used as a natural antibiotic, or even just dried and used to add to any dish. One of the best ways to use it daily, especially in spring is to pour boiling water over dried crushed nettle leaves and then leave to infuse overnight. Before consuming as a drink, you must dilute it with water and remove the nettle.

Collect and prepare:
You must wear gloves when picking nettles so they do not sting you. Cut the nettles approximately 8–16 cm down the stalk (just before it turns reddish as this is where it becomes very fibrous). If they are young nettles, you can cut the entire stalk.

  • A bowl of nettles (they shrink after cooking so make sure you collect enough)
  • Ghee or coconut oil
  • 3–5 potatoes
  • Bunch of chopped wild garlic
  • Cumin seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Wash the potatoes, remove the skin, and cut into cubes.
  • Melt the ghee and add cumin seeds, salt, nutmeg, and some chopped wild garlic. Sauté briefly, then add potatoes.
  • Stir until the potatoes begin to soften. Cover all the ingredients with water and simmer, then cook on a low heat.
  • Once the potatoes are soft, add the nettles and gently boil for 3–5 minutes. Add the rest of the wild garlic just before you remove the pan from the heat.
  • Purée with a blender and garnish with black pepper and fresh herbs.

Wild Garlic Pesto
Wild garlic is another gift of nature, helping our bodies to detoxify and reduce mucus. It has the opposite characteristics to garlic, as wild garlic reduces Vata and Pitta. It is rich in vitamin C and iron and can be used to rejuvenate and promote longevity. Due to its strong effects on the digestive tract, it is recommended to use only small amounts.

Like nettle, wild garlic can be used in your everyday cooking. You can dry it or freeze it, however, it does lose lots of its healing properties once preserved. One of the best ways to preserve it is to make a pesto, which you can add to your daily cuisine, as well as a spread for bread. Among my favourites are: wild garlic pesto and nettle pasta as well as spinach and nettle soup. There are thousands of recipe ideas. Here is a recipe teaching you how to preserve it so, you can use it for longer.

Collect and prepare:

  • Wild garlic leaves
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Wash the leaves to remove any bacteria from the soil and worms.
  • Chop the leaves finely and add them to the blender together with olive oil and salt.
  • Once you get a smooth paste, preserve it in sealed glass jars/bottles. Make sure you have filled to the top and there is no excess olive oil on top. Making sure the oil is absorbed by the leaves will preserve the mixture for longer.
  • If kept refrigerated it will last a year.

Wild Garlic Aioli
Collect and prepare:

  • A handful of wild garlic
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Maple syrup (optional)
  • Pre-soak the seeds for a few hours.
  • In a blender mix together the sunflower seeds, lemon juice, salt, and some water.
  • Add the finely chopped wild garlic and blend again.
  • Finish by adding olive oil, salt, maple syrup or any other flavours you desire.
  • Use as a spread or to add to any dishes.

I hope you feel inspired to experiment, cleanse, energise and rejuvenate your body for one of your best summers yet to come. Remember you only reap what you sew.

If you have any questions, or you would like to share your experiences with me, discuss any of recipes in detail or even learn some new ones write to me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

DISCLAIMER: Please use the following information to purely inform and educate yourself. Please do not use the information to treat, cure or prevent any diseases. In cases of serious or chronic health concerns, please consult a trained health care professional or contact me. Also, please check with your doctor before taking any herbs or essential oils if your are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffer from any mental imbalances.

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