Barley is a wonderful grain to begin working into your diet during the late winter months. As we transition from the cold, dry Vata days of early winter to the cold, wet Kapha days of late winter and early spring, our attention should be on shifting our diet to Kapha-reducing foods. Favoring astringent, spicy and bitter tastes will help with weight loss and allow our physiologies feel lighter and more energetic and will help keep away colds and allergies.
Barley is the best grain for balancing Kapha dosha. It improves sluggish digestion, protects against diabetes and strokes , is diuretic in nature, and works as a natural regulator of excessive fat accumulation.
Here a recipe for barley soup that is perfect for a chilly, damp Kapha evening.
Hearty Barley Soup
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 celery stalk with leaves, sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 tablespoon butter
5 cups stock or water
1/4 cup barley
1 turnip, cut into small pieces
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste.
Salute the parsley, rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, celery and carrot in the butter slowly for 10 minutes. Add to the stock. Add the barley, turnip and bayleaf. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This recipe makes about 6 cups.