According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is related to an emotion and an organ. For instance, spring is related to anger, which is related to the liver. That doesn’t mean you can’t be angry in the winter or fall, but you may be more likely to have an angry outburst in the spring if your liver is off balance. Spring is a season of growth, dandelions and tulips bursting out of the wet soil, dying to be expressed after long months of cold and snow. People also tend to hibernate in the winter, especially before modern civilization. So when spring arrives, we come bouncing out and unearth ourselves and sometimes, when the liver is out of balance, we can feel angry, resentful, impatient, frustrated, negative, or impulsive. When these emotions aren’t expressed but repressed, we can feel depressed.
So what can we do about it? Food for mood is an easy way to help balance your emotions and optimize your organ health. These emotions obviously can happen in any season so this diet can be used whenever you’re feeling angry, resentful or just can’t snap out of a bad mood. I have listed foods that are beneficial for the emotions I mentioned earlier. Spring is a time of light fare, less meat, and lots of vegetables. After a long winter of traditional hearty meals with stew meat or game meat that help keep your body warm, spring is a time to eat less animal proteins and less fatty foods. Also, preparation should include raw ingredients or a quick steam or stir fry. Since it’s still cold in Connecticut where I live, I’m sharing a delicious soup that I made to help my body do some spring cleaning. The ingredients include asparagus, leeks, fennel and almond milk which help clean and clear the liver and is chock full of nutrients. Also try to shop at your local farmer’s market to get the freshest of spring ingredients. Hope you enjoy and look out for other spring recipes this month!
Food for Mood Spring ingredients:
Vegetables: onions, shallots, mustard greens, watercress, beets, rhubarb root and stem (good for constipation), taro root, cabbage, turnip root, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, avocados, romaine lettuce, asparagus, alfalfa, radish leaves, dandelion root, kelp, seaweed, cucumber, watercress, radish, daikon.
Fruits: strawberry, peach, cherry, citrus peel (dehydrated or fresh like lemon zest)
Grains: sweet rice, sprouted grains, amaranth, quinoa, millet, rye
Meats: organic animal liver
Fish: salmon, herring, mackerel
Nuts and seeds: chestnuts, pine nuts, walnuts
*Herbs and spices: basil, bay leaf, cardamom, marjoram, cumin, fennel, dill, ginger, pepper, horseradish, rosemary, mint, lemon, *Don’t overdo the spices.
- 1 pound of asparagus
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 leeks, ends removed and chopped
- 3 green onions, ends removed and chopped
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prep asparagus by snapping off the tough dried end and discard ends. Wash remaining asparagus and cut into 2-inch pieces and set aside.
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil and saute garlic, green onions, fennel, and leeks until soft (about 3 minutes).
- Add asparagus, sea salt, herbs, broth, and almond milk.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until asparagus and is soft (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Puree soup using a blender. Add broth or more almond milk if a thinner soup is desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with thyme and toasted pine nuts.
- Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy!!!