We call Late Summer to that special period of time between summer and autumn. A moment in which we can notice that summer begins to decline and autumn has not yet begun. The weather is usually still and peaceful, the days are shorter and it starts to get cooler.
Between each season, there is also a period of about 18 days, called dojo, in which the energy of the late summer is also active, the energy of the earth element. A period in which everything is reorganized.
In this period, we can feel how nature begins to retreat, to calm down, to reduce its activity. We, also start to reduce the intensity of outdoors activities, focusing more inside.
At this time, we can still get food from the earth; it’s time to pick up the latest fruits, which are also the sweetest, as they have accumulated all the energy from the sun. That sweet taste should prevail in our food during this period.
The earth connects us to ourselves. We are no longer, as active as in summer and we begin to be more relaxed and even melancholy, we notice that the expansive energy of summer is finally over. It’s time to start looking inward.
At this time of year, we need to focus, calm and stabilize our body. It is important to start reducing foods that have prevailed in our diet during the summer: raw fruits and vegetables, cold drinks … Starting to introduce more warming and nutritious foods that help us strengthen and remineralize our body, creating the centre and the strength to face the future cooler months.
Cereals: It’s time to increase the consumption of whole grains that provide more centre and to reduce the amount of processed grains like bulgur, cuscus and pasta. We will use more round rice, gradually reducing long and basmati rice. The ideal cereal for this season is millet, one of the most versatile grains. You can use it in salads and cakes, it is ideal to prepare croquettes, and even to make simple desserts sweetened with apple concentrate.
Beans: Smaller are better, go for lentils and azukis, but you can use them all.
Vegetable protein: Tempeh and seitan are the best proteins for this season. Tofu has a more cooling effect, if we use it, it would be convenient to use cooking methods that are warming like: braised, fried or baked, or serve it with plenty of root and round vegetables.
Vegetables: Yellow, orange, round vegetables are ideal now. This type of vegetables usually provide a natural sweet taste that nourish and strengthen the stomach and spleen-pancreas: pumpkin, onion, carrot, turnip, cabbage, kohlrabi, sweet potato… they’ll be delicious baked or stewed!
Seaweed: The most appropriate for this season is arame, its sweet flavour feels soothing at this time of the year.. To use it, simply soak it for a few minutes and then add it to salads or sautéed vegetables. You can have it in a bowl with water next to the cooker so you won’t forget. A handful will be enough for the whole family.
Fruits: Grapes are ripped, and you can collect pears and apples … Start to prepare tasty jams and compotes that will help create that gathering energy that flows in the fall. You can combine several fruits and cook them with raisins and dry apricots to bring a natural sweetness. Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt; it will enhance the sweetness of the fruit.
Nuts and seeds: Sunflower seeds are ideal for this time. In general, we can consume them throughout the year together with pumpkin and sesame seeds. Walnuts and hazelnut will soon begin to fall…. enjoy…
Seasoning: It’s interesting to reduce acid flavours such as citrus that have a more cooling effect. We can start introducing slightly warming spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
Feel the energy… flow… enjoy…