Dear Surya Friends,
Like many of us, I’ve been using this stay-at-home time to cook more, both for and with my family. Yes, as is the fad, we’ve baked bread from whole wheat sourdough starter, I’ve made some of my favorite Colombian staples like arepasand ajiaco, we’ve baked cherry crumbles with Instacart-delivered organic fruit, and of course I’ve made lots of honestly delicious and healing Ayurvedic foods. We know it — a proper diet, a balanced diet, is the foundation of good health, and prepping a kitchen to make that healthy cooking as simple as possible makes everything better. People often ask me about my pantry staples and kitchen supplies, so here’s the list for you to peruse — my kitchen essentials!
- There’s nothing better than a well-seasoned cast iron pan. I got my favorite one years and years ago, and seasoning them yourself is simple and worth the effort. A cast iron pan puts a little essential iron into the diet, and they’re perfect for sautéing vegetables with a little bit of our Churna spices, making mung bean pancakes, or really anything you can think of.
- There are a few items I use every day. My clay rice cooker is one of them. No aluminum, no metals of any kind, so it’s wonderfully healthy. Using a rice cooker makes “cooking” a healthy meal so much easier — whether it’s for yourself or the whole family. And it’s the absolute easiest way to make kitchari— literally all you have to do is load the ingredients in, press a button, and forget about it. You can make lunch or dinner in the morning, or whenever you like, and it will be ready when you are, nice and hot. Kitchari is easy to source, rice, split yellow mung beans, some spices, or we have a Cook-At-Home Kitchari Kit all ready for you.
- When my husband bought me this apple peeler, I thought it was silly, but it’s turned out to be one of my go-to appliances. I use it to peel apples to top mung bean pancakes. Or to peel sweet potatoes before I roast them. I love this!
- Have you tried the bread from Milo & Olive or from Huckleberry Bakery? It’s seriously delicious and made with non-GMO organic flour, and a lot of love. And okay, okay, they have a few non-Ayurvedic but super-delicious things to indulge in now and then!
- To top our sourdough, we love using a little ghee or goat butter and this incredible honey from Kauai. I store my honey in a little honey jar like this one. It’s so cute to put out on the breakfast table and it creates the perfect honey drizzle.
- In the kitchen at Surya, we always have hot water ready to make CCF or ginger tea. I love this electric kettle because it has a "keep warm" function, so there’s always hot water on hand. Ayurveda loves warm water… sipping it, or tea, keeps everything in balance.
- We love this copper french press to make tea or prepare coffee for a coffee basti. We’re not recommending you do bastis at home, but if you really want, call us and we can direct you to a source.
- Have you made homemade coconut yogurt yet? It’s so good! We love topping it with Purely Elizabeth paleo (and Ayurvedically approved!) granola. You can learn more in my interview with Purely Elizabeth in the latest issue of their magazine, and watch my tutorial for making coconut yogurt on their IG here. If you’re not in the mood to make yogurt yourself, my favorite store-bought yogurt, with great probiotics, is White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt.
- Soup is a staple at Surya, comforting, nourishing, and delicious. This soup is one of our favorites, simple to make and easy to digest. I love having it for a light dinner. I sometimes serve it with rice or naturally high-protein quinoa to add a bit more substance.