Do you ever feel like you just need a cleanse?
Like you need something to come into your body and do a clean sweep? Clear everything out, get all the hard to reach places, and just detox?
Well, this kitchari recipe is the closest thing to that I’ve ever had.
What is kitchari?
Ayurvedic practitioners have long believed that kitchari does just that. It’s a classic dish made of mung beans, rice, and vegetables and was created to improve bowel movements, cleanse the mind and body tissue, and remove any heaviness or congestion in the body.
It’s also believed to help support your agni, or metabolic fire. This supports your passion for life, your zest, and your energy.
That’s a big list, and maybe too much for one recipe to take on, but in my experience, kitchari has definitely made me feel clean, cleansed, improved my digestion when I’ve felt backed up, and made me feel lighter.
It has felt like quite a detox!
You probably have gleaned by now, if you are a subscriber of mine, that juice detoxes or smoothie trends that leave you paying tons of money for a week of little plastic juice containers (and a rumbling, hungry belly) aren’t my thing.
There are a few reasons…
- Warm food is always preferred over cold food. Especially as women, warm foods help support healthy digestion much more than cold. Cold food takes more energy to heat up to our internal heat of 98ish degrees, giving our digestive tract a harder job, leading to less energy for us. Warm food is what I want most of my diet to consist of.
- Juices specifically remove all the fiber from the plants. You know fiber is the key to digestion and detoxing. We don’t poop well without it! So I’m not into juice cleanses at all.
- The sugar content. Juicing or smoothie cleanses both contain a good amount of sugar. It may be in the form of fruit, but it’s still sugar. If you are going to have fruit, I want you to have it in whole form. One apple is much more filling than when we blend it up in a smoothie, or even more, if we juice it. We have to actually chew (see benefits of chewing here) which tells our body we are eating and sends the signal that we will be getting full, which leads to healthy portions. When we drink all of our food, we are taking in excess sugar and our body doesn’t even know it’s full. We reach for more food, which is the opposite of detoxing.
- It’s unnecessarily expensive. That’s it.
You’ve probably seen online people that have healed themselves with juice cleanses, and they have, I’m sure!
But that’s generally taking someone that has eaten processed food as their primary diet, did a juice cleanse for a bit, healed (because anything would be better than what they were eating) and then eventually had to figure out how to eat real food again.
So, if you are looking to detox or just generally improve your digestion, kitchari is a less expensive, more effective way of doing it.
It’s loaded with fiber from all the mung beans (or lentils) and veggies, the best things at supporting healthy digestion.
This is particularly helpful for me after I’ve been traveling. My system tends to back up (even when I have my trusty flaxseed + psyllium husk combo with me) when I fly, so when I get home, I REALLY want something quick and easy to make that will help get my digestion warmed up again.
Kitchari is the perfect answer.
However, I do skip the rice that is traditionally combined with mung beans. It is absolutely something you can add to your dish (it’s delicious with rice!), but my body just does better insulin wise with just legumes.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Veggie Loaded Detoxifying Kitchari Recipe
Takes about an hour, makes about 4-6 servings
- 1.5 cups mung beans or green lentils
- 2 medium sized beets, peeled and chopped
- 2.5 cups or more of bone broth of choice
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro for topping
- If using mung beans, soak for 8+ hours, drain and rinse. This isn’t imperative but will help with digestion. If using lentils, or you didn’t soak mung beans, rinse well in strainer.
- Start by steaming the beets. Place a steam basket in a medium sized pot. Add water to cover the bottom of the pot. Add beets to the steam basket and set to high. Bring to boil, turn low to simmer and let it steam the beets until tender, about 45 minutes.
- Add the mung beans and bone broth to a large pot. Cover and set to medium-high. Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the carrots, zucchini, and kale to the mung beans, stir, and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are soft, turn the heat off, add the beets, turmeric, salt and pepper (to taste). Serve, topping with cilantro.
Naturally gluten free and vegan.