Sweet Nothings – Combatting sweet-tooth

One of the things I come across most frequently in my work with people and food is the “Sweet tooth” syndrome.   These days among the health foodies there are so many sugar substitutes on the market from honey to maple syrup to agave.
When it comes right down to it however, they’re all sugar, although perhaps some of the more complex sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream at a slightly slower pace and don’t create such a sudden spike in our blood sugar levels.
In the Traditional Chinese Medicine Five Element system, which I go into in depth on our Shades of Yoga Teacher Trainings, we learn that sweet is the flavor for the Earth element and the organs corresponding to the Earth element are the spleen/pancreas and stomach.  Naturally sweet flavors are nourishing to these organs, but in excess and when not taken in the right form cause problems.
Pumpkin soup at Warung SopaIn my opinion, one of the best food sources of “sweetness” are the sweet pumpkins and winter squashes.  They’re creamy, sweet, satisfying and lend themselves to a vast array of culinary delights, both savory and sweet.  They can be cooked and pureed and form the base for a delicious pumpkin pie or pudding, or cooked up and simply whisked to form a delicious creamy base for a satisfying soup as you will see in the video



Sweet squash and chick pea soup:

  • ½ a kabocha or butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 ear corn
  • 1 cup cooked chick peas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • Handful fresh cilantro
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare your vegetables – peel and dice the squash and cut the onion, carrot and celery into small dice.
Pour 3 – 4 cups of water into a soup pot and add the squash along with the other veggies and the chick peas.  Add the bay leaves and about a teaspoon of sea salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and whisk the soup, adding the coconut milk and lemon juice.  The squash will break up and form a nice creamy base for the soup.    Add the cilantro and black pepper before serving.


Shades of Yoga is a yoga teacher training company running year-round yoga teacher training courses in Bali and Costa Rica. Details here.