5 Kitchen Spices For New Mums

I love eating and I love the idea of healing with foods. It’s medicine we can enjoy! Ayurveda, Indian medicine, would have us reaching for the spice rack for all sorts of common discomforts. Here are five spices to get you started.

Cumin

Cumin kindles the gastric fire thereby improving appetite, reducing gas and aiding digestion of minerals in the intestines. It supports lactation and gently balances the hormones and restores the body’s tissues. Cumin is very popular in North Indian food, and more surprisingly, Italian food too.

Fennel

Fennel is sweet, unctuous and warming. It is particularly valuable, in combination with fenugreek, for boosting your milk supply. It calms the nervous system and promotes mental clarity.  It can aid with digestive difficulties including abdominal pain and cramping. Fennel can be added to sweets such as rice pudding or biscuits. It adds a lovely liquorice flavour to Chinese food.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is known around the world for supporting breastfeeding. You may be advised to take fenugreek capsules, but Ayurveda recommends taking fenugreek as a tea, which is more balancing. Mix one-part fenugreek seeds with two-parts fennel seeds, add one teaspoon of this mixture to one litre of boiling water. Fenugreek is also useful for expelling the placenta and for the health of the reproductive organs.

Coriander

Coriander can help with excessive thirst and digestive acid. Add fresh or seeds to stir fries, coconut curry and dhal.

Dill

Dill is a wonderful herb for colic. Taken by the mother the baby can reap the benefits including reducing hiccoughs, gas and cramps. Dill is sweet and warm and can be used in Mediterranean food or added the stews.

Ayurvedic Quiche

Quiche is not your typical Ayurvedic food. The combination of eggs and cheese and cream can sit very heavily. But eggs are excellent food for reproductive system, and quiche is such a popular food to cook for a new mum, so this alternative uses almond milk to create a lighter quiche that won’t give you a tummy ache.

Bonus recipe… the easiest pastry in the world! I love this pastry recipe and it’s so quick and versatile you can use it for any tart, pie or flan you can think of. You can use salted butter for savoury pastry or unsalted butter with a pinch of sugar for sweet pastry.
This recipe makes enough pastry for a regular round cake tin. If you have a shallower, wider quiche tin you may need to increase the recipe a little.

Pastry

  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 60 g butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

1. Melt butter and milk in a small saucepan over a low heat
2. Mix dry ingredients
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir well.
4. Press into the bottom of your tin. No need to partbake.

Quiche Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • salt to taste

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl
2. Arrange you quiche filling on your pastry (try raw zucchini, raw broccoli, fresh herbs, raw asparagus, pine nuts, tinned artichokes cooked onions, cooked garlic, frozen spinach, fresh spinach, cooked leeks, a little mustard…)
3. Pour egg mixture over your filling
4. Slower baking creates a more delicious custard, so 180’C for about 40-50 minutes is ideal.