SO HERE GOES..the key question I have been asked since launching this website...WHY don't you eat onion and garlic?
Now there are many logical reasons for this. I know...I know... I too absolutely loved those super garlicky pastas (the ones that you smell coming out of your pores for DAYS after..🙄..ok definitely do not miss that part😂) and couldn't imagine life without my dear friend O AND G ( onion and garlic). How could food ever taste good without it? WELL, I've been cooking without it at home for over 7 years now and at the end of every dinner party or gathering with excitement I ask if they could even TELL IF THERE WAS NO ONION OR GARLIC IN THAT. The usual response is...I hadn't even noticed. Onion and garlic have powerful flavors and so really what we just need to master is the ability to make food flavorful with spices and herbs, using them to enhance the flavor of the fruits, veggies & grains we eat! Spice combinations and flavor is definitely an art! Eating out can be a little tricky but it can definitely be done, I sometimes do eat it when I eat out but I just avoid cooking with it at home.
Ys, it has certainly been proven that both onion and garlic have many health benefits and Ayurveda agrees...to some degree. Ayurveda recognizes onions and garlic as blood purifiers and is used in many ayurvedic medicine. However, there is one essential ayurvedic principle when it comes to food. Every ingredient in the RIGHT QUANTITY can be beneficial to the body. In the wrong quantity, it could be extremely harmful.
Somehow garlic and onion have now become the base ingredients for pretty much every single dish and every cuisine, which means the consumption of both in individuals is extremely high. Since onion and garlic are both inflammatory, it is best to eat in moderation.
According to Ayurveda, onion is tamasic (makes people irritable, agitated and aggressive) in nature and garlic to be rajasic (energy-draining, disturbed sleep and drained energy) in nature. As per Ayurveda, both these ingredients produce excessive heat in the body.
As part of recommendations for a yogic meditation practice or one following a spiritual path, Ayurveda suggests avoiding both the ingredient as both are believed to distract a person’s focus and attention and increase anger, aggression, ignorance, and anxiety.
🌼The Magical Substitute
Asafoetida (aka hing) is made from a variety of giant fennel, where the sap is extracted and the root is dried to create a vibrant yellow-colored resin, which naturally has a pungent smell. Once it is cooked it comes ‘alive’ as the aroma changes and creates a beautiful flavorful substitute for onion and garlic.
When you look at my recipes you can see I use it sparingly. If you buy it in its pure form (which I would recommend), it is VERY strong and so a tiny amount goes a very long way.
A ½ teaspoon of the powder can be substituted for 2-3 minced garlic cloves or 2/3 of a cup of minced onion.
I use the brand in the picture below, found on Amazon, just be careful when buying hing as sometimes there are fillers like flour or rice flour and some additives added to them, so just look for the pure form!
As always in Ayurveda, every ingredient carries magical medicinal properties. Hing is often used for indigestion. The anti-inflammatory property of hing relieves upset stomachs, gas and bloating. An old Indian practice is to rub hing around the belly button of a baby to relieve gas! It also aids in purifying the blood.
TIP: Make sure you store it in an airtight container, the smell can definitely infuse into other things and can be overpowering! 😂
MY FAVORITE ONION/GARLIC FREE PRODUCTS
Fody: An absolutely incredible brand, all their products have neither onion or garlic, they have sauces to marinades to dips! ANY FODMAP friendly brands will be onion and garlic free.
Peatos: OMG these are so good they taste like flaming hot Cheetos BUT they are made from peas and have no O and G..WINNERRR! (note that only the hot peatos have no O/G). You can find them on amazon or in sprouts (USA).
Primal kitchen buffalo sauce: A random but delightful find! Usually I don't even check sauces as I always assume they have O or G in them..BUT SOMETHING told me to give this one a go and I was pleasantly surprised to find a buffalo sauce without O and G! YAY for me!
Shayona: (note that you can only get these products in-store but there are many ). But also many Indian stores have sauces, spices and products without O and G.
Sending you all so much love, prayers & gratitude!
xx Radhi ♡