Date and cranberry chutney. And a few thoughts about cravings.

It is quite exciting that in some (mostly Eastern) nutritional philosophies the It is argued that one should basically unite all tastes in a dish. And that is not really meant that you should necessarily consume a piece of cake after his steak or tofu. Both in the 5 element kitchen, which is close to traditional Chinese medicine, and in the Ayurvedic cuisine, a meal is complete only when the components are salty, sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and tart hike into the pot or at least at the same time find themselves on the plate. Only then can the human be truly satisfied with the flavors.

Foods are often said to have a more metaphorical effect on the body and are attributed a direct influence on our well-being. So one should not only compensate for one's own, general state of health through the food, but also be able to treat specific dysfunctions and illnesses. The topic can be dealt with for months on end, because there are very complex philosophies that have grown over centuries and millennia behind them, which sometimes leave us Europeans at a loss. Among other things food is divided into certain groups (for example wood, metal or earth), which then also have a thermal effect within the body and in principle are placed in a certain order (namely in a circle) in a dish. Soon there can also be the indefinite feeling of creeping into dealing with either tangible spinners or entangled esotericists (What the hell is the internal heater and where exactly should it be in my body?) And I'm a dosha and Pitta, Kapha, Vata, or a funny mix, um ...).

In fact, some of these theses and rules are not as strange as we think. Most of us would not necessarily crave a light green salad with yoghurt dressing after a long winter walk. And in midsummer, there is rarely a craving for thick pea soup with sausages. So we also have a natural feeling for the effect of food in certain situations. And after a hearty meal, who did not already have the feeling that "there is still something missing" before a piece of chocolate then completed the meal and aroused satisfaction. Which, by the way, is not due to the chocolate itself, but to the sweet taste. We would then already (in an admittedly rather rapid derivation) arrived at the topic of cravings.

We often tend to equate the taste sweet with calories and from our diet too to ban. We've learned calories are bad (which by the way is not true in every case - but another time). But since we now sweet like to taste great, this taste since time immemorial and even valuable food (fruit) signals and not least the first food of our lives - the breast milk - tastes sweet, we can not in the long run to be happy without sweets. And if we force ourselves to abstain from sweets, eventually the excessive urge and the bar of chocolate or the bag of gummy bears will be faster than you can see. However, these carbohydrates, which are extremely easy to process by the body, have devastating effects on blood sugar levels. This shoots up like a rocket and the pancreas is instantly made to make a huge amount of insulin so that all this sugar can be broken down again.And what does our body do then? He spontaneously develops cravings for sweets in order to raise the blood sugar level again. Before we know it, we're back with the next empty bag of gummy bears. We suspect the whole thing is developing in the direction of the circulation, which also equips us with a not-too-small packet of guilt feelings. Because of the calories and the sugar and the sin and in general.

Therefore: For a truly satisfying and all-round meal, just add all the flavor components straight to your plate. Do not worry, that's easy. For example, soups, dips and chutneys are wonderfully suited to completing the missing taste components. For example, a spoonful of chutney with meat, with a pan, or even with bread, will cover you with sweet and sour - and if you like - spicy and harsh.

Chutneys are really easy to make and they're in their 15th Minutes finished. With the ingredients you can experiment to your heart's content: vegetables are suitable as an ingredient as well as fruits or nuts. The whole thing is complemented by spices and usually vinegar and sugar.

I had a few cranberries left and made this delicious chutney out of it. Have fun with this and your own chutney creations. Just give it a try!

If you want to learn more about 5-elements and Ayurveda, you can do that here, here and here.

Here's how it works for 2 medium glasses: 100 g of soft dates in quarter length, brew with 100 ml of boiling water and set aside.

200g of fresh cranberries wash and drain.

2 medium onions peel and slice into small slices, Peel 4cm of fresh ginger and finely chop.

Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or peanut oil in a medium saucepan and remove from heat. Add 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon of cumin seed to the oil and stir fry. Put the pot back on the stove and cook the spices on medium heat until the mustard seed begins to pop.

Add onions and ginger and simmer for about 2 minutes while stirring. Add the dates with the soaking water and 4 tablespoons sugar to the onion-spice mixture, with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom season and fry briefly.

Put the cranberries together with 5 tbsp red wine vinegar in the pan and simmer until the chutney has a creamy consistency and the liquid has evaporated.

Put hot in clean twist-off jars and let cool.