DIY Ayurvedic Thanksgiving Desserts
Happy Thanksgiving! This is one of our favorite holidays because it’s non-denominational and you can pretty much celebrate it however you want. The only essential traditions are to enjoy a meal with friends and family and give thanks for what we have. In the pantheon of holidays, Thanksgiving is about as easy as it gets.
This year, we’ve created Ayurvedic desserts for your Thanksgiving table using cloves. Many people are surprised to learn that clove is actually a dried unopened flower bud from a clove tree, which is a tropical evergreen member of the Myrtle family. The name clove is derived from the French word clou, meaning nail because of the spice’s appearance.
This special spice has a centuries long history of being used for health and wellness by many cultures. Not only are cloves a great source of several vitamins, minerals including manganese, Vitamin C, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, they have been used to treat digestive and stomach disorders even still today. In Ayurveda, cloves are used to enhance circulation, digestion and metabolism and help counter stomach disorders. Based on Rasa (six tastes of Ayurvedic tastes), clove contributes the pungent and astringent tastes. Cloves help pacify Vata and Kapha and increase Pitta.
Clove is perfect for the holidays because it has a warming spiciness that pairs well with fruit, cake and wine. Even if you can’t eat clove spiced foods because it’s too heating for your dosha, you can create a fragrance pomander when combined with an orange.
Our holiday Ayurveda-themed dessert table includes mulled spice wine, orange spice cake in orange cups with coconut whipped cream and lollipops, orange spice cupcakes and spiced fruit salad in orange cups.
Mulled spice wine is simple to make. All you need is a few spices mixed with red wine that has been simmered on your stove. Typically, you can use cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, fennel, cumin, coriander, nutmeg and black pepper. For convenience we used mulling spice tea bags that include cinnamon, clove, ginger, lemon peel, and orange peel. We also added sliced up clove studded oranges and cinnamon sticks. Don’t forget to rim your glasses with spices too for a pretty presentation. If you have pumpkin spice in your cabinet, use it to rim your glasses. We drink this wine after the meal to aid in digestion and encourage circulation but you can drink it before dinner too.
Orange spice cake baked in a hollowed out orange cup topped with coconut whipped cream is an unusually festive way to serve this gluten free dessert. Don’t forget to add Chai Me Up lollipops, which are made with our homemade chai spiced tulsi tea, as a final touch to this dessert. One of our secret ingredients in our chai tea used in our candy is whole cloves. Any additional cake batter can be poured in muffin tins to make cupcakes. If you don’t have time to make frosting, just dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar and spices used for mulled wine or use the coconut whipped cream.
Fruit salad sprinkled with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and clove then placed in a hollowed out orange cups are a great alternative for your guests that prefer lighter desserts. Any fruit will do for this recipe. Even better, you can use dosha-specific fruits for the spiced fruit salads and have your guests take our dosha test before they choose their dessert.
Our table also includes lots of orange pomanders. A modern style of pomander is a clove-studded orange or other fruit that is dried and used to scent the house. You can be super creative with your clove designs. We chose to spell out “Give Thanks” because it’s a Thanksgiving celebration. If you are wondering why we used so much orange on our dessert table its because they pair perfectly with cloves. The scent is intoxicating. Plus it’s the perfect color for Thanksgiving. Historically when given as a gift in Victorian England, these clove studded globes of sunshine indicated “warmth of feeling” which sums up our sentiments about this holiday.
Finally, we added a “Thanksgiving Thankful Tree” to our dessert table as a beautifully interactive centerpiece. Guests will love this feel-good activity because they can write what they are most thankful for on tie-on tags that they place on the tree branches and take Chai Me Up lollipops hanging from the tree for dessert. Just don’t forget to add scissors to the table so guests can cut their lollipops off the tree! My favorite part of the Thanksgiving Thankful Tree is that It creates a sense of communal art that can be used each year and the tie-on tags become a sweet remembrance of Thanksgivings past.