April 1, 2015
You do not need to be a culinary chef to whip up a great pot of soup. Soups not only make a great winter meal, but its ingredients are flexible and forgiving in that it can be made all year long. ‘Tis the season of spring…so think green; think color! The more colorful our diets, the healthier the food is for our body. A balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables can help fight issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Soups can be packed full of nutrition, are low in calories, and can be quite filling. For the picky vegetable eaters in your family, it is also one great way to sneak in the daily requirements of vegetable servings (2- 1/2 to 3 cups of veggies/day).
Once a pot of soup is made you can refrigerate it, freeze it, reheat it, eat by yourself, or even share it with your family, friends or neighbors. It can also be a very convenient meal. Soups can appease all appetites from the meat lovers, the veggie eaters, and even the pasta, grains, orzo, quinoa, and barley lovers. Oh my, choices galore! Homemade soups that are made with fresh ingredients lack exposure to biphenyl A, or more commonly known as BPA. Since the 1960s, it has been used to make certain plastics and is found in epoxy resins that coat the linings of canned products. BPA exposure has been shown to cause brain, behavior, and prostate gland anomalies at various stages of human development. If you have further questions or concerns about BPA, refer to the mayoclinic.org website.
Cooking your vegetables will release vitamins more effectively during the process of heating. The orange in carrots, Beta Carotene, and the red in tomatoes, Lycopene, are more effectively released during the cooking process. In return, our bodies can better absorb this nutrition to give us energy and to live a healthier life.
OK, the moment you have been waiting for: a healthy and easy-to-make soup picked by Amy and created by Prevention.com, February, 2015.
Kale and Sweet Potato Minestrone
- Sauté 1 chopped onion and 2 minced cloves of garlic in a pot with 1 tbsp oil until softened.
- Add 3 cups chopped, cleaned kale, 2 diced sweet potatoes, and 1quart of boxed (or homemade) vegetable or chicken broth.
- Simmer and cook until kale wilts and sweet potatoes are tender.
- Stir in 2 cups small pasta shells or barley.
- Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and Parmesan.
- Eat simple, eat clean, and enjoy!