by Chris Ellis, Staff Nutritionist
HURRAH FOR 2016!! Another new year begins!
As the New Year arrives many think of starting anew! That means initiating some new practices and letting go of some old ones, all in the spirit of good health. Many of us tend to eat in excess over November and December due to the holidays or due to an adjustment to the cold weather and dark days that are often gray and chilling to the body. January is a new beginning and what better time to make a change!
A good robust soup is an excellent antidote to all the dietary excesses over the holidays, which many of us are prone to doing at this time of year. Even if you did not eat excessively, it's a healthy way to enter the New Year since it's a great thing to consume to boost your immune system, and it's great to have if you are recovering from an illness or any physical stress (i.e., travel, surgery) and its helpful and calming to have if you are under emotional stress and most of us all can fit into any of those categories. It's always good to start positive with the New Year and think of a simple change rather than take on too many changes all at once. Remember other changes can be added as you proceed through the year.
A soup is a simple food and it is very comforting, warming and nourishing over the colder dark winter months. There is nothing that hits the spot better on a cold winter day than a hearty bowl of delicious steaming hot soup! Many soups such as a vegetarian soup or chicken soup have been shown to inhibit the spread of germs and support your immune system during the winter season. Homemade soup from scratch is the way to go since it tastes far better and has less salt and other additives but of course you have to have time to prepare it! Soups can be made by making your own broth with all kinds of vegetables, herbs and spices which deliver excellent nutritional value. A good base to start with is diced or chopped onions, carrots, potatoes, celery and even parsnips are a wonderful addition too! Spices can be added in as is or wrapped in a piece of cheesecloth so that they do not have to be fished out. Bay leaves, whole garlic cloves, whole black peppercorns and thyme are great to use. I often add turmeric for color and to boost the anti-inflammatory power of the soup. I cook the veggies for approximately an hour. All the nutrients from the veggies are now in the broth and other ingredients can be added such as a grain, legume or meat of some variety. Stop by the bulk, produce, or meat department to get good ideas on what to add to your home made soup.
Many cultures have their own special soup or broth which they often prepare on a regular basis. The Co-op will be doing a class on some of these special soups later this month so if you are looking for more ideas, recipes and information on ways to integrate delicious soups and/or broths into your diet take advantage of this class below:
Kitchari and Congee: Healing Foods
Were you raised on chicken soup? Every culture has its own healing food traditions.
Kitchari- a healing soup or stew from the Ayurvedic tradition made from rice and mung dahl.