It's definitely soup weather so I thought I'd try a new recipe! I had some lovely organic potatoes to use up and I've been meaning to make a sweetcorn type soup for a while so I came up with this one!
As always I try to add extra ingredients with health benefits, in this case red onion, turmeric and coconut.
Red onion provides the gut with fibre and helps us fight infection, which at this time of year, can be rife and who has time to be ill? Certainly not me, which is why I support my immune system with the best quality food and look after my gut bacteria with lots of plant based fibre.
So back to the soup, I used frozen sweetcorn, which I buy from Lidl, its deliciously sweet and grown in France so it's not GM, which a lot of the corn grown in the US is, so we want to avoid that for sure!
I actually prefer using frozen sweetcorn, it's less wasteful and you just cook what you need.
Wee Gracie, my chicken loves sweetcorn, she has some every morning in her porridge and is very partial to a whole fresh corn on the cob, which she can demolish in no time!
Nutritionally sweetcorn like all veggies, has benefits for health. It's a good source of fibre and complex carbs and contains a fair amount of insoluble fibre which is great news for our gut bacteria! It also contains antioxidants, some B vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium so plenty of reasons to eat and enjoy it!
It's also naturally sweet so most kids will eat it! Interestingly a whole corn on the cob contains less than a quarter of the sugar in an apple!
This soup has a lovely flavour with a wee bit of heat from the chilli flakes. Sweet paprika has a lovely warming flavour and the coconut adds a creamy sweetness which works rather well.
The turmeric which I try to add to as many dishes as I can has a mild earthy flavour so I generally only use a half or a teaspoon. Adding black pepper and oil enhances the absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric so its always worth adding both.
Turmeric really deserves the title, superfood, or superspice! It beats drugs hands down for just about everything, from pain relief to reducing inflammation to killing cancer cells.
It's so easy to start adding some of these immune boosting, disease fighting foods and spices to our diet to build a great immunity and strong vibrant health.
I added turmeric to my porridge this morning with a pinch of black pepper and a spoonful of coconut oil! It was a lovely yellow colour and I added sliced banana, goji berries, coconut flakes, bee pollen and coconut kefir for a breakfast fit for a king!!
So I've had a double dose of turmeric today since I just had a bowl of this lovely soup!
I had to try it before I share the recipe but it was really delicious. I think I would make it a bit thicker next time by adding more potato or less stock. I blended half the soup which made it nice and creamy and there were still some texture from the unblended veggies!
So all in all a good recipe and a great use of my organic potatoes!
Here is my recipe!
· 2 or 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced (around 500g)
· 2 cups of fresh or frozen sweetcorn (300g)
· 50g of creamed coconut, roughly chopped
· 1 tablespoon coconut oil or rapeseed oil
· Small red or green pepper, chopped
· 1 medium red onion, diced small
· 2 teaspoons paprika
· ½ teaspoon turmeric
· ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 1litre vegetable stock
1. Heat the oil and add the red onion and pepper. Cook on a moderate heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the turmeric, paprika and black pepper.
3. Add the diced potato, vegetable stock and coconut cream, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add the sweetcorn and cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Blend half with a hand blender to keep a bit of texture or just blend it all for a creamier smoother texture.
The creamed coconut comes in a block, most supermarkets stock it. If you are using coconut milk then you will need a bit less stock, around 500ml should do!
....your health in your hands....
I have started a block of healthy cooking workshops with a lovely group of ladies from Clydebank and we are using herbs and veggies from the community gardens, which is just great! You don't get any fresher than just picked from the garden, no pesticide residues to contend with and loads of nutrition to boot!
So this week we had rainbow chard, cavolo nero, beetroot, spring onions, tomatoes and loads of flat leaf parsley!
It was soup, snacks and smoothies week so we ended up with a few bunches of rainbow chard leftover which I gladly brought home since no one else knew what to do with it! That's part of the point of the workshops, to introduce new ways of cooking and introduce new ingredients!
We are doing meat free mains next week and I'll be demonstrating how easy it is to add greens to your diet. Finely shredded and steamed or lightly stir fried is a great way to use greens, they retain most of their incredible nutrients cooked this way and the addition of some good quality oil helps with the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins! I always add a delicious garlicky, turmeric, balsamic vinegar dressing too to add heaps more health benefits and incredible flavour!
There are no boring boiled plain veggies at Nourished by Nature!
We did add a lot of greens to our various soups but rainbow chard has quite an earthy taste, its from the beetroot family and so it can be a bit of an acquired taste!
I didn't think the green smoothies would go down so well packed with chard so we made do with spinach, avocado and frozen peas! We did however add kiwi, orange,pineapple and banana and some coconut soya yoghurt and everyone loved them! There is always a way to sneak more veggies into your diet!
So I made this rather easy, nutritious and delicious curry recipe to use up the lovely rainbow chard
I can't abide waste and its shocking the amount of perfectly good food that is thrown away, I can feel a rant coming on!!
I'll save it for another post and get on with the recipe.
I've demonstrated this recipe at various healthy eating workshops and it's always a favourite.
Part of the appeal of this recipe is that it uses few ingredients, just Thai Green or Red (if you like spicy!) Curry paste, some peanut butter and coconut milk. A lot of curries need lots of different spices which most of us don't have, unless we are curry fanatics, which I am not.
Red onions, garlic and ginger make up the other flavour components, adding a fair amount of anti inflammatory action to this dish!
So you can literally have this cooked in 30 to 40 minutes. You can cheat by using the jars of ready chopped ginger and garlic but I always prefer the fresh option!
Spinach is a good alternative to the rainbow chard and you can add a whole bag since it wilts down so much and is packed with all sorts of nutritional goodies!
On that note, I'm off to prepare a vegan lunch for tomorrow for the volunteers at the most successful Lets Eat Glasgow event last weekend, which I was a part of!
It's great to see so much quality Scottish food being promoted and even better to be a part of it all!
It's Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight so please support local producers!!
Here is the recipe, it's perfect for the weekend....
Chickpea, Squash & Rainbow Chard Curry
Ingredients - Serves 4
It's been a busy old week here at Nourished by Nature! It's Scotland Food and Drink Fortnight and also Organic September so I've been promoting both of them big-time!
I'm taking part in a My Healthy Breakfast Challenge for schools in conjunction with Food for Thought and Hamlyn's Oats and my brief was to come up with a few ideas for kids breakfasts with no nuts or expensive ingredients!
So I came up with this rather delicious crunchy oaty granola which is flavoured with maple syrup and cinnamon and packed with lots of healthy seeds which kids should definitely be eating more of! I used my organic maple syrup from Lidl which was a total bargain at £2.99!
Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are now widely available everywhere from Home Bargains to Lidl, Aldi and all the major supermarkets and are very reasonably priced.
I used a mild flavoured organic Sunflower Oil but you could easily substitute olive oil or good old Scottish Rapeseed Oil.
Oats are a great energy food, packed with complex carbohydrates, soluble fibre, protein and B vitamins supporting digestive and heart health and providing a filling and nutritious base for breakfast for kids and adults alike!!
Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds add lots of minerals including calcium & magnesium for building strong bones and teeth and good fats as well as fibre and protein.
Dried fruit gives a wee burst of natural sweetness and cinnamon helps the body to deal with the sugar, which along with all the fibre, good fats and protein in this recipe will help to stabilise blood sugar levels for sustained energy and good mood!
Coconut is also high in soluble fibre and is naturally sweet which beats refined sugar any day of the week!
Served with yoghurt and fresh fruit or simply eaten as a snack, this oaty seedy crunch is sure to be a hit with kids!
I've been enjoying it on my smoothie bowls, porridge and just as a wee snack! It's a bit more crumbly than normal granola which I usually make with jumbo oats and buckwheat but it still tastes delicious!
I also added a handful of goji berries and some toasted coconut flakes to mine to add some colour and a bit of extra crunch. The brief was nut free but I love nuts so would add a good handful of almonds, chopped brazil nuts or walnuts to mine!
Here is the recipe...
MAPLE CINNAMON OAT CRUNCH
2 cups Hamlyns rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons milled flaxseeds (optional )
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Large pinch sea salt
¼ cup organic sunflower oil (4 tablespoons)
¼ cup maple syrup (4 tablespoons)
1 cup of mixed dried fruit, raisins, apricots or dates
🍃 Health educator🍃