Holiday Coconut Lentil Spinach Soup

 

coconut lentil 1

During the times my diet is cleaner (which to me means more raw) my body craves warm food.  Add that to winter weather and my warm food craving sky rockets.  For me a warm hearty soup hits the spot.  This recipe is one of my favorites.  My mother gave me a version of this and I made a few changes to make it more wellness friendly.

My favorite part of the recipe is the coconut milk.  I love all things coconut when it comes to lotion, candles and of course food.  The original recipe calls for 1 cup of coconut milk and 4 cups vegetable stock.  I switched that to 2 cups of coconut and 3 vegetable.  This gives it a creamier bisque like texture and yummy coconut flavor.  It also increases the fat content of the meal, which in turn increases the bodies fat metabolism.  Coconut milk contains a certain type of fatty acids that encourages the body to burn fat for energy.

coconut lentil 3

Another health benefit of this recipe are the lentils.  Lentils are high in protein and fiber.  By replacing your animal protein with plant-based protein you decrease the acidity of your body, which is the basis for disease.   protein is a common concern for vegans and vegetarians.  Lentils are the perfect remedy.  They also fill you up and satisfy you with the high fiber content.  Many times I find that if I eat a soup that is mostly liquid, I go on to eat something else, because I’ve not satisfied my appetite, or hunger.  Lentils do just that for me.

During the winter months we need boosted immunity to fight off the cold and flu season.  Onions are notorious for boosting immunity.  They also satisfy the texture craving I need if I’m decreasing my carbs.  I’ve had many clients tell me that sometimes they just want something crunchy or chewy.  The onion satisfies this for me.  I try to keep them as chunky as possible when dicing them.

coconut lentil 4

The next health benefit to this soup are the Cumin seeds.  Here is a list of their health benefits copied from nutritionandyou.com

 

  • Cumin seeds contain numerous phyto-chemicals that are known to have antioxidant, carminative and anti-flatulent properties. The seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber.
  • Its seeds contain certain health-benefiting essential oils such as cuminaldehyde (4-isopropylbenzaldehyde),pyrazines, 2-methoxy-3-sec-butylpyrazine, 2-ethoxy-3-isopropylpyrazine, and 2-methoxy-3-methylpyrazine.
  • The active principles in the cumin may improve gut motility and help in digestion by augmenting gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions.
  • The spice is an excellent sources of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the powerful anti-oxidant enzyme,superoxide dismutase.
  • It also contains very good amounts of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and other vital anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
  • The seeds are also rich source of many flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, zea-xanthin, and lutein.

Lastly the spinach is consumed raw which will retain most of its health boosting benefits.  Just shred a handful up and put at the bottom of your soup bowel and pour the prepared soup on top.

Recipe

  • 2/3 Cup of Lentils
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 cups Coconut Milk Full Fat
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 3 Tbls Amino Acids or coconut aminos (a health substitute for soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of shredded spinach

First cook the lentils according to their directions for 10 minutes.  Next add all but spinach and cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or to desired lentil tenderness. Lastly add raw spinach leaves to bowl and cover with soup.  Happy Holidays I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

coconut lentil 2

 

 

 

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