Most people are excited for a fresh start that comes with a new year. They make great resolutions with big ambition, tell their friends, create lists and set goals, when I’m over here trying not to get sick. Yup, that’s my one goal, survive the next three months of flu season. Cue in my immune boosting, spicy butternut squash carrot ginger soup. Not to worry, it’s still a bowl of heart friendly and low fat goodness too.
Why is this good for your immune system (and heart)?
- Carrots. Rich in vitamin A, C and K which are great for your eyes, immune system, lungs and heart health. More importantly, cooked carrots have increased benefits of more antioxidants.
- Ginger. A lot of folks focus on just cholesterol or just blood pressure when trying to address their heart issues but a big underlying issue in heart health are the conditions of our arteries. Inflammation in our arteries cause scarring which creates little pockets for bad fat to live in, this leads to blockage. Eating to reduce cholesterol or blood pressure is great, but we need also to preserve our healthy arteries. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent blood clots and lower cholesterol. It also helps boost immune systems. Try to enjoy ginger tea or incorporate this power food into your meals, we sure eat a lot of it.
- Green apples. Our choice in fruit, green apples are rich in fiber which helps lower cholesterol and rich in potassium that maintain a steady heart rhythm and control blood pressure. They also help stabilize blood sugar.
- Butternut squash. Rich in fiber, this complex carbohydrate is loaded with omega 3’s a great fat to help fight against bad fat. Butternut squash is also high in potassium that helps with blood pressure. If you increase your potassium and decrease your sodium intake, you will see greater results in your blood pressure than if you were only to decrease your sodium intake. Also, it is high in immune-boosting vitamin C.
1 tbsp olive oil
400g seeded, peeled and cubed, butternut squash
2 cored and peeled, chopped green apples
1.5 lbs peeled, rough chop carrots
3 inch peeled rough chop ginger
1 rough chop onion
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 liter veggie stock (low sodium)
1/2 cup of water (if needed)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
bean sprouts (garnish)
6 Easy Steps (Instructions):
Step 1: In a large pot, over medium-high, heat olive oil and add onions, ginger and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. About 5 minutes
Step 2: Add butternut squash, apple, carrots and stock. Bring to a boil.
Step 3: Reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until all veggies are soft.
Step 4: When veggies are soft, puree soup in a blender. You may need to do this in instalments.
Step 5: Add puree back into the pot and bring to a simmer again.
Step 6: Stir in coconut milk and salt pepper to taste.
Enjoy! (Enjoy more the next day!) Nutritional facts and printer-friendly version of this recipe here.