Updated: May 27
In the face of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, not to mention everyday colds and the flu, it's more important now than ever to practice nutrient-dense eating for a strong immune system. The term "nutrient-dense" refers to foods that have a high nutrient content (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, otherwise known as plant nutrients) in relation to its weight. A good example of this is blueberries that pack a ton of nutrition for just one 85-calorie cup:
24 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin C
9 mg of calcium
9 mg magnesium
9 mcg folate
114 mg potassium
4 grams of fiber
plus, an abundance of disease-fighting anthocyanins that have been shown to help prevent heart disease, create gut health and improve cognition
Fun fact: spices and herbs pack more nutrition per gram than many fruits and vegetables! You may already know about ginger and turmeric, but other spices like clove, sumac and cinnamon, and herbs like rosemary, oregano and thyme pack a big punch when it comes to nutrition. The great news is that you only need a little bit to get a lot of nutrition! Tune in to tomorrow's blog to learn about 10 spices and herbs that can boost immunity and check out the delicious and simple-to-make soup below that is nutrient dense and perfect for building a strong immune system.
Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Chickpea Soup (a.k.a. The Ultimate Immune-Boosting Soup)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
one leek, white and light green part of the stalk only, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tsp mustard seed
2 Tbsp avocado oil or vegetable broth if oil free
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, minced (or 2" if you love ginger!)
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets*
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1 BPA-free 15-ounce canned chickpeas, drained
1-2 cups chopped spinach or kale
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
dash of smoked paprika (optional)
*I recommend a small cauliflower head for this recipe, which equals about 4-5 cups of cauliflower florets. I tried this recipe a second time using what appeared to be a cauliflower head on steroids, which yielded 8 cups of cauliflower florets and it took away from some of the flavor. I ended up using more of the other ingredients. Just an FYI as I want your dish to turn out delicious!
How to make
In a large pot, heat the avocado oil or vegetable broth over high heat. Add the mustard seeds and leek. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add the cauliflower, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Sauté to lightly toast the spices, 1-2 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth.
Boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk, chickpeas, greens (spinach or kale), cilantro and cayenne. Heat through and serve.
Top with a dash of smoked paprika, add more salt (I added about 1/4 tsp more to the whole pot) and pepper to taste or more cilantro if your philosophy is like mine—the more cilantro the better!
P.S. My husband likes "meat" with many of his meals so we added No Evil Foods sausage, "The Stallion," to his soup. Photo below!