Mellow Vegetable Broth

20140616-200948.jpg

Since childhood we’ve been told to eat three hearty meals a day at regular intervals. As children this is a necessity as we need the regularity until we are old enough to fend for our selves. As adults, however, this childhood habit tend to linger whether we are hungry or not. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in between – in essence, we are grazing our way through life. Whether it has got anything to do with hunger or not is debatable – according to Dr. Alejandro Junger, the frequency of eating in the Western World may in part be fuelled by boredom, habit and/or addiction but it is not doing us any good. Our constant grazing means that our bodies never gets proper time to digest and detox naturally. In his book, Clean, Dr Junger tells us it takes 8 hours for solids to digest (less for liquids) and another 4 hours for the body’s natural detoxification process to finish. 12 hours in other words – how many of us get more than 8!

The point, according to Dr. Junger, is that today’s eating habits are a social construct – and a fairly recent one at that. Historically, the body was used to feast and famine. Something was hunted/picked and eaten, then the body would ‘starve’ a little before something else appeared. This approach enabled the body to fully digest the intake, distribute the nutrients, and eliminate that which was not needed before the next meal arrived. With current eating habits however, we may have lost the body’s natural ability to detox as we are  constantly snacking.

Dr. Junger’s 21 day cleanse, which he advocates to reboot the body’s natural ability to detox, may not be for the fainthearted. But some of the ideas related to this detox programme stuck in my mind. Such as the point that a liquid meal at night is far easier for the body to digest than solids. Therefore, the quicker the digestion process kicks in – the quicker the detox can take place. Hence, the evening is the WORST possible time to have a big stodgy meal – quite the contrary to how most of us live. Soup, I decided, was the way forward. I made up my mind to look at my veg drawer in the same manner as I did when making a green juice, ie. take whatever you’ve got at home and turn it into a soup.

I started out with Kallo’s vegetarian and organic bouillon which is a favorite anyway in the house. Added all the veg and turned the heat off, letting the veg steam for about 20 mintues. You are left with a lovely, flavourful broth packed with vegetables that are gently steamed yet have a slight crunch. I didn’t want to liquidise with a hand blender as I like chewing the veg but the option is entirely yours. Afterwards I felt light yet remarkably filled up at the same time. A win-win that I will revisit often – it was super delicious.

Mellow Veg Broth

1 stock cube Kallo organic and vegetarian

6-7 Shiitake mushrooms

1 bit handful of green cabbage – cut into strips

3-4 broccoli florets

2 small carrots

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

3 asparagus

1 handful chopped celery

Bring a pot to the boil – just as much as you would like to eat so one of two bowls full. Once water has boiled, turn off the heat and add all the vegetables at once. Cover with a lid and let vegetables steam for about 20 minutes. Enjoy. X

Good food fast

photo 2-2Being a food lover can be quite overwhelming. I often stare into my fridge, ravenous with hunger and wanting to consume its content all at once but not sure in which order. Today, after my Whole Foods veggie shop, I was having one of those moments. It all looked so dewy, crunchy and fresh that I wanted the lot. I promptly cubed and diced until I had a little sample of everything and heaped the lot into a pot of boiling water together with some sea salt.photo 1-410 minutes later I had blended the content into a smooth soup with no bits in sight. Which had the added, unplanned, benefit of shielding the contents of the soup from my son who was home sick from school. Don’t get me wrong, he really likes a good soup but was he to know the precise ingredients, like courgette, ginger and sweet potato, he’d  fastidiously declare that he was ‘just not that into it’.

My point is that this stuff is not rocket science and we know that our waistlines and energy levels benefit from plenty of good, seasonal veggies. The key therefore is to be arsed to whip up something healthy and quick instead of getting a cheese’n ham Panini from Costa.

Remember – it’s spring, people. Beach 2014 is beckoning!!  Get juicing and souping, make weird and wonderful salads using all the fab organic veggies that are available to us and feel your energy levels soar and waistline shrink. Here’s the ingredients for the soup we had today:

1 large sweet potato

1/2 butternut squash

2 large broccoli florets

1 courgette

2 shallots

1 1/2 ” ginger root, chopped

1/2 can coconut milk

1 tsp coconut oil

A sprinkling of crushed chilli

Sea salt to taste

Cook for about 10 minutes then blend all into a yummy, smooth soup and serve. Enjoy x