Immunity Miso Soup

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I call this Immunity Soup because the almost raw garlic and ginger have
antibacterial and antiviral properties; good to sweat out a fever or kick a sore throat in the pants. The unpasteurized kimchi or sauerkraut gives it added benefits, as these fermented foods are full of enzymes and the fermented cabbage aids in intestinal health. (Especially essential if you have taken antibiotics!)

This recipe is what my friend calls a soup-salad. It is raw veggies in a bowl with a warming broth poured over top, this creates a super quick to make, crunchy, vibrant, nearly raw soup.

Time: 20 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Liter stock or water (you can use homemade chicken, beef, mushroom or vegetable stock, but even water is fine.)
  • 1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, pressed or grated
  • 1/2 Thai chili, chopped finely (or more, or none)
  • 3-4 leaves of kale
  • 2 carrots, made into ribbons or ‘noodles’ with a vegetable peeler. Daikon is a good substitute or addition to this, also peeled like the carrots.
  • 1/4 cup Miso (I use genmai or brown miso)
  • 1/4 cup, or your preference of unpasteurized sauerkraut or kimchi (or Sea ‘Chi)

Optional (more filling) Noodles: I like the thicker pad Thai rice noodles, or super-fine rice vermicelli. Get the brown rice variety if you can.

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, bring stock or water to a boil.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and chili to the liquid. Add noodles and cook until almost done. For rice noodles, this can be 1 minute or so. Once noodles are nearly done, take the pot off of the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, make a paste with miso in a bowl and some water to thin it out. It should be the consistency of peanut butter. (This makes it easier to incorporate into the soup than adding the miso directly.)
  4. Whisk in miso.
  5. Prepare bowls with shredded raw vegetables in the bottom. Pour soup over veggies.
  6. Now add a generous amount of unpasteurized sauerkraut or kimchi. Garnish with green onions or cilantro if you like.

Variations: Use this basic broth as a base for other broth soups- like add frozen wontons, homemade raviolis, seaweed or quickly cook broccoli for a hearty broccoli broth soup.



Help Your Skin Glow With This Tasty Chocolate Treat Recipe

The smell of just about any chocolate is enough to get me invigorated and peppy, and so finding this healthy, yet still-delicious superfood recipe made me want to jump for joy! I definitely need a little chocolate indulgence now and then, and you probably do, too. The good news is this recipe for a tasty chocolate bark will not only get your taste buds singing, but it will also give your skin a healthy glow and your heart a healthy boost!

It’s all thanks to these stellar ingredients:

Dark Chocolate

There are so many great things dark chocolate (with the right type and in the correct proportions!) can do for us, but we’ll stick to just a few. Flavanols, which are plant compounds naturally found in the cocoa bean, help promote blood flow and dilate vessels. This action helps to deliver nutrients throughout the body, including the skin.

A study found that cocoa flavanols protect the skin from ultraviolet damage, increase blood flow to the skin, increase density and thickness of the skin, decrease water loss, and improve the overall appearance of the skin. It’s also good for your heart health; studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.

Eating dark chocolate may also prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It can even make you happy! Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love (this explains so much). PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins.

It’s also got several important vitamins and minerals:

  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Iron

Chia Seeds

We’ve covered chia seeds before as a trendy health food, but there’s a lot to this seed’s story. There is a lot of buzz around chia’s weight loss power. Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat. This type of resistance can also be harmful to your overall health. Chia seeds are packed with soluble fiber and are high in antioxidants, calcium, iron, manganese, and phosphorous.

A unique property of chia seeds is the ability to hold up to 12 times its weight in water. Soaked for 30 mins, the seeds will form a gel-like substance. Researches believe this gel reaction also occurs in the stomach, forming a barrier, which means carbohydrates are broken down slowly. This makes the seeds popular among endurance athletes and also diabetics, who want a slow-release energy source, as well as for extra hydration.

Good Fatty Nuts

Nuts are a great source of healthy, unsaturated fats. It’s thought that the “good” fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower bad cholesterol levels. They also have omega-3 fatty acids in abundance, which are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many kinds of fish, but nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. All nuts also contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol, help you feel fuller, and is thought to play a role in preventing diabetes. Add in nuts’ supply of Vitamin E, plant sterols, and l-arginine, and your heart will stay pumping at maximum efficiency!

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces 70% cocoa bittersweet dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup toasted walnut pieces
  • ½ cup toasted pecan pieces
  • ½ cup toasted almond slices
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Combine chocolate and coffee, place over a double boiler, heating on a low flame while stirring until chocolate is 3/4 melted.
  2. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
  3. Mix in the toasted nuts and chia seeds.
  4. Spread mixture on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and chill until mixture sets, about 30 minutes.
  5. Break into pieces and serve. Enjoy!
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