Fit Factor: Kick the Can
Not a big soup fan? Don’t write it off just yet! Many of us are familiar with only canned soup, which can often be less than appetizing. Most store bought canned soups are also high in sodium and devoid of nutrients. Try making homemade soup for a change. It is one of the most healthy foods you can eat and it’s simple, versatile, and inexpensive, too.
MyPlate recommends that an adult should eat a variety of whole fruits and vegetables, grains (at least half whole grains), protein, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. With soup, you are able to throw in a wide range of vegetables, legumes, and other protein, so it can be packed full of nutrients, fulfilling all the food groups on MyPlate in one meal. Because of this, soup helps promote a healthy weight by keeping you satiated with fewer calories and extra water.
Soup is also one of the most affordable meals you can make. You need little to none of the typically expensive items, like meat and cheese. A little meat will go a long way in soup – the process of cooking it brings out the meat’s flavor. What you do use plenty of is vegetables, many of which are some of the cheapest items in the store, depending on what’s in season. The CDC reports that only 9% of Americans are meeting the two to three cups of vegetables per day, as recommended. Soup will make meeting these recommendations effortless!
Most soups require only a cutting board, a knife and a pot – a classic one pot meal. Not only are they simple to make, but they get better with time as the flavors blend together. It’s also a perfect dish to store in the freezer for a later date when you need a quick meal.
There is such variety when it comes to types of soup and recipes, you are always bound to find something that will satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re craving a light broth-based soup, a hearty black bean chili or a refreshing gazpacho (cold soup), soup keeps it simple, healthy, and delicious!
For a quick, healthy and delicious meal try this tasty Thai – Inspired Soup recipe:
4 (15 oz) can low sodium chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can light coconut milk
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped and divided in half
2 tbsp lemongrass
2 tbsp crushed ginger
15 crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste!)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 limes, zest and juice
3 frozen chicken breasts
Combine all contents in a pot (except for half of the cilantro), bring it to a boil and let simmer for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Remove from heat. Shred the chicken and put it back in the broth. Then top with the remaining cilantro and dinner’s ready!
Moore, Latetia. “Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. July 10, 2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6426a1.htm
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