What are your goals during the winter? How about staying in shape, having a balanced diet without having to spend hours in the kitchen, and keeping yourself warm? Here is the key: soups! Below are some ideas on how to incorporate them into your daily diet and how to prepare them in order to make them healthy and nutritious.
Soups are your best choice this winter, because they take away the cold, nourish you, and are easily prepared. You can serve them as a starter or as an entrée with your favorite ingredients. Best of all, soups make you feel full and satisfied quickly because hot liquids slow down the speed at which your stomach becomes empty.
Now, follow these tips and don’t be afraid to use your imagination!
Soup as a starter:
- Use low fat and low sodium chicken or beef broth.
- Add your favorite vegetables cut into chunks.
- For a thicker soup, blend your favorite vegetables with some skim milk and season to taste. This will help you achieve a creamy consistency.
- Add meats or starches (for example, potatoes, rice, and yucca) to your soup, only if these ingredients are not part of the entrée.
- Minimize the use of cream, cheese, and bread crumbs, since these ingredients add more calories and fat to your soup.
- If you want to try something different, cook some apples, strawberries, pears, or peaches in water, blend them with plain yogurt and season with salt and pepper.
Soup as a complete meal:
- Use low fat, low sodium chicken or beef broth to prepare the soup.
- Be sure to include some sort of vegetable cut into chunks or strips to make your soup rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Add some kind of meat (especially white meat, like chicken, turkey, fish, or shellfish) to your soup. This will increase its protein content, which induces prolonged satiety (feeling of fullness).
- Include some starch, like potatoes, corn, pasta, rice, lentils, beans, or chickpeas. These foods will help “boost” your energy.
- Use your favorite spices and condiments to prepare a delicious, homemade soup.
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