Superfoods Archives - ig2go

Boost Your Immunity This November with our Nutrient-Packed Menu

Intelligent Gourmet was created to take the guess work out of eating healthy. We don’t expect the average consumer to be nutrition experts That is why our menu items are carefully crafted to offer a wide range of nutrient-dense, delicious options. From hearty soups to protein-packed meals, sides and immunity boosting wheat grass shots, we’ve got the perfect options to keep you in peak condition throughout the season. Don’t let the colds get you down—enjoy the benefits of staying healthy with us.

As the days grow shorter, and temperatures drop in the evening, November signals the onset of the holiday season. It’s a time filled with gatherings, but it can also bring colds and busy schedules. At Intelligent Gourmet, we value your health, and we’re here to share valuable insights and tips on staying healthy and vibrant this November.

Keeping your immune system robust is crucial to fend off cold viruses. Incorporate these vitamin and mineral-rich foods to naturally bolster your immunity.

Vitamin C:
  • Vital for health due to its roles in supporting the immune system, acting as an antioxidant, and aiding collagen production. It also benefits cardiovascular and brain health.
  • Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits (oranges, lemons), strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, and more.
Vitamin D:
  • Essential for a strong immune system and for promoting healthy bones through calcium and phosphate absorption.
  • You can obtain vitamin D from fatty fish (salmon, black cod trouts, tuna), fortified dairy products, and egg yolks. Sunlight exposure is a primary source, and supplementation may be considered.
Zinc:
  • Zinc is a supplement prescribe by health care as the ultimate immunity booster. Imagine incorporating it daily  through food.
  • Zinc can be found in lean meats like pork tenderloin, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains such as farro.
Vitamin A:
  • Vitamin A is the magic ingredient to maintain the integrity of your skin because it is involved in cell grown for your skin, and the lining of your mucus membranes, respiratory, digestive & urinary tracts. it is also important for good vision , especially in low-light conditions.
  • Add Vitamin A into your diet by eating sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach & kale.
Iron:
  • Vital for healthy blood and energy metabolism, reducing fatigue and supporting physical and mental well-being.
  • Sources of iron include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, spinach, fortified cereals, and pumpkin seeds.
Selenium:
  • Acts as a potent antioxidant, protecting cells from damage and enhancing immune function. It’s essential for proper thyroid function and metabolism regulation.
  • Foods rich in selenium include tuna, halibut, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds (great for salads), eggs (especially the yolk), and whole grains.
Intelligent Gourmet

We understand that not everyone is a nutrition expert, which is why our menu items are thoughtfully crafted to offer a wide range of nutrient-dense, immunity boosting, delicious options. From hearty soups to protein-packed meals, sides, and immune-boosting wheatgrass shots, we have everything you need to stay in peak condition throughout the season. Don’t let the colds get you down—enjoy the benefits of staying healthy with us.

 

 

Embrace Autumn’s Bounty: Healthy Food Choices in Fall

As the weather here in Florida finally has a bit of crispness in the air, we becomes aware that the fall season has come about. The fall season brings an abundance of delicious and nutritious foods. October is the perfect time to savor the flavors of autumn while prioritizing your health. Here’s a glimpse into some of the wholesome foods you can enjoy this month.

1. Apples:

October is synonymous with apple-picking season. Apples are not only a tasty snack but also a great source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Try them in salads, oatmeal, or as a crunchy dip with peanut butter.

2. Pumpkin:

Pumpkin spice everything might be popular, but real pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Roast it for a tasty side dish or blend it into soups for a comforting meal. Stop in and grab our pumpkin pancakes

3. Squash:

Varieties like butternut, acorn & spaghetti squash are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. They make delightful additions to soups, stews, and casseroles, adding a creamy texture and a hint of sweetness. We use spaghetti squash in our chicken Lasagna

4. Cranberries:

Fresh cranberries start to appear in October, bringing their tart flavor and a hefty dose of vitamin C. Whip up a homemade cranberry sauce or toss them into your morning smoothie.

5. Brussels Sprouts:

These small, cabbage-like veggies are at their best in the fall. They’re packed with nutrients and can be roasted or sautéed with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious side dish. Kale and Brussel Casear is available in our deli cases

6. Pears:

Fall pears are a sweet and juicy treat. They’re an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. Enjoy them fresh in salads and fruit bowls or poached for an elegant dessert.

7. Nuts:

October is the season for nuts like almonds and walnuts. They provide healthy fats, protein, and a satisfying crunch. Snack on them or sprinkle them over your salads for an extra dose of nutrition. We love our almond flour baked goods and the candied nuts in our fall salad

8. Sweet Potatoes:

These vibrant tubers are a fantastic source of beta-carotene and fiber. Bake or mash them for a nutritious alternative to regular potatoes. Wedges are available daily in our vegan deli case

9. Comforting Soups:

Fall is the perfect time to indulge in comforting soups. Whether it’s a hearty vegetable soup, a butternut squash, or a classic chicken, soups are a wholesome way to stay warm and nourished. A variety of specials are always in our grab n go cooler.

By focusing on these seasonal ingredients, you can create a menu that’s not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures begin to cool off, these fall foods will keep you energized, warm, and feeling your best. So, fall in love with as many of these as possible and enjoy the healthful benefits of the season.

The Miraculous World of Microgreens: A Powerhouse of Nutrition

In the vast universe of nutritious foods, there’s a group of tiny powerhouses that often gets overlooked – microgreens. These miniature versions of familiar plants pack more than just a visual and flavorful punch; they bring a substantial amount of science-backed nutritional benefits to the table. With their vibrant colors and distinct flavors, microgreens are scientifically fascinating and nutritionally potent, offering a surprising advantage for those seeking a healthier diet. Let’s take a closer look at these small but mighty heroes of nutrition.

 

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens, as their name suggests, are miniature plants, specifically the young seedlings of vegetables and herbs. They represent the early stages of a plant’s life, just after the germination of seeds, when the first true leaves begin to develop. This is a period of intense growth and development for the plant, a stage that’s captured and delivered to your plate in the form of microgreens.

The term “microgreens” is not just a fancy word for sprouts, and they’re not quite baby greens either. They occupy a unique place in the plant life cycle. Sprouts are typically harvested just days after the seed begins to grow, often while they’re still root systems with tiny leaf buds barely visible. On the other hand, baby greens are harvested later when the plant is small but well-developed, usually a few inches tall.

Microgreens are the in-betweeners. They are allowed to grow for approximately one to three weeks after germination, reaching a height of about one to three inches before they’re harvested. At this stage, they have developed cotyledons, or the plant’s first leaves, and sometimes even a set of true leaves, the ones that come after the cotyledons. This makes them larger and more developed than sprouts, but younger and smaller than baby greens.

 

The High Nutritional Density of Microgreens

Their small stature, however, does not limit their flavor. Microgreens are known for their strong and distinct flavors, often more intense than their mature counterparts. But in addition to stronger flavor, researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service found that microgreens often contain higher concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants compared to their mature counterparts. This counterintuitive finding makes sense when you delve into the biology of plant development. In the early stages of growth, a plant focuses its resources on building a strong foundational structure to support future growth. As part of this process, it accumulates a high concentration of nutrients in its tissues, resulting in a nutrient-packed seedling.

The “micro” stage of greens represents this peak moment of nutritional accumulation, a time when the plant’s reserves of vitamins and antioxidants are concentrated in a small package. This explains why a handful of microgreens can deliver an equivalent or even higher amount of nutrients compared to a larger serving of the same plant in its mature form.

For instance, studies have found that red cabbage microgreens have five times the amount of vitamin C and sixty-nine times the amount of vitamin K as the mature red cabbage. Similarly, garnet amaranth microgreens were found to have eight times more vitamin C, three times more vitamin E, and forty times more vitamin K than mature amaranths. The list goes on, making it evident that the “micro” in microgreens stands not for their nutritional value, but merely for their size.

From the peppery bite of radish microgreens to the sweet nuttiness of sunflower microgreens, each type offers a unique taste experience, elevating the simplest of dishes to gourmet levels. The combination of their nutritional density and taste profile make microgreens a truly remarkable addition to any diet.

 

Will microgreens replace mature vegetables?

Hearing all this, it may be tempting to get all your veggies in the form of microgreens, but it’s important to remember that variety is always going to be beneficial when it comes to a healthy and fulfilling diet. Mature vegetables offer much more fiber, and versatility than microgreens, which are both important to your overall wellbeing. We believe a combination of microgreens and mature vegetables is the best option for a nutritionally diverse diet, and you should simply consider adding in microgreens for a vitamin boost to whatever vegetables and dishes you’re already eating, rather than replacing anything.

 

Showcasing a Variety of Microgreens

The microgreens family is incredibly diverse, featuring members from all sorts of plant families. While this diversity makes the world of microgreens exciting and colorful, it’s important to know which plants make great microgreens and which ones you should avoid.

For starters, avoid plants that are toxic in their early stages or have parts that are poisonous. This includes plants from the nightshade family such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, which contain solanine, a harmful substance especially concentrated in their leaves and stems. Similarly, rhubarb microgreens should be avoided as their leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. You likely won’t find any of these sold as microgreens in stores, but we advise you not to try growing these yourself at home.

Moreover, plants with hard, thick seed hulls like corn may not be suitable for microgreen farming because they can be challenging to grow and may not yield as much edible product.

That still leaves plenty of options of plants that are suitable for microgreens. For instance, most leafy vegetables and herbs can be grown as microgreens. Some of the popular ones include:

  • Brassicas: This family includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and radish. Brassica microgreens are known for their vivid colors and slightly peppery taste.
  • Amaranths: Amaranth microgreens, especially the red varieties, are loved for their striking colors and slightly earthy flavor.
  • Legumes: Pea microgreens are sweet, crunchy, and have a flavor similar to fresh peas. They are larger than most microgreens and are excellent for stir-fries and salads.
  • Grasses: Wheatgrass is a well-known example in this category. It’s usually juiced rather than eaten whole.
  • Herbs and Spices: Many herbs and spices like cilantro, basil, dill, and fenugreek can also be grown as microgreens.
  • Sunflowers: Sunflower microgreens are large, crunchy, and have a pleasant, nutty flavor.

 

Incorporating Microgreens in Your Daily Diet

Incorporating microgreens into your diet is a surprisingly simple process, providing an effortless way to boost both the flavor and nutritional profile of your meals. Despite their gourmet appeal, using microgreens doesn’t require any sophisticated culinary skills – they can be added to dishes as easily as any other fresh herb or leafy green.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy microgreens is to sprinkle them over salads. Their bright colors and distinct flavors add a new layer of complexity to a traditional salad, and their crunch provides a satisfying texture contrast. Plus, the nutrient-dense microgreens help elevate a basic salad into a superfood-rich meal.

Blending microgreens into your smoothies is another practical way to increase your daily nutrient intake. Microgreens like spinach and kale blend seamlessly into fruit or green smoothies, adding a surge of vitamins and antioxidants without overpowering the taste. They can be an excellent addition to your morning routine, starting your day off on a healthy note.

Wraps and sandwiches can also greatly benefit from a handful of microgreens. Replace the regular lettuce in your sandwich or wrap with microgreens for a nutrient-packed crunch. Varieties like radish and mustard microgreens add a spicy kick that can elevate your lunch game.

Moreover, microgreens can be used as a beautiful and tasty garnish for soups and main dishes. Imagine a butternut squash soup topped with a scattering of arugula microgreens, or a plate of pasta primavera accented with a sprinkle of basil microgreens. They add a touch of sophistication while enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.

Even your favorite pizza can get a microgreen makeover. Once your pizza is out of the oven, add a layer of microgreens like sunflower or broccoli for a unique twist. The warmth of the pizza slightly wilts the greens, melding the flavors beautifully.

Microgreens are a versatile ingredient that can find a place in virtually any dish. Their vibrant color, unique flavors, and crunch can add a fresh and gourmet touch to everyday meals, while significantly enhancing their nutritional value.

 

Finding local Microgreens

Now that you know the power of microgreens, why not try them for yourself? We are thrilled to announce that we have started carrying microgreens from ‘Sow Good‘, a small local grower based right here in Tampa. Varieties they are currently growing include Broccoli, Radish, Sunflower, Pea, and a spicy salad mix made up of Broccoli, Kale, Kohlrabi, Arugula, Red Cabbage & Mustard. We have been loving everything we’ve received from them, and we highly encourage you to stop by Intelligent gourmet to pick up some greens for yourselves!

 

 

What’s in Season: 7 Spring Fruits and Vegetables and Their Nutritional Benefits

Who doesn’t love spring? Every season has its own charm, but there is something so inspiring about spring—with the fresh blooms and new life everywhere you look. One of the best ways to enjoy the season is by indulging in the fresh produce that becomes available during this time. Here are some of our favorite fruits and vegetables along with all the nutritional benefits they can add to your diet.

  1. Asparagus: Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health, and folate, which is important for pregnant women. Asparagus is also a good source of vitamin C and is a particularly rich source of glutathione, which has been shown to have detoxifying properties and protect against certain kinds of cancer. Asparagus is delicious when steamed, sauteed, or grilled, and can make an easy side dish with minimal effort.
  2. Artichokes: Artichokes are a good source of fiber, which can help regulate your digestive system. Artichokes are also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, and help improve liver function. Both the artichoke leaves and heart can be eaten and steaming or baking are the most popular ways to prepare them. You can also stuff artichokes for an extra special presentation.
  3. Strawberries: Strawberries are one of the most popular spring fruits. They are a good source of vitamin C, which we all know is great for your immune system.  Strawberries are also high in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation in your body. Polyphenols found in strawberries can also help improve insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic adults. Strawberries are delicious on their own, but we also love to add them to smoothies, yogurt bowls, oatmeal, or even sliced and added to water for a refreshing spring beverage.
  4. Peas: Peas are really excellent for eye health and can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. They are also high in coumestrol, which helps prevent stomach cancer, and the high fiber content is excellent for digestive health. In addition, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals found in peas can lower your risk of high blood pressure. Peas can easily be added to pasta dishes that use light sauces, added to salads or simply steamed and lightly seasoned for a quick and healthy side dish.
  5. Radishes: Radishes are crunchy and refreshing spring vegetables that can help with liver and kidney function, and the glucosinolate and isothiocyanate can help to regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes. Radishes are also excellent for overall blood and heart health because they are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. incorporate radishes into your spring meals by adding thin slices to salads for a peppery crunch, roasting them with garlic and olive oil, or making your own pickled radishes to enjoy all year long.
  6. Apricots: We generally find apricots as dried fruit, and although those are tasty, we love to enjoy fresh apricots in spring when they are in season. Apricots are sweet and juicy spring fruit that are high in vitamin A, which is important for eye health. They are also a good source of fiber, which can help regulate your digestive system. Beta carotene, also found in apricots can help make your skin more resistant to sunburn, which is super helpful for our sunny climate. Like strawberries, apricots are delicious when eaten whole and do really well in salads and smoothies. You can also make some super tasty spring desserts like apricot tarts, and apricot crisp. 
  7. Rhubarb: Rhubarb is a unique spring vegetable that is often used in desserts. Only the stalks are edible, and you’ll see the best Rhubarb become available in early April. Rhubarb is a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health, and vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system. Rhubarb is also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage and reduce inflammation. The high fiber content is of course also excellent for overall digestive health. Get your fill of rhubarb by making pies, or your own chutney that can be whipped out and added to other dishes all year long.

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is essential for maintaining a healthy diet. During the spring season, there are many delicious and nutritious options to choose from. By incorporating these seasonal foods into your meals, you can take advantage of their health benefits and enjoy the flavors of the season. We encourage you to shop local and find these spring fruits and veggies from local farms if available.

Do you have a favorite on this list? Or a favorite recipe incorporating other spring fruits and veggies? Drop a comment below, or tag us on social media! We would love to hear what you enjoy this time of year.

 

 

Probiotic vs Prebiotic Foods – How to Incorporate Them Into Your Diet

Gut health affects your overall wellness, and what you eat plays a major role in determining the status of your gut health. Recently, probiotic and prebiotic foods have gained popularity as the savers of your gut health. But what’s the difference between these two, and how can you incorporate them into your diet? 

In this post, we’ll explore the difference between probiotics and prebiotics and give you practical tips on how to add these superfoods to your diet.

Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods – What’s the Difference? 

Probiotics and prebiotics foods are not the same. Probiotic foods contain live microorganisms that improve or maintain the number of beneficial gut bacteria in the body. Prebiotic foods contain non-digestible carbohydrates that serve as food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

In short, probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that improve the beneficial microflora in the gut, and prebiotics is the food that gut microflora consume, helping them to grow and thrive. Together, probiotics and prebiotics help support a healthy gut microbiome that is essential for the healthy functioning of the gut. 

How to Incorporate Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods Into Your Diet? 

When you’re taking sufficient probiotic and prebiotic foods, you’ll see significant positive changes in your gut health. If you have no idea which foods are the best to get a good intake of probiotics and prebiotics in your diet, here are some of our favorites:

Sources of Probiotic Foods 

  • Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh are good sources of probiotics.
  • Try adding a spoonful of miso to soups, sprinkling kimchi on your rice, or having a serving of yogurt with fruit and honey to boost probiotics in your diet. 
  • Probiotic drinks, such as kombucha, water kefir, and coconut water kefir, also contain a high amount of probiotics. 
  • You can also snack on probiotic-rich foods like probiotic granola bars or probiotic crackers.

Sources of Prebiotics Foods 

  • Fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are excellent sources of prebiotics.
  • Root vegetables like garlic, onions, and leeks also provide a high amount of prebiotics.
  • Foods like legumes, green bananas, and cooked and cooled potatoes can also be consumed to increase the levels of prebiotics in your diet.

Processed foods are low in fiber and often high in sugar, which can harm the beneficial bacteria in your gut. So, it’s crucial to minimize highly processed foods from your diet if you want to experience the positive effects of probiotic and prebiotic foods.

Tips for Adding Probiotics and Prebiotics Into Your Diet 

Here are some tips that you should remember when you start adding probiotics and prebiotics into your diet: 

  • Aim for various probiotic and prebiotic foods in your diet rather than relying on a single source.
  • Gradually incorporate these foods into your diet to allow your gut to adjust.
  • Be mindful of the serving sizes and pay attention to how these foods affect your body.
  • Always consult a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Bottom Line 

Excited to flourish your gut bacteria using these probiotics and prebiotics foods? Pin this post as a reminder, and come visit Intelligent Gourmet to enjoy wholesome food that will help you improve your gut microflora with tasty organic meals. 

It’s Winter Season: Vegan Soup Recipes

Since it is officially the Winter Holidays – it is time for homemade soup! We are taking three of our favorite soup recipes and making them vegan. While it is still a balmy 75 degrees in Tampa, we are all watching the weather in hopes of cooler temps. We don’t know about you, but we are ready for some sweater weather! Not only do we crave our winter wardrobes when the weather turns chilly (less than 75 for us Floridians), we crave soothing, hot comfort foods. Here are three of our favorite hot soup recipes made vegan, low-calorie, and extra delicious. And the best part, they are filled with cancer-fighting ingredients!

Note: these recipes work best with an immersion blender. All recipes serve 3-4 single servings.

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

  • 1 head of cauliflower and 1 head of broccoli, steamed
  • 1 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Add 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4th tsp grated nutmeg
  • Vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Non-Vegan options: Garnish with plain Greek yogurt or a sprinkle of extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Directions: In a pot, saute 1 chopped onion until well browned in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Using an immersion blender, blend cauliflower, broccoli, and onion mixture together, adding vegetable broth until desired soup consistency is reached. Garnish with fresh parsley or non-vegan alternatives.

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 Tb EVOO
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs mushrooms
  • 1 Tb dry sherry (or white wine)
  • 1 russet potato or 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • To add depth of flavor, try adding a dash of balsamic vinegar!

Directions: Saute onion with olive oil in a pot until caramelized, add garlic. Deglaze with dry sherry and add mushrooms and potatoes. Add herbs and spices. Cook down until mushrooms are deeply browned (not burnt!) and potato pieces are soft. Immersion blend until soup has reached a desirable consistency. Since mushrooms produce a lot of moisture while cooking down, you may not need any additional vegetable stock, which is why it’s omitted. If extra moisture is required, use vegetable stock or white wine. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme (yep, just like the song says!).

Vegan Tomato Soup

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours beforehand
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 14.4 oz cans stewed tomatoes (or 4.5 cups)
  • 1/4 c coconut milk
  • Fresh basil, chopped with some more for garnish
  • Sugar, salt, and pepper to taste (yes, sugar!)
  • Pepitas (optional garnish)

Directions: In a pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until they are soft. In a 2-cup measure (or deep pot – whatever you have handy), use your immersion blender to blend the cashews with 1/2 cup water until it’s creamy. Add into the onion/garlic pot with stewed tomatoes, basil, and coconut milk, and blend until creamy. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with garlic bread, or garnish with pepitas.

Re-Vamp Your Breakfast Recipes, try a Quinoa Bowl

Why try a quinoa bowl for breakfast? Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all 10 essential amino acids, and a high fiber content. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of satiating fiber, having it for breakfast will help to arm your body with the tools it needs to get through the day and stay fuller longer. As an added bonus, quinoa is packed with health boosters like zinc, calcium, iron, riboflavin, heart healthy fats and antioxidants that have been found to reduce inflammation.quinoa bowl

Recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 15
Yield: 2 bowls

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup canned lite coconut mylk + more for drizzling
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of dried unsweetened dark cherries
1 tablespoon of toasted pecans
1 tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds

Preparation:
Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.
Divide quinoa into two bowls then cover with dried fruits, pecans, + pumpkin seeds and a few extra drizzles of coconut milk.

Chef Notes:  You can use a shelf stable organic Coconut mylk available at Aldi’s Markets. Or you can make your own Almond mylk but that’s for another blog.  Option to add  sweetener of choice,  we find it sweet enough with the coconut milk and fruit.

#Kidfriendly #addtoppingsofyourchoice #mixandmatchfruitsnutsandseeds #yearroundmeal

Nutrition: 302 calories, 10.3 g fat (4.9 g saturated fat), 99 mg sodium, 34.6 g carbs, 5.3 g fiber, 7.9 g sugar, 8.2 g protein

Reduce Inflammation & Improve Digestion with Easy To Make Bone Broth


Remember how soothing chicken soup is whenever you have a cold? Well, it turns out that broth, and especially bone broth (made from simmering bones and cartilage) really do have medicinal properties. I’m always on the lookout for foods that both nourish and heal your body, and while studying at the Institute of Integrative Health and Nutrition I was turned on to bone broth as a way of improving digestive symptoms such as bloating and pain.

Bone broth is experiencing a revolution right now, and for good reason. It can reduce joint pain and inflammation through chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, proline, arginine, and glycine which all have anti-inflammatory effects. It promotes strong, healthy bones through high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and additional nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation, and promotes healthy hair and nail growth thanks to the gelatin in the broth. It may even help you sleep better due to the calming effects of glycine. Wow. No wonder superstar Kobe Bryant is drinking it daily and it’s even gained a cult following in NYC!

Another important component of both broths are that they are rich in Humic + Fulvic minerals! What are those you ask and why should I want them?
Research is just beginning to show us the important role that fulvic minerals play and the information is amazing! These minerals like others support the body in a variety of ways including cellular health, brain health and digestion by helping the body absorb nutrients from food.
In a perfect world, our food would naturally contain high levels of minerals from the soil, but this is not usually the case with our modern food supply.

Ready to try this out? You can make bone broth at home (recipe below!) by simmering chicken, beef, or pretty much any type of bones in water for 6+ hours. At Intelligent Gourmet we use this recipe as a base in most of our stocks and it’s just plain delicious! No single theory of health is right for everyone, but we’ve seen bone broth work well for some people and not cause adverse symptoms for anyone, therefore we feel it’s safe to approve as a food that promotes digestive health.
Intelligent Gourmet’s Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients

4-5.5 lbs. of Beef or Chicken bones (including joints, knuckles, necks etc.)
2 gallons Cold Water or enough to cover your bones (Why cold water? On a chemical level, it actually promotes the extraction of protein, helping to up the nutrient quotient of the stock.)
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks of Celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp of Vinegar* (such as Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 bunch of fresh Parsley
Optional: Thyme + Rosemary (I like to add thyme, bay leaf, and whole peppercorns, with maybe a sprig or two of rosemary. If you’re adding herbs and veggies to the broth, be sure to add them toward the end of cooking, especially if you’re doing a marathon stock making session.)

*A Note on Vinegar: This is not an optional ingredient. Not only is it ideal to combine fats with acids like vinegar, when it comes to making broth the goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water and vinegar really helps to leech all those valuable minerals out of the bones. Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Preparation

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to-low and simmer for 6 to 24 hours (the longer you simmer it, the more intense the flavor). Add water as needed to keep ingredients submerged. Strain stock into a clean pot or heatproof plastic container and discard solid ingredients. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Leave the solidified fat on the top while storing as the fat acts as a protective layer and delays the formation of bacteria. Immediately prior to use, bring the bone broth to a gentle boil. Makes about 12 cups.

You can use this broth as a base for soups like we do at Intelligent Gourmet, or you can drink it straight as a restorative concoction.

Interested in learning more about foods that promote healthy digestion? Here are a few I can recommend:

Bananas
While all fruits and vegetables are generally good for digestion, bananas in particular are great because they don’t irritate the stomach. That’s why they’re part of the “BRAT Diet” (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, dry Toast), which has been suggested for folks suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

Water
Water (which most people do not drink enough of) is excellent for the digestive process as it helps move things through the intestines. Drink an extra glass of water in the morning and evening, or carry a refillable water bottle that you can sip from throughout the day.

Ginger, Turmeric, Peppermint
Spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric and peppermint are great for settling an upset stomach. Try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, or sucking on a peppermint lozenge.

Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi
Probiotic-containing foods like yogurt are good for the digestive system because they contain good bacteria that crowds out any bad bacteria that you may have in your gut. You want to look specifically for foods that contain live bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Asparagus, Oats, Onions, Lentils, Whole Grains
Prebiotic foods like asparagus contain a type of fiber that probiotics feed off of to multiply, so it’s good food for your good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in foods such as asparagus, onions, lentils and whole grains.

Soup

Need an Energy Boost? Try this Chia Juice!

Chia Juice Health Benefits

Did you know that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength”? If that doesn’t deserve its own workout drink, I don’t know what does. But don’t buy one from the store – they’re loaded with sugar! Here’s what you need to know about chia seeds, including a delicious healthy recipe for a refreshing juice!

5 Fun Facts About Chia Seeds

  1. Chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon, gram for gram.
  2. High fiber and protein content makes you feel full longer and slows the metabolism of sugars.
  3. Nicely balanced amino acids make the protein easy for our bodies to use.
  4. Contain 4 nutrients that work together to maintain good bone health: Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein.
  5. Lowers blood pressure and inflammation.

Chia seed drinks are quickly trending in high-end health food stores, but like most mass-produced bottled beverages, they’re high in sugar. I love adding chia seeds to my juices and smoothies for their healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium since the combination keeps your blood-sugar even for hours. Hello steady energy! While you can add chia seeds to anything, I love this refreshing, ultra-hydrating recipe.

Minty-Fresh Energy Boost Juice

  • ½ lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • Handful of romaine, arugula, or watercress
  • Handful of mint
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ green apple

3 Simple Creamy Vegan Winter Soups

Broccoli Soup With Cream

It’s officially the Winter Holidays! And while Tampa remains a stubborn balmy 70 degrees, we’re almost dipping into the 60s this week. If you’ve lived around here long enough, I’m sure you’ll agree: It’s hat and coat time! But not only do we crave our winter wardrobes when the weather turns chilly (read: Less than 75), we crave soothing hot comfort foods. Here are three of my favorite hot soup recipes made vegan, low-calorie, and extra delicious. Oh, and the best part: They’re all major cancer-fighters!

You’ll definitely need an immersion blender…

All recipes serve 3-4 (or 2 if they want seconds!)

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

  • 1 head of cauliflower and 1 head of broccoli, steamed
  • 1 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Add 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4th tsp grated nutmeg
  • Vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Non-Vegan options: Garnish with plain Greek yogurt or a sprinkle of extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Directions:

In a pot, saute 1 chopped onion until well browned in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Using an immersion blender, blend cauliflower, broccoli, and onion mixture together, adding vegetable broth until desired soup consistency is reached. Garnish with fresh parsley, or non-vegan alternatives.

Vegan Mushroom Soup

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 Tb EVOO
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs mushrooms
  • 1 Tb dry sherry (or white wine)
  • 1 russet potato or 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
  • Several sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • To add depth of flavor, try adding a dash of balsamic vinegar!

Directions

Saute onion with olive oil in a pot until caramelized, add garlic. Deglaze with dry sherry and add mushrooms and potatoes. Add herbs and spices. Cook down until mushrooms are deeply browned (not burnt!) and potato pieces are soft. Immersion blend until soup has reached a desirable consistency. Since mushrooms produce a lot of moisture while cooking down, you may not need any additional vegetable stock, which is why it’s omitted. If extra moisture is required, use vegetable stock or white wine. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme (yep, just like the song says!).

vegan creamy tomato soup

Vegan Tomato Soup

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours beforehand
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 14.4 oz cans stewed tomatoes (or 4.5 cups)
  • 1/4 c coconut milk
  • Fresh basil, chopped with some more for garnish
  • Sugar, salt and pepper to taste (yes, sugar!)
  • Pepitas (optional garnish)

Directions

In a pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until they are soft. In a 2-cup measure (or deep pot – whatever you have handy), use your immersion blender to blend the cashews with 1/2 cup water until it’s creamy. Add into the onion/garlic pot with stewed tomatoes, basil, and coconut milk, and blend until creamy. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garlic bread, or garnish with pepitas.

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