The foods we consume on a regular basis are either beneficial to us and improve our health or they degrade it. Much of what we cook is actually of no use to our bodies. This is due to the fact that the enzymes are lost in the cooking process, leaving us with the vitamins, minerals, carbs, fats and flavors. It’s not to say that these are necessarily bad, but the enzymes are not present! Enzymes are what our bodies need in order to break down food into usable forms. With nothing to break down your food, you can imagine the digestive troubles that can turn up. Anything that can’t be broken down either gets stored as fat or gets expelled. With no enzymes, not much gets broken down. When we pay attention to what we eat, we can feel and look much better. Throwing caution to the wind and eating whatever seems tasty or convenient doesn’t produce the same benefits. We can take the time to make good, healthy food and it can be easy to make.
One of my favorites is Gazpacho Soup. Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern region of Spain where it is widely eaten, particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool. I love it for its taste and for the fact that it doesn’t lose the enzymes because there’s no cooking involved.
How to make your Healthy Gazpacho Soup:
- 5 ripe tomatoes, chopped. (can use more if desired)
- 1 large cucumber, chopped (about 1 cups’ worth)
- 1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion
- 6 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- (1/2 cup of Basil can be substituted for cilantro for a more Italian flare)
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp cumin (for a more Italian flare, skip the cumin)
- 1 Tbsp hot green chili for a touch of heat (if desired)
- 1 tsp sea salt, depending on your taste and needs
- 1/4 cup filtered, cold water (add more for desired consistency)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Put all ingredients in a good blender and pulse to the desired consistency. You can stir by hand if you do not have a blender with a pulse setting.
For a chunky consistency add:
- 1 cup green pepper, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cucumber, finely chopped or cut into quarter wedges about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Now, place all of the ingredients into a bowl and allow the flavors to meld together for about an hour. You can even leave it in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Adding diced avocado upon serving is a popular option for those wanting more protein.