Warming Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is a great vegetable which stores very well and makes the most amazing creamy and filling soup and is also a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, and manganese. The seeds from squash are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A & C, folate, potassium, calcium and iron.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Butternut Squash
  • Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
  • 1 Pint of Vegetable Stock
  • Generous Pinch Of Cumin Seeds
  • Small Pinch Of Chilli Flakes
  • Sea Salt
  • Crème Fraîche (Optional)
  1. Begin by reheating the oven to 200 degrees, slicing the Butternuts in half and scoop out the seeds, place squash downwards on a well oiled roasting tray, I like to use coconut oil or olive oil and add cumin seeds and a pinch of salt and chill flakes.
  2. Separate the squash seeds and pat dry then roast those on a separate tray so you can garnish the soup with them or snack on at a later date or add as a topper to salads so as to make the most out of the whole vegetable.
  3. While you are roasting the butternut squash, heat up your vegetable stock.
  4. After about 20-25 mins the squash should be soft enough and cooked through, double check the softness before removing.
  5. Let the butternut squash halves cool down on a wire rack and then scoop out the flesh and add to the vegetable stock with all the oil and juices and spices. Blend in with a hand whisk to get rid of the lumps and simmer until it looks smooth and is of a good consistency, Add more vegetable stock as needed.
  6. When ready to serve, you can season with salt, pepper and sprinkle with chilli flakes or pumpkin seeds or crumbled feta cheese if desired or you can leave it plain. Serve with crusty sourdough or rye bread for a yummy and satisfying lunch or starter. The roasted squash seeds could be used as on the side as a snack. They are a little too crunch to be a garnish on the soup.

 

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Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

Easy Chicken Bone Broth Recipe

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and the primary component of connective tissue in our skin, bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, and also the gut. Collagen production declines as we age which is the main cause of fine lines and wrinkles that we develop over time and it can also be damaged by smoking and other forms of oxidative stress such as pollution, toxins, bad diet, drinking alcohol, too little sleep, too much stress etc.

The first time I heard about the benefits of bone broth it sounded too good to be true, nutrient dense, healing, reduces inflammation in the respiratory system and improves digestion and not only that it can boost the immune system, detox your cells and heal disorders such as allergies, asthma and arthritis as it contains minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur among others. 

So where do I start?

Its pretty easy when you know how but I must admit until I bought the slow cooker it was a bit of a task as you need to simmer the bones from 12 – 24 hours to get the full benefits. The simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to really transform your overall health. With a slow cooker you can just switch it on low and leave your broth to simmer all night without worrying about leaving the stove on. A slow cooker for anyone who is not used to cooking with one, is like a big casserole dish which easily plugs into the electric wall socket. 

First things first

Always choose organic grass-fed meat for the best health benefits. I usually start by cooking a chicken roast on the Sunday and I put the leftover carcass in the slow cooker. I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar which helps to extract the vital nutrients from the bones, also I add a little Celtic salt, garlic and fresh herbs, ginger, vegetables such as cabbage, carrots and maybe coriander seeds  or seaweed to really give added flavour and nutritional value. Then just turn on the slow cooker and leave for 24 hours.

When you have finished simmering this nutrient rich broth, strain it into a saucepan or bowl so you just get a clear liquid and then pour into a suitable jar. When cool put into the fridge.

The broth sometimes forms a layer of fat at the top which can be spooned off and used to fry your food and the rest can be re-heated as a soothing and healing drink. I usually have a small cup of bone broth per day to optimise the health potential. However if you don’t like the idea of drinking it but really want to enjoy the benefits you could use the broth to cook rice or pasta and this way you will still be absorbing the goodness but in a different way.  

 

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So why not try this ancient healing broth and see what it can do for you. Regularly drinking bone broth or using it in recipes can really help to promote a healthy gut and reduce inflammation and give enormous overall health benefits.