To cook vegetables or to not cook vegetables? That is the question! People often ponder whether it is best to eat their veggies raw or cooked, and my answer is as follows: it depends! I recommend not being too dogmatic about it and enjoying your vegetables raw if you feel like it, or cooked if you feel like it. Nothing beats a fresh and crispy salad in the summer or a warm and cozy vegetable soup in the winter. That said, avoid boiling vegetables as this causes many of the nutrients to leach out into the water and be lost at sea! The exception to this is, of course, if you will be consuming the liquid in which the vegetables are cooked, as is the case with this soup – then you’re good to go!
On that note, the nutrients found in some vegetables are upped with cooking. Pretty magical, huh? This is the case of lycopene found in tomato (which increases as it is heated) and of Popeye’s favourite green. In fact, cooking spinach can increase its antioxidant content six-fold. Spinach’s antioxidants, namely lutein, zeaxanthin and betain, multiply like bunnies as you heat it, and these nutrients contribute to cognitive function and healthy peepers. Hip hip hurray!
This soup is wondrous as it contains pear which confers a sweet touch, as well as collagen-forming copper and fiber (mainly found in the skin).
Brain-Healthy Spinach & Kale Soup
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 pear
- 3 cups spinach
- 3 cups kale
- 2 potatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups soy beverage (unsweetened – you will loathe the end result if you use sweetened so trust me on this one 🙂 )
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp. whole-wheat flour
- Fresh basil, oregano and chives, to taste.
- In a soup pot, bring vegetable broth, soy beverage, garlic, onion, potatoes, spinach and kale to a boil.
- Lower heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes or until garlic and onions have softened.
- Add in the whole-wheat flour, pear and fresh herbs and blend in a high-speed blender or in a food processor.
- Divvy up and serve!
Oh kale yeah!