Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Pulses for the heart

Following the theme on Indian food, I decided to make a soup which is not only comforting and packed with protein but so quick to make that you’ll have the time to potter around the house. You can almost use your cupboard essentials. There you go: easy, quick and nutritious.

The ingredients
plus the coconut oil
Fry the spices
Add the chickpeas and red lentils
Add the stock, bring to boil and let simmer
Add the spinach
My chickpea soup! It's good for your heart!

Chickpea, red lentil and spinach soup
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp organic coconut oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
1 small onion, diced
A thumb size ginger (or less if you prefer), diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
100g red lentils
250g cooked chickpeas (or 400g organic tinned)
800ml vegetable or chicken stock
60g spinach leaves
Sea-salt and black pepper for seasoning

METHOD

Heat the coconut oil and fry the spices for about 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion softens.
Add the red lentils and chickpeas, and then the stock. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
Add the spinach and stir. Season and serve.

Some of the ingredients and their health benefits

Chickpeas or garbanzo (Cicer arietinum): it is the most nutritious of all the legumes. It is very good for your pancreas, stomach and heart. It is high in protein, fat and carbohydrate. Contains very good levels of iron (more than other legumes), calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and B vitamins, and especially folic acid (B9). Sprouted chickpea contains vitamin C and enzymes.

Red lentils (Lens culinaris): contains protein, Iron, magnesium, folate, fiber and anti-oxidants. It contains very important nutrients for the heart health - it protects against heart disease by lowering high levels of homocysteine in the blood.

Spinach (Spinacea oleracea) is rich in iron, has abundant vitamin A and calcium. It helps cleanse the blood of toxins, facilitates bowel movements helping in the treatment of constipation. It contains sulphur which is beneficial for relieving herpes irritations. Caution: People who suffer from kidney stones should eat spinach in moderation due to an organic compound called oxalic acid, which if eaten in excess can inhibit calcium metabolism. Also avoid it if you have loose stools or urinary incontinence.

Till next week!



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