Weight loss programs should always include healthy soups. There’s no need to add cream. Just use healthy, nutrient-rich vegetables and puree them when cooked. Soups are a comfort food and will keep you full for a long time.
I love root vegetables. While we’re all familiar with onions and carrots, I invite you to be adventuresome and try other types such as parsnips.
Weight Loss Programs Should Include Healthy Vegetables
Weight loss programs will only be successful if you add more healthy vegetables to your diet. Vegetables are full of satiating fiber and have a myriad of health benefits.
Root Vegetables are Part of Successful Weight Loss Programs
Eating root vegetables can help make weight loss programs successful.
Root vegetables are the plant roots that grow underground. These vegetables are generally available year round. They contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals and are superior sources of antioxidants.
Here are some of the health benefits of various root vegetables:
• Carrots: Carrots are best known for being rich in beta carotene, a compound that may reduce heart disease and certain types of cancer, and Vitamin A, which bolsters vision, bone growth and tooth development.
• Sweet Potatoes: One medium sweet potato has 1,096 mg of vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene), 103 calories, and stabilizes blood sugar.
• Beets: Beets are very high in folic acid, which protects against birth defects. They are also good sources of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B & C, and beta-carotene.
• Garlic: Research shows that garlic can reduce the risk of cancer and lower cholesterol.
• Onions: Americans consume about 20 pounds of onions per capita every year, and it’s no wonder: You get a lot of flavor and health benefit in the 45 calories per onion.
• Parsnips: Parsnips are high in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. They are a nutrient-rich alternative to the potato when mashed or roasted as a side dish. Their subtly unique sweet flavor comes from frosty temperatures converting the starch in the root vegetable to sugar.
• Rutabagas: Rutabagas are a cabbage-turnip hybrid. These big, yellow root vegetables have a stronger, more peppery flavor than their mild-mannered turnip cousins, and have more vitamin A and beta carotene, as well.
• Turnips: Turnips are good for making a mashed potato substitute. They have a sweet flavor and plenty of vitamin C and nutrients.
A Good Recipe for Weight Loss Programs
Here’s an excellent, low calorie, nutritious root vegetable soup recipe. It’s a great addition to weight loss programs.
Spiced Parsnip and Carrot Soup
Ingredients: (serves 6)
• 1 lb peeled parsnips
• 1 lb peeled carrots
• 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 lg leek, halved lengthwise, washed, and sliced crosswise into ½” pieces
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ⅛ tsp cayenne
• ⅓ cup quick-cooking oats
• 2 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
• Chopped cilantro (optional)
1. Cut half of the parsnips and carrots into thin matchsticks and set aside for garnish. Slice remaining parsnips and carrots.
2. Heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add leek, cinnamon, cayenne, and 1¼ tsp salt. Cook, stirring, until leek is softened, about 5 minutes. Add sliced parsnips and carrots, oats, and 6 cups water and simmer until parsnips and carrots are softened, about 30 minutes.
3. Use an immersion blender or transfer to blender in batches and puree. Adjust seasonings if necessary and garnish each serving with 1 tsp sour cream, cilantro (if using), and parsnip and carrot matchsticks.
4. Makes about 8 cups.
Nutrition: (per serving)
Protein 2 g
Carbs 24 g carb
Fiber 6 g
Fat 3.5 g
Click here for the full parsnip and carrot soup recipe. It’s a perfect addition to weight loss programs.