I absolutely love this time of year and the fresh produce from the garden that comes with it. If you don’t know, I live in Saskatchewan, Canada, and our winters are usually fricken cold but then we get lovely hot days in the summer! I prefer the summer when you can actually grow your own garden and be outside (plus I’ve always dreamed of living somewhere tropical)!
Our family garden has just started to come up with veggies- mostly beans, peas and lettuce so far. But a friend gave me a large as butt zucchini which I got 2 dishes from – half for simple bbq’d zucchini and the other half in the soup that I’ll share below. There were so many possibilities of what I could have made with that zucchini. Actually zucchini is a veggie that I pretty much have in my fridge all of the time (so a staple fridge item?).
Not only do I like zucchinis for their versatility but also as a nutrient rich health and beauty food. Zucchinis are low in calories, contain no cholesterol or saturated fats, and are low in carbohydrates (sugars and starches). They are a great source of fiber that is amazing for your digestion, as well as antioxidants that help slow down the signs of aging and prevent disease. Make sure you eat the zucchini with the skin because most of the fibre and antioxidants are there.
I often like making “noodles” with zucchini and topping with pesto or a lentil tomato sauce, or, yum, in a raw pad thai! You can also make great fritters/pancakes or mini pizzas with zucchini, like I said, there are so many things you can do with them. I often end up eating zucchini raw and dipped in hummus! What else do you do with the odd ends left?
There were no raw bits left for me this time around. Instead I made a beautiful green soup to heal the body from the inside out. 2 things that I love are now married – zucchini + soup. Each spoonful of this soup will provide your body with nutrients to reduce inflammation, boost immunity, fight off damaging free radicals to prevent disease and promote a radiant youthful appearance! The natural potassium that zucchinis provide also make this a great addition to a post-sweat meal.
Zucchini Basil Soup
vegan, gluten free
9 cups cubed zucchini, peel on
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp pine nuts
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 pinches of red pepper flakes (depends on how spicy you like it)
1/4 tsp spirulina
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent but not browned. Add in the zucchini and a pinch of salt, saute about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add vegetable broth and stir. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat and cover to let simmer about 15-20 minutes or until zucchini completely soft. Uncover and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes.
3. Add mixture into a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. Add in spirulina, cinnamon, red pepper flakes if using, a dash of salt and pepper, pine nuts and lemon juice. Blend again until smooth.
4. Pour soup back into saucepan and let heat over low, stirring occasionally, and adjusting seasonings to your likings.
Enjoy and Glow!