Thursday, December 20, 2012

Squash this Cold!

I'm typing this as I sit here with a tissue in my hand. The past few days here in Marin County have been extremely cold. Double layer of sweatpants, 2 layers of shirts under 2 BIGG sweaters, double layer of socks, 4 cups of tea, and a fireplace is how my family and I survive winter at our beach house. I don't know what is colder, the fridge or the house! Sometimes we just let food sit out for the day that needs to be refrigerated.

My family and I went shopping in the city yesterday and after freezing all day, being dehydrated, undereating big time, and eating out, I woke up with a runny nose and a bit of a dry throat. I started my day with coffee, tea, and fresh fruit. I hit those Mandarines hard! I ate 4 of them for that extra Vitamin C kick. My other specialties to fight this cold was eating about 3 raw garlic cloves mixed with food, I also had raw honey, and a raw soup made of water, raw washed spinach, hemp seeds, raw garlic, lemon juice, a whole bunch of cilantro, a green onion, a small mandarine, half an apple, and sea salt in the blender. Can't forget the healing warming sunshine!

(Mt. Tam)

Today as I'm finishing up this post, I'm feeling much better. Today I had some water with lemon, coffee, tea, a smoothie, 2 cups of hot chocolate, and fruit. For dinner I am having a little bit of chicken and this butternut squash soup again because it was so delicious and comforting. 

I wanted something quick, nourishing, simple, warm, and yummy. Butternut Squash soup came to mind. Squashes and root vegetables are packed with more vitamins and minerals than other vegetables. They are very filling, high in fiber, and provide a lot of antioxidants. The Carotenoids found in squash have been shown to protect against heart disease. It is high in Potassium, Vitamin B6, and Folate, and provides a good dose of Vitamin C. Native Americans believed the seeds of the squash to be beneficial for improved fertility, which may be because of its high Folate content. Because it is high in magnesium, it improves absorption of Calcium. Butternut Squash is mildly sweet. It is more sweet than Pumpkin, and less sweet than Sweet Potatoes.

(Butternut Squash. Don't judge. Once you get to know it, I'm sure you'll fall in love with it hah)

This is how I made it:
This is your base:  I bought a small butternut squash (2 pounds) and cut it up uncooked into small uneven cubes.

(This is how I cut it first. Then I cut the skin off, and chopped the flesh into small cubes.)

I then put about a cup of the chopped Squash in the blender, and enough water to get it to blend and create a thick consistency. I transferred it to a small cooking pot. I did the same steps with the rest of the cut up Squash. You could use more water for a more liquid soup consistency base.  I then put all of the squash mixture in a pot and cooked it at medium high and stirring often. 

Once I could taste the sweetness of the squash, I turned down the heat,  and added chopped green onions, cilantro, parsley, onion powder, and sea salt mixed in. Seriously, experiment with any kind of herbs you want! You can't go wrong in the flavor with herbs and spices. Use whatever you have in your kitchen. Even just the plain Butternut Squash with a touch of sea salt will be wonderful. You could also add Coconut Milk for more liquid and for a richer flavor.

(For myself I added a spoonful of raw quality butter, raw crushed garlic, cayenne, Cummin, and after the picture I covered my bowl in extra extra herbs. Adding lots of herbs gives for a very nice texture.)

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