Winter is synonymous with a lot of things like snow, ice, mittens, the holidays, and hot cocoa. Despite all of these cheery symbolisms, winter is a very dark time. Tis the season for vitamin D supplements since the sky is usually cloudy, and many people wake up for work or school before dawn and come home after sunset. With such a dull and cold atmosphere, it’s no wonder winter has become closely associated with comfort foods.
For this potentially dismal season, here is perfect lentil soup recipe that is creamy from coconut milk and a sunny yellow from turmeric.
The Healing Effects of Turmeric
Turmeric is an ancient cure that has resurfaced in medicinal research for a natural treatment for inflammation, which is the cause of chronic illnesses today. Turmeric, also known as curcumin, is a natural anti-inflammatory and has been proven to alleviate illnesses like:
- metabolic diseases
- multiple sclerosis
- cardiovascular diseases
Even if you don’t suffer from any of the above diseases, (and let’s hope you don’t) keep in mind that stress is a major factor for inflammation. Unless you are meditating on the Himalayan mountains, you are probably are no stranger to stress. Maybe you are anxious about something right now!
Stress is a major factor with numerous maladies, which is logical based on its contribution to inflammation. As much as we try to avoid anxiety and tension, life has its way of shoving them back into our faces. Turmeric is a natural and tasty approach to counter stress’s adverse effects. (1)
The Protective Health Benefits of Apples
We’ve all been told to eat our fruits and vegetables, and “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” You may not be aware that studies have found apples to be filled with antioxidants that positively effect ailments like:
- cardiovascular diseases
- bone health
- gastrointestinal protection
- weight management
Apples can be tart or sweet but are delicious either way. The apples in this recipe complement the spices in this soup. (2)
Lentils: A Powerhouse of Nutrition
On the topic of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, lentils have a significant amount of both. A diet rich in lentils and legumes may alleviate:
- inflammatory bowel disease
- colon cancer
It has a high protein content, in addition to significant levels of iron and magnesium. Red lentils, in particular, have been found to have more overall nutritive benefits than other varieties. (3)
Creamy Turmeric Lentil Soup
- 2 cups red lentils
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced finely
- 2 apples, cored and grated
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2-3 cup hot water
- 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- Rinse the red lentils with cold water and allow to drain.
- Melt the coconut oil in a pot and sautee the onions until soft and golden.
- Add the apples and turmeric, and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the lentils and 2 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
- Add the spices and coconut milk, and mix well.
- Simmer until the lentils are soft. Add another cup of water is you prefer a thinner consistency. For best flavor, simmer for at least two hours.
- Serve warm, garnish with coconut shavings or pumpkin seeds.
(1) Bharat B. Aggarwal and Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar. Potential Therapeutic Effects of Curcumin, the Anti-inflammatory Agent, Against Neurodegenerative, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Metabolic, Autoimmune and Neoplastic Diseases. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 Jan 1. Published in final edited form as: Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009; 41(1): 40–59. Published online 2008 Jul 9. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2008.06.010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2637808/ Published: July 9, 2008. Accessed. December 21, 2016.
(2) Dianne A. Hyson. A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health. Advances in Nutrition. http://advances.nutrition.org/content/2/5/408.full Accessed: December 21, 2016.
(3) Michael Greger M.D. Lentils. Nutrition Facts. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/lentils/ Updated: November 9, 2016. Accessed: December 21, 2016.