Grapefruit & Citrus: Bright Balancers

Grapefruit & Citrus: Bright Balancers

Grapefruit & Citrus are bright balancers that have a uniquely sunny spot in your culinary and nutrition worlds. Their acidic flavor and vitamin C-packed composition add health to your diet and to every dish they touch.

A squeeze of lemon on a piece of fish. The lime in your favorite guacamole recipe. Citrus are bright beams of light, balancing flavors while dispensing important nutrients. They come by it naturally!

Nutritional & Health Benefits of Grapefruit

Vitamin C, Antioxidants & more

Grapefruit is renowned for its high Vitamin C content. This essential nutrient is not just about warding off colds; it’s a powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in your body’s balance by helping to remove excess free radicals. Free radicals, a natural byproduct of metabolism, can in excess damage cells and tissue, so contribute to aging and various health issues.

Lifestyle choices play a role in your free radical-antioxidant balance. Excess stress, sugar, alcohol, and ultra-processed foods can create more free radicals, while a nutrient-dense whole foods lifestyle that includes antioxidant-rich herbs, fruits, spices, and vegetables helps keep a healthy balance. By incorporating grapefruit into your diet, you provide your body with a natural defense system against these potentially harmful agents.

But the story of grapefruit & citrus bright balancing health benefits doesn’t end with Vitamin C. This fruit is also packed with many other antioxidants (one study found 38!). Flavonoids, beta-carotene, lycopene and naringenin are especially rich in the pink and red varieties. These antioxidant compounds have been linked to reducing inflammation, promoting anti-fungal and anti-microbial action, improving blood sugar, improving heart health, support for mitochondria (the energy factories in our cells) and even lowering the risk of some cancers.

Grapefruit & Heart Health

Speaking of heart health, numerous studies have shown that grapefruit can have a beneficial impact. Its fiber, potassium, lycopene, Vitamin C, and choline content all contribute to heart health. One study found that consuming grapefruit regularly could reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two significant factors in heart disease.

Awareness: Grapefruit – Medication Interactions

However, it’s crucial to be aware of grapefruit’s interactions with certain medications. This is due to a compound called furanocoumarin found in grapefruit that can affect cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme and P-glycoprotein metabolism in some medications, potentially leading to very serious health effects. More than 85 medications  (including some statins) are known to interact with grapefruit. Taking grapefruit with a statin can potentially boost the effect of that medication up to 12 times, so increasing the chances of liver or other organ damage. Here’s more on that from the FDA, and if you are on medications ask your healthcare professional about it.

Other citrus has some, but much less, interactions with medications. Orange juice, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, lime juice, and wheat grass juice have a few interactions, so check with your healthcare provider about drug-food interactions, and DON’T generally take your medications with juice. Water is better as a rule of thumb, and generally, if you have some juice a couple hours after taking your medications, the risk tends to be less.

Listening to Your Body: The Key to Enjoying Citrus

The most important lesson in your wellness journey is learning to listen to your body. Pay attention to how your body reacts to grapefruit. If you notice any discomfort or adverse reactions, it might be best to consult with a healthcare professional.

Grapefruit Seed Extract & Immunity

Moving beyond its juicy interior, grapefruit’s medicinal prowess extends to its seeds, peel and leaves. Grapefruit seed extract (GSE), derived from the seeds, pulp, and white membranes of the fruit, is touted for its antimicrobial properties. Historically, GSE has been used as a natural remedy to treat infections and boost immunity. While more research is needed to fully understand its efficacy, early studies show promise in GSE’s ability to combat a wide range of bacteria and fungi.

In this light, grapefruit & citrus bright balancers aren’t just fruit; they’re a testament to the wonders of nature, blending deliciousness with health benefits. Its story is a reminder of how traditional practices and modern science can come together, offering us tools to enhance our health and well-being.

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Grapefruit Folklore & Metaphysics

Growing up, I always found something magical about grapefruits. They appeared in the winter around the holidays when local fresh fruit was just not available. Their vibrant color and invigorating aroma hinted at something beyond their tangy taste. Sure enough, grapefruit has a role in folklore and metaphysics, a world where tradition and energy intertwine with the physical aspects of this balancing fruit.

Grapefruit & citrus: A Global Perspective

In many cultures around the world, citrus fruits, especially grapefruits, have held a special place in folklore. In the sunny groves of the Mediterranean, grapefruits were often considered symbols of prosperity and fertility. Their bright color and round shape were reminiscent of the sun, embodying vitality and life.

Moving across the globe, citrus fruits, including grapefruits, play significant roles in cultural ceremonies. For instance, during Lunar New Year celebrations in China, citrus fruits are common gifts, symbolizing good luck and fortune. Similarly, in many parts of the world, citrus fruits are used in festive decorations, their bright colors and fresh scents adding to the celebratory atmosphere.

Grapefruit in Herbalism & Home Remedies

In herbalism, grapefruit has a long-standing reputation. Herbalists from various traditions have used grapefruit seed extract as a natural remedy for its purported antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties. Though these uses are more anecdotal than scientifically proven, they speak to the deep-rooted belief in grapefruit’s healing powers.

My own exploration into herbalism introduced me to intriguing uses of grapefruit. In some communities, grapefruit peels are dried and used in teas as a remedy for coughs or colds, leveraging their high vitamin C content and essential oils. Others have shared with me their use of grapefruit peel infusions in baths for their refreshing and skin-toning properties. I have used grapefruit essential oil as a clean refreshing fragrance in my humidifier. 

Metaphysics of Grapefruit

Citrus Aromatherapy: Uplifting the Spirit

Now, let’s delve into the metaphysical realm. Aromatherapy has long used citrus scents, particularly grapefruit, for their uplifting and energizing properties. It’s no coincidence that I loved the refreshing smell of grapefruit in the air; grapefruit’s aroma has long been believed to help dispel mental fatigue and induce positive feelings.

Grapefruit & Chakra Balancing

In the practice of energy work and chakra balancing, grapefruit holds a special place. Its vibrant energy is said to resonate with the third chakra – the bright city of jewels (Manipura) – or solar plexus chakra, the energy center associated with confidence and self-empowerment. By incorporating grapefruit into my meditation and energy practices, I’ve found a greater sense of balance and inner strength.

Custom flower essence package

The Ayurvedic Angle: Citrus and Body Harmony

When I first began my study of the world of Ayurveda, I was fascinated by how this ancient system of medicine viewed food not just as nourishment, but as an energetic key to balancing the body and mind. Citrus fruits, and particularly grapefruit, have unique qualities in Ayurveda that can harmonize our inner energies.

Understanding Citrus in Ayurveda

Ayurveda, a holistic healing system that originated in India over 5,000 years ago, classifies foods based on their elemental properties and effects on the body’s doshas (energy types) – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Citrus fruits, with their refreshing and cleansing properties, are often used to balance these energies.

Grapefruit, with its sour and slightly bitter taste, is considered particularly beneficial in Ayurveda. It’s believed to aid digestion, stimulate the metabolism, and help detoxify the body. For someone with a Kapha constitution like me, prone to sluggishness and congestion, the invigorating nature of grapefruit is a blessing.

The Significance of Taste: Sour and Bitter in Ayurvedic Diet

In Ayurveda, taste (Rasa) is a critical aspect of diet and nutrition. The six tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent – each have their effects on the doshas. Sour and bitter, two predominant tastes in grapefruit, have action.

Sour taste, found abundantly in grapefruit, is known to stimulate appetite, aid digestion, and energize the body. It’s particularly beneficial for Vata and Kapha individuals, helping to balance their earthier, cooler nature. However, it should be consumed in moderation by Pitta types, who already have plenty of internal ‘fire’.

Integrating Grapefruit & Citrus into Your Daily Life

Embracing the zesty world of grapefruits and their citrus cousins can be a delightful and healthful addition to your daily routine. My journey with these fruits has taught me that their benefits extend beyond their nutritional value; they are powerful allies for wellness and balance.

Tips for Including Citrus

Incorporating grapefruit into your daily life doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Morning Ritual: Start your day with a glass of warm water infused with fresh grapefruit juice. This not only hydrates you but also kickstarts your metabolism.
  2. Snack Smart: Replace processed snacks with a bowl of fresh grapefruit slices. It’s refreshing, hydrating, and packed with nutrients.
  3. Citrus Dressings: Add a zing to your salads with grapefruit-based dressings. Mix grapefruit juice, olive oil, a hint of honey, and your favorite herbs for a tangy dressing.

Simple Recipes: From Breakfast to Dinner

  • Breakfast: Grapefruit Avocado Toast – Top whole-grain bread with mashed avocado, grapefruit segments, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Dinner: Citrus-Herb Roasted Chicken – Marinate chicken with grapefruit juice, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Yum!

Culinary Tips

  • When cooking with grapefruit, balance its sourness with a touch of sweetness or a creamy element.
  • Use grapefruit zest to add a burst of citrus flavor to baked goods or as a garnish.

DIY Citrus Infusions: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating your own citrus infusions is both fun and beneficial. Here’s a simple way to make a grapefruit infusion:

  1. Ingredients: Sliced grapefruit, fresh herbs (like mint or rosemary), water.
  2. Method: In a large pitcher, combine the grapefruit slices and herbs. Fill with water.
  3. Infuse: Let it sit for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Enjoy: Serve chilled for a refreshing and hydrating drink.

Listening to Your Body: The Key to Enjoying Citrus

The most important lesson in your wellness journey is learning to listen to your body. Pay attention to how your body reacts to grapefruit. If you notice any discomfort or adverse reactions, it might be best to consult with a healthcare professional.

High-Quality Grapefruit & Citrus Products

Feeling like a little grapefruit skincare, or a supplement bursting with citrus nutrients? I’ve got you covered – here is my list of goodies – supplements and personal care products to bring a little citrus into your life. 

Fullscript is a high-quality online formulary that carries nutritional supplements and personal care products. If you have or set up an account through me, you’ll get 25% off everything, and free shipping if you order more than $50. 

I’m an affiliate with Fullscript, so if you do purchase through my account, I receive a small commission. 

Deepening Your Connection: Grapefruit as a Plant Initiation Ally

What’s a Plant Initiation?

Plant initiation is an ancient practice that involves forming a deep, spiritual connection with a plant to understand its essence and benefits on a deeper level. This practice emphasizes the significance of plants in our journey of self-discovery and connection with nature.

Grapefruit in Plant Initiation

Grapefruit, with its bold flavor vibrant energy, and support for the 3rd chakra, is an excellent ally for plant initiation. By mindfully bringing grapefruit into your body in several ways, meditating with its essence, and using its essential oils, you can deepen your connection to this powerful strength-giving fruit.

My own experience of this powerful plant – feeling its texture, inhaling its aroma, slowly savoring its flavor, and feeling the support of its energizing strength – brought a heightened awareness of just how much its properties provide my body and spirit. In this shamanic practice, plants give you advice! This mindful engagement opened up a profound dimension in my relationship with grapefruit, one that transcends the physical and ventures into the spiritual.

Plant Initiation Weekend with Annie B Kay

Grapefruit & Citrus: Bright Balancers

You’ve now explored the rich tapestry of special fruit where science, tradition, and personal experience intertwine, each thread adding depth and color to our understanding.

The Fusion of Science, Tradition, and Your Personal Experience

From the very first zesty burst of grapefruit on your palate to the deeper understanding of its role in folklore, metaphysics, and Ayurveda, this journey is enlightening. You’ve seen how science validates the health benefits of grapefruit – its role in heart health, its wealth of vitamin C and antioxidants, and the intriguing research on citrus flavonoids. But beyond the laboratory and clinical studies, you’ve delved into the rich heritage of grapefruit in traditional remedies and cultural practices, where it’s more than just a fruit – it’s a symbol, a healing agent, and a part of life’s celebrations.

Your personal experiments and experiences with grapefruit, whether it’s starting your day with refreshing grapefruit-infused water or exploring its use in energy work, can deepened your connection with this citrus wonder. It’s these personal touches, the little experiments and mindful moments, that truly bring the science and tradition to life.

Embrace Grapefruit & Citrus in Your Path to Wellness

I encourage you to explore the world of grapefruit and citrus in your way. Whether it’s incorporating these fruits into your diet, using them in home remedies, or simply enjoying their refreshing aroma, there’s a multitude of ways to embrace their benefits. Remember, the path to wellness is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. It’s about finding joy in the small things, like the tart taste of grapefruit on a summer morning, and the peace in the rituals, like preparing citrus-infused water for the day ahead.

Embrace grapefruit not just as a food, but as a companion on your wellness journey. Let it inspire you to explore, experiment, and connect with the world around you in new and meaningful ways. Most importantly, let it remind you of the beauty in blending the wisdom of tradition with the insights of science, all woven together by your unique personal experiences.

Please remember that the journey doesn’t end here. Each grapefruit you peel, each slice savored, is a step further on your path to wellness. So, go forth with zest and enthusiasm, and let your health and life’s journey of savoring continue.

Sources

Pollicino F, Veronese N et al. Mediterranean diet and mitochondria: New findings. Experimental Gerontology 176 (2023) 112165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2023.112165

Duda-Madej, Anna, et al. “Naringenin and Its Derivatives—Health-Promoting Phytobiotic against Resistant Bacteria and Fungi in Humans.” Antibiotics, vol. 11, no. 11, 15 Nov. 2022, p. 1628, https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics11111628

Gandhi, Gopalsamy Rajiv, et al. “Citrus Flavonoids as Promising Phytochemicals Targeting Diabetes and Related Complications: A Systematic Review of in Vitro and in Vivo Studies.” Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 10, 23 Sept. 2020, p. 2907, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598193/, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102907.

Sánchez Macarro, Maravillas, et al. “Effect of a Combination of Citrus Flavones and Flavanones and Olive Polyphenols for the Reduction of Cardiovascular Disease Risk: An Exploratory Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Healthy Subjects.” Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 5, 19 May 2020, p. 1475, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051475.
Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe

Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe

This Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe was inspired by my love of potatoes. While there is only a little potato in it, that certain creamy potato flavor is there. The combination of potatoes, leeks, and garlic are more than the sum of their parts – they were made to sing together. Lately, I’ve been on the sub cauliflower for white potatoes in everything train, and I did stir some cauliflower into one bowl of this soup and that was delicious. In this vein (of mashed potatoes) you might top a bowl with a little grass-fed organic plain yogurt. This recipe also has a boost of plant protein with a can of white beans in there. All in all, a nutrient-dense and delicious soup, perfect for a cool spring day.

In my humble opinion, potatoes have gotten a bad rap in the healthy food world. They are rich in fiber and vitamin C, and particularly when you can find smaller colorful purple, red or gold fingerlings – all very worth the space in your garden – filled with disease-busting antioxidants.

Garlicky Leek Soup

In honor of my love for potatoes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Soup pot
  • Immersion blender or Regular blender

Ingredients

  • 1 large spanish onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots cleaned and chopped
  • 4-5 stalks celery chopped
  • 6 large cloves garlic peeled, center stem removed, chopped
  • 1 medium organic potato skin on, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups clean water
  • 3 large leeks sliced and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp thyme dry
  • 1 15-oz can cannelloni beans (Eden brands is a good choice)
  • 1 small bunch parsley chopped
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Place onion, carrots, celery garlic and potato in a heavy soup pot, with olive oil, and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are soft. Add leeks and thyme and stir.  Once you smell the leeks and thyme begin to cook (couple minutes), add water and beans.
  • Turn to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes.
  • If you have an immersion blender, lucky you - blend the soup. If not, use a blender (to minimize accidents, let the soup cool before you blend it). Alternatively, leave it unblended. Add parsley, black pepper and just a smidgeon of salt.
  • Other additions if you so choose:1/2 head cauliflower, chopped. Plain organic grass-fed yogurt.

Potato heads unite!
2014-02-02 07.09.28 2

 

I hope you enjoy my Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe.  For more delicious recipes, visit my Easy Healthy Recipes page.

Breakfast Salad Recipe

Breakfast Salad Recipe

This summer I was breakfast salad crazy – in the garden, knee-deep in some wonderful greens, and the vegetable bowl craze just pointed to making more breakfast salads. Yum.

Now that the weather is just beginning to cool, my breakfast salads are warm. The garden is filled with tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and other delectables. Now, my breakfast salads are one-pan wonders morphing into veggie bowls. All good!

To put together a breakfast salad, pull together whatever you have in the fridge, notice the veggies that are in season (even better, at their peak) now, and think about the flavors you’re pulling together. I choose greens, a vegetable or two, flavorful protein-rich compatibles like nut butter, nuts or seeds, whole grains or soft-boiled eggs.

Salad dressings can boost nutrition – making your own from whole ingredients is worth it! Topping your breakfast salad with a bit of mayo, smooshed avocado, or good olive oil and vinegar works great too.

For more delicious recipes, visit my Easy Healthy Recipes page.

Asparagus, Sweet Potatoes & Soft Boiled Egg Breakfast Salad

Quick, fresh and satisfying.
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Cost $2.00

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup spinach or other greens I used baby organic
  • 5 stalks asparagus, sliced Use any vegetable you have on hand.
  • 1/2 sweet potato, cooked, sliced I often cook-off 3 or 4 sweet potatoes on a Sunday to use through the week.
  • 2 eggs, soft boil To soft boil an egg, place them in a small pan in cold water, then turn to high and bring to boil. Turn heat off - when the water is cool enough to peel the eggs (about 15 minutes) the eggs will be soft-boiled.
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise, good quality organic or it's actually easy to make your own
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh dill, diced

Instructions

  • Toss sweet potatoes, greens, and asparagus in a medium breakfast bowl. Top with 2 soft-boiled eggs, sliced in half. Top with mayo and mustard.
  • Toss all together, top with dill and enjoy.

Notes

There are so many combinations of breakfast salads.
Here are a few combos to try: 
Spinach - walnut - egg - turkey bacon - poppyseed dressing 
Cabbage - cashews - carrots - egg - Asian peanut dressing 
Red or green lettuce - grilled BBQ chicken leftovers - red peppers - balsamic vinaigrette
Tomatoes - basil - pine nuts - olives - tofu - olive oil 

pint breakfast salad

Herbal Water Recipe

Herbal Water Recipe

I finally got a glass pitcher with a cylinder in the top so that I can easily make herbal waters – cold water sun infusions. These are really the perfect alternative to soda or even to sparkling water in plastic containers.

Why Drink Herbal Water?

With herbal waters, you take a pass on the sugar and whatever else is in packaged drinks you purchase. But you also get a smidgen of phytonutrient and bioenergetic support (that certain je ne sais quoi – a delight of unknown origin) from herbs and other botanicals. Herbs do contain some of the most potent of nature’s medicines, and the flavors and fragrances you experience are those potent antioxidants that provide health-enhancing benefits like calming inflammation and helping to make your internal environment resilient.

How to Make Herbal Water

The recipe is so straightforward – it’s really more of a reminder.

Herbal Water Recipe

Herbal water passes on the sugar and expense of soda and soothes your senses with some of the most potent of nature's medicines - phytonutrients.
Course Drinks
Cuisine Plant Medicine
Keyword Herbal Water, Recipes, Plant Medicine
Prep Time 15 minutes
Steeping time 6 hours
Servings 4
Author Annie
Cost $2.00

Equipment

  • Pitcher

Ingredients

  • 1 quart water clean, filtered
  • 1 /2 cup herbs & flavorings any edible fresh herb, root, flower or spice

Instructions

  • Fill a one-quart glass pitcher with water.
  • Place herbs and flavorings in something that will allow their suspension in the water - a clean small cloth bag, for example - I have a pitcher made just for sun-tea, with a plastic cylinder attached to the lid. A tea-ball would do the trick. There are an array of options available commercially.
  • Place pitcher containing herbs on a sunny windowsill or a sunny spot free from critters.
  • Leave for at least an hour, preferably several hours.
  • Remove herbs/flavorers, and enjoy as is or over ice. Keeps refrigerated for about a week.

Notes

This is one of those non-recipe recipes - perhaps it's more a technique. But, having a quart of herbal water around is a wonderful direct and simple way to connect with what is blooming or at it's peak in my yard. Simple refreshing plant medicine. 

Here are a few of my favorite herbal water combos I’ve tried over several summers:

  • Fresh ginger and English mint – refreshing and delicious
  • Lavender and blueberries – sweet and soothing
  • Cilantro – like a light green drink – tastes cleansing
  • Watermelon and lime – sweet and tangy and what is it about watermelon that just makes me happy?

What’s Your Favorite Herbal Water Combo?

If the idea of botanical cooking appeals, check out Kami McBride’s book, Herbal Kitchen. It’s an inspiration, a classic and uses botanicals in a variety of creative ways, from herbal waters to soups to cordials and even bathing and beauty non-products. Check her out!

Check my other plant medicine and plant-centric recipes.

Herbal Water Recipe

Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry Recipe

Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry Recipe

If you live in New England, this has been a chilly – OK freezing – spring. Our minds are thinking of fresh herbs and lightening up, but our palates crave warmth. It’s an excellent time for a fresh curry. Here’s a favorite:  Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry.  You have here a one skillet meal, my friends, that takes about twenty minutes.

My beloved husband has, over the past year or so, become quite a connoisseur of quality food for less $. Do you know how sexy that is for a dietitian? Quite. I have become a student of his method of finding excellent quality food deals locally. It involves knowing when the local shopper’s guide comes out and knowing what’s on special. In last week’s supermarket circular, there was a two-for-one offer of pork tenderloins (and organic chicken breasts, by the way). Who knew?

Pork tenderloin is a lean and healthful meat, particularly when raised as nature intended – on a small farm with love and a varied diet. Here’s what I did with half of a pork tenderloin. This Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry recipe is easy to modify.  You may of course eliminate the pork and sub tofu or beans for a vegan curry. Chicken and shrimp are also easy substitutes.

Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry

Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry

Pork tenderloin is a lean and healthful meat, particularly when raised as nature intended – on a small farm with love and a varied diet
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Keyword cauliflower, Curry, Pork Tenderloin

Equipment

  • Large Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb Pork Tenderloin sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 cup asparagus snapped into bite-sized pieces
  • 12 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Thai or regular basil

Instructions

  • Coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat with sesame oil, add pork pieces and sear, turning, for about 4 minutes.
  • Turn head down to medium. Add cauliflower and saute for 4 minutes.
  • Add asparagus, coconut milk (give the can a good shake before you open it)
  • Stir in curry paste and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Slice into one of the pork pieces to make sure it is cooked through – no pink on the inside. When pork is cooked through, the cauliflower is soft, and asparagus is bright and al-dente (still has some firmness), top with basil and serve as is or over brown rice or another grain.

 

Check out all my easy healthy recipes.

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pork curry recipe

 

Hungarian-inspired Mushroom Soup Recipe

Hungarian-inspired Mushroom Soup Recipe

I never met a mushroom I didn’t like, and I’ve had the pleasure of quite a few.  It’s what inspired me to create my Hungarian-inspired Mushroom Soup Recipe.

If you ever get the chance, take a mushroom walk with the Boston Mycological Club(or your local club). They are a perfect collection of culinary, botany and sensation-seeking enthusiasts. When I went, we found baskets full of colorful beauties, then using field guides and spore patterns (the definitive method to differentiate friend or foe from a safe-to-eat perspective), we identified, divided up and took home our bounties for happy times of all sorts.

Gathering mushrooms from the wild is getting ever more popular, but I don’t do it because even though I’ve had some experience with my mycological friends, every year even expert mushroom collectors eat the wrong fungi and that’s it – they can kill you. There are such a phenomenal range of cultivated mushrooms now available, I suggest sticking with and enjoying that.

I love the mushrooms, dill, and sour cream that frame Hungarian mushroom soup. If you can find a good local organic grass-fed sour cream, then by all means, use that (grass-fed dairy has a more favorable lipid profile as well as being easier on the earth relative to its mass-market cousins). If you are dairy-free, you can substitute a bit of soy milk plus an extra squeeze of lemon to approximate the tang you’ll miss from yogurt or sour cream.

Here I’ve aimed to boost the nutrient density by loading up on herbs – both dill and parsley, as well as other vegetables, and lightened it up with yogurt rather than sour cream. I found that when I used this quantity of herbs, I needed to blend the finished product – herbs are so delicate that when they are cooked like this in a soup, they need to be blended or finely, finely chopped or their texture just isn’t what you want it to be.

Hungarian-inspired Mushroom Soup Recipe

Course Dinner, Lunch

Equipment

  • Heavy Soup Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 - 16 oz package organic mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced & cubed
  • 1/2 medium yellow turnip peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • about 1 cup fresh dill chopped
  • about 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 Tbsp organic grass-fed yogurt or sour cream

Instructions

  • In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent.
  • Slice carrots, and clean and slice mushrooms, and slice turnip, discarding any waxy covering it may have. Add these veggies to the pot and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Add stock and simmer 45-60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop herbs.
  • Add herbs and yogurt or sour cream.
  • If necessary, cool and run through a blender for a smooth and creamy texture.

 

Enjoy!

Looking for more delicious and healthy soup recipes?  I highly recommend my Wild Mustard Asparagus Soup!