Whole Living Daily

Meatless Monday: Celebrate the Holiday with this Chilled (and Raw!) Avocado Soup!

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Summertime means raw food. Naturally cooling, refreshing, seasonal, and healthy, raw food dishes are just what my body craves when the heat rises.

This chilled soup is a totally refreshing start to any summer meal. Although it may seem simple, the ingredients manage to hit all the right notes in both flavor and texture. The smooth creaminess of the avocado lays the perfect foundation for zesty lime, bright cilantro and chives, sweet shallot, with a surprising little kick of spicy cayenne. The part I like best is the use of coconut water instead of regular tap because it adds another unique layer of flavor.Raw foods are all the rage (check out Whole Living's raw recipes from their July/August issue) because they naturally contain enzymes. Enzymes play a vital role in digesting what you’ve just eaten. They help break down the food particles, so they can be easily converted into the essential energy needed by all parts of our body. Enzymes are either present in the food you eat, or produced by your own digestive system when you eat foods lacking in them.

Digestion is a very energy-intense process. If you are not obtaining enzymes from your food, your body has to draw them out of your organs, creating that post-meal feeling of lethargy, with which we're all too familiar. I don’t know about you, but I need a whole lot of energy in the summer to play in the sunshine, so I want to get the most energy from my food as possible—save the naps for winter!

Rawvocado Soup supplies your body with some of the best fats on the planet. I realize that fats have gotten a bad rap over the years, but there are so many kinds of fats, and knowing which ones are harmful and which ones are healing is crucial to good health and happy eating.

Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats, a good kind of fat also found in olive oil, that boasts all sorts of health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even offering protection against certain cancers like colon and breast.

The fruit is also a very concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein, a phytochemical that protects the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin K, essential for normal blood clotting; calcium to maintain strong bones; folate to combat against Alzheimer’s disease; and vitamin C to boost the immune system. Not bad for a handful of smooth green goodness!

The other awesome ingredient in Rawvocado Soup is coconut water. I am sure you’ve seen this stuff popping up all over the place lately, as its recently gained huge popularity in North America for its ability to balance and replenish electrolytes. Kind of like those neon-colored sports drinks, but way better for you!

When we sweat, we lose a lot of minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium). Coconut water has a natural balance of these minerals, making it the perfect beverage for hydrating the body and replenishing lost stores of vital nutrients—even more effective than water itself!

Chilled Rawvocado Soup with Coconut Water

This recipe makes two servings.  If you want more soup, double the amounts accordingly.

Ingredients:
2 large, ripe avocados
1 cup coconut water (you could also use nut milk or filtered water)
juice of 1 lime (about 4 Tbsp)
½ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup chives
1 shallot, minced
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

1.     Cut open and pit avocados. Scoop out flesh, reserving a small portion of one half for garnish.

2.     Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more coconut water until the desired consistency is reached (it should coat the back of a spoon, but not be solid).

3.     Pour into a large jar with a tight-fitting lid and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Serve when cold. Garnish with avocado cubes and chives or cilantro.

Sarah Britton is a holistic nutritionist, vegetarian chef, and the creator of the award-winning blog My New Roots. Sarah is currently a chef at three organic restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she has earned praise for her creative and adventurous recipes. A Certified Nutritional Practitioner, she is also the founder of New Roots Holistic Nutrition, where she educates others to be an active participant in their own health and healing.

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