Wellynest Winter Sage Squash Soup

During winter, nothing nourishes my body and soul more than a soothing bowl of warm soup. Make that soup full of seasonal flavors and enjoy being not only fulfilled but grounded as well! That’s a recipe for gratitude for sure! This sage butternut and kabocha squash soup makes for a very happy and satiated Wellynest family! It warms us from the inside out and really feels like home as we eat it, it’s that comforting!

I’m such a lover of soup; it’s quick, easy, healthy, filling, soothing, comforting, can feed so many and loves to be dressed up too! This recipe is what I like to call “gut happy,” or GAPs diet friendly, and full of nutrients and healing properties. With a base of bone broth, we are already starting off with a ton of beneficial components. Bone broth has so many nourishing qualities, it’s great to use both on its own and as the base for soups, my personal favorite!

1.     It helps strengthen your immune system!

·      Because of the high levels of minerals and vitamins, this is a superfood for immune support!

2.     Stronger bones!

·      Phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium are all found in high concentrations in bone broth, the building blocks for healthy bones.

3.     Collagen, collagen, collagen!

·      Collagen is the main component of connective tissue, and it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. This means when you drink it, it helps maintain healthy and radiant skin, hair, teeth, nails, and strong connective tissues throughout the whole body.

4.     Healthy joints!

·      Bone broth is a natural source of glucosamine, which helps lubricate the joints and alleviate pain and stiffness.

5.     Heal your gut!

·      The gelatin, along with the glucosamine and collagen found naturally in bone broth, help heal issues like Leaky Gut Syndrome, and can also be used preventively to stop the development of such diseases.

*If you live in LA, Smart Simple Gourmet is an amazing company that offers high quality, organic, pasture-raised chicken and beef bone broths.

Kabocha squashes are amazing, and full of many different vitamins and minerals! High levels of iron, vitamin C and potassium can be found, while smaller amounts of calcium, folic acid and other B vitamins are present as well. Rich in beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A (a fat-only soluble vitamin) means that this squash needs to be paired with a healthy fat. This is why our recipe calls for ghee or coconut oil in order to help your body uptake these vital nutrients! Butternut squash is also packed full of beta-carotene (hurray for orange food!), vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber.

If your gut health is strong, or you’ve graduated from GAPs diet, roasting the squashes first imparts a tremendously wonderful and complex flavor to the soup. We highly recommend though starting off with unroasted squashes, as it’s easier on the digestive tract and digestive process and quicker and easier to make too, which is always a bonus! We are all about ease and convenience in the Wellynest household too!

Instead of trying to explain how to peel and dice the squashes with words, I have two tutorial videos I’d like to recommend. These videos are not my own, but do an excellent job and showing you how to do it yourself.

·      A tutorial on how to prep a kabocha squash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmETj8o3VTE

·      A tutorial on how to prep a butternut squash:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyPC8U4v59c

If you’re not feeling up to it, a number of grocers will offer the squashes pre-cut for your easy of use. If you are local to LA you can find them cut up at the Santa Monica Farmer’s market as well!

Now to that recipe!

WINTER SAGE SQUASH SOUP RECIPE:

Ingredients:

·      1-2 quarts bone broth (depending on desired thickness, or 1 quart bone broth, one quart water). For bone broth either homemade or consciously sourced (Don’t fall pray to the boxed “bone broth” you see in the stores now—they have been stripped of all the beneficial qualities in order to be shelf-stable)

·      1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced

·      1 medium kabocha squash, peeled and diced

·      1 large or two medium onions, diced (I love a pungent but sweet onion, like Wala Wala onions, but yellow onions or leeks are good too!)

·      1 inch thumb of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced OR 3 cloves of garlic, smashed (depending on your flavor preference)

·      2 TBSP coconut oil or ghee (depending on preference)

·      1 sprig of rosemary, stem removed

·      1/4-1/3 cup of sage leaves, stems removed

·      2 bay leaves

·      Pinch of Himalayan or sea salt

Instructions:

1.     Place all your ingredients except the herbs (rosemary, sage, and bay leaves) in a stockpot.

2.     If the quart of bone broth does not submerge all your other ingredients, add some high quality filtered water or reliable, organic, no sugar added, low or no sodium vegetable broth. ** Using veggie broth would make this recipe Vegan friendly.

3.     Bring all the contents to a boil. Then drop the temperature down to simmer.

4.     Add all of your herbs now, and cover the soup.

5.     Let simmer for at least 30 minutes and probably no more than an hour, or until all of your squash is soft and all the onions have become translucent.

6.     Turn off the heat, and let the soup cool down a little, about 20-30 minutes. This is so you don’t have scolding hot liquid in a plastic blender— it is never a good idea for hot things and plastic to come into contact.

7.     Ladle all the contents of the soup into a Vitamix or similar blender. I recommend filling it only 2/3-3/4 of the way, as you want a smooth consistency. It may take two or three runs to blend all of your soup.

8.     Now you can either pour the pureed contents back into your now empty stockpot, make it nice and hot again, or pour in mason jars for a delicious, prepped meal later in the week!

Now you have your “gut happy” aka GAPS friendly Sage Squash Soup! Enjoy with loved ones—it makes it taste better, trust me!

Want to dress it up a bit? Take a couple of sage leaves and lightly fry them in coconut oil or ghee, and delicately place them on top of the soup. Delightfully crunchy and smoky tasting, the fried sage amplifies the wonderful sage flavor already found in the soup while creating an interesting and delicious textural experience.

**If you live in Los Angeles, we love to supplement with the use of Dave’s Korean Foods veggie broth—it’s fermented, making the gut healing properties of this soup even greater! You can find his products at Farmer’s Markets all over the city. **However it is not GAPS friendly.



Coconut Bread Delight!

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Coconuts are really, truly, magical. From fresh young coconuts to mature coconuts, coconut oil to coconut flour, and coconut butter to coconut milk, coconuts come in so many forms that the possibilities are endless. The flavor is so incredible and versatile, too! I’m totally in love with this coconut bread! It’s also simple to make, yet packed with a ton of goodness; full of protein, potassium, magnesium, iron, dietary fiber, lauric acid, and MCTs (medium chain triglycerides). I’ll share more on the benefits in a minute. An added bonus is this bread, in the end, actually tastes like bread with only a light coconut flavor, so delicate and delightfully fluffy, even though nearly every ingredient is derived from coconut! We love always having a loaf on hand at the house, since it can be used throughout the week in so many different ways! One of my favorite ways is avocado toast with our fresh homemade vegan pesto.

You may have heard some not so wonderful things about coconuts and the saturated fats they contain. This couldn’t be further from the truth! In this country, we’ve operated under a misconception that in order to slim down or maintain a healthy weight, one needs to count calories and cut fats out of their diet because they, in of themselves, cause weight gain. In reality, however, it has everything to do with the kind of calories and fats you consume, and how and when you consume them! This actually has the biggest affect on potential weight gain and loss.

The MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) naturally found in coconuts and their oil are metabolized completely differently by the body than LCTs (long-chain triglycerides), which typically make up the majority of peoples’ saturated fat intake. MCTs can be used as a quick source of energy, actually promote weight loss, or can be stored as ketones, which studies have shown to be medicinally effective at helping treat brain diseases such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. Lauric acid, the predominant MCT found in cold pressed virgin coconut oil, promotes the production of the healthy kind of cholesterol in your body, called DHL, and helps keep you extremely satiated! This is just another way in which coconuts can help you stay healthy by encouraging the body to not overeat.

Now back to the bread! We use 3 different types of coconut products in the bread: coconut flour, coconut butter, and coconut cream!

  • Coconut flour is very high in dietary fiber and protein.
  • The coconut butter (or manna), the slow ground meat of the coconut, provides the high levels of those MCTs we talked about, along with small amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, and fiber.
  • The fresh coconut cream is made up of both the meat and the water of the coconut, so this imparts even more potassium, magnesium and iron.

If you really want to get fancy, you can make all three of these coconut products yourself! I highly recommend making the coconut flour and even the coconut cream. To make the coconut flour, simply buy organic coconut shreds, and blend the shreds into a fine flour in your food processor or vitamix! I find that when the flour is made fresh like this, the bread is lighter and fluffier. For the coconut cream, find a fresh young, organic coconut and blend the meat with a little of the water, creating a nice thick consistency. Make this fresh, right before making the bread. Pretty much every packaged coconut milk out there has been heated or treated, therefore losing its nutritional integrity, and is also usually loaded up with preservatives. However, if you’re looking for reliable brands, some we love are: Bob’s Red Mill Organic coconut flour, Artisana Organic raw coconut butter, Natural Value Organic Coconut Cream and Kippy’s raw coconut cream (for our LA readers only, sorry.)*

Yeah! Ok, now let’s get baking! And I should share that we LOVE doubling this recipe ~ it’s makes the most beautiful and bountiful loaf if you crave coconut bread as much as we do!

WELLYNEST’S GRAIN-FREE COCONUT BREAD RECIPE!

Ingredients:

·      5 farm fresh, organic and pasture raised eggs

·      1-2 TBSP raw local honey (based on desired sweetness. If dealing w/candida, no honey!)

·      2 TBSP coconut butter

·      2 TBSP coconut cream

·      ¼ tsp pink salt

·      ¼ food grade, organic baking soda

·      ¼ cup coconut flour, plus a couple extra TBSP

·      1 TBSP coconut flakes (optional)

Instructions:

1.     Preheat oven 350 degrees

2.     Whisk together eggs, honey, coconut butter, and coconut cream until nice and frothy.

3.     Add your salt and baking soda.

4.     Add your ¼ cup of coconut flour, slowly, mixing it as you go. Watch the consistency. If it’s too runny, keep adding an additional ½ TBSP at a time until it becomes viscous and slightly difficult to stir.

5.     Grease a small loaf pan with coconut oil, and pour your batter into the coated loaf pan.

6.     Place in preheated oven for roughly 20-25 minutes, checking around 18 minutes with a fork, knife or toothpick. If it comes out clean, you’re done! If not, let it go a little longer.

7.     Once it’s done, pull it out of the oven and let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan.

Tada! You have versatile, incredibly delicious grain free bread full of so much nutritional yumminess! This same recipe can be used to make muffins, too!

This bread is best when shared with friends and family. Enjoy!

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*Know of a good fresh and organic coconut milk producer in your part of the country? Let us know!!