Mexico is one of my favourite travel destinations.
I spent some time in gorgeous Puerto Vallarta a few years ago and stayed at the most charming and adorable Beachfront Villa.
I sampled delicious and authentic Mexican food during my trip and found that there was so much potential within the Mexican cuisine; healing herbs and spices, a variety of colourful fresh ingredients bursting with beneficial phytochemicals, fibre filled beans and protein rich meats. However, the Americanisation of Mexican cooking has seen this potential warped for the purpose of convenience in urbanized and capitalized societies like our own.
Visit your local food court and you’ll find yourself staring down the barrel of guacamole, salsa and two limp iceberg lettuce leaves, and although they might look healthy, they are a mere distraction from the copious amounts of cheese, sour cream, starchy, refined carbohydrates deep fried in hydrogenated oils, sodium laden refried beans and poor quality meats. A lovely plate of artery clogging, acid forming, disease creating mess. Yes... the paradox of Mexican food.
In an effort to recreate the authenticity of traditional Mexican cuisine, this healthy version of chilled avocado soup will deliver those flavours you love so dearly minus the garbage. Here are some of the nutritional facts you can share with your amigos as you enjoy this guilt free meal.
The dominant ingredient in this meal is the amazing, creamy avocado. Avocados have been considered as nature’s multivitamin. According to the California Avocado Commission, Avocados contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals! Just one cup of cubed avocado contains 39% of the RDA for vitamin K, responsible for bone health, healthy blood coagulation and proper brain and nervous system functions. It also supplies the body with 25% of the RDA for vitamin C, which is important for the body’s immune response, the development of collagen, and in the prevention of oxidative stress caused by free radical damage. Avocados also contain 22% of the RDA for folate, which is of paramount importance in the production of red blood cells, and the proper development of the brain and spinal cord of an unborn infant.
In the mineral department, avocados contain significant amounts of potassium, magnesium, manganese and copper. They are actually higher in potassium that bananas! Potassium is such a vital mineral, with several functions in the body. For example, potassium is used in the body to help regulate mineral and fluid balances, prevent strokes of the brain, regulate muscle contraction and relaxation, maintain the electrical conductivity of the brain, assist in healthy metabolic processes and assist the kidneys to remove toxins and wastes through the process of excretion.
Studies have shown that when combined with antioxidant rich foods such as spices, salad or salsa, the fats in avocados help our bodies to absorb healthy phytochemicals called cartenoids. This Mexican style avocado soup uses this premise to enhance the bioavailability of the cartenoids found in paprika. Cartenoids are the pigments that give paprika its bright red colour. They are known for their great antioxidant potential, and their significant role in protecting the body’s cells from oxidative damage, thus being a great preventive measure against the formation of cancer cells.
Cumin, a spice that actually originated in Egypt, has great medicinal qualities that make this dish all the more enticing. Herbalists have long appreciated this spice for its antispasmodic and carminative --- or gas reducing properties. No more awkward post Mexican stomach problems! In Ayurvedic medicine, it is prized as a common treatment for indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea. Cumin has been found to significantly benefit the digestive system, with a soothing effect on mucous membranes in the gastrointestinal tract. Other studies show that cumin appears to stimulate the liver to secrete more bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats and the absorption of nutrients.
I hope by now you are no longer afraid of the dark side of Mexican food. Follow this recipe and these worries will be a distant memory. Welcome to the brighter, healthier side of our beloved Mexican food fiestas!
Avocado Soup Mexican Style
- 2 avocados, ripe, pitted, peeled, and mashed
- 2 TBS EV Olive Oil
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 3-4 cups homemade vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 lemon freshly squeezed
- 1 TBS lemon rind
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Celtic Sea Salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Lime quarters to garnish
Let’s Get Cracking:
- Sauté onions in olive oil until browned
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined
- Place in bowl and chill until served