Soup is a great meal choice for working moms on the go. You can leave it to simmer in a slow cooker all day and quickly create enough to feed a whole family for several days. Some moms create soup that will last all week for their kids’ lunches! However, if you’re not careful, it’s possible to turn this warm treat into an unhealthful meal. Many soups are high in salt, fat, and calories because the chefs aren’t focused on adding healthful ingredients to them. Consider replacing your traditional soup ingredients with these three options for a healthier recipe.
All-Natural Bone Broth
Image via Flickr by Ron Dollete
Soup health starts with the base. If you use store-bought chicken or beef stock, you could be adding countless unknown chemicals to your base. You also can’t be sure how the animals were raised before they died. Even choosing poor cream or vegetable broth can amp up the calories and salt if you don’t know what you’re buying. Many health experts are touting the benefits of bone broth, which is made from the marrow bones of 100 percent grass-fed, organically raised, and pasture-grazed cattle.
Bone broth is incredibly high in protein, potassium, and calcium. It boosts your immune system while the collagen works to improve your skin, nails, and hair. This makes bone broth a great way to keep bad chemicals out of your soup while keeping the good vitamins in.
Tempeh Instead of Tofu
There’s nothing wrong with eating tofu or adding it to your soups. It’s an incredibly healthful food that goes with most recipes, but it gets a bad rap. Picky eaters, meat lovers, and children might shy away from tofu if they’re unfamiliar with the taste and texture. However, it’s possible to “rebrand” soy products by serving tempeh instead.
Tempeh is made by fermenting cooked soybeans into a mold, giving it a firm and chewy texture instead of the smooth and often mushy texture that comes with tofu. Although it has higher calories than tofu, it also has more protein per serving and more fiber. Test it out in Udon noodle soup and see how your family likes it.
Ginger for Sweet and Savory
Ginger tends to be a polarizing food for most families. Some people love the root and add it to anything, while others avoid it because of its taste and strength. However, ginger is easy to add to many Asian dishes — especially soup — and it has key health benefits for your whole body.
Ginger has medicinal properties and is known to help digestion and treat nausea. If you have the flu or an upset stomach, ginger can clean out your sinuses while settling your stomach. It’s also a known anti-inflammatory and can lower cholesterol. Consider adding ginger shoots to your next soup or just adding a few pinches of powdered ginger for flavor.
With a little practice, you should have an repertoire of useful soup recipes that your family will love. Plus, you’ll rest easy knowing they’re eating healthful meals with long-term benefits to their bodies.