Healthy Living

Kristi Whitley

Taste the Rainbow 
Gazpacho
 
I’ve been watching reruns of Tyler Perry’s Madea movies and “You gone

taste da rainbow!” is one of her favorite lines. Cracks me up!! If you eat

gazpacho you will not only taste the rainbow, you will get the nutrition of

a rainbow of colorful vegetables in every bite! Summer vegetables are the

best ingredients for gazpacho and its boat-load of vitamin C and water

make it perfect for hot weather! Read on and learn to make this delicious

summer treat!
 
Let Me Begin at the Beginning
 
Wikipedia says gazpacho is a soup from Spain usually made from raw

vegetables, with a tomato base and is served cold. Here’s the why we

should eat gazpacho.
 
Health Benefits of Blending
 
If you have nutritional deficiency from eating S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), or from illness, digestive disorders, tooth problems and cannot chew well, blending and juicing are preferred means by which to gain maximum health benefits from food. Simply, blending the food into tiny pieces prevents the need to chew well, increasing the surface area of food particles and increasing absorption of nutrients in the GI tract. Blending instead of chewing reduces the amount of energy expended in eating and insures easier and more complete digestion. Blending breaks down the cell walls of the food exposing the nutrients for better absorption. And blending also helps increase the volume of vegetables that can be eaten at one time, thereby increasing the daily intake of nutrients. These are the same reasons why smoothies have become so popular in the last 20 years. 
 
Blending More Than Smoothies
 
Just putting a dinner plate full of vegetables in a blender and drinking what comes out sounds disgusting to me. Gazpacho is the perfect way to eat a ton of veggies in one sitting and enjoy the taste at the same time. I bet Google has 50,000 recipes for Gazpacho. Start with a recipe so you can get the idea of what ratio of flavors work best. There are some tricks, of which you will want to take note, like adding vinegar and spices. I like to use a tomato juice base and blend only half the ingredients leaving some chunks to chew. Once you get the hang of what flavors you like the best, you won’t need a recipe but search anyway for new and inventive ways to blend up a nutritious cold summer soup.
 
Matthew 5:6  (NIV)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  for they will be filled.

Chunky Gazpacho
 
This chilled soup will keep in the refrigerator for several days and is great for hot summer days! Make it for your next family reunion. It makes 10, 1-cup servings!
 
Prep time 20-40 minutes
Chilling time 3-4 hours
Serves 10
 
4 cups tomato juice
2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumber
½ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup corn kernels
½ cup chopped green pepper
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped zucchini
¼ cup chopped green chilies (canned)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon hot sauce
 
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill for several hours before serving.
 
Hint: Use a food processor to prepare the ingredients to save time. Also, puree half the ingredients and chop the rest for flavor and presentation.

Dill Gazpacho
 
Make this chilled soup the night before to allow the flavors to develop. Puree more or less than half to get the consistency you like.
 
Prep time 25 minutes
Serves 6
 
6 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 large lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
 
In a large bowl, stir together everything EXCEPT the dill. Puree half the vegetables in a blender or food processor then return to the bowl. Add dill and mix well. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.

Creamy Avocado Gazpacho
Courtesy of http://www.vegparadise.com/

This is a SUPER refreshing gazpacho. Use it as a starter for your next ladies luncheon. Use my Chick-n-Salad as the entree. It will be surprisingly delicious.

1 C. (237 ml) water
Flesh of 1 medium avocado, reserving 1 T. for garnish
2 C. (480 ml) chopped cucumber
1 1/2 C. (355 ml) chopped tomatoes
1/2 to 1 Serrano chili, with seeds, sliced (optional)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 sprig mint leaves
Juice of 2 lemons or limes
1/2 t. salt
1 t. maple syrup (can use dates or honey to sweeten) 2 small mint leaves
Paprika (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Start blender on low speed for a few seconds, then switch to high. Blend until creamy and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes.

2. Pour into 2 soup bowls. Dice reserved avocado and gently
drop them into the center of the bowl. Add a mint leaf and
sprinkle diced avocado with paprika if desired.

Serves 2