Coconutty Pumpkin Soup

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It is winter here in NZ, well almost, so what better way to warm up than making a big pot of yummy soup?  I do love soup it has to be said and I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and tea quite happily however lately it has been a bit of a necessity for me as a way to rest my digestive system.

We have been lucky enough to have a free place to park our bus for the past 9 weeks, while himself has been working to restore the railway after earthquakes last year, beside a large paddock of a local Irish Pub.  While we haven’t had to pay for the spot we have felt obliged to spend a bit of money here to keep in the owner’s good books so we have been going out for tea up at the pub at least once a week.  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying not having to cook however my digestive system has had other thoughts.  Being a vegetarian in a small country area has its downsides … namely that there are only a few items on the menu you can have and of these few selections most contain gluten, dairy, a combination of both, or are deep fried.

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View from across the paddock back to our bus … the kids love it!

It has been an exercise in having the things that effect me least or trying to just have things sparingly.  Trouble is that I’m not that good at sparingly and I’m really not a have one and be satisfied kind of girl!  So let’s just say that over the past 9 weeks my eating has been very ‘off’ and I am now paying for that prolonged accumulation of foods that my body just doesn’t agree with.  Over the last few days I have been experiencing pain due to diverticulitis (flaring up of diverticular disease) and I completely know why it has reared up …. I only have myself to blame and myself to sort it out.

My main way, and this may not suit everyone, is to rest my system as much as I can until the pain subsides and my body feels ‘normal’ again.  I tend to go liquid for a few days so that my body isn’t having to deal with too much in the way of digestion in the hopes that it will have more time to deal with healing.  So far this has worked, on the few occasions that I have needed it, however the best plan is always to keep my diverticular disease at bay by eating well, exercising and having good fluids.

As it is pumpkin time here, and we New Zealanders love our pumpkins, I have been enjoying making up some pumpkin soup and my latest pots have been a little different after getting a few ideas at a local community dinner.  I usually just love pumpkin soup with a few onions and garlic thrown in, nothing fancy just yummy pumpkiny goodness, however I may have changed that for good after adding some coconut cream and ginger to the mix.  This recipe doesn’t really have any measurements, sorry, aside from 1 tin of coconut cream which you may want to increase if you are making  a large pot of soup. Experiment with what you like using this simple recipe as a base.

crown pumpkin

Crown Pumpkin

Coconutty Pumpkin Soup

  • 1/2 a large Crown Pumpkin (this is the best flavoured pumpkin for soups)
  • Ground or fresh ginger
  • Garlic
  • Veggie stock cube
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • Water

– Fry off the garlic in a pot with a little oil

– Add in pumpkin chopped into cubes (should come to almost the top of the pot)

– Pour in coconut cream (should cover 1/2 – 3/4 of the pumpkin in the pot) and then cover the rest of the pumpkin with water

– Bring to the boil and add in the stock and ginger

– Boil until the pumpkin is all soft.

– Take off the heat and mash until you have a thick soup.  You can add more liquid if you like it runny or mash less if you like your soup chunky.

– Enjoy!!

 

Hope this finds you free of pain and full of life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

 

Kitchen Cures

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So it seems that it is that time of the year here in NZ when the coughs and colds strike, well in this house at least.  With that in mind I thought a wee post about kitchen cures and real foods that can help would be in order.

We have our favourite kitchen cures of course and my list is not everything there is so  I’d love to hear other ‘cures’ from other cultures if you’re keen to share.

This week some kitchen Cures for Coughs:

Coughs can be extremely dehydrating to the body so it is really important to maintain fluids even when it seems we don’t need to. Try some of these:

Thyme:
This has to be our favourite, tried and true, remedy.  Thyme has been an officially approved German treatment for coughs for a long time and there is a good reason of that – it works! 😉 The flavonoids in the herb relax the tracheal and ileal muscles and they also reduce inflammation. Just brew up a strong ‘tea’ with some dried thyme, add honey to sweeten if needed, and then sip regularly especially around times of coughing.

Hot tea:
As mentioned above coughing dehydrates you and so you need to keep the fluids up. Drinks are important and hot teas even more so as the warmth of the drink will relieve your throat while it hydrates. Green tea which is full of antioxidants, Apple cider, peppermint, lemon and honey along with the aforementioned thyme are all good kitchen cures for that pesky cough.

Try some hot herbal or fruit teas to ease your throat and re-hydrate you.

Try some hot herbal or fruit teas to ease your throat and re-hydrate you.

Garlic:
This is a very traditional kitchen cure for coughs and colds and a good one.  Garlic has antibiotic properties which helps healing all-round.  The Cherokee also used it as an expectorant for coughs and croup. My preferred method, and I think the most effective, is to finely diced a clove of raw garlic and then add a bit to a teaspoon of honey.  The honey also acts as an antiseptic which will soothe the throat so benefits abound!

Onions and honey:
I have tried this one when the kids were little and it was pretty effective – probably because they liked the sweetness of the honey and caramelised onion!  Simply chop up an onion and place in a double boiler with ½ cup of honey and some lemon juice. Cook on a low heat till the onion is soft and slightly caramelised.  You can either strain out the onion or leave in. Store in a jar and use as needed.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and if not cough free at least with a few ideas up your sleeve.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz