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Why Blended Soups?---The Basic Philosophy
by michael harleman

Blended soups are by far one of the best ways to transition into a living foods diet. The are nutritious, easy to digest and very easy to make once you get the hang of it. But it is also misleading and unfair to think of soups just as a lesser food for those who are transitioning. Many of the very successful long-term living-foodists, like Anne Wigmore, David Jubb and Dr. Flora, all spent many years living and thriving on blended soups alone.

Why are blended soups so excellent? Here are a few reasons why including more blended foods into your diet can help your rejuvenation process:

a) They are pre-digested.

People often come to living-foods after many years of mediocre eating habits and their digestive systems are not strong(to put it mildly!). At this point, our bodies are literally starving for nutrition but we haven t yet acquired the digestive strength to extract all of the nutrition out of whole foods like salads, fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. Bringing in highly nutritious blended soups is a great way to saturate the body with lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes in a way that is totally easy to absorb.

b)Good chewing is a discipline most people have yet to acquire.

Haven t we all heard expressions like Your stomach doesnt have teeth and, Chew your juice, drink your food? We heard them, yet we still very rarely chew our food until it is totally liquified. And while there is no substitute for learning how to chew properly and thoroughly, many of us just do not have the time and need the be getting the nutrition ASAP! So while we are still learning how to chew our food, blended soups are a great way to insure that we are getting lots of easy to digest, live nutrition.

c) Blended foods often have a high water concentration.

The beauty of blended foods on a live foods diet is that we are taking water rich foods and adding even more water to them. This is incredible for bringing lots of highly structured water into the body, and many of us have spent years being chronically dehydrated. Also, there is a tendency on this diet to overeat the high density foods(nuts, seeds, avocados, olives) and this is much more difficult to do when those foods are added to our soups because they become more hydrated and filling.

d) Blended foods are an excellent way to incorporate foods we might not normally want to eat.

Aloe vera is an amazing food with many healing elements, yet very few people can eat fresh aloe gel all by itself. Its just a little too gooey and bitter. But the great thing about mixing it with other foods in the blender is that this bitterness cant be tasted at all! And the gooiness actually makes the blend smoother and creamier! The same thing goes for lethicin or tocotrienols. These are all amazing superfoods that make perfect additions to our blended soups and give us an extraordinary level of nutrition. Youd be surprised how many healthy items, which dont taste all that great alone, will actually make lovely additions to our blended soups.

e)Blended foods can help us to either lose or gain weight.

One of the biggest reasons people often snack and overeat is because they are malnourished. This often goes even for those on a strict living-foods diet. But with blended food, a) it is so well broken down and digested, and b) we are absorbing much more nutrition while spending less energy on digestion. This means that we are often satisfied with much less food than we might have been normally. Often we will find ourselves not hungry for many hours after eating a blended soup! Anyone who has trouble with lots of snacking and binging will often find blended foods to be a huge relief.

On the other hand, many people on a living-foods diet have found it difficult to gain weight. But blended foods also allow us to add and absorb much more food to our diet than normal if that is our goal. A person might only be able to eat a 7-8 stalks of kale in a salad, but thrown into the blender, he or she can easily eat a pound or more. Those who have trouble putting on healthy weight often find that eating large blended soups with lots of dark leafy greens and raw plant fat quickly solves the problem.

f) Blended foods can be gently warmed and adapted to our environment.

Those living in colder environments often struggle trying to eat all raw foods. Why is this? Its typically because they often eat only fruit and salads, most of the time right out of the refrigerator. And while a salad or fruit can be eaten at room temperature, it is still kind of awkward to warm those foods up. With blended soups, on the other hand, we can put them in a pot and gently warm it up until it is just over 100 degrees (this is easy to tell with your finger tip). This ensures that none of the nutritional value/enzymes are lost or destroyed but at the same time the soup has a lovely warming quality. Those who struggle eating raw in colder climates will often find that this alone will make a huge difference in their ability to stay warm and feel satisfied/ balanced.

h)Blended soups are highly adaptable.

Whether we are on a cleanse or trying to create a gourmet dish, we can modify our blended soup accordingly. Those on a cleanse often find that it works best to use more greens and less sugar and fat in their soups. Yet, those trying to make an impressive gourmet soup will find it easy to create a base in the blender and then garnish the soup with chunks of tomato, herbs, sprinkled nuts or anything else.

The Basic Formula for Blended Soups

1) LIQUID

We say liquid here and not water because water has a tendency to make the soup very bland. The best base for soups is often coconut water as it has a neutral, sweet taste and is very high in electrolytes. Green juice from plants like celery or cucumber also often work well. Fruit juice can be used but it is best to be modest with this and dilute it so that the sugar is not so concentrated. Another great idea to use is the leftover soak water from sun-dried tomatoes. This imparts a subtle tomato-like flavor. The main point is to prevent it from being bland. If water must be used, often more flavorful or spicy ingredients might be needed so that the soup does not taste too plain.

2)WATERY FRUIT

Watery fruits are important because they give the soup a more full, smooth texture without making it overly dense or fatty. Some great examples of watery fruits are tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, all kinds of squash, apples, etc. It is usually best to avoid sweet fruits in the soups because the sweet flavor will dominate the entire thing. Often the sweetness from the tomato, squash or coconut water is more than enough.

3) FATS

Fats are great in blended soups because they add calories, creaminess and we are less likely to overeat them in this form. Often half of an avocado can make all the difference in whether a soup tastes amazing or tastes terrible! Other kinds of fats, like nuts, soaked nuts, nut butters, coconuts, olives and even oils will often work too. It all depends on the type of soup you are trying to make.

4) HIGH FLAVOR INGREDIENTS

In this class are all of the strongly flavored ingredients like herbs, onions, garlic, radishes, spices, celtic sea salt, etc. Adding these elements to the soup will often give it more of a layered flavor spectrum and more bite . Because these ingredients are so strong, it is often better to start with less and then add more little by little until the desired taste is achieved. Leafy green vegetables can also be considered in this category because adding lots of them will totally dominate the flavor of the soup. Leafy greens are best used in soups that have a more therapeutic purpose, while they should be mostly left out when trying to create a soup based more on pure taste. Dark green soups can be great while fasting and cleansing but after a while we just look at them and think, Yuck!! Its a good idea to alternate with using non-green soups so that we stay emotionally balanced and satisfied from those we make.

5)TOPPINGS/CHOPPED INGREDIENTS

A great and healthy addition to blended soups is to grind some fresh seeds, herbs/spices and celtic sea salt in a blender or grinder and sprinkle over the top of the final product. Often the mixture will take on a breadcrumb-like texture that reminds us of when we used to eat crackers on the top of our soups. Freshly ground seeds are often one of the best ways to get our essential fatty acids, minerals and amino acids in a form that is super easy to digest. If one is not on a strictly blended food fast, one of the best additions to our soups are to add chopped ingredients like tomatoes, nuts, cilantro, green onion, etc. These and similar items will give the soup added texture and crunch that makes it more appealing overall.

Mikes Favorite Blended Foods:

While on a blended food fast for over 2 weeks I ate three things: a Superfood Smoothie, Electrolyte Lemonade, and Warm Squash Soup.

Here are the recipes:

Superfood Smoothie:

  • 1 apple or peach or nectarine(whichever is in season)
  • 1/2 to 1 basket of berries in summertime or 1 pear in winter (or any fruit combination that goes well)
  • optional: couple celery sticks to cut the sweet
  • 2-4 Tbsp. coconut butter (can also use hemp oil)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. flax seeds (or sesame or pumpkin seeds. However, flax is a superfood)
  • 1 Tbsp. lecithin granules
  • dash celtic sea salt
  • optional: few soaked or dry nuts, or hemp seeds
  • optional: spirulina or BGA. This will turn it green though.
  • optional: high quality honey (I use a Manuka 10 plus from New Zealand rain forests) or bee pollen.
  • optional: tocotrienols, maca root, or any other superfoods.
  • add water till level. The more water the less thick. Play around.
  • can also add greens if you wish.
  • Blend in Vita-Mix and Serve

Electrolyte Lemonade:

  • Three lemons peeled but with as much white rind on as possible
  • One pear
  • dash celtic sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 8-12 oz. charged water. Once again, the more water the less thick. Play around.
  • Blend in Vita-Mix and Serve

Squash Soup

  • 1-2 cupfulls butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • half a squeed lemon
  • some greens or sprouts
  • couple of sticks of celery or fennel
  • dash celtic sea salt
  • Blend together, then taste and any herbs you wish (if you wish). I then like to put in 8-10 prunes and just pulse them in. Gives it a sweetness. Play around with this one. Then warm on stove until slight warm to finger. Serve promptly. Good eaten with crackers with coconut butter on top.

 

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