Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Croutons

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Brown Sugar Cinnamon CruotonsA very healthy soup to help you through the winter. Pumpkin is packed with immune boosting vitamin-C and the sweet potatoes in the soup are great for cancer, particularly mole cancer. There is also cinnamon and fresh ginger, both good for digestion, and the cinnamon is great for glucose control in the blood stream.

Before starting the soup, make the croutons first. Here is what you will need:

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cruotons4 slices of 100% whole wheat bread. We used Crazy Dave’s Bread with 21 whole grains. We like this bread as it is not make with any oil, just water and yeast, all organic non-gmo grains. Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl mix together 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of soft butter. On each slice of bread, spread cinnamon mixture evenly over one side only. Place bread butter side up on a baking sheet, and place into the heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. When done, remove from the oven, cut crust off and cut bread into crouton size pieces and set aside.

Now here is what you will need for the feature recipe – Creamy Pumpkin Soup -.

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt 

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger)

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup heavy whipping cream

steps to preparing Creramy Pumpkin SoupSaute onion with 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan until tender. Next add 1 can chicken broth, and stir well. Bring the broth to a boil, and  cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes. Transfer broth mixture into the container of a blender or processor, and process until smooth. Return to sauce pan over heat.

Next add remaining can of broth, along with the pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and ground pepper. Stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, and cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 10 minutes, stir in heavy cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup topped with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cruotons or a bowl soup with olive breadLadle into individual soup bowls. Top each serving with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Croutons, or have with a slice of your favorite bread. Like a slice of sourdough, or as the cook did a slice of olive bread. Enjoy!!

 

What Others are Writing About Across the Web:

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and PecansThis rice pilaf is delectably wonderful as a side dish with just about any main dish roasted chicken or turkey.

There is about 7 grams of fiber per serving (8 ounces) in sweet potatoes. They have large amounts of potassium, beta-carotene, and are a good source of manganese.

Sweet potatoes are also anti-inflammatory, and can also improve the regulation of your blood sugar levels. The vegetable root is also antibacterial and anti-fungal.  It promotes a healthy digestion, and contains a small amount of vitamin-D, which is good for strong bones, and helps with brain function.

Getting plenty of vitamin-D can stave off heart problems, dementia, some forms of cancer too just name a few health concerns, as one ages.

Now for our featured recipe: Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans, and here is what you will need.

ingredients-for-Sweet-potato-Pilaf-with-Cranberries-and-Pecans

1 cup brown rice, cooked
2 cups chicken broth
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
5  tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1/2 to 1 tsp. pie spice

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a non-stick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes.

Pour broth into a medium sauce pot over high heat. Pour in rice and bring to a boil; lower heat to low and cook for 45 minutes or until rice is done and tender.

While the rice is cooking, peel and dice sweet potato. Place into a large bowl with 2 tbsp. oil, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Line a baking pan with a piece of tin foil.

Spread coated vegetable evenly over foil. Place baking pan into heated oven and roast 20 to 25 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Remove and set aside.

saute garlic and onion In a non-stick skillet, heat 3 tbsp. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and saute, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes.

step-by-step-to-mix-ingredients-for-Sweet-Potato-Pilaf-with-Cranberries-and-PecansNext add dried cranberries and pecan, stir another 3 minutes. Spoon in cooked rice and mix well. Turn off heat and add sweet potato and incorporate well. Sprinkle with pie spice and gently mix in to combine flavor with other ingredients. Let stand covered, 5 minutes.

Sweet-Potato-Pilaf-with-Cranberries-and-Pecans.jpg

Spoon rice mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with Italian parsley (optional).

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Plate the Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans as a side with your main dish meat. Here we served it with roasted seasoned chicken breast.

Check out another great recipe of ours using sweet potatoes: Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips .

What Others are Saying About Rice and Sweet Potatoes:

Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

 

Orange colored vegetables and fruits have a lot of health benefits. Such as beta-carotene not only good for eye health, but can also delay cognitive aging and protect skin from sun damage.

Beta carotene is a precursor for vitamin A, which is commonly referred to as retinol. Vitamin A is important for night vision, also an antioxidant that can neutralize damaging free radicals in the body.

The old days always taught us that only citrus fruit had vitamin C. But all orange foods are full of vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects against heart disease and helps rebuild collagen in the skin. Also as an added note: Vitamin D is not the only vitamin for bone health and suppport, your collagen also helps make and maintain strong bones.

All the more reason you need to prepare Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad. Here is what you will need.

ingredients-for-Kale-Sweet-Potato-and-Chicken-Salad

 

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (1 inch squares)

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper

3/4 pound frozen breaded chicken tenders

1 cup Mango Chipotle dressing

1 bunch Tuscan kale, tough stems and ribs removed, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)

½ cup cashews, chopped

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

This recipe calls solely for Kale, but as you can see on the cutting board above, we mixed in other greens. Such as some spinach, arugula, white and red cabbage and julienne cut broccoli.

adding-olive-oil-salt-and-pepper-to-sweet-potato

In a large mixing bowl toss sweet potatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

preparing-chicken-and-vegetable-on-baking-sheets

On two rimmed baking sheets, arrange diced sweet potatoes on one sheet and frozen breaded chicken strips on the second rimmed baking sheet.
Put in the preheat oven and bake 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Let cool to room temperature.

Make the dressing while the chicken and sweet potatoes are baking.

Mango Chipotle Dressing

2 Mangoes, peeled, pitted (about 1 ½ to 2 cups)

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 Chipotle Chili Peppers in adobo, wash peppers and de-seed *

½ cup Olive Oil

¼ cup Vinegar

3 – 4 tbsp. Lemon Juice

2 tbsp. Sugar

¼ tsp. Salt

Place mango flesh, garlic gloves and peppers into a food processor and puree. Next add oil, vinegar, lemon juice and processes until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Add sugar and salt process a few seconds.

Makes about 2 ½ cups

*if too spicy, use only 1 pepper

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After chicken has cooled, chop into pieces.

chopped chicken strips for Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

In a large serving bowl toss potatoes, chicken, and kale with dressing and sprinkle with cashews. Plate and serve.

close up for detail of Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

Here’s another health tidbit….the Kale, broccoli, and spinach are cruciferous vegetables that ward off cancer with only four servings a week. That red cabbage you see there has more vitamin C than an orange and has sulfur as well. Sulfur also helps build beautiful skin.

Have you forgotten what you just read, red cabbage can help you with that. Current research reports that red cabbage increases brain function.

Enjoy your Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad.

 

What Others are Saying About Kale:

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Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Beets are full of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, folate, vitamins A, B and C.

Beets are also a purifier for the body helping the liver expel toxins. The root vegetable contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression.

It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate. The vegetable can also lower blood pressure.

The salad also has spinach and it has 40% of your daily need of magnesium and an excellent source of more than 20 different measurable nutrients, including dietary fiber, calcium and protein.

It helps fight ovarian and prostate cancers. It is good for brain function as well.

The other leafy green is arugula which provides some essential minerals like 32 mg of calcium — needed for strong bones — and 74 mg of potassium, necessary for maintaining stable blood pressure.

One cup of arugula also provides trace minerals, with .29 mg of iron — vital in making red blood cells — and .09 mg of zinc, essential for wound healing.

Other trace minerals present in arugula include copper, manganese and selenium.

Here is what you will need for Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

3 beets, peeled, diced and roasted

1 to 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, diced, roasted

3/4 cup pecan pieces, pan roasted

1 lb. shrimp, cooked

6 oz. goat cheese

4 cups baby Spinach

2 to 3 cups Arugula

1/2 cup Mango-Chipotle Dressing

You can either buy a bottle of Kraft Mango-Chipotle Dressing or make your own. Here is a recipe of ours you can try.

Mango Chipotle Dressing

2 Mangoes, peeled, pitted (about 1 ½ to 2 cups)

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 Chipotle Chili Peppers in adobo, wash peppers and de-seed *

½ cup Olive Oil

¼ cup Vinegar

3 – 4 tbsp. Lemon Juice

2 tbsp. Sugar

¼ tsp. Salt

Place mango flesh, garlic gloves and peppers into a food processor and puree. Next add oil, vinegar, lemon juice and process until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Add sugar and salt; process a few seconds.

Makes about 2 ½ cups

*if too spicy, use only 1 pepper

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Now for the salad. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

preparing to mix root vegetables to roast

Wash, peel and dice the 3 beets and 1 to 2 sweet potatoes. If the potatoes are small use two. If the potato is medium to large than one is sufficient. Place the diced root vegetables into a large mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of extract virgin olive oil.

mixing in salt and pepper, spreading on to a parchment paper prepared baking pan

Next sprinkle with salt and pepper. About 1/8 teaspoon each and mix until the vegetables are well coated with the oil, salt and pepper. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and even spread the vegetables over the prepared jelly roll pan.

using spatula to get all the oil

Using a spatula to get all the oil as well. Once you have the coated vegetables spread out place into heated oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes.

pan roasting pecans

While the vegetables are roasting, heat a large pan over medium heat.  Add the pecans and roast them until they smell fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Move them to a plate and set aside.

melting butter with ground black pepper to cook shrimp

Now heat a large pan over medium high heat and melt two tablespoons of butter. Once melted sprinkle generously some ground black pepper.

Add the shrimp and cook one on side about two minutes and turn and sprinkle with a little pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside.

Mixings for the Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

By this time the vegetables should be done roasting. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a large plate to cool.

Now that you have have your shrimp, pan roasted pecans and oven roasted vegetables to one side and cooling.

Prepare to plate the mixed leafy greens to four plates.

plating leafy greens with other ingredients to make Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Once you have platted the leafy greens spoon on to each plate some roasted vegetables, shrimp, pecans, goat cheese and mango dressing. All in that order and serve.

 Resources:

Full Circle “6 Health Benefits of Eating Beets”

Livestrong “What are the Health Benefits of Spinach”

Livestrong “What are the Benefits of Arugula? 

Bourbon Spiced Pork with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples (includes a video)

Bourbon Spiced pork with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

1 pkg. McCormick seasoning mix (has no added chemicals or preservatives, all natural dry spices)

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

3 lbs. pork tenderloin

½ cup orange juice, divided

1 ½ lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, dices 1-inch cubes

2 Fuji or Gala apples, peeled, cored and quartered

Heat Oven to 425 degrees

Mix seasoning and brown sugar; reserve 1/3 cup. Mix ¼ cup of orange juice with brown sugar mix. Set aside.

Line a 9X13 inch baking dish with aluminum foil and arrange tenderloin over foil. Pour season mix over meat evenly.

In a large bowl mix apples and sweet potatoes with ¼ cup of orange juice and reserved brown sugar mix, stir in to coat apples and sweet potatoes. Arrange apples and sweet potatoes around tenderloin.

Place in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until meat has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Remove, allow to cool 5 minutes, plate and serve.

Watch the Video of Bourbon Spiced Pork with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples…

View our web-site for information about food and how it correlates to a healthy you: Savor the Food and your Health