Lentil Soup

Even if you are not a vegetarian, it may not be a bad idea to have occasional meatless nights.

Recent study shows that high plant protein intake was associated with lower overall and cardiovascular death risks while high animal protein intake was associated with increased cardiovascular death.

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As we reach the end of the summer, it’s time to start enjoying warm soups! How about trying some plant-protein filled soups like lentil soup?

Lentils are a good source of not only plant-protein, but also complex carbohydrate, thiamine, iron, and other nutrients. 

 
   *Data from the Asken Diet app

   *Data from the Asken Diet app

 

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 diced onion
• 1 Tbsp butter
• 1/2 cup red lentils
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 2 Tbsp of fresh chopped parsley
• Dash of pepper
• 1/4 cup milk or almond milk

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large pot, cook the onion in butter until it's translucent, but not browned
2. Add red lentils and vegetable broth. Simmer the broth until the lentils are cooked through (if the soup is too thick, add more broth as necessary)
3. Add in fresh chopped parsley and a dash of pepper
4. To make the soup smoother, use an immersion blender and blend until the desired consistency is reached
5. To top it off, mix in milk or almond milk. Serve and enjoy

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REFERENCES:
1. Song M, Fung TT, Hu FB, et al. Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Oct 1;176(10):1453-1463. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4182.
2. USAID. Lentils Commodity Fact Sheet. USAID Web site. https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/agriculture-and-food-security/food-assistance/resources/lentils-commodity-fact-sheet. Updated: November 14, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2017.

Avocado Smoothie

Whether it's in a salad, on a toast, or as a guacamole, who doesn't LOVE avocados?

Avocado

Some people are concerned that it's high in calories, but 1/2 avocado is 76 calories -  lower than 1 tablespoon of butter (~100 calories).

And the fatty acid composition of avocado is much healthier than butter! Majority of the fat contained in avocado is a type of fat called monounsaturated fatty acids. 

With this healthy fat and other nutrients, avocado consumption has been associated with cardiovascular health and healthy aging. 

 
 *Data from the Asken Diet app.

 *Data from the Asken Diet app.

 

Avocado goes well with pretty much anything, but if you're looking for something different, how about trying our creamy Avocado Smoothie?

INGREDIENTS:
• 1/2 avocado
• 1 banana
• 1/2 cup packed spinach
• 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 1 Tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tsp flax seed
• 1 tsp bee pollen

DIRECTIONS:
1. Add all the ingredients in a blender
2. Blend until smooth
3. Enjoy it with a spoon (this smoothie comes out extra creamy and is often difficult to drink with a straw)

REFERENCES:
1. United States Department of Agriculture. Basic Report: 09038, Avocados, raw, California. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2157
2. United States Department of Agriculture. Basic Report:  01001, Butter, salted. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/1
3. Mark L. Dreher and Adrienne J. Davenport. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013 May; 53(7): 738–750. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/