Did you feel that? A little coolness in the night time? Perhaps you noticed the days are getting shorter? That's right my dears, fall is upon us! What this means for the fruit and veggie world is that some delicious and nutritious produce is coming into season. Most notable are the orange team: sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash. These vibrant veggies potentially contain an anti-cancer phytochemical called carotene which acts as and anti-oxidant and immune booster.
When shopping, go for organic. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash are in the Environmental Working Group's top 53 for pesticide content. In addition squash is one of the many fruits and vegetables that are sprayed with 'wax' which could be any compound such as shellac, paraffin, or synthetic resins. Gross. (Murray, Michael & Pizzorno, Joseph & Pizzorno, Laura. 2005. The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY. Atria Books. pp809).
So let's talk sweet potatoes. Interestingly, sweet potatoes are actually a member of the morning glory family, not the potato family! Sweet potatoes contain a good amount of dietary fiber and contain "unique root storage proteins which have been shown to exert significant antioxidant effects." (Murray, pp245)
Sweet potatoes have also been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve the response to the hormone insulin. (Murray, Michael & Pizzorno, Joseph & Pizzorno, Laura. 2005. The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY. Atria Books. pp245) Pretty impressive for something that grows in dirt.
Carrots need little introduction. It's no secret that carrots are an amazing source of vitamin A with the highest source of provitamin A of commonly consumed vegetables (Murray, Michael & Pizzorno, Joseph & Pizzorno, Laura. 2005. The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY. Atria Books. pp184)
This tasty, fall-inspired vegan recipe is a great way to get these nutrient-dense foods into your diet.
Curried Sweet Potato Soup
2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
¼ Teaspoon Cayenne (optional)
1 Teaspoon ground Cumin
½ Teaspoon ground Coriander or Fresh Cilantro
¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Curry powder
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger
Healthy pinch of Sea salt
4 Cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
2 1/2 Cups dairy free milk
One half can of coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
Warm the oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add spices and toast for about 30 seconds. Add the onion, garlic and ginger along with a pinch of salt. Sauté until onions are soft. Add the potatoes, coconut milk, and dairy free milk. Cover and bring to a strong simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until potatoes are done. Stir in lime juice. Puree with an immersion blender or you can puree in small batches in a regular blender. Served topped with raw pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!