Meet your new best friend……Fat.
Flavorful curry, creamy coconut milk and ultra rich coconut oil make this a satisfying soup for any time of year. Though butternut squash from KyV Farm is not in season right now in Florida – those little buttery squashes waited patiently on the counter for weeks until I was ready to use them. If you don’t have any squashes handy or are short on time simply buy frozen, cubed butternut.
In this recipe, raw coconut oil fills in for ghee (a type of clarified butter typically in South Asian dishes) like Taylor Swift filling in for Britney Spears. It’s just so…..now and delicious and fun and a touch more classy. No offense Britney – I was one of your first fans but it’s a new era and I think you lost most of us with the barefoot in the gas station bathroom thing.
So long butter, hello coconut oil.
Coconut oil does have saturated fat – the same as butter – but no cholesterol. Coconut fats have what is called medium chain triglycerides - which have been shown to actually aid in weight loss, balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol. One study in 2009 published on PubMed showed women that consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil daily LOST abdominal fat.
It’s time to start thinking about adding more healthy fats and cutting out sugar.
After listening to Dr Lindsey Duncan speak two Saturdays ago about the importance of fats in our diet (particularly plant based fats) I promptly went home with fat on the brain (no pun intended) and thoughts of how harmful the whole fat free era was. Snackwells anyone? I remember eating those by the package because they were fat free and “healthy”. First ingredient – sugar.
[Sugar, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Skim Milk, Corn Syrup, Fructose, Cocoa (Processed with Alkalo), Glycerin, Egg Whites, Gelatin, Chocolate, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Modified Food Starch, Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Salt, Potassium Sorbate Added to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor.]
“It seems like every time I study an illness and trace a path to the first cause, I find my way back to sugar.” ~ Richard Johnson, Nephrologist at University of Colorado, Denver.
The importance of fat in the diet.
According to Dr Duncan, fat is the highest source of energy in the human body – some nutritionists would say sugar/carbs – he will argue that sugar feeds cancer – but it’s fat that gives us power. Fat lubricates the joints and is the number one bio-chemical element in the brain - the brain sits in liquid comprised of 80% fat.
The power of fat is mighty.
How much fat do we need? Most sources say 20-35% of your daily intake should be from fats. Many Americans are getting much more than that in the form of fried foods – most of those fried in animal fats, hydrogenated oils or other processed oils when what we should be thinking is unheated and unprocessed fats – some great choices are seeds, nuts, avocado & coconut oil.
What is your take on fat? Are you still scared of eating too much fat from all the programming we received during the fat free era or are you excited about eating healthy and tasty fats in moderation?
Coconut Curry Soup with Kale and Butternut
1 block tofu, drained, wrapped in paper towels and pressed of water
2 Tbsp curry powder, divided
3/4 tsp sea salt, divided
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
15-oz butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 1 large butternut or 1 1/2 pkgs frozen)**
2 carrots, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 14-oz can light or regular coconut milk
2 cups (or 1 14-oz can) vegetable broth, low sodium or sodium free**
3 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup cilantro (optional)
1. Cube tofu into bite size pieces; sprinkle with 1 tsp curry powder and 1/4 tsp sea salt; toss well to coat. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large stock pot or Dutch oven over med-high heat. Add tofu cook until browned; turning once or twice; about 4 minutes per side. Set aside tofu.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in pot; add onion and garlic; cook until softened about 3 minutes; add squash and carrots; cook an additional 5 minutes; add remaining curry powder; stir for 30 seconds. Add coconut milk, broth and remaining salt; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer about 12 minutes until butternut squash softens; stir in tofu and kale; cook an additional 4-5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro if using.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 12.3 g
Saturated Fat 8.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 332.7 mg
Potassium 661.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.3 g
Dietary Fiber 6.5 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 7.4 g
Vitamin A 371.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 18.3 %
Vitamin C 76.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.5 %
Calcium 50.7 %
Copper 20.9 %
Folate 13.8 %
Iron 21.3 %
Magnesium 20.9 %
Manganese 63.2 %
Niacin 9.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.7 %
Phosphorus 17.3 %
Riboflavin 8.4 %
Selenium 16.1 %
Thiamin 15.1 %
Zinc 8.9 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.