Nothing beats a bowl of steaming soup during cold weather. Soup is easy to prepare; you can throw your ingredients into your slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning and have a delicious meal waiting for you in the evening. Soup can also help lower your grocery bill. Instead of tossing your leftover food from dinner, you can turn uneaten meats, veggies, rice, and noodles into a delicious pot of soup. Soup is flexible. You can follow a tried and true recipe or experiment with new ingredients and cooking methods.
Soup can also be very good for you. Here are a few of the health benefits of soup:
- Veggie-licious – Dietary guidelines suggest that we eat about 4 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day. That standard can be hard to meet, but soup makes it easier. You can add all kinds of vegetables to your soup and move closer to getting in your recommended quantities. Fresh veggies are great, but if you don’t have time to wash and chop them, frozen vegetables work well, too.
- Nutrient rich – Add lean meat or beans to soup to beef up on protein. Pile in the vegetables to get needed fiber and antioxidants. Noodles, rice, and barley can help you get energizing carbohydrates.
- Low in fat – Soup allows you to avoid heavy fats without skimping on flavor. Use lean meat such as turkey or chicken. For creamy soups, you can use skim milk instead of whole milk. Chilling your soup and skimming off the fat before reheating it will further reduce its fat content.
- Helps control weight – Eating soup that contains a lot of water will fill you up easily with less calories than solid food. Chicken noodle soup, for example, has fewer calories than chicken casserole. For this reason, soup can be very helpful for weight loss.
Experiment with different soups this winter. Soup can be very cheap because it can make a little meat stretch a long way. Soup can warm you up inside and help you eat more healthfully in the process.