Heart-Strong Spinach Soup

Adapted from The Women’s Health Big Book of Smoothies & Soups

Popeye was right—spinach is a powerful food! High in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other nutrients that prevent cholesterol buildup in the blood vessel walls, spinach also contains folate, which lowers blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, associated with heart disease and stroke. The potassium and magnesium in spinach lower blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

More: 15 Heart-Healthy Things to Do Now

Cashews, which are used as a substitute for milk, cream, and cheese in vegan diets, have a high fat content; therefore, if they are kept at room temperature, they will not stay fresh. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and they will last 4 to 6 months. You can also freeze them for up to 8 months.

Heart-Strong Spinach Soup
(Makes 4 servings)
Per serving: 172 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, 23 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 5 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup almonds, cashews, or pine nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped avocado, for garnish

Directions:
In a blender, combine the spinach, water, basil, cucumber, onion, nuts, oil, and garlic. Blend until the desired consistency is reached. Serve cold, garnished with the tomato and avocado.

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