Cooking Delights

Monday, September 25, 2006

Soup and Lemon Gems

This was a totally yummy coconut red curry soup from La Dolce Vegan. This soup has its nutritional high and low points. First off, the thing that makes the soup so yummy is a whole can of coconut milk, which is very high in saturated fat. Saturated fats trigger off an increase in low-density lipoprotein, which is also known as the "bad cholesterol." High total and saturated fat diets have been linked conclusively to heart disease. Research also shows that high saturated fat intakes are pro-inflammatory, and numerous studies implicate a high total-fat diet in cancers of the breast, prostate and lung. Adults and children four or more years of age should not consume more than 20 grams of saturated fat per day. 1/4 cup of coconut milk contains a whopping 13 g of saturated fat! Good thing you can buy light coconut milk. On the plus side coconut milk contains no cholesterol and is very low in sodium. Another nutritional power point is this soup was made with 1/2 cup of red lentils. I think this is a great idea when making orange soups - throw in a half a cup of red lentils and increase the fiber and protein count for the recipe. A 1/4 cup of red lentils will give you 7 g of fiber and 13 g of protein. Also included in this soup are sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a rich antioxidant food. Why are antioxidants important? Research suggests that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods reduces damage to cells and biochemicals from free radicals. This may slow down, prevent, or even reverse certain diseases that result from cellular damage, and perhaps even slow down the natural aging process.

My daughter has been begging to bake lemon gems. Here are one of the best batches we have ever made. There really aren't any nutritionally redeeming qualities to these cupcakes, but they sure are a nice treat - and fun to make!

Does it get any better than this?


  • At Monday, 25 September, 2006, Blogger Vicki said…

    the soup sounds awesome (i love coconut) but i'm going bonkers for those cupcakes!

  • At Tuesday, 26 September, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lemon gems, mmmm... I love them. The soup looks beautiful (though I probably wouldn't care for it much since I'm not a coconut fan)!

  • At Tuesday, 26 September, 2006, Blogger Kati said…

    The cupcakes look incredible! As for the coconut: the saturated fats actually react differently in the body than the saturated fats found in, say, animal products. Since coconut oil has such a low melting point and is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids, it is assimilated much more easily by the body and, unlike other saturated fats, can actually promote health benefits (such as weight loss). This applies mainly to raw coconut products, I suppose, but still...enjoy your coconut - it's yummy.

  • At Tuesday, 26 September, 2006, Blogger Melissa West said…

    Wish I could have you over vicki and laura - for cupcakes!

    Thanks kati for that comment! I actually meant to ask about this in the post... I had heard that coconut oil is this amazing oil and you don't need to worry about the fat content in it because the body doesn't recognize it like a saturated fat ... so thanks for filling in the details. Thanks for setting me straight too because I had heard it about the coconut oil, but didn't know if it applied to coconut milk as well. Can you point me to any other sources on this?


  • At Thursday, 28 September, 2006, Blogger Kati said…

    I forget where I first read the info on coconut oil, but I think the book The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife may have the information you're looking for (I haven't read it myself). You could also try Hope that helps!


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