Making Sense of Sodium – Bring it to the Plate!
Did you know…The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg daily?
What’s more, just 1,500 mg of sodium is recommended for adults age 51 and older, African Americans and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart failure or chronic kidney disease.
The bottom line: nearly everyone could benefit from cutting down on sodium.
The American Heart Association has identified their “Salty Six” – a listing of common foods that often tip the scales in sodium.
Soup is one food on the listing. So next time soup is on your menu, instead of reaching for a canned variety, try making soup at home. That way you control the sodium (for example, using lower sodium broth can save 300+ mg of sodium per cup!) and add more healthful ingredients such as vegetables, beans and whole grains (brown rice, barley, quinoa, whole wheat pasta).
And soup is a perfect way to cook once and eat twice! Many soups lend themselves to freezing well. So make it a habit to make one batch for tonight’s dinner and another to stock in the freezer for a quick meal on a busy night.
Try White Bean, Artichoke & Mushroom Soup with Toasted Almonds. Rinsing and draining the canned beans reduces their sodium by 40%! We also traded canned artichoke hearts for the frozen variety and used reduced sodium broth – all for an added sodium savings.
And pureeing the beans and artichoke hearts gives the soup a rich, decadent texture. Drizzle each serving with a bit of olive oil and toasted almonds for a restaurant-style finish that adds fruity flavor and a wonderful crunch! Healthy eating never tasted so good!
White Bean, Artichoke & Mushroom Soup with Toasted Almonds
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, cooked according to package directions and drained
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
½ cup shallot, minced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
32 ounces reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/8 - ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper plus more for garnish
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ cup fat free, plain Greek yogurt (optional)
Set aside ½ cup cannellini beans; puree remaining beans and artichoke hearts with ½ cup broth in blender or food processor until very smooth. In large soup pot, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in reserved beans, puree, remaining broth and cayenne pepper; simmer uncovered until heated through and slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls and top with 1 tablespoon yogurt (if using), a dusting of cayenne pepper and drizzle each with ½ teaspoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon toasted almonds. Serve immediately. Makes 8 generous 1-cup servings.
Per serving: 177 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 466 mg sodium,
24 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 10 g protein.