As requested by a friend of mine, I am translating two recipes that appeared on my Italian blogs. I have mentioned this before, I collaborate with a great blog called Taste from Abruzzo focused on the greatness this region (Abruzzo) has to offer. The other is a health food column for my school’s online magazine LUI.Ben – The recipes for June are: a fresh summer chilled soup that is really healthy, satisfying and so easy to make, it will become your summer staple. I am sure you will add your own personal touch and please let me know about it if you do, I love you ideas. This chilled soup is increadibly good for you and your body will smile on the inside every time you take a spoonful. It also happens to be “raw” and Vegan so give it a try. The other is a bit more indulgent as it is a “Biscotti Tagliati” but I tried to add as many healthy ingredients to it as possible. My friend Laura will love it because it has her favorite liqueur “Genziana“. Hopefully you will enjoy both.
CHILLED AVOCADO, CUCUMBER AND MINT SOUP
In depht health benefits are described on the Italian blog and I won’t bore you with it I will just give you highlights: Avocado, the “miracle” fruit, slows cellular aging, cleans your blood of bad cholesterol, fights depression, has 40% fiber content and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Cucumbers are 90% water and are also rich in minerals and both vitamin K & C, cucumbers, helps digestions and clean your digestive system reducing toxicity, stimulate proper functions of you pancreas and regulate your glicimic index. Both Cucumbers and Avocados are on the top 7 list of alkaline ingredients.
- 2 small Haas avocados
- 3-4 Persian or Kirby cucumbers or 1-2 regular cucumbers (organic please, all the benefits are in the peel)
- 1 small bunch of mint
- juice of 1 lime (use the zest for garnish)
- 1/2 Jalapeno or other spice
- 1 tbsp of EVOO
- 250 ml of water (about 8.5 fl. oz.)
- salt to taste
Cut the cucumbers (don’t peel if organic) remove the seeds if regular cucumbers (leave if kirby, persian or english). Put in your blender with the water, lime juice, olive oil and blend until smooth, add the avocado, mint, jalapeno and salt and blend again until you have a very smooth creamy consistency. Add water if too thick. Taste for salt and spiciness.
Chill the soup for an hour, add a drizzle of olive oil, some cucumber or avocadoes, some mango, some fresh herbs. Whatever you like. You can also try it with dill or cilantro.
“BISCOTTI” SAFFRON & GENZIANA
Though a cookie and therefore not necessarily “health” food, this “biscotti” will bring some value to your diet and give you a little sweetness that is sometimes called for.
Saffron is rich in antioxidants and contains cell protecting carotenoids (thus the orange color) Vitamins B1&2 bring oxigens to your cells and raises serotonin and dopamine levels to fight depression and stress. Saffron also improves memory, has digestive properties and is an aphrodisiac. Almonds have energy to sell, fibers, minerals, polyphenols, are also anti-depressants and lower your glicimic index. Genziana is a digestive root and also strengthens your immune system.
Makes about 35-40 cookies
(100 grams = about 3.5 oz)
- 210 gr. Whole Saragolla, Kamut or other whole hard wheat flour.
- 200 gr of whole almonds
- 115 gr raw cane sugar or evaporated cane juice
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 2 small eggs + 1 for glazing
- 5 gr cake yeast
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of saffron threads + 2 packets of saffron powder
- 1 tbsp of Genziana liqueur or other bitter digestive liqueur (not too sweet)
Pre-heat the oven at 180 C. (356 F)
Toast the almonds on a baking sheet, careful not to burn. Let them cool.
Beat the 2 eggs wiht the sugar, honey and salt until you have a light foamy texture (about 10 minutes).
Melt the saffron in your liqueur and add to the mixture.
Add the flour a little at a time while mixing.
Add the almonds and incorporate well.
Rest the mixture in the frisge for 30 min. to 1 hour.
Form 2 thin long loaves, place them on a baking sheet with oven paper, beat the egg and brush the top of the loaves, and bake for about 18-20 minutes.
Let the loaves cool and then slice into slanted .5″ (1 cm) slices and return to the oven for about 4-5 minutes per side to “toast”.
Hope you enjoy both recipes. Leave me any comments, questions, or pictures if you make the recipe. Love and be well