Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Avocado-Coconut Soup with Pan Seared Shrimp in Coconut Oil



The summer vacations are on full swing.

I know, I hyperventilate before the start of every summer vacation but this year it is surprisingly very different.

The 7 year old has really grown up and keeps himself busy pretty well. Thankfully, he has finally discovered the magic of books and most mornings are spend reading. Then he has his Lego, train tracks and summer homework to keep him busy till afternoon. Most of our afternoons are spent biking, hiking at our local park, soccer practice and/or swimming. We are actually having a pretty quite and disciplined summer. For now.

While Sid has been keeping himself busy, I am in a totally laid back mode. To encourage him to read more, I have been picking up books for myself too. Most of my days are now spent reading, while listening to my favorite Ghazals. Not a very productive way to spend your day, but deeply relaxing nonetheless.




So the other day, Cocoawind called me and gave me an earful as how I'm not doing any new post for our "Ode to Summer" series. So I left the coziness of my Poang chair and took a stock check of my refrigerator. Then blended everything I could lay my hands on. Added a big glug of Coconut Milk, because, believe me, Coconut Milk had a magical property to make everything taste divine. Chilled it and thus was born this soup, I am so excited to share with you all!

Okay!

I did not blend every everything. Just Avocados, Ginger, Garlic, Green Chilies and lots of Cilantro. Which was basically my entire refrigerator at that time.



Going by the ingredients, you might feel that this might not be very diabetic friendly recipe. Agreed, this is one of the more calorie dense soup on the blog. But most of the calories comes from the healthy fats that are present in both Avocados and Coconut Milk.

The majority of the fat in Avocado is Oleic Acid. This is a monounsaturated fatty acid, that is also the major component, in Olive Oil. Oleic Acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.

Coconut Milk is high in saturated fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are both easily burned as fuel by the body. MCTs are particularly beneficial in that they don’t require bile acids for digestion, and they’re directly shunted to the liver via the portal vein. The medium-chain fatty acids in Coconut Milk may also kill the three major types of atherogenic (bacteria that cause plaque formation in the arteries) organisms, that may lead to heart disease.



Though this Avocado-Coconut Soup is deliciously creamy, thanks to the Avocados and Coconut Milk, it still tastes very light, clean, and fresh because of all the Lime Juice and Cilantro in it. Perfect for the summer months.

Even though it is filled with heart healthy fats, there is no denying the fact it is a heavy soup. So portion control is the key. Instead of making it a meal, I would suggest you have it as a first course or as an appetizer. When paired with a lean protein like Pan Seared Shrimps, this becomes an awesome lunch option too. The lean protein along with high fat will keep you full for long.

Sid, unfortunately, didn't like this soup as much I have hoped. But me and Sam loved it. And I can totally see myself making this soup at least one a week this whole summer.


Recipe Snapshot: Avocado-Coconut Soup with Pan Seared Shrimp in Coconut Oil


Serves: 4 serving
(1 serving = 3/4 cup)

What I used:
Avocados - 1 largish one, or 2 medium sized ones, pitted and roughly chopped

Garlic - 2 -3 fat cloves, roughly minced

Ginger - 1 small (about an inch), roughly minced

Green Chili (or Jalapeno) - 1 or 2, seeded and roughly chopped

Cilantro - about half a cup, packed + more for garnishing

Lime - zest and juice or 1 lime + more for serving

Coconut Milk - 1.5 cup

Vegetable stock (or Chicken Stock) - 1.5 to 2 cups

Salt to taste

a sprinkle of Chili Flakes as a garnish

For the Pan Seared Shrimp in Coconut Oil:
Large Shrimps - 8 pcs (2 per serving)

Lemon juice - 1 tsp

Coconut Oil - 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste


Freshly cracked pepper

What I did:
1. In a food processor or blender, dump the chopped avocados, garlic, ginger, green chilies, the whole zest and juice of half a lime and cilantro. Process till smooth, scrapping the sides frequently.

2. Add the coconut milk and the just one cup vegetable stock and process or blend till homogeneous. Season liberally with salt and process/ blend once more.

3. If you feel the soup is too thick add a quarter cup of stock and process/blend, till you reach your desired consistency. Remember it will thicken a little in the fridge.

4. Pour the soup in large bowl. Add the rest of the lime juice to prevent oxidization of the avocados. Secure the cling wrap/plastic wrap tightly around the bowl. Let it chill for about an hour or two before serving.

5. Just before serving, pan sear the shrimps (recipe below).

6. Serve the chilled soup, topped with couple of Pan Seared Shrimps in Coconut Oil, Cilantro and a sprinkle of Chili Flakes and a squeeze of more lime juice.



For the Pan Seared Shrimp in Coconut Oil:

1. Marinate the thawed out shrimps in lemon juice, salt and freshly cracked pepper for 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Heat a non stick pan over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil in the pan.

3. Add the marinated shrimps in a single layer.

4. Sear the shrimps for 3 minutes on once side. Flip and sear for 2 minutes on the other side. They will turn opaque and pink and the juices will run clear. Keep tossing till all the moisture is evaporated and we are left with juicy seared shrimps.

5. Serve over Avocado-Coconut Soup as a topping.

Diabetic Platter:
The Avocado is a rather unique type of fruit. Most fruit consists primarily of carbohydrate, while avocado is high in healthy fats. In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. But they don’t just contain any fat. The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid.
This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil. Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. The fats in avocado are also pretty resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.

Coconut Milk is often a staple fat source for those following a Paleo diet. From a nutritional perspective, it’s an excellent choice. It’s high in saturated fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are both easily burned as fuel by the body. MCTs are particularly beneficial in that they don’t require bile acids for digestion, and they’re directly shunted to the liver via the portal vein. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut milk may also kill the three major types of atherogenic (bacteria that cause plaque formation in the arteries) organisms, that may lead to heart disease.

Coconut milk contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids and capric acid, which have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. The body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which may fight the viruses and bacteria that cause herpes, influenza and even HIV.
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