Friends, I must tell you that it is beautiful here in West Michigan. The trees are in full bloom, and the grass is green. The neon buds are glowing and I really don't even mind a little rain here and there. Today the forecast is sunny and 80 degrees! Fabulous, right?! Well, yeah! Until, the sneezing, dipping and sinus pressure kicks in and you realize that all this spring beauty comes with a little price called "seasonal-allergies." It seems like it is worth it to have spring again... the sun, the promise of summer and the fresh farmer's market. But in the midst of allergy flair-ups it hard to find the promise. So, what are some of the tricks to help out with the spring allergy season flair ups...let me share some of my favorites...
First of all, allergens are allergens. So, this time of year it may be helpful to reduce the digested allergens like dairy, peanuts, gluten (duh), soy, sugar. You will notice that if you have allergies and if you eat more of the allergen foods you may have more symptoms or issues. It's true that when you have a high count of allergens in your body you will have more of a negative reaction to the environmental allergens. Does this make sense? So, the basics are to try and stay away from sugar, dairy, and gluten and you may have a better chance of getting through the pollen season. Hey, it's worth a try if you are miserable, right?!
Another helpful supplement is adding herbal teas to sooth the symptoms. Some of the best this time of year is nettle root, or nettle leaves. Also, dandelion root or leaves are powerful agents of cleansing and re-booting the liver to help keep your immunities high. They have so many benefits for allergies, hay fever, eczema, coughs and asthma. Plus intestinal issues. So many benefits, and really wouldn't hurt to try and see how it may relieve your symptoms without medications. Dandelion tea I posted about before as being a cleanings herb to help with the liver this time of year and it does that and also helps prepare the lungs and heart for warmer weather. If you are interested in more info on these teas look into http://www.teabenefits.com/. Also, look for these teas loose at your local health food store. You can brew the leaves in a tea sack, or french press pot. Try it out!
So, why a bean soup for spring? Well, let me explain myself...
Beans are a great addition to any diet really, any time of the year, and in any climate. They are full of vitamins, minerals, iron, protein, and fiber. Really you can't go wrong with beans unless you have serious digestive issues and the beans may cause more unrest. My suggestion to helping beans digest better is to soak dry beans for 8-12 hours in seaweed, or apple cider vinegar to help break them down and make them more digestible. Do this before cooking and then rinse, and then you can also cook the beans in more clean water and more seaweed. The seaweed has salt and minerals that help break the beans down. Also, I am also a fan of adding beans quickly to a meal with using canned beans. make sure you buy the best quality though. Ones that have been soaked and canned with minerals, and organic is always best. I used canned beans in this recipe, which helps in saving time in a last minute need for a nourishing meal.
So, to have a soup that will sooth scratchy throats, itchy eyes and sinus pressure with vegetables and beans you cannot go wrong. And like I said before, avoiding diary, sugar and gluten may really help relieve some symptoms as well so this kind of dish helps you accomplish that as well. So here is the recipe...
Fabulous Five Bean Soup Recipe
1 cup of diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup of sliced carrots
4 minced cloves of garlic
2 TB of olive oil
4 cups of vegetable broth
8 cups of pure water
1 cup of chopped kale
1 TB of ground cumin
1 TB of chili powder
1 ts. of ground coriander
1 ts. of dried rosemary
1 14 ounce can of each kind of bean: adzuki, great northern, kidney, and pinto
1 cup of red lentils
1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
Saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots in the olive oil in a large pot. Saute for 5 minutes or so until the veggies are softer. Then pour in 4 cups of veggie broth and 8 cups of pure water. Let the liquid get hot and pour in the rest of the ingredients except the fresh parsley. Let the soup cook at a higher heat for 30 minutes or so, and then you can turn to medium to lower heat to simmer and add in the parsley. You can simmer this soup as long as you like. Serve with fresh herbs or gluten-free bread. This recipe makes a lot, so you may want to make to share with friends or bring some to a neighbor. Or it could be put in freezer proof containers and saved for a later date. Just make sure you enjoy a bowl first, and let the good nutrition make you feel loved, strong and good.
Much love to you today! Enjoy spring for all it's new life.