Comforting Ketogenic Cabbage and Bacon Soup

This article was originally published by Dr. Mercola

I’m sure that many of you have already read my latest book, “Fat for Fuel” — if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to pick up your copy now, as it is one of the most important health books you will read in your life — and you’re determined to incorporate the ketogenic diet into your lifestyle. Now the challenge is: How can you make sure that the meals you prepare are keto-friendly? Well, you don’t have to worry — we’ve made it easy for you!

I’m excited to announce that renowned Australian chef and restauranteur Pete Evans and I are releasing the “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook: Recipes and Ketogenic Keys to Health from a World-Class Doctor and an Internationally Renowned Chef” November 14. This fantastic resource offers a wide array of delectable recipes — from appetizers to main courses to snacks and sweet treats — that all follow the principles of the ketogenic diet.

I am thrilled to have Pete onboard this project, not only because of his amazing palate and creativity in the kitchen, but also because his dedication to eating healthy, fat-burning foods is on par with my principles of achieving nutritional ketosis in order to reach optimal wellness. To give you a taste of what our cookbook will offer, Pete has shared one of his healthy recipes below. It combines the freshness of leafy greens with the rich taste of bacon, plus spices, to make a comforting and hearty soup that you can sip when the weather turns chilly. Try it today!

Comforting Ketogenic Cabbage and Bacon Soup

Prep time: 18 minutesCook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound silverbeet, leafy green part and stems separated, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 pound green cabbage, shredded
Serving Size:6 servings

Procedure

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic, silverbeet stems and cabbage and cook for five minutes, or until softened.
  2. Melt the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until lightly golden, about four minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
  3. Chop the bacon into 1-inch pieces and stir into the cooked cabbage mixture, then add the turmeric and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the leafy green part of the silverbeet and cook for another five minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. To finish, stir in the parsley leaves and serve.

Don’t Underestimate the Health Benefits of Cabbage

Many people simply pass by and ignore cabbage when they see it in the produce section, not knowing that it actually offers a barrage of benefits. This humble cruciferous vegetable comes loaded with powerful antioxidants like vitamins A and C, as well as phytonutrients sulforaphane, lutein, zeaxanthin and thiocyanates. These nutrients not only stimulate detoxifying enzymes, but they also provide protective effects against certain cancers like breast, colon and prostate.

You can also help reduce inflammation by adding cabbage to your meals, as it offers a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients like anthocyanins. You can also get your fair share of B vitamins, including folate, B6, B1 and B5. These B vitamins not only help boost your energy levels, but also help slow shrinkage in brain regions that are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease by as much as sevenfold.

Another wonderful thing about cabbage is that it offers variety; red, green and Savoy are some examples that you can enjoy, each with its own wealth of nutrients. Although best eaten raw, such as in coleslaw, it wouldn’t hurt to add cabbage to your cooked meals every once in a while. If you’re an avid gardener, you can also try growing cabbage at home. This vegetable has a long growing season and can thrive in both warm and cold-weather climates. Check out my article “All About Growing Cabbage” for more helpful tips.

Have You Heard of ‘Silverbeets’ Before?

You’ll probably answer “no,” but you’ll be surprised to know that silverbeet is actually just another name for Swiss chard. While not as popular as other greens like spinach and broccoli, this leafy vegetable offers its own array of benefits, thanks to its impressive nutrient profile. It’s a good source of vitamin C that help fight free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), as well as phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Silverbeet offers vitamins K and A, and antioxidants like alpha carotene, beta carotene, zeaxanthin and astaxanthin. And just like cabbage, it’s rich in B vitamins like folate, B6, thiamin, niacin and pantothenic acid.1

Can Bacon Actually Be Healthy for You?

While it’s true that most processed meats like hotdogs, sausages and salami can wreak havoc on your well-being, I believe that the devil’s in the details. Bacon, for example, can be potentially healthy but only if it is prepared properly and the meat is acquired from high-quality sources.

Bacon from pasture raised pigs provides good amounts of healthy saturated and monounsaturated fat, mainly oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil.2It also offers palmitoleic acid, which has antimicrobial properties, phosphatidylcholine that possesses antioxidant activity superior to vitamin E and fat-soluble vitamin D.

However, do not buy processed bacon sold in supermarkets or groceries, as that is likely loaded with health-harming preservatives. Instead, I advise getting bacon that has been prepared using time-tested traditional methods, so you can ensure that no unhealthy additives are added to the meat. See if your local farmer who raises pastured pigs offers this type of meat.

Be Sure to Use High-Quality Ingredients When Cooking This Dish

To maximize the flavor and the nutrients you can obtain from this recipe, be sure to use organic ingredients, especially for the bone marrow, spices and vegetables. This also ensures that you’re minimizing your risk of ingesting harmful toxins, antibiotics and other pollutants that are lurking inside the ingredients. Similarly, the eggs should be sourced from local, organic, free-range farms to guarantee that you’re consuming high-quality poultry products.


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