The best way to lose weight is to increase your metabolism. When your metabolism is normal, you are able to burn fat quickly and efficiently as well as build muscle. Metabolism is the conversion of food into fuel in order for cellular processes to perform properly. It also aids in eliminating waste from the body.
Today I am going to share two recipes that will boost metabolism, lower inflammation, and increase circulation. Hot peppers such as jalapenos, chiles, and habaneros contain capsaicin, which gives them great metabolism boosting, inflammation-fighting properties. Enjoy!
1 large acorn squash, halved and seeds scooped out
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder or regular chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of ground cloves
3 cups vegetable broth
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup pepitas
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder or regular chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground coriander
Salt, to taste
3 Tablespoons crème fraîche
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the squash, cut sides down, on the baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until mostly tender. Let the squash cool for a few minutes, then scoop the flesh into a small bowl and discard the skin.
In a medium pot, warm the oil over medium heat until simmering. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, reserved squash, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon salt, chile powder, cumin, oregano, coriander and cloves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the spices are fragrant.
Pour in the vegetable broth or water and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is completely softened.
Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend the soup until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer puréed soup to a serving bowl (repeat with remaining batches if using a regular blender).
To prepare the garnish: In a small skillet over medium heat, add the pepitas, olive oil, chile powder, cumin, coriander and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the pepitas’ edges are turning lightly golden brown.
Divide the soup among bowls and drizzle a bit of crème fraîche or olive oil on top. Top with a sprinkle of pepitas and serve.
And for dessert...
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 heaping Tablespoons raw cocoa
1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
1 banana, frozen
2 Tablespoons raw organic honey (or maple syrup)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of fine grain sea salt
Soak cashews in water for 10 minutes, until softened. Drain and set aside.
In a food processor (or blender) combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. If it's too thick add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until reaching the desired consistency.
Serve with a sprinkle of cayenne and sea salt on top.
I hope this inspires you to eat spicy foods. Combining a hot pepper into your meals is a great way to keep your metabolism on fire (just don't add too much or your intestines might end up on fire as well). Bon appetit!
Until next time,