Warm up in January: National Soup Month

As the cold January winds through Nebraska, sitting down to a bowl of soup can warm the body and spirit.
    Use National Soup Month to explore the diverse and healthy benefits that can be found in soup, suggests Extension Educator Debbie Kuenning. Hot or cold, there is a soup variety for every palate. Use the following tips to make your soups safe and something to savor:
    Think sodium. When making soup at home, use low-sodium broth, stock or soup base.
    Enhance flavors with herbs and spices. Try savory flavors with “bite”, such as black pepper, garlic powder, curry powder, cumin, dill seeds, basil, ginger, coriander and onion. When substituting minced or powdered garlic and onion for the salt versions, use about half as much.
    When choosing canned soups, read the nutrition label. Look for claims such as, “low in sodium” or “very low in sodium” to find soups with less than 140 milligrams (mg) sodium per serving.
    Be creative! Look for healthier substitutions. Garnishes such as cheese, bacon and sour cream can quickly add fat and calories.
    Use them sparingly or try their lower fat counterparts, turkey bacon, reduced fat cheese and non-fat plain yogurt.
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