Know Your Food #1 : Ready-made Soup Mixes

It is getting colder with each passing day. It is that time of the year to stir up some soup to keep ourselves warm. Would you like to sip a hot bowl of soup now? If yes, take your pick here…

Fresh, healthy and nutritious vegetables – boiled, pureed and simmered with spices available at home.
(or)
Refined Wheat Flour, Dried Glucose Syrup, Acidity Regulator – 330, Acidity Regulator – 296, Flavour Enhancers – 627 & 631, Dehydrated Vegetables, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein – mixed with water and boiled.

It is really important to understand and know the food before eating it. We all know what fresh vegetables are. So the first choice is easily understood. It is, of course, the real soup. What is the next choice? Do we know about them? Do we know how they are manufactured? We eat them! Yes we do. They are nothing but the ingredients of ready-made soup mixes of some popular brands!

  • Refined Wheat Flour – Maida! This is one of the foods that must be avoided. It is made by refining and bleaching the wheat flour. A person who is not much educated might assume ‘Refined Wheat Flour’ to be some form of wheat flour that is good for health. Maida is rare in my cooking. I am trying to stop using it completely.
  • Dried Glucose Syrup – Production of this involves chemical processes like hydrolysis of starch and spray-drying of concentrated carbohydrate syrups.
  • Dehydrated Vegetables – About 90% of the moisture is removed from the vegetables while dehydrating. There is also a loss of Vitamin A and C. These dehydrated vegetables can in no way improve our health.
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein – Production of this involves chemical treatment of vegetable raw materials. Proteins of these raw materials are hydrolyzed by cooking them with hydrochloric acid (in the case of acid hydrolyzed vegetable protein).
  • Acidity Regulators – Many of them occurs naturally but commercially they are synthesized by chemicals.
  • Flavour Enhancers – These are the hidden sources of MSG.

These are only a few of the ingredients of ready-made soup mixes. Many products which are labelled as ‘No added MSG’ may contain hidden sources of MSG i.e. MSG will be present as an ingredient of ingredient. 

Do we really need these corn starch and additives loaded products with hidden sources of MSG, that can in no way be compared to the soups stirred up with fresh produce? Let us spread the word and start building a healthy generation.

Here is what we can do now. Pressure cook any vegetable of your choice in a separate bowl along with rice to save time. Puree → Add salt, pepper & any of your favourite spices → Simmer & enjoy one of the healthiest foods on the earth. Check out my Healthy Broccoli Soup recipe and Sweet Corn Soup recipe.

Eat healthy and stay happy 🙂

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