Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Farmer's Market Gazpacho

It's not very often that I am this excited about featuring a recipe. You see this recipe happens to be a favorite of mine for a few different reasons. The first is that all of the ingredients (minus a few of the spices) are in season now and bought from my local farmer's market. It just so happens that tomato season coincides with cucumber, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño season which are the exact ingredients found in gazpacho. I love that I can utilize the gorgeous produce in season now for this delicious recipe. I also love that this recipe is all raw. Nothing in this recipe is cooked or heated, so that makes for an extra nutrient dense soup. Just as we discussed in our juicing posts, raw vegetables have live enzymes that help with digestion and provide our body with a host of nutrients. When foods are cooked, you inevitably loose some of those vital nutrients and trace minerals. I take digestive enzymes daily which ensure that I obtain enzymes for my digestive system, but I love the principle of food being my medicine first and foremost. I love when my food has all of those live digestive enzymes in them. Raw food is by far the best way to obtain those. This is a wonderful recipe to build up your immune system with all of the healing qualities of each of these vegetables and spices alone. This recipe mimics the medicinal elements of making your own chicken broth, but it is more suited for the hot summer months as it is served chilled. The other charming aspect of this gazpacho is that the only prep work involved is washing and chopping (and you could even do this beforehand) which is extra easy if you have a blender or food processor. All in all, this recipe combines a lot of my favorite components: easy to fix, very nutrient dense, and absolutely flavorful and delicious! I told Laura recently that I always like ordering gazpacho at restaurants, but I've yet to find a restaurant's gazpacho that I absolutely love. They tend to be too bland for my taste, and I inevitably end up snacking on the croutons on top more than I do the actual gazpacho, which isn't good. 
This recipe is bold in flavor and delicious! If any of you ladies are wondering... my husband loved this dish! Even though it's very nutritious and meatless, my husband kept getting seconds and thirds. You don't have to sacrifice taste for nutritious, and this gazpacho is proof. I know you will love it! 
This recipe is gluten free, vegan, and dairy free. This can also easily be candida friendly, if you use apple cider vinegar for the vinegar and leave out the worchestire. 
Bon appétit!

My Gazpacho Recipe: 

2 lbs Tomatoes with skin still on (about 3 tomatoes) cored I used Black Krim heirloom tomatoes which I have been in love with lately. I get them from our farmer's market and they have an amazing flavor. I let them sit on my counter until they're really ripe and juicy. 
1 cucumber chopped and seeded and rustically peeled (about 1 1/2 cups of cucumber) You don't have to peel the cucumbers. In fact there is more nutrition if you don't. If you don't love cucumbers as much you can peel part of the skin off. I never worry about wasting the peelings or seeds if I don't use them, since I just add them to our raw juices. 
1 cup of red bell pepper (or 1 red bell pepper) seeded and cored
1 jalapeno, seeded if you are a fan of heat and spice, you can definitely add some of the seeds depending on your heat tolerance
1 medium to large onion (1 cup of onion)
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of good olive oil I use an organic olive oil I get from the farmer's market
5 tsp. of organic red wine vinegar I use an organic red wine vinegar I purchased from the Twin Oaks Organic Farm at the Seaside Farmer's Market. You can substitute with a mixture of balsamic vinegar and/or apple cider vinegar (or either one of those). 
3-4 Tbsp. cilantro finely chopped + more for garnishing If you do not have cilantro, you can definitely use basil. I have used both cilantro and basil and I prefer the cilantro, but either will do just fine. 
1/2- 1  tsp. of salt depending on salt preference. I use this salt.
2 tsp. worchestire This is an optional ingredient. I do think it adds flavor to the dish. I use an organic worchestire. You could also use Bragg's Aminos.
3 dashes of cayenne or more to taste 
A few pinches of smoked paprika This is optional as well. I love the smokiness of flavor that this adds and the dimension of it. It really pairs well with the black krim tomatoes. If you don't have this, no worries. A few dashes of cumin would be a lovely substitute that you may be more likely to have in your pantry. 

*Notes: I've made this recipe quite a few times now! In fact, it's pretty much  become a weekly staple that we eat for lunch, dinner, and even breakfast sometimes! I've made this recipe without the worchestire and smoked paprika and I love the taste just as much. The vegetables are quite flavorful on their own. Also, my husband is doing the candida cleanse and I've made this recipe using only apple cider vinegar instead of the Red Wine vinegar and it's lovely just as well. You can also add any vegetables that you choose. I've added a raw cubed yellow squash after it was made. You could also add some chopped celery. Have fun with it! 

-Wash and dry all of your ingredients (if you haven't already washed them when you brought them home from the market, which I do highly recommend!)

-Prepare all vegetables according to directions above: core the tomatoes, seed the cucumbers, seed and core the bell pepper, peel the garlic, seed and core the jalapeño

-After all of your ingredients are prepped and ready begin by blending all of the tomatoes except for maybe 1/2 of one tomato. You want to blend it in a food processor or blender until it's liquid. Put all of the blended tomatoes in a big bowl. Then dice the last of the 1/2 of tomato that you saved and add the diced tomato into the big bowl of the blended tomatoes.

-Throw the rest of the vegetables in your blender/food processor. I do them in two different batches. The first batch I mince pretty finely. The second batch I just pretty much chop until they're in diced sizes. I do two different batches and sizes so that there will be a balance in textures. I like having some of them diced finely to contribute to the base of the gazpacho. I like some to be chopped in bite size pieces to have that texture in the gazpacho of chunky vegetables to where everything isn't blended to liquid. Add all of the vegetables to the big bowl with the tomatoes and stir. 

-Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir. Taste for seasoning and if you need more salt then you can add a bit and if you need more heat you can add more cayenne (which has wonderful health benefits as well). 

-After it is all assembled, chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably longer. The flavors will meld together as it chills and it's wonderful served extra cold especially on these hot summer days. 

-Garnish with your choice of fresh cilantro, basil, celery, or a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. This can be stored in mason jars in the fridge for a few days, as the flavors only meld and get better each day. 


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