Is Jamaican soup with dumplings gluten-free?
It is common for veggie soups or stews to add ingredients like crispy croutons or thickening flour. Choosing the right ingredients makes all the difference when cooking gluten-free. Below we will share how we made our Jamaican vegetable soup suitable for celiacs or people following a gluten-free diet.
First of all, our recipe has lots of starchy vegetables like potatoes, eddoes, and cassava. So there is no need to add thickening flours to the stew and worry about whether they are gluten-free or not.
The only risk here is really in the vegan dough-balls. To make these dumplings we have experimented with three types of flours: buckwheat, rice flour and coconut flour. All three of these flours are gluten-free, so we knew from the start our recipe was going to be suitable for celiacs.
It's good that we ran this experiment because one of these flours failed miserably. We will tell you which one, so that you don't risk making the same mistake and ruining the soup.
At first, we used a 1:1 mix of rice and coconut flour. We added the right amount of oil and water and moulded the mix into compact balls. But as soon as we placed the dumplings into boiling water, they immediately dissolved! The fat in the coconut flour gave in and melted away. The lesson? Coconut flour is not a viable option when boiling vegan and gluten-free dough-balls.
The second experiment with buckwheat didn't disappoint instead. Buckwheat has a strong flavour that blends perfectly with the delicate taste of vegetables. Moreover, this flour takes on a light grey colour when boiled, similar to that of cooked pork meat. Remember about this neat fact, if you are into making vegan pork meatballs that look legit.
So here it is. We recommend you use buckwheat flour to make a gluten-free Caribbean soup with dumplings. If you want to use other gluten-free flours for the dough-balls, avoid the fatty ones, as they will melt.
What makes this Jamaican veggie soup so healthy?
The best thing about our Jamaican vegetable stew is the variety of vegetables used.
The grocery list for this recipe is quite exciting, spanning from the familiar carrots and potatoes to the more exotic chayotes and eddoes.
Here is a list of all the healthy ingredients we used, followed by some interesting facts about their nourishing properties.
Yellow Split Peas
Eddo is a tropical vegetable that is rich potassium and magnesium. These minerals are essential for a healthy heart, to support muscle functions, to boost metabolism, and promote good sleep.
Chayote is a type of squash that makes a fantastic addition to weight loss diets. It is very low in calories and carbohydrates, with as little as 20 calories and 4g of carbs per 100 grams. Moreover, it provides precious antioxidants and plant compounds that promote detox in your body .
Cassava is an amazing source of B vitamins and fibres, including resistant starches. These type of fibres are calorie-free as they are not digested in your body. Instead, they fill you up and slow down the digestion of other foods. This way nutrients and sugars are released a bit at a time preventing crush in energy and spike in insulin.
Butternut squash is so high in vitamin A that just a single cup covers your daily intake of vitamin A . This vitamin supports your immune system and eye and skin health.
Finally, we have added yellow split peas to this Jamaican soup to boost your intake of plant-based proteins and fibres.
To sum up, this hearty pumpkin stew makes a nutritional powerhouse as it's loaded with health-boosting vegetables, all in under 500 calories per serving.
Which Caribbean vegetables are ideal for a weight-loss diet?
A well-tailored weight loss diet focuses on eating whole foods that are high in fibres, low in fats, and packed with vitamins. These nutrients fill up for longer, promote healthy weight, and boost your metabolism.
The Caribbean diet is rich in amazing fruits, vegetables, and legumes. If you are trying to lose weight, you can add to your diet the following ingredients:
Pumpkin or butternut squash
Beans like lentils, black beans, and white beans
These vegetables are nutrient-dense yet low in calories and fats. We have used some these in our Jamaican soup recipe to give you a healthy meal.