Gazpacho - a spanish potion :)
While it was common for Roman soldiers to carry dried bread, garlic and vinegar to make the basics of this early soup, it was popularized in the Andalusian area of Spain.
In the 8th century it was overtaken by the Ottomans and the Moors (Muslim people of north Africa; of mixed Arab and Berber descent; converted to Islam in the 8th century; conqueror of Spain in the 8th century) just across the mediterranean sea came over with a soup they called Ajo Blanco.
Christopher Columbus took this soup with him on his trips from Spain. When he brought back tomatoes, cucumbers and different peppers that is when the soup evolved to it's present state.
Andalusia was a large farming area for olives and almonds, citrus , vineyards and cork trees. Centuries ago field workers were give a food ration of bread and oil. The stale bread with added garlic, oil and any vegetables pounded in a mortar with added water makes a thirst quenching soup, in the blazing heat, and was easily assimilated to nourish the body.
Spanish cooks who endured hot Mediterranean summers combined bread, vinegar, oil and garlic to create a refreshing dish to help cool off. The cold soup that resulted – gazpacho – is notable for its piquant flavor, hearty texture and easy preparation. Centuries later it is still a summertime staple.
In addition to being refreshing and filling, chilled gazpacho requires no cooking. A blender is the only equipment needed to whip up a batch. Plus, because gazpacho takes time to get properly cold (and the garlic and other flavors need time to meld and amplify), making it in the cool of the evening to serve the next day is ideal.
From a nutritional perspective, gazpacho highlights the concept of synergy – the combined health benefits of its ingredients are greater than those provided by any one individual part. The tomatoes, for example, are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is absorbed more readily in the presence of fat, which is provided by the olive oil. In addition, research suggests that consuming an assortment of antioxidants in combination may enhance their benefits. In gazpacho, besides the lycopene, vitamin C and other antioxidants in the tomatoes, you also get a hearty dose of disease-fighting phytochemicals from the bell pepper, garlic and onions.
Benefits of Andalusian gazpach!
1. Gazpacho prevents colds.
Gazpacho contains Vitamins A, E and C, mainly in pepper and tomato, which protect our body from this common viral infection in winter.
2. Gazpacho prevents hypertension.
If hypertension is not treated early, it can cause heart attacks, ictus and kidney failure. Gazpacho has a certain vasodilator effect which helps control blood pressure.
3. Gazpacho slows the ageing process.
Antioxidant properties of gazpacho, such as lycopene of tomato and Vitamin C, reduce the action of free radicals. Gazpacho is the tastiest formula against wrinkles and skin spots produced by ageing.
4. Gazpacho increases organism defences.
Garlic is one of gazpacho ingredients, almost unnoticeable because it is treated in a special way to avoid difficult digestion. Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic that helps increase the body defences against bacteria and viruses.
5. Gazpacho helps you loose weight.
It is a low-calorie nutritious dish that satisfies hunger and is rich in fiber, which facilitates intestinal transit and elimination of toxins.
6. Gazpacho hydrates your body.
Andalusian gazpacho is an isotonic drink with a great content in mineral salts and water. Stay hydrated to relieve fatigue, help digestion and improve performance of your body.
7. Gazpacho extends the suntan.
Andalusian gazpacho is made with natural ingredients, which contain carotenes and activate melanin in the skin. It also provides our skin with a healthy colour and sun protection.
I love Gazpacho and I like this way of taking care of ourselves knowing the benefits for our health of a glass of gazpacho.
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