After years of self-proclaimed health experts battling courageously in the comments sections of health articles and discussing the quality of their bowel movements with anyone who will listen, it appears that the debate over whether juice cleanses are actually good for you will not be letting up any time soon. Ditto for soup cleanses or bone-broth cleanses and whether they actually provide all the purported health benefits (weight loss! Boundless energy! Hayden Panettierre-like skin! Connie Britton-like hair!) All things considered, it’s probably safe to say that we’re all going to believe what we want to believe (but for the record, this assessment over at Pop Sugar is pretty even-handed).
What we will say is that even if no one seems to have the hard science on whether detox cleansing is or isn’t a cure-all, there’s no question that incorporating some healthy pureeing and soup-drinking into your diet is a good thing. Beyond that, there’s the added benefit of it being a time and brain-power saver—you can drink a pound of vegetables way quicker than you can eat them, plus you’ll avoid that too-many-choices paralysis at the Whole Foods salad bar. Stick pureed soups and bone broths in a thermos or to-go cup and they can be sipped on the go, in the car, or while you’re, y’know, plotting your career dominance at your desk. Best of all, these savory blends are generally tasty AF, and in the case of purees, you’re still getting all that dietary fiber, which can help keep you full.
Below, we’ve compiled some of our favorite resources for literally drinking your lunch or dinner (this is not a euphemism for substituting a sandwich for two forties of High Life, but hey girl, you do you.)
Pureed to please. Babies have it so easy; until their chompers come in, they get hand-spooned velvety purees of carrots, zucchini, complete turkey-and-vegetable dinners, etc., etc. Their digestive systems barely have to do anything, which leaves them with tons of energy to wreck stuff and be cute. You too, Full Grown Girlboss, can have this lifestyle (minus someone spoon feeding you, maybe).
Puree recipes abound on the Internet, but we’re all about the forthcoming cookbook Sneaky Blends: Supercharge Your Health with 100 Recipes Using the Power of Purees by New York Times best-selling author Missy Chase Lapine. In addition to providing a wealth of knowledge on the benefits of various fruits and veggies, her healthy recipes for purees like the maple-sweet-potato, cauliflower-and-chive, white-bean-rosemary and triple greens with basil and sea salt make the whole thing feel more fancy-restaurant soup course than Gerbers. The book goes on to provide uses for the purees for actual solid foods like crepes, frittata, and even doughnut bites; check it out when it hits shelves in September. In the meantime, her website The Sneaky Chef and cookbook series by the same name are other great resources for clean eating.
If you end up souper-duper loving it, the Soup Cleanse Cookbook: Embrace a Better Body and a Healthier You with the Weekly Soup Plan, written by CEO and founder of Splendid Spoon Nicole Centeno, offers 75-plant based recipes and comprehensive plans to keep you soupified from here on out. All soup all the time. The book comes out on August 30; in the meantime, drool over their gorgeous insta feed.
Bone up. Champions of the bone-broth craze purport that vitamins and minerals derived from animals bones provide the drinker with good fats, protein, collagen and keratin, which work wonders on your immune system, digestive system, hair, skin and nails. Grandmothers since time immemorial agree. And hopefully that’s all true, but here’s the best part: bone broth is freaking delicious. On a cold morning, there may be nothing more comforting than a piping hot cup of made-from-scratch chicken broth, and generally speaking, it’s both wallet-friendly and earth friendly in that it uses parts of animal that normally get discarded.
Back in May, Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen: Wholesome Master Recipes for Bone, Vegetable, and Seafood Broths and Meals to Make with Them came out from traditional-foods champion Jennifer McGruther, and it is brimming with varied broth recipes for solo consumption or use in broader meals. For a quick crash-course, Bon Appetit offers a list of things to avoid when you’re going the DIY route as well as a starter recipe for toasted-garlic beef stock.
If the idea of boiling pig knuckles in your home kitchen is a bit much for you, there are a bunch of bone-broth companies you can order from and they’ll deliver straight to your doorstep; on the leas expensive end, check out Kettle & Fire for grass-fed beef bone broth that comes to about $4.50 per 8-ounce serving if you sign up for a subscription; there’s also Soupure, which offers options beyond bone broth, including chilled soups like cucumber-grape-cholorophyll and non-pureed soups like lentil-chickpea. If you order an 8-pack of bone broth, each 12-ounce bottle comes to just under $10, plus shipping.