If you love New England, chances are you are a Chowdahead dreaming of clams, aromatic vegetables and creamy potatoes! But here’s a fun tip: clam chowder, long popular in the Northeast, is one of many soup choices dieters have to choose from.
When it comes to losing weight, one of the oldest tricks in the book is to replace a full lunch or dinner meal with a simple soup or salad. These low-calorie dishes offer a quick and easy way to cut calories from your daily diet.
As with most soups, clam chowder is impressively low in calories. A single, one-cup serving of clam chowder will generally contain between 130 and 170 calories. Keeping your calorie count low will help you maintain a balanced diet, especially when you are enjoying bigger meals at other times of the day. This is easily the most obvious benefit of adding soups like clam chowder to your menu.
While the sodium content of the average bowl of clam chowder may be high, there is one clam chowder nutrition fact that stands out even higher that does not pose a risk to your health. Clam chowder is also incredibly high in vitamin B12, each serving containing over 200 percent your daily-recommended intake. Vitamin B12, like other B vitamins, is essential to the human nervous system, while also working to stabilize the heart, counteracting some of the negatives of high sodium. Aside from having excellent levels of Vitamin B12, clam chowder is also very high in a wide variety of other vitamins and minerals. The sheer concentration of these nutrients makes every calorie of this soup valuable, especially when made at home rather than purchased in a restaurant or in a store. Among the highest nutrients offered are potassium, calcium, and iron. In addition, this soup is also an excellent source of vitamin D and protein.
Because of the cream, chowder has a reputation for adding a little to your waist line, but have no fear and don’t believe everything you hear! Chowder is a healthy dish and because the calorie intake of this soup is packed with such a wide variety of nutrients, it’s worth every spoonful! Try my recipe for homemade “Chowda” and you’ll feel fueled and filled through much of the day. Keep these simple clam chowder nutrition facts in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to your target weight.
New England Clam Chowder
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tbs garlic paste
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 medium red potato, diced (leave peel on)
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
3 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces fresh chopped clams or 3 6-ounce cans chopped baby clams
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery and thyme to the pan; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.
2. Add potato, clam juice and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Whisk milk, cream, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the pan and return to a simmer, stirring, over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
4. Add clams and cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams are just cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
P.s. To serve, top each serving with a hefty portion of fresh cracked pepper and some scallions.