Often called "Jewish penicillin," matzo ball soup is traditionally served at the Passover seder; however, many people consume this hearty soup year-round. Matzo balls are also referred to as matzah balls or knaydelach -- Yiddish for dumplings. These large, dense balls made of matzo meal, eggs and oil combine with vegetable stock to form the soup.
A common recipe for matzo ball soup calls for 1/2 cup of matzo meal to make the matzo balls. This provides 220 calories, 46 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of protein. Matzo meal contains no fat. It also provides you with 12 percent of the daily recommended value of iron, a vital nutrient your body requires to make up blood cells. An iron deficiency can result in anemia, which can lead to fatigue or shortness of breath, as well as paleness and headaches.
Two eggs are called for to make the matzo balls in matzo ball soup. This contributes 126 calories to the soup, as well as 11 grams of protein, 8.3 grams of fat and 0.6 grams of carbohydrates, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database. Including eggs in your diet may reduce your risk of breast cancer and macular degeneration.
You will need 2 tablespoons of canola oil for the matzo balls, although you may need kosher oil. Canola oil contains a high amount of calories 248 in those 2 tablespoons. It has no protein or carbohydrates, but it does have 28 grams of fat. This fat is generally unsaturated, however; it contains only small portions of saturated fat, which may contribute toward health problems like clogged and hardened arteries.
Two tablespoons of chicken stock go into the matzo balls, which adds 18 calories. It also has 1.9 grams of protein, 2.7 grams of carbohydrates and 0.92 gram of fat. Chicken stock can be purchased already made, or you can make it at home using chicken bones, water and vegetables simmered for several hours.
Two quarts of vegetable stock make up the liquid part of matzo ball soup. This provides 160 calories and 32 grams of carbohydrates. That amount does contain a high amount of sodium with 2,640 milligrams. The American Heart Association recommends limiting consumption of sodium to 1,500 milligrams or less per day. Ingesting too much sodium may result in health problems like high blood pressure. Look for reduced-sodium versions to lower the sodium content of the soup.
An individual portion of matzo ball soup contains 128 calories, 13.5 grams of carbohydrates, 3.1 grams of protein and 6.2 grams of fat. It also contains 440 milligrams of sodium. An ideal meal contains 300 to 600 calories, so be sure to pair a serving of matzo ball soup with other foods, such as whole-wheat bread or fresh vegetables, to meet your nutritional goals.
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.