Yay for cooler weather, but boo for these awful, persistent sniffles that have hit my family. I’m ready to stop sneezing and feel better, so I’ve been researching immune boosting recipes. You know, so that I can get back to the important stuff, like staying up late to binge watch Veep.
If you’re going natural, the key ingredients for reducing inflammation and boosting our immune systems to look for are garlic, turmeric, ginger, green tea, and of course, lots of vitamin C from citrus and dark leafy greens. So I’ve put together these really delicious, fairly easy family-friend cold and flu recipes which are chock full of them.
And, of course, the recipes are easy, too, because if I’m not feeling well or am caring for a sick kid, the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen.
The classic get-well recipe—the one grandma always made—is, of course, chicken noodle soup. I made this Rosemary Chicken Noodle Soup at Gimme Some Oven for my family and it was a huge hit. You can make it a little easier on yourself with rotisserie chicken and pre-cut carrots. But beware: The rosemary infuses quickly, so go light on the herb if you don’t want it to weigh heavy on the flavor of your soup.
Some medical studies have shown that eating garlic daily can actually reduce your cold and flu symptoms. It’s because garlic has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Given that, this Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup at Gastro Senses might be a really good option for dinner tonight if you’re feeling like you’re starting to come down with something.
I’m guessing I’m probably not the only parent who finds juice to be the easiest way to get veggies and vitamins into my kids’ diets. Making juice at home is easy (well, provided you have a juicer!) and a lot more affordable than buying fancy fresh pressed juice. Plus, you can make this Ginger, Carrot, Orange, and Pomegranate Juice at Dear Kitchen that is so delicious my kids ask for seconds every time.
When I have a sore throat, I crave hot drinks to soothe that ache. This Hot Orange Spice Drink at Zoom Yummy (also at very top) is full of vitamin C to help to fight colds, plus honey, which I buy local to help fight my allergies, too. But the licorice-like flavor of star anise is the, ahem, star of this drink. Anise has huge concentrations of something called shikimic acid, which I think of like a natural version of Tamiflu. You’ll be feeling great much faster if you drink this with your breakfast… and lunch and dinner, too.
I’m a big believer in turmeric as a way to reduce any kind of inflammation—it practically eliminated my seriously painful lower-back pain all on its own—so I’m eager to try this warm, spicy Turmeric Milk recipe at Kiran Tarun, which Stacie says tastes delicious. It’s a great alternative to taking huge horse-pill sized capsules of the spice. Plus, a warm glass of spicy milk before bed sounds really comforting, especially when I’m not feeling well.
When you’re nauseated with the flu, sometimes all you can stomach is a piece of toast, but it doesn’t have to be without any nutritional merit. This Green Tea Sugared Toast at Oh, How Civilized will help you feel better quicker thanks to matcha-soaked bread full of antioxidant properties from the green tea. Plus, kids will may think green bread is fun. Or, they may think green bread is gross. I’m realistic.
People have been drinking hot toddys to get over their colds for ages, and I’m loving this Gingerbread Hot Toddy at Jelly Toast. Of course this one is definitely not for the kids; it’s a sophisticated twist on the classic recipe with a mixture of spicy tea, molasses, and bourbon. Actually, sounds perfect for sitting in front of a fire on a cold night, whether I’m sick or not.
You’ve probably heard about how great apple cider vinegar is for your health, but Yuriel Kaim’s Bonfire Cider is like apple-cider vinegar on steroids. It’s infused with ginger, citrus, herbs, garlic, and horseradish—then fermented for a month. You can drink it straight (by the spoonful), mix it with honey into your tea, or add it to soups or other dishes. I’m pretty sure this will knock out your cold for good, if you dare. Mix up a batch now to have on hand when the real cold sets in.
Should you be looking for an excuse to eat candy when you’re sick, you have to check out these Dark Chocolate Detox Bites at The View from Great Island. They’re packed with heart-healthy nuts and seeds, and detoxifying blueberries and goji berries. As to the effectiveness of these treats, I can’t say for sure. But I do know that dark chocolate always makes me feel better.