Luckily for me, I just returned from an amazing vacation skiing in British Columbia. Unfortunately for me, I caught something and am feeling a little under the weather. Not exactly what you need when you have to “get back in the swing of things.”
This year, despite the freezing temperatures and countless cold and flu warnings, I’ve been able to stay healthy all season, giving major credit to my kick ass immune system that I built up over the past few years, especially with Vitamin D supplements (more on that in another post). So how can I bump up my immune system? By making a nutrient packed ‘souper soup!’
My nutrient packed ‘souper soup’ is full of cold fighters and immune boosters including garlic, tumeric, cayenne, ginger and sweet potatoes. Here’s some tidbits about what these perceivably small ingredients do for your body in a big way!
Power Packed Ingredients
Garlic – A well-known antioxidant that also has antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties, garlic has been used as a decongestant and expectorant for decades. It packs a punch with Vitamin C, enzymes, and minerals, all which help you fight that cold. The best way to get all these effects is eating fresh raw garlic – yes, I know. For beginners, crush a clove and leave it for 15 minutes, then smear on a piece of toast with a bit of honey or olive oil to decrease the intense flavor and be sure to eat it with whomever you’re with that night otherwise you’ll be very lonely!
Cayenne – Even if you’re not into a lot of spice, be sure to add a pinch of cayenne. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne, thins mucus in your nasal passages allowing you to breathe freely without the vapor rub! If you’re brave, try out a “flu shot” made with cayenne, lemon, ginger, and hot water. Don’t let your lips touch the cayenne – I warned you!
Ginger – Used by Chinese herbalists for centuries, ginger is an antihistamine and decongestant. It’s warming effect on the body also helps with chills.
Sweet Potatoes – They don’t just taste amazing, they’re loaded with beta-carotene which helps your body create white blood cells that help you fight off infections.
Ready to fight off that bug you’ve been combatting? Here’s an easy recipe for my ‘souper soup!’
‘Souper Cold Fighting Soup’
4 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled, scrubbed, and chopped into bite size pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, scrubbed, and chopped
1 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup frozen kale (or 1 1/2 cups of fresh kale)
3 chicken breasts (poached then use a fork to pull apart)
2 cloves garlic, chopped and minced
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped or grated (use a microplane)
1 tablespoon tumeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you like it hot!)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (you can substitute with olive oil)
Heat a dutch oven and add the coconut oil or olive oil. Toss in the onions until translucent (5 minutes), then add the garlic. When the garlic is fragrant add the ginger, tumeric, cumin, and cayenne. This allows them to “blossom” as the chefs say. Then add your sweet potatoes and carrots. Stir to combine and after a few minutes, add enough water (or broth) to cover the top of the potatoes. Once the pot has come to a boil, decrease the heat to simmer and put the top on. (If you’re using fresh kale, add that now in batches).
Once the potatoes are fork tender, add the beans, pulled chicken, and kale. Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.
Do you have a ‘go to’ cold fighting remedy that doesn’t involve over the counter medication? Let me know below!
Until next time, stay healthy and as always ‘bee well,’