With the cold and flu season knocking at the door this January, Yummy Oman helps you in the fight with these nutrient-laden recipes that pack an immunity superfood punch.
Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates was on to something when, in 400 BC in ancient Greece, the Father of Western Medicine coined his famous phrase. And while we always stress the importance of timely medical advice when laid low with illness and always recommend seeking the professional care of a doctor, what we think the historic physician meant by this is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
It’s here where the adage ‘you are what you eat’ rings true. By bolstering our bodies to be the healthiest they can be through a nourishing diet, we can help stave off viruses and illness from the inside out – and, reduce those seasonal trips to the doctor for every cough and sniffle.
Sound like common sense? True enough, but there are certain ‘superfoods’ with known immune-boosting properties to help give you an extra leg-up along the way. Here are some tasty ways to incorporate them into your meal planning with these comforting recipes to warm you through-and-through when you’re sick.
A comforting bowl is just the ticket to nurse you back to health when you’re feeling less than perky. This version packs a vitamin-laden wallop with turmeric, kale, and a mushroom broth.
Serves: Makes 6-8 bowls
• 1 Tbsp coconut oil
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 6 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 celery stalks, sliced
• 1 lb shiitake mushrooms
• 1 ½ tsp sea salt
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 12 cups water
• 4 heads baby bok choy, bottoms chopped off
• 1/2 head kale, chopped
• Optional: 1 Tbsp freshly-grated ginger
• Chop off the bottom of the stem from the mushrooms and discard. Separate stems from tops and slice tops and remaining stem, if necessary, into large pieces. You will only discard the very bottom of the stems, not the full stems as they contain many nutritional benefits!
• Heat up coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.
• Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent.
• Add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
• Add in celery and mushrooms and sauté for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms have wilted.
• Add in spices (including ginger, if using) and water and bring to a boil.
• Then let simmer, covered for 1 hour, or as long as you want (the longer you leave, the better!)
• Add bok choy and kale in the last 10 minutes of cooking to wilt.
• Serve warm or store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Before you go running for the breath mints and a nose-clip, hear us out. Garlic is delicious. It’s also one of nature’s most powerful natural anti-bacterials. Here, it adds endless depths of flavour in this succulent chicken dish – and an injection of health to boot.
• 6 whole chicken legs
• 2 tsp salt
• 40 cloves garlic (you’ll need about 3 bulbs), peeled
• 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• Freshly-ground black pepper
• Freshly-ground nutmeg
• 4 sprigs Italian parsley
• ¼ cup white grape juice
• 1/3 cup (homemade or low sodium) chicken stock
• Crusty bread or toast for serving
• Heat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Season the chicken legs all over with the salt. Arrange them, skin side up, in a single layer in an ovenproof baking dish with a tight-fitting lid.
• Scatter the garlic and celery into the gaps between the chicken pieces, and then drizzle everything with the olive oil. Grind some black pepper and a bit of nutmeg over the chicken and vegetables and arrange the parsley on top.
• Pour in the white grape juice and the chicken stock. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil and put on the lid. Bake the chicken for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, without removing the lid until the hour mark. When the chicken is really tender, and the garlic is soft enough to spread, remove the dish from the oven.
• Serve the chicken in shallow bowls with plenty of the fragrant sauce; spread the softened garlic on the bread and then dunk it into the sauce as you eat your chicken.
(Source: Adapted from www.food52.com)
Keep your pantry stocked year-round with these immunity-boosting superfoods:
• Ginger – Contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps ease digestion
• Garlic – A natural antibiotic, anti-microbial, and powerful immune-booster
• Beef – Contains high levels of zinc, an essential mineral for a healthy immune system
• Beans – In addition to being rich in fibre, beans contain body-building protein that aids in cell repair
• Citrus fruits – Are packed with heaps of Vitamin C and other phytochemicals that aid in keeping us healthy
• Chicken soup – The ultimate cold and flu comfort food, a hot bowl of chicken soup can in fact trigger white blood cells that help fight infection