With winter on its way and a buzz about immune system health enveloping the world currently, it’s important to keep our bodies nourished with bug-fighting, immune-boosting nutrients. Good nourishment through food allows your body to absorb essential nutrients in their natural form for adequate energy and vital body functions.
Topping my list for immune-boosting natural foods are ginger and turmeric. While fresh ginger helps with digestion and nausea, it also serves as an anti-inflammatory. Tumeric, also with anti-inflammatory properties, helps with blood sugar levels, cancer prevention, detoxing and eases some types of arthritis.
Throw some butternut or pumpkin with these immune-boosting wonders and you’ll add in a good dose of Vitamin A, C, carotenoids (antioxidants) and fibre.
Try this scrumptious, super easy, immune-boosting recipe to sneak a fabulous dose of goodness into your body this season.
Immune-booster Butternut Soup
1 large butternut squash cooked, deseeded, and peeled (You can also use pumpkin or a combination of the two)
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger peeled and chopped or finely grated
1 Tablespoon fresh turmeric peeled and chopped or finely grated
1 onion diced
Optional: I tsp chilli flakes + 1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
400ml coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking the butternut/pumpkin:
- For great flavour, roast the butternut with a little olive oil in the oven until very soft and almost caramelized. This gives a great rich flavour to the soup.
- You can also place the whole butternut in the pressure cooker for 3 hours on high. Once completely cooked and very soft, it should be easy to remove the peel and seeds.
- Most importantly, do not cook the butternut in boiling water and then throw out the water. The nutrients will dissolve into the water on cooking. If your only option is to boil it, make sure you use the butternut cooking liquid in place of the stock in the recipe and add a stock cube instead.
** I recommend A Vogel Plantaforce Low Sodium Stock Cubes which are free from added gluten, sugar, egg protein, lactose, artificial flavours, preservatives or colouring, MSG, animal by-products and GMO-free.
- In a large pot, saute the prepared ginger, turmeric, and diced onion in the oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes until softened. (Add your garlic and chilli as well if you are opting to use these)
- Add the stock and bring to a boil
- Add the cooked, peeled and deseeded butternut and/or pumpkin
- Stir in the coconut milk
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Blend the mixture to a smooth puree
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed
- Sharing is caring (especially when it comes to immune-boosting yumminess). So portion it out for the family and gobble it up.
- If using a stand-up blender, it is best not to puree the liquid while piping hot. Make sure you place a dishcloth over the top of the blender and leave a hole for steam to escape when blending.
- Add some lentils for a hearty protein addition.
I’ll have more of my favourite immune-boosting comforts coming your way soon. In the meantime, stay healthy and happy cooking!