Six Tips for Staying Healthy & Immune Boosting Vegetable Broth


Despite the heat, fall is here and with it comes the inevitable cold and flu season. Stay as healthy as possible this year and recover more quickly when you do catch a bug with the following tips:

Wash your hands. sounds obvious, but more frequent hand washing for 20 seconds with soap is one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs.

Hands off! Be mindful of keeping your hands away from your face. Germs enter our bodies through the eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid touching our face to reduce your chance of picking up something unpleasant.

Get more sleep. A rested body is better able to fight off a virus once it enters your system and makes you less vulnerable to getting sick.

Rinse your nose. Add a netti pot rinse to your daily routine. Rinsing your nasal cavity with heated and cooled salt water flushes out virus particles that have entered through your nose and flushes any accumulating mucus which lowers the risk of infection build up. The saline is naturally anti-microbial.

Exercise. Daily, moderate exercise boosts the body’s ability to fight off illness. But be careful, all out body blasting and working to exhaustion can fatigue your body making you more susceptible to illness.

Eat yourself healthy. Citrus foods, ginger, garlic, elderberry, mushrooms, almonds and yogurt are all foods that are known for immune boosting properties. Increase the amounts of these foods in your diet during cold and flu season.

Piedmont Avenue Health Coach and nutrition Consultant, Michelle Dwyer has provided us with a recipe for immune boosting vegetable broth and offers the following tips for using it:

“When making broth to really support the immune system, add a LOT more ginger and garlic. You can also add dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms, oregano, reishi mushrooms and/or astragalus root for extra immune boosting support.

Broth is really great to drink when recovering from surgery, illness or chemotherapy. It is a great way to get nourishment for your body without putting too much stress on your digestive system.

You can add a little tamarin, Bragg’s amino acids, coconut amino acids or miso to your finished broth for a little added flavor or some coconut oil for a bit more substance.

Broth can be sipped alone or used as a base for any soup. To store leftover broth, divide among mason jars to sip during the week and freeze the rest.”

Immune Boosting Vegetable Broth

Ingredients:

1-2 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds

1-2 unpeeled medium onions, including peels/skin, cut into chunks

3 stalks celery, including the heart, cut into thirds

1 head of garlic, including peels/skin, roughly chopped

few inches of fresh ginger root, roughly sliced

1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 sweet potato or yam with skins on, quartered

1 8-inch strip of kombu seaweed (available at Whole Foods or online)

2 bay leaves

12 black peppercorns

4 whole allspice or juniper berries (optional)

1 tablespoon quality sea salt (note: if I’m going to cook beans with the broth, I leave the salt out)

Important: Adjust the amount of ingredients to the size of your stock pot. Other vegetable choices (depending on the flavor profile you want and what you have on hand) can include mushrooms, leeks, fennel, greens, fresh herbs, parsnips, and potatoes.

Directions:

  1. Rinse all the vegetables well to remove any dirt.
  2. In a large stockpot, combine all the ingredients except the salt. Fill the pot to 2 inches below the rim with water, cover, and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer a minimum of 2 hours. As the stock simmers some of the water will evaporate. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. I like to try and simmer mine for as much as 4 hours or more.
  4. Add the sea salt and stir (unless you plan to use the broth to cook dried beans).
  5. Let broth cool in pot until room temperature.
  6. Strain the stock using a large coarse-mesh strainer (remember to use a heat-resistant container underneath) and/or cheese-cloth or clean linen towel. Compost the cooked vegetables.
  7. Makes 6 to 7 quarts, depending on stockpot size.
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