Good things for colds
These are the things I make when coughs and colds strike; when we are feeling a little depleted. I don’t intend these recipes to be medicine. I have no proof that they work but they make me and my family feel better. Perhaps it’s just the act of making something to nurture us, perhaps it’s the ingredients; whatever it is I keep making them.
Sunshine mango smoothie
This is the smoothie I make when I need a lift in the morning. If goji berries are not something you usually buy, you can leave them out, but I urge you to try them – they taste like slightly sour and more piquant raisins. Recipe here.
Turmeric, ginger and black pepper tea to warm (title image)
For two cups, grate about a tablespoon of ginger into a teapot. Squeeze in the juice of 1–2 lemons (depending on their size), add half a teaspoon of ground turmeric or about a tablespoon of fresh grated turmeric, a tiny pinch of dried chilli flakes and a good few grinds of black pepper, then pour in 600ml of hot water. Allow it to cool a little before sweetening with a little honey (I use the raw stuff for maximum goodness); this will make sure the amazing properties of the honey aren’t killed by the boiling water.
Magic golden turmeric honey paste for colds
Mix 2 tablespoons of ground turmeric, or a small thumb of the freshly grated root, with 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper. Melt then cool 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Add to the bowl and mix well then stir in 2 tablespoons of honey – raw is best. You can either eat this from the spoon or stir into hot water or warmed milk – I like oat milk.
Carrot, ginger and red chilli juice to lift and enliven
For one glass, peel 6 carrots and a thumb of ginger. Cut the green stalk off 1 chilli and if you like things hot keep the seeds in; if not then remove. Put the whole lot though a juicer and serve over ice. If you like you can gently warm this juice, though don’t heat it too much or let it boil.
Kombucha and kefir
These are great things to drink when you are feeling under the weather. I mix some turmeric and lemon into my kombucha and stir some of the golden paste above into my morning kefir. Both support healthy bacteria so are particularly great to drink if you are taking antibiotics.
Not chicken soup
This is a soup for the soul: chicken soup without the chicken, and with no apology! Recipe here.
Cinnamon and cardamom for sore throats
Mix 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and the bashed seeds of a cardamon pod with 1 tablespoon of runny honey and 1 of melted, cooled coconut oil. Store in a glass jar at room temperature taking a teaspoon whenever you have a tickle in your throat.
Vilcabamba cold cure
A lady made this cold cure for me on a trip to Ecuador and it worked. Juice 6 oranges into a small saucepan, add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 cinnamon stick. Warm to almost boiling then leave for 10 minutes to steep. Once cooled add a little honey if you like.
Lemongrass and three-chilli tea
For 2 cups, roughly chop a good thumb of ginger, bash 2 lemongrass stalks and add to a pan with 1 red chilli, 1 green chilli and a pinch of dried chilli flakes. Add 1 litre of water and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes, until it has a deep aromatic flavour. Now you can add a black or green tea bag and steep for 5 minutes before drinking. Sweeten with honey to taste.
Ginger shots for the brave
Use your juicer to juice enough ginger to make about 2 tablespoons of juice. Just knock it back and wait 10 minutes before drinking any water.
Garlic shots for the braver
Stick with me here. This doesn’t taste great but I am sure it’s helped me stave off a cold more than a few times. Finely chop 1 clove of garlic, put it into a small glass with 3 tablespoons of cold water, take a deep breath and knock it back. Don’t chew it. It might make you feel a little weird, but don’t be tempted to drink water for about 10 minutes.