The Coronavirus pandemic has us frantically washing our hands, cleaning our homes, and prioritizing fitness. Needless to say, food plays a vital role in our health and wellbeing. While some individuals are donning the Masterchef hat, others are making ends meet by following 3-ingredient recipes. While experimenting in the kitchen is all fun and games, there are certain immunity building food recipes that you must seriously consider.
Including certain food items can keep your immune system strong and prevent any trips to the doctor. In this post, we have compiled a list of immunity building food recipes that you can try as a fun cooking project.
Before we begin, here is a low-down on what some common categories of immunity building foods:
- Foods that are rich in probiotics.
- Foods containing high amounts of antioxidants.
- Vitamin C loaded foods; and
- Foods having traces of Zinc.
Top 5 Immunity Building Food Recipes
Here are a few food inspirations through which you can include more immunity building food items in your diet:
Essentially, Kimchi is a spicy, fermented cabbage preparation that is flavored with spices. It has earned a solid fanbase in the past few years. This Korean staple is loaded with probiotics, promotes gut health, regulates blood sugar, and lowers cholesterol.
- One large (about 1kg) napa cabbage, cored and cut into one-inch pieces
- One-fourth cup of sea salt
- Two cups radish (preferably daikon), cut into matchsticks (substitute – carrots)
- One bunch of green onions, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
- One tablespoon of fresh ginger, roughly cut
- One shallot, quartered
- Six large cloves of garlic, whole
- 2-6 tablespoons Gochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes (substitute – red chili paste)
- Two tablespoon fish sauce (substitute – soy sauce)
- Two teaspoons of sugar (substitute – honey)
- Toss the cabbage in sea salt and cover it with cool water. Allow it to stand overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.
- Drain the cabbage the following day while preserving the brine water. Rinse the cabbage, drain, and squeeze out any excess liquid. Transfer the cabbage to a mixing bowl.
- Add the radish/carrots and the scallions to the cabbage.
- In your food processor, blend together the ginger, garlic, shallot, red chili flakes, sugar, and fish sauce. Process it on the pulse setting until it forms a paste.
- Scoop out the paste and coat the vegetables in this mixture (wear gloves!). Gently massage the flavors of the blend into the vegetables.
- Transfer the vegetables in a 2L jar while leaving about an inch or two space for the juices. Pour in some of the brine water that you had reserved previously.
- Press down the vegetables and place a whole cabbage leaf on the top. This step ensures that your kimchi is submerged in the brine.
- Cover the jar loosely with the lid while allowing air to escape.
- Let the preparation sit for about 72 hours (3 days). Seal the jar and now store the Kimchi in the refrigerator.
Most of us have grown up listening to our mothers praise turmeric as the ultimate panacea to all ailments. Well, science backs their claim as researchers have developed several links between curcumin and body’s inflammation-fighting capacity. Further, turmeric is loaded with antioxidants!
- A cup (350mL) milk
- A quarter teaspoon of ground spices (turmeric powder, cinnamon powder, and ginger powder)
- Half a teaspoon vanilla extract
- A teaspoon of honey or brown sugar
- A dash of black pepper
- Combine all the ingredients, except honey, in a saucepan and allow them to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Continue whisking it constantly as it boils.
- Take it off the heat, strain the beverage, and stir in the honey.
- Garnish with some more cinnamon powder.
Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup
It’s no surprise that broccoli is a superfood. It is packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. However, it can be quite a task to convince oneself to consume its healthy florets. To help you in this quest of immunity building food recipes, here is a vegan, gluten-free, keto-friendly soup that you can whip up in 30 minutes!
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- One large onion, diced
- 4-6 large cloves of garlic, smashed or roughly chopped
- 500g of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- Four cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- A cup of water
- One bay leaf
- A teaspoon of salt and oregano
- A teaspoon of fresh coriander
- Half a teaspoon of pepper
- 3/4th cup of raw cashew nuts
- 1-2 cups of spinach (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic, and stir them until they cook – it takes about five minutes.
- Add the broccoli florets, spinach, broth, water, and other spices. Cover it and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for about 12 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and allow the mixture to cool.
- In a blender, combine the broccoli mixture and cashew nuts. Blend them together until they form a consistent paste.
- Pour the paste back into the soup pot and heat it gently. Adjust the spices and the consistency to your taste. You may squeeze in some lemon.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and a lemon wedge.
Berry Quinoa Tabbouleh
Make the best of the season’s fresh produce with this highly customizable Tabbouleh. Since it’s summer, this immunity building food recipe’s inspiration draws from berries. They are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants, plus they are simply delicious! Quinoa is yet another superfood that you must make a part of your diet. Feel free to experiment and personalize this preparation!
- One cup quinoa, cooked and chilled overnights
- 500g strawberries, finely diced (you could do a mix of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.)
- Two large English cucumber, finely diced
- Half a red onion, very finely diced
- One cup fresh mint or coriander, chopped
- Four tablespoons of olive oil
- A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Salt and fresh black pepper as per taste
- Combine the quinoa, strawberries, cucumber, red onion, and mint/coriander to the bowl. Toss them together.
- Pour in the olive oil, ACV, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix it gently and let the salad stand for a couple of minutes. Stir again.
- Taste the salad and make additions as per your preferences.
- Garnish with crumbled cottage cheese (paneer) and some roasted sunflower seeds.
Acai Smoothie Bowl
Native to Brazil, the Acai berries have gained global popularity for their health benefits. They contain traces of Zinc, loaded with antioxidants, and are low on calories. Frozen acai pulp or acai powder are readily available in the market. Berries offer a healthy dosage of Vitamin C, while yogurt adds healthy probiotics to this smoothie bowl. This is one of the most wholesome immunity building food recipes ever!
- One large banana, frozen
- Half a cup of blueberries, frozen
- Half a cup of strawberries, frozen
- 3/4th cup of milk (or kefir)
- Half cup of yogurt
- 200g of frozen acai puree
- Slivered almonds and pistachio
- Start by blending together the milk and the yogurt. Add the frozen fruits one by one in the following order – blueberries, strawberries, banana, and acai.
- Blend everything together until smooth.
- Serve the smoothie in bowls. Garnish with sliced banana, berries, and granola. Top everything off with almond slivers. Enjoy cool.
While these immunity building food recipes can support your immune health, they are not the only solution to staying healthy. Pay close attention to portion sizes and the recommended daily intake. Additionally, get enough rest and de-stress whenever you get the opportunity. Light exercise every now and then will also benefit you significantly.
Stay safe, and stay healthy!