Fall is here, and it’s so much more than pumpkin spice lattes, I promise you! Foods that are in season now are hearty, filling, and full of nutrients, which is especially important as flu season approaches. Here are 3 must-have fall recipes that will boost your immune system!
1. Five-Minute Pumpkin Chia Pudding
Why it’s great: Pumpkins are in season right now and are loaded with Vitamins A and C, needed for a healthy immune system.
Prep time: 5 min Total time: 8 hrs 5 min Serves: 1
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup rolled or steel cut oats
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- Mix all ingredients together in a jar and store in the fridge overnight. Take out in the morning and enjoy!
2. Flu-fighting Fungi Pâté
Why it’s great: Mushrooms are an immunity powerhouse. They fight inflammation and help destroy harmful bacteria. The garlic in this dish is also has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Vampires beware!
Prep time: 10 min Total time: 2 hrs Serves: 8
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups of mixed mushrooms (e.g. shitake, button, oyster, etc.)
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped, or 1 tbsp dried
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Toast the walnuts for 2-3 minutes in a large pan over medium heat. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Remove the walnuts from the pan and set aside.
- Add the olive oil to the pan and then the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions soften and turn translucent (about 4 minutes). Add in all the remaining ingredients: mushrooms, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper and sauté until the mushrooms have cooked and water is mostly evaporated, another 5 – 8 minutes.
- Add the mushroom mixture and the walnuts to a food processor. Pulse, stopping to scrape the sides as needed until you reach a pâté texture. Press into a container for serving using a spatula to smooth it, and let it chill completely in the fridge before serving (1-2 hours).
- Serve with your favourite veggies or crackers.
Adapted from: It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Why it’s great: Turmeric boosts activation of T-cells and B-cells in the body, major components of the immune system. The active ingredient, curcumin, also decreases pro-inflammatory markers in the body
Prep time: 1 min Total time: 5 min Serves: 1
- 1 ½ cup unsweetened almond/soy milk
- 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 pinch ground black pepper**
- ½ tsp maple syrup/honey
- Add all ingredients to a pot and whisk over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Pour into a glass and serve immediately.
**Important as black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric
Heather is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist trained by the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. She also has a Masters of Science in Public Health and a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology both from the University of Waterloo.
Heather specializes in personalized nutrition using live, natural, and whole foods and looks at many factors surrounding food choices such as stress, sleep, mood, and lifestyle. She has a strong background in mental health and is passionate about promoting its connection to nutrition. Heather sees clients who are overworked, overstressed, and overtired and empowers them to bring their body back into balance. She also specializes in plant-based diets, being vegan herself since 2013. In her spare time, you can find her scouring dog parks for animals to pet, or searching for the city’s best smoothie!
Heather Lillico, MSc, RHN, RYT