May 4, 2014

Immune-Boosting Delights

These are wonderful foods to incorporate into your diet to boost immunity and curb sweet cravings.

Sweet Potato: high in omega 3 essential fatty acids to tonify the internal organs and strengthen immunity; rich in carotenoids, whose anti-oxidant content offers anti-inflammatory support; high in vitamin C to boost immunity; rich in B vitamins to reduce stress.

Black pepper: although it’s known for making you sneeze, black pepper can actually help to ward off the sniffles. Black peppercorns are high in piperine, a compound with anti-inflammatory qualities that can reduce swelling in joints. Piperine also helps you absorb the benefits of other spices.Try for 2 teaspoons of both black pepper and oregano per week to boost your immunity.

Lime: both the skin and juice of this citrus fruit contain a natural flavonoid called hesperidin, which is shown to help combat cancer and ward off viruses and bacteria that cause the stomach flu. Avoid drinking undiluted juice to protect your teeth. Add lime to salads, water, or use it as a salt alternative when sprinkled on veggies.

Tahini: a classic Mediterranean flavor, this peanut butter-like spread is made from ground sesame seeds. It contains two immunity-boosting ingredients: magnesium and zinc. Magnesium is essential for optimal immune function, while zinc protects against infection. Try tahini with hummus or in an open-faced sandwich with honey and apple.

Sweet Potato Muffins

You will need:
1 large sweet potato, steamed for 10 minutes or until tender
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup millet flour
1 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon each: black pepper and cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
a pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop and roast sweet potato in sunflower oil and salt for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the oil, almond milk, maple and vanilla.
Add the flours, spices, and salt.
Once sweet potato is roasted, mash it with a fork and fold it into the batter. It can stay chunky.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Oil 12 muffin cups, fill 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes.
Let muffins cool before serving. They are delicious with almond butter!

Blueberry Chia Lime Smoothie

In a blender, combine and blend:
2 cups organic frozen blueberries
juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/2 cup water


Tahini Yogurt Dip

In a bowl, mix:
1 cup full fat unsweetened yogurt
1 minced clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of tahini 
juice of 1 lemon 

This makes a great dip for veggies or a spread
inside a sandwich wrap.

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