To function at high speed, your immune system requires a steady stream and abundance of nutrients.
This means eating healthy, pasture-raised animal proteins, wild fish, nuts, seeds, and an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables. A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology concluded that approximately 7.8 million premature deaths every year may have been prevented if 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables were consumed daily.
Below you’ll find three different recipes from Clinical Nutritionist, Kim Knauf, to help keep those immune systems working at optimal level. Also be sure you check out our previous post on ways to boost your immunity here.
Kimberly Knauf holds a Masters in Clinical Nutrition and Biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati. Kimberly also holds a B.S. in Pre-Med, and also is comprehensive secondary education. She has been conducting nutritional consultations and workshops for 20 years, and has been a Personal Training and Group Exercise Instructor for 34 years.
Gingered Sweet Potato Soup
Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 25 min | Yield: 4 servings Ingredients
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic: 2 thinly sliced, 1 minced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tbs minced fresh ginger
- 4 cups Chicken Bone Broth
- 2 sweet potatoes (10-12 ounces each), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk, well stirred
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/4 tsp Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
- 2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add half of the sliced garlic and fry until the edges are golden, 45-60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining sliced garlic.
Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pot and return the pot to medium heat. Add the shallot, ginger, and minced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the broth and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 15-20 minutes.
With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, carefully transfer in batches to a stand blender, then return to the pot.) Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, salt, and pepper flakes. Heat through and taste to adjust for seasoning, if necessary.
To serve, divide the soup among 4 bowls. Top each serving with avocado, cilantro, and crispy fried garlic.
Tip: Peeled butternut squash makes a delicious substitute for sweet potatoes.
Chilled Green Power Soup
This chilled soup is fantastic on a hot summer day. It doesn’t require any cooking, and it revs you up when the heat of the day has you wilting. This soup is also loaded with multiple immune-boosting ingredients to keep you healthy all year round.
Prep Time: 15-20 min | Yield: 4 servings
- 1 red bell pepper, half finely chopped and half cut into chunks
- 1 European cucumber, half finely chopped and half cut into chunks
- 1 lemon, zested, then peeled and segmented
- 1/2 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup baby kale
- 2/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 cup canned coconut milk, lightly stirred
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 ice cubes
- 1/2 tsp Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
In a small bowl, combine the finely chopped red pepper, finely chopped cucumber, and lemon zest; set aside.
In a blender, combine the red pepper chunks, cucumber chunks, avocado chunks, lemon juice, spinach, kale, parsley, garlic, coconut milk, water, ice cubes, salt, and cayenne (if using). Puree until smooth. You may need to stop the blender a few times to move the ingredients along with the handle of a wooden spoon.
To serve, divide among 4 soup bowls and top with garnish.
Immunity-Building Vegetable Broth
The collagen in bone broth is wonderful for healing your gut and stopping inflammation. It is possible to follow the bone broth diet if you are a vegetarian. This immunity-building vegetable broth pulls all the amazing nutrients out of fresh vegetables and delivers them straight to your cells–detoxing your body from the inside-out.
Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time : 2 Hr, 15 Min | Yield: 6 servings
- 6 unpeeled carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 8 stalks celery, including leafy part, roughly chopped
- 2 unpeeled onions, roughly chopped
- 2 unpeeled large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- 1 unpeeled garnet sweet potato, scrubbed and quartered
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch cilantro, including stems, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- One 8-inch piece of kombu (seaweed)
- 14 peppercorns
- 4 dried allspice berries
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh lemon juice to taste
- Put the vegetables and the garlic in a large stockpot, and add enough water to cover everything by 1 inch (about 10 cups). Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
- Remove the lid, turn the heat to low, and simmer uncooked for about 2 hours. If the veggies start to show above the water line, add more water. Carefully skim any foam off the top as the broth simmers.
- Add the cilantro, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice, berries and bay leaves during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Strain the broth through cheesecloth in a large bowl.
- When the broth is cool, check the seasoning; add the salt and lemon juice as needed.
- Completely cool the broth before refrigerating or freezing.