This year, cold and flu season seems to have blanketed the entire stretch of our Canadian winter and does not appear to be letting up anytime soon. There have been record highs of outbreaks of some really nasty bugs and recently I heard that the worst is yet to come. In order to protect yourself and your loved ones (especially the little kiddies in our lives) it is imperative to ensure that your diet is clean, and that you are consuming lots of immune system boosting foods that are high in vitamin c, vitamin e and zinc. It is also wise to increase your intake of foods like garlic and ginger. Citrus fruits are a fairly common and great way to ensure you are getting adequate vitamin c. However, there are many other fruit and vegetable options that also contain high levels of vitamin c. Kiwi is a fantastic option, so are almost all leafy greens, vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and hot peppers and bell peppers rank really high on the list as well.
Vitamin e is easily found in nuts like almonds, pine nuts and peanuts and in fruits and veggies like avocado, peaches and of course dark leafy greens like swiss chard and spinach (notice a pattern here? EAT YOUR GREENS!).
Eating foods like cashews, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, lentils, peas and even cooked oatmeal or our good friend cacao are some great ways of ensuring you get zinc in your diet.
As for the garlic and ginger, well, you can put either of them in so many things that the options are practically endless! Ginger has a laundry list of health benefits. Commonly, it aids in digestion. It makes a wonderful tea that helps to settle upset tummies as it possesses anti-inflammatory properties (this also means it is a great food to eat if you suffer from arthritis or any other inflammatory disease). But it also boosts the immune system by simply assisting in the detoxification process. A healthy sweat is just what you need sometimes!
This cookie recipe is a miracle worker for boosting the immune system. I find these to be the quickest and easiest way to ensure all of those necessary vitamins and nutrients are getting into my 20 month old as well as me when either of us is feeling at all under the weather.
They only take a few minutes of prep and an hour in the freezer before they are ready to gobble up. There is really no good excuse for not trying out these little gems!
Raw Cinnamon Ginger Cookies
1 cup of whole raw cashews
¼ cup of whole raw almonds
2 tbsp. of fresh chopped ginger root
1 tbsp. of ground cinnamon
½ cup of melted coconut oil (running hot water over the outside of the measuring cup should do it!)
½ cup of chopped, pitted dates OR ¼ cup of maple syrup OR ¼ cup of agave nectar (if you use maple syrup, of course these won’t technically qualify as raw)
In a blender or food processor combine cashews, almonds, ginger and cinnamon until crumbly but not smooth. Add the banana, coconut oil and the sweetener of your choice and blend until mixture comes together into a smoother consistency. You still want to see small crumbles of nuts throughout, so try not to over blend.
Transfer the mixture in to a bowl and use a spoon to drop portions of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
If you wish, you can sprinkle the cookies with a topping such as unsweetened shredded coconut, ground nuts or cacao powder.
Refrigerate until set (about 4 hours in the fridge, or 1 hour in the freezer). I store these cookies in the freezer and take them out as I need them. They only need a moment at room temperature to develop the perfect consistency for consumption!
Photos by Danielle Matar www.daniellematar.comRaw