Just last week, I texted my friends about our regular Saturday gym/ food date (though to be honest, more the latter) and got rejected by all but one of them. They had all fallen sick! Considering that it’s April and the weather is neither extra rainy nor chilly, I was really confused as to why they had all fallen ill en masse.
So, for anyone feeling under the weather, or maybe for those of us who just like drinking warm teas, here are some great tasting immune-boosting recipes to help you kick that periodic cold!
1. Honey Lemon and Ginger Tea
First up is a personal favourite of mine because it really works! [Andrea’s Note: I swear by this remedy too, and whenever Imran falls ill, it’s straight to the nearest grocery store to buy lemons, honey, and ginger tea!]
All three ingredients work as decongestants. This triple threat helps to clear that stuffy nose, while also containing individual benefits to strengthen the immune system! Honey soothes the throat and has great antibacterial properties to fight disease. Lemon is high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which is necessary for the growth, maintenance, and repair of the body, while ginger warms the body and helps relieve nausea and alleviate pain.
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon honey
~ 8cm knob of ginger
- Grate your ginger and transfer it into your mug.
- Boil the water and pour it into your mug. Let this mixture steep while you prepare your other ingredients.
- Halve your lemon and squeeze the juice into your mug. Feel free to scrape some of the flesh into your mug as well if you like it even more lemony!
- By now, the temperature of the water should have cooled slightly. This is the perfect time to spoon in your honey!
- Just stir up the mixture and you’re good to go.
Note: I only learned this recently, but if you put the honey in first directly into boiling water, the high heat will destroy the medicinal properties of the honey. Preparing your tea in this order allows some time for your water to cool while also giving your ginger time to steep for a stronger flavour!
2. Matcha Green Tea
Most of us Singaporeans love drinking green tea for its taste, but did you know that it has a ton of proven benefits? They include preventing the signs of aging, reducing cell damage thus improving brain function, reducing inflammation and risk of obesity, helps fight cancer, and many more! The best part? Green tea is so readily available in Singapore that you can buy it from convenience stores or in many restaurants. That being said, Matcha is the best quality, concentrated version of the normal green tea, so if you can, drink this for the best health benefits!
1 – 2 teaspoons Matcha powder
1 cup water
- Sift the matcha powder into your cup using a small sifter.
- Heat the water until just under boiling.
- Pour 3-4 tablespoons of hot water into your mug and stir vigorously until it forms a paste.
- Then, pour the rest of the water in and stir to combine.
- Let it steep for a minute and you’re ready to drink!
3. Bone Tea
I know what you’re thinking… BONE TEA? Relax, that’s just another name for soup that I learned during my trip to Korea a couple of years back – they literally served soup as if it were tea! But listen, soup is not just soup. The University of Nebraska performed a study which proved that chicken soup contains beneficial medicinal properties like reducing inflammation and thus helping to mitigate cold and flu symptoms. So, the next time you feel a chill coming on, feel free to nosh on some delicious soup, or ‘bone tea’, in the name of recovery!
1 whole chicken, washed
4 carrots, halved
4 stalks celery, halved
2 large onions, halved
1 knob of ginger, sliced
Water to cover
Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken bouillon cube (optional)
- Place the chicken, carrots, celery, onions, and ginger into a large stock pot and cover with cold water.
- Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken meat is falling off the bone, about 1-2 hours.
- Skim the scum off the top every so often to remove impurities.
- Take everything out of the pot and strain the broth.
- Chop up the vegetables and reserve for later.
- Pick the chicken meat off the bones and reserve for later.
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound the bones until well-ground and return it back into the stock.
- Simmer the stock for another hour or so.
- Strain the soup again to remove the ground bone meal.
- Add the chicken and vegetables back into the stock and simmer until well heated through.
- Lastly, season with salt, pepper, and chicken bouillon to taste.
Serve and enjoy!
4. Lemon, Orange, Ginger and Turmeric Shots
This is a juicing recipe for those you who are like me and barely coherent in the morning, and thus really shouldn’t be trusted with boiling water in the AM. Full of great antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, this shot is great for kick-starting you and (ahem) your digestion first thing in the morning. What I especially love about this recipe is that you can make everything in advance and pop it into the freezer for use for the weeks ahead!
Recipe (5 portions)
4 lemons, (3 peeled, 1 intact)
1 orange, peeled
1 large ginger root, roughly chopped
1 large turmeric root, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon cayenne
A pinch black pepper
½ cup water
- Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of any ginger fibres.
- Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer to keep for the week ahead.
- Every morning (or whenever you want it), pop a couple of cubes out of the tray and mix with a little water, mashing it with a fork to speed up the melting process.
- Throw it back like a shot because its spicyyyy!
Note: This is the recipe that I use most often, but you can easily change the proportions to suit your tastes and needs!