It’s been a tough week at Food24 – with half our team suffering from the dreaded flu. The thing about flu (according to a friend’s doctor), is that there really is no cure for it and the only thing you can do is rest and look after yourself. And by looking after yourself, I mean eating foods that boost your immune system and keep your cells thriving. I’ve been drinking warm lemon water every morning when I wake up – which, apparently has wonderful antiviral properties and is a great source of Vitamin C. Does it work? Who knows but I can definitely feel that my skin is clearer and more hydrated than usual.
I think that loading up on veggies is very underrated in Winter (yes, we might not always feel like a superfood salad when it’s cold but that doesn’t mean we can’t make delicious, warming veggie soups!). I love this Thai coconut broccoli soup and of course – if you’re following food trends this year, you’ll know that bone broth is the new black. Although not really “new”, (broths and stocks have been around for centuries and form the cornerstone of many soups, stews and sauces), the protein and mineral-rich liquid is being lauded in health circles for its ability to detox, aid digestion and provide excellent materials for bone and joint health. There’s even a restaurant called Brodo in New York City that only serves bone broth.
Another way of fighting off flu symptoms, is to look after your gut health – which brings us to another 2015 food trend: fermentation. This practice has also been around for donkey's years and is a basic process where naturally occurring yeasts convert carbs and sugar into live cultures that boost your own good tummy bacteria. Think yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and the increasingly popular kombucha drink that you can find at a few health shops and restaurants. It’s delicious! Try these vegetable pickles which are also fermented by the preservation process of adding vinegar (acetic acid) and if you’re looking for a restaurant that serves fermented food, I recommend you take a visit to Foliage in Franschhoek where Chef Chris Erasmus takes the art to another level.
If you don’t like the idea of ingesting “live cultures” (because some don't), then another way of kicking those nasty flu bugs into touch, is by adding spices to your food. Hello curry! Not only are spices wonderfully fragrant and add that much needed “zing” to a dish, they are also great at stabilising blood sugar (cinnamon), clearing mucus congestion (cayenne pepper) and reducing inflammation (turmeric). Here’s a how-to video which shows steps to make Golden Milk, a turmeric-loaded, warming Winter beverage.
Ok, health rant over! Today the Good Food and Wine Show kicks off in Cape Town and we’re going to be live tweeting and Instagramming from the event so follow us for some fabulous foodie FUN! (@Food24 on Twitter and @Food24_sa on Instagram).
Have a happy, healthy weekend everyone!