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|Anti-flu bomb with turmeric, garlic and ginger|
Today I am coming at you with a very short but useful post, at least I hope you will find it useful? As we are nearing the Sickness Season, aka Winter, every time temperatures drop, I find myself going over a list in my head of what I need to stock up on to keep my family healthy and what I need to have in the case they (or I) get sick. Such post will be published just before this or soon after this post, so keep your eyes peeled.
This anti-influenza bomb falls into the "keep them healthy" category, and it really comes in handy come Autumn and Winter. Actually I prepare and use this nearly all year round, maybe less so in Summer - we tend to eat more raw and cold foods in Summer (don't we all?) and raw garlic and ginger are not so much appealing or useful then. Comfort foods we all then to like/eat in Autumn & Winter? You can add this to nearly every dish!
So what is it you ask and how this will keep me healthy? Well, this essentially is a garlic and ginger paste made from scratch, to which I added fresh turmeric in order to get more anti inflammatory action going. So I will list the ingredients first and talk about the benefits after.
Here's what you will need:
- four bulbs of garlic (organic if you can get it)
- fresh ginger, about the size of a garlic bulb
- a handful of fresh turmeric
- a few peppercorns
- virgin olive oil (optional)
This started out as simple garlic and ginger paste a few years back, I started to make my own because I never liked the shop bought versions - these tend to be heavy on ginger, and I wanted it to have more garlic than ginger, plus fresh is always best, isn't it? So I started to make it my way, and then this idea came along, why don't I include fresh turmeric in it too, especially having in mind I always have it fresh too, and alongside this garlic-ginger paste I used to grate turmeric into my dishes nearly all the time. So I just put two and two together and this anti-flu bomb was born. I make it probably once a week or every two weeks - as you can see in the photo, it makes about half a litre of it, so depending on your circumstances/taste/family size use more or less ingredients. Another thing you will need is a good quality blender. As you can see, my mixture is chunky - and all I can say is this - I still curse the day I bought mine looking at the discount and not the power of it! Yeah, don't repeat my mistake. I am saving up for a nutri-bullet as we speak :)
I think I don't need to include step by step instructions, as it is pretty much self explanatory - peel garlic, ginger and chuck it into a blender. If you will peel turmeric, please wear gloves - it stains everything it touches! I must confess I don't peel mine because of this - I gave up after few tries, having to hide orange hands from people kinda gave me the idea of why I don't just wash and dry the thing? So that is exactly what I do, I wash turmeric roots well, scrubbing away as much of the skin as I can, I towel dry it well and leave to air dry it for quite some time too - you don't want any water in this mixture or it will spoil it pretty soon. Another tip on turmeric, try to get it in Asian supermarkets, it is way cheaper there. Also don't forget to include black pepper - about 5% of the turmeric amount in order to get the best out of it - this is a match made in health heaven, as pepper boots turmeric's anti-inflammatory action. When blending you will probably have to stop it and scrape down the sides a couple of times. I tend to add pure virgin olive oil in the mixture too, but you don't have to. I would advice not to use coconut oil in this case, the mixture has to be kept in the fridge, and coconut oil solidifies too much. You can use it if you want to, of course you can, but then you would have to remember to take it out of the fridge prior to using well in advance.
I use it in cooking at almost every dinner - obviously it will depend on how much you like garlic (or not). I still laugh every time I remember what my mom said about me cooking - she said I use garlic in everything bar my coffee! (that was when she was staying at my place for a week on one of her visits).
You can add this into any stir fry, soup, stew or even some salads. My favourite ways of using it are exactly that, I cook a lot of Indian, Chinese food at home, and it can be added to any stir fry or even pad thai (in my house, that's it, I am sure many people will raise eyebrows at this!), lentil dishes, omelettes, roasted veggies, quickly stir fried with steamed broccoli, runner beans, sauteed kale, spinach and so on. I think you get the idea. I add this mixture raw into carrot salad (grated carrots, this anti-flu bomb and mayo, that is all you need for perfect fresh salad), potato salad and any salad with roasted veggies, it is a perfect compliment to anything roasted if you ask me. Any way you can think of, really.
Let's see the benefits of it?
Garlic has myriad of heath benefits, and I am sure all of us know that! If you can stomach raw garlic daily, then you have my respect - I never managed that, so this is my next best thing. Garlic is good for preventing and treating heart disease, reversing the plaque build up in the arteries, it is showing promising signs in being able to treat cancer (I urge you to do your own research, there are many studies out there), it also helps to lower high blood pressure, of course we all know it helps treat colds and infections. What's more, it helps with dementia and diabetes and used topically, helps with baldness. Amazing or what?
Ginger benefits to the body:
It helps fight stroke and heart diseases, nausea and vomiting (my pregnant ladies, take note), malabsorbtion of nutrients, it helps boost immune system as well as respiratory function, it helps fight bacterial infections, reduces pain, aids in weight loss, fights cancer, lowers cholesterol and I could go on!
Turmeric benefits to the body:
As we all know it, turmeric has been hailed as a do-it-all hero in the recent years, and very rightly so. I have to say it took me a good few years to train my tastebuds to like it. I hated it with passion when I first tried it in the powder form (I never liked curry either), and of course I made a classic mistake of adding too much. So I never liked it much until I discovered fresh root, and let me tell you this, in this concoction it is quite alright :) Whoops, get back to the benefits Renata!
Ok, I have to tell you, I like it due to the anti-inflammatory properties (anything anti-inflammatory is like a music to my ears), but it has so much more to it - it aids in treating cancer, myriad of skin conditions (I believe it was one of the factors in me overcoming my dermatitis for sure), arthritis, some studies show it to be antidepressant too, it helps in treating obesity and gastrointestinal treatments. Again, I could go on and on.
All in all, I urge you to do your own research and pick your best nature's medicine at the grocery store, not at the pharmacy in a pill form.
This anti-flu bomb is a perfect example of it. If I can avoid colds, flu and a whole lot of other health conditions no one likes to think about, by consuming this mixture, then so be it!
The beauty of it is that you can customise it to your liking, you can add chilli if you can handle the heat, apple cider vinegar if that floats your boat, and any other health inducing herb or spice you like - I gave you a starting point with my version, and now it is your turn!
Please let me know what you will be adding to it, and don't forget to tag me in your social media posts - I would love to hear how you will like it!
Want to check out my Super Loaded Sauerkraut recipe? Click here. For Umami dip, click here. More super simple yet healthy recipes to come, I promise.
That's it for now, see you here again very shortly.
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Tata for now!