Monday, November 14, 2011

Are You Ready For Flu Season?

That time of year has come...yes, it's flu season!  What, if anything, are you doing to prevent the flu from striking you or your loved ones?  Take the time to take the quiz at the bottom of my will tell you if you are ready to face H1N1 and other flu viruses coming your way!

Some of the most basic tricks can help you from getting the flu, such as frequent hand washing and avoiding sick people.  These two actions are your biggest help in warding off the flu.  If you do develop symptoms grab some Elderberry tincture (I have plenty available and if you buy it by the end of this month I will give you a 20% discount!) and hot herbal teas.  You may not have much of an appetite if you develop the flu but try to force yourself to eat clear broths with lots of fresh ginger root, onions and raw garlic.  Remember to drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.  I make a great big batch of carrot-ginger soup every fall that I store in the freezer in case of colds and flu.  This soup is very healing and easy to heat up when you are ill.  But don't wait until the flu hits because you won't be well enough to cook, so make it now and save it for when you need it!

Kelly's Carrot and Ginger Soup:

Prep Time: 20 minutes                      Servings: 6-8                          category: Appetizer/Main Dish/Soup
Ingredients:  Try to use organic products as much as possible!

2 lbs. carrots, washed and sliced  (DO NOT PEEL THE CARROTS!)
3 tbsp. virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
6 whole garlic cloves
4 cups broth or water
1 large onion
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice  (in a pinch bottled will do but fresh is truly best)
6 thin slices of fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp. dried thyme or 1tsp. fresh thyme
gr. black pepper to taste
whipping cream - OPTIONAL to use 1/4 to 1/2 cup
6 whole cloves

Heat oil in a heavy pan over medium heat.  Add carrots, onion, ginger, whole cloves and whole garlic cloves and saute all until the onion is translucent.  Add 3 1/2 cups broth.  Cover and simmer until carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes.  Remove cloves from the broth and discard.  Puree soup in blender.  Return soup to same pot and mix in lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and thin to desired consistency with leftover broth.  If desired, whisk cream in medium bowl until just slightly thickened, about 10 seconds, and drizzle over soup when serving.  I myself do not add the cream and the soup is still delicious.  Add raw crushed garlic to soup just before serving.  I like to add an herbal garnish.  Rosemary is the garnish featured in the picture above.  Any fresh herb will make a great garnish!

Not only is this soup waistline friendly, it is incredibly good for you.  It's a wonderful fall harvest soup for crisp autumn nights.  When you feel a cold or fever coming on, make this soup and triple the ginger in the recipe.  It will be especially helpful if you add 1-2 cloves raw garlic to your soup bowl before you pour in the soup. You only get the real health benefits from raw garlic, so pile it on!  Eat this soup often when ill.  Make a big batch and keep in the freezer for when you need it and don't feel well enough to cook!  Of course, this soup tastes great and is awesome to eat even if you are feeling fine and healthy!

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