Your Immunity Program – Immunity Culinary Tips
You can’t maximize immunity without a program, and no program is complete without transformative recipes, meal plans, and tips to bond you to those foods that turn your health around one bean, berry, or leafy green at a time.
- Sautéing your dark greens in a calorie-insignificant amount of olive oil rather than steaming over water will provide five times as much of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
- Add a little fat (real butter, oil, an avocado) to your carotene-carrying fruits and vegetables (red, green, yellow, and orange) to absorb more vitamins A, E, and K. Fat acts as a nutrient transporter.
- Keep the dice small when cutting fruits, to keep oxidation to a minimum and preserve vitamin C.
- Instead of toast triangles, serve “quilts.” Just put bread that has been battered for fresh toast into the waffle maker.
- Add coconut oil to the water when boiling rice. It coats the grains and adds trace amounts of beta-carotene, potassium, and monounsaturated fat.
- Keep your flour for dusting in a saltshaker. And use a wire whisk in place of a flour sifter.
- If you rinse the fresh parsley before it is ready to garnish, you lose that nice-to-the-nose aroma.
- Using raw vegetables in a cold soup? Cut the bitterness of broccoli, brussels sprouts, and broccoli raab by blanching in salt water one to three minutes before adding to the bowl.
- Avoiding or reducing salt? Use a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to give a hint of saltiness without the sodium. Or season with kelp or dulse powder to get the nutrients you may be missing, such as iodine and vitamin B12.
- Cut tomatoes for that tomato bisque with a serrated knife, which will slice without mashing flesh.
- Savor spicy? A dash of pepper vinegar in almost any soup is a pick-me-up, especially where there’s no added salt.
- Vanilla and vegetables: a dash of vanilla (believe it or not) in spicy tomato or chili soups can cut acidity and add a charming mystery note.
- Add a few slices of fresh gingerroot to cooking water when preparing simple vegetable soups.
- To thicken any soup (without starch), puree cooked vegetables in a blender and return the puree to the soup pot.
- A little dry wine will add flavor to almost any soup. What else does?
- Try summer savory and cloves to flavor minestrone.
- Try thyme and cayenne pepper in milk-based soups.
- Use thyme and marjoram in vegetable combinations.
- A pinch of mustard enhances bean soups.
- One teaspoon vinegar can help enhance the flavor for each quart of vegetable soup. Or use vinegar plus a pinch of sugar in each quart of legume soup.
- For a little extra salt-free saltiness, add 1 teaspoon wine to the soup pot before serving.
- Use fresh-ground peppercorns in thick soups and chowders.
- Peel garlic cloves, and place in freezer bags. Frozen garlic is easy to chop and is odor-free while frozen.
- To speed-peel a large amount of garlic for any soup, brush whole heads with oil, place in a 400°F oven, and bake until the skin slips off easily, about ten to fifteen minutes.
- To turn any soup into a cream of soup, add a cup of dairy or nondairy milk and blend. Thicker yet? Add a cup of plain yogurt (after soup has cooled) or extra-soft tofu.
- Less is best when stir-frying vegetables for a soup. When heated, oil thins and disperses. A half teaspoon applied to a paper towel, for example, is enough to lubricate two baking sheets, and 1 tablespoon will coat 2 pounds of still-warm cooked potatoes.
- Store your fruits and vegetables in produce bags formulated to reduce ethylene gases and to slow spoilage and nutrient loss.
Note: With the exception of dairy alternatives to soy or rice and an occasional egg, these recipes do not include animal products. It is certainly possible to substitute any meat, poultry, or fish for the plant-based central ingredients in many of the main dishes that follow. When you do, keep in mind that unless they are organic, these foods come with the burden of unhealthy saturated fats, growth hormones, chemical residues (meat and poultry), toxins like PCBs, and heavy metals (in many types of fish). Animals raised for food also for the first time in history are generating more greenhouse gases than trains, planes, and automobiles and are contributing mightily to both land and water degradation, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Every meatless meal you have can make a difference.