The trees are about to show just how beautiful letting go can be.
As autumn approaches the trees turn amber, crimson and yellow, the air gets crisp and the evenings get longer. For me, this means it’s time to break out the sweaters and boots, make a big pot of soup and get ready for Netflix in bed. Fall is literally my favorite season of the year, not only because the fruits and vegetables in the supermarkets change (think persimmons, pomegranates, squash, broccoli and kale), but also because the season is simply gorgeous. And who doesn’t like to go to bed at 9:00pm? Yes, autumn is here and it is indeed a beautiful season.
When it comes to preparing meals in the fall, a simple, but nutritious soup is the perfect remedy for a cold day. And, speaking of cold (cold and flu season), I try to pack my soups with as many vitamin C rich foods as possible, to ensure my immune system is getting the nutrients it needs to run optimally. I also break out the vitamin D supplements, due to less sunshine and douse myself with Thieves oil to ward off any unwanted bugs. Thieves oil basically becomes my spicey signature scent for autumn and winter: cloves, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus. Have a look at my posts below to read about the top 10 immune boosting foods, the importance of Vitamin D for the immune system, what thieves oil is and how to make it yourself:
So let’s talk about vitamin C and why its important to make sure you are getting vitamin C rich foods into your diet all the time, but most importantly during cold and flu season.
The Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamins C is essential for the healing process and overall immune function. It is also crucial for collagen formation in the skin and is a co-factor for iron absorption. More importantly, it yields antioxidant protection in the body. (Murray, 2005) Because Vitamin C is one of the body’s most important antioxidants and the body cannot make it, it is very important to incorporate Vitamin C rich foods and/or a supplement to ensure proper levels in the body. Particularly, Vitamin C is high in bioflavonoids, which have been shown to protect vitamin C and preserve its action. They also work together to help protect against inflammation, which is important for reducing stress on the body. (Bauman, 2015)
The optimal daily allowance of vitamin C is 1,000 mg. However, a therapeutic dose of 500-1,000 mg of vitamin C three times a day is recommended for those under extreme stress, during illness or until the bowel can tolerate. (Bauman, 2015) Excellent food sources of vitamin C include rose hip tea, acerola, guavas, red chili peppers, parsley, kale, sweet red and yellow peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, spinach, tomato, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and collard leaves. (Murray, 2005)
Now, let’s combine a few of these amazing foods and create a beautiful, nourishing and immune boosting autumn meal! First, an autumn broccoli soup and second, a quick recipe for baked sweet potato fries with Italian herbs that can be dipped in homemade garlic hummus (garlic is amazing for the immune system too), paired with avocado or even dipped in your delicious autumn broccoli soup.
Autumn Broccoli Soup
- 3 small heads of organic broccoli
- 1/2 c. frozen organic peas
- 1/2 med. chopped sweet or yellow onion
- 1-2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tbs. minced or chopped ginger (optional)
- 2 1/2 c. organic vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. pink sea salt
- 1/4 c. coconut milk (optional)
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tbs. lemon zest
- Sautee onion in a pot with the EVOO until tender.
- Add in ginger and garlic and cook for about one more minute.
- Add in broccoli, lemon juice, zest, salt and vegetable broth, bring to boil.
- When broccoli is tender add in frozen peas, turn down heat to low and simmer until peas are no longer frozen.
- Once the peas are cooked, allow soup to cool for 10-15 minutes and add to blender.
- Puree soup in blender, add more vegetable broth until soup reaches desired consistency.
- Pour soup into pot over a low temperature and add coconut milk if desired.
- Divide into two bowls and top with your favorite leafy green, chili flakes or a dollop of Coyo coconut yogurt.
Baked Potato Fries
- 1 large sweet potato or yam
- 1 medium to large purple potato
- 1 tsp. virgin coconut oil (to grease sheet)
- 1-2 tsp. EVOO to coat fries
- 2 tsp. dried Italian herbs
- 1/4 tsp. pink sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash potatoes and/or yams, dry and chop into wedges or fries.
- Grease baking sheet with virgin coconut oil.
- Spread fries out evenly on greased baking sheet.
- Sprinkle fries with EVOO, sea salt and Italian herbs.
- Bake fries for 30-35 minutes until tender and crisp on the edges.
- Divide into four portions and pair with soup or dip.
Pair these delicious fries with your homemade Autumn Broccoli Soup or blend up a batch of homemade garlic hummus for an extra boost of immune boosting power. And don’t forget to break out the cozy socks and get your Netflix marathon started with your loved ones.
In divine health,
Bauman, E. (2015). Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook, Part 1. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.
Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.