We have a long, cold winter here in Vermont. While beautiful and inspiring (who doesn’t love a winter wonderland?), it definitely takes some patience and stamina to make it through to the warmer days of April. Here are some winter wellness recipes I use to help my family and friends endure the chill and boost their immunity—and this medicine comes straight from the produce department! Enjoy in good health… —Jovial King, founder & CEO
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large white onions, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 thumb’s worth of ginger cut into 4 chunks.
- 8-12 shitake mushrooms
- 2 carrots chopped*
- Miso paste
In a large soup pot gently warm the olive oil on very low heat, then add chopped onions and ginger. Saute for 15 minutes, then add 3 of the 4 cloves of garlic, and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Next, add the shitakes and carrots, and sautée for 3 more minutes. Add 12 cups of water. Raise heat, then simmer until the carrots are soft, 15-20 minutes. Let the soup cool a few moments and serve the broth into individual bowls. Add a large, heaping tablespoon of miso to each bowl of soup, mixing until dissolved.** Garnish each bowl with the remaining clove of pressed garlic so there is a bit of raw garlic in each serving for an extra potent antibiotic hit.
This is a great remedy as the days get cooler and during all the winter months. It helps to support a healthy digestive and immune system.
*Can add other vegetables like delicata squash and celery.
**Miso is a living food. To preserve its probiotic, healing qualities be sure to add it once the soup has been removed from the burner and has cooled slightly.
Thyme Decongesting Steam
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme, chopped finely, stem and all
Boil 4 cups of water. Add water to a ceramic bowl, or some vessel that holds in heat. Add the thyme into the bowl and immediately cover it to hold in all the essential oils of the thyme. Find a cozy spot to sit. Get a full-size bathroom towel. Begin by draping it over your head and over the pot creating a tent. Next, remove the top from the vessel–opening the lid slowly away from you to prevent a steam burn (if the steam feels too hot, give it a few minutes to cool). Breathe deeply and relax, inhaling the thyme steam for 10 minutes. Caution–keep eyes closed so the essential oil doesn’t irritate them.
A faster option is to buy some thyme essential oil and drop one or two drops on the ground in your shower and turn on the hot water. As you shower, inhale the essential oil. Either of these options are a great way to keep your lungs healthy for the winter months.
Sage Healthy Throat Gargle
- Pint glass of water
- Bunch of fresh sage, chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
Boil water in a small sauce pan. Once the water boils, turn it off and add sage. Cover immediately to preserve the therapeutic essential oils of the sage. Allow the herbal infusion to cool while steeping, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain into a mason jar, discarding the sage. Add salt so that the tea is just a bit salty to taste. Use the soothing homemade throat gargle for one minute every few hours if you have a sore throat.