The Nor’easter has arrived here in New York City and I am hibernating… and cooking!
Sadly, there are still so many New Yorkers without power, water, heat, or shelter from Hurricane Sandy . It is important for all of us to keep our immune systems strong and to stay upbeat as colder weather approaches. Many New Yorkers tend to get seasonal depressive disorder (SAD). The best way to beat SAD is through proper nutrition.
By incorporating staples such as ginger, carrots, pumpkin, and apples to your food, you can protect yourself from getting sick or depressed. These foods have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help to ward off colds, coughs, and the sniffles.
A soup that I made yesterday for my volunteer work with the seniors at Mount Sinai Medical Center is a quick and easy carrot ginger onion soup.
All you need is one pound or a 16 ounce bag of organic carrots, a small onion, fresh chopped ginger, and 32 ounces of vegetable stock. Chop up the onion and saute the onions for about 5 minutes in an oiled pan. I used grapeseed oil. Then add the ginger and chopped up carrots and pour in 32 ounces of vegetable stock. Let boil then simmer. Total cook time is about 10 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Pour into a blender and blend. Voila! Your healthy, hearty carrot ginger onion soup is done! This recipe will serve 4 people. The only thing missing was that I wanted to garnish the soup with cilantro or Italian parsley. Season to your liking with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper.
And finally, incorporating pumpkin, ginger, and applesauce, I made gluten-free, soy free, sugar free Pumpkin Ginger muffins. That means no wheat flour and no artificial sugar were used to make these muffins. Instead, I used one cup of applesauce for sweetness. Any sugar in this recipe is sugar already found in the apples or pumpkins naturally.
For added antioxidant benefit and additional sweetness, you can add dark cacao pieces or candied ginger or dried apricots and walnuts.
Recipe for my gluten-free and sugar-free pumpkin ginger muffins:
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (with xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove
2 tablespoon fresh ground ginger
2 tablespoon chopped candied ginger
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink sea salt
Here are most of the ingredients I used to make these muffins. Some of these ingredients will last for a few more baking sessions!
So as the winter approaches, try and keep your fridge stocked with carrots, ginger, onions, lemon juice, and garlic. These staples also can last for a while in your fridge without going bad. And if the weather is as bad as it is today and tomorrow, get creative at home with these ingredients and make something healthy and tasty!