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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Unusual flu solutions to recovering fast

Sonal Ved, Hindustan Times   December 03, 2013
First Published: 17:13 IST(3/12/2013) | Last Updated: 17:24 IST(3/12/2013)

There’s a nip in the air and we’re in the beginning of what Mumbaikars can vaguely call winter. With the mercury going down, and the recent haze that the city witnessed, your chances of catching a cold or flu go up.

We ask Chef Paul Kinny from InterContinental Marine Drive to share recipes that can help you battle the virus — without going the usual lemon-and-honey tonic way.

Detoxifying green smoothie
Ingredients:
n 1/2 cup green cucumber, 1/4 cup spinach leaves (washed and chopped), 5 ml lemon juice, salt to taste

Method:
In a blender, blitz cucumber, spinach and lemon juice into a fine puree. Add water to adjust consistency. Run mixture through a sieve and discard molasses. Season with salt and serve. Do not serve this juice too cold, simply add some ice cubes and remove them in 1-2 minutes.

Why it works
One of the best ways to keep illness away during this time of the year is to keep detoxifying your body. Green smoothies work best in order to clear toxin accumulations from the body. Spinach leaves are loaded with iron and fibre that keep energy levels at par, while cucumber will keep your body hydrated.


Quick flu stew
Ingredients:
n 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, 1 onion (chopped), 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 clove garlic (minced), 2 potatoes (boiled and finely chopped), 2 carrots (finely chopped), 1 cube of squash (boil and finely chopped), salt and pepper as per taste, 1/2 cup boiled pasta (optional)

Method:
In a pot, heat oil and sauté onions until pink. Add garlic and other vegetables and continue stirring. Season with salt and pepper and add chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer soup for a few minutes or until it begins to bubble. Add plain water or stock to adjust consistency. Add pasta and serve warm.

Why it works
For minor flues, this stew is hearty. Sometimes, suffering from flu kills the hunger and a hot soup warms the system from within, stirring your appetite. What’s more, the vegetables used here keep you full for longer. Adding pasta to this soup will turn it into a meal.


Orange and coconut flu-busting drink
Ingredients:
n 1 cup fresh orange juice, 2 cups fresh coconut milk, 2 tsp grated ginger, 1 tbsp honey (optional), juice of one lemon

Method:
In a jug, mix orange juice with coconut milk. Add ginger and lemon juice. If you want it sweet, add honey. Slightly cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and serve immediately.

Why it works
Vitamin C has tremendous flu fighting and immunity building benefits. Since this drink is loaded with orange juice which is a powerhouse of vitamin C, it strengthens your system. Coconuts are rich in lauric acid, known for its antibacterial properties, which boosts the immune system and helps fight flu. The ginger in this drink is used to sooth a sore throat.


Cleansing chia seed and lemon water
Ingredients:
n 1 tbsp chia seeds, few cups of water, jaggery syrup as per taste, juice of one lemon

Method:
Soak chia seeds overnight and drain out the water next
morning. Add fresh water, lemon juice, jaggery syrup and stir well. Sip through the day.

Why it works
Nothing cleanses your body better than water. Add a few spoons of chia seeds and you have a power-packed drink. Chia seeds have been recognised for their protein content and high antioxidant nature. A few drops of jaggery syrup, which is a natural sweetener, and lemon juice had flavour to this drink.


Immunity-building cereal smoothie
Ingredients:
n 1 large banana, 1/2 cup unflavoured cereal, 100 gm yogurt, 30 ml wild honey, 100 ml milk

Method:
Chop bananas into big chunks and place them in a mixer. Add yogurt, wild honey and milk to this and blend well. Coarsely grind the cereal and add to the smoothie. Stir well and serve immediately.

Why it works
This smoothie is loaded with bananas which keep your sugar levels in check, give you energy and provide ample calcium. The fruit is especially beneficial for those who skip breakfast, since it is wholesome. One glass will keep you going until lunch time.


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