(Drinkable) flu fighters

by Claire Matlock

When you’re sick, it’s important to give your body a break. Stay warm, sleep, eat light (giving your body the chance to dedicate as much of its energy to healing versus digesting) and instead drink healthy fluids. The first of three recipes for such fluids is a delicious morning smoothie. It’s packed with vitamin C and ginger to cut through the phlegm. Second, you’ll see a classic green smoothie. I would put this drink in the “preventative” category. I enjoy one everyday and I haven’t had the flu in two years. You don’t need to include every ingredient—some of them are quite “hippy-dippy”—but do include as many nutrients as you have available. Using banana and avocado make the greenness palatable. Lastly, a hot and spicy homemade Neocitran will help you sweat out the sickness. For more drink recipes, you can visit my cooking blog’s drinks page.


Sunrise Smoothie

Persimmons can be found at Canadian grocery stories during the winter season. Many of us see them, but have never tried them. Here’s a chance to try the tropical fruit. They are delicate and sweet in flavour. Fuyu persimmons (short and squat like a tomato) can be eaten when they are still firm. On the other hand hachiya persimmons must be eaten when they feel like a water-balloon in your hands. If not, they will taste bitter and soapy. Either variety is ideal for this smoothie. Should you use the firmer kind, remember to balance it out with ingredients that will make the drink just as creamy such as some avocado.

1 very ripe persimmon

1 very ripe frozen banana

half of a mango

knob of fresh ginger, grated

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 tbsp psyllium husk

quarter of an avocado, optional

stevia, to taste

water, to desired consistency

ice, to desired consistency

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Green Smoothie

1 very ripe frozen banana

huge handful of spinach

huge handful of kale (Leave out the stems because they’ll make it woody.)

handful of sprouts

1 scoop vegan protein powder

1 tbsp wheatgrass powder

2 tsp spirulina

2 tbsp liquid chlorophyll

2 tbsp soaked chia seeds

1 tbsp dry psyllium husk

1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds

1/2 tbsp hemp seeds

1/2 tbsp bee pollen

water or almond milk, to desired consistency

ice, to desired consistency

quarter of an avocado

  1. Combine all ingredients excluding the avocado in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add the avocado only once it looks ready to drink. Treat it like melting butter into ready mashed potatoes. If you add it any sooner, its precious ability to make your smoothie silky and luscious will be lost in a muddle of froth.

Homemade Neocitran

No recipe needed for this one. Simply boil a pot of water and then steep a big piece of fresh ginger or dried hot pepper such as cayenne, half of a lemon and a splash of maple syrup. If desired, you can add a splash of cough syrup to clear your throat as you drink.

(Drinkable) flu fighters (2)
Let ginger send that cold packing

Redefining yellow snow

by Danielle Del Vicario

“Don’t eat the yellow snow!” As Canadian kids, we are all familiar with this credo of near Biblical weight. And yet, it probably didn’t stop us from indulging in handfuls of new-fallen white flakes, scooped up from branches, railings and other so-called “safe zones”.

There’s something particularly special about the sensation of melting snow running across your tongue and it’s not something that needs to be abandoned with childhood. When I was little, my mom used to make snow slush by adding concentrated Kool-Aid to a big jug of the white stuff. In keeping with tradition (while giving it a more adult spin), I’ve developed three syrups to make snow come alive. (Not literally, of course.) The wintery flavours of cranberry, chai and salted caramel give snow a subtle warmth despite the cold and can be paired with a shot of liqueur for a truly Canadian cocktail (see recipes for recommendations).