Golden Mango Immune-Boosting Smoothie

Here in coastal Virginia, winter is trying to die. We've had a few days of brilliant sunshine which have reminded some of us that there's this really huge star called the Sun that sometimes does this cool thing where it kisses us with immune-boosting vitamin D. Other times, though, it seems like summertime and sunshine and fresh produce and not having to worry about getting the flu every time another human looks in your direction is but a dream.
This week I was just feeling vaguely off with mood-swings, headaches, and a throat that felt like knives. Turns out I'd miscalculated certain dates which explained half the problem, but the throat part - I really don't have time for strep. To cope with the news that I might be approaching a rare sick-day and to combat all the symptoms, it was time to reach into the Food Medicine Kit. I don't think that food can heal you all the way but I know that our bodies are created to do something pretty amazing with the food we give them and some vitamins and nutrients are so much more effective when absorbed through the food we need and not just taken in tablet form! So whenever I feel a cough and cold trying to come on, I now reach for a combination of these three things and do my best to ward it off. The bone-broth is both delicious and comforting to sip, the cinnamon and honey paste is my secret super-power nobody else will try, and this smoothie is just...well, it's just perfect for soothing a sore throat and getting your body back on its feet.



- bone-broth -
Yes, the whole world seems to be crazy about bone-broth. Is it any better for you than ordinary chicken broth? Does it have to be simmered for forty-eight hours like some recipes suggest? Can you just drink soup? My argument in favor of bone-broth would be that it does tend to include protein (great for energy when your throat is too sore to swallow anything of substance), a heck of a lot of collagen (beautiful for your skin), and generally tastes better sipped out of a mug than something that actually is soup. I don't know about you, but I don't really want to be sipping on a cup full of noodles! My favorite chicken bone broth I've ever made is what I've been sipping on! I made it from the bones of a rotisserie chicken and followed this recipe - it's quick, easy, and delicious! Alternatively, Pacific Organics makes a really delicious bone-broth that isn't terribly expensive. Still, there's something powerful feeling about making something so nourishing from a picked-over roasted chicken.

- cinnamon-honey paste -
Some people call me crazy and others swear by this little trick that I picked up somewhere and have since spread like good news wheresoever I detect a cold. The instant I feel my throat get scratchy or a cough beginning or my nose stuffing, I mix together a 50/50 paste of ground cinnamon and raw honey. Then I take a heaping teaspoon of the stuff every couple of hours for at least two days straight. Honey is known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and other healing properties while cinnamon has antiviral aspects. I don't know why this works, but if administered consistently, this remedy has always cut the duration of my colds in half, or even stopped them from becoming a full cold at all!

- mango immune-boosting smoothie -
Tieghan at Half-Baked Harvest got me started on this track when she posted the recipe for her winter citrus immune-boosting smoothie. It's a beautiful, red and gold smoothie PACKED with vitamins and antioxidants and minerals (hello beets!) and absolutely knocks it out of the park in the beauty department. Most days, though, I don't have the produce on hand (or time) to create a double-color smoothie. My favorite part of the smoothie, however, is the orange layer which Tieghan suggests using frozen mango to make and which I've also successfully made with frozen pineapple. I love how this smoothie warms your body from the inside out with its triple threat of ground turmeric, cayenne, and fresh, grated ginger and its vitamin-boost from orange juice and a squeeze of lemon. I have made this smoothie daily since starting to feel under the weather and at day three, my body has already responded to the powerful heat of this sunshine-flavored smoothie. I'm keeping it in my wellness regime and in case you want to try it too, the recipe is as follows:


golden mango immune-boosting smoothie
(serves 1)
1 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a high-powered blender till smooth, adding a splash of water if necessary to get things moving! Enjoy!
Stay well, friends! Drink plenty of water, avoid sugar, go to bed early, and wash your hands. I hope you all are able to avoid the dreaded flu and that if a cold starts approaching that you can ward it off with some of these tips and tricks. 

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