Helpful Herbs for Cold and Flu

Hello Hardy Canadians! Winter is NOT the time to back off on the vegetable intake. Keeping your body and immune system strong is the best way to avoid those nasty colds and flu bugs that are goiOreganong around. Home-made stews and soups loaded with vegetables is the way to go on these chilly days. Be sure to toss in a handful of fresh herbs for the last few minutes of cooking as many such as Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Sage and Rosemary have medicinal properties that aid in reducing symptoms associated with colds and flu. Oregano has the highest antioxidant value and is loaded with antiseptic compounds. Most of these herbs are useful as hot teas or used externally for pain and inflammation.


Peanut butter Banana Smoothie

Get the kids on board with smoothies for breakfast or as a snack.
Blend until smooth
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt (with live bacterial culture)
1 cup pure apple juice
1 banana
1 heaping tsp Natural peanut butter (sugar free)
1 heaping tbsp ground flax
4 chopped dates

Banana Mango Smoothie

Ease into your morning with sweet mango flavor and a little
Zing of ginger, known to aid digestion and reduce inflammation.

Pour into a blender
1 cup Astro Original plain yogurtBananMango
1 cup 100% pineapple juice
1 Ataulfo mango, peeled
1 banana
½ cup ice water
1 heaping tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp olive oil, or Omega 3 fish oil
Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins (GF, Nut free)


Whip up a quick and easy snack – gluten and nut free to boot!

Melt 1/4 cup butter (or coconut to be dairy free)
Beat together with 2 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
Mix in 1 cup certified GF oats
1/2 cup oats ground to flour (coffee grinder works great!)
1/4 cup oat bran
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
½ cup brown or cane sugar
3 tsp GF baking powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 & ½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup washed raisins or chopped dates.
Stir well, add water as needed to dough consistency.
Spoon into greased muffin tin. Bake 400 degree oven for
20-25 minutes or until toothpick test comes clean.

Banana Date Energy Balls (GF)

date balls

Just two or three with their natural sugars, carbohydrates, fiber and a little fat will help you recover after some healthy activity.
Simmer 1 cup of Dates in a small amount of water until soft. Mash well.
Stir in 1 cup of Oatmeal, 1 tbsp Coconut oil, add a little more water, cook for 1 minute.
(Use certified gluten free oats)
Remove from heat and cool.
Mash 1 ripe banana and add
1 heaping tsp cocoa
2 heaping tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp cinnamon, large pinch of ground cloves then stir into date mixture.
Roll 1 inch balls in organic unsweetened shredded coconut.


Fight the Cold/ Flu Bug with Echinacea

Echinacea (eh-kin-a-shia)

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Species of this herb are native to North America and were traditionally used as remedies by the Great Plains Indian tribes. Also known by other names, American Cone Flower, Black Sampson, Black Susans, Brauneria Angustifolia, Brauneria Pallida, Comb Flower, Coneflower, Echinacea Augustifolia, Echinacea Pallida, and Echinacea Purpurea.
The leaves, flower and root of Echinacea are used widely to fight infections, especially the common cold and other upper respiratory infections. Those who use this herb to treat symptoms have the right idea. Research to date shows that echinacea probably modestly reduces the duration and severity of cold symptoms by stimulating the immune system. As it is an immune booster, recommendations suggest only using it short term, 2 – 4 days. Caution should be used for those with auto-immune disease.
Echinacea seems to activate chemicals in the body that decrease inflammation, which might reduce cold and flu symptoms. It also may contain some chemicals that can attack yeast and other kinds of fungi directly.
Commercially available products come in tablet form, juice, and tea.
There are concerns about the quality of some echinacea products on the market. Echinacea products are frequently mislabeled, and some may not even contain the herb, despite label claims. Don’t be fooled by the term “standardized.” It doesn’t necessarily indicate accurate labeling.

Quinoa Eggnog Pancakes

A nutritious whole grain serving made easy with this hearty breakfast.checker board 4inch copy

Melt 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil in a bowl, then add
¼ cup Quinoa flour
¼ cup organic corn meal
½ cup white rice flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 heaping tbsp cane sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
Stir in ¾ cup eggnog, + 1 egg
Beat together, adding a little extra milk to make
pourable batter consistency.
Heat tbsp of olive oil on medium/low in a frypan or griddle
Flip when batter forms bubbles. Makes about 7, 5 inch pancakes
Serve with blueberries and yogurt, or drizzle with maple syrup.