4 Days til Winter
Tip: Winter to a Tea.
As we move from the humidity of summer to the cooler, dry weather of winter we appear to sweat less and tend to drink less as our thirst sensation seems to decrease. However the dry skin and moodiness that we often attribute to central heating and grey, wet days spent indoors may actually be a sign that your body is dehydrated. Drinking enough water is as important in winter as it is in summer. Of course a tall glass of icy cold water is far less appealing in winter, so why not make your up 8 glasses of water per day with warming mugs of herbal teas, fruit infusions or broth soups?
The majority of our immune system is found in our intestines. The good bacteria that line the walls of the gastrointestinal tract protect us from harmful bacteria by competing for space and food, altering the chemical environment to be less hospitable to invading pathogens and by regulating the inflammatory immune response.
Probiotic bacteria are found in fermented foods. The fermenting of vegetables, legumes and dairy products produces beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.
Including a daily dose of probiotic foods will give your immune system an extra boost to keep you healthy this winter.
Probiotic foods include: miso paste, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha.
*Note: Good bacteria need feeding too. Prebiotic foods contain insoluble fibre which feeds and supports the growth of the probiotic bacteria. Prebiotic foods include: leeks, artichokes, garlic, onion, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, fennel, barley, oats, chickpeas and lentils. Include a serve of prebiotic foods daily.
Recipe of the day: Miso soup.
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup made from stock (dashi) and miso paste. Miso is made with fermented soy beans. Darker miso has been fermented for longer and has a richer, stronger taste, whereas white miso has a lighter, sweeter taste. Which one you use just depends on your taste preference.
Miso soup may be sipped as a warm drink or vegetables and rice noodles can be added to make it a nourishing lunch.
Miso is traditionally made with tofu, but in this recipe I have substituted it with tempeh (a fermented soybean product) to maximise the probiotic benefits.
1 litre dashi, bone broth or chicken/vegetable stock
1-2 sheets Nori seaweed (for sushi) in strips (cut with a clean pair of scissors)
75g miso paste
3 spring onions, finely sliced
150g tempeh, grated or diced
Place the dashi/stock in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. reduce heat to low.
Place the miso paste in a small bowl. Add a little of the stock, stirring until miso dissolves. Add the miso mixture to the saucepan and gently stir to combine. *It is important not to boil the miso as this will kill the probiotic bacteria
Divide the grated tempeh and nori between the serving bowls
Ladle miso soup evenly among serving bowls. Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately.