Here at Cooking them Healthy we embrace the change in seasons, as the colours begin to change and leaves start to fall underfoot. For us, autumn conjures up lovely images of crisp golden walks and bonfire nights. It is also however the time of year when bugs and infections start to take hold, resulting in sniffles, coughs and colds.
Here at CTH we have come up with the perfect hand warming recipes for those bonfire nights and autumnal walks, focusing on plenty of supportive immune boosting ingredients.
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Coconut
Butternut squash is rich in immune boosting beta-carotene and vitamin C. Ginger and chilli provide wonderful warming support for the respiratory system. Coconut holds a wealth of health benefits including plenty of good fats, as well as unique antibacterial properties in the form of monolaurin and lauric acid.
- 1 cm piece of ginger grated
- 1 clove garlic, crushed and pasted
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into pieces about 1 inch thick
- 1 small mild chilli finely chopped(check on your tongue for heat levels)
- 250ml vegetable or chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- 1/2 can coconut milk (approx 200ml)
- Chopped coriander and a sprinkle of paprika to serve
- Melt a little coconut oil in a medium saucepan and cook your onion until soft. Next add in your garlic and ginger and cook for no more than a minute. Then the butternut chunks and chopped chilli. Give everything a good stir and add in the stock.
- Place a lid on and cook for 10-15 minutes until butternut is cooked through.
- Take off the heat and pulse with a hand blender until smooth. Finally add in the coconut milk.
- Garnish with coriander and paprika and serve.
- For adults this is delicious with a pinch of salt.
CTH TOP TIP:
Try to include plenty of our nutritious favourites such as plenty of garlic, ginger, onions, spices, tinned tomatoes, homemade stock, sweet potato, leafy greens and berries (frozen is fine) to your little ones diets during the colder months. These foods are rich in immune boosting nutrients and to help to support their bodies to naturally fight off bugs, as well as help to aid recovery after an infection.
Spiced Potato Cakes
These gently spiced potato cakes make a lovely warming snack, particularly good dipped into hot soup. The peas add a hit of immune boosting vitamin C. We prefer to use spelt flour in place of plain flour as it can be easier on the digestive system, and we also love using spices to add plenty of flavour as well as useful health supporting antioxidants.
Makes approx 8-10 cakes
- 450g cold mashed potato
- 30g spelt flour
- 50g cooked peas
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
Heat a little coconut oil in a saucepan on a medium heat and add the onions. Sweat them down gently until translucent and soft and then add the crushed garlic. Next, add in your spices and cook out for up to a minute.
In a bowl place the mashed potato and add the spiced onions. Add the egg and sprinkle in the flour. Give everything a good stir, either with a wooden spoon or with your hands (this is great to do with the kids just make sure the onions are not too hot). Combine everything well.
Heat a generous tablespoon of coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan and add a large tablespoon of the potato mix to the pan. Depending on the size of your pan add in more spoonfuls – I usually aim for about 4 or 5 but you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Allow the potato cakes to cook for around 2 minutes before attempting to turn. Flip them over to the other side and you should see a lovely brown lacing effect over the cake from where you have browned the potato. Continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the cake is hot all the way through.
They are quite soft when straight from a pan but firm up brilliantly when cooled slightly. They are perfect eaten warm (or even cold) in your hands and are ideal for dipping into lovely hot soup.
You can make up different variations of this recipe to your tastes – why not try adding parmesan cheese and dried herbs?
Honey & Mustard Chicken Drumsticks
This is a truly easy recipe and one thats great to do with your children to get them learning about meat. This provides a wonderful hit of protein which is ideal for their growing bodies.
Serves 4 small kids
- 4 chicken drumsticks or thighs
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Place your chicken into a bowl, then pour over the honey and the mustard and allow your children to get their hands in and massage the marinade into the meat.
Leave to marinade for up to 30 minutes.
Next, place the chicken into a roasting tin and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked through, the fibres of the meat are set and the juices run clear.
Good to take some tissues to wrap around the drumstick bone as if eaten as finger food they can get sticky!
Baked Crumble Apples
Baked apples are the perfect autumnal treat, bang in season and full of sweet spiced flavours. This recipe forms almost a self-contained apple crumble, full of goodness from the nuts & seeds and fibre & B vitamins from the oats. It also contains no refined sugar, with honey and sultanas providing a hit of sweetness.
- 4 x normal eating apples
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 30g chilled butter, finely chopped
- 20g walnuts, finely chopped
- 20g oats
- 20g sultanas
- 20g seeds (mixed seeds such as sunflower, pumpkins etc)
- 2 tbsps honey
- 100ml water
Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Slice the top off the apples and remove the core.
Mix together the finely chopped butter, sultanas, seeds, nuts and oats and stuff inside each apple.
Place the apples in a casserole or heatproof dish and pour in the water. Drizzle the apples with the honey.
Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes and baste every 10 minutes or so. You want them to be soft and cooked all the way through. Serve warm or hot with fresh cream or greek/natural yoghurt.