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The Tea-riffic Flu Fighters

by Shaina Blakesley

Flu Season has once again reared its ugly head back around with the intent of blanketing everyone with its mucus coat. With spring quickly approaching, you don’t want to miss out on the Vitamin D enriched sunshine.

Besides getting enough sleep, staying active and curbing stress, the best way to build your immunity is by eating healthy with the right foods.

Green tea is very beneficial to the human body and mind. Eastern cultures have been reaping the benefits from green tea since ancient times because of the positive effects it has on one’s health.

It strengths the immune agents and protects against oxidative stress, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and prevent autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis.

These three recipes contain the immune-fighting power of green tea.

Matcha, Matcha Man Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 packed cups of baby spinach
  • 1 ½ cups of strong brewed green tea, cooled

Instructions:

  1. Combine grapes, spinach, green tea, avocado and honey in a blender; blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted by Eating Well

Health-tea Stir Fried Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of udon or whole-wheat noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of loose green tea leaves or matcha green tea
  • 2 teaspoons of minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 scallions, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces of flavored baked tofu, cut into matchsticks (You can also use your favorite meat.)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

Optional:

  • Precooked “baked tofu” is firmer than water-packed tofu and comes in a wide variety of flavors. Flavors like teriyaki, thai and savory work the best in this recipe.

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  2. Heat a wok over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add tea leaves, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add tofu/meat and cook, stirring for two to three minutes. Add red and yellow bell peppers and cook, stirring until the peppers soften, one to two minutes.
  4. Stir in the noodles, scallions, soy sauce and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are heated through, about two to three minutes.
  5. Stir in sesame oil and pepper. Toss to combine.
  6. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy.

Recipe adapted by Eating Well

Never Too Matcha Pasta

Ingredients:

Serves Four

  • 400 grams of your favorite pasta noodles
  • 400 grams of diced zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon of matcha green tea
  • 1/4 cup of raisins, soaked in warm water, drained and patted dry (Optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of ground pistachios (Optional)
  • Handful of fresh fennel leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Over high heat, boil a pot of water for the pasta. When it boils, add the salt. Cook the pasta for about six to nine minutes, depending on preference.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the zucchini in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Continue tossing the pan until they darken.
  3. Add the raisins, matcha green powder and pistachios. Toss the ingredients together for about three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the cooked pasta, a little bit of water used for cooking the pasta and the fennel leaves.
  5. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.
  6. Enjoy.

Recipe adapted by Apron and Sneakers