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When you’re feeling sluggish, there are certain ingredients that can pick you right up. Whether it’s your mood that needs lifting, your tummy that needs healing, your headache that needs soothing or your energy that needs a big boost — make these recipes that use various holistic ingredients and spices that can help get you back to your happy place.
This zesty soup packs a punch, making it the ultimate antidote for fall sniffles. Ginger is not only a staple in Indian cuisine, but it’s also known for its immune-boosting properties and used to help treat headaches, nausea and more. Puree the ingredients in a blender, add the spices and leave it to simmer until you’re ready to cozy up on the couch.
You may have seen something called a “golden milk latte” at your local coffee shop recently and wondered what the fuss was about. It’s steamed milk mixed with turmeric, sometimes ground ginger and ground cinnamon and honey. The drink is nothing new for South Asian households who have been drinking “haldi doodh,” or “turmeric milk,” for centuries to treat colds and sore throats. It’s sweet, earthy and deliciously calming, and you don’t need to drop $5 on it.
From lattes to supplements, turmeric has become popular outside of the South Asian diaspora because of its health benefits. It is promoted as a supplement to help treat arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory infections, allergies, liver disease, depression and more. A tablespoon of the bright yellow powder goes a long way in these crispy homemade root chips with carrots, beets, purple sweet potatoes and parsnips.
This hearty dish uses the ultimate fall superfood, sweet potatoes, with an added extra crunch of pecans. Bright orange sweet potatoes contain high amounts of magnesium, which is known as one of the best minerals for promoting relaxation, calmness and a better mood.
This vibrant curry is great for when the winter nights start to draw in. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins A and B as well as iron and potassium, while spinach is a known superfood. The sweet potatoes are a natural pairing with Indian spices in this plant-based dish.
For a non-alcoholic sip to warm up your soul, make this spiced cider with cinnamon, allspice, honey and cloves. Cloves are commonly used to treat a number of issues in ayurvedic medicine, which is traditional Indian medicine that relies on a “natural” and holistic approach to physical and mental health. Cloves are thought to clear a foggy mind and alleviate colds and cough. It’s no wonder this is the ideal sip on a cold, wintery night.
Cumin, the nutty and aromatic spice used in many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help fight infections. The spice also has the potential to improve gut health and aid headaches. You can use it in numerous ways, and these cumin-flavored crispy potatoes are just one option that’s delicious as a side for dinner or even with breakfast scrambled eggs.
Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, which is a phytochemical that may help fight off viruses, lower blood sugar levels, keep diabetes at bay, lower cholesterol and protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Sure, you can sprinkle some dashes into your oatmeal or French toast, but if you can make truffles instead, why wouldn't you?
This is a creamy, dreamy, dairy-free shake. Soaking the almonds overnight punches up the richness and when blended with frozen bananas, the texture is smooth and silky, just like an ice cream shake. Cinnamon is also an antioxidant with anti-cancer properties and its use as a remedy for respiratory and digestive issues goes back centuries.
Not that anyone needs an excuse to eat chocolate or to make fudge, but studies have generally found that dark chocolate or cocoa can improve mood and decrease stress levels. This Indian fudge uses milk powder, cream, cocoa powder and sweetened condensed milk with earthy crushed cardamom and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.
Almonds add a wonderful texture to green salads and are rich in vitamin E, fiber and biotin, which is helpful for hair growth. Almonds also contain nutrients that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Healthy gut, happy you. Toss some in this fresh endive salad with salty sun-dried tomatoes for a quick and easy dinner or lunch.
If you’re looking for a new game day snack, these roasted spiced almonds will hit all the right notes. Raw almonds coated in coconut oil and sprinkled with ground cinnamon, ground chili powder, cocoa powder and sea salt — salty, spicy, sweet and crunchy. Yum.
This seafood dish uses vibrant spices like cumin and turmeric as well as simple ingredients like fresh lemon juice and garlic. There’s also a generous dash of cayenne pepper — the perfect spice to use anytime you want to add some heat. Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, which has been shown to provide pain relief caused by arthritis and types of nerve damage.
Chewy and sticky dates can satisfy a craving for sweets without artificial sugars. Dates are high in potassium, which is an electrolyte vital for the normal functioning of nerve and muscle cells. These date balls are almost like healthy truffles, and you can choose your adventure when it comes to the flavors.
You might only associate beets with Dwight Schrute from “The Office,” though you should consider incorporating them into your own diet. The pink-hued vegetable is sweet and crispy when eaten raw or in salads, but it also makes a fun sauce for grilled fish and goes great as a side to fried empanadas or samosas, or as a dip for some roasted vegetables. Beetroots have naturally high levels of nitrates, which gets converted into a compound that widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
Black garlic has an umami type of flavor — aged and salty — and the interior texture is similar to that of a fig. It pairs surprisingly well with Brussels sprouts, which in this recipe are roasted in the oven until charred until they're almost burnt and then tossed in a tomato paste, coconut oil and paprika coating. There is ongoing research on the health benefits of black garlic, but one study showed that aged garlic may protect against many types of cardiovascular disorders.
To give your usual bowl of cereal a glow up, replace it with this buckwheat breakfast bowl. You can use a rice cooker to precook the buckwheat — which actually doesn’t contain any wheat — making it gluten free and high in both protein and fiber. It’s also a great source of energy to pick you up during a winter slump. The smell of coconut and cinnamon wafting through the air is reason alone to make this.
Dhal directly translates to lentil, but when cooks refer to it, they generally mean a spiced Indian lentil soup that’s served with rice. You can make dhal any consistency you like — thick and chunky or thin and soupy — and with any kind of lentil. Regardless of your preference, it's super easy to make, naturally vegan and full of healing spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic and cumin. But the best part? Dhal is one of the easiest Indian recipes you can make at home.
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