3 Immune-Supporting Foods Plus Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner and Dessert

Blueberries and Yogurt

Blueberries contain the antioxidant Anthocyanins, while yogurt contains healthy bacteria that help keep the digestive tract free of disease-causing germs. Photo: Brett Stevens

Give your health a leg up and add three edible immune-supporting dynamos from Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard into your dietary portfolio. 

Plus, we’ve gone through our archives to bring you breakfast and dinner recipes and a sweet (and healthy snack) for those in-between cravings using these superfoods.

Elderberry

The high content of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant and flavonoid, in elderberry has made it a proposed treatment for the flu. Drink the juice or use the cooked fruit as a topping. The key is the colours blue and purple. Other dark blue/purple berries, such as blackberries and blueberries, along with red cabbage and black plums, also contain anthocyanins. But there’s more. Scientists at Johns Hopkins have noted that these high-anthocyanin fruits and veggies can even improve the healthy function of our lungs, even as we age. Try this twist on your morning granola. 

Recipes

Golden Granola Cups with Greek Yogurt & Berries 

(Courtesy of Bite Me More)

Start your day off right with this delicious breakfast of golden baked granola cups filled with creamy Greek yogurt and fresh berries.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp orange juice, divided
1/4 tsp orange zest
1 cup mixed blueberries, (black or red) raspberries and blackberries

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

2) For the granola , in a large bowl, combine oats, flour, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Press mixture into the base and up the sides of the prepared muffin cups. Bake 10-12 minutes, remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

3) To assemble, in a small bowl mix yogurt, 1 tsp orange juice and orange zest. Fill each oatmeal cup with yogurt. Toss berries with remaining 1 tbsp orange juice and top yogurt with fruit.

Makes 12 granola cups

Yogurt

Yogurt with live cultures contain healthy bacteria that help keep the digestive tract free of disease-causing germs. Look for low-fat or skim milk varieties and make sure it has live cultures. Here’s a recipe that puts a little fun into “an apple a day…” with the addition of yogurt.

Red Prince Apple Frozen Yogurt Pops

(Courtesy of Binkley Apples and Global Fruit)

Ingredients
2 Red Prince apples
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt

Directions
1) Peel, core and finely dice 1 apple. Place a small sauté pan over medium high heat, add diced apple and maple syrup. Simmer for about 10 minutes until water has evaporated and apples are slightly translucent, glossy and sticky. Place apples in a large bowl to cool.

2) Core and finely shred 1 apple with a grater and add to bowl. Stir in yogurt.

3) Spoon mixture into popsicle molds and freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.

Tip: Add 1 tbsp finely minced fresh mint for a refreshing twist.

Makes 10 pops

Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain lectins, which have been shown in clinical trials to have antiviral properties. Optimize the abundance of phytochemicals and nutrients found in the fungi by serving as a main dish. Want to incorporate more mushrooms into your diet? Try this recipe below, which also features brain-healthy fish.

Recipes

Mushroom-Crusted Sole 

(Courtesy of Bite Me More)

Here, fillets of sole are topped with a mushroom medley and baked to tasty perfection.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 lb chopped fresh mushrooms (can use a variety of button, shiitake, cremini)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 (6oz) sole fillets, about 1/2-inch thick

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.

2) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, stirring until softened, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until the liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated. Remove mushroom mixture from heat and add chicken broth, wine, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and panko. Stir to combine the mixture should stick together.

3) Pat fish dry with paper towel and place on prepared baking sheet. Top fillets with mushroom mixture, patting down to cover the whole piece. Bake 10-12 minutes, until topping becomes slightly crusty.

Serves 4

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