50+ immunity-boosting recipes

The experts have spoken: loading up on one or two foods isn’t the way to give our immune systems a natural boost. Dieticians and doctors recommend making healthy food choices a habit, especially as we face winter cold and flu season.

Previously, we told you about some top immune-boosting foods like lean meats, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, yogurt, honey, ginger, garlic and other spices. The choices sound simple, but the recipes don’t have to be bland. Here’s a sampling of tasty ideas from around the web that use these healthy ingredients:


More reasons to not skip breakfast in the morning:

Berry Almond Crumble Oatmeal – add some anti-oxidants to selenium-packed oatmeal with this dessert-influenced idea.

Fruitful Morning Muesli – include some nuts, and this bowlful covers all four food groups.

Harvest Fruit Bars – oats, bananas and dried fruit make this bar easy to grab on the go.

Peach and Honey Omelette – honey and peaches add some sweetness to brunch.

Roasted Rhubarb with Ginger – spoon it over oatmeal or yogurt and granola for breakfast (or angel food cake or frozen yogurt for dessert — we won’t tell).

Teddy Grahams Fruit Toss – kids need a boost too, and the cookies add a hint of sweetness and fun.

Warm Grapefruit Tea – a delicious alternative to juice in the morning, made with honey and all spice berries.


Chicken soup may be the gold standard for comfort food, but there are many variations and plenty of other soups to warm you up:

Chicken and White Bean Soup with Herb Swirl – protein is essential for healing, and beans provide a little extra.

Chicken Soup with Loads of Vegetables – great for variety, this soup includes kohlrabi, turnip and parsnips.

Green-Tea Soy Broth – enjoy the benefits of green tea with this quick broth to serve over noodles, stir fry or meat.

Hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup – a good basic chicken soup with vegetables.

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Soup – this quick soup uses grilled or broiled vegetables, and it’s low-carb, low fat and low in sodium.

Ontario Winter Vegetable Soup – a mixture of bright colours and textures, including cabbage.

Oyster Soup Recipe – enjoy selenium and zinc-rich oysters in this pureed soup.

Roasted Garlic Soup – Need a strong-flavoured soup? This one fits the bill with garlic, leeks, onions and chives.

Hearty Orange Lentil Soup – fresh juice adds zest and vitamins to a flavourful winter soup.


Did we mention the importance of leafy greens? For some extra nutrients, swap spinach for leaf lettuce.

Orange Crab Salad – no unhealthy ingredients here! Oranges, avocadoes and red pepper team up with crab meat.

Oven Roasted Mushroom and Vegetable Salad – a healthy dose of mushrooms, garlic and veggies.

Raspberries, Marinated Goat Cheese & Toasted Pecan Salad – the dressing and berries provide a double dose of anti-oxidants, along with your choice of mixed greens.

Roast Chicken and Mango Salad with Yogurt – a delicious mixture of mango and lean chicken.

Turkey and Fruit Salad – blueberries, melon and pineapples meet lean turkey and ginger in this tropical salad.

Toasted Quinoa and Asparagus Salad– oranges and orange juice add kick to healthy and gluten-free quinoa.

Spinach and Citrus Salad Recipe – coloured peppers and oranges load up this salad with vitamin C.

Warm Spinach & Portabella Mushroom Salad – roasted mushrooms provide a boost of beta-glucans in this simple, warm salad.


We need more of them — and more variety — in our diets. Here’s how to get it:

Baked Kale Chips – a healthy snack that satisfies the urge to crunch (season with your favourite herbs).

Ratatouille – this classic French recipe can be served hot or cold, on the side or on top of pasta or flatbread.

Lightly Roasted Ontario Tri-Pepper Salad – vitamin C packed peppers take the spotlight in this grilled dish.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash – get your fill of beta-carotene with the rich flavours of maple and butter.

Ontario Chinese Vegetables Roll-Ups – Asian vegetables and flavours meld in this tasty dish that can serve as an appetizer or main attraction.

Quick Dip Recipe – this honey-based dip will have you reaching for the chopped veggies.

Roasted Vegetables – an easy side dish packed with colour and nutrients.

Simple Sautéed Mushrooms – an easy recipe for a tasty side or topping.

Main courses

Blue-B-Q Sauce – give your meat a dose of citrus and blueberries (not to mention some garlic and chili too).

Chicken and Veggie Bake – a one-dish dinner that’s kid-friendly and good for the heart too with mushroom soup, vegetables and rice.

Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Potatoes – enjoy lean chicken and potatoes seasoned with the flavours of garlic and rosemary.

Chicken Roasted with 40 Cloves of Garlic – garlic lovers will enjoy this aromatic roast chicken, and you can use the cooked cloves for an appetizer too.

Crock-pot Hungarian Chicken – no time or energy to cook? Let your slow-cooker do the work for this spicy dish.

Ginger Turkey Stir Fry – honey, ginger and garlic add some zip to a traditional stir fry (and you can use up holiday leftovers too).

Lentil Stew – get the protein you need and give your budget a break with low-cost lentils and vegetables.

Marinated Mussel Salad – vegetables provide the vitamins and mussels provide the zinc!

Mini Salmon Loaves – these little loaves include healthy mushrooms and red peppers too.

Sizzlin’ Shrimp with BC Raspberry salsa – this fruity and savory salsa can also be used to top chicken or fish.

Spicy Oat Crusted Chicken with Sunshine Salsa – oats add some crunch to this coating, and oranges brighten up traditional salsa.

Tea Poached Salmon with Fruit Salsa – use your favourite citrus herbal or Rooibos tea to add flavour to the fish without adding salt or calories.

Vegetarian Chili – get the protein without the meat, and get some fibre too.


It’s okay to indulge your sweet tooth, but steer clear of sugary and fatty desserts and keep the portions modest.

Apple-Cranberry Crisp – as an alternative, you can also use anti-oxidant rich berries too.

Lemon-Ginger Frozen Yogurt – the perfect excuse to haul out the ice cream maker.

Microwaved Honey and Cardamom Poached Apples or Pears – a great winter warm-up with a quick prep time. Top with yogurt for some pro-biotic goodness.

Pear Cinnamon Oat Crumble – take advantage of fresh pears this fall as an alternative to apples.

Polenta Cake with Orange Blossom Yogurt, Berries, and Pistachios – polenta (boiled cornmeal) serves as the base for this dessert made with yogurt, berries and fruity honey.

Yogurt with Granola, Tropical Fruit, and Crystallized Ginger – the name says it all: ginger, honey, Greek-style yogurt and colourful fruit.