Looking for ways to stay balanced this fall? Listed below are four recipes that taste great AND boost your body's immune system during this cool & dry season. As temperatures begin to dip, it's important that we stay covered up. It's time to put on that scarf, and fall jacket again to avoid catching a cold. For those of us that tend to feel cold easily, stay balanced by eating foods with warming properties. This brings me to my first recipe.

1. Carrot Ginger Soup

This is a simple warming soup with minimal ingredients. Ginger's immune boosting effects combined with carrots will give you the energy you need to combat a cold, or replenish your body at the end of a long day at work.

What you need:
Immersion blender
Coconut oil or Butter (2 tbsp - butter has warming properties that are beneficial during the fall/winter months.)
Ginger (1 tsp)
Carrots (6-7 large carrots peeled and chopped)
Chicken or vegetable stock (0.5 litres)
Onions (1 large or 2 small onions chopped)
Water (0.5 litres)

1. Heat coconut oil/butter on medium heat in a large pot.
2. Add onions, and carrots saute for 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the stock, water, and ginger
4. Bring to a boil, and simmer on low for 25 minutes (until carrots are soft)
5. Use your immersion blender to blend the carrots.
6. Add salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!

2. Spiced Apple Cider

Apples are in season during fall, if you have time I recommend going to an apple farm to pick your own! This way you can see the practices that farm uses, and ensure you're getting fresh, and ripe fruit. What to do with all those apples? Apples are great for moistening the lungs, and provide a good source of energy.

By combining warming and moistening properties from cinnamon and apple, apple cider can warm you up, while soothing a dry cough. 

What you need:
Apples (10 quartered)
brown sugar (3/4 cup)
Ground cinnamon (1 tbsp)
Nutmeg (1/8 tsp)
Cloves (4)

1. Place apples in a large pot and add enough water cover by 2 inches. 
2. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Bring to a boil. 
3. Boil, uncovered, for 1 hour. 
4. Cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours.
5. Strain apple mixture though a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. 
6. Enjoy!

3. Beet Root Soup

In TCM, we say that overwork can consume your body's Qi (energy), and blood. Signs of blood deficiency are feeling dizzy, lightheaded, especially after a long day. For women that have scanty periods, or find that their vision blurs in and out randomly, or have a pale face, and pale tongue, these are all signs of blood deficiency. A common theme in TCM is that the appearance of food represents what your body needs. Red foods, are good for nourishing blood. Beets are no exception and are a very good blood tonic. Make this recipe when you're feeling out of it, as blood has the ability to ground the spirit and when deficient can make you feel as though you are floating, or not quite grounded. 

What you need:
- 900mL Vegetable stock
- 1 medium onion
- 3 large beets
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- dill weed

1. Add oil to a large saucepan over medium heat
2. Add onions, let cook until they begin to soften
3. Add Beets, cook for 1-2 minutes
4. Add vegetable stock
5. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low for 20 minutes
6. Add 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, stir
7. Add salt and pepper for taste
8. Enjoy!

4. Pinenut garlic spread

This is an easy and tasty spread to make for garlic lovers. Especially good for reducing blood pressure as garlic is a natural blood thinner. Garlic is also a pungent-warming spice making it an ideal choice if you feel the start of a cold coming on. Pinenuts are moistening, once again good if you have dryness in the lungs, or suffer from constipation. A great combination for Fall. You may have to go to a bulk barn, or whole foods to find these nuts.

What you need:
6-8 cloves of raw garlic
½ cup pinenuts
juice of ¼ lemon
1 teaspoon dried basil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Combine all ingredients in a spice or coffee grinder or a food processor with a small bowl attachment.
2. Blend until smooth

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