Winter is here!
We’ve been harvesting our organic Turmeric this week. Its easy to know when its time for harvest, the leaves yellow as the cooler weather hits and the plant is signaled to send all that energy from the sun into those glorious turmeric tubers! Don’t you just love how nature shows its beauty differently each season? The energy and sparkle of summer, beautiful leaves changing in Autumn and the bursting new life in Spring, but I’ve always struggled to love Winter. I love going to the snow and have even lived in ski resorts in Canada and New Zealand but ‘real life’ winter where the days are short and can be grey and dreary just seem to make me feel the same way. This is a well understood phenomenon of ‘winter blues’ caused by reduced exposure to sunlight producing less ‘feel good’ melatonin. Another reason I didn’t love winter in the past was I had a very weak immune system and felt like I just ‘battled through’ winter each year, often getting better from one ailment only to come down with the next. Coughs, colds, laryngitis, sinus infections, flu’s were the story for me every winter. Reduced sunlight exposure not only reduces our melatonin levels but decreases our Vitamin D production which is a key vitamin for our immunity.
I tried all sorts of herbal remedies to improve my immune system with some success, particularly at treating symptoms, however it wasn’t until I started making Jamu for inflammation that I started to notice I wasn’t succumbing as often or as severely to these seasonal ailments. Jamu literally is our winter dose of sunshine! We take it every morning to support our immune system and then if we feel a sore throat or a little run down we take some more as a warm infusion (1:4 with boiling water) in the evening. We even ‘super boost’ it sometimes with added Manuka honey and coconut oil that have proven anti-microbial and viral properties.
I would love to be able to escape winter every year with an extended Bali trip or a tropical holiday but having our daily Jamu is an easy routine to help us feel like winter isn’t the longest season anymore.
Here’s a winter warming recipe to include fresh ginger and turmeric in your diet:
Winter Warming Turmeric and Ginger Soup Recipe
4 cups good quality stock of your choice
1 cup pumpkin chopped (roughly)
1 cup root vegetables like carrot, parsnip, celeriac (diced roughly)
1 brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric
1 tablespoon butter or oil of your choice
In a large saucepan or crockpot heat the oil, add onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and simmer until onions are translucent and starting to brown (you may need to add a little more oil).
Add the chopped vegetables and stir for 1-2 minutes
Add the stock and boil vegetables until soft and falling apart (root vegetables will take the longest).
Use a stick blender or food processor to process the soup until smooth.
Season to taste.
Serve with coriander and yoghurt or croutons.
Can be frozen