Our current circumstances can permit many challenges to healthy eating, including lack of stocked ingredients, long wait times at the markets, and limited shopping days as well as fridge space as most of us are now largely cooking our own meals. In the time of COVID-19, how can you ensure that you have a backup system when Alkagizer ingredients are scarce? Enter our immune strengthening sauce: vibrant, sunny sauce can quickly brighten any fish, chicken, chickpea or veggie dish with a punch of flavour, this is the WILDFIT immune strengthening sauce.
Seasons: Summer, Fall and Living WILDFIT
Prep Time: 5 minutes.
Cook Time: 15 minutes.
Makes: 8 servings
1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
2 carrots, chopped into small chunks (about 2 cups)
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried & powdered)
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried & powdered)
1 Tablespoon turmeric, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried & powdered)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 ½ – 2 cups coconut milk
1 mango (peel and remove pit)*
Juice of 1 lime (or ½ lemon) about 1 Tablespoon
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp pepper (or to taste)
1 cup water
*Can substitute or 1 cup frozen or 1 peeled and deseeded orange (for mango and lime)
Begin by chopping your vegetables as suggested. You want the ginger and turmeric in smaller pieces so that more of the surface area is exposed, This helps to activate the oils and juices when they are added to the heat. As mentioned above, if you don’t have access to fresh, simply use high quality powdered spices. By chopping the carrots into smaller pieces, they will cook in less time with less liquid, preserving more of their precious nutrients.
The onions add flavor, but their capacity as an antiviral superhero is often underestimated. Both onions and garlic contain properties that make them antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial. No wonder they are used in cuisines worldwide as a base for so many recipes! In this recipe the onion adds depth and sweetness, while the garlic, along with the turmeric make it pungent.
As bright yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables are known for their immune cell building superpowers, I decided to feature carrots as the main event in this recipe. As the carrots cook, most of the water is boiled off and absorbed. The liquid in this sauce comes from the milk you add. I used coconut to keep up with the tropical vibe (and it is what I have easy access to in the Dominican Republic), however you can use any that you prefer. The coconut milk gives it a distinct velvety smooth, creamy texture, so if you are using a packaged nut or seed milk I recommend adding a Tablespoon of plant oil to make it more luxurious.
Many commercial sauces add sugar, and even the healthiest homemade ones call for honey or maple syrup. I decided to use fruit to sweeten this sauce, as the added fiber and antioxidants will help regulate blood sugar, decreasing anxiety, inflammation and therefore stress. One cup of mango provides about a quarter of the daily target for vitamin A precursors, a nutrient that’s essential for proper functioning of the immune system (including the production and activity of white blood cells). It is also full of Vitamin C which is necessary for healing and reducing inflammation. If mango is unavailable, a sweet orange makes a fantastic substitute. Finally, we use lemon juice to add a touch of sour to the mix, increase vitamin C, and therefore longevity of nutrients in this sauce while leftovers are stored in the fridge.
After preparing ingredients, set a small saucepan on medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once the oil is heated, add the chopped onion and stir, cooking for 5 minutes or until translucent. Next add the chopped turmeric, ginger, garlic and cumin to the pot, and stir continuously for 1 minute so that the volatile oils can be released and the sauce more fragrant.
Quickly add the chopped carrots, salt, pepper and water to the pot, then cover with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes until the carrots have softened. You will know they are ready when you can break them in half with a fork. Check the carrots from time to time, as the water may have evaporated off of them. If this happens, add more water, ¼ cup at a time, until carrots are done.
Alternatively, if you have a high powered blender, you may choose to only scare your carrots for a couple minutes before adding them to your blender. This will retain more nutrients, however if you do not have a proper blender texture will be sacrificed, making it much less appealing.
When the carrots are done, add the contents of the saucepan to your blender, along with the 1 cup of coconut milk and orange/mango flesh, and lemon/lime juice. If using an orange, omit the additional citrus, as it will have enough sour notes. Blend the sauce until velvety smooth, adding more milk until it has reached your desired consistency.
This sauce is delicious warm or cold, on salad, cooked vegetables, chicken, fish, mushrooms, pulses like lentils or chickpeas, or anywhere you’d like a tasty health boost! I have also been known to enjoy it straight as a warm soup or a chilled smoothie. Possibilities are endless! Experiment with it everywhere or freeze half if you live alone and dislike repeating flavors, as it is most potent if kept for less than 3 days in the fridge. Enjoy your immune strengthening sauce.