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Prepare for fall flu season with Joy Bauer’s immune-boosting recipes

Each of these recipes features immune-strengthening superfoods and beneficial compounds — plus they’re full of flavor.

Embracing the many wonders of autumn (hello pumpkin carving, apple picking and corn mazing!) means preparing our immune systems for cold and flu season. This fall, I’m whipping up my go-to nondairy cream of mushroom soup and roasted pumpkin seeds. I’m also sharing a trendy trick for making fermented garlic honey. While these recipes on their own can’t magically cure a cold, each of them features immune-strengthening superfoods and beneficial compounds that can help provide germ-fighting power!

Nondairy Cream of Mushroom Soup

Courtesy Joy Bauer

Chicken noodle may be the go-to soup when you’re feeling under the weather, but there’s another surprising remedy — this scrumptious cream of mushroom soup. It’s both thick and comforting, and it features a bold umami flavor that may help soothe a frustrating cough and never-ending sniffles. Its immune-boosting powers come from the mushrooms, which contain antiviral properties, thanks to their beta-glucans and chitosans. Thus, slurping this soup is an effective way to shower your body with a hefty dose of delicious cold-fighters.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Courtesy Joy Bauer

Pumpkin seeds are super seeds as they benefit our bodies in so many ways. They provide protein, healthy fat and fiber, not to mention a satisfying and flavorful crunch. They’re also one of the best sources of zinc, a mineral that plays a vital role in immunity. While there’s no wrong way to enjoy ’em, I like to roast pepitas (shell-less pumpkin seeds from specific hulless pumpkin varieties) two different ways. First, my favorite way to enjoy them is to toss them in a fiery blend of chili, cumin, garlic and cayenne that I call my Chili-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. If you prefer a sweet spin, try my Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds — they really hit the spot. You can nosh on them by the handful (straight off the baking sheet like I do) or sprinkle ’em on oatmeal, yogurt, salads and soups. Seeds the day!

Fermented Garlic Honey

Courtesy Joy Bauer

This is a condiment you need in your backpocket. Not only does it make whatever its drizzled on super tasty, it also has immune-strengthening properties to help combat cold and flu symptoms, too. With just two ingredients and a jar, this recipe is one you will absolutely clove. Honey and garlic are kitchen staples, and each beloved ingredient comes with a slew of benefits, from soothing a sore throat to providing antibacterial and antifungal properties. When the two are combined and fermented, you create a tasty home remedy to keep on hand for when you feel a cold creeping up— they are potent partners in fighting pesky symptoms and bolstering immunity. You and this recipe are fer-ment to be!

Here’s how to make it:


1 cup garlic cloves, papery skin removed

1 cup raw honey


Place peeled cloves in a sterilized mason jar. Add the honey (it should be enough to cover all the cloves, and ideally the honey should settle 2 inches above the top garlic cloves). Cover tightly with lid and turn upside down to ensure all of the cloves are well-coated in honey.

Keep in a cool dark place for 3 to 4 weeks to allow for fermentation. During the fermentation process, gases will be emitted, so it’s important to unscrew the lid and open the jar slightly once per day to release these gases, then reseal the jar. You don’t have worry about tightly resealing the jar, as a looser fit will allow the gases to naturally escape as well.

You can eat a clove a day with some honey as a preventative method, or start to eat once you feel a cold coming on and for the duration of your cold. You can also add some of the garlic-infused honey to a cup of soothing tea when you’re feeling under the weather.